Thursday, June 27, 2019

Supreme partisanship and how to give it a bloody nose

Thanks to the Republican majority on the U.S. Supreme Court, you now can
kiss Democracy an eternal goodbye. Unless...
No sooner was I feeling pleased by the first round of Democratic Presidential Musical Chairs on Wednesday night than the U.S. Supreme Court slammed the brakes on my euphoria. 

In a 5-4 decision, the usual Republican suspects on the court decided that hey, even if a Congressional district is so bizarrely twisted and contorted that it could hide behind a corkscrew, judges are not allowed to second guess the judgements of the law makers. At least, not when the winners are Republicans.

No legal standards discernible?
Not if you keep your eyes shut.

“There are no legal standards discernible in the Constitution for making such judgments,” writes Supreme Court Chief Justice Roberts, who seems to have forgotten the legal principle that "all men [and thus, by inference, their votes] are created equal." And presumably, ditto women and their votes these days.

Fortunately there are clearly discernible legal standards saying Supreme Court justices may be impeached and removed. Perhaps it’s high time the Democrats considered how to go about dumping these bums. (Only one Justice, Samuel Chase, was ever impeached, but it’s a precedent.)

I would start with the weakest target, Justice Thomas. His infamously scurrilous behavior relating to pubic hair on a Coke can, during Senate Judiciary Committee hearings, calls for some review in light of current standards. 

It’s my understanding that the Senate never heard from other witnesses who were waiting to testify about sexual harassment by Thomas. Further, there seems to be a good case for impeaching and removing Thomas for both sexual harassment and perjury. Go for it, House Judiciary Committee!

Next there’s Samuel Alito who, during his senate confirmation, uttered a pious paean to stare decicis. Watch this one with your hands clasped in the prayerful position, and try to imagine a little gold halo shining over Alito's head as he lies through his teeth.

Then, as soon as he was seated on the court, he ignored or overrode enough prior decisions to make it clear that he perjured himself licentiously during the Senate confirmation hearings. Put him on trial in the House and Senate for perjury. And then, when he is removed, put him on trial for the same crime in the criminal courts.

Neil Gorsuch? It's time to make the case  that because President Obama’s nomination for that Supreme Court chair was improperly withheld by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Gorsuch's subsequent nomination and confirmation was the fruit of a poisoned tree, and hence illegitimate. That one’s a long shot, but it’s time to start stirring the pot and seeing how the Long Shot Soup turns out.

Democrats, you too can
start your gerrymander engines

Meanwhile, in every majority Democratic city, county, and state around the country, Democrats need to start gerrymandering the living crap out of election districts, to make sure Republican votes in their jurisdictions count for as little as Republicans have been making sure that Democratic votes will count.

One person, one vote rule is essentially dead in this nation thanks to the Supreme Court majority in action. These days, it’s every bully, crook and pit viper for him or herself. So New York, California, Massachusetts and other Democratic states, gerrymander those Republicans until they bleat.

And if the Republicans don’t like it, let them run to the Supreme Court and try to find some justice.

If there is any justice any more.

Friday, June 21, 2019

Nine Horrifying Political Nightmares for the Trump Age

I no longer have a shrink, so you’ll have to analyze my political dreams instead.
(Sketch from real life by the late and wonderful Wes Emmart.)
You want a decent shrink? How old are you? Unless you’re stark raving bonkers enough to get admitted to a mental hospital, you can’t find a decent psychiatrist who takes Medicare. Not in New York, so far as I can determine. So poof! Now you're my head shrinker, and here are nine cranky political dreams for you to analyze. They have me waking up screaming. You’d scream, too.

1. Donald Trump, trying to prove that he didn’t lie when he said he could get away with shooting someone in the middle of Fifth Avenue and not lose voters, rides the escalator down to the ground floor of the Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, with an AR-15 strapped to his shoulder. 
   He steps out onto Fifth Avenue and shoots the first passer-by he sees. The passer-by turns out to be Joe Biden, who is strolling down Fifth Avenue on his way to Grand Central Station for an Acela to Washington, after a luncheon with supporters at the Plaza Hotel, a few blocks away. The last thought that goes through Biden’s head is, “How could that nincompoop have bankrupted such a gorgeous hotel?” 
   Trump immediately gets arrested by the NYPD, but released after Attorney General Barr declares that the President cannot be arrested or indicted for a crime during his time in office. Then Barr tells me to wake up and get a Diet Coke for Trump while he cleans his rifle. I wake up screaming, of course.

2. I’m not sure how this got arranged, but I’m home, wearing a bathrobe, waiting for a well-endowed porno actress to show up at my place. Suddenly, the doorbell rings. I open the door and let in a beautiful woman. She is carrying a handbag and a doggie bag from a restaurant called "Hamberder Heaven." She yanks a magnifying glass out of her handbag and barks an order. “Open your bathrobe and let me make sure you're Donald.” 
    I do so. She becomes enraged and flings her magnifying glass out the window. “You’re not Donald!” she says furiously. Then there’s a loud explosive sound and a puff of smoke. When the air clears, I notice that she has turned into a check for $130,000. And no, it is not signed by Donald Trump or by any lawyer named Cohen. Instead, it bears Donald Rumsfeld’s signature and the printed motto: “You gotta go to blog with the nightmares you got.”

3. I am four years old and running a foot race in Central Park. I come in second. At the finish line, Melania Trump grabs me by the collar and smacks me across the face saying, “I told you to be best, not second best.” Then she puts me in a cage where, fortunately, I meet Alexandria Occasio-Cortez, who tells me she can help me escape if I help her play with her Barbie dolls. 
   AOC has a doll called Congresswoman Barbie, and a Ken Doll. She hands me the Ken doll and it immediately turns into a Donald Trump doll with a string in the back of his neck. I pull the string and the doll says, “Who knew health care is complicated? ” I pull it again and Trump says, “I am a very stable genius.” I pull it a third time and Trump says, “My daughter is a real piece of ass.” 
   I tell the doll, “That’s not a nice thing to say.” With that, Barbie turns into a Melania doll and smacks my face again. I’m angry enough to hit her back, but suddenly Gloria Allred is standing behind Melania. Gloria says, “I wouldn’t even think about that if I were you, Crank.”

4. Donald Trump is speaking at a rally when suddenly his hair falls off. Or maybe it gets blown off by a sudden gust of wind. To tell you the truth, my memory is a little bit fuzzy on this. I mean hey, it's a dream. 
   At any rate, Trump now has a billiard ball head, which is orange, except for the line where the part in his hair used to be, which is white. 
   Suddenly, I have a revelation. For some reason, Trump’s skin turns white when exposed to the sun, but the part of his head that is under his hair, and thus always in darkness, is orange. Which means he must sleep in the sun wearing a full face mask, with only his eyes exposed. This explains the white lines around his eyes. It also explains why he's always awake and tweeting in the middle of the night.            
   I start to write this down because it seems very complicated and I want to make sure that I won’t forget it. But the Secret Service smashes open my door and arrests me for a violation of the Official Secrets Act. I complain that the Official Secrets Act is English law, not American law. “Not any more,” says President Trump, who is suddenly standing over me wearing a baseball cap bearing the slogan, “Brexit Now.” I look at him in amazement, which causes him  to morph into Boris Johnson. I start to wonder if Trump and Johnson were twins separated at birth when, annoyingly, I wake up.

5. HUD Secretary Ben Carson goes on TV, and in a tense hour, separates conjoined housing projects. When asked why there are no people in them he replies, "They've been used to store grain."

6. I have just been thrown into prison for wearing a purple baseball cap that bears the slogan, “Make America Grape Again.” “But why is this a crime?” I ask the judge, who turns out to be Judge Judy. 
   “Ssh! Did I ask you to talk?” she says. 
   This isn’t a question, and if you know Judge Judy you know what I mean. So I stand in silence, waiting for Judge Judy to pronounce a verdict. Unfortunately, we have to cut away for a bunch of television commercials. Halfway through the third commercial, I wake up singing, “Entresto, Entresto, Entresto!

7. President Trump has been defeated in the election. The new President, Kim Kardashian, has seen to it that Trump is tried for numerous crimes and sentenced to death. Much to my horror, I have been chosen to be the hangman. 
   I protest that I know nothing about hanging people, but nobody will listen to me. Trump gets marched out to the gallows. He stands on top of a trap door. I put a hood over his head and then a rope around his neck. I check my instruction sheet and it says to ask the prisoner if he has any last words. So I ask him, and he responds.   
   “Yeah,” says Trump, “just out of curiosity, how did Kim Kardashian get to be President?” 
   “Beats me,” I tell him. "Things have been weird ever since the second George Bush. Or maybe the first." Then I yank on the lever that’s supposed to open the trap door under Trump’s feet, but it won’t open. 
   I keep yanking, and yanking, and yanking. I wake up, only to discover that I am trying to rip the brass headboard off my bed. Then I realize that waking up is part of the dream, too, because my bed doesn’t have a brass headboard.

8. I’m back on the scaffold with Trump, but now the rope that I need to hang him with is sticking out of the back of his neck. I pull it and Trump yells, “Enemy of the people! Enemy of the people!” I pull it again and he yells, “Fake news! Fake news!” I pull it a third time and he yells, “Crooked Hillary! Failing New York Times! Sleepy Joe! L’il Marco! Pocahontas!” 
   That’s it, I’ve had it! I pull the trap door lever. This time it opens. We both fall into a swimming pool, strategically placed beneath the gallows. Trump yells, “I can’t swim!” and promptly drowns. I am pulled to the safety of the pool steps on the shallow end by a very large Labradoodle that jumps into the water to save me. 
   Later, the dog and I are both seated at a bar by the edge of the pool, drinking whiskey sours. “Tell me, why did you save my life?” I ask the dog. “Because Trump was the only president in modern history who wouldn’t have a dog,” the dog says, bitterly. 
   I am taken aback. “Where did you learn to talk?” I ask the dog. “Where did you learn to drink whiskey sours with dogs?” the dog responds without missing a beat. He seems smugly pleased by his own retort.

9. In the final Presidential debate between Donald Trump and Elizabeth Warren,  Trump is doing exactly what he did in a debate with Hillary Clinton. He has left his podium and crept up behind Warren, practically breathing down her neck. Warren wheels around and says, "Back off, creep!" 
   Trump sneers. "Try and make me," he says. So she kicks him hard between the legs. He doubles over, falls to the floor, and begins to weep. "This is so unfair!" he cries. "No president has ever been treated worse than me!"
    Two days later, Elizabeth Warren has been elected President. Unfortunately, this is also a dream.

Monday, June 17, 2019

Donald Trump, a badly manufactured causus belli, John Bolton’s mustache, and other inflammatory bull-oney

An abandoned protest picket sign in the New York
subway, some years ago. Hey, if we can picket for
any crazy thing, we can have a world war for any
crazy thing, too. Right? (Photo by The New York
So we’re heading for a war with Iran! At the risk of finally wearing out a cliché that’s been incurring considerable wear and tear since Donald Trump became president, what could possibly go wrong?

In case you missed it, there’s this video, taken from somewhere or other, purporting to show Iranian military removing an ocean-going mine from the hull of an oil tanker. Bit of a problem there, folks.

The mysterious case of
the airborne sea mine

See, the thing about sea mines is, they float in the sea. But if you look at this footage, you can see that the mine — if it is a mine — appears to be roughly ten feet above the waterline. In order to lodge in the ship’s hull where it is, the mine would have to leap out of the water, open its mouth wide, and bite into the hull as hard as it possibly can, afterwards holding on for dear life.

I’m kidding, of course. But also, I’m not kidding. That mine is ridiculously high above the waterline. And sailors on the ship — a Japanese, not an American vessel — said they saw “flying objects” heading toward them at the beginning of the incident that forced them to abandon ship for safety. Sea mines don’t fly. Moreover…
  • The president of the Japanese company that owns the ship is reported to have said that claims of a mine attack are “false.
  • Japan’s minister of defense said his government has no intention of responding to this incident with Japanese troops. He claims nothing here is an imminent threat to Japan.
Not to worry, Mr. Defense Minister, we here in America will respond for you, whether you want a response or not. 

This is just what President Trump has been looking for — an excuse to start a war with Iran. You know — send over more young Americans to fight, die, or get maimed for what years from now will turn out to be a tempest in a powder puff. Kill a few thousand, or hundred thousand, or millions of Iranians. Get to a stalemate after ten or twenty years of fighting. Expend treasure. Cut Social Security and Medicare to pay for it.

Also the excuse Iranian
hard liners needed

It has been pretty clear The Trumpster has been spoiling for a fight since the day he abrogated the nuclear deal that kept Iran from developing nuclear weapons. This got the United States nothing, while it got Iran an excuse to go back to manufacturing A-bombs again if they decide to.

All the same, the Iranians remained, as Elmer Fudd might say, vewwy, vewwy cautious about restarting their nuclear program — annoyingly cautious for Trump. Heck, even though Trump reportedly hates and despises John Bolton’s snowy white mustache, the President fired H.R. McMaster and hired Bolton in his place as national security adviser, perhaps because Bolton never met a war he didn’t like. Mustache and all.

Of course, it helped that Bolton also was appearing regularly on the Fox network, which also happens to be where Trump more than occasionally goes to recruit top governmental officers. I mean, I can see the logic of it. If you can regularly shoot off your mouth on Fox, you can probably start a shooting war, too. Maybe Trump thinks this is his big moment to have his very own war.

But even Bolton needs what they call a causus belli, some kind of excuse that lets the United States whine, “Whaa whaa, they provoked us. We had no choice.”

Causus Klutzi

Unfortunately, some klutz somewhere, instead of attacking an American ship with an American crew aboard, got a Japanese ship with a Philippine crew, and then aimed the rocket, or whatever it really was, too high.

Not to worry. Worst case scenario, somebody or other out there in the Persian Gulf will make it happen to another ship, presumably the right way this time. And then we can have anything from an invasion of Iran to a nuclear war. Or maybe WWIII.

Y'know what? Life ends quickly when the crazies are having fun.

Update, 3:40 PM, June 17th: Evidently, in an attempt to reinforce dubious information, the war-makers in Washington are adding more dubious information. According to an article just published by the right wing Washington Times, the surveillance drone that was surveilling the alleged Iranian attack on the Japanese vessel whose owner denies it struck or was struck by a mine...that drone was itself "attacked" by Iranian missiles. The Washington Times reports:

During the drone operations, “a modified Iranian SA-7 surface-to-air missile attempted to shoot down” the U.S. aircraft but missed its target, Central Command spokesman Lt. Col. Earl Brown said in the statement.
“The SA-7 was ineffective and its closest point of approach to the MQ-9 was approximately one kilometer,” Lt. Col. Brown said.
Wait, wait, just wait a second! The SA-7 rocket never got closer than a kilometer to the drone it was supposedly attacking. So how do we know that this kilometer-away rocket, if it existed at all, was even going after the drone? And how, from that distance, do we know it was a SA-7? And how come the Pentagon didn't think to release this information until now, more than a day after it released its story about the busy drones photographing alleged Iranians allegedly removing the flying sea mine? Inquiring minds want to know.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

“West African” kidder tries to kid The New York Crank. Linguistic chaos ensues.

I assured Mr. Akpukpor that my very fine "product" is free of body parts from
critters like these. But I suspect he was more interested that I was quoting a price
of over a million bucks, and therefore I probably had plenty of dough in the bank.
Remember the old Ghanian widow trick? 

You got an e-mail from someone purporting to be a Ghanian widow.  She told you her husband had died leaving $50 million. She would split it with you 50-50 if only you’d send her $10,000 to pay a lawyer to clear up the estate. 

You don’t see as many of those letter as you used to. I’m guessing that, after many years, that game has finally worn out.

So I am happy to report that people who send me e-mail have taken things to a new level. I know this because one of my alter egos, a certain Mr. Etoain Shrdlu, recently heard from Ghana again.

I should explain that, with the exception of two reversed letters in Etoain’s first name, etoain shrdlu was the first two vertical rows of the Mergenthaler Linotype keyboard. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you’re probably younger than 50 and never spent time in a print shop. However, you can learn about it here

At any rate, Etoain Shrdlu maintains a mailbox on AOL where he and I receive vast amounts of junk e-mail, and a very occasional foaming-at-the-mouth death threat from an irate wing nut who has seen this blog and then informs me that he knows where I live, where the Shrdlu kids go to school, and where Mrs. Shrdlu works, and that he’s coming to get me.

I should also explain that in real life I am a semi-retired, fairly ancient advertising copywriter, journalist, and general-purpose hack author who has lived alone since The Crank’s Beautiful Girlfriend died over nine years ago. I should also point out that my sole product is words, which come in various arrangements

Anyhow, over the years I’ve probably written many carloads of words. Which brings me to the e-mail I recently received from a Gmail address in Ghana. I reproduce the correspondence here verbatim, with syntax and punctuation unimproved, despite my temptation to fix both:
On Jun 7, 2019, at 10:33 AM, williams Akpukpor wrote:
Dear Friend,
Your information was sourced through a search.I am an  accredited Agent /Publicity  to the procurement/tender board
here in  West Africa . l source suppliers,Manufacturers and distributors  internationally whenever there is a notice to bid for tenders. I am  inquiring on your products  as Agent of the  above committee .
The committee are    interested to buy your products  in a large
quantity up to a  1x20''  TO  1x40''container Load . We therefore need your FOB price per specifications ,minimum order
quantity ,Quality Standards,Packing ,PRODUCTION ability/volume  in a month and finally  your preferred payment method for our expert teamevaluations since the contract Board has Planned 100% Telegraphic WireTransfer  by Bank To Bank .
Kindly reply back to me  for more details and feel free to ask me
question  for any area you needs  clarifications  and reply directly
to this email id;
Regards and best wishes.

Mr Williams Akpukpor Rado Gosch  .
Company: TimeRadoGoschGhana Ltd.
Address:No.92 Gulf Park,Achimota ,
P.O.Box  8080 NT, Sakumono, Tema
Telephone: 8100966538./200 999 48
Wait, wait, what’s that? They don’t mention what product I make. They don’t even know my name, which is why they address their letter “Dear Friend.” (Friend? Friend of whom?) And yet they’re going to transfer money into my bank account for a “container Load” of my product? 

Clearly, for some odd reason, they want to buy an entire container full of my words.

Well, let’s be honest here. More likely, I suspect, they want to get their hands on my bank account number so that they can transfer money out of it. 

Naturally, I wrote back to them immediately. I mean, it’s not often that I can find a market for so many of my words at once. I couched my offer in as many pseudo-legal and business terms as I could work into a few sentences, to make it all sound authentic
Dear Mr. Gosch,
Thank you for your inquiry, to which I am delighted to respond.
For a single standard American carload of my product, which happens to be the minimum order I will accept, delivered FOB but not counting any duties, charges, taxes or other fees levied by your government or any other governing body or commercial entity, whether upon or prior to delivery or at a later date, the price is U.S. $1,025,000 (one million and twenty-five thousand United States dollars). I am certain that you and  your Procurement Board will agree that this price is well in line with current International market expectations and standards.
But of course, because I’m an old ad writer, I felt I ought to do a little selling, too, to enhance the marketability of my fine product. What could I possibly say about a carload full of words?
I  offer only Class A product, certified free of rodent, cat, or dog hair, insect body parts, or other tangible impurities, which is shipped “loose" rather than in packaging since until now all of my customers have custom-packaged it for their own distinctive purposes and markets. While my production capacity is proprietary information, if you give me a clear idea of the exact  quantity you wish to purchase, I will be happy to inform you as to whether we can meet your expectations.
But then, I felt I ought to make it clear that I wasn’t going to be sending any bank account numbers. You know, truth in advertising:
However, I am also certain you can understand that I cannot commence delivery until 72 (seventy-two) hours  after your check has cleared my bank and its sum has been credited to my bank account. I am also sorry that, on the advice of my attorneys, I cannot accept wire transfers from overseas business entities with whom I have not previously done business, such as yours.
Here's to a a long and prosperous relationship!
Etoain Shrdlu
Executive Chairman and Sole Prop

I thought that would be the last I’d ever hear from my correspondent, wherever he is. Once he learned I wasn’t sending any bank account numbers, he’d be gone. 

But no! 

Courageously beating his way through dense thickets of the English language, with which he clearly has some difficulty even though English is the official language of Ghana, he crafted the following. (Warning, read slowly, and try not to break your brain struggling with his syntax as much as he clearly did. Ditto punctuation and letter spacing.)
 Dear Etoain Shrdlu
Thanks for your mail and contents well noted and understood.
However and regarding of the delivery and supply duration,it is negotiable between you and the AUCAC being the procurement board.
It is not compulsorily that the goods must ship in one time manner  ,on your inability to this could be negotiated  at your  convenient time the goods could be delivered ,manufactured, produced or shipped .
so note this very well and that should not constitute any problem to you.
Regarding of the quantity needed, we will start with 1x40'' container load with your company as a trial order .
The delivery time can also reach up to 6-8 months  and if unable,it can still re-negotiated hence we accept partial delivery.
insurance  transport etc expenses  will borne  on the buyer  and we can also buy on FOB with your company  finding shipping agent to deliver to us.
And then, he did it. He shot a tranquilizer dart straight to my jugular vein, instantly relieving my distress — which he had clearly detected between the lines — about giving him any bank account numbers.
Regarding disliking of wire bank to bank transfer,there is no risk provided is a confirmed first class bank having a corresponding bank  offshore.
And then he offered to send me a certified check after all:
And we can also set up another form or method of payment to you  LIKE the certified bank cheque or another payment mode that you may wish.
so no fear in that provided your oversea bank will confirm the payment from us and our accreditedpaying  bank before the transfer of your contract payment commences.
This is a pure open business that has to deal with any form of investigation specially on the side of the payment of your contract after reading and signing of contract agreement that will be bidding you and us.
Lastly,the committee is capable is giving you out-payment of any amount  that your contract payment will attract so don't be skeptical.
Who, me skeptical?

But then he twisted my rope a little bit, with a not-so-veiled warning that I’d better hurry up, and ignore my lawyer, or I’d lose this valuable opportunity to sell my words by the container load:
And it is up to you to decide to follow this supply with your full mind before your lawyer's advise because we will not have time to wait any of your mail with content saying  that your  still in-wait of your lawyer's response..
Thanks and stay blessed with keeping responding back on daily basis  at-least twice a day as to help fasten the process and all your replies 
 Mr Williams Akpukpor Rado Gosch.
Mr Williams Akpukpor Rado Gosch  .
Company: TimeRadoGoschGhana Ltd.
Address:No.92 Gulf Park,Achimota ,
P.O.Box  8080 NT, Sakumono, Tema
Telephone: 8100966538./200 999 48
I decided to immediately accept his offer of a certified check, and while I was at it, to do a little more selling of the purity of my product:
Dear Mr. Williams Akpukpor Rado Gosch,
Thank you for your most recent correspondence. While I don't ordinarily work on Sunday, I note your comment that, "we will not have time to wait any of your mail with content saying  that your still in-wait of your lawyer's response.."
I also note your statement that, "And we can also set up another form or method of payment to you  LIKE the certified bank cheque or another payment mode that you may wish."
Fine. I accept. Please immediately remit your certified check for US $1,025,000. Upon receipt of your check, I will deposit it to our account and arrange  for a carload of my product, free of insect parts (now including beetle wings due to the re-emerging plague of Colorado Potato Beetles) to be shipped FOB to any seaport destination that you provide me. Delivery arrangements shall commence 72 hours after the check clears my account. Typically, shipments arrive well before the six-to-eight-months delivery time your letter mentions.
I look forward to your certified check in the post. Incidentally, if you wish to speed up the process, feel free to FedEx your check to me. Use the same address you found during the search you mentioned in your first e-mail.
Once again, I look forward to a long and mutually profitable relationship.
Etoain Shrdlu
Executive Chairman and Sole Prop

Of course, my correspondent, who has suddenly shortened his name to simply “Williams Akpukpor” replied. He seemed incurious about my postal address (Etoain Shrdlu doesn't have one) and he never tried to confirm the nature of my product. 

Instead, he got right down to administrative details. And he got down them in all-capital letters.
Forget that his demands are now teetering on the edge of unintelligibility. Forget that he vacillates between writing in all caps and lower case. Forget his grammar and syntax.

What's important here is, I haven’t posted to my blog in nearly a week. This story needs to come to an end so that I can write about it. 

In a worst-case scenario I can simply cut him off and post. But maybe I can get him to fire me. So I write back:
Dear Mr. Williams Akpukpor,
I am running out of patience. You ask for a Proforma Invoice covering the order "to bear the end buyers details.," but you have not specified the buyer, nor his location, nor his shipping information. Therefore, I am unable to draw up the invoice you demand.
Quite frankly, I am getting a bit annoyed. Are you playing games with me? Either provide all information, in clear grammatical English, or I will be done with this. I am expecting an extremely large order very, very shortly, and if I am bogged down with all this nonsense, I will have to choose between the nonsense and doing business with a genuine customer, with whom I am familiar, and who does not require all this blather and drivel.
How dare you enjoy a joke at my expense! What kind of business do you think I'm in, anyway?
Yours furiously,
Etoain Shrdlu
Executive Chairman and Sole Prop
Nope, he didn't fire me. Instead, the next day I heard back from Mr. Akpukpor, who had for some reason switched over from his Gmail address to a Yahoo address. His attitude was one I might describe as “more offended than thou.” Also, he had again gone to upper and lower case. Maybe his persona had been taken over by a worker on a different shift. At any rate, here’s what my correspondent had to say.

From: williamsakpukpor <>To: etoainshrd <>Sent: Tue, Jun 11, 2019 3:30 amSubject: Dear Etoain Shrdlu .
What do you mean by writting Yours furiously, etoain?????????
Whom are you furious with  and for what?
if i mentioned  sending end buyers details and forgotten to include doesn't mean that you should address me in the manner your  speaking it is very wrong . and why should i present a joke and nonsense deal as you may call it?
Can i have your phone number  and can i as well have a  phone call from you?????????????.
i did mention that the end buyer's name is AUCAC,African union contract awarding committee and which other name do you expect me to  call again.
Is like your not reading my message completely  even without  interest  otherwise you shouldn't have mentioned all these  that had been cleared.
Anyway,i apologize if i did not include the details in my previous mail  and ready to resend the details after your response .
i will use  a special subject  message for it .
And what should be the delivery and supply duration  period  by you for the  quantity proposed  of the goods?
Remember also that we must not meet one on one  before business can transact hence internet is concerned so if your expecting to see a customer  or know a customer  first before  attentioning to his business inquiry means that your yet to be a complete business man ,i am sorry if you may take this very word somehow and is not an abuse.

i am 24hours  ready to answer your mail.
Enough was enough. Nearly a week has gone by since I last posted to this blog, and besides, the whole thing was getting tiresome. So I decided not to string out Williams Akpukpor Rando Gosch any longer.
Dear Williams Akpukpor,
I met with my Board of Directors this morning, and there was general agreement that in light of your last correspondence, especially with a very large order pending elsewhere, we should not deal with the vicissitudes of business with you. Therefore, this relationship is now terminated.
Yours very truly,
Etoain Shrdlu
So far, I have not heard back from Mr. Willians Akpukpor, who was previously Williams Akpukpor Rado Gosch.

In any case, for any reader out there contemplating yet another variation of the Ghanaian Widow Scam, let me offer some advice:

Never kid a kidder.

Wednesday, June 05, 2019

Bad writing, Brits deflate Donald Trump with a tiny prick, and other tidbits for your delectation. Or not.

All it took was one little prick — as you'll
learn if you keep on reading for a while
Minimus maximus, or, Who says you can’t be the world’s worst writer — and still get a job writing junk e-mails? The following is a verbatim excerpt (except for bracketed matter) from an item that popped up in my e-mail this morning from the American Marketing Association:
Hi [Crank], The AMA Marketing Services Search is a mobile-optimized platform with advanced search capabilities enables [sic] you to maximize the way you engage marketers as they make purchasing decisions….This month, you can receive exclusive access to these 3 bundle packages [sic] if you’d like to maximize your exposure on the site….”
In the old days, we used to cure people of their predilections for clumsy writing by smashing their typewriters on their fingers. These days they wouldn’t even know what a typewriter is, and computers are far too expensive. So I’d suggest that the AMA find the guilty writer and send him or her back to the mail room for permanent retraining.

Prickly Brit Pricks Trump’s Baby Balloon. On his trip to England to visit the Queen, Donald Trump has once again proved himself to be the worst nightmare any host or hostess could have since the Broadway play, The Man Who Came to Dinner.

In case you’re not familiar with that ancient theatrical romp, supposedly based on the obnoxious character of a writer and critic named Alexander Woollcott, an out-of-town celebrity gets invited to someone’s house for dinner. He slips, falls, injures himself and is then forced on to stay on for a month. In the course of his stay, Wikipedia tells us, the unwelcome guest “drives his hosts mad by viciously insulting them, monopolizing their house and staff, running up large phone bills, and receiving many bizarre guests, including paroled convicts.”

And so, on to Donald Trump, who God gave to us undoubtedly because he thought that if he tried just a little bit harder, he could go a lot further over  the top than he had with Alexander Woollcott. 

Trump arrived in Britain where he had only recently upstaged the queen. This time he insulted both the Lord Mayor of London and Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Sussex, aka Megan Markle, by calling her “nasty.” 

Unsurprisingly, Trump denies the latter insult. But no matter how hard he tries, even an incorrigible liar like Trump can’t effectively deny what has been electronically recorded. In one of his most recent interviews on the subject, Trump not only denies he said it, but also seems to be saying he didn’t mean to say what he clearly said, which seems to be, in his mind, the same as not having said it at all. Yes, it's almost as confusing as it sounds. Or as the poet said, "O what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive."

England’s Trump haters, evidently more plentiful on a per capita basis  than even Trump haters in the United States, of course paraded around with their 20-foot “baby Trump” blimp, which depicts him as a diapered infant holding a cell phone. 

That lasted until a pro-Trump Brit took a sharp object and pricked the balloon with it, causing it to deflate. But a deflated Trump is an anti-Trump symbol, too. The moral, I suppose, is that only takes a tiny prick to deflate a demagogue. And you can interpret that thought any way you want.

Come to think of it, let’s not do lunch. Surely, we’ve all committed the same little white lie, which I’d call "the well-intentioned non-invitational invitation." Variations of it include, “Let’s do lunch one of these days,” and “Let’s have a drink  sometime soon.” Both are really nothing more than  genteel variations of, “Well, nice running into ya. See ya around.”

Now Adweek Magazine reports that the Swedes, who evidently suffer from the same syndrome, have had enough. One beer maker has come up with a contract that makes “let’s grab a beer together: a legally binding contract. So if you say, “Let’s have a beer,” and then don’t get together for a beer, you can get sued.

It all gets managed electronically, with cell phones playing a key role in enabling your wannabe friends to sue your beer-less butt off. So from now on, if you see a friend who you haven't spoken to in a long time, cross to the other side of the street as quickly as you can.

And finally, mothers, here’s another reasons not to let your sons grow up to be admen. This time it involves the once-honorable advertising agency, Leo Burnett, inventors (many decades ago) of the Jolly Green Giant, ho ho ho. 

These days, Burnett seems to have abandoned its former sweet midwestern charm for cutting edge and completely cynical sleaze. In order to attract attention to their outwear client, North Face, Burnett hacked into Wikipedia and replaced images that belonged on various Wikipedia pages with images of North Face products. And then gloated about it in a video. Ho ho ho indeed!

Wikipedia took the images down, and rightfully likened what Burnett did to “vandalism.” Burnett finally apologized, but apologies aren’t enough. They and their client got tons of awareness, by vandalizing an innocent  third party. So both Burnett and their client make money, while an apology costs them nothing.

Seems to me this calls for real punishment. Otherwise they can do it again, and simply apologize again when they get caught. It's time for a boycott of all Burnett advertisers including not only North Face, but also Buick, HDFC Life, Samsung, Brita, General Mills, Procter & Gamble, and General Mills Cereal. Let these advertisers know that if they continue to avail themselves of Burnett’s sleazy services, you’ll buy somebody else’s products. As the saying goes, lie down with dogs, wake up with fleas.