Friday, December 30, 2016

1740 The Wessays Amendment

We’ve proposed amendments to the constitution before.  The most notable says “Congress shall make no law without eliminating two others not passed for the purpose of repeal.”

This one is more of a housekeeping move.

Let’s have an amendment that switches the order of the bill of rights, putting the most important on top.

Right now we have the first amendment, which is about freedom of speech, the press, religion and assembly.  This is superannuated.

The incoming administration is strictly about controlling the press and restricting religion to select versions of Christianity.  So maybe the first should be moved down a notch or two.

What’s really important these days is guns.  So let’s elevate the second amendment to first.

This will cause a great deal of reprinting.  The NRA will have to re-do every scrap of propaganda and every book.  But print orders are good for the printing business. So the neo-first amendment is a good old American pro-business piece of … legislation.

The second is so much more popular than the first these days, elevation is a natural act.

The third says the army can’t waltz into your house and bunk without your OK.  This deals with a revolutionary war- era problem.  But since we’re reordering not changing the amendments, move this one to the bottom.

The fourth: unreasonable search and seizure.  The fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth have to do with your rights in court… things like grand juries, high bail and so on.

The ninth says they can’t take away your constitutional rights.  And the tenth is States’ Rights.

So in the reordered Bill of Rights, the second amendment becomes the first, the first becomes the second, the tenth becomes the third, the fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth and ninth remain in place, and the third moves down to tenth.

Once this precedent is settled, we can go to work on the rest of the amendments.  There’s plenty to do there, too.

But first things first.  Or maybe second.
--Jon Benet Ramsey’s brother is suing CBS charging its series about his sister’s murder has ruined his reputation. Reputation? As what, a spoiled rich kid with a deck of 51?

--President elect Tweet (or is it Twit?) has asked the Russians for patience in the face of new sanctions and told Israel’s prime minister not to worry about anything president Obama does in the waning days of his administration.  Advice to Putin: Don’t hold your breath. Advice to Netanyahu: worry.

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I’m Wes Richards. My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
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© WJR 2016

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

1739 The Time Bank

1739 The Time Bank

A little misleading.  There IS no time bank.  But think of what you could do if there were.

First, let’s get one thing straight: Time is your only asset and it’s not renewable.  Forget relativity, spacetime, alternative universes. We get enough of that from the incoming Ghost Ship administration. Alt this, alt that.

Time may be an artificial construct based on observable phenomena.  But in day to day use, it’s real.

And think of how much you squander.  If you could bank some of it, your life would be longer… generally considered a plus.

As in any market (how Paul Ryanesque!) there are gains and losses.  When the court has a missing item on its calendar and your case comes up early, you gain.  (Unless, of course bail is denied and they take you directly to the electric chair.)

When the sign in the doctor’s office says if you’re more than 15 minutes late you will have to reschedule, you’ve lost time even if you’re only 16 minutes late.  Of course if doc is late, no matter by how much, tough, buddy. Live with it.  He’s a doctor, after all.

You lose time on checkout lines, in traffic jams, waiting for “her” to put on her makeup after taking forever deciding on what to wear (still subject to change after the makeup’s done.)

You lose time when the foursome ahead of you on the 18th hole decides to drink and carouse before they get to the “19th Hole Lounge” in the clubhouse.

You lose time when you use the cash only lane on the George Washington Bridge and eight cars ahead of you is Jed Clampett in his 1928 Model A trying to get directions to Rhinebeck followed by seven cars from Ohio.

These are times you can’t bank.  But think about the time you lose all by yourself.

An hour watching “The Voice” or the MTV awards is an hour you’ll never get back. A trip to the outlet mall is a day you can’t get back.

The clock is not syncopated, it counts steadily.

-When you tell the bank teller you want to make a “time deposit” and she asks how much and you answer about an hour” she’ll have you thrown out.

-Calling a watch a “timepiece” in an ad is pretentious, calling it a timepiece in conversation is ridiculous, printing the word on the watch face is gauche.

-In the smartphone era, watches are jewelry because there’s no need to have one to tell time.
-Digital watches with LED readouts often have a zillion functions but they lack one you get only with analog: time remaining in the hour at a glance.

-Make that two functions… because a stopped analog is right twice a day but a stopped digital is a blank face.

I’m Wes Richards. My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
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© WJR 2016

Monday, December 26, 2016

1738 Be Afraid

1738 Be Afraid

There are two kinds of terror and this is about the second one.

The first is when there’s an attack.  September 11th. The Boston Marathon.  A bomb in Times Square. Sarin gas in a subway station. A truck mowing down everyone on a crowded street. Oklahoma City.

These terrorists come in various foul flavors.  Islamists, white supremacists, crazies who hunt for kids in an elementary school.

The second kind is sneakier.  You terrify slowly. You don’t realize it’s happening.  And then one day you awaken and realize you’re terrified.  Some of us are early adapters.  We’re already scared to death.

We elected a mad man who didn’t want the job but now has to do it.  And his personnel list looks like a dressed up unguarded Rikers Island lunch line viewed in a funhouse mirror. You want specifics? There are places you can look them up. Meantime, beware of guys in orange jumpsuits and carrying homemade shanks.

Be afraid.

We’ve had disrupters in the White House before.  LBJ, Reagan, both Roosevelts.  We’ve had incompetents before.  Think Carter or Hoover or Dubya.

But never have we had a gang like The Incoming whose members know they are both.

Be afraid.  Be very afraid.  

The cabinet is the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party.

We have had evil vice presidents before. Think Cheney or Nixon.  We’ve had incompetents before. Think Quayle.  

But Pence is not only both, he’s learned to act as if he didn’t come straight out of that straightjacket and pretend he’s normal.

In all these cases, disruptive, evil or incompetent, they didn’t ignore the way this country’s government does business.  We never before had an ordinary civilian who makes foreign policy before taking office.  We never before had a president who can’t make a clear and consistent policy statement on any subject or who changed his views like the weather.

And we’ve never before had a president with one hand tied behind his back and the other on the nuclear button.

Be afraid.  

--The Radio City Music Hall Rockettes are scheduled to perform at the inauguration on January 20th.  And although the union says attendance is mandatory, the ordinarily high handed, low minded owners say they are letting conscientious objectors among the dancers opt out. Which could mean a two-girl kickline.

--There’s a junkyard full of reasons Clinton lost the election and plenty of blame to go around … or praise depending on your political views. But an overlooked though important reason is when people saw or heard her they didn’t think of her, they thought of Leona Helmsley.  Even if they never heard of Leona Helmsley.

--Well, that’ll show ‘em.  The President’s private war with the Netanyahu escalated when the US refused to veto a UN Security Council resolution condemning settlement building in parts of Israel.  But in a way it’s Israel’s own fault for failing to annex land it won in the 1967 war.

I’m Wes Richards. My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
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© WJR 2016

Friday, December 23, 2016

1737 The Cheap Channels You Watch in Secret

Carl Marino (l)  plays the young Joe Kenda on TV. Joe Kenda today.

Reviewers never give the cheap channels a break.  Critics are always ready to tell you all about the latest sitcom or cop show or doctor show.  They’re always ready to assess the latest unfunnyness from Jimmy Fallon or Jimmy Kimmel or Stephen Colbert.

They’ll give you 800 well chosen words about the Miss Teenage America pageant, the Oscars, the Tonys, the Emmys, the Golden Globes, the VMAs, the MTVs.

They’ll talk about “Today” or “Good Morning America” or “CBS This Morning” at the drop of a cooking segment followed by a makeup segment followed by a live shot from Aleppo.

But no one cuts the cheap channels a break.  There are do-it-yourself and food and home flipping channels, pawn shop shows, evangelist channels.  There are channels with Law & Order marathons, CSI marathons, Forensic Files marathons.  You name it, there’s a channel for it.

People watch this stuff.  Advertisers, usually car insurance or class action lawyers or the drugs they class action against buy time.

So today, we offer a guide to “ID,” Investigation Discovery.  First, note they have a zillion programs. Second note that they’re all the same story.

“Homicide Hunter,” People Magazine Investigates, Barbara Walters Investigates, Paula Zahn Investigates, Chris Hansen Investigates, Tamron Hall Investigates.  

All the same. Just different faces.  And then there are the outlandish titles: Behind Mansion Walls, Wives With Knives, The Deadliest Decade, Killer Clergy,  Murder U, Hotel Horrors, Murder Book, Mom-sters, How (not) to Kill Your Husband, Who the Bleep Did I Marry?
The list is endless.  They churn these things out like Ben and Jerry’s on adderall.

But the stories are always the same.  
  1. Someone is killed.  Someone “everyone” loved. Someone saintly, someone who was “bubbly” or “loving” or a pillar of the community or “like our town’s mayor.”
  2. Police are called in at about :10 minutes into the show.
  3. We’re introduced to the doggedly determined investigator.
  4. Police are stymied.
  5. By about :20 in, the case threatens to “go cold.” But…
  6. Just before the half hour mark they get a “much needed break in the case and arrest someone.
  7. For the next ten minutes they talk about the suspect’s background.  His criminal history, his secret second life.  But then, he turns out to be the wrong guy.  His alibi checks out or his DNA or fingerprints don’t match those at the crime scene. Something.
  8. By :45 in, they’ve got their man (or woman.)
  9. By :55, they’ve solved it.  And in under three minutes, the accused is arrested, tried and convicted.
Always “closure for the victim’s family.”  Almost always a cop who “can’t let go of the case and finally gets his killer.

The name of the show doesn’t matter.  What matters is how many times you see Flo or the Gecko or “We are Farmers, ‘dum-da-dumdum… dum dum dum” or The General, now paired with Shaquille O'Neal instead of his former partner, a penguin in a sports car.

What matters is closure. Tears, but still a happy ending.

Now, you never have to watch because you know what to watch for.

Today’s quote:
-“If you kill (long pause) I will find you.” -- Lt. Joe Kenda of the Colorado Springs PD (ret.)

Best wishes for a joyous Christmas, a happy Hanukkah and Kwanzaa and any other holiday that falls or begins on or about this weekend.

I’m Wes Richards. My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
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© WJR 2016

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

1736 Electoral Community College

There’s at least one thing the President- Elect is right about.  It’s time to take over the administration building at the Electoral Community College.  Call in the protesters.  
Professor Irwin Corey never taught at the electoral community college.  But it owes him a debt of gratitude nonetheless

Twice in 16 years the winner of the presidential election wasn’t inaugurated, Al Gore in 2000 and Hillary Clinton this year.

The constitution puts this antiquated sop to the slave states a reflection of a fake America.  Oh, how the founders drooled over the idea of bringing those soil- rich southern states into the fold.  

And what did we get?  Arkansas.  Georgia. The Carolinas.   All places we could have done without, all places that collectively won the “war of Northern aggression.”

The E-C was designed to balance the populous states of the north and midwest with the cranky states like Virginia and Mississippi.  What would the country be without Alabama?  Perish the thought!

The Electoral College puts the power to rule into the hands of rural America where there are more acres of subsidized fallow farmland than there are people.  It’s like giving voting power to dead ground.

America lives in its cities and these days in its suburbs.  And it’s time to recognize that. The Electoral college has to go.

Would we have done better if Gore had actually been inaugurated?  Hard to tell. How about Hillary?  Hard to tell as well.  Is the Generalissimo leading the junta going to wreck the country?  Probably not.  But that’s not the point. The point is even in a semi- democracy -- and that’s what the US is -- the people should be allowed to elect the leaders.

Further, the E-C is completely controlled by the political party establishment.  These are the same people who create abstract painting-style congressional districts that guarantee the faithful lifetime jobs on your dime?

Fortunately the cities are striking back in the only ways they can: exempting themselves from the excesses of the hill folk.  Led by New York, sanctuary cities will not cooperate with any mass deportation of illegal immigrants. Can they get away with it?  Sure. Cities have put restrictions on gun ownership that give the NRA night sweats.  Sometimes those laws work, sometimes not.  But they represent a start.

Eliminating the Electoral College is not some left wing pipe dream. There are plenty of right wing cities which would be perfectly happy to have power in proportion to their populations.  

We want honest elections, or at least say we do.  Well, what’s honest about inaugurating the loser?

Today’s Quote:
- (The President Elect) “... doesn’t know much. One thing he does know is how to get angry white men to vote for him.” -- William J. Clinton

--Russia and Turkey say they are “probing the assassination” of the Russian ambassador to Turkey. What’s to “probe?” The shooter shot him in public with 100 witnesses and news cameras and then hung around to deliver a short but loud sermon some of it in Arabic.

I’m Wes Richards. My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
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© WJR 2016

Monday, December 19, 2016

1735 WestraDamus 2017

With 2017 upon us, we offer the 28th anniversary edition of the WestraDamus antidictions, those for the year 2016 and presented each December or January for the year gone by and generally wrong.

'Damus started as a parody of the forward looking astrological year-enders appearing in the supermarket tabloids, almost always wrong but never acknowledged or corrected.

The Non-Prophet has grown into an American institution, like the Chicago Cubs, the endless war in the Middle East, the Lion King, Wal-mart, stolen elections, fake economic figures, fake news and a congress that would get Jefferson thinking "what were we thinking?"
Top of the Year:
And what a year it will have been!  America elects its first woman President, Hillary Clinton.  Finally! A woman in the White House.
A tip of the 'Damus hat to President Romney who will show himself not only a peacemaker in the Middle East and engineer of the most stunning economic recovery in our history, but a gracious and graceful host as he will allow Mrs. Clinton to break protocol and lead her own "getting to know you" tour of the White House.
Mrs. Clinton, to her credit, will disconnect the direct phone line to Domino's and close the private presidential study adjacent to the oval office.
Showing a spirit of unity, Mrs. Clinton will reach across party lines in naming her cabinet. She will name Goldman Sachs CEO and Howie Mandel lookalike Lloyd Blankfein as Secretary of the Treasury and one time Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee as Secretary of Health and Human Services.
Mandel                                                                                           Blankfein
And there will be talk of her nominating her ex-husband Bill to the US Supreme Court.
She will name her great and good friend Patty Murray, a US Senator from Washington State, as Chief of Staff and former Rep. Gabby Giffords to the newly created cabinet level post of Gun Collector in Chief.
Also at the top of the year:  Real Estate prices in Cincinnati will skyrocket as signs go up hailing it as "Future Home of America's biggest Atlantic Seaport."
Now... more of the top news that will happen last year.

President Romney will sign an agreement with Iran in which Tehran promises to end its nuclear missile program in return for a 150% matching grant for its GDP, and promises not to attack the United States until it feels like it, certainly not before the check clears.
Taiwan will elect its first woman president but Tsai Ling-Wen will later be revealed as Chiang Kai-shek's great grandson in drag.

African American members of the Motion Picture Academy will give a vote of confidence to its board of directors even though no black man or woman has won a top tier Oscar since Hattie McDaniel in 1940 for her role as the secret leader of a motorcycle EMS corps operating in Plains, Georgia.

Albert Einstein will rise from the grave and say "Hey, guys, I was wrong about how space and time are connected," thus plunging modern physics into a black hole from which it cannot return despite Stephen Hawking's belief that he, too, was wrong about the nature of black holes.
Antonin Scalia will hold a news conference in Texas to announce his support of retaining Roe v. Wade,  will fail to produce photo i.d. and his birth certificate, but will deny rumors he has died.
China will begin building offshore missile launching sites in Japan which it will claim is an island in its territorial waters.
President Romney will visit Cuba which may foreshadow a resumption of diplomatic relations. But that dream quickly shatters when Raul Castro takes Romney captive at gunpoint and demands a ransom paid in Staples gift cards.

On his return to the US, President Romney will announce that he will not run for re-election leaving the republican nomination a sure win for former Florida official JEB Bush.
Southern states will be hard-hit by early spring storms but will survive much to the dismay of the rest of the country and will come to realize that the weather is punishment for their cruel redneck ways and will reform.
Mississippi will enact a law making it mandatory to put homophobic slurs on decorated wedding cakes purchased by engaged gay and lesbian couples.
The US Supreme Court will require state legislators redrawing congressional district lines to count everyone in a district except those they don't like or who disagree with them.
National Cash Register will introduce a new drawer with an additional slot for bills, thus allowing those so inclined to segregate the Harriet Tubman 20s from those with Andrew Jackson.
Mississippi, fresh from passing groundbreaking anti-gay legislation will consider a bill providing state funding for three category seating on inter-city buses: First class, Business class and blacks.
Mexican cartels will start using a new way to smuggle drugs across the US border by blowing up oil rigs and using the energy to catapult contraband beyond the reach of the border patrol and straight into the arms of their American partners and customers in Kansas and Colorado.
Friskies will build two new cat food plants in India to meet the demand sparked by the recent census showing the tiger population rising for the first time in 38 years.
Under pressure from the NRA, Florida legislators will pass a law requiring everyone over the age of seven to carry a handgun, the governor will sign the bill while an eight year old girl smilingly holds a gun to his head.
The US Navy will honor an invitation to participate in Uganda's annual Idi Amin War Games after finally figuring out how to transport an aircraft carrier and two Class-6 battle ships over land from Port Mombasa, Kenya.
The FDA will find a link between lung cancer and second hand sugar.
Fox News chairman Roger Ailes will step down amid rumors he has lived for years with media mogul and Howie Mandel look alike David Geffen.
Geffen                                                                         Mandel
Bladerunner Oscar Pistorious will be cleared of murder charges in South Africa and will join Arthur Murray Dance Studios as professor emeritus of polka.
A solar powered plane will abandon its effort to fly non- stop around the world when it hits a hot air balloon traveling slowly over Texas.
President Romney will disclose that the "EASY" Button on his desk in the Oval Office does not connect him with which he owns but rather puts him on the air live at all 53,287 iHeart Radio stations which he also owns.
National Democratic Party chair Debbie Wasserman Test will announce her resignation for medical reasons and undergo surgery to correct a deviated septum and two broken nails.
The Government of Colombia will make peace with the FARC rebels but forget to tell them.
Russian President Vladimir Putin will announce his retirement, to take place on September 2, 2056.
Automaker Elon Musk will announce his plan to populate Mars which involves sending up enough supplies to build a small town and impregnating the 15 Martian women he has been holding hostage in the basement of his battery factory in the Nevada desert.
As US relations with Cuba continue to thaw, the FDA will announce that sugar is poisonous and thus cripple the Cuban economy which now can only survive by sharply increasing its production of rum and cigars.
Hurricane Matthew will fail to make predicted landfall in Haiti, thus depriving officials of millions of dollars in aid money they expected to pocket and aid workers of their anticipated good feelings in pretending to help the island nation's stricken.

India's Tata Group will devise a 2-D printed automobile that will sell for 545-thousand rupees or $28.14 US and sell 450,000 of them before realizing that they meant 3-D and the cars don't work.
Burger King will offer to buy Time-Warner for $6.8 billion but TW will reject the offer because it would require all employees to wear those stupid-looking cardboard crowns.
The biggest news of the month will be the election of Hillary Clinton as President of the United States, an event already covered elsewhere in this overview of antidictions.

Mrs. Clinton's election will turn out to have been hacked and rigged by out of work former KGB agents who must show their loyalty to keep those big- ruble pension checks rolling in.

Denver, the Cincinnati of the west, will start to advertise itself as future home of a major US seaport if climate conditions persist.
Santa Claus will reject Elon Musk's offer to replace his sleigh with a Tesla SUV because there are no charging stations between Hudson's Bay and Angle, Minnesota, northernmost town in the continental United States.

Bob Dylan will stun attendees at the Nobel Prize ceremony by introducing his two newest songs, "Take the A Train" and "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" as onlookers try to find ways to tell them he's plagiarized.

WestraDamus will skip 2016 believing that nothing significant will happen during the year gone by.

For those of you who want to analyze or nit pick this opus will be available through 2017 at

I’m Wes Richards. My opinions and antidictions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
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© WJR 2016  

4744 The Running of the Bull

  Newsday Photo   A bull escaped from a farm in Moriches on New York’s Long Island and has been playing hide and seek ever since.  It’s not ...