Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Trump wonders “Is the Pope Catholic?”

By Dan Sullivan

Having forced President Obama to cough up proof of his American citizenship, billionaire-businessman Donald Trump is now casting a suspicious gaze on the credentials of another world leader, Pope Benedict XVI.

“Is the Pope Catholic? I’d like to find out,” Trump said today.

“How much do we really know about this guy?” The Donald asked me during an exclusive interview this afternoon.

“We know he’s changed his name. His birth name was Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger. That doesn’t prove he’s not a Catholic. Lots of people change their names. But it does make you wonder,” The Donald said.

Trump says his suspicions were first aroused when he sent investigators to the Vatican last week, who reported the Pope’s baptismal and confirmation records were missing.

"Well I've been told very recently that the baptismal and confirmation certificates are missing," The Donald said. "I've been told they’re not there or they don’t exist. And if that's the case it's a big problem."

When asked about his sources, The Donald refused to say where he was getting his information from, saying the message, not the messenger is the real issue.

“You have to ask yourself, why doesn’t the guy just produce his baptismal certificate? Why doesn’t he release his confirmation certificate? That would settle the question once and for all.”

Trump denied his investigation into the Pope’s credentials to serve as Christ’s Vicar on Earth was just a stunt to promote his presidential aspirations or his reality TV show ‘The Celebrity Apprentice.’

He also denied any anti-Catholic bias in the investigation, saying, “I like the guy” and that he hopes the Pope can prove he’s Catholic and end all the controversy over the issue.

"I'd love to have him show his baptismal or confirmation certificate," Trump told a reporter. "And to be honest with you, I hope he can."

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

21st Century Paranoid Blues (alternate take)

21st Century Paranoid Blues
copyright 2010 Dan Sullivan

Private eyes eyeballing
Everyone they meet
Sensors in the hallways
And cameras on the street
Mailmen sending tips
To the F. B. I.
Men with black binoculars
Scanning the sky

I don't mean to panic you
I'm only tellin' the truth
It ain't paranoia if they're coming after you

Judge in his chamber
Someone wake him from his nap
There's three men in suits
And they're planting wire taps
A man on TV says
"If you break it you own it"
They listen to your calls
And you don't even know it

I don't mean to panic you
I'm only tellin' the truth
It ain't paranoia if they're coming after you

A bug on your computer
Sees every move you make
They can watch where you go
See every road you take
Satellites track you
In your home and in your car
An app on your cell phone
Tells them right where you are

I don't mean to panic you
I'm only tellin' the truth
All this paranoia and it's coming after you

Drama queens and Brahmins
Chanting in a foreign tongue
Hobos takin' No Doz
In the yard with railroad bums
They're headin' for the highways
They're leaving by train
The Bankers took the money
And they made their getaway

I don't mean to panic you
I'm only tellin' the truth
All this paranoia and it's coming after you

Houses underwater
In Detroit and New Orleans
Don't go blaming God
For what happens on the street
No one went to prison
Who would ever believe
A jail could be so crowded
There'd be no room for those thieves

I don't mean to panic you
I'm only tellin' the truth
All this paranoia and it's coming after you

Clark Kent eyes
Pat downs and watch lists
Old ladies and babies treated
Like their terrorists
Better not act annoyed or
You’ll get the evil eye
If you look suspicious
They’ll pull you out of line

I don't mean to panic you
I'm only tellin' the truth
It ain't paranoia if they're coming after you

All this paranoia and it's coming after you
It ain't paranoia if they're coming after you

Friday, April 22, 2011


By Dan Sullivan
April 22, 2011
The current Republican proposal before Congress to eliminate Medicare has been denounced by Democrats as a heartless and cruel plan to rob the elderly of health care in their final years. And perhaps it is, at least in its current configuration. But with a minor amendment the plan imagined by the Christian Congressman from Wisconsin, Paul Ryan - what he calls “The Path to Prosperity” - could not only ease the deficit and the financial burden of the taxpayer but also provide Americans with decent health care, food and shelter in their old age as well.

The way to do this is quite simple. I propose we bring back the Poor House.

Government welfare systems such as Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid have been in place for so long that most Americans take for granted the government’s involvement in these safety net programs. They forget that prior to the establishment of these programs there were old people that needed assistance. It would have been a cruel society that left the elderly to fend for themselves. So Poor Houses were established to provide food, shelter and health care for paupers and those too old or without the wherewithal to care for themselves.

These Poor Houses, or Work Houses as they were sometimes called, provided shelter and food while preserving the dignity of the residents by providing them work in return for the largesse they received. In America, they were often located on farms, where the paupers could raise their own food. And they were quite popular with the poor folk who’d fallen on hard times, as noted by Jack London, writing from London in 1902.

“The workhouses have no space left in which to pack the starving crowds who are craving every day and night at their doors for food and shelter. All the charitable institutions have exhausted their means in trying to raise supplies of food for the famishing residents of the garrets and cellars of London lanes and alleys. The quarters of the Salvation Army in various parts of London are nightly besieged by hosts of the unemployed and the hungry for whom neither shelter nor the means of sustenance can be provided.”

The American Poor Houses never achieved the level of popularity of the English Poor Houses, but they were certainly more popular than some of the makeshift programs they replaced, one of which auctioned off the pauper seeking assistance to the lowest bidder, who obtained the services of the poor man or woman in return for food, shelter and medical care.

Of course no one, not even a Christian Congressman, would want to see us go back to the days of indentured servitude when we have the Poor House as a model of dignified, civilized care for the elderly.

To preserve his or her self-respect and dignity, the elderly accepted by the Poor House would be required to work, just as they were in the Poor Houses of old, but only to the extent their age and health allowed.

Besides providing assistance and dignity to the elderly, another advantage of the Poor House would be to ease the financial burden on the taxpayer. With Poor Houses providing shelter and food, serious cutbacks could be made to Social Security. Such savings could be returned to the taxpayer in the form of lower income and corporate taxes, or perhaps even used to help assure the long-term solvency of the program for those who really need it.

Make no mistake about it, any reestablishment of the Poor House system would still require some taxpayer and government assistance. There’s no such thing as a free lunch. The rich can’t forever be expected to support the poor. But such financial assistance would be dramatically less than what is spent today propping up the strained Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid systems.
“The Path to Prosperity” promised in the Republican budget is nothing more than a Dead End Street. Democrats have already stamped it Dead On Arrival in the Senate.

It’s time to head down the real “Path to Prosperity.” It’s time to bring back the Poor House.