Monday, December 18, 2006


To the You Generation

So, what has a blogger to do
To become one of Time's timely few,
When their "Person," this year,
Is an Internet peer?
Seems they overlooked me and chose you!

The cover that could have been

Person of the Year: You
Yes, you. You control the Information Age.
Welcome to your world.

By Lev Grossman, Time Magazine, 12/13/06

Friday, December 15, 2006

Daredevil claims bad rap

Though whatever the jurors believe'll
Determine the fate of Kanyevel ®,
It's a mighty big leap
To say Kanye's a creep
Who's intentions toward Evel were evil.

Kanye made me look evil - Knievel
Paul MacInnes, The Guardian, 12/13/06

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Well, I declare!

Kucinich, we know him as Dennis,
Tossed his hat in the ring once again. Is
This former "boy mayor"
Becoming a player
Now that Bush has been labeled "the Menace?"

Kucinich’s Second White House Bid,
Like His First, to Focus on Iraq
By Marie Horrigan, The New York Times, 12/12/06

Monday, December 11, 2006

The new standard

In Cleveland we're jumping for joy
Now that Heisman belongs to our boy.
For most of those polled
This Buckeye was gold.
Now, all talents are measured on Troy.

He's Cleveland's man, OSU's man, Heisman
Doug Lesmerises, The Plain Dealer, 12/10/06

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Knock, knock, knocking on Robert's door

The Senate would hold no debates
Before casting our lot with the Fates.
After Donald from Hell,
What's an easier sell
Than Heaven lies just beyond Gates?

Senate Confirms Gates as Secretary of Defense
By David S. Cloud, 12/7/06

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Bush's "struggle for freedom"

From another bad news cycle

Once again, George W. Bush has zeroed in, with laser-like focus, on the key element of this intricate problem:

"I'm so tired of this liberal drivel
On my war in Iraq. Let them snivel
Over how it's defined.
You'd be out of your mind
To believe that the conflict's been civil!"

And Donald Rumsfeld thought that the war was too complex for the average Joe to understand!

White House Wages War of Words Over 'Civil' Term
By Peter Baker, The Washington Post, 11/29/06

Thursday, November 23, 2006

A matter of emphasis

As I ponder the dead and the living
I get caught up syllabically sieving.
For those serving at war
Or the homeless and poor,
Is the stress on the "thanks" or the "giving?"

Our current day of celebration probably owes more to Abraham Lincoln than to the Pilgrims. His proclamation, in the midst of the Civil War, set the tone for our national day of thankfulness and the words still ring surprisingly true.


The year that is drawing toward its close has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added which are of so extraordinary a nature that they can not fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever-watchful providence of Almighty God.

In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign states to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere, except in the theater of military conflict, while that theater has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union.

Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defense have not arrested the plow, the shuttle, or the ship; the ax has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege, and the battlefield, and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom.

No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy.

It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently, and gratefully acknowledged, as with one heart and one voice, by the whole American people. I do therefore invite my fellow-citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next as a day of thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans. mourners, or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it, as soon as may be consistent with the divine purposes, to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity, and union.

In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the city of Washington, this 3d day of October, A. D. 1863, and of the Independence of the United States the eighty-eighth.


By the President:

WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.

Happy Tha[ng](k)s-'gi-vi[ng]
or 'Tha[ng](k)s- gi-vi[ng]
however you choose to live it

And please take in the following food for thought on this day
A feast of the ordinary
By James Carroll, The Boston Globe, 11/20/06

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

The short goodbye

The director of Nashville and M*A*S*H
Leaves a legacy, brilliant, not brash.
It may be cliché,
But most movies today,
Compared to his worst, seem like trash.

And there is nothing that compares to Robert Altman's best like McCabe and Mrs. Miller, his sardonic view of how the West was really won; or Kansas City, a loving tribute to the history of Jazz and his hometown, set as a gangster movie.

His genre-busting style will surely be missed from the world of film.

Robert Altman, Iconoclastic Director, Dies at 81
By Rick Lyman, The New York Times, 11/21/06

Belling the cat?

We publish this urgent disclaimer
Of the fellow you knew, once, as Kramer:
If you get in his face,
He could pounce on your race
Like a lion that's turned on his tamer!

In case you miss my point:
It is easy for us to show shock and outrage at the actions of Mel Gibson, George Allen or Michael Richards; but who of us is brave enough to finally
bell the cat of racism in our society?

What Lies Beneath
By Eugene Robinson, The Washington Post, 11/22/06

Friday, November 17, 2006

If the show fits

Time this running back fully admitted
To the secret of just how he did it.
For those stunned by his act
There's no doubting, in fact,
Emmitt Smith, himself, deftly acquitted.

Any resemblance to any other former running back in the news
is purely intentional but does not merit further comment.

Emmitt Smith Wins ABC's 'Dancing' Title
By Erin Carlson, Associated Press Writer
The Chicago Tribune, 11/16/06

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Cheers or al-Jazeers?

Do we really have reason to fear a
One-sided, unfair al-Jazeera?
Will their English report
Only tend to distort,
Or a new point of view draw us nearer?

Slick al-Jazeera aims to surprise
By Torin Douglas, BBC News, 11/15/06

Monday, November 13, 2006

Borat's new suit

Now Borat's been sued by the "scholars"
Whose drunkenness made them name-callers.
They're just two sober gents
Whose Mel Gibson defense
Couldn't possibly be for the dollars.

The Savant is not proud to admit (hence, no high five) that he saw the Borat movie over the weekend. Even more embarrassing is that he laughed loudly despite himself even without the producers getting him drunk beforehand.

I am familiar with the Borat character from watching some of the Ali G DVDs, also the product of Sacha Baron Cohen, so I can offer no defense of ignorance. And, while I'm not sure exactly where I stand on Cohen's humor, it has become a guilty pleasure for me. Unlike some comedians who deal in offensive material strictly for the shock value, Cohen usually seems to be making a point about some of our cherished institutions and beliefs. Watching Borat is how I imagine it must have been seeing Lenny Bruce, live, in the 60's: disquieting, outrageous, but often outrageously funny. I can only wish him a better fate.

Frat brothers: It's Borat's fault we said racist remarks
By Meg Kinnard, AP, Chicago Sun-Times, 11/11/06

Friday, November 10, 2006

My dilemna

The voters have got to be joking
This issue is leaving me choking
I'm doing my part
Supporting the arts
But it's killing me taking up smoking

I actually voted for Issue 18 too but not without some trepidation. I always find it a dilemna when a "sin tax" is used to support a worthwhile cause, especially when they haven't even picked my favorite sin. I also wonder what it means that voters chose to tax smoking in support of the arts but at the same time voted to ban smoking in public locations. Does the syllogism reduce to: voters want to ban art from public places?

Arts-and-culture tax apparently victorious
By Carolyn Jack, The Plain Dealer, 11/8/06

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Parting shot

As ever, the arrogant Rummy
Departs, neither gracious nor chummy.
Instead he reflects
How Iraq's too "complex"
To be fully absorbed by a dummy.

Rumsfeld defiant to the end
Defense Secretary quits, says war 'not well-understood'
By Lolita C. Baldor, The Chicago Sun-Times, 11/9/06

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Time's awastin'

The journey begins

Now that Democrats garnered the vote,
This isn't the moment to gloat.
Unless they deliver,
They'll find they're up river
With no paddles, and out of the boat!

Democrats Promise Broad New Agenda
Now in Control, They Plan to Challenge Bush
By Jonathan Weisman and Shailagh Murray
The Washington Post, 11/8/06

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Be in the heard, not in the herd

Got a grievance that's stuck in your throat?
Want a proven and safe antidote?
Awaken your voice
By makin' a choice
Or mute it by failing to vote!

Proven safe and effective when used as directed.
Best results are obtained by twice yearly administration.
May be obtained over the counter with proper I.D. Some restrictions may apply.

Side effects may include: headaches; confusion; long lines; nausea; double vision;
irritation; feelings of déjà vu; disappointment; and euphoria.
Best when used in combination with a regimen of political activism and community involvement.

We must vote, even if choices aren't choice
By Dawn Turner Trice
The Chicago Tribune, 11/6/06

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Learn and spurn

For the voter who's tried to unscramble
Issue 3, I’ll provide this preamble:
We don’t need any slots;
They serve "haves" not "have-nots"
And Blackwell’s made voting the gamble.

Thought it was about time the Savant comment on local elections. For a more erudite argument, visit Writes Like She Talks for Jill Miller Zimon's series of 57 reasons to vote no on this flawed issue. At last count she was up to number 3.

As to Blackwell and his ilk, consider the Secretary of State Project. Time is short but it's not to late to vote for the right candidate.

If you believe you have been the victim of voter suppression tactics, contact the ACLU toll-free voter hotline, 1-877-523-2792. It will be available on election day from 6:30 AM to 11:00 PM.

If you are worried about long lines on Tuesday, you may still be able to vote early by "absentee ballot in person." Check for your state's requirements.

See NPR's Early Voting: Getting the Jump on Election Day for more info.

No on Issue 3
Proponents pitch the message of Learn and Earn.
What they are really selling is the false promise of gambling
Akron Beacon Journal, 10/18/06

Friday, November 03, 2006

Embracing our diversity

For bloggers from near and from far,
The blogosphere is the Bazaar.
The concept, ubuntu,
's the wavelength we tune to,
Where others define who we are.

Yes, I know I was mixing my metaphors or, to be more exact, my similes and metaphors. I'm afraid I haven't taken Ogden Nash's literary advice to heart (see Very Like a Whale and don't miss the link to the Byron poem, The Destruction of Sennacherib, which it lampoons).

Not being of Nash's caliber as writer or humorist, I found it necessary to abuse those tools to express my excitement over the discovery of the Bantu concept of ubuntu, "I am because we are." Suddenly, it seemed the perfect way to express my experience of the blogging phenomenon. Ubuntu seems to capture how the blogosphere (I hate that term) has created interconnectedness among many individuals, worldwide, who share their similarities and differences in a generally civilized way through posts and comments on those posts. Maybe that makes us all mixed metaphors of a sort? I know that the longer I do this the more, what was once, a solitary activity has become a conversation.

As often happens, a confluence of events led me to this post. Firstly, I caught the story about ubuntu on PRI's "The World" during my evening commute. Then, I belatedly read about Ronni Bennett's "Elderblogger PhoneCon." Ronni's recap made me sorry that I missed the telephone meet-up but hopeful for the opportunity to participate in January. If only she will schedule part of it during evening hours for those of us for whom blogging has to take a backseat to other duties. Ronni, if you do, I promise a recitation of a limerick composed especially for the occasion. Ronni's conference call and her blog, Time Goes By, in general, voice that spirit of ubuntu that I sense many of us bloggers are striving toward. Thanks, Ronni, for making the world a smaller, closer, and (greenhouse gas emissions aside) warmer place.

The Africa Report
The World, PRI, 10/26/06

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

The elephant's rejoinder

Self-awareness? What mumbo(dash)jumbo!
Any true pachydermal Columbo,
Would need no reflection
To raise an objection
As to why you keep calling us Dumbo!

Elephants pass mirror test
By Washington Post writer, Rick Weiss
The Chicago Tribune, 10/31/06

Mr. Kerry's rejoinder

Even elephants found at the zoo,
Mr. Bush, knew the joke was on you.
If you'd shown self-reflection,
You'd know this election's
About you, but you haven't a clue.

[N.B. The expressed views are solely those of John Kerry and do not represent the opinions of the Limerick Savant, his minions, or this blog. The Savant, in fact, believes that the president and his cronies are fully aware of their predicament and are, as usual, using any means available to divert the public's attention from the real issues of importance in this election. The public, of course, will not be fooled because they (well most of them) are smarter than your average elephant.]

Bush Calls Kerry Remarks Insulting to U.S. Troops
Senator Says President, Not Military, Was Target of Botched Joke
By Jim VandeHei and Chris Cillizza
The Washington Post, 11/1/06

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Halloween chills

How long can you bear Bush’s lies
While another American dies?
You can show at the poll
Your response to this toll:
Vote "No" on October's Surprise!

The scariest part is that it really doesn't come as much of a surprise.

By AP writer, Steven R. Hurst
San Jose Mercury News, 10/31/06

Monday, October 23, 2006

The Savant vindicated

Thanks to the folks at NPR and the Pew Research Center, the Savant may be red-tribed but he is no longer red-faced. After taking the PRC's 2005 Political Typology survey, He weighed in as "Liberal" with a capital "L." This helped to ease some of the cognitive dissonance caused by the quiz mentioned in the previous post.

Having done a little research of my own in the past, it is clear to me that the questions you ask and the way that you ask them can greatly influence the outcome. That being said, I'm more likely to lend my confidence to the Pew crew when it comes to scholarly research.

You probably don't need a survey to tell you where you stand, but it is interesting to look at the results and conclusions that they draw from the above. And if you are thinking about not voting in November because "it's a foregone conclusion," take a look at their latest survey results.

Beyond Red vs. Blue: Redefining the Political Landscape
By Robert Siegel and Andrew Kohut
All Things Considered, NPR, 5/10/05

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Which tribe are you?

I guess this is as close to a meme as I'll ever get on this blog.

I caught most of the interview with the authors of Applebee's America yesterday on NPR and followed the link to the What's Your Tribe quiz. Imagine my surprise to find myself smack in the middle of the Red Tribe! I thought it possible I could end up in the Tipping Tribe but the dreaded Red Tribe!!!

I've always thought of myself as a bit of an iconoclast (how many people are obsessed with turning news and opinion into limericks?) so my only explanation is that I must be the exception that proves the rule (never did understand that expression). Either that, or the quiz is terribly flawed.

Anyway, I challenge my readers to take the quiz and report back on the results. Tell me if it fits with your self concept but don't let it change the way you vote in November. I certainly won't.

Conversations on Politics
Connecting with Gut Values in 'Applebee's America'
Morning Edition, NPR, 10/18/06

Friday, October 13, 2006

Hard to swallow

Bush claims that this study’s "not credible"
But facts aren’t so easily shed-able
Nor truth overlooked.
Since his data’s been cooked,
The bull that he’s fed us aint edible.

Counting The Iraqi Dead
By Eugene Robinson
The Washington Post, 10/13/06

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

No "E" for effort

Kim Jong Il has proved more than a pest
In pursuit of his nuclear quest.
Now, the world, as we know it,
Has changed
. If we blow it,
It’s failure; for this is the test.

Diverted Attention, Neglect Set the Stage for Kim's Move
Up until 2001, North Korea's nuclear program was largely
under seal and monitored by the U.N. What went wrong?

By Barbara Demick, Los Angeles Times, 10/10/06

Monday, October 02, 2006

Over-friendly + under-age = big zero

Shouldn't this equation equal zero tolerance?

When a congressman tries to engage
In relations with those under-age,
Just what does it take,
For decency’s sake,
Before Hastert responds to the page?

FBI to Examine Foley's E-Mails
Hastert Calls For Independent Probe
By Charles Babington and Jonathan Weisman
The Washington Post, 10/2/06

Friday, September 29, 2006

They want to kill us

Or is it just the messenger?

The Republican campaign of terror,
Which preys on our fears, is an error.
People tend to confuse
Those who bear the bad news
With that news, thusly blaming the bearer.

This ad make the Savant wonder "Who is it, that really wants to terrorize us?"

Conservative Group Airs Pro-Bush Ad
The Guardian, 9/7/06

Monday, September 25, 2006

In that number?

Forget the political spin.
We don’t care if they lose or they win,
For tonight at the "Dome"
It is all about "home"
When the Saints will go marching back in.

New Orleans Hopes to Make Superdome a Home Again
By Lee Jenkins, The New York Times, 9/25/06

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

No monopoly on stupidity

First, Benedict called them "inhuman"
And Muslims, worldwide, started fumin'.
Now, al-Qaeda's reply
Seeks to prove it a lie
By slitting some throats, we're presumin'?

"Show me just what Muhammad brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached."
----Pope Benedict XVI quoting Emperor Manuel II Paleologus

“We tell the worshipper of the Cross that you and the West will be defeated . . . May God enable us to slit their throats, and make their money and descendants the bounty of the mujahidin.”
----Mujahidin Shura Council

Calls for calm as militants threaten to kill the Pope
By Richard Owen, The Times Online, 9/19/06

Saturday, September 16, 2006

The Idiom Savant says:

On the blackboard, please write this in chalk
Fifty times: "I won’t make idle talk
In support of a cause."
It’s just clutching at straws
Unless you are walking the walk.

Once again the Savant will be walking for his favorite cause and as a special offer to the loyal readers of his blog, he will send a signed copy of the Limerick Savant's chapbook, Four-year Funk, to anyone who donates $15 or more as a sponsor. The chapbook is a beautiful handmade collection of past limericks, and it sports a three color silk screen cover. He will make good on the offer if you walk in, or sponsor, your local NAMI Walks event too. Heck, just get out there and support a cause and he'll make good on the bargain. [N.B. donations to the RNC excepted. Offer void where prohibited by law or good taste.]

Friday, September 15, 2006


Americans value the horse
As a symbol of beauty and force,
And seem thusly surprised
To have just realized
That for others it’s merely main course.

I was set to post this one last week but, inspired by our do nothing Congress, I decided to take some time off. Unlike them, however, I'm not getting paid for my part-time, half-assed efforts.

As, what I call, a marine vegetarian, (that neither means I'm militant nor that my motto is "Semper Fiddleheads," but just that I also eat seafood) I am opposed to the needless slaughter of sentient life; but is this really the best Congress could do given all the pressing issues before them? If they're concerned about slaughter, how about taking some action on the situation in Darfur? Does it take a Hollywood hunk to clue us in on the fact that this is "the first genocide of the 21st Century?"

Maybe this is necessary and important legislation but it seems like the worst kind of election year pandering from a Congress where the posterior end of the beast reigns supreme.

Horse Slaughtering: The New Terrorism?
Congress hasn't done much this year,
but few bills have stirred more passion than
one to protect horses from being turned into horsemeat

By Douglas Waller, Time, 9/7/06

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Five years later...

Politics as usual

Unlike the president, memories of the events of September 11, 2001 left me speechless.

The Politics of the 'Not-Political' Speech
President Bush's 9/11 Anniversary Speech
Wasn't Supposed to Be Political
By Mark Halperin, ABC News, 9/12/06

Friday, September 08, 2006

More favorite things

Imagine, if you will, a bird’s-eye view of the mountains of Tora Bora in Afghanistan. The camera swoops down in a long, slow zoom, zeroing in on Mr. Bush atop one of the peaks. As the orchestra swells, we see him dancing and singing but with a quizzical look that says, "Where is all this music coming from?"

Fast forward to the Oval Office. We see the president sitting with little Katie Couric, assuring her that she will be the best anchor since Walter Cronkite if only she remains the polite, good girl and forgets about follow-up questions. Flush with embarrassment over the compliment, Katie timidly asks, "Do you wish that your administration had handled detainees and sort of the rules and - and the guidelines for the treatment of these - detainees differently?"

Bush reaches behind a brocade-trimmed curtain, pulls out a spruce-top guitar, and launches into this rendition (excuse the pun) of the Rodgers and Hammerstein favorite.

Click for the music

Black hoods on Muslims or just waterboarding
Blasting their ears with Black Sabbath recordings
Making them jump like a puppet on strings
These are a few of my favorite things

Prisoners stripped naked and in solitary
Making them shave even when they are hairy
Upping the shocks just a couple of joules
These are a few of my favorite tools

Flush Korans down
In the toilet
That’s how we stop a plot
Please don’t restrict us or then you will spoil it
And it’s really all that we’ve got.

Good cop and bad cop and sleep deprivation
Rapid-fire questions and forced isolation
CIA prisons kept hidden from view
These are some things that we still plan to do

Black hoods on Muslims or just waterboarding
Blasting their ears with Black Sabbath recordings
Making them jump like a puppet on strings
These are a few of my favorite things

Threaten dog bites
Make them stand and stand
I’ll simply remember these former solutions
And then I will feel quite grand

Bush Vows to Use All Anti-Terror Tools
President Bush Vows to Use All Tools Available
to Fight Terrorists Determined to Attack U.S.
By Jennifer Loven, ABC News, 9/7/06

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Bush's favorite things

What King George really said

No more boarding in icy-cold pools
Nor zapping the family jewels?
We were winning the game;
If we don’t, now, I blame
It on having to play by the rules.

Bush: Secret CIA Prisons a 'Vital' Tool
Bush Admits CIA Runs Secret Prisons Overseas,
Says Interrogations Made Terrorists Reveal Plots
By Deb Riechmann, ABC News, 9/7/06

Monday, August 28, 2006

New Orleans greets the president

Our town may be beaten and scarred
But we will not be taken off guard.
You have broken your vow,
Mr. Bush, and so, now,
The Big Easy is taking that hard.

New Orleans storm-ready, feds say; some not so sure
The Plain Dealer, 8/28/08

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

War on a lie

[Now there's a scary title]

The current Iraqi morass
Raises scares that no film could surpass.
When King George gets sincere
It increases our fear
Of political snakes in the grass!

Finish What Job?
President Bush's simplistic rhetoric could be used
to justify open-ended commitment in Iraq.

The Los Angeles Times, August 22, 2006

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Enough is enough!

I've had it with this motherf***n' hype
in the motherf***n' media!

Take a concept that’s purely inane,
Then hype it ‘til fans go insane;
And what should be a bomb
Will become a phenom.
Could the sequel be Sharks on a Train ?

'Snakes on a Plane' can't lose
Two stars out of four
By Michael Phillips The Chicago Tribune, 8/18/06

Monday, August 21, 2006

Byron's and Tiger's and Bear's; oh my!

Without any "what ifs" or "shoulds,"
This guy can deliver the goods.
Now that he’s on his game
His opponents seem tame.
Beware; Tiger is out of the woods!

Tiger Finds Way To Exclusive Club
By Michael Wilbon, The Washington Post, 8/21/06

Friday, August 18, 2006

Small wonder

Many hope that there will come a day
Of justice for poor JonBenet;
But who measures the cost
In innocence lost
While such children are put on display?

Suspect Held in Ramsey Slaying
Man, 41, Arrested In Thailand
By T.R. Reid and Spencer S. Hsu
The Washington Post, 8/17/06

Thursday, August 17, 2006

My "L" word is Laughter

My views on the news that apply
Are to laugh long and hard, lest you cry.
This NeoCon climate
Makes clear what a crime it’s
Sans humor in Liberal supply.

Carnival of the Liberals #19: The Parody Poetry Edition
One Flew East, 8/15/06

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Planetary lost and found?

Poor Pluto was fast losing ground
‘Til the IAU chose to expound
On what is a planet.
Don’t take nine for granite
With a dozen about to come round.

Round and Orbity? Must Be a Planet
By John Johnson Jr.
The Los Angeles Times, 8/16/06

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Political kiss of death

Some advice for politicians

At constituents’ views, never scoff,
If you feed at the government trough
Or you might go amiss
Just like Joe and "The Kiss,"
While the voters are kissing you off.

But it worked for Madonna!

Lieberman pays a price for Iraq stance
San Jose Mercury News, 8/10/06

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

War is hard; peace is simple

There simply can be no excuse
For these countries to not reach a truce.
Either see eye-to-eye
Or let innocents die!
Is the answer that hard to deduce?

Sixty-one years and we still have not learned one of the key lessons of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. See Cowntown Pattie's excellent post for more on that subject.

Israeli Jets Kill 30; No Letup in Militia Attacks
Arab League Ministers Call for Cease-Fire,
But Israel Signals Expansion of Offensive
By Edward Cody and Molly Moore
The Washington Post, 8/8/06

My last post

To those of you applauding: No, I didn't mean it like that!

I reread it and started to doze;
It was wordy by half, heaven knows.
The Savant can be terse
When writing in verse
But he tends to run on and on and on, with seemingly endless explication, often including parenthetical asides, (this man could really use an editor) (and isn't it annoying when he refers to himself in the third person?!!) and taking forever to make, what is usually not all that interesting, a point, whenever he sits down and puts pen to paper (or, more appropriately, bit to chip, since the handwritten word, long ago, went the way of the dot matrix printer) to endeavor to express his thoughts, however trivial, slight or downright meaningless, in the form of prose.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Hot off the presses

'Til it's gone, we don't know what we've got,
Nor pay notice 'til something is not;
But you might be surprised
That I just realized
That, for days, it's been gawdawful hot!

This is a total fabrication, of course. Not that it's been hot but that I just noticed. In fact, I have been following the study increase (with only a couple days reprieve) of above normal temperatures in Cleveland for the past three weeks like Philip Marlowe on the trail of a murderous heiress. I just didn't think it was worth mentioning until there was a break in the case, so to speak.

So now that I spent half of last Sunday, one of the hottest so far, installing a window air conditioner in the bedroom that serves as an office; we are finally getting some relief. We have been able to survive the Cleveland summers with the help of ceiling fans for years, enduring the odd, exceptionally hot, day here and there. I finally broke down and bought a bedroom air conditioner a few years ago after a sleepless week brought on by a heat wave. And that seemed to do the trick until mid July of this year.

Now after a couple weeks of really uncomfortable weather and Rene trying to write her book and me hoping to attain a modicum of tranquility by organizing the office, we were faced with the question of how to create a workspace livable for someone other than the firemen in the Titantic's engine room. Whole house AC is out because we have steam heat and a retrofit would be far too expensive. On the other hand, a second window unit raised worries about tripping breakers in a house with wiring that Edison would have found antiquated. Never the less we opted to take the chance, figuring we could always alternate operation of the ACs since work and sleep hours don't overlap.

I found a bargain on a nice unit small enough to be easy on the amps, though it took considerable tinkering to get the right fit in our windows. By late afternoon, with sweat burning my eyes, I was able to tap the remote until a lovely glowing red 75 appeared on the digital display and cool air gushed forth from the cheap plastic grate. Within hours, the formidable "88" on the display had sunk all the way down to a tolerable "82," so baked in was the heat to walls and ceiling.

Now, 5 days later, I sit in the comfort of a still cluttered but much cooler office awaiting tomorrow's break in temperature but confident in my ability to thwart the heat demons at the touch of a button should they return. I am only troubled by the worry that now that I am able to go from "temperature controlled" house to car to work to car to house to car, etcetera, etcetera; my brief encounters with the typical Cleveland summer environment will become more intolerable and I shall hardly ever want to breathe what passes for fresh air here again. Well, at least I may finally organize the office.

Weather Cooling, But More Rain on Way
WCPN, 8/3/06

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Remembering the cost

It’s a year, and one tear can revive
All the grief for a parent deprived
Of the life of a son.
That war’s never done
For survivors of 3/25.

In Ohio, Marines' Deaths Still Felt
Joe Milicia, The Wahington Post, 8/3/06

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

My name is Mel and I’m an __________

a. Actor
b. Alcoholic
c. Angry a*hole
d. Anti-Semite
e. All of the above

In ever cynical Hollywood, the response to Mr. Gibson’s latest embarrassment was something less than outrage. One imagines the memo from his agent:

Stop drinking! I’m telling you, Mel.
You know we have movies to sell.
When acting the critic,
Who’s anti-Semitic,
Your Passion has not served you well.

Gibson Arrest Probe Centers on Why Information Was Withheld
Civilian watchdog is investigating whether the actor got special treatment.
After the star was booked, a deputy drove him to his car.
By Richard Winton, Andrew Blankstein and Megan Garvey,
The Los Angeles Times, 8/2/06

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Vote 'til you drop?

So, WalMart has recently backed
Rights of voters, but showed little tact,
In supply and demand,
When they asked to expand
Them by adding a Shopping Rights Act*.

*We understand this proposed legislation purports to increase voter access and turnout by mandating that all polling locations be moved to the nearest WalMart. Plus an additional 15% off at the register for those voting a straight Republican ticket!

Voting Rights Finds Friends in Big Business
NPR Morning Edition, 7/27/06

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Survival of the twit-test

Geneticists found a solution
For uncovering new evolution.
By measuring genes,
They now have the means
To map an event's contribution.

And armed with this means of detection
They've identified recent selection;
But it still can't reveal
The errant allele
That resulted in Bush's election!

Thanks to George at Brewed Fresh Daily for allerting me to the story. It's worth a read if only for the wonderful evolutionary morph of Stephen Jay Gould.

And the Evolutionary Beat Goes On . . .
By Shankar Vedantam, The Washington Post, 7/24/06

Monday, July 24, 2006

The 3 Rs - Readin', wRitin' & Robbery?

The myst'_y of "whe_e a_e the _s?"
Is hist'_y, the _ogues behind ba_s.
The culp_its we_e caught
But the _uckus they w_ought's
Like a bliste_ that's su_e to bea_ sca_s.

Letter Rs Stolen From Ind. Signs Returned
The Washington Post, 7/22/06

Saturday, July 22, 2006

The medium is the massage

How could the Savant resist jumping on the bandwagon

Bush’s German back rub magnified on YouTube
MSNBC, 7/21/06

Lights out in Cleveland

The news is just making me sick
That the Tribe, for a minor league pick,
Extinguished the light.
Might as well say, "goodnight,"
Since Shapiro has snuffed out the Wick.

Wickman era comes to a close
Veteran dealt to Braves; Carmona takes over role
Paul Hoynes, The Plain Dealer, 7/21/06

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Ayatollah you "no!"

"The veto is not based on constitutional or legal objections. He is vetoing it because he says he believes it is immoral. Mr. President, you are not our moral ayatollah, maybe the president, nothing more."
-----Tom Harkin (D) Senator from Iowa

Bush vetoed this bill with a grin
That masked his war-mongering twin.
Invoking morality
Just shows, in reality,
What a hypocrite Dubbaya's been.

In First Veto, Bush Blocks Stem Cell Bill
By David Stout, The New York Times, 7/19/06

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Gratitude of debt?

Monetarily, given the toll,
We are wondering what is his goal
When Bush cries, "Hurray!"
That, as of today,
We are $300 bil. in the hole?

White House sees smaller federal deficit this year
By Caren Bohan and Tim Ahmann
Washington Post, 7/11/06

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Bet it doesn't help

There is no turning craps into heaven
But, for gamblers, could chance tend to leaven
The news of this bill
When, on Capitol Hill,
It passes on 7 - 11?

House Approves Crackdown on Online Gambling
By Kate Phillips, The New York Times, 7/11/06

This is not Mission Impossible!

Inconvenient or not, I implore
You to take in the Truth, ala Gore.
The glacial-ice pace
That our leaders embrace
Fuels a crisis we cannot ignore.

If you haven’t already, I urge you to see the film. It will be mobilizing for those of you that recognize the urgency of the global warming issue and enlightening for those that have been swayed by the corporate spin doctors.

I must admit that the cynic in me (and what part isn’t?) couldn’t help but think about the springboard this movie could be for a "Gore in 2008" campaign. I hope that impression doesn’t obscure the important message about what we are doing to our environment. But maybe if the guy who "was once the next president of the United States" was, I wouldn’t have been writing the following back in 2002.

Mr. Bush has a plan, that is bold,
To stop global warmth, we are told.
The Kyoto Accord
Is completely ignored
To ensure that the plan leaves us cold.

We tried to do our part by walking to the film and, even several weeks into the run, the theater was pretty full for Monday bargain night. I can’t vouch for the ratio of hybrids to SUVs in the parking lot, however. And my critics will remind me how I contribute to the problem with all the "hot air" generated at this blog. I guess I need to go plant another tree.

An Inconvenient Truth (2006)
Directed by Davis Guggenheim
In a theater near enough to walk to

Monday, July 10, 2006

Not so grand slam

What sort of deplorable wonk
Could ignore the performance of Pronk?
His omission, it’s clear,
From the All-Stars this year
Is a Travis-ty. Fans got it wrongk!

Pronk'd: Hafner is overlooked
Indians' DH keeps his sense of humor over All-Star slight
By Phil Rogers, The Chicago Tribune, 7/9/06

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Sexy at sixty

[And I don't mean Dubya!]

So much in a package so teeny-
It’s work of a fashion Houdini.
The consummate Gaul!
From nothing atoll,
He conjured the Age of Bikini.

The bikini: Not a brief affair
By Kathryn Westcott, BBC News, 7/5/06

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

A missile's as good as a mile

N. Korea must know what a shock it
Would cause when they shot off that rocket;
Like risking your life
To sharpen a knife
Inside an electrical socket.

North Korea Test-Fires Seventh Missile
Japan and U.S. Condemn Action
By Anthony Faiola and William Branigin
Washington Post, 7/5/06

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Quit blowing smoke!

To cigarette industry folk
Who’d let all the rest of us choke
While claiming “no harm:”
D’ya hear that alarm?
Your argument’s gone up in smoke!

Secondhand smoke debate 'over'
By Liz Szabo, USA TODAY, 6/27/06

Friday, June 30, 2006

There's battle lines being drawn...

and redrawn, and redrawn, and...

Juan Q. Voter, you’re just a by-stander
Since the Court has decided to pander
To districts, redrawn.
Your proxy is gone.
Your new Congressman? Meet Gerry Mander!

High Court Upholds Texas Redistricting
By David G. Savage, Los Angeles Times, 6/29/06

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Taking the reins

I’m back in the saddle again
And thanks to my true bloggin' friends,
I’m a-rarin’ to go.
I've sharpened my tongue and my pen.

Thanks to these pardners who offered words of encouragement when the Savant got bucked into the brambles. Give them a visit cuz it can get mighty lonely bloggin' out there on the range.

Annie at Taking into consideration

Aparna at newsmericks

Tamar now at Mining Nuggets

Alan at Some Final Thoughts

spookyrach at Skewed View

mikmik at ? [when you getting your own site Mike?]

And these two special pards who corraled their own herd to drive toward these here parts.

Cowntown Pattie at Texas Trifles

Ronnie at Time Goes By

Friday, June 23, 2006

Dried wit

Inspiration is petering out
And it’s led to a lingering doubt
That Limerick’s reign
Will suffer the bane,
Like the West, of significant drought.

July through September U.S. Summer Outlook
NOAA News, 6/20/06

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Time will tell

Can the death of Zarqawi be bartered
For the violent acts he has chartered,
Or will the insurgency
Feel a new urgency
At having a leader thus martyred?

Al-Zarqawi Killed in U.S. Bombing in Iraq
By Patrick Quinn, The Washington Post, 6/8/06

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Goes together like a horse and...

It is hard for us not to disparage
Bush's latest and greatest miscarriage.
Though he hasn't done jack
About drugs or Iraq,
He is launching the war against marriage.

I know that my critics may say
That the ban is against being gay;
And, yes, that is true,
But only if you
Think a family's created one way.

A prize to the first one who guesses the remainder of my title.
Hint: It is also what the Savant thinks of this proposed constitutional amendment.

Distracter in Chief
Spinning Phony Crises to Avoid Real Ones
By Eugene Robinson, The Washington Post, 6/6/06

Friday, June 02, 2006

Poverty of speech

No student of verse should be cursed
By having his fortunes reversed.
I'd never have reckoned
My thoughts would come second
In order to please TeachersFirst

This is much more than a mere collection of contemporary limericks. It is rather a witty and provocative poetic commentary on politics, government, and economics... It's acerbic ... and not for the easily offended, but it does provide a creative way to begin a class discussion on a hot topic. ...preview carefully before sharing with students. [emphasis mine]
---excerpt from Site Resources listing at TeachersFirst

Now that school's out on that one, the Savant, who hates respectability, hopes to shake his recent writer's block and be back in form next week.

Recent Additions to TeachersFirst

[or search for "limerick" at this site]

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Du vin, chichi code

This week they, again, were divining
Whose vintage is tops, or declining.
Thirty years since the test
When the U.S. fared best,
But the French haven't ever stopped wining.

California wines beat French again
By Laurie Daniel, San Jose Mercury News, 5/24/06

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Indulging my vanity

No need to ask "Where's the beef?" It's all there in the 192nd Carnival of the Vanities at Elisson's blog, including a tidbit on word origins.

Many thanks to him for including one of the Savant's recent posts in the feast:
The Limerick Savant is funny,
And, often, he’s right on the money.
In just one poem, he’s taken
Monty Python, Kevin Bacon,
And Al Qaeda. But where is Bugs Bunny?

Though he may have butchered the limerick form a bit in that one, it's a rare collection, and well done.

Carnival of the Vanities #192
Blog d'Elisson, 5/23/06

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

The Real Code

With nothing but utter disdain,
Our government's grown more arcane;
And tell me whose whim
Coined this new acronym
That's taken SAVANT's name in vain?!

Punting the Interesting Answers to the Secret Session
By Dana Milbank, The Washington Post, 5/19/06

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Opie's Day

Ron hopes that more protests explode
When ticket sales start to erode.
It don't take Da Vinci
To know it's a cinch he
Already deciphered that code!

From Hollywood, a Prayer in 'Code'
By Eugene Robinson, The Washington Post, 5/19/06

Friday, May 19, 2006

TEL tale signs

Legislators are trying to quell
Fears that Backwell's amendent won't sell
He's going all in
In order to win.
Call the bluff, cuz he's showing his TEL!

Ohio GOP offers scaled-down spending-limits plan
Sandy Theis, The Plain Dealer, 5/18/06

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Coo coo cachoo

The Carnival of Satire (#34) is now up

Handled with kid gloves

Just learned Surfnetkids has been linking.
Well, something in Denmark is stinking!
Share Savant's twisted views
With suggestible youths?
What ever could Barbara be thinking?!

"I wouldn't want to link to any site that would accept a link to my blog"
----------L.S. 2006 (channeling Groucho Marx)

"Limerick Savant... I loved it!"
Surfing the Net with Kids
by Barbara J. Felman

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Having it both ways

Bush on Immigration:

Before I get feathered and tarred,
I've sent in the National Guard
To shore up the borders,
But given them orders
To really not do it too hard.

On Immigration, Bush Seeks 'Middle Ground'
President to Send 6,000 Guard Troops to Mexican Border
By Jim VandeHei and Jonathan Weisman
The Washington Post, 5/16/06

Sunday, May 14, 2006

All in the family

Yes, but which one is meathead?

Whether right-wing or left, we have mothers,
But some are more pushy than others.
We can see Barbara Bush
Giving Jeb just a push
To make for historical brothers.

[Couldn't resist a little Mother's Day politics]

Jeb Would Make a 'Great President,' Bush Says
By Bill Brubaker, The Washington Post, 5/11/06

...that only a mother could love

"M" is for her every mot, très bon.
"O" is for the void she leaves when gone.
"M" for if I May
Celebrate her day
With a Limerick of All Mothers Marathon.

Welcome to the 1st (annual?) Carnival of Moms or, as it will forever be known on this blog, the Limerick of All Mothers Marathon. I have invited a number of bloggers more talented than I (and certainly those hacks at Hallmark) to help me create, if not the best, at least the wordiest Mothers’ Day card ever. I was overwhelmed by the response and touched to learn that so many of them had mothers too. Like many a greeting card you may find some humor, some poignancy and maybe even some schmaltz (see above rhyme) but, as far as I can tell, there are no fart jokes. So take your time browsing and pick out whatever you like but please don’t switch the envelopes.

It rhymes with “balm” or “bomb”

Yes, it seems it’s much easier for we sons to idealize the relationship. Maybe it’s the Oedipus thing, but just wait until Father’s Day.

Graham from Point2Point who is a talented limerickist and writer sent this link to a fine quartet of Mother’s Day limericks.

Aparna, who may be my alter-ego in India, with his newsmiricks blog provided this trio:
On this truth, I am ready to swear,
That since God could not be everywhere,
He fashioned these others,
And titling them 'mothers',
Gave them part of his creation to bear!

She held you nine months in her tummy,
Was excited when you called her 'mummy'.
She hugged and she scolded,
You were nurtured and moulded,
And she made all those cookies, real yummy!

You may feel you don't owe her a dime,
She's a nag, who's now well past her prime.
But remember those years,
When she hugged off your fears,
On this day, give her a gift -- of your time.

Robert Duplantier, who has actually figured out a way to make money writing limericks, generously contributed five of his which may be found among many others on his Politickles website.

"We bought goofy games to play
And weird-smelling modeling clay,
Plus lots of toys
That make loud noise,
To give Mom on Mother's Day."

Someone started a silly rumor
About Mother's sense of humor:
Seems she'd sworn
'Til the day I was born
That she planned to call me "Tumor."

How the concept contributes to mirth:
This idea that our mother's the earth!
Is your Mom fat and round,
Several septillion pounds,
With a 25,000-mile girth?

The fertility clinic messed up
And assigned to my wife the wrong "cup":
Thanks to their help,
She delivered a whelp
And I'm now the proud pop of a pup!

There's no better month than June
For a second honeymoon,
So it's off to Niagara
With a quart of Viagra
And an extra-large measuring spoon!

One of Aparna’s readers, Padmaja was kind enough to send this little ditty:

Do we need Mother's Day
To bring up the urge to say,
Ma, I love you n thank you
'Cos you are one of the few
With whom I always have my way!

Jeff at Have Coffee Will Write got the idea this was a contest. Maybe I’ll have to send him a yellowing copy of the Savant’s chap book, Four-year Funk for these acerbic selections:

Limerick of All Mothers I
Limerick of All Mothers II
Limerick of All Mothers III

Or maybe he should just cut back on the caffeine.

What’s it like growing up with an Italian mother? Tony at The Blast Furnace will tell you. He also passed along this advice for using limericks as a public speaking tool:

Funny story -- about 10-12 years ago, as part of a "Free Speech Day" celebration at Youngstown State, I was invited to participate in a reading sponsored by the English department. Most of the other participants in the event were very serious about the whole thing, but I couldn't shake Tom Lehrer's "dirty books are fun" quote out of my head for about a week prior to the reading. Determined to make people laugh (and squirm), I brought with me a tome of baudy limericks from the 1960's I borrowed from my mom with some of my favorites earmarked.

And mourning becomes Electra

Daughters and mothers seem to share a different perspective. Maybe that is because they can be, and often are, both.

One of my favorite blogs, when I find time to read them, is Texas Trifles. The very talented writer and proprietor, Cowtown Pattie, took aim and hit her mark.

An Ode to Joyce

My personal birth-giver is neither saccarine nor sour
And much too onery for any ivory tower
Her razor-sharp tongue filets to the bone
Never softening words, the meaning well honed
Who else but "the Joyce" could wield such maternal power?

(*Aye, tis true my mom is a thorny burr in my side, but I love her!)

Mad Kane, the matter to Bob Duplantier’s anti-matter, offers up this Mother’s Day Limerick. Check out the “Secret Shopper” post and her humorous political verse while you’re at it.

Jill, who Writes Like She Talks, and, unlike the Savant, doesn’t speak in rhyme, still sent along these two offerings:

There once was a mother named Jill
Whose life mirrored Sysiphus and the hill
Her three kids she did push
Til her brain was but mush
Yet her love for them grew even still.

Oh mother what color is your hair
I know it was once naturally fair
I swore that I wouldn't
Cause I always thought you shouldn't
But now that I do? What a scare.

Annie has been taking into consideration how that relationship with mom goes better with the right wine.

Thanks to Jude from the Hinterlands of Australia for reminding us about Remembering our mothers even when they no longer remember us.

Elaine of Kaliliy bravely shares the reality of being the primary caregiver to a parent who has never been your best friend.

Tamar lets us take in the unique wisdom of African-American mothers from a book given by a friend.

Finally, despite being in the midst of a move to Maine from NYC, Ronni sends A Mother's Last Best Lesson, a three month series of posts about her mother’s final days.

I would like to finish this marathon on a personal, but lighter, note that has meaning in my family but may resonate for some other readers as well.

Now, Mom, so you'll know that it's me
I'll recall your ubiquitous plea:
Whenever they fought,
Your children were taught,
"Little birds in their nests will agree."

This phrase, (actually "birds in their little nests agree") purportedly borrowed from Little Women, (though harder to find there than a solution to the Da Vinci Code) was uttered, with perfect timing by my mother, for years in the midst of nearly every sibling brawl. The words, in their simple inanity, stunned my sisters and myself into total silence and brought even the most virulent disagreement to a sudden halt.

Even at a very young age, we were dumbfounded by such triteness coming from the mouth of this, otherwise, intelligent and well-spoken woman. We were convinced that this must surely be an early symptom of some rare, wasting "jungle" disease caused by the bite of an insect smaller than a grain of kosher salt and whose name could only be pronounced using a series of tongue clicks and guttural burps. Needless to say, our other concerns of the moment paled by comparison and we would rush, in unison, to her side to comfort and reassure her. Such is the wisdom of a mother.

Thank you, Mom, and, on that, I think we "birds" all agree.

Thanks to all who helped publicize this effort including George at Brewed Fresh Daily.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

No one expects the NSA

It's your liberty that's being taken
With the database NSA's makin'.
Drill down six degrees
And one easily sees
That al Qaida all called Kevin Bacon.

The Oracle says: Osama bin Laden has a Kevin Bacon number of 3.
Osama bin Laden was in Without Fear or Favor: The Best in Broadcast Journalism (2004) (TV) with Charles Gibson (II)
Charles Gibson (II) was in ABC 2000: The Millennium (1999) (TV) with Jay Leno
Jay Leno was in "Tonight Show with Jay Leno, The" (1992) {(2005-10-12)} with Kevin Bacon

Interview with author, Patrick Radden Keefe

NSA has massive database of Americans' phone calls
By Leslie Cauley, USA TODAY, 5/11/06

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

We don't need no steenkin' veto!

These are true Constitutional zingers
And their use means a nagging doubt lingers;
That, while signing a bill
Sent from Capitol Hill,
Mr. Bush has been crossing his fingers!

Recent use of presidential signing statments

Bush challenges hundreds of laws
President cites powers of his office
By Charlie Savage, Boston Globe, 4/30/06

Reporter Highlights Bush's Executive Decisions
Terry Gross interview with Charlie Savage
of the Boston Globe
Fresh Air, NPR, 5/9/06

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

A request from the Savant

My 87 year old mother has just recently fallen and broken her neck and is now at home recovering. She has always been one of the Savant's most loyal fans ("only a mother could love") and is surely the source of his twisted sense of word play. I wish to do something very special for this woman to whom I owe so much. Please help me pay tribute to her and to all mothers this Sunday with a Limerick of All Mothers Marathon.

What I propose is a sort of Carnival of Moms to be hosted at this blog. Many of you will probably be posting wishes of the day on your own blogs and I ask that you send me the URLs so that I may post a link and a comment. For those of you that are not yet blogging, (why not?) please send me your Mothers' Day thoughts and I will post them as well. Naturally, I am especially interested in limericks, poems or songs to, or about, mothers; but all submissions, serious or comic, will be accepted. The submissions may be sent directly to me at by Saturday, May 13.

Please forward this request (by clicking the envelope icon below) to anyone who you think would be interested or, better yet, post it on your blog. Thanks in advance for the support. And please don't tell mom.

Monday, May 08, 2006

No one expects the CIA!

The appointment of General Hayden
Might seem like it's heavily laden.
When you take the position
To expect Inquisition,
What's the diff between rack and Iron Maiden?

And now for something completely different...

Hayden Nominated to Head CIA
By Dafna Linzer and Fred Barbash
The Washington Post, 5/8/06

Monday, May 01, 2006

Nuestro problemo

Mr. Bush, we have heard you would banish
Our national anthem in Spanish.
Is your real motivation
That you find immigration
Is a problem that simply won't vanish?

Or maybe we should just deport anyone who cannot pass this test?
You Passed the US Citizenship Test

Congratulations - you got 9 out of 10 correct!

U.S. Prepares for 'Day Without Immigrants'
The Washington Post, 5/1/06

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Fuel for thought

As the price of our gasoline soars
Just to fatten oil industry whores;
We've become docile fools,
Who deplete fossil fuels
And will fall just like all dinosaurs.

Record Prices Fueling Energy Debate
CBS News, 4/22/06

Sunday, April 23, 2006


You can't keep a good city down
With so many claims to renown.
What Web destination
Is best in the nation?
Why, Cleveland, while Spidey's in town!

It's lights, camera, action on Euclid
Spidey crew ready to spin its magic
Julie E. Washington, The Plain Dealer, 4/21/06

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Prized Find

You can keep your hip-hop and your punk.
By comparison, all of that's junk.
#1 with a bullet, sir,
And, now, with a Pulitzer;
Give me jazz by Thelonius Monk.

2006 Pulitzer Prize winners
Seattle Post Intelligencer, 4/17/06

Sunday, April 16, 2006

General dissent

An Easter Parade

This week brought a new powder keg:
Six generals differed to beg
That Rumsfeld, this Easter,
Be out on his keister,
As the crack in Iraq's rotten egg.

Behind the Military Revolt
By Richard Holbrooke, The Washington Post, 4/16/06

Friday, April 14, 2006

Appreciating the gravity of the situation

When the stork brought her bundle of joy,
No one told her he wasn't a toy.
So Brit got confused
When words that they used
Were "Bouncing" and "Baby" and "Boy."

Officials Pay a Visit to Spears
Social workers are called after
the singer's baby falls from a chair.
By Richard Winton, Los Angeles Times, 4/12/06

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Slim pickin's indeed

When it comes to leadership

Indifferent to any rebukes,
This president raises his dukes
And plans, even now, boy,
To leave (the mad cowboy!)
His brand on Iran using nukes.

With my sincerest apologies to the real Slim
who could ride the bull, not just sling it.

Would President Bush go to war
to stop Tehran from getting the bomb?
by Seymour M. Hersh, The New Yorker, 4/17/06 issue

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

L'uva acerba

Berlusconi is counting the ways
To create just a few more delays.
It's clear from the vote he
Was beaten by Prodi.
He'd better recount better days.

Berlusconi demands ballot review
BBC News, 4/12/06

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Newsflash: Both leaks came from the top

One's questions of faith grow acuter
When faced with a major refuter.
We discovered this week
Mr. Bush sprung the leak,
In the gospel according to Scooter.

The Lost Gospel of Judas Iscariot?
NPR, 4/6/06

Libby Said Bush OKd Leaks
By Richard B. Schmitt and Peter Wallsten
Los Angeles Times, 4/7/06

Friday, April 07, 2006

Consider the alternative

Thank you, Ronni, for setting the pace
On an issue that all of us face;
And answering why,
As time goes on by,
We must greet it with power and grace.

Here's looking at you, kid.
Happy Birthday!
Hope you play it again,
and again and again and again and again and…

Time Goes By
What it's really like to get older
By Ronni Bennett

Thursday, April 06, 2006

"Hidden" agenda

In our lives' everyday interplay
All the baggage we've hidden away
May emerge with effect
That we cannot direct.
All this carries a certain Caché.

View a trailer

I saw Caché (2005) a few weeks ago and it is still rattling around in my head. Ostensibly a smart thriller in the mode of Hitchcock, this is not a movie for those who like all the loose ends tied up in a neat bundle. Even with the ambiguity, this is indeed a very certain film; certain in its methods, certain in its acting, certain in its impact and certain to get you talking.

This movie, whose title translates as "Hidden," works on many levels. It is a taut thriller and a thoughtful "art" film. The plot centers on a French couple that are terrorized by a succession of voyeuristic videotapes left at their door. The tacit invasion of privacy and implied threat of these actions throws Georges (Daniel Auteuil) into a paranoid search for their origin that unsettles every element of his life. There is a political subtext to this film that alludes to abuses of power; by the French in the 60's with Algerian immigrants and in the current day Bush "War on Terror."

The acting is superb across the board, with a wonderfully measured performance by Daniel Auteuil. This is not to diminish superb performances by Juliette Binoche and the rest of the supporting cast but, clearly, it is Auteuil's film. He has been a favorite of mine since his turn as Ugolin in Claude Berri's Jean de Florette and the, even better, sequel Manon des Sources. If you like your story threads resolved, rent both of these.

Caché raises more questions than it answers. What is our responsibility to those around us? How can a small act ripple into unimagined repercussions? (In this respect, it is reminiscent of last year's very fine Crash) What is the nature of media in our current society? As the film plays with our sense of reality, it forces us to focus on minute details, the "hidden" elements of daily life hinted at in the title that are nevertheless in plain sight. Pay close attention to the background action during the closing credits for a hint as to one possible answer. Or maybe it will only raise more questions?

Pointed Focus
Austrian director Michael Haneke discusses his latest film, the elusive thriller Caché
by Jason Shawhan, Nashville Scene, 3/2/06

Saturday, April 01, 2006

So what does that make me?

I'm so tired of the Dubbaya bashing
And those Liberals need a good thrashing!
I've not gone NeoCon.
I'm just trying it on
For the day. Don't you think it looks smashing?

Is it just coincidunce that NeoCon
is an anagram of cone on?

To all my newly acquired conservative brethren:
Don't forget to turn back your clocks tonight-
to the Middle Ages

Dick Cheney announces he will run in 2008
Urged on by the "Draft the VP" campaign started
at the Limerick Savant blog
Al Jazeera, 3/31/06

April Fuels

The White House is setting new rules
For SUV mileage and fuels
But they're giving free passes
To allow green house gasses
They must think we are all April fools

Federal government takes aim at California's greenhouse gas rules
Tim Molloy, Associated Press
San Jose Mercury News, 3/26/06

Thursday, March 30, 2006

A break in the clouds

As if we had not had our fill
Of kill upon kill upon kill;
But Hope shines a ray
Of respite today.
With relief, we can welcome home Jill.

Journalist Jill Carroll Released in Iraq
By Jonathan Finer and Ellen Knickmeyer
The Washington Post, 3/30/06

Sideshow Savant

This carnival, broad as humanity,
Hawks wisdom as well as inanity.
So, if you will go
To the Beltway, below,
You'll find I'm indulging my vanity.

I was remiss in not acknowledging these other fine carnivals that also had the good taste to showcase the Savant-

The Carnival of Satire (#27)
At the skwib, 3/30/06

Carnival of Comedy 48: The Border Patrol Edition
At Dr. Phat Tony's, 3/29/06

Carnival Of The Celebrities
At Don Surber, 3/25/06

Carnival Of The Vanities # 184
At Below the Beltway, 3/29/06

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Guessed workers easily exploited

Immigration reform's come of age
Now that President Bush set the stage.
You may stay as our guest
And there's only one test:
That you'll work below minimum wage.

Immigration Follies
By Robert B. Reich, Web Exclusive
The American Prospect, 3/29/06

Friday, March 24, 2006

Chef's return: a dish served cold

He who shafts last, shafts best

Is it tasteful, not even a smidgen,
Using faith like a comic clay pigeon?
We applaud Isaac Hayes
For amending his ways
In defense of his crackpot religion!

Speaking of pigeons, see the Savant's take on another controversy over humor v. religion.

A 'South Park' Character's Return Becomes an Opportunity for Revenge
By Alessandra Stanley, The New York Times, 3/24/06

Thursday, March 23, 2006

The oracle speaks again

Will the buyouts hold any appeal?
After decades asleep at the wheel,
GM's taking these chances
To amend the finances;
But, for workers, it's "Deal or No Deal."

Up to 113,000 eligible for GM buyouts, opening door for Delphi exits
By Michael Ellis, Detroit Free Press, 3/23/06

Friday, March 17, 2006

Ratings plummet for the West Wing?

With strategic security theories
Reasserted by Bush, patience wearies.
Even sponsors are tempted
That he be preempted.
Better yet, why not cancel the series!

Bush to Restate Terror Strategy
2002 Doctrine of Preemptive War To Be Reaffirmed
By Peter Baker, Washington Post, 3/16/06

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Limericks 101

Getting your feet whet

A limerick's mostly in jest,
But must pass a most arduous test.
No matter how witty
The ultimate ditty;
It is mostly a pun an' a pest!

I've had a number of recent visitors linking from the "limerick (poetry)" citation on Wikipedia in addition to a few requests for assistance writing limericks. I can only surmise that the latter were desperately trying to finish a high school English assignment at the last minute from the nature of their requests.

Despite the name, the Savant does not claim exceptional knowledge of this form, only exceptional ego. In fact, I often violate the rules and have occasionally been accused of antidactyl dysfunction by purists who say my verse doesn't scan properly. To them, I say, "Lighten up! It's only a limerick."

For those wanting instruction, I recommend the "Limerick Discussion Page" on David Finley's site, but don't blame me if your teacher gives you the "F" anyway. If you're looking for bawdy limericks, the definitive source is The Limerick, 1979, by G. Legman but it may be out of print. And now, in the words of Edward R. Morrow, good night and good luck.

Anapaest: Wikipedia entry
(No, it's not a city in Hungary)

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Cheers, Mrs. Gundersen

How could dishwashing get a bad rap
When good fortune falls into your lap?
Though a line has been crossed,
We think nothing is lost
With the suds flowing right from your tap!

Beer pours from apartment's kitchen faucet
Chicago Sun-Times, 3/14/06

Friday, March 10, 2006

Guess we knew how to quit you?

Any stories of torture or shock
That the prisoners report from the block?
We're tellin' you, babe,
It ain't us! Abu Ghraib
Now belongs to our friends in Iraq.

U.S. to Hand Over Notorious Prison to Iraq
The Guardian, 3/9/06

Thursday, March 09, 2006

What he did for Love - 40

Succeeding at tennis is tricky;
So a parent who isn't too picky
As to how his kids win,
Might commit a small sin
And slip their opponent a Mickey.

Frenchman gets 8 yrs jail for drugging tennis foes
By Jean-Yves Saint-Ceran, Reuters
The Washington Post, 3/9/06

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Finish this sentence:

"I am al-Qaeda..."

The Feds now admit that they might
Have stopped 9-11 pre-flight
And claim it is how we
Were duped by Moussaoui
That terrorists hid in plain sight.

Moussaoui 'hid 9/11 plot details'
BBC News, 3/7/06

Friday, February 24, 2006

An i for an i

With computer woes setting me back,
i'M afraid that i'Ve gotten off track.
Now, i'D give my iPod
To appease the iGod
If only he'd save my iMac!

What a week! After the second logic board replacement in two weeks on Rene's iBook and two complete OS installs, I am settling down to try reinstalling third party software and backed-up data again. And to top it off, the SuperDrive on the iMac just failed!

So, I'm sorry for neglecting my limerick duties, but I've been a little preoccupied. If this keeps up, Apple's Switch campaign may just backfire on them. Whoops! I forgot. Apple has already pulled that switch!

Expanded iBook Logic Board Repair Extension Program

iBook Logic Board Failure Petition

iMac Discussion: SuperDrive just stopped working