by New Brunswick Tourism on Flickr.Saint John River Valley in New Brunswick, Canada.

Source: by New Brunswick Tourism on Flickr.Saint John River Valley in New Brunswick, Canada.

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Step Right Up to the Ship!

Many of you have read what Dr. Ben Carson, now the United Secretary of Health and Human Services said about slaves being immigrants.  Sorry the sarcasm meter is having a fit.

I will be as serious as I can possibly be with this, though my warped sense of humor will find its way in.  Yes, Monty Python’s Life of Brian is useful to steer this.

Picture this as a story.  A twelve year old boy, I’ll call him Kofi, is working the land in what is now Sierra Leone.  It’s hard work hoeing the land in the hot sun.  His already hard day was made harder, when two twenty somethings grabbed Kofi and held him down.  A third man buckled shackles on his wrists and ankles.

Kofi looked at them as though they were crazy.  “If this is a joke, it’s not funny, take this off!”

The man who set the shackles, lifted him up roughly and marched him into a line with other people.  They were yoked together and pointed on trails heading toward the setting sun.

Kofi, was always warned about venturing away from the safety of the village.  Here, he didn’t even disobey and he was in trouble.

For several days, they marched, until they came to Bunce Island, and the large fort built by Europeans.

Another black man, dressed differently, stood in front, with a whip.  He called out to the crowd,  “We are taking you as immigrants, to a new land, where your dreams can come true.”

Most just stared.  Kofi may only be twelve years old, but he has more common sense then many, including and possibly especially the man speaking.  He called out, “Oh really?  If we are going to a land where dreams come true, why the chains?  Why did you have to knock me down and drag me for days to this place?”

Several men knocked him down.  Kofi got up and just glared.  The man continued.  “My name is Dr. Ben Carson, I am the United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, and after a medical exam, those ships will take you to the Promised Land.”

Kofi muttered, “The only promised land is letting me go home.”

He met the first white men, he’d ever seen.  They grabbed him and felt him over to see how healthy he was.  “Do I fascinate you?”  Kofi snarled at one.

Dr. Carson went up to Kofi.  “You don’t yet realize the opportunity you’re being given to go to a land of dreams.”

“Yeah, well you didn’t answer my question the first time, if it is such a dream place, why am I wearing iron?”

“Insolent boy!”  Dr. Carson smacked Kofi across his face.  “Throw this brat in the hold!”

After a miserable voyage across water, Kofi could not fathom, he was landed in Charleston, South Carolina and brought to a nearby plantation.

At night, Kofi had plenty of time to think about home and the similar landscape and heat to where he was now.  Now let me get this straight, he thought.  I keep hoping to wake up from this so called dream.  The only immigrant dream here, is I am working for some people who have no blood, I am doing the same work as I would at home, except I’m not benefiting.  Some immigrant dream this turned out to be.  Dr. Carson says he covers Housing and Urban Development.  I had to build my own housing, and what is urban?  I would love to see him again to see what I can do to him.  Immigrant dream?  You have to wonder about some people.


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Recipe: Strawberry Cheesecake Streusel Muffins

Jade Mays

Recipe: Strawberry Cheesecake Streusel Muffins

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Naughty Traffic School

I got a speeding ticket.  I’ll be blunt.  Quiet street, no other traffic, this time did not put the cruise control on and was bee bopping along.  Next thing I knew the siren behind me.  Pulled over.  Was stunned when the cop told me I was twenty one miles over the limit.  That’s felony speeding in Arizona, and I could’ve been arrested.  When he told me how fast I was going, my reaction was, “Yikes!”  The cop, after running my clean license told me just that, I could have been arrested, but he wasn’t going to do that.  I could pay the ticket or go to traffic school, which in my silly sense of humor I call, “Naughty Traffic School.”

I still had to pay money, but less than the ticket, no points on the license and no insurance increase.

Four hours on a Saturday morning is a price worth paying.  It was held in a small  ballroom in a local hotel.

I expected a lot of annoyed, hung over teenagers.  Most were older, several war vets, and many had not had tickets for decades, (including me).  Others had been to traffic school before.

The teacher, a passionate man, who was tough to interrupt for questions, taught us some useful things about traffic safety.  Mostly, it was how much you have to pay attention driving and how most of us drive on autopilot, violate the law and we were caught.  Almost a case of, You’re selfish morons, but at least had the smarts to come to this class.  He had a sense of humor, but a grim view of American society as selfish and mean.

I did learn some things about defensive driving, but it just made driving more of a hassle and a job.

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Why We Still Need James Bond.

He may need Viagra now, but the trigger finger still works.  He’s the man with the golden gun, but we still need him.

M calls him out of his retirement at the Playboy Mansion.  For the game is afoot.  General Flynn has resigned and left for Moscow.

He laughed like a loon, as he fled to the Moscow neighborhood, now called Snowdonville.

M glared at Bond.  “Your nation needs you.”

“Of course my nation needs me!”  He hadn’t had his first martini yet, he was grumpy, and not his usual suave self.  Then, in a gravelly voice not yet awake, he growled, trying to sound like Churchill, without the cigar.  “The Russian Bear, ma’am, is still a bear.”  The name of their secret service may change, but Russia is Russia, Czarist, Communist, or Putinist.  What is my mission, Ma’am?”

“Get Goldfinger!  I mean Flynn!



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How Patriots Train.

Joanna Harker first tried to interview Coach Bill Belicheck at Castle Belicheck in Foxborough, Massachusetts.  He unceremoniously ejected her.  She wasn’t one to take defeat easily.

Joanna made her struggle to learn about the Patriots public.  Most New Englanders laughed it off.  No one gets that close, they snickered.

People around Foxborough got used to seeing her around.  They were polite to her face, but laughed behind her back.

Joanna was noticing the Patriots weren’t using the practice field.  Of course, no one in town would say anything.  Then one day, Joanna was near the practice field, when she saw some buses.  At a distance, she watched the Patriots players and coaches pile in.  Where are they going?  She wondered.

She immediately got in her rental car and started it up.  The caravan  headed up Interstate 95 through Boston, where she fought to keep up and out on 128 to 95 and into New Hampshire, then Maine.  Where are we going, this is insane?

The trip finally ended in a wooded clearing with dormitories in the distance.  Joanna prepared for a long stay, calling the BBC office in New York to tell them where she was, according to GPS.  “I need a camera crew up here, I found a secret Patriots practice place.”

Someone with a sense of humor said, “It’s not secret anymore, you found it and told us where it is.”

“Very funny, just get someone up here!”

“It’ll be a few hours.”

“So quit chatting and get here, I need to find a hotel.  I will let you know when I get settled.”


Joanna, now knew where they were, but needed a place to stay.  Many closed in the Winter.  She finally found a place along 95, where most of the guests, were truckers heading to Canada.  The staff didn’t ask why she was there, and she didn’t volunteer.  As nightfall approached, her camera crew arrived.  No one asked, why the hotel was full of British accents.  This is Maine.  People mind their business.

Joanna asked her camera crew how the trip was?

“No problem except for moose on the road.”

Early the following morning, the camera crew followed Joanna to the clearing.

The site horrified them as they stood in the woods on the edge.  Moose heads nailed to trees.

With zoom lenses, the amazed cameramen whispered, “They’re practicing barefoot in the snow.  Then they noticed the bloody footprints.  Those who read about George Washington’s ragtag army at Valley Forge will get the irony of well paid athletes barefoot in the snow.  All you can ask is why they would put up with it?

They suddenly heard a command.  “Release the moose.”

Suddenly, angry male moose were charging at offensive and defensive linemen, who were using them as tackling dummies.  Sometimes the moose won though.  Antlers sometimes win with shoulder pads.  You could hear Belichek across the field.  “Hard training makes easy playing!”

“There’s a quote,”  Joanna smirked.

“Only if we get out of here alive,: the cameraman muttered.

“Let’s go,” Joanna snapped.

They turned to leave, well several huge linemen surrounded their vehicles.  “Coach wants to see you!”  One of them snapped.

“Our ambassador will hear of this outrage!  You cannot detain us!  Out of our way!”  Joanna with her shouting tried to sound confident, but the occasional squeak in her voice betrayed her fear.

“You can leave when Coach says you can, without your cameras and notebooks.  Let’s go!!  The linemen put burly hands on the camera crew, a smaller safety led Joanna, who tried to kick him.

“Don’t resist, or Gisele gets you.”

“Bring her on!”

“Might be your funeral.”

“No wonder you’re the most hated team.  You’re all mad!”

“Might be true, but we win.”

They were led to a conference room.  Coach Belichek walked in.

“Miss Harker, have you ever seen Goldfinger?  Once an accident, twice a warning.  I wont have you in my affairs again.

“Coach, why wont you or your players speak with the media?  People are curious…”

“About our practices?  Miss Harker, I invented Spygate, I won’t be caught at it.”

Joanna noticed a bookshelf.  The books were not about football, but Ancient Rome.

Coach noticed her looking.  ” You will leave your cameras and notes.  I will autograph these and give them to you.  You seem like an intelligent woman.  You read these and you will understand our team and style.  Enjoy your trip.

The BBC crew were escorted back to their vehicles.


To be continued.









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Build That Wall!

Donald Trump was at a Boston Red Sox game, with supporters of his campaign and business associates.  He was mumbling about the primitive facilities and said a little too loudly   That brought angry looks from Red Sox fans, who protect their beloved 1912 ballpark.


Trump was watching the field, as the Sox played the Yankees.  Then he looked over at the left field wall, the Green Monster, thirty seven feet high.  

“That’s it!”  Trump exclaimed all excited.  “A wall with Mexico!”  

A murmur spread through the Fenway crowd like fans doing the wave, only darker.  It was like schoolchildren playing telephone.  By the time it got around the ballpark, the rumor was that Trump wanted to buy the Green Monster and ship it away.  Not a way to win friends and influence people among New Englanders.  

Of course, the Boston Globe reported it.  “Nasty press,” Mr. Trump cried.  

Then Mr. Trump’s campaign picked up.  Someone gave him a basic intro about the Great Wall of China.  The idea went further in Mr. Trump’s head.  “The wall isn’t finished.”

An aide looked at him baffled.  “Not finished?”  

Mr. Trump grumbled, “It ends in the middle of the desert and doesn’t surround the country completely.”

“Sir, parts of the wall are over two thousand years old.  It was only meants to keep barbarians from invading from the deserts.  The rest of China is protected by sea, mountains and jungle.”

    “After Mexico, I want to surround China.  They cannot export their goods to us.  I also bought some construction companies, it’ll be huge!  We’ll start with Mexico.”

When Donald Trump becomes President, he speaks with the Mexican President.  I suspect the call went something like this:

President Trump:  You’re gonna pay for the wall.

President Pena:  To quote my predecessor, Mr. Fox, we’re not paying for your fuckin wall!

President Trump:  Oh yes you are!

(Sounds like little kids on a playground, doesn’t it)?

President Pena:  How are you gonna make us do it?

President Trump:  Your illegals in our country will have their remittances taken before I throw them out.

President Pena:   You do that.  Meanwhile, I will make sure your winter vegetables are expensive.  Six million Americans have jobs depending on NAFTA.  You keep saying, we steal your jobs.  You are wrong.  Maybe I will pay for the wall…In Pesos!  You helped to devalue the Peso.  See how much wall you can build!  Vaya con dios Amigo!


President Trump:  The SOB hung up on me.

The President realizes he can’t get Mexico to pay for the wall, and Congress won’t provide money.  The President went straight to the American people via a GoFundMe site.  When that didn’t work, he threw up his hands, and said “I tried.”


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