Friday, 26 December 2014

Pride Goeth Before Destruction, and a Haughty Spirit Before a Fall

I've started reading Micheal Harris's wonderful book "Party of One". Here's my first reflection:

During Canada’s anachronistically named ‘Speech to the Throne’ on June 3, 2011, a young senate page rose in an act of civil disobedience. Brigette DePape stood up, quietly holding a makeshift sign that read “Stop Harper”. All of institutional Canada short-sightedly criticized her for disrespecting the Canadian system of government.

In the three and a half years since then, Stephen Harper’s scandals have made a mockery of the senate. He flips the bird to opposition parties at every opportunity. He’s muzzled his own back benchers and members of cabinet. As Prime Minister, he’s openly attacked the Supreme Court. He neutered Elections Canada after his party was convicted of election fraud. And, last but not least, Harper’s omnibus approach to legislation bypasses the basic principles of our parliamentary democracy.

It must be one of the greatest ironies in Canadian history that the people who criticized Brigette for her mis-behaviour have been so humiliatingly ‘bitch-slapped’ by the very subject of her warning.  With all that in mind, here's my latest limerick:

Harper’s hubris continues to grow
With contempt for us from the word ‘go’
And to stop being sacked
He relies on the fact
That we’re all so surprisingly slow

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

What's for Lunch?

This week, the US congress passed the devastating CRomnibus spending bill. This bill guts the Dodd-Frank financial regulations put in place to protect us from Wall Street's otherwise unchecked greed. It also lifts campaign contribution limits, allowing for even more corporate influence during elections. The bill weakens the EPA and effectively cancels the pro-pot initiative recently passed in Washington DC. Democrats voting for the CRomnibus defended their actions saying things would be worse if they delayed because the Republicans will soon control the senate.

A Democrat strategist said
"Though this CRomnibus bill we all dread
Wihen your choice is, to wit
Eat a sandwich of shit
Always go for the one with more bread"

But the logic he used is a trap
A canard that we all need to scrap
If you're living in fright 
Of a fight with the right
Then you'll always eat one percent crap

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

All My Trials

So much discussion about the non-indictment of Michael Brown's killer. It seems every cop is granted double 'O' status when they leave the academy. Fourteen children have been killed by cops since that fateful day in August. Lots of analysis; lots of punditry. My favorite platitude this week? "We live in a nation of laws" A lot of well meaning people have been trying to answer the question "Why isn't Darren Wilson being charged with ... something?" Here's my attempt at an answer.

Look around 
Past row houses in Ferguson Missouri
Down the long antebellum rows of cotton
Beyond the police line; the race line
The scarred line 
Jagged across Old Glory’s tattered furls
Look how it connects the money, the congressmen, the cops

And smell it … can you smell it?
The smoke, the tear gas, the rage
Ferguson is burning
Across the years, Atlanta is burning 
Resentment still settling
Like soot on sons of the south

Deep down in your soul
Your granddads Klan is tryin’ to be heard
“Lose your job?  … The colored man took it”
“High taxes?  … Shiftless welfare bums”
 “Angry? Afraid? … White privilege my ass!”

Do you feel it?
Drumbeats pulsing in your brain
Feel it
A familiar tune
Faintly rising to the pounding beat
Hum it with me … Sing it with me
This is our song
“Oh, I wish I was in the land of cotton …”

Friday, 21 November 2014

Hannity Blames The President

FOX News pundit Sean Hannity says President Obama will be partly to blame for violence in Ferguson, if it happens.

When my back pain attacks with a flair
The discomfort is all I can bear
Til the kidney stone shifts
Then the agony lifts
Like when Hannity goes off the air

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Paying it Forward

I heard this shaggy dog story a few years ago. At that time, it was attributed to Jimmy Pattison, a notorious Canadian one-percenter. I don't know if that part is true. The rest, of course is.

Years ago I was down on my luck
Out of work, I would sleep in my truck
And I often would curse
“Things can’t get any worse!”
‘Til the sole of my shoe came unstuck

When I walked it went “Flippity-Flop”
So I stopped at the shoe repair shop
But the cobbler was brash
And he said “Without cash
I suggest that you skip and you hop”

It was later that day, I recall
On my way to the hiring hall
My old shoe caught a crack
And I fell on my back
There I sat and I started to bawl

But a limo pulled up in the street
A tycoon helped me get to my feet
Then he pulled out a roll
That could choke any foal
Rubber banded to keep it all neat

He said “Son, I was once just like you,
And this might be the least I can do”
He then peeled off the band
Pressed it into my hand
Saying “This ought to bind up your shoe”

Saturday, 1 November 2014

It is all men

In case you've been living under a rock for the past week, here is a link to a video titled "10 Hours Walking in New York City as a Woman". It's gone viral, as the say. The video documents the numerous catcalls and other forms of sexual harassment endured by a woman, just walking around town.

Disappointingly, but not surprising, the video generated a lot of controversy. "Most of these guys are just being nice." "It's racist! the white guys were edited out" "It's all in fun" and  "Boys will be boys". This is not to mention the hateful and ignorant comments posted by men who actually took offense at being called out for their sexist behavior.

I want to make the point right now that the responsibility for this anti-social behavior rests with all men. Not just men of color or white men or rich men or poor men or young men or old men; and it doesn't rest with women. The responsibility to treat women with respect lies with all men.

If you call after women on the street; stop it, you're not flirting and it's not harmless. If, while driving through town, your friends wolf whistle out the window; call them on it. They're acting like bullies. Most telling of all, if you witness street harassment and you're afraid to intervene, think about why. The purpose of catcalling is to intimidate. If you're intimidated, put yourself in her shoes. Most important of all; if you have a son. Teach him to treat women with respect. This is your responsibility.

There is no need to over intellectualize this discussion. I've seen too many online debates about this. "Is it inherent in our capitalist society", "Is it rooted in a particular culture", "Do we have to solve some other social problem before we can solve this one". All these discussions just detract from the point. Men are behaving badly and they should stop.

Here's a limerick that boils the issue down to its essence.

Out in midtown or up in the hood
Every "Baby, you're sure looking good"
Each "Hey Sweetie" and "Ciao"
Means "I'd fuck you right now"
Is there something I've misunderstood?

Thursday, 23 October 2014

What Would McKenzie King do?

First, let me say that I am saddened and dismayed by the cowardly murders of Canadian soldiers this past week. Terrorism of any kind is abhorrent. The fact that both perpetrators had been previously identified as potential security threats is cause for concern. Fighting a war on two fronts is a challenge; especially if we have no clear goal or strategy.  Other than saying that we won’t be intimidated, Stephen Harper appears to be clueless about what to do next. So, let me put this little bug in his ear.

Here’s a stratagem we might explore
If there’s Muslims at home we abhor
We could make them wear stamps
Or intern them in camps
Not forever …  just while we’re at war

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

It's Not Really News

A recent fact checking study concluded that every other statement made on FOX news, by a host or a guest, is flat out false. Even worse, only 8% of the statements checked could be considered completely true.

With that in mind, I offer this limerick:

Where there's smoke must we always have fires
And do hobbits live only in shires
I remember from school
There are rends to each rule
So, all Hannitys might not be liars

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Who's pulling his strings?

Spoiler alert; it's the Koch brothers.

Who makes Doctor Randal Paul dance?
Who writes all his Hillary rants?
And who seems to enjoy
That he cries "I'm a boy!"
While he's wearing Pinocchio's pants?

Rand Paul's once wacko but at least consistent libertarian principles have morphed into nonsensical Hillary bashing.

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

A Metaphor of Sorts

Canadian provinces have jurisdiction over policing and the administration of justice. BC has the responsibility of funding the police, and setting police priorities.
All police in BC are under the authority of the Police Act, an act of the BC Legislature. This includes both RCMP and municipal police.
Sensible BC proposes an amendment to the Police Act, instructing police not to spend any time, money or resources on cases of simple possession of cannabis.
A metaphor’s used quite a lot
As a proxy for something it’s not
Like the time long ago
When a fellow I know
Got arrested for smoking some … radishes

Many people smoke radish, or kale
Although some say they didn’t inhale
But it’s really no joke
When for one little toke
On a radish you wind up in jail

Wrapping up, I’ll try not to be crass
To the cops though, “Alack and alas,
Cuz the last time I checked
You should serve and protect
So do THAT and get off of my … vegetable patch”

For more information, go to

Monday, 11 August 2014

Sarah, True to Form

I'm breaking a promise I made to myself. Based on the faint hope that if everyone ignored her, she might just go away, I swore I wouldn't write about Sarah Palin anymore. But, she won't go away and I can't help relapsing. Sarah now hosts an online subscription channel and here's what she posted in response to a recent speech by Elizabeth Warren.

“We believe”? Wait, I thought fast food joints…huh. Don’t you guys think that they’re like of the Devil or somethin’ I was. Liberals, you want to send those evil employees who would dare work at a fast food joint then ya just don’t believe in, thought you wanted to, I dunno, send them to Purgatory or somethin’ so they all go VEGAN and, uh, wages and picket lines I dunno they’re not often discussed in Purgatory, are they? I dunno why are you even worried about fast food wages because…Well, we believe an America where minimum wage jobs they’re not lifetime gigs they’re stepping stone.”

Her tongue get’s entwined in a knot
As though demons, her mind, have besot
She on principle can’t
Disengarble her rant
Holding grammar a government plot

Saturday, 12 July 2014

Cheap and Petty

There's not much to say about this limerick. A couple of online images caught my eye and I mashed them together.

Mr Harper, now please don’t get mad
If I pick on you more than a tad
I’ll concede you take care
Of your Lego like hair
But at photo-bombs, really, you’re sad

In case you're interested, here's the second image:


Auto correct errors are now accepted as part of modern communication. Fat fingers and tiny keys can lead to hilarious and sometimes awkward exchanges. Here’s one fictional example. You can tell it’s fictional, because neither of my daughters would use the word ‘rad’.

The texts from my daughter are rife
With ways auto-correct causes strife
Once she typed in “Dear Dad,
You’re so totally rad!”
But it came out “You’ve ruined my Life #@!”

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Can I Say Bullshit Here?

Did you know that 97% of scientists are in agreement that human activity is contributing to global warming? In light of that scientific consensus, it’s difficult not to ridicule the climate change deniers in Washington (and Ottawa). Their latest subterfuge is to claim an inability to form an opinion due to their lack of scientific credentials. Here’s Speaker of the House John Boehner doing just that: "Boehner on Climate Change" and here’s my polimerick response:

When climate deniers admit
They’re not experts in science, to wit
Johnny Boehner avows
We can blame it on cows
What they mean is they don’t give a shit.

Monday, 7 July 2014

Lack of Wills and Immigration Pills

Immigration reform in the United States is becoming a bigger problem with each passing month. Refugees from several troubled Latin American countries are crossing the border, any way they can. Meanwhile, the Republican congress refuses to discuss the bipartisan immigration bill proposed by the senate about a year ago. One of their bizarre arguments for not debating the legislation is that the border should be secure before addressing the issue.

Immigration reform is a goal
But a recent Republican poll
Said "We know that we're ill,
But we won't take a pill
'Till our symptoms are under control"

Good Guys With Guns

If you haven't been keeping up, Target Stores finally and 'respectfully' have asked gun owners not to bring their weapons shopping. This is the latest chapter in a very heated debate and it got me thinking about the NRA's position on 'gun free zones' and their post Sandy Hook speech. That's the one in which Wayne LaPierre said the only defense against a bad guy with a gun, was a good guy with a gun.

On the blackboard, we've written in chalk
The advice from an NRA talk
And since Johnny hit Sloan
In the head, with a stone
Ev'ry kid in the class has a rock


OK, here I go, recommitting to posting regular limericks and other flotsam and jetsam. But, this time I really mean it.  I can't say it will be daily, but at least once or twice a week I'll post a 'polimerick' (polemic + Limerick) and hopefully some lighter verse as well.

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

To Scalia and Co.

The secret of sex is it's sweet
Be the passion enduring or fleet
Still, the cristian right lobby
Has made it a hobby
To dictate their moral conceit

You'll abstain till you're wed they repeat
You're a slut if you act 'indiscreet'
When these people get nude
They're so priggish and prude
They make love through a hole in a sheet

But this limerick isn't complete
Women's rights won't go down in defeat
To Scalia and Co.
I'd just like you to know
You can all go and suck on my teat