From Combined Wire Service Reports, proofread by Planet Waves
WASHINGTON, March 30 — Pres. Trump today signed an executive order ending April Fool’s Day once and for all. The annual unofficial holiday, first referenced in Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales in 1392, is traditionally reserved for pranks and hoaxes.
But now, there won’t be so much as a Whoopee Cushion or a Fart in a Can.
The president, reportedly traumatized by Alec Baldwin’s portrayals of him on Saturday Night Live, reached a snapping point this week. White House insiders said that he could not take it any more, and used his power to act.
Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, outraged by Melissa McCarthy’s satires of his press briefings, was in favor of the measure. “We’ll get the last laugh,” he said at Wednesday’s briefing. “We’ll show her who’s funny.”
Earlier this week, Trump sent a proposed law to Congress, the Take Yourself Seriously Act of 2017, that would have stopped the clock at 11:59 pm on March 31, staving off April 1 indefinitely. But the measure was held up in the House of Representatives in a fight over an amendment that would have banned poor people and grocery stores, while giving a tax break to multitrillionaires. Congressional representatives also bickered over what time zone the ban would begin in.
“This bill is dead on arrival in the Senate,” said minority leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY). “It will fit in well around here.”
Farts in a Can were not mentioned in the executive order, but are covered under its authority — as are Whoopee Cushions.
Facing his second major legislative defeat in as many weeks, the president issued an executive order early Thursday, which prohibits, “all jokes, hoaxes, satires, spoofs, goofs and gags within the United States of America or any of its territories” beginning at midnight on the 1st and ending at midnight on the 2nd, and in effect each year for the next 1,000 years.
Presidential strategist Stephen Miller added language to include “any territories, dependencies, or nominally independent resource-providing states just asking for it.” Miller also wanted to ban “laughter, giggling, smiling or happiness, real or implied,” but even Trump thought that was too extreme.
A ban on playing fetch with dogs was also cut, though a last-minute amendment cutting sales taxes on yachts was included.
Acting swiftly Thursday afternoon, Trump expanded the powers of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to arrest anyone expressing so much as a hint of irony. Rachel Maddow and Lawrence O’Donnell were detained immediately, and ICE officials rounded up the entire staff of the Harvard Lampoon. They were locked into the basement of the We Baka Pi sorority pending extradition somewhere.
“First they came for the Mexicans, then they came for the Muslims, now they’re finally coming for us,” said Jon Stewart, longtime host of The Daily Show. “What took them so long?” The program’s current host, Trevor Noah, applied for political asylum in his native South Africa, and John Oliver, host of Last Week Tonight, appealed to Queen Elizabeth to accept him back as a royal subject.
Alec Baldwin and Melissa McCarthy immediately fled the country, seeking refuge in Cuba, where they started around-the-clock Radio Mar-a-Lago broadcasts funded by George Soros. Lorne Michaels, executive producer of SNL, went into hiding in his secret apartment located below the D Train somewhere in midtown, vowing to watch vintage episodes until his door is kicked in.
Jimmy Valmer of South Park, Colorado weighed in on the April Fool’s Day ban.
Upon hearing of the order, protesters gathered at local comedy clubs around the country, holding signs that said “Not a Joke!” and “LOL Fascist.” Outside the Voodoo Comedy Playhouse in Denver, fans assembled in the pouring rain, risking arrest by saying funny things to one another.
Jimmy Valmer of South Park fame got a ride to Denver, where he addressed the crowd. “Wo-wo-wo-wope em Gangnam Style,” he said defiantly. “My mom says God had a plan for everyone, I guess I was plan B. What a terrific audience,” he added. “The Italian meatballs are F-f-f-fantasic.”
Outside Café Teatro el Josto in San Juan, comedians and their grandmothers, dressed in black, stood around solemnly with the Puerto Rican flag and said nothing.
In England, where everyone is funny, SaveAprilFools.org was published, and by press time had 23,427 signers on its petition.
“We must protect the right of pranksters everywhere to play their innocent and hysterically funny tricks on unwitting members of the populace,” the organization said, in an impassioned plea for justice. “In fact, I would suggest it is unconstitutional not to laugh at them, though some might think I go too far.”
Thursday afternoon, the Hawaii Civil Liberties Union (HCLU) filed an emergency lawsuit in federal court in the Rather Pleasant District of Maui, where a liberal judge appointed by George W. Bush issued a temporary stay of the executive order.
“Ben Franklin was a prankster. Thomas Jefferson could take a joke. Abe Lincoln was hilarious. We will not tolerate the loss of this great Anglo-American tradition,” wrote the Hon. Alika Akeakami in her final order. “Did you hear the one about the hung jury?” she added.
“Yay! April Fool’s Day is back!” said Jeremy Verdict, lead attorney for the HCLU, as enthusiastic applause pattered through the crowd. “Trump has done many egregious things, but this tops them all. And he’s not going to get away with it,” Verdict added.
Ben Franklin was an originator of the American tradition of hoaxes, beginning with the Silence Dogood prank that led him to flee Boston for Philadelphia. Now, some scholars are doubting whether Franklin ever even lived.
“No gong let to tthat STOP us,” Trump tweeted from his trusty un-secured Android 2, as he ordered air strikes on Comedy Central headquarters in New York City while munching on delicious Russian black caviar and fancy Dudinka crackers.
The president planned to spend Saturday, April 1 at his luxury bunker, Mar-a-Lago, near Palm Beach. He ordered the USS George Washington aircraft carrier group to be stationed off the east coast of Florida, and the Enterprise group to be stationed off the Gulf Coast, the better to protect him against mockery.
Amid the controversial move, Pres. Trump’s approval rating sank to 3%, lower than Pres. Nixon at the height of Watergate, Pres. Reagan at the height of the Iran-Contra scandal, and also less popular than bed bugs, influenza, food poisoning, the Internal Revenue Service and The Communist Manifesto.
Pizza, diet soda, cheap ice cream and Basics cigarettes still remained extremely popular. Bed bugs still enjoyed a 23% approval rating, particularly in the heartland states where Trump did so well. Bed bugs could not be reached for comment.
“The pollls are riged,” Trump tweeted last night. “Sick, bad, BAD, I’m more popular then bed bugs.”
Last week in preparation for the move, the president ordered the United States Cyber Command (USCC) to write a program that blocked humor from White House computers. Cryptologists at the little-known agency, which wages war on the internet, wrote a firewall application called FunnyBloc, which was immediately installed on the network.
It successfully blocked The Onion, The New York Times and WhiteHouse.org, and everything except Rosie O’Donnell, whose face could be seen peering out from every monitor in the White House and the Executive Office Building.
Donald Trump’s famous “bed bugs” tweet from Thursday.
The mastermind of the ban is believed to be Paul Manafort, who was the controversial CEO of the Trump campaign. Manafort’s 68th birthday is Saturday, and he’s long been known to take offense at sharing his special day with April Fool’s Day. This is documented in an unauthorized biography, The Pin in the Pinwheel by Tony Schwartz.
Reached during a whistle stop at the Archdiocese of Boston, where he was campaigning for Patriarch Louis Raphael I Sako, head of the Chaldean Catholic Church in Iraq, to be the next pope, Manafort dismissed that he was behind the ban.
“But the whole Trump thing — that was my birthday gift to you,” he said. “April Fools!”
Venus and the Identity of Values
By Amanda Painter
When someone asks, “Who are you? Tell me about yourself,” people often reply with their most public labels — things like job titles and occupation descriptions (including “parent”). You might flesh that out with the hobbies and non-career pursuits you’re most passionate about, or descriptors such as political affiliation, ethnicity and religion, or where you grew up. But, apropos of current astrology, how often do you answer with a straight-up description of your values?
Photo by Amanda Painter; from the 2016 Sacred and Profane festival on Peaks Island, Portland, Maine.
Granted, some of the categories listed above carry some level of implied shared values, because the labels describe a self-selecting community. But there are always exceptions, and it can be dicey to make assumptions.
Often the declaration of things like closely held moral, ethical and philosophical values come with a certain level of familiarity — which can include really connecting with someone you’ve just met. Or we demonstrate our values simply through the daily choices we make, though those actions are typically witnessed by very few others (what kind of food we buy; how we treat partners and family members; the level of attention we give our work on the job, and so on).
Occasionally — and perhaps more frequently — we make certain values known very publicly: by attending a rally; or giving an interview or writing an opinion piece for the local paper; or displaying a bumper sticker on our car.
Even so, it’s rare that someone will ask, “Who are you? Tell me about yourself,” and you’ll hear in response: “Oh, well, I’m someone who values my time more than that of others. But I’m also a person who highly values thoroughness, so anything I do I do completely and well, and I reward that in others. Oh, and since I value how people feel, I never ask ‘How are you’ unless I have time to truly hear their honest answer.”
Dear Planet Waves Subscriber:
Here’s an email I’ve been wanting to write nearly forever: as a Planet Waves subscriber, you may opt-in for free delivery of my daily horoscope.
Here are the specifics. I began writing New York Daily News horoscope this past Tuesday. I’ll be writing seven days a week. The length is 50 words per sign, per day. It’s a hand-crafted miniature, more like a poem than an essay.
The Daily Planet of Superman fame is based on the N.Y. Daily News.
Per my agreement with the News, we will email to you daily at 7 am Eastern Time, beginning Sunday, March 19. Please sign up using the email associated with your Planet Waves account so that we’re already whitelisted.
Each daily edition also will go into our horoscope vault — the Intelligent Archive, which you may not know has also been upgraded. I’ll send a letter soon describing how you use the Intelligent Archive as a divination tool. Note that the result you get when you type a question is related, not to the text, but rather the time you press the Oracle button.
You can also use the separate research tools (located above the Intelligent Archive) and look up by keyword or date. For example, you can look up all my references to Chiron or any other word.
I’ll continue this letter series every few days with a description of another Planet Waves feature and benefit of membership. The emails will always be from me, without the [Planet Waves] slug, so you can distinguish them from other Planet Waves emails.
I’ll also let you know when I’m working on a new reading.
Thank you for being part of Planet Waves. It’s good to be with you.
Anti-Sixties Anti-President, Meet a Sixties Icon
By Amanda Painter
The antics of Pres. Trump may very well be “unforgettable,” even though many people wish they could forget that this bizarre moment in history ever happened (or is still happening). Noel “Paul” Stookey — of Peter, Paul and Mary fame — has taken a logical, musical approach to the insanity: he’s rewritten classic song lyrics to make his point.
You can listen to Stookey play “Impeachable,” sung to the tune of “Unforgettable,” here at Reader Supported News.
This Week on Planet Waves FM
All That Aries, and Those Aries People
Dear Friend and Listener:
Planet Waves FM is back, with the Aries edition [play episode here]. I look at all the Aries conjunctions we’re currently experiencing, including the Moon, which passed through the Uranus-Eris conjunction Tuesday night, and the Sun about to pass through it.
Betty with a Book of Blue postcard in her hand. Photo by Eric.
Venus is retrograding toward Pisces, and on Saturday will be conjunct both Pallas Athene and the Aries Point. I describe all of this and more.
To make the program interesting, I look at the chart of one Paul John Manafort, the infamous campaign manager/chairman/mogul of TrumpCo. Manafort, whose birthday is Saturday, is one of those All Aries, All the Time kind of guys: many planets there, high initiative, and lots of contact with old Vlad Putin, whose chart I compare to Manafort’s.
To make the program even more interesting, Tantra Corner this week is devoted to Betty Dodson, who has lots of planets and her Moon in Aries. She’s a revolutionary of the 8th house (death, dowry) who explained to the world that masturbation is a legitimate form of sex. I tell the story of how I know Betty, and read her chart for the umpteenth time (I hold the world record!).
Music this week is provided by Crosby, Stills and Nash, and it’s just delightful. I overdo the song breaks, just to stuff in more of their magnificent work. Here’s where to find them on iTunes or Amazon.
Your Monthly Horoscopes — and our Publishing Schedule Notes
We published your extended monthly horoscopes for April on Thursday, March 23. Your extended monthly horoscopes for March were published on Thursday, Feb. 23. We published your Moonshine horoscope for the Virgo Full Moon on Thursday, March 9. Your Moonshine horoscope for the Cancer Full Moon published Thursday, Jan. 12. Please note: we normally publish the extended monthly horoscope on the first Friday after the Sun has entered a new sign.
Aries (March 20-April 19) — Indications are that you now have the means to settle some previously unresolved personal issues. As a first step, it would help to be mindful of what makes you different from the person you were only a year ago. It’s possible your life’s experience over the last 12 months or so includes the acquisition of either the tangible resources or information you need to tie up some long-loose ends. More likely the clue you need to get some closure has to do with what has changed about who you are. Some aver that a person’s character is revealed by what one does when nobody else is looking. If you can simply describe to yourself how your private moments now vary from what they were when 2016 was young, you will have at least started on your way towards feeling more complete. – by Len Wallick. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.
Taurus (April 19-May 20) — You should not (and probably cannot) acquiesce to compromise when it comes to your desires and feelings. At the same time, it’s in your own interest to find constructive outlets for authentic hungers and sentiments that could possibly become destructive if not freely and appropriately expressed. All of which brings to mind the Oroville Dam in California. During the winter just past, insufficient maintenance combined with a lot of precipitation runoff to damage both spillways just when the reservoir was full to the brim. Even though your situation is almost certainly not comparable to the Oroville Dam crisis, it would behoove you to learn from its example. The inner flow of life-giving qualities that make you fully human needs to be honored and cared for. Inhibition is not the answer. Creativity is. – by Len Wallick. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.
Gemini (May 20-June 21) — The kind of break you owe yourself has to do with what appears to be some long overdue rest and recreation. There is little doubt that your diligent nature feeds you, and probably others. Even so, no being is able to continue living to the fullest unless food is supplemented with tender, loving care. At this time, the best source of what you evidently require is going to be none other than yourself. What you implicitly need now is more than just a spa weekend away from home and your responsibilities. A working vacation is not likely to do the trick either. To revive and remember all the beautiful things you truly are, a lengthy and unstructured separation from the entirety of what has been your immediate environment is indicated. This is not about being irresponsible or escapist. It’s about setting a courageous example of how to remain both alive and whole. – by Len Wallick. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.
Cancer (June 21-July 22) — It would seem as though you are on the verge of awakening a dormant, yet innate, proficiency. What is probably required to finally rouse this sleeping talent is for you to take up a new discipline. Interestingly, the specific regimen will not matter nearly as much as your devotion to its practice. In other words, an indirect approach is called for. Exactly what you do will be less important than how you do it. Fortunately, the circumstances of your life will probably lead you towards an activity that will, in turn, trigger a possibly unrelated expertise. Therefore, keep an open mind if a person or experience presents you with a chance to master a skill you haven’t sought to acquire. What you ultimately derive from gaining one form of competence will almost certainly stimulate another ability you didn’t know you already had — one that’s even more rewarding. – by Len Wallick. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.
Leo (July 22-Aug. 23) — It’s a good bet you have recuperative gifts beyond what you are currently aware of. Right about now would be an excellent time to begin either developing or adding to your flair for repair — and not just for your own sake. There is at least one other who needs the form of relief only you can offer. In all probability, it will not require drudgery or a long time to discover or enhance your unique genius for alleviation. Nor should it incur any form of sacrifice in the bargain. It’s much more likely you will realize your penchant for restoring ease while enjoying the sort of activity that makes time itself seem to fly. – by Len Wallick. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.
Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22) — Your inner compass is true. The course you have set for yourself this year is without doubt a mature and responsible choice. Before two more seasons have passed, however, you might want to begin thinking about proceeding in another way. It is not without reason that Tolkien took great effort to show that “Not all those who wander are lost.” If you can recall the last time you actually elected to get lost, you will probably realize that choice was actually a form of what sailors call “tacking.” Unlike a motorized watercraft, which can overcome the elements and go directly to its destination, a sailboat must sometimes make the best of breezes available by zig-zagging back. In that way, it can ultimately progress towards an intended objective. It is therefore important to remember that it would be no loss if (as it seems they might) the winds change for you. – by Len Wallick. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.
Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23) — It’s not necessarily bad if you find it difficult to tell where you leave off and another begins. Nonetheless, the blurring of clear identity boundaries in a relationship is a condition that should only be incurred with care, equal participation and conscious intent. When you get right down to it, true autonomy is more of an ideal than an attainable reality anyway. Even a hermit would be hard put to shed all connections. The most desolate earthly wasteland is not exempt from the complex web of exchange that characterizes a living community. Given that reality, let your focus now be on staying in touch with the two traits that make corporeal individuals essential to the wellbeing of humanity as a whole: a conscience and the capacity for compassion. So long as you do not surrender those two qualities to another or to a group, you can legitimately be both “one with” others and a functionally independent self. – by Len Wallick. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.
Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22) — Jealousy is a complex, powerful and common emotion which some correlate with existential fear. Yet, it is realistically possible to someday wake up and wonder how you ever felt a life-and-death type of need to own a relationship, rather than share in it. If you are currently experiencing jealousy, put yourself in the shoes of a detached but patient and sympathetic companion who just wants you to work through it all enough to regain some peace of mind. While professional counseling is never a bad idea, no therapist can replace or duplicate the capacity you have to be your best friend. If you are currently fortunate enough to no longer be possessed by jealousy, now would be a good time to reflect on what you did to arrive at resolution, integration and freedom. If things move in your life the way they are moving in the sky, it will soon be your turn to gently show another how it’s done. – by Len Wallick. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.
Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22) — All things considered, it’s probably a good thing to sustain and nurture an inner child. If you have children of your own, it’s healthy for both you and them if you have the ability to see the world through their eyes. If you are not a parent, a functional inner child will endow you with the knack for meeting members of younger generations more than halfway, thereby widening your sphere of influence. Most of all, the presence of an operative youth within will continue to mentor you no matter how old or accomplished you become. Age alone does not confer wisdom. One of the oldest and truest proverbs has to do with how some of the most succinct, coherent, and truthful statements are frequently made by the young. Give your own internal kid a fair and frequent hearing. You will be better for having listened. – by Len Wallick. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.
Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20) — You may not yet fully appreciate the significance of a deceptively small step you took in recent weeks. Someday though, you will be able to look back on this period in your life and define it as a time when you took charge of an old pattern and turned it around. More is yet to come. The conscious work you have been doing over the last decade or so is showing unmistakable results. This most recent turnaround, however, is a new high. Like most people, you don’t always succeed on the first try. Now, you know in your bones how to try again without repeating what did not work before. In a very real way, you have reached a point of no return when it comes to settling for unsatisfactory results. For your next amazing feat, it would be appropriate if you came to recognize a giant leap when you make one. – by Len Wallick. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.
Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) — Nearly four centuries ago, John Donne famously averred that no person is an island. In our modern world Donne’s best-known assertion still holds water, but the nature of the container has radically changed. It’s easier to become isolated now. It’s also more difficult to be continuously visible. That being said, one thing has not changed. It remains important for any given human and all of humanity to belong. Having a way to both contribute constructively within and receive support from a distinguishable community is as essential as it has ever been. More than most people, you know what it takes for a community to be sustainable and truly functional in our era. It seems you both crave, and want to offer, greater meaning. Now would be a good time to seek or create a collective endeavor where that knowledge would come in handy for everybody involved. – by Len Wallick. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.
Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) — Ours is an age when printed matter is an endangered media. Nonetheless, mystery novels still sell well enough to get published. Similarly, during a time when theater audiences are getting smaller, a well-crafted suspense will still fill seats. Even the most popular video games are basically puzzles of one type or another. Perhaps foremost among the pastimes that may still be called legitimately timeless are those that challenge people to figure something out. Maybe that’s part of what makes you (and probably your endeavors as well) so fascinating to others. Assuming that’s the case, there is one thing you should keep in mind should it occasionally be in your self-interest to remain interesting. A big part of what makes a challenge to the intellect so fascinating is the anticipation of a payoff. Therefore, it would serve you well to remember that nothing satisfies better than satisfaction. – by Len Wallick. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.