IRS

I’m always trying to convince the IRS that my dog is a dependent worthy of a tax deduction. So far, they’ve resisted that argument, once even threatening me with incarceration if I persisted in claiming her. I guess the IRS has no sense of humor.

To me, it’s obvious. My dog is part of the family and depends on me to provide her with sustenance and shelter. She’s no different than any other one-hundred and thirty pound child with fleas and an overwhelming urge to dig under the fence.

So when I learned about Citizens United and the Catholic church’s newest claim, I called the IRS again and demanded to know, “If fertilized eggs and corporations are people, why isn’t my dog classified the same?”

They said they’d get back to me.


Losing You Wallet

In case you’re new to politics in New Mexico, there are three places in the Capitol where you never want to lose your wallet.

On the Democratic side of the House. Having a tiny spark of conscience, they’ll remove the smaller bills then return your wallet and ask for a reward.

Even worse is on the Republican side of the aisle where they’ll take your money, throw away the wallet, but not before stealing your credit cards.

But the worst of all possible places to lose your wallet has to be in front of a lobbyist. He’ll remove all of your money, steal your credit cards, throw away the wallet, and then criticize you for not hiring him to protect your wallet.


Snake Bite

Can you remember the movie where the cowboy is bitten by a rattlesnake just after he’s saved the schoolmarm from rustlers? He unties her from the railroad track, not noticing the snake until it’s too late and OUCH! We don’t remember the name of that movie but the same story line filled a lot of Saturday afternoon matinees when we were six-years-old.

The other cowhands carried our snake bitten hero to the schoolmarm’s bedroom where the small-town doctor announced to everyone within hearing distance, “ If he survives the night, he might make it, although the only thing I guarantee with certainty, little lady, is that he’s going to get worse before he gets better.” The schoolmarm would turn white and gasp while the doctor took a big swig from his pocket flask.

A snake bite is serious business for an six-year old so we paid attention. Still, a few questions went unanswered: Why were all the doctors in the west alcoholics and wasn’t there anyplace in town for injured cowboys except the schoolmarm’s bed? When we reached puberty and partial wisdom (much, much, much later) we realized that this bedroom scene was a thinly disguised attempt at introducing a romantic interest acceptable to movie censors. Remember Doris Day and her twin beds? (Decency Rule #23: a cowboy can only be seen in a woman’s bed if he’s been bitten by a snake). But at the time, we were more worried about our hero and less about the boundaries of sexual morality. And after all, it was the schoolmarm’s fault. If she wasn’t such a silly girl, the rustlers wouldn’t have caught her and our hero wouldn’t have been snake bit. All of us agreed with that observation.

We also agreed with the doctor’s warning, “…he’s going to get worse before he gets better.”

So we’d sit on the edges of our seats, watching our hero suffer. He’d sweat, toss and turn as the poison worked its way through his pure body. The schoolmarm helped by placing wet rags on his forehead. It was the least she could do, being responsible for his misery. Eventually, as the town’s one and only rooster crowed at dawn, our hero would open his eyes and we’d sit back in our seats and breathe again. He was going to make it. Everything was right with the world.

Back then, the town’s people would organize a posse and hunt the rustlers down. In simpler days, people had a basic understanding of who to attach blame to when bad things happened. Sure, a few of the more confused went looking for the snake but most understood who the real culprits were.

If you believe that this is only the fading recollections of a few aging movie fans, you’d be wrong. This scene set the framework for our future view of the world.

For eventually, the town people of today (The 99%) will organize and go after the rustlers (The 1%). Sure, the rustlers are blaming the snake (government) for all our problems but that only works for so long.

Note: If you’re curious, the picture is of Tom Mix and his horse, Tony.  Mix filmed many a cowboy epic in San Miguel County during the last century.  But don’t ask us why he’s sitting backwards on Tony.  Some things are better not known.


Class Warfare

History doesn’t simply repeat itself, it stutters.

Facing an increasingly difficult election in 2012, Obama finally announced a new policy designed to heat up his base by asking the wealthiest to help out (Can you spare a dime, brother?) But, if his past performance is any indication, it’s more titillation than a serious engagement (remember, he has a problem with commitment). The loyal opposition immediately denounced the new tax plan as class warfare. Well, duh! What else could they say? Of course it’s class warfare. Since Reagan, the middle class has been fighting a losing battle to survive.

And this is where history begins to stutter. You see, this isn’t the first time the wealthiest have accused a president of class warfare. Franklin Roosevelt was called a traitor to his class when he initiated the New Deal in 1932.

Roosevelt came to office at a desperate time, in the fourth year of a worldwide depression that raised the gravest doubts about the future of Western civilization. In the summer of 1932, economist John Maynard Keynes, when asked by a journalist, whether there had ever been anything before like the Great Depression, replied: “Yes, it was called the Dark Ages, and it lasted four hundred years.”

It’s been said that J. P. Morgan’s family kept newspapers with pictures of Roosevelt out of his sight, and in one Connecticut country club…mention of Roosevelt’s name was forbidden as a health measure against apoplexy. In Kansas, a man went down into his cyclone cellar and announced he would not emerge until Roosevelt was out of office. (While he was there, his wife ran off with a traveling salesman.) Does that craziness sound familiar? Tea, anyone?

Roosevelt, his critics maintained, had shown himself to be a man without principles. H. L. Mencken said, “If he became convinced tomorrow that coming out for cannibalism would get him the votes he so sorely needs, he would begin fattening a missionary in the White House backyard come Wednesday.”

And poor Eleanor Roosevelt– J. Edgar Hoover, the cross-dressing FBI chief, kept a 6000 page file on her subversive activities which consisted primarily of teaching poor children. How much more traitorous can you be?

Point being: The “classes” have fought wars before and it’s  a worthy fight.  So prepare yourself for that shrill chorus that’s sure to begin in  boardrooms across America. We suggest earplugs. Warfare is so loud.


The Dogs of Wall Street

During the 1971 Mayday protest in Washington DC, the dogs pledged their allegiance to the riot police and arrived with an attitude. If you were stoned or crazy enough to attempt petting a snarling bag of fur, you’d pull back your hand minus a digit or two. How things have changed in the last forty years. The dogs have wised up.

This weekend, the Occupy Santa Fe demonstration came off without a single mauling. For somehow, the demonstrators talked the dogs into changing sides, to abandon the privileged 1% and follow the 99% . Maybe the shift in position was caused by a rumor, spreading like mange, that Kibbles n Bits was raising prices again, a surcharge on every bowl. Purina didn’t fare much better – derivative trading in beef organs, we believe.

And in a show of solidarity, many dogs allowed their masters to carry signs condemning unfettered corporate greed.

While the more opportunistic carried messages like, “ Will do tricks for treats”.

Either way, it was a good day for all. And we’re glad to have them on our side.


Columbus Day…or, Can you Move your Ship, it’s on My Foot

Columbus day is the day we unpack our telescope and scan the heavens for planets we can migrate to. Through the years, our search has become a tradition like strangling turkeys for Thanksgiving, or mutilating pumpkins on Halloween. At this point in our life, we’re not particular as long as the inhabitants of our new home are friendly. But if given a choice, we’d prefer little pale people with big round eyes over lizard fangs dripping acid but that’s just us.

For on Columbus day, the inhabitants of this planet go insane for twenty-four hours, arguing over who discovered America. First, the Native Americans storm out of their casinos claiming they were here before anyone. Then the Jersey-shore crowd put down their forks and chime in. Our ancestors, the Vikings, poke their head out from under piles of blankets and point to Newfoundland on the map. Recently, even the Chinese have entered the bidding war to claim first rights.

This would be all good fun if left there but you know that won’t happen. Before the time it takes to say Wounded Knee, the accusations over who committed the worse atrocities begin. That’s when we climb to the attic to unpack the telescope.

So here’s our solution to all the bickering: we would do away with Columbus Day and rename the holiday Atrocity Day. Think about it. It does have a nice ring and the rest of the world wouldn’t feel left out. To be fair, we could set up a panel of psychopaths as judges…

That’s all for now. We’ve spotted a planet that looks promising – hope it’s not inhabited by humans.


…and the Resistence Begins?

You’d go blind trying to find a trace of this story in your local home-grown newspaper. So it’s no surprise that cable along with the network news and most of the blogoshere have ignored the unfolding drama.

But many in the know say it’s the start of the revolution. So, just in case, mark you calendar, September 17th, 2011. The day a group of people with no particular religion, political view, or even commonly held beliefs in personal hygiene decided to occupy Wall Street.

In the old days, we’d call this a protest since it’s got all the ingredients for civil disobedience – scantily glad buxom women, bare chested men, and beefy Irish cops breaking the heads of all in attendance. But putting the carnival and fractured skulls aside , what this group of mismatched souls have in common is the belief that 99% of us have gotten the shaft by the remaining 1%.

It started with this message: This is the eleventh communiqué from the 99 percent. We are occupying Wall Street. We will not be moved. https://occupywallst.org/

Makes us wonder what happened to the first ten communiques although we know from experience that the start of most revolutions are a bit disorganized.

So, if you’re feeling left out or the slightest rebellious, there’s an Occupy Wall Street coming to a town near you. It’s rumored that on October 6th, the 99% are planning to occupy Albuquerque. But rest assured, we’ll keep our shirts on.