October Letters: Trump, Ukraine, teachers and beer

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It’s October already and before you know it we will be up to our ears in candy, turkey, snow, and political nonsense. In other words, life as we know it. Let’s take a look at what my fans have to ask me this month.

Dear Jim,

Has the president gone too far? Is he going to be impeached? Will he survive the fallout of his Ukraine mess? As a Trump hater, are you happy to see him in hot water? I need to know your thoughts because I rely on them to guide my thinking. Thanks. A Thoughtless Fan

Dear Thoughtless Fan,

Baby Trump over Washington, D.C. (YouTube)

I am both honored and troubled you would place your entire thought process in my hands based on my answers to your questions. First, Trump has not gone too far. Believe me, he’d go much further, and probably has, if he thought he could get away with it. There is no end to what he would do to win/steal an election.

As to surviving, he will thrive in all of this before it’s all settled. Impeachment is just going to cement his status with his loyal fans that much more. You see, when you bill yourself as essentially having no regard for our constitution, history, or political process, you find yourself followed by millions of men and women who are just as clueless as Trump is as to the institutions our country is built upon. In other words, Trump gets off on all the Kool Aid drinkers who keep gulping down his poison.

As to the last question, I’d much rather see Trump get his ass handed to him in an election because he sure is not going to have his own party stand up to him like the GOP did to Nixon. Besides, have you ever considered what a Pence presidency would look like?

Dear Jim,

Why have Democrats been reluctant to impeach Trump up until now? Why would they be reluctant after the Ukraine revelations? Confused

Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi (D.CA) (YouTube)

Dear Confused,

It’s simple, Joe Biden. You see, while Trump looks like a festering pile of insecure crap asking another nation to dig up dirt on Joe Biden, Democrats have reason for concern because Joe may well have overstepped his bounds and sought favors for his son. If Biden wins the Democrats” nomination, it becomes complicated for voters. Who is the dirtiest of the two candidates? It pretty much ends up looking like a repeat of 2016. *

Democrats need a candidate who can beat Trump which means they need someone who connects with enough voters to result in a large voter turnout. Joe vs. the Orange Volcano might not cut it if people see Biden as having sought favors for his son.

I just want to take this time to remind everyone that none of this had to happen. I ran for president in 2016 as the only candidate who had not lied to the people. I offered a clear third choice for voters who were not happy with the Don and Hillary show. I am not running in 2020 primarily because I have not come up with a new slogan or had any plastic surgery that makes me look as handsome as Biden.

Dear Jim,

As a retired teacher, what are your thoughts about the pay teachers make? Are they right to complain about being underpaid for what they do? It seems to me we should be paying them more considering the nature of their job. A Fan of Teachers

Dear Fan of Teachers,

This is not going to set well with my soon to be teaching ex friends. The truth always hurts.

Casimir Pulaski High School, Milwaukee, WI
(Tim Forkes)

I am tired of all the griping teachers do over their low salaries, papers they take home to grade, and time they put in outside of the work day. When I started teaching in the early 1980s I knew then I was going into a career that did not pay well. Nothing has changed since then.

Teachers get paid to work 180 days a year. It seems reasonable their pay reflect the fact they work three-fourths the days a nurse, welder, cop, or anyone else does. So they take home papers to grade at night. They know this going into the job. They also know they will be unemployed during the summer and are free to find a part time job, travel, or go back to school and start life over (more debt and most likely you will still be underpaid).

Teachers also have the security of tenure. Job security is nice in today’s world of uncertainty. I saw pretty much the entire middle class of the community I taught in up and disappear in 2008 when the economy crashed. I still had a job when others my age were sent packing and forced to work two or three part time jobs.

So what if teachers have college loans to pay off. So does everyone else who went to college. Teaching children is not easy and can wear on a person. Teachers become attached to their students and do a lot for them. Guess what, so do others. Nurses, cops, and firefighters go to great lengths for kids and do not make much, plus they work 240 days a year.

Kids can be rude and disrespectful while administrators can often be unsupportive and demanding. Big deal. Have you noticed the crap a clerk has to put up with from people in the checkout line? Ever see how waiters and waitresses are treated? Notice how rude people act in waiting rooms? Let’s face it, we treat people like crap.

We do not have a teacher problem in this country nearly as much as we have a cultural problem. To quote Patrick Swayze in one of the greatest films ever, Road House, which by the way try being a bouncer if you are tired of teaching, “Just be nice.”

Nice bosses take care of their employees. Nice parents raise nice kids and serve as nice role models. Nice teachers will always care and go the extra mile for students just as nice nurses, cops, firefighters, and anyone else will go the extra mile for the people they serve.

Dear Jim,

Did you commit any major faux pas in September? Seems like a month does not pass where you do not make a blunder. What was it in September?  A Fan of your Mistakes

Dear Fan of My Mistakes,

Let’s see, I failed to post a photo of me and my daughters on National Daughter’s Day. I was unaware such a day existed, probably because a day does not pass that is not a National This or National That day. These days are a joke and have become about as pointless as a professional sport playing a seven-month season only to see half their league qualify for the playoffs.

What happened to when we just had Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and National Doughnut Day? Couldn’t we just be satisfied with the big three? Now we have left hander’s day, redhead day, along with dog day, puppy day, pet day, and even cat day.

If you actually have not grown tired of all these days, then we have them all over again only they are called international (fill in the blank) ________________________ day. Toss in the “I support (fill in the blank day or include a photo of a group) __________________________.

It’s so much easier for me to not recognize all this crap and have people think of me as a cold hearted bastard. I have fewer people and groups to recognize which is how I like it.

By the way, before I forget, October 17th is National Columnists Day and International Sarcastic Writer’s Day. Please say something nice or sarcastic about me.

Dear Jim,

Are you more of an Oktoberfest or Halloween guy? Just wondering.

Dear Just Wondering,

Finally, an intelligent question I can wrap my tiny brain around. Essentially, am I a beer man or candy man? Am I a lederhosen or costume wearer? Am I a drunk or a diabetic?  Am I a supporter of German culture or pagan ways?

Each of these are questions I could sit and ponder while chewing on a Snicker’s Bar or sucking down an ice cold beer.

Personally, I like the idea of going door to door and saying, “Beer me,” and then thanking a neighbor for placing a beer into a pillow case I hold. However, this is not going to happen in my life so I have to be content knowing for the next month, there will be great sales on my favorite beer and candy and it will be up to me to consume them at my own peril.

Dear Jim,

I know you do not listen to podcasts, but is there anything on television you are watching these days you recommend? I need something new to watch.  A Bored TV Viewer

Dear Bored,

We are in the process of cutting back our TV service and will be dropping our dish or whatever it is we have. My wife has recently been signing us up for other viewing services that have strange names like Huli, Guru, or Voodoo. I can’t keep them all straight nor can I deal with all the remotes we have.

Would you stay awake to watch “Married With Children.” (YouTube)

In the end, it does not matter. I pretty much tell my wife to put on whatever she wants because no matter what it is, I will fall asleep faster than you can ask, “Is there anything good to watch on TV tonight?” Sometimes, it is even dark out when I crash and burn while she watches a show.

I am not proud to admit this, mainly because I know a real man controls the remotes, but the sad truth is, I fall asleep faster and harder than Rip Van Winkle, or is it Wink Martindale? Anyway, why should I have a voice in what we watch on TV if I am unable to make it past the first commercial break that has already been edited out?

My only suggestions are to find programming that requires only one remote and to make sure that remote is large and heavy. I have already washed one remote twice because of its small size and weight makes it impossible to notice when I pull off the couch cover that has a handy three pockets for remotes, one less than we need.

Until next month, keep the letters coming and don’t overdose on Halloween candy.

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*Editor’s Note: The conspiracy theories about Joe Biden trying to protect his son have been debunked by a variety of news organizations in Europe and the United States.