Friday, December 23, 2011


In the past few years I have been openly critical, even downright churlish, in regards to our President Barack Obama. I have lambasted his economic policies, socialized medicine plan, foreign apology statements, and inept leadership. But perhaps I have been too harsh. Maybe there are a few silver linings in the dark clouds of gloom he has blown over this nation. And I as I look over his record and its effect on my life, yes, there are many things to be thankful for these days.

Take unemployment. At the beginning of his administration, Mr. Obama boldly promised that if his stimulus plan was immediately passed, the jobless rate would never exceed eight percent, Today, as it hovers between nine and ten percent and as they count people who've given up looking for a job as employed, we reap the blessings of his foresight. Re-wording an old song, 'when I had a job, my pockets did jingle'. Now, as those pockets are empty, they last longer. No large quarters, pompous nickels, or shy dimes to tear them apart. In fact, all of my clothing from assembled-in-Mexico pants to Chinese shirts lasts longer without money or pocket protectors wearing things out.

One great thing about being unemployed, is I no longer have a job I have to go to. That means sleeping late on cold mornings and doing the siesta on hot summer afternoons. No frozen jalopies or sweltering cars for me. No, sir. And the great thing, people who DO have to get up every morning and trudge to work are working for ME. My unemployment check arrives like a Capistrano swallow every week. My only complaint is having to go down to the bank to cash my unemployment check. What a hassle to have to stand in line with one or two people in front of me.

Another fantastic aspect of the Obama Administration is that, thanks to his way of mulling over issues, you can blame others for your problems. Used to be people looked down their noses at grown-up crybabies. Now they're celebrated like foreign dignitaries. Lose your home? Blame the banks. Repossessed your car? It's avaricious General Motors fault. Can't afford a tin of gourmet coffee? Pull out your index finger from its pocket holster and aim it squarely at any grubby grocer you pass. Have to buy an aspirin? It's Big Pharma's fault you have to wait until they're on sale to bring a bottle to the checkout counter. Even if you break into your neighbor's house you'll get a pass. It's society and the economy's fault!

Finally, of all the many things I will give thanks for this year, perhaps the best of all is that I no longer have to deal with friends of the Democrat/Liberal/Progressive/Socialist persuasion. Do you know how good it feels not having to listen to their childish prattle at their dull parties? The Obama Administration is worth its weight in gold for having given me the courage to jettison the entire lot. No longer do I have to walk in to someone's home and hear them boast that they've bought a new antique roadster or Amish end table or Irish toaster. What a relief. Shee, you don't see me go all Lady Gaga every time a polyp busts out on my neck, do you?

Well, President Obama may be doing many things, he may be tanking the economy, he may be creating a whole universe of disdain for us ugly Americans all around the world but, darn it, there are still a few things he's given us that's made life worth looking forward to aside from November 6, 2012.

Bless him for that.

by © Clyde James Aragon

from "Full Frontal Stupidity" -
see more of him at*

Thursday, December 8, 2011


As Occupy Wall Street and its myriad offshoots wind down for the winter, its presence has excited a sector of the economy that's been in the doldrums ever since gasoline hit two dollars a gallon. That sector is the domestic tourism industry.

One of the things we've learned from the Occupy Wall Street crowd, aside from civil unrest being a great way to get your face on TV, is that once you've become feared and encamped in a public place, no one wants to move you. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa of Los Angeles issued several mild requests asking the protesters of Occupy Los Angeles to leave but few chose to heed his pleas. On November 30 he summoned the courage and threw them out. Likewise, Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York tried all manner of cajolement over weeks to get Occupy Wall Street people to exit Zucotti Park. Finally, on November 17 he had to pull them out like a bad tooth. These scenes were repeated in city after city with eviction notices being backed up by police truncheons.

Now this may seem like the Occupy movement has been sent packing and in a way it has but it also means that the many civic centers, town plazas, and public parks where demonstrators milled about are deserted and ready for Re-Occupation!

Look, we've had many Occupy franchises operating like Occupy Wall Street in New York, Occupy Los Angeles, Occupy Baltimore, Occupy Boston, Occupy Houston, Occupy Albuquerque, etc. etc. etc. Through the Internet, Facebook, Twitter, and who-knows-what an entire recreation system has been inadvertently created. With a little tweaking we have the start of the new Occupy America Travel Reservation Network where, with a few clicks of the mouse, you'll be able to contact whatever city you want to visit and reserve a coveted downtown spot for your camping gear.

Of course, you'll want to book your destinations early. Some towns and cities fill up faster than others and at certain times of the year. For example, Occupy Phoenix may be great in the January but you may not want to be there in August. And who doesn't want to be in Occupy D.C. in springtime when the cherry trees are flowering?

Now there are many advantages to traveling under the protest banner of Occupy America. Some of the great deals include never having to clean up after yourself before you leave like you might have to in a state or federal campground. When the visitors at Occupy Los Angeles were cleared off in November, they left behind 30 tons of garbage. And get this, they didn't have to pick up a thing! Same with the 70 dump trucks of trash from Occupy Portland's campsite and 26 loads they hauled away from Occupy Wall Street's Zucotti Park. All the clean up done by grateful local municipalities glad to see them go. Is this a great country or what?

Also, you get round-the-clock security. The police are always stopping by to check things out and see how things are going. Sometimes they even go undercover and dress like an Occupy tourist just to satisfy themselves that no one is in any danger. Sweet, huh?

But, as an Occupy America traveler, you do have to act the part. You can't just pull up to some city in your Winnebago, plug your TV into a wall socket, roll out the recliner, and start enjoying yourself. No, you need to have a cause to protest against while you're there and the equipment to make yourself heard. Otherwise people might think you were a homeless person or, worse, a Tea Partier.

Get in the spirit, put batteries in the bullhorn, make a tie-dyed T-shirt or, better, break out the cardboard and write a message on it outlining your outrage against your favorite outrage. Maybe you wan to complain about the lack of bicyclists on the road, or about the outrageously high price of dog shampoo at the pet store, or, the one concern that has so many Americans up in arms these days, the use of chicken as an ingredient in the pepperoni of frozen pizzas. Chicken? What the hell are these people trying to do? Poison us?

So, for the traveler, Occupy America stands to take the stress out of vacations. And when you get down to it, isn't that what at least 99 percent of us want?
by © Clyde James Aragon
from "Full Frontal Stupidity" -
see more of him at*