Monday, April 17, 2017

The Space Alien Marches on Tax Day

On April 15, America's traditional tax day, the Space Alien marched with thousands of others in downtown Chicago, protesting the President's refusal to reveal his tax returns, as every American president has done for the past several decades.

The Space Alien marched with great energy, admiring signs and joining in chants urging the President to reveal his tax returns that could, in turn, expose hidden financial ties.

"Show us what democracy looks like!" shouted the chant leaders.

"This is what democracy looks like!" answered the Space Alien, along with thousands of others.

"No more Secrets! No more Lies!

Show your Taxes! Show your Ties!"

What are YOU hiding, Mr. President?

Seen along the March Route

and see:




The Space Alien was 
burdened with guilt

Upon returning to the insanely busy newsroom of the Space Alien Gazette the Space Alien took your editor aside.

"I feel guilty," confided the Space Alien. "because I have never filed a tax return, and I wouldn't know where to begin!"

Your editor downloaded a Form 1040 and handed it to the Space Alien.  "Just take this home, fill it out, and mail it in.  It's all quite simple!"
The Space Alien
Examines Form 1040

The Space Alien examined the form, but soon realized that it would present a challenge, as it asked for information the Space Alien didn't have.

The Space Alien thought deeply about this and, as Hippocrates once prescribed, decided that desperate times called for desperate measures.

So traveling to Washington, D.C. at tachyonic velocities exceeding the speed of light, the Space Alien soon arrived at the Internal Revenue Service Building, where staffers, thrilled to meet the Space Alien, escorted their visitor directly to the office of the Commissioner of  the United States Internal Revenue Service, Mr. John Koskinen.

The IRS Commissioner John Koskinen
Welcomes The Space Alien

Commissioner Koskinen welcomed the Space Alien into his office, expressing his appreciation for the Space Alien's honesty and willingness to shoulder a fair share of the nation's economy.

"I'm sure we can straighten this out," the Commissioner said.  "May I ask you a few questions?"

"Certainly," said the Space Alien, relieved to have this understanding ear.

The IRS Commissioner lends an understanding ear 

"When and where were you born?" asked the Commissioner.
"I don't know," answered the Space Alien.
"Don't you know your birthday?"
"No, I don't, but I wouldn't expect a busy man like you to send me a card or anything," said the Space Alien modestly.

The Commissioner sighed.

"Do you have a Social Security number?"
"No, I don't."
"But don't you have a job?"
"I work for the Space Alien Gazette," said the Space Alien proudly.
"Well, don't you get a salary?"
The IRS Commissioner explains
history to the Space Alien
"Of course!  I get a free subscription to the Space Alien Gazette!"

This reminded the Commissioner of the practices that began in 1943 with WWII wage controls, leading to today's seemingly inextricable link between jobs and health care, and he began to explain this, but it was clear that the Space Alien's attention was beginning to wander.

(Loyal readers, however, especially our younger ones, may benefit from reading about this at:

The Commissioner sighed again, even more deeply, remembering with longing his far less complicated days both in the private sector and in public service ( before continuing his conversation with the Space Alien.

Still trying to ascertain if the Space Alien had any income that would necessitate filing a tax return, the Commissioner continued his questioning.

"What do you do if you want to buy something?" he asked.

"Well, I don't need much," answered the Space Alien but sometimes my editor lets me use her credit card."

The Commissioner winced.

The Space Alien's
Headache Remedy
"You must excuse me, Mr. Alien -- or is it Ms. Alien -- but I'm beginning to get a terrible headache!"

"No problem," said the Space Alien.  "Give me your hand!  I'll use my  teeth to press on the proper acupressure point and you'll feel better in no time!"

"Ah, uh, no; thank you, but I think I'd better go and lie down."  (But you, loyal reader, may examine this picture for future reference.)

And with that the Commissioner left the room.

The Space Alien waited for a while and then left too, feeling sad for not being able to help the nice Commissioner and even sadder not knowing how to file an income tax return or even if it were necessary.

The Space Alien, now busily preparing for the Science March on Earth Day, April 22, also reminds loyal readers that federal income tax returns are due this year on Tuesday, April 18.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Womankind -- and Storks -- Safeguarding the Future of Mankind

The Space Alien, who reads widely and incessantly, was pleased to read the National Geographic article about caring women in India who protect storks.   

The Space Alien has heard that these magnificent birds find tiny humans and carry them to larger humans who care for them until they they reach full size. 

Where the storks find these tiny humans, the Space Alien does not know.  But clearly these gentle birds are essential to human survival. 

Since some of the Space Alien's best friends are humans, this is very much appreciated! 

The Space Alien cannot understand why humans cannot find their own little ones and must depend on storks for this.  Perhaps they just don't know where to look.

The Space Alien will continue to seek answers.  In the meantime, planet Earth owes a vote of thanks to the caring Indian women carrying out their important mission to protect these hard-working and necessary storks.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

The Space Alien's Passover Encounter

While enjoying a swim in the River Nile during an Egyptian holiday, the Space Alien was astonished to see a small basket floating along, tilted on its side.  

The Basket was in Peril

The Space Alien Grasped
the Tiny Hand

The Space Alien was even more astonished to see a tiny hand emerge as the listing basket began to empty its contents into the churning waters of that historic river.  

The Space Alien quickly swam alongside, gently grasped the tiny hand, and withdrew a tiny baby from the muddy water.

Fortunately the Space Alien had brought along two large, soft, white beach towels with blue stripes, and carefully tipped the muddy water out of the basket and wiped it clean with one of them.
The Space Alien's Large, Soft,
White Beach Towels with
Blue Stripes

Then the Space Alien carefully wrapped the tiny baby in the second white beach towel with the blue stripes, and gently placed him back in the basket.(Curious loyal readers may scroll to the very foot of this post for more information about why, when traveling, the Space Alien carries at least one towel.) 

Moses greets the Space Alien

The tiny baby, now cozily swaddled in the white beach towel with blue stripes, gazed calmly into the eyes of the Space Alien and spoke: 

“Do I know you?”

“I’m the Space Alien!”

"My name is Moses," said the tiny baby "and I  thank you for rescuing me!  I haven't learned to swim yet, and I thought I was a goner for sure and would never fulfill my great destiny."

"It was my pleasure," said the Space Alien, "but why are you out here all alone on the river?'

The Princess and
Moses' Sister Miriam
"The ruler — they call him Pharaoh -- wanted to kill little boys like me, so my Mom put me here for safety.  She knew Pharoah’s daughter, the Princess, would see how cute I was and rescue me when she came to the river to wash up.  And see - there she is now!"  

"And look," continued the tiny baby, "there's my sister, Miriam, ready to help the princess find a baby sitter who would actually be my Mom!    Everything is all planned and you can even read about it in your Bible in the first two chapters of the Book of Exodus."  (Q.V.)

The Space Alien looked up and, indeed, saw the women standing nearby.  

The tiny baby spoke again: 

"If I can just get to where they are,  I'll be safe."

The Space Alien nodded in agreement, and then, swimming under the roiling water of the Nile, carefully pushed the basket until it was close to the shore where the women were standing.  

The Princess and Miriam
"Goodbye, Baby Moses!" said the Space Alien softly, positioning the basket near the reedy bank.  "Be a good boy, fulfill your great destiny with integrity, and always tell the truth."

"I promise!" responded Baby Moses.  

The Space Alien waited as the Princess and Moses' sister Miriam, who would love and care for Moses, retrieved him, and watched them wrap him once again in the large white beach towel with the blue stripes. 


The Space Alien wondered how 
 Moses would use the white
beach towel with blue stripes.

Then, murmuring "My work here is done,” the Space Alien was soon aloft, traveling through time and space at tachyonic velocities exceeding the speed of light, to the headquarters of the Space Alien Gazette, where Your Editor was waiting.
"Where were you?" asked your editor when the Space Alien returned, "and how did your lovely white beach towel with the blue stripes get so wet and muddy?  And where is the other one?"

"I can explain..." began the Space Alien, but Your Editor impatiently interrupted.  "Oh  we don't have time for another of your 'bubbe meises' (Q.V.) now.  You need to hurry  and get cleaned up.  Tonight is Pesach and our Seder is about to begin!"

The Space Alien carefully rinsed the mud of the Nile from the large white beach towel with the blue stripes and hung it up to dry, briefly wondering how Baby Moses would use the other identical one in later years, and then hurried to take a seat at the lovely Space Alien Gazette Passover Seder!     

What a wonderful Seder it was, with the entire staff of the Space Alien Gazette and their families and friends.  

Here is one of the Space Alien's exclusive photographs:

Space Alien Gazette Passover Seder

The Space Alien happily participated in the Seder, munching on matzos while reading the thrilling account of how Moses grew up to become a great leader who guided his people to freedom, and smiled recalling the thrilling rescue of the tiny baby on the River Nile.

Whatever holiday you may be celebrating at this season, or simply to welcome the arrival of Spring,  The Space Alien, your editor, and the entire staff of the Space Alien Gazette would like to wish all of our Loyal Readers good health and much happiness.

If you would like to learn more about the history and customs of Passover (Pesach) please click here.
After dinner the Space Alien happily joined in singing about the little basket on the Nile that carried tiny baby Moses to safety!   If you, loyal reader, would like to sing along, here are some recordings, and, if you will scroll down, the words as well!

1. Sung by Tova Ben-Zvi in Sabbath and Holiday Songs:

2.  Sung by Shura Lipovsky in Moments of Jewish Life:

3. Sung by Lori Cahan Simon in Songs my Bubbe Should Have Taught Me, Volume 1, Passover:

4. Sung by schoolchildren at Kinneret Day School in New York: 

And here are the words so you can sing it too!

Words are by the beloved Yiddish poet Avrom Reyzen (Q.V), and the music is by the similarly beloved composer Mikhl Gelbart (Q.V.).

Yiddish Text Transliterated in Latin Letters: 

Shvimt dos kestl afn taykh, Afn groysn nil.
Shvimt dos kestl ruik, glaykh, Shvimt dos kestl shtil. 

     Un di khvalyes geyen shtil, geyen tsart un lind;
     Vi zey voltn hitn zikh Ton a leyd dem kind. 

Shvimt dos kestl afn taykh,  afn groysn nil.

Shvimt dos kestl ruik, glaykh, Shvimt dos kestl shtil. 

     O, di khvalyes zaynen dokh nit vi pare shlekht.
     Nit dertrinken veln zey Meshiekhn fun knekht. 

Shvimt dos kestl afn taykh,  afn groysn nil.
Shvimt dos kestl ruik, glaykh, Shvimt dos kestl shtil. 

English Translation: 

The little basket floats on the river, upon the great Nile 
The little basket floats peacefully, steadily, 
The little basket floats quietly.

     And the wavelets move quietly, they move gently and softly,
     As if to keep from harming the little child. 

The little basket floats on the river, upon the great Nile 
The little basket floats peacefully, steadily, 
The little basket floats quietly.

    Oh the waves are, indeed, not like evil Pharaoh, 

    They would not drown the Messiah of the slaves
The little basket floats on the river, upon the great Nile
The little basket floats peacefully, steadily, 
the little basket floats quietly.

Original Yiddish: 

(You may also find this at and scroll down a bit. ) 
A Word of Explanation: Why does the Space Alien Carry a Towel when Traveling?

It was certainly fortuitous on this occasion that the Space Alien had taken along two large, soft, white beach towels with blue stripes, but loyal readers should know that the Space Alien generally carries at least one serviceable towel when away from the offices of the Space Alien Gazette

The Space Alien, an avid reader of science fiction comedy, was profoundly influenced by The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams which appeared in the 1970's as a radio comedy and was since published in many other forms including novel and film.  

The Space Alien, always on the lookout for practical advice, found the following passage from Chapter 3 of this book to be eminently sensible and strongly persuasive: 
"A towel is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have. Partly it has great practical value. You can wrap it around you for warmth as you bound across the cold moons of Jaglan Beta; you can lie on it on the brilliant marble-sanded beaches of Santraginus V, inhaling the heady sea vapours; you can sleep under it beneath the stars which shine so redly on the desert world of Kakrafoon; use it to sail a miniraft down the slow heavy River Moth; wet it for use in hand-to-hand-combat; wrap it round your head to ward off noxious fumes or avoid the gaze of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal (such a mind-bogglingly stupid animal, it assumes that if you can't see it, it can't see you — daft as a brush, but very very ravenous); you can wave your towel in emergencies as a distress signal, and of course dry yourself off with it if it still seems to be clean enough.
"More importantly, a towel has immense psychological value. For some reason, if a strag (strag: non-hitch hiker) discovers that a hitchhiker has his towel with him, he will automatically assume that he is also in possession of a toothbrush, face flannel, soap, tin of biscuits, flask, compass, map, ball of string, gnat spray, wet weather gear, space suit etc., etc. Furthermore, the strag will then happily lend the hitch hiker any of these or a dozen other items that the hitch hiker might accidentally have "lost." What the strag will think is that any man who can hitch the length and breadth of the galaxy, rough it, slum it, struggle against terrible odds, win through, and still knows where his towel is, is clearly a man to be reckoned with."
— Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
And see:

This is why the Space Alien likes to carry a towel while traveling away from the offices of the Space Alien Gazette, and strongly recommends this practice to loyal readers as well.

The Space Alien Carries a Towel when Traveling
away from the Space Alien Gazette