Herr Drumpf

By Jim Hagarty

After Donald Trump’s unhinged speech Monday after the mass shooting in Florida, where he took credit for predicting it, blamed the entire 1.6 members of Islam and vowed retribution and hinted President Obama may be helping and sympathizing with terrorists, someone commented that she thought the speech sounded much better in the original German.

Cream Rising to the Top

By Jim Hagarty

Paul McCartney once said that a good song will always “out.” In the music business, the cream rises to the top. I think this is true in every business and in life generally. Build a better mousetrap and they will beat a path to your door. I have found this to be true with restaurants. People will find a good restaurant no matter where it is located or how much it does or doesn’t advertise. There are several in our area, completely off the beaten path, sitting next to a cornfield, hard to find with GPS, not located on any map – and their parking lots are full. Do what you do and do it well. We will find you.

And what of the songs that never “out.” McCartney himself has written dozens that are still waiting to “out.” Many never will. Well, then, below all that cream is the lesser creamy milk. It is still valuable. The chirps in the forest tally in the millions before the day is done. Some chirpers probably outdid the others. But it takes all the chirps to make a chorus. It would be boring to walk by the forest and hear only that most excellent chirper doing her thing all day long.

Don’t write a hit. Write a song. Bake a pie. Invent a mousetrap.

Whether any of those things rise to the top, is not up to you.

And this is where the “out” comes in. It is “out” of your hands.

Kissin’ Cousins and Shooting

By Jim Hagarty

Gun-loving right-wing nutjobs in the United States are out of control. We have them in Canada too.

They are promoting the insane idea that not until every single person in the country is armed with a gun, will citizens be truly safe.

You go to church. There are 300 people in attendance. All 300, including the children – why leave the children defenceless? – and the pastor and the choir members are armed and ready to start blasting away. At the shopping mall, all 2,000 people are carrying a gun. In the movie theatre, all 500 movie lovers are armed and ready to take out an intruder.

These guns all need to be loaded or they are useless. You don’t turn off your phone when you are expecting a call. The guns all need to have their safety features disabled. They all need to be ready to be activated at a moment’s notice.

I am outside hanging up my laundry. But I have left my gun in the garage. A terrorist or simple madman hops my fence and comes at me. Boom, I’m dead.

So I need to carry my gun absolutely everywhere I go. Just as I already do with my cellphone. I will need a holster. With my phone, I already become frantic if I am in the shower and it is on the kitchen table. With the right-wing call for omnipresent arms, I will not even be able to take the risk of leaving my pistol on the bathroom sink. That is six feet away. A terrorist/madman could easily break into the bathroom and before I can get to the sink, boom, I’m dead. Water-resistant guns are the only answer. I need to be able to carry it with me into the shower and into every other place I go. Otherwise, I am a sitting duck.

This is all, of course, in response to another mass shooting, this one the worst in U.S. history.

In 1996, Australia suffered its worst mass shooting. Thirty-five died. This followed years of mass shootings with dozens killed. The right-wing government got tough. Brought in comprehensive, strict gun laws and bans on certain weapons.

There have been no mass shootings in Australia since 1996.

That is the way non-crazy people do it. It is working.

Crazy and evil are often kissin’ cousins.

Shootin’ cousins too.

At Last, a Possible Perfect Pet

By Jim Hagarty

This why I love newspapers. In the Toronto daily a while back, there was a story and photo about rare and endangered reptiles. Aside from the potential tragedy in losing these creatures to the hostile world we’ve created, the details were fascinating, especially about a giant salamander.

Called an olm, the creature was wandering the earth before Tyrannosaurus Rex showed up. Now that’s a survivor! Imagine outliving the dinosaurs. It’s a shame it appears as though they might not outlive the human race. Given our penchant for self-destruction, on the other hand, they might yet be around to someday reminisce about the time when people inhabited the earth.

Besides being old, the olm is blind and very big. But what caught my eye most about the creature is the fact that it can go 10 years without food. I have known bachelors who achieved almost the same amazing stat but it is nevertheless incredible that there is a creature on earth which only needs a meal once every decade. This guy is well on his way to being the perfect housepet, with a feature such as that.

However, the newspaper story did not detail how much the salamander eats when he finally sits down to a meal after the 10 years are up. My guess is a seven-course meal would not do the trick. I’d be throwin’ a few pies his way too, maybe a gallon or two of cider.

Following all that, I would not want to be around to witness the belch from a creature who had just finished eating his first solid meal in 3,652 days. Nor experience any of his other bodily functions.

Also endangered (sadly) is a purple frog the size of a pin which lives four metres down in the earth. I would say it’s a toss-up which creature devours more – an animal which can go 10 years without food or another which eats often but is only the size of a pin to begin with.

Here are the eight other most endangered amphibians in need of help to survive: The limbless Sagalla caecillian, South African ghost frogs, lungless Mexican salamanders, the Malagasy rainbow frog, Chile’s Darwin frog and the Betic midwife toad whose male carries fertilized eggs on its hind legs.

We humans are such an arrogant group we think we’ve got this survival thing down pat. But along with the salamander, they say there is a chipmunk which was also around when the dinosaurs roamed the planet. What stories these two old fellas could tell … Sally and Chip.

Add to that the reality that scientists are still discovering creatures – birds, fish and mammals – which they didn’t know existed and are rediscovering some that they thought had died out.

Even the most sober of newspapers can’t resist the weird and wonderful and I hope they never do give up their priceless “oddities.”

Time for a Shake Up

By Jim Hagarty
Punn Ditt Inc.

I have been fired a few times in my life. In only one of those cases, was the firing unjustified. The other times, I could see on reflection, I fired myself. A suicide by cop sort of situation.

This happens more than we know. You can’t work up the courage to quit, so you get the boss to help you out the door. This has various advantages, none of them very honourable. But at least you have brought the pain and madness to an end and youcan blame your unemployment on somebody else.

No psychologist am I, but it seems to me Donald Trump is begging to be fired. He is mot a happy camper. The Republican convention is coming up. He knows this is pretty much the last chance his party will have to get rid of him. He is begging for them to do it. He is becoming unhinged and when his latest outrageousness doesn’t bring down the hammer, he doubles down.

He is giving his party no choice. They have to fire him. He wants it. The American pulic wants it. The workd wants it. The world needs it.

But who will bell the cat? He is surrounded by mice. Sormebody has to step up and squeak loudly. It may be the last political thing that mouse ever does.

He or she will be a hero.

Secretly, even Trump will thank that person.

Suicide by GOP.