I TRIED. GOD KNOWS I TRIED.
I came so, so close. This was going to be the first column in a long time without my taking a dig at Barack Obama, who is on a path to become the worst president in our nation’s history.
So what if he wants to redistribute the nation’s wealth. So what if we are going to have a tax burden that will destroy the future of our children and grandchildren. At least, I reasoned, he hasn’t done anything to threaten our lives. Then I opened The New York Times and read: “Obama To Limit Scenarios To Use Nuclear Options.”
“The new strategy” overrules “the initial position of his own defense secretary” and is, according to The Times, “a sharp shift from those of his predecessors.” We will not “use nuclear weapons against nonnuclear states … even if they attacked the United States with biological or chemical weapons or launched a crippling cyberattack.”
Let me get this straight: Obama is taking a policy that has kept us safe in the nuclear age and he’s going to change it? Is this Obama’s famous “Speak softly and carry no stick” policy? Or is Obama telling the world he will be turning the other cheek even before we get slapped.
BROTHER, CAN YOU SPARE A DIME?
So I was walking on 61st Street and Madison Avenue in New York City when a healthy looking young man (whom I’ve seen hustling money from strangers for the last five years) walked up to me with his hand out and said, “Hello, my friend, can you spare a little change?”
Usually I keep walking, but this time I stopped. “No,” I said. “It’s bad enough I have to pay for your health care.” The look on his face—priceless.
SAVING THE POPE
The New York Times and a lot of other people have come after Pope Benedict XVI in anger over the Catholic Church’s past sex abuse scandals. I have a simple solution that can end the controversy.
First, the church must compensate all tormented victims of this abuse. But even that won’t change the anger until one thing happens. The Pope must issue a statement in Latin: Minatur Innocentibus Qui Parcit Nocentibus. “He threatens the innocent who spares the guilty.” Then he must add in English, “It’s time someone takes the fall.”
Then I want to see, on the front page of the New York Post, a picture of a pervert priest being led off by the police with his hands cuffed behind his back. My friend Ms. Pat Shaine, a good Catholic school graduate, wants the Post headline to read: “Priest Collared.” Then we can all know something is finally being done. Priests who molest children will no longer be protected and sent to prey on children in another parish. Then the healing can begin.
My wife, the beautiful Judy Licht, doesn’t listen to me. For the past quarter century, at just about this time of the year, she suggests we go for a bike ride. She keeps forgetting I hate bike riding. Although slightly better than beach walking, bike riding is another one of those overrated activities that all of us seem compelled to engage in during the spring, summer and autumn seasons.
I have what I call the “Jerry Della Femina Helmet Rule,” which I follow closely. It applies to bike riding, and it reads like this: “Any pastime requiring that you wear a helmet so that you don’t crack your head when you fall off the apparatus you are riding for pleasure (be it a bike or rollerblades or a horse or a motorcycle) is not an activity worth pursuing by a sane, sensible person.”
Of all the activities mentioned above, the bicycle is perhaps the most dangerous. Women find bike rides romantic. Men, it turns out, may find bike riding devastating. In a New York Times article, bike riding was cited just behind diabetes as one of the leading reasons for male impotence. It seems the constant pressure of a bicycle seat causes a problem in the … er … er … lower part of a man’s body.
Now, before some of you men panic and destroy your bikes, let’s look at this calmly and reasonably.
First of all, I’m not talking about the pleasant “Let’s bike to Further Lane or on some one-lane country road and tie up traffic for a mile” type of social biking. I’m talking about those weirdos who wake up on a Saturday morning in East Hampton and jump on their bikes, ride to Bangor, Maine, and are back in East Hampton by evening.
This kind of intense riding is great for weirdo bikers’ hearts, which will continue beating even when they’re 120 years old, at the expense of another vital organ, which will cease to function before they’re 35. I say, who wants a healthy, beating heart when another part of the body is dead but not buried?
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