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A Story About Assumptions - How Roy Jhciacb Cohen became the first man to navigate a Class IV rapid without any kind of watercraft

August 1st, 2021 11:29pm

It was about twelve years ago, I guess.  Some buddies and I had rented a bunkhouse on the Niobrara River near the Nebraska / South Dakota border.  Portions of the Niobrara are part of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers Program.  Floating the river on giant inner tubes is a wonderful way to spend a summer's day.  You can soak up the sun, enjoy the scenery, look for wildlife, and banter with other folks floating the river.

For the most part, the Niobrara is a gentle river.  We put in at a point above our bunkhouse at a spot that would allow us about four hours on the river and take us right back down to our bunkhouse.  Although I love floating the Niobrara, four hours is about my limit because the summer sun will change the color of your skin to predominantly orange if you stay on the river too long. 

The government has banned alcohol on the federally protected portions of the river, but the river cops left us alone, instead preferring to focus on the younger floaters.  We enjoyed everything about that day.  We even stopped at Smith Falls and stood beneath the cold water, and that felt great after several hours in the hot sun.

After four hours, we pulled our tubes out of the water just above the Rocky Ford rapids.  Although the Niobrara is not as challenging as the rivers in Colorado, there are rapids here and there.  One set of rapids is at Rocky Ford -- rapids created where the river drops over some large rocks.  The owners of the bunkhouse told us these were Class IV rapids.  The International Scale of River Difficulty defines Class IV rapids as, "Intense, powerful but predictable rapids requiring precise boat handling in turbulent water."  For purposes of this article, the key word there is "boat."

After cleaning up, we brought our lawn chairs (and beer) back down to the river, right by the rapids.  It was sometime after this that my brother, Roy, noticed some older teens playing in a pool of water just below the rapids.  They did not have any inner tubes, a kayak, a canoe, or any other type of watercraft. 

It was sometime after this that my brother musts have thought to himself, "Hey, if those kids can swim through those rapids, I can do that."  So, with a look of determination on his sun-burned face, Roy walked into the river to a spot about fifty feet above the rapids and began swimming toward them.  We watched with anticipation as he entered the rapids.

A few seconds later Roy emerged from the rapids in obvious pain.  The young looked at us and shouted, "Help."  We all ran toward him, helped him get out of the river, and walked my shaken brother back to his lawn chair.  There were cuts and bruises on his body, and in general he was not looking too good.  The nearest hospital was thirty miles away, so we medicated Roy with alcohol and Motrin, just like we had been taught in Boy Scouts. 

I saw those young people playing in the same spot the next day, and they asked how Roy was.  I told them.  They asked why he had done something so stupid, and I told them he wanted to be able to say he had swum through the rapids just like them.  They looked puzzled.  "We didn't swim through the rapids," one of them said.  "We just walked out from the bank to that pool."

And that is the story of how my brother became the first to navigate Class IV rapids without the benefit of any kind of boat.   

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That Thing with George Jefferson

August 1st, 2021 11:21pm

Mount Rushmore fascinated my oldest daughter, Natalea, from an early age. I don't know why. When she was eight or nine years old, my ex-wife and I decided to take a road trip with our kids to Mount Rushmore, but we kept our destination a secret.  

So, one summer day, we loaded up the family vehicle.  I believe it was a Grand Cherokee because I know this took place before I rolled my Ford Explorer into Boulder Creek during a blizzard.  (Shout out to Rick Dirr).

As we headed for the Black Hills,  the kids were excited and kept asking where we were going, but each time they asked we just repeated, "It’s a surprise." To be fair, I tried to give them hints by repeatedly singing, "Now somewhere in the black mining hills of Dakota, there lived a young man named Rocky Raccoon, and one day his woman ran off with another guy, hit young Rocky in the eye." This may have been a factor in my divorce. Not sure. But I digress.

We stopped at Guernsey State Park in Wyoming for a swim, then continued on to Lusk, which has little to recommend it, though it does have a Sinclair station to offers Coca-Cola products rather than Pepsi products. From there we crossed into South Dakota and drove through Custer State Park.  Custer State Park is to buffalo what today's Republican party is to ignorant people. You see a lot of buffalo when you drive through Custer State Park, and the children enjoyed that.

From there, we began the last leg of our journey.  As we got within a few miles of the monument, we turned a corner and for just a second you could see Mount Rushmore between some rock formations before it vanished from sight. Sure enough, Natalea saw it and became extremely excited. "That thing," she said. "I saw that thing."

"What thing, Natalea?"

"That thing.  That thing with George Jefferson."

I knew right then I had just heard the funniest thing I would ever hear in my life, and that my life was over because it would all be downhill now. I suppressed my sadness and said, "Oh Natalea, we are one thousand miles away from Mount Rushmore. You must be imagining things."

"No," she insisted.  "I saw it.  I saw that thing." We eventually arrived at the monument, and the jig was up.  The kids knew our destination. Natalea got to see Mount Rushmore.

Natalea had no way of knowing she had confused two American presidents with the star of a TV sitcom than ran for more than ten years. But even at the age of eight she could spell "coffee" correctly. And she never confused 9/11 with 7/11.

Natalea is a geologist now, and maybe that trip to Mount Rushmore had something to do with that. She's about to begin graduate school.  You could say she's movin' on up.

As for George Jefferson, why shouldn't he be on Mount Rushmore? People seriously think Trump should be on it, so George Jefferson would be an a fortiori case.  It wasn't easy for a black man to own a successful dry cleaning chain in New York in the 1970's. And, as far as I know, George Jefferson was the first person to use the word "honky" on national TV.  That's good enough for me.

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Popo and the Prowler

June 24th, 2021 3:42pm

This is a true story, and it revolves around TaB cola, a diet soft drink popular in the sixties and seventies.  Most people don't know it, but the Coca-Cola company continued to manufacture TaB until 2020.  But in recent decades it was only available in certain parts of America.  Kind of like how things were when you could only buy Coors west of the Mississippi.

The story begins in 2005 with two men, Pepper and Troy.  They were vacationing on Padre Island when they made friends with a wealthy Texan named Big Brad, and his son, Average Brad.  It was hot and humid on the beach, and Pepper said, "I sure wish I had an ice cold can of TaB." 

Big Brad said, "They don't even make TaB anymore."

"Sure they do," Pepper said, "it's just not available in every part of the country."

"Where can you buy it?" Big Brad asked.

"I know for a fact you can buy in Boulder, Colorado," Pepper replied.

"I sure would love an ice-cold TaB," Average Brad said.  "Haven't had me one of those years."

"You boys wouldn't be interested in buying about four hundred cases of TaB and driving it down to Austin, would you?" Big Brad asked.  "I'm having a big party up in Austin tomorrow night.  Starting at six."  Pepper and Troy looked at each other.

"How much do we get if we get it there by six p.m. tomorrow?" Troy asked.

Big Brad laughed.  "That leaves you about eighteen hours to fly back to Colorado and drive my four hundred cases of TaB back down to my spread in Austin." 

"Ain't nobody ever flown from Padre Island to Denver, and then driven four hundred cases of TaB from Boulder to Austin in under eighteen hours," Average Brad said.

"That's 'cuz we ain't never tried," Pepper said.

"One hundred thousand dollars," Big Brad said.

"We're in," Troy said.

Troy and Pepper went straight to the airport and chartered a jet back to Denver.  They rented a moving van, bought four hundred cases of TaB in Boulder, and got ready to race back to Austin.  "Mapquest says fourteen hours and twenty-one minutes," said Troy.  "We've only got about twelve hours."

"No problem," Pepper said.  You drive the van and I'll drive my 1974 AMC Javelin ahead of you to divert the cops.  We can use CB radios to keep track of them.  My handle will be 'Prowler' and yours can be 'Jumper.'"

"That's dumb," Troy said.

"You don't like your handle?"

"No, it's dumb because they make these things called cell phones now, moron."

"Right," Pepper said.

And they were off.  They made good time, flying down I-25 and into New Mexico.  It was just after they had crossed into New Mexico when a local sheriff clocked Pepper at 102 miles per hour.  Soon every law enforcement officer in New Mexico was after them, and things got worse when they entered Texas, as more law enforcement officers joined the pursuit.  They even had a bear in the air.

Through skillful driving, determination, cell phones, and help from like-minded Americans who didn't believe the government should be setting arbitrary speed limits and interfering with free enterprise, Pepper and Troy delivered the four hundred cases of TaB to Big Brad's ranch with seventeen minutes to spare.

Big Brad handed Pepper one hundred thousand dollars in cash.  "Now that you boys took all my money," he said, "I'm kinda hankering for a Fresca.  Double or nothing?"

           

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Are All Things Relative?

June 24th, 2021 3:38pm

There is a place in western Nebraska where two sets of train tracks run parallel to the North Platte River. I like to sit by the tracks with a wireless speaker and drink diet margaritas. (The diet margarita, invented by my brother, is a Diet 7-Up mixed with tequila).  It's relaxing and inspires my creative side.

I was sitting by the tracks the other evening. In a lawn chair with a cup holder. There is no shortage of trains in western Nebraska, and a freight train passed me about every twenty minutes. Some heading east carrying coal, others heading west to get more coal. A light rain started to fall and it evolved into a thunderstorm.  A long freight was exactly halfway past me when I saw a bolt of lightning strike each end of it.

There was a man riding on one of the rail cars at the midpoint on the train. I waived.  He waived back.  I'm sure he saw the lightning strikes, too. But this got me to thinking. I sipped my drink and started thinking. (Thinking and drinking both come from the root word - inking).  Because the lightning strikes were the same distance from me, their light reached my eyes at the same moment, so it appeared to me they happened simultaneously.

But things had to be different for the man on the train. Because the train was moving, the light from the lightning in the rear had to travel farther to reach that man's eyes, so it reached his eyes an instant later than the light coming from the lightning strike at the front of the train. To him, it appeared that the lightning strike at the front of the train happened before the lightning strike at the back end of the train. That sort of freaked me out, so I took another sip.

How could two events that I felt had taken place simultaneously appear to have taken place at different times for someone else? Then it hit me. Space and time are the same thing, and simultaneity is relative to your frame of reference. 

I was excited. I called my brother. "Hey," I said.

"What's up, Pelt?" Pelt was my nickname in high school.

"Imagine the Broncos had a great quarterback."

"I'm drawing a blank," he replied.

"Okay, imagine an emu."

"Okay, I see it."

"Now imagine the emu emits two identical pulses of light from its eyes in opposite directions."

"Got it."

"The emu just sits there, but because each pulse carries off a certain amount of energy, the emu's energy content decreases."

"Okay."

"The emu is stationary, but you are running past it."

"There's no way an emu could catch me even if he wanted to," my brother said. "I would kick that emu's butt."

"Don't worry about that," I said.  "You're running past the emu in the direction of one of the pulses.  You're moving, so to you it looks like the emu is moving."

"Okay."

"Both pulses are traveling at the speed of light, but their energies are different. The pulse moving forward along the direction of travel has to have a higher energy than the one moving backward relative to you."

"Wait," my brother said. "For that to be consistent, the emu has to lose energy when it emits the light pulses, but it also has to lose a bit of mass."

"Exactly," I said. "Mass and energy are interchangeable. Emu is equal to mass times the speed of light squared."

"Makes sense," my brother said.

"I even created an equation for it," I said.  "Emu is equal to mass times the speed of light squared."

"Just shorten it to E=mc²," he said.

"But let's take it one step further," I said. "Everything is relative to your frame of reference."

"Give me an example."

"Remember when were kids and we got into an argument about what to watch on TV, and you kicked me in the nuts?"

"I just thought Flipper was a better show than Get Smart."

"That's the difference between us," I said. "You're attracted to dolphins, I'm attracted to brunettes."

"I've got two words for you," he said.

"Anyhow," I said, "From my frame of reference, I was in a world of pain, but from your frame of reference your actions were justified."

"They were justified," he said. "I would do it again in a heartbeat."

"But get this," I said, "There was some intelligent being trillions of light years away from us who did not give pinch of raccoon poop what show you and I watched on TV in 1967. From that being's frame of reference, it was insignificant."

So, there you have it - everything is relative to your frame of reference. Science.

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Sheriff's Report

January 24th, 2021 2:41am - Posted By: Mark Cohen

Sheriff's Report - April 26, 2053

Reporting Deputy: Kim Jones

Deputies were dispatched early this morning to a remote location west of Left Hand Reservoir after hikers reported a dead body. 

After grabbing some donuts in Nederland, Deputy Smith and I arrived on scene at 0835 and observed a 1967 Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser station wagon with a "F*&$%ck Trump" bumper sticker on it and expired plates. 

After walking to the west of side of the reservoir, we identified an odor best described as a combination of cheap whiskey, bitterness, and jock itch.  We then observed what appeared to be an elderly, deceased white male beneath some pine trees.  The body was covered with abrasions, puncture wounds, and scratches.  Further investigation revealed the corpse was dead. 

Deputy Smith retrieved the deceased's wallet from his jacket and found an expired driver's license issued to Mark Cohen (DOB 5/21/58).  The license had expired eight years ago. Except for the abrasions, puncture wounds, and scratches, the photo on the driver's license appeared to be a photo of the deceased. 

I searched the deceased's pockets and prepared an inventory: 

            1. Wallet with $8.32 in it and seventeen credit cards, along with some business cards identifying the deceased as the Consul General of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

            2. Set of car keys, including a key to the aforementioned Oldsmobile.

            3. Small plastic container of edibles purporting to be a strawberry margarita flavored, fast acting variety, each gummy containing 10 mg of THC and 10 mg of CBD.

            4. 1 battery power hair clippers

            5. Three XXL condoms (ribbed).

Deputy Smith and I then reconnoitered the area to look for signs of foul play.  I then heard Deputy Smith shout, "Holy Mary mother of freaking God in a chicken basket," or words to that effect.  I ran to Deputy Smith's location and observed what appeared to be an adult deceased male bear weighing approximately six hundred pounds. There were six half-eaten edibles beside the bear. The bear's body was covered with abrasions, puncture wounds, and scratches. Further investigation confirmed the bear was dead. 

It appeared Cohen, having consumed an unknown quantity of edibles, had attempted to use the aforementioned hair clippers to carve "F*&$%ck Trump" into the bear's torso, and a fight had ensued.  Deputy Smith phoned the Division of Wildlife regarding the deceased bear.  We loaded Cohen's body into a standard body bag, then returned to Nederland for more donuts. 

Status: Case closed. Nobody was alive to charge with a crime.  The fight was a draw.

           

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The Proper Use of Animal References in Law

May 17th, 2020 2:42pm - Posted By: Mark Cohen

The Proper Use of Animal References in Law

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The Common Law of the Gym

May 17th, 2020 2:41pm - Posted By: Mark Cohen

The Common Law of the Gym

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I Will Not Let the Libtards Make the NFL Use the Metric System

March 30th, 2020 8:40pm - Posted By: Donald J. Trump

My fellow Americans:  You are well aware of the many forces trying to destroy America and the heroic efforts I make daily to foil their pathetic efforts.  Whether it is Muslims trying to force us to adopt Arabic numerals, immigrants wanting to take high-paying tomato picking jobs from real Americans, or journalists trying to revive that outdated separation of powers model, I have fought their efforts with every fiber in my body (which, by the way, is the most fit body ever inhabited by an American President.  Believe me). 

But the liberals will stop at nothing to destroy this great nation that our straight, white, Christian, Republican, free-market, golfing forefathers built.  Now, as part of their campaign to kill America with socialism, healthcare for all, a  clean environment, and competent appointees, the liberals, led by Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer (both from liberal coastal elite states), are pushing legislation to require the National Football League to ditch the American system of measurement and replace it with the metric system. 

I mean, it's bad enough that they want little Johnny to use same bathroom as little Suzy.  It's bad enough that they want to disarm our police officers.  It's bad enough that they want to disband our armed forces and send our brave troops across the land to plant marijuana on their way home. It's bad enough that they want your kids to learn science so they can use carbon dating to prove the Earth is more than six thousand years old and Jesus could not possibly have talked with dinosaurs.  But have they no shame?

Can you imagine an America in which tens of millions of viewer are forced to listen to Al Michaels say, "It's fourth and half a meter for the Packers.  What do you think, Chris?"  And this would be wholly unfair to men like Drew Brees, whose record would drop from 77,416 career passing yards down to 70,798.34 career passing meters. 

My friends, there is no coronavirus.  That's fake news.  The Taliban are the good guys.  We have so much money in the bank for Social Security you wouldn't believe it if I showed it to you.  When you retire, you will all be drinkin' that free Bubble-Up and eatin' that rainbow stew.  Don't believe the liberal media.  The real problem facing America right now is that liberals like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, and Rashida Tlaib want to force the NFL to adopt the measuring system their countries use. 

As your President, I will never let the liberals force the NFL to switch units of measurement.  CBS, NBC, ABC, PBS, and CNN can defame me all they want, and they can fail to report my many achievements, but this will not deter me -- still your President -- Donald J. Trump, from protecting the game of football.

God bless you all, and God bless America!

Donald J. Trump

           

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Great Moments in My Air Force Career

June 3rd, 2018 1:48pm - Posted By: Mark Cohen

Early one morning in 1985 or 1986, while I was serving as a young Air Force legal officer, my pals and I were sitting around the lounge at the Base Legal Office at Offutt Air Force Base, drinking weak government coffee and talking sports. Parking on that side of the base was limited, and you had to arrive early if you wanted a decent parking space.

We were a group of young JAG officers, mostly captains, one first lieutenant, and one crusty old Senior Master Sergeant whose job was to oversee the enlisted staff.  We were talking about a young boxing phenom named Mike Tyson.  My back was to the entry.

Suddenly the Senior Master Sergeant stood and called the room to attention.  I’d been on active duty more than two years already and had never seen anything like that in the relaxed atmosphere of the Base Legal Office. And I thought, “Sergeant Longuil, I’m not falling for your bullshit at 7:00 a.m.”  But then my pals also stood and came to attention.  So, I turned around in my seat to see what was going on.    

And there was the four-star general that commanded the Strategic Air Command, General John T. Chain.  And the full colonel who job it was to follow him around.  I stood, faced him, and came to attention.

Well, I guess General Chain figured my response was “good enough for a lawyer” because he said nothing. Unaware of the parking problem, he remarked about how good it was to see folks at work so early in the morning, then went on with the rest of his day.

As I look back on this incident, I think if you are going to give a man the power to destroy the world by deploying ten thousand nuclear weapons from missiles, bombers, and submarines, it’s probably good that he has the kind of personality that can let small stuff - like a young captain not standing quickly - go like water off a duck’s back. 

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The True Story of Snappy the Turtle and Trooper White

February 23rd, 2018 11:42pm - Posted By: Mark Cohen

This is a true story. I changed the names to protect some of the men involved.  Some are from Nederland and own, like, music businesses and stuff in Nederland, and they would not want their involvement known. I have also changed my brother Roy Cohen’s name to “Troy” to protect his identity.  Oh, and I changed the name of the Nebraska State Trooper because the tall Caucasian Trooper with the buzz cut that was patrolling Highway 83 near Thedford that Wednesday morning probably would not want his supervisors to know about this. 

These events took place in July of 2008.  Each year some of my guy friends get together and rent a bunkhouse on the Niobrara River near the Nebraska / South Dakota border.  We call this Mancation. It’s a yearly event where we sit around the fire discuss quantum physics, praise our mothers, and drink milk.  I don’t want to give the exact location because some of the guys have wives and girlfriends, and they don’t want the wives and girlfriends hiring someone to spy on us.

It was a beautiful, sunny morning and I driving my Dodge Durango north on Nebraska Highway 83 with the music cranking.  There were four other men with me –  my brother Troy and three others.  The windows were down.  I had not consumed any alcohol or drugs because I was driving.  And I don’t do that kind of thing. Troy and the others had maybe consumed some tequila, a few Colorado herbal products, and/or some other things. I mean, if we’re being honest, they were in an altered state. Because we had just purchased enough alcohol at the WalMart in North Platte to supply fourteen men for five days.

You must understand that we kind of stood out. Because I had a Thule rooftop carrier on top of my SUV and we had written “Kim Jong-Il’s Dead Body” on it in yellow paint. And we had written a lot of other silly stuff on the sides of my vehicle.

Highway 83 has one lane in each direction and there is very little traffic. There are mostly just a lot of marshes, cows, and red winged blackbirds.  When what to my wandering eyes should appear but a snapping turtle that must have been fourteen inches in diameter slowly crossing the road. We could not believe this size of this guy. I mean, Thedford, Nebraska, ain’t exactly the Galapagos. 

Now, my mom is from Alabama, and I lived in Alabama while in the Air Force, so, though I am not a redneck myself, I know the redneck mind. I can think like a redneck. And I realized that if we did not help this turtle, whose named was Snappy, get to the other side of the road, some redneck in a pickup would purposely run his 275/65 R17’s over Snappy and kill him. 

But though I can think like a redneck, I’m also half-Jewish, which means I can also think like God. Or at least Moses. I knew the right thing to do was help Snappy. We pulled off to the side of the road. We all got out of my SUV and approached the turtle. I carefully put one hand on each of side of Snappy’s shell, thinking I would just pick him up and deposit it on the grass on the other side of the road.

Well, let me tell you, those little f$#%$ers have LONG necks that can reach around further than you think and bite you faster than a Republican congressman caught having sex with a child can say “family values.”  And they’re freakin’ heavy. So, I instantly dropped Snappy and knew I needed to come up with another plan.  “Find a stick,” I said.

Sticks ain’t easy to come by in the sandhills, but Troy produced a tiki torch from the back of my SUV, so I used the torch to start prodding Snappy to the other side of the road. The absurdity of five over-educated middle-aged men using a tiki torch to prod a giant turtle across a highway in rural Nebraska amused me. And it was even more amusing to Troy and my friends because they were enjoying what you might call a tequila sunrise.  So, we were all laughing hard and a couple of the guys wanted to get photos of this turtle.

It was about this time that the Trooper (remember the Trooper?  This is a story about the Trooper) pulled in behind my SUV and activated his flashing lights. He exited his vehicle, took a as they say in police jargon, took a quick look at the rooftop carrier with “Kim Jong-Il’s Dead Body” painted on it, and said, “Good morning, fellas, I’m Trooper White from the Nebraska State Patrol, what do we have going on?” He was trying hard to keep a straight face and give the stern State Trooper look.

Being a lawyer, I knew just what to say. “Well, we were just minding our own business and driving the posted speed limit with Kim Jong-Il’s dead body on top of my truck when this freakin’ giant turtle thumbed us down…”  And then Trooper White couldn’t hold it in anymore and cracked a smile.  And I explained we were just trying to do a good deed for Snappy before some drunk liberals from Colorado high on pot tried to run him over.

Trooper White really couldn’t think of anything to charge us with, but he was amused and stayed with us until I finished prodding Snappy to the other side of the road. He was very friendly. He did not ask any of us for our ID and if he noticed that Troy and the others might have consumed a few things, he didn’t say anything. 

Trooper White pulled away and then we all piled back into my Durango. Troy and the others went back to maybe consuming a few things. I never asked Troy or the others about the quantity of illegal substances they might have had in the back of my SUV. I didn’t want to know. Snappy went on to lead a productive live. He lives with his wife and three children near Thedford, Nebraska.

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The Proper Use of Animal References in Law

July 31st, 2017 11:38pm - Posted By: Mark Cohen

CLICK HERE TO READ "The Proper Use of Animal References in Law." 

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Three Models for an Analysis of the Aesthetic Value of Country Music

August 26th, 2016 5:21pm - Posted By: Mark Cohen

Three Models for an Analysis of the Aesthetic Value of Country Music

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Trump Vows to Fire Smokey the Bear

July 15th, 2016 3:47pm - Posted By: Mark Cohen

On Sunday Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump vowed to fire Smokey the Bear if elected. Speaking to a crowd of more than fourteen people at the Foursquare Pentecostal Gospel Church in Clanton, Alabama, Trump vowed that if elected his first act would be to tell the famed symbol of forest fire prevention, “You’re fired.”

Noting that Democrats had long ago chosen a black bear to be the mascot of the U.S. Forest Service, Trump said, “The choice of a black bear was a meaningless act of political correctness and shows how racist the liberals are.”  Trump added, “We must choose our fire prevention mascots based on merit – not skin color.”

“When I am president,” Trump thundered, “my first act will be to make the polar bear the official symbol of forest fire prevention in America!” Buoyed by the cheers of the crowd, Trump added, “In 2016, there is no reason America’s fire prevention mascot can’t be white!”

After Trump’s speech, CNN anchor Jake Tapper asked Trump whether it would be fitting to make the polar bear America’s symbol of forest fire prevention given that Alaska is the only state that is home to polar bears.  “Have you ever seen a forest fire any place where polar bears reside?” Trump responded. 

“There are no trees in the Arctic,” Tapper pointed out.

“I’m tired of your liberal BS,” Trump said. “That’s it.  No more interviews for CNN!”

Later that day on a Fox News program Trump repeated his vow to fire Smokey the Bear.  “Listen, “Trump added, “that corrupt skank Hillary Clinton may be in bed with the Black Lives Matter movement, but the Trump administration will be colorblind.”  Trump added, “In fact, I think we need to get rid of this ‘Give a Hoot! Don’t Pollute’ owl, too. Maybe replace him with a toucan or something. You won’t believe how much color America’s mascots will have in a Trump administration!”

Trump’s comments cast doubt over the future of McGruff the crime dog, who is black. A senior Trump advisor told me, on the condition of anonymity, that Trump may replace McGruff with a Chihuahua in an attempt to woo Hispanic voters. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who has experience as Trump’s lap dog, is also a possibility. 

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How to Fight a Bear

May 5th, 2016 1:25pm - Posted By: Mark Cohen

Well, spring is here and so are the bears. We tend to think of bears as big, cuddly, loveable creatures, but the truth is bears are mean. Bears hate people. Even though we built roads in their territory to make it easier for them to travel and built houses in their woods stocked with food to make it easier for them to eat, these ungrateful mammals are always eager to fight a human. Given this reality, it’s vital that mountain residents know how to fight a bear.

The first thing to remember in a bear encounter is – don’t run! You can’t outrun a bear.  A bear has more speed than a hooker at a Republican convention. When a bear sees you running away, that bear will chase you down like a Republican pouncing on an Exxon study denying climate change. The bear will catch you and eat you, so don’t run!

The other important principle to keep in mind is that the bear weighs a lot more than you. There are no weight divisions in bear boxing. The bear doesn’t care if you are a heavyweight or a bantamweight. Either way, the bear will outweigh you by several hundred pounds. Given the massive size of these man-hating creatures, you DON’T want to get into a wrestling match with a bear. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu won’t do you any good in a fight with a six hundred pound bear.

While bears possess superior speed and strength, many humans have one important advantage over bears – 85% of Peak-to-Peak area residents are smarter than the average bear. You can prevail in a bear fight – if you use your brain.

The first question to ask when a bear confronts you is what is the bear’s motive? Is the bear motivated by profit or does it just want to mess with you because it’s a mean, man-hating bear? If the bear just wants your sandwich, the solution is easy. Throw the sandwich as far as you can behind the bear’s head. Being a gluttonous animal, the bear will turn around and take off after the sandwich. Then all you have to do is run like heck in the opposite direction.

Unfortunately, the vast majority of bear attacks are not motivated by profit. Bears want to fight you like Republicans want to repeal Obamacare. It’s just their nature.

If you must fight a bear, remember that bear boxing differs from traditional boxing in several critical ways. First, a bear fight is not organized into three-minute rounds. Second, there is no referee. Third, there are no rules. If a bear bites your ear, head-butts you, or hits below the belt, those things are perfectly legal. In fact, bears don’t even wear belts.

When forced to fight a bear, it’s important to know that most bears are right handed. According to the University of Montana Journal of Ursine Pugilism, the percentage may be as high as 99.44%. This means you want to stand with your left foot forward so you can pepper the bear’s snout with left jabs to prevent the bear from getting close to you.

Where should you hit the bear? Focus on the bear’s snout. Bears have long snouts. Consequently, it’s much easier to hit a bear’s snout than to hit it in the eye. You’d have to get much closer to the bear to hit it in the eye. And you don’t want to get closer to the bear than you have to. And a bear’s snout is filled with sensitive nerves. God gave bears long snouts to make it easier to box them, so take advantage of it. Focus on the snout!

As I stated, bears are not smart. It’s easy to fake them out. One effective technique is to feint to the bear’s body twice with your left hand, then duck under and come around with a solid left hook to the bear’s temple. This is the technique Joe Frazier used to use on bears. You would think the bears would catch on because his fights are available on YouTube, but they keep making the same mistake.

Bears are so stupid. Once I was fighting a bear that was holding his own. Suddenly I put up my hands and made the universal time out sign. The bear look confused, but he stopped fighting. I pointed at its foot and politely said, “Your shoe’s untied.” Forgetting that bears don’t wear shoes, the dumb animal looked down at his feet and I threw great uppercut that nearly took his jaw off.

Another technique is to let the bear punch itself out – the Rope-a-Dope. Just lean up against a tree and use your arms to protect your face and body. Most of the bear’s punches will just bounce off your arms, doing little harm. Eventually the bear will get tuckered out and drop its paws, and THAT’S when start showing the bear who is the boss. I once used this technique on a Mexican bear named Robearto and by the end of the fight he was saying, “No mas!”

By using your superior intellect, you can get inside the bear’s head. Trash talking can be very effective and cause the bear to lose focus. Don’t be afraid to scream at the bear and taunt it. The bear already hates you and wants to kill you, so it’s not like you’re going to make the bear any more angry. Say things like, “Your momma’s so fat, her senior picture was taken by satellite.” Then, when the bear gives you a quizzical look, do a quick Ali Shuffle and throw a straight right to its face. In fact, when Ali fought bears, he liked to recite poems. He’d say things like, “I am so pretty, you ain’t so great; eat your berries and salmon, I’ll take you in eight.”

It’s important to believe in yourself when fighting a bear. Too often, I’ve seen young bear fighters become intimidated by a bear’s size. But in bear boxing, size doesn’t always matter. Hit a bear in the spleen a few times and he’ll come down to your size. I remember February 15, 1978, when a 197-pound kid named Leon Spinks took the heavyweight title from the much larger Muhammad Ali. How did Spinks pull this off? He believed in himself.

Now, many people will tell you the best way to deal with bears is to avoid confrontation. This is bad advice offered by naïve people with good intentions. Remember, bears want to fight you, kill you, raid your refrigerator, eat your edibles, and sleep in your recliner. If you don’t stand up to a bear, it will think you are weak and this will only encourage aggression. The only thing bears understand is force, so always be willing to fight a bear. Appeasement did not work with Hitler and it doesn’t work with bears. That’s why Neville Chamberlain never won a bear fight.

Look, there is nothing more fun than watching a pathetic bear limp back home with shame on its face because he knows he got beat by a 58 year old lawyer that he outweighed by four hundred pounds. Now he’s got to explain that to his friends. Like a Republican who has to explain why he lost to a Kenyan born Muslim community organizer intent on imposing Sharia law or to a draft dodging, pot smoking womanizer. They just can’t fathom that they lost.

Of course, no amount of knowledge and training can guaranty that you will prevail in a bear fight. But by understanding bear psychology and the basics of bear fighting, you can greatly improve your odds. Just remember the bear necessities, the simple bear necessities.

Note: The author makes no warranty, express or implied, that the advice in this article will help you in the event you must fight a bear.     

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A Palm Grows in Nederland

February 18th, 2016 8:41pm - Posted By: Mark Cohen

A Palm Grows in Nederland

The time has come. Let’s face it – Nederland winters are long and brutal. A little wind in October can make for a cozy evening, but by the time May rolls around, I’m done with the wind.  And the snow. I get that we live 8,236 feet above sea level, but by the time May rolls around, I’m done with snow. And the cold. It’s nice not to have to use my refrigerator between October and May, but by the time May rolls around, I’m done with the cold.

I guess I’m more of summer person. I love Nederland summers. While folks down below endure 95 degree days, we can count on a balmy 72 degrees. I can wear shorts, a t-shirt, and flip-flops. Listen to Jimmy Buffet and drink margaritas. Maybe even take a quick dip in Barker Reservoir if the fuzz ain’t around. It’s like Hawaii without the palm trees. Which brings me to the topic of this week’s column.

I want a palm tree in Nederland this summer. And not just any palm tree. I want a forty foot tall Canary Island Date Palm in the traffic circle by June 1st.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. Your thinking, “Why in the name of God does Barb let some washed up lawyer who thinks Jack Daniels is a food group write a column for the Mountain-Ear?” I have no clue, but hear me out.

Nederland is losing millions of dollars in revenue each year because tourists don’t view Nederland as beach destination. Nederland is basically dead between the time Frozen Dead Guy Days ends and the Fourth of July. Nobody visits Nederland during that time, except to buy pot.

I’m telling you, folks, we’ve got big trouble right here in Cannabis City. Nederland’s gotta have a palm tree and I mean she needs it today. Trouble. I’m talkin' 'bout trouble, with a capital 'T' and that rhymes with 'P' and that stands for palm.

Oh, think my friends, how could any poker table ever hope to compete with a Canary Island Palm?  Remember, my friends, what a handful of palm trees did to the famous, fabled streets of Los Angeles.  Oh, a palm will do it, my friends, oh, yes! I say a Canary Island Palm Tree, do you hear me? Well, Nederland’s gonna have a palm tree. As sure as the Lord made little green apples, and that palm’s gonna be tall and strong. And you’ll see the leaves swaying in the breeze. And you’ll hear the thunder of people stopping to get their photos taken beside the HIGHEST PALM TREE IN THE WORLD; the shimmer of car horns honking! And you’ll feel something akin to the electric thrill I once enjoyed when Gilmore, Liberatti, Pat Conway, The Great Creatore, W.C. Handy and John Philip Sousa all came to Nederland on the very same historic day.

Now, I can already hear the same tired old liberal arguments from the lame stream media and the secular humanists – a palm tree will die in when winter comes. Always with the negative waves.

Folks, I didn’t just pick the Canary Island Palm Tree out of my big, hairy butt. I earned a Masters in Law degree in Agricultural Law! There are more than 2,600 species of palm trees on earth. But the CIPT is perfect for Nederland. The CIPT can tolerate temperatures down to 14 degrees and has been grown as far north as England.

Sure, it will probably die by mid-December, but what a glorious summer we will enjoy. And with tourists flocking to Nederland to enjoy the new Margaritaville festival and get their photos taken with THE HIGHEST PALM TREE IN THE WORLD, we can easily afford to remove the dead palm tree each winter and plant a new CIPT each summer.

But why, some say, a palm tree? Why choose this as our goal? And they may well ask why climb the highest mountain? Why fly the Atlantic? Why does Rice play Texas? We choose to bring a palm tree to Nederland. We choose to bring a palm tree to Nederland in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too.

I’ve done the research. It will cost between $10,000.00 and $15,000.00 to bring a Canary Island Palm Tree to Nederland. And that is why I have established a GoFundMe campaign called A Palm Grows in Nederland. I’m not taking money from Wall Street or the Koch Brothers. I can’t be bought. If you’d like to see a palm tree in Nederland this summer, please make your contribution at https://www.gofundme.com/apalmgrowsinned

With your help and by God’s grace, when June rolls around we’ll be nibblin’ on sponge cake, watchin’ the sun bake, and all of those tourists will be covered in oil.

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