Politics

Religion

Contemporary Concerns

FEATURED POSTS


WHEN TO WEAR A “STUPID” SIGN by Milt Hankins

Sometime ago I ran across the following quotation from Andy Rooney:  “I wish there was something we could all take to cure us of stupidity.” Actually, Rooney had a lot to say about stupidity.   For example, he said, “Stupid people should have to wear signs that just say, ‘I’m Stupid.’ That way you wouldn’t rely on them, would you? You wouldn’t ask them anything. It would be like, ‘Excuse me…oops…never mind, didn’t see your sign.'” I knew I would have occasion to use Mr. Rooney’s words. He has been dead since November 4, 2011, so I’m sure he won’t mind. He passed away less than five weeks after his last 60 Minutes appearance. Rooney will be remembered among the greats of irony, satire and humor like Will Rogers, James Thurber, Dorothy Parker and David Rakoff. Stupidity. A fascinating word. According to the Oxford American Dictionary, it means “not intelligent or clever, slow at learning or understanding things.” You cannot imagine how many times I have been called “stupid,” or one of its synonyms…but not for any of its approved dictionary definitions. They come mostly from folks who do not agree with or like my opinion-editorial pieces in our local newspaper. I once wrote: “The Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was written with muskets in mind.” The Second Amendment was ratified on December 15, 1791. My statement was absolutely correct, but someone stupidly responded, “Be wary of those who try to distort history in their arguments to take away constitutional rights our forefathers died to give us.” Stupid! I neither tried to “distort history,” nor “take away constitutional rights... read more

GINA STANLEY SUMMARIZES CORPORATE TAX RATES, LABOR STATS AND AMERICAN PRODUCTIVITY

Just  watched that liar Mitch McConnell tell John Dickerson on Face the Nation that America is not competitive in the global economy because of corporate tax rates. What a load of scat that was! As a nation, we have lost millions of manufacturing jobs since Nixon visited China. The blue collar Trump loyalists look at factory jobs when measuring the success of an economy, it seems. We are not competitive because of the cost of labor. Labor as a percentage of the cost of goods sold in the US is an economic statistic that excludes executive compensation, salaries, commissions and bonuses. In 2016, manufacturing accounted for about 12% of our gross domestic product. Union membership has declined each year since the election of Ronald Reagan and wages have been flat for more than thirty years. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, only about 8.8% of the workforce belongs to a union and less than 10% of all workers are represented by a union. Americans work an average of between 40 and 41 hours a week. Average hourly wages were around $21.00 per hour in October of 2017. Union workers are paid an average of $30 a week more than non-union workers. In the manufacturing sector, production line employees are paid an average of about $34,000 a year in the US. Wages are a substantial portion of the cost of goods sold by US firms. The manufacturing sector has laid off or permanently furloughed nearly 8 million workers since 1980, mostly during the Bush and Reagan years. It is forecast that another 750,000 jobs will be lost by 2026. Meanwhile the... read more

LET’S MAKE SEXUAL HARASSMENT A THING OF THE PAST by Milt Hankins

Husbands, ask your wives if they have ever been sexually harassed in the workplace. You may be both surprised and angered. I asked my wife, and here’s the story. According to my wife, many years ago when she was a young teacher in a Pulaski County, Virginia school system, it appeared that the administration wanted “to get rid of her.” They ran into a problem doing so because they had absolutely no documentation that she had done anything worthy of dismissal. She was called into her principal’s office, apparently for an interview. While she was there, the principal put his feet up on his desk, and as she relayed it, in full view “started pulling at a string in his crotch.” My wife said she thought it was strange behavior, but she didn’t recognize it as a sexual overture. In her words, “I was clueless!” I couldn’t imagine a man doing that in the presence of a young lady without it being a power play, sexual harassment and/or intimidation. The fact that my wife was clueless is immaterial to the principal’s behavior. She thought he was simply being “rude.” This raises a question in my mind about the number of young women who are subjected to inappropriate behavior while not having a clue about what is going on. I recall taking a job with a church (incidentally, also in Virginia) where rumors had circulated that the church secretary I inherited had an “untoward” relationship with the former pastor. Of course, some wag told me about this pronto lest I fall into her clutches. I laughed about it; but, shortly... read more

Are You a Writer with a View?

Would you like to submit your articles, poems, and short stories to this magazine? Join as a contributor today!

Click To Submit

LATEST BY CATEGORY


 

POLITICS

TRUMP SETTLED IN LAWSUIT OVER UNDERPAID UNDERDOCUMENTED WORKERS FOR OVER $1 MILLION, RECORD SHOW by Gabe Ortiz

TRUMP SETTLED IN LAWSUIT OVER UNDERPAID UNDERDOCUMENTED WORKERS FOR OVER $1 MILLION, RECORD SHOW by Gabe Ortiz

Donald Trump outsourced his presidential campaign and took the White House in part by slandering Mexican immigrants as criminals and “rapists,” but like all the wretched fat cat hypocrites before him, he has benefitted from immigrant labor, specifically undocumented immigrants. In 1998, Trump finally settled an ongoing class-action lawsuit against him after he was sued for underpaying–or not paying at all–the crew of 200 undocumented Polish workers who were tasked with clearing the way for what would become the site of his crown jewel, Trump Tower, back in 1980. Nicknamed the “Polish Brigade,” these workers toiled in dangerous conditions, “without gloves, hard hats or masks,” for as little as $4 an hour throughout 12-hour days: “Their treatment led to years of litigation over Mr. Trump’s labor practices, and in 1998, despite frequent claims that he never settles lawsuits, Mr. Trump quietly reached an agreement to end a class-action suit over the Bonwit Teller demolition in which he was a defendant. For almost 20 years the terms of that settlement have remained a secret. But last week, the settlement documents were unsealed by Loretta A. Preska, a United States District Court judge for the Southern District, in response to a 2016 motion filed by Tim Inc. and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. Judge Preska found that the public’s right to know of court proceedings in a class-action case was strengthened by the involvement of the “now-president of the United States.”   And a president who consistently maligns immigrants as takers, when in fact it was the alleged billionaire who underpaid blue-collar workers and then spent 15 years... read more

RELIGION

MR. CHRISTIAN’S SUNDAY MORNING by James Merritt

MR. CHRISTIAN’S SUNDAY MORNING by James Merritt

Mr. Christian woke up, thanked God for the air, his wife, and the Republican party. He told his stupid kids to hurry the hell up as they were leaving for church; he told his wife to wash off her make up as she looked like a whore, then told her to put it back on when he realized she was covering her bruises. On the way to church he stopped by McDonalds to get coffee and tell the sinners they shouldn’t work on the Lord’s day. Then, he told them to get real jobs and stop living off his taxes. When the Christian family got to church they hugged, shook hands and sat together in the third pew back, left side. They sat rigid unmoving smiles on and sang the required songs. They stood and sat when told to–doing just enough without making a fuss of an amen or a testimony as that took up too much lunch time before the Sunday afternoon game. They thanked the Pastor and paid their tithe. Mr. Christian signed his wife up to teach Sunday school, teach Vacation Bible School, and lead the bake sales for the next quarter. She worked full time as he did, but he knew she’d figure it out, and if she got stressed, no problem. He’d yell at her, telling her not to sign up for so much stuff. Mr. Christian got home and sat in his favorite chair while wife and kids fixed dinner. When he got up to move to the table and sit down, everything wasn’t ready, so he yelled at his wife “Why won’t you just... read more

CURRENT

LET’S MAKE SEXUAL HARASSMENT A THING OF THE PAST by Milt Hankins

LET’S MAKE SEXUAL HARASSMENT A THING OF THE PAST by Milt Hankins

Husbands, ask your wives if they have ever been sexually harassed in the workplace. You may be both surprised and angered. I asked my wife, and here’s the story. According to my wife, many years ago when she was a young teacher in a Pulaski County, Virginia school system, it appeared that the administration wanted “to get rid of her.” They ran into a problem doing so because they had absolutely no documentation that she had done anything worthy of dismissal. She was called into her principal’s office, apparently for an interview. While she was there, the principal put his feet up on his desk, and as she relayed it, in full view “started pulling at a string in his crotch.” My wife said she thought it was strange behavior, but she didn’t recognize it as a sexual overture. In her words, “I was clueless!” I couldn’t imagine a man doing that in the presence of a young lady without it being a power play, sexual harassment and/or intimidation. The fact that my wife was clueless is immaterial to the principal’s behavior. She thought he was simply being “rude.” This raises a question in my mind about the number of young women who are subjected to inappropriate behavior while not having a clue about what is going on. I recall taking a job with a church (incidentally, also in Virginia) where rumors had circulated that the church secretary I inherited had an “untoward” relationship with the former pastor. Of course, some wag told me about this pronto lest I fall into her clutches. I laughed about it; but, shortly... read more