Thursday, April 25, 2013

Stretching the canvass rarely improves the picture

I believe in the First Amendment.


Express yourself, baby: go for it.


No one can strip you of your right to tell the world who you are by the way you live your life.


But remember this one thing.


Freedom of expression means I get to speak my mind as well.


So here goes.


There's a new trend in  ear wear.


You stretch your earlobe and insert a large disk into the lobe.


I remember seeing something like this in  National Geographic when I was a kid.


I was terrified by photos of African tribesmen who painfully stretched their  lobes.


The average human earlobe is no bigger than a dime.


The other day I went to a Subway sandwich shop.


The pleasant young man who  took my order had stretched his lobe  about the length of a Q-tip.


Inside the elongated lobe was an ivory  colored circular object of some sort.


Even more bizarre was that the object had some real weight to it.


The weighted lobes were sort of flopping about whenever elephant man turned his head.


I was calculating the amount of head swinging that would lead to the ears disconnecting themselves from his empty skull altogether.


This can't be good for the sub sandwich business.


Remind me to send a note to Jared.


I couldn't stop staring at it.




I think this is stupid and distracting.


That's my opinion and I'm allowed to state it.


So   cut it out.


You're calling attention to yourself with this weird form of body mutilation.


Here's another one.


Fat people with tattoos.


Listen, I could stand to lose a few pounds myself.


But the Inkwell was intended for a slim canvas.


I'm grossed out by dragons and eagles who live on a beach.


A huge gigantic jiggly beach that houses a potential heart attack.


I heard  that Orson Welles once had a tattoo of his academy award emblazoned on his backside early in his career.


In his later years, Oscar must have appeared as a huge golden Buddha on Orson's outsized bum.


Of course, like Orson's, your tattoo may have arrived when you were young and svelte.


But Father Time marches on and metabolism slows.


Lots of us get bigger and now there's lots of me.


But lots of "Lady Luck" with you the size of the truck?




Man, it feels good to get that off my chest.


If only you'd get that picture of Skeletor off your thunder thigh.


And that once noble drawing of Jesus on your formerly muscular  bicep calls to mind  the singer Meatloaf on a bad night.


So, there you have it.


You expressed yourself with your ears that look like silly  putty  you've been pulling on like so much taffy.


And you have become a living  having-difficulty-breathing display of  super-sized epidermis art.


And I just want you to keep both out of my sight.


Is that too much to ask?


I don't think so.


Have a nice day.



Friday, April 19, 2013

Old nuns had values: international eggheads have none

My first exposure to the United Nations gave me a warm and fuzzy feeling.


I was just a kid in the first  grade when our teacher handed out little pint-size cartons emblazoned with the word UNICEF.


This stood for the United Nations Children's Fund and we were encouraged to carry this container around Halloween night.


The underprivileged children of the world could benefit from my greedy quest to collect Nestlé's Crunch and Reese's peanut butter cups.


I dutifully returned the carton to Sister Lucien and our homeroom was one of the top producers because of the jingling coins collected on the evening of October 31.


Sister was  pleased.


We had taken the time to assist the United Nations in their effort to improve the lives of hungry children.


As I got a little bit older, history class introduced the noble efforts of President Woodrow Wilson forming the League of Nations.


The history lesson concluded with the joyful declaration that the United Nations  carried the ambitious torch of peace envisioned by President Wilson.


Since that time, I've continued a general admiration for the international coming together that had become a reality in the beautiful United Nations building in New York City.


Occasionally, I was disappointed to hear  dictatorships use the United Nations as a forum to issue the occasional diatribe.


It's also disillusioning when China and Russia veto efforts to reel in rogue nations such as North Korea and Iran.


Despite these negatives, I have been encouraged by  the concept that there is a place where countries  discuss their differences instead of resolving them through war.


There is no doubt that the UN is imperfect, but at least an international meeting place exists.


In addition, many disaster relief efforts have been coordinated through the good graces of the United Nations.


Recently, however, a shocking development emerged.


Juan Mendez, the UN's special envoy on  torture, issued a  report stating that governments refusing abortions are committing an act of torture.


Yes, you read that right.


A special white paper commissioned for the United Nations now declares that abortion denial is a severe human rights violation tantamount to an act of torture.


What kind of world do we live in when the macabre process of dismembering and decapitating a child developing in the womb constitutes something we should promote as an important international human right?


The unspeakable suffering of that innocent little pre-born baby during the abortion procedure is real Nazi-style torture.


This demonstrates that our modern culture will tolerate evil in its most horrific bloody form.


The United Nations now classifies state legislators courageously passing laws to protect the unborn as torturers.


It's time to sell the UN building to Donald Trump for a new  apartment complex.


Whisper an apology to  President Wilson.


He never envisioned the endorsement of atrocity.


Oh, and one more thing.


Don't send your kid to my house with a Unicef box.


Even Sister Lucien would turn away from the UN of today.


Have a nice day.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Rape Crisis Center Puts Out Unwelcome Mat

Something strange  happened to the Rape Crisis Center.


It shot itself in the foot.


Here's  what I'm talking about.


Every year the Rape Crisis Center in Cleveland holds its main annual fundraiser in which tickets are sold to a huge gala event.


The Rape Crisis Center is a worthy organization.


This year's special guest speaker was identified as Michael Reagan.


Mr. Reagan is the oldest son of former President Ronald Reagan and has enjoyed a very successful career as a conservative talk show host.


Some people were mystified when Reagan's son was invited to deliver the featured address because they did not know his real life experience as the target of a pedophile.


As a youngster sent away to camp for the summer, he was  sexually abused by a male adult camp official.


Reagan has written extensively about the trauma he experienced as a result of these crimes perpetrated on him during his youth.


He also commented about these events on his nationally syndicated radio programs, drawing much praise for his sensitive treatment of this often hushed-up atrocity.


So the Rape Crisis Center selected this very articulate conservative to appear at their annual function.


To many observers it was a  brilliant move.


Mr. Reagan would create the opportunity for people to understand that rape is a problem for more than just women.


Young men are frequent victims as well, and this unique speaker selection would cause the national media to focus on society's need to reach out to this category of crime victim.


But the involvement of Michael Reagan offered an additional benefit.


Reagan's arrival from the right side of the political spectrum would  communicate to the public that rape is a nonpartisan issue,  deserving solutions created by Republicans as well as Democrats.


So what did the Rape Crisis Center do with this fantastic opportunity?


It threw it away.


The high power Rape Crisis Center function takes place today.


Without Michael Reagan.


The Rape Crisis Center disinvited Michael Reagan because it "discovered" that Mr. Reagan was opposed to  gay marriage.




Reagan has been identified as an extreme conservative for many years of broadcasting as a radio  host.


He  also embraces the family values that became the hallmark of his father's presidential administrations.


This is no secret to anyone who's paid any attention to the universe of talk radio over the last several years.


A third grader using Google could have identified Reagan's position on gay marriage in about 30 seconds.


I don't believe the Rape Crisis Center when they say they had to scratch Reagan because  Reagan's very recent statements on  gay marriage were inconsistent with their belief in equality.




This is political correctness run amok.


Shame on you, Rape Crisis Center.


There are people from conservative America that would like to help you.


And you just told them to buzz off.


Let's stamp out rape and help rape victims.


Even if that means letting right wingers help you in that task.


You might even learn something.




Thursday, April 4, 2013

From "shall" to "may" means all of us pay

Ohio State legislators recently picked your pocket and you don't even know it.

How did it feel?

Not since the fornicator-in-chief debated the meaning of the word "is"  has a simple verb been used to impose such an outrage on our citizens.

Perhaps  most disturbing   is the sneaky way that our representatives carried out this larceny  with barely a ripple in the media.

Here's the story.

Your property taxes are decided by the county auditor's determination of the fair market value of your home or business real estate.

Obviously, the market itself reflects value.

If your property sells for $100,000 in the competitive arena of commerce, then the fair market value is $100,000.

Up until September 2012, that was the law.

Ohio Revised Code Section 5713.03  stated that the county auditor "shall" set the true value of your property at the same dollar amount as the purchase price obtained in a recent arm's-length transaction.

Simply stated, you cannot be taxed for a property value set higher than the dollar amount you recently paid in a good faith purchase of a parcel.

With virtually no coverage in newspapers, the internet, television, or radio, the people you send to Columbus  screwed you.

They passed House Bill 487, which changed the word from "shall" to "may".

The law stating that the county auditor "shall" set the value to be the same as a recent purchase price was very quietly rewritten to state that the county auditor "may" set the value to be the same as a recent purchase price.

Greedy County  officials, anxious to inflate their tax collections, have now been given permission to ignore the true value of your property as determined by the economy.

They can now  eschew that recent sale price and set the value at a level significantly higher because some political hack appraiser appointed by the county wants to keep his bosses happy.

After all, what is a major source of County revenue?

You guessed it: real estate taxes.

County fiscal officers continue to set values into the stratosphere despite the fact that your average chimpanzee can see that neighborhood values have crashed and remain at historically low levels.

The only slight chance the little guy had to defeat this self-serving  system lay in the mandatory "shall" language of Ohio Revised Code 5713.03.

Now the little guy has been sliced into mincemeat through this barely noticed new law converting the word "shall" to "may".

I am disgusted by this bit of real estate tax skullduggery.

Our politicians are so starved for your money that they are willing to completely disconnect the process of county auditor valuation from reality.

In other words, your property is not worth what the market determines in an actual transaction: it's worth what the government says it's worth.

Listen, you Columbus lawmakers, if you don't fix this atrocity, the voters will say that you are worth the contents of this parenthesis
 (                          ).

How's that for a reality check for politicians?

Have a nice day.