Tracking who is fighting who in Syria and Iraq can become pretty confusing. President Obama has vowed to degrade and destroy the Islamic State (IS).  IS seeks to overthrow Syrian President Assad.  Other Syrian rebels also want to overthrow Assad but simultaneously fight IS.  The Nusra Front, an offshoot of al Qaeda, likewise fights against Assad, but seeks to attack the West as well.  Turkey fears IS but fears the Kurds obtaining a state more; so, it refuses to help the PKK (Kurdish separatists in Turkey labeled by the West as terrorists) fight IS or to offer help that would strengthen the Kurdish position.  Iran’s proxy Hezbollah and some of its own forces are fighting in Iraq against IS to protect Shiite interests and Holly sites.  Saudi Arabia has funded Sunni terrorists (even being linked to helping the 9/11 perpetrators) but wants no part of Sunni IS, but also does not want to help grow the Shia influence in the region.  All is all, the war, seems more like a drunken bar brawl, in which onlookers cannot easily decipher who is fighting who.

(To tune of, “Who’s Sorry Now?” (1923) by, Ted Snyder, Bert Kalmar and Harry Ruby)


Who’s fighting who?
I wish I knew.
Seems like our friends
are our enemies too.

An Islamic State,
the Shia would hate.
Assad also hates them, that’s great!
Turkey’s afraid
Kurdistan will be made.
I wonder who’s fighting who?


Our warplanes hunt
the Nusra Front,
friends of our rebel friends, to be blunt.
The Saudi’s play
all sides all the way.
I wonder who’s fighting who?


Lyric © 2014 by Robert S. Steinberg, Esquire
All rights reserved


(To tune of “How About You,” by Burton Lane and R. Freed)

Abbas cries genocide.
Twisting the truth.
That story runs worldwide.
Twisting the truth.

Hamas can strike Israel.
Murdering Jews.
“Drive them into the sea,”
Arab mentality.
But that’s not the news.

Gaza civilians die.
What an outrage!
Jihad they glorify.
Not on the page.

The aggressor should pay a price.
Next time they would think twice.
Call that uncouth?
I guess, if you’re twisting the truth.

Lyric © 2014 by Robert S. Steinberg, Esquire
All rights reserved


(To tune of, “Old Cape Cod” by Claire Rothrock, Milton Yakus & Allan Jeffrey, (1957) recorded by Patti Page)

If you see some terrorists whom you don’t like.
Bet you’ll feel better after one air-strike.
That’s how we fall in love with dropping bombs.

Since we’ve built a submarine that carries nukes.
We’ll want to launch a few against those kooks.
That’s how we fall in love with dropping bombs.

Viet Nam was like a bombing range.
In Iraq the Shock and Awe was strange.
On Pakistan we dropped a ton or two.
Don’t look up a bomb may fall on you

There’s no need for combat troops, no boots on ground.
With aircraft carriers and jets in-bound.
That’s how we fall in love with dropping bombs.


But, bombs are no solution for this crazy world.
The madness continues after bombs are hurled.
And yet, we fall in love with dropping bombs.

Lyric © 2014 by Robert S. Steinberg, Esquire
All rights reserved


(To the tune of, “Goodnight Sweetheart,” by Ray Nobel & Jimmy Campbell (1931))

Goodbye Congress,
ends another session.
Goodbye Congress,
Midterms have you guessin’.

You’ve done nothing,
the while you were here.
So, go off somewhere.
Somewhere and please stay there.

sits while you purport to,
serve the nation.
If we could deport you,
There’d be,

No more voting.
No more endless self-promoting.
Goodbye Congress.

© 2014 by Robert S. Steinberg,
Esquire All rights reserved.



Periodically the movement to get rid of the penny reactivates. The argument goes that the cost to produce the penny exceeds one cent – even though the cooper penny is now over 90% zinc.  In the end, however, whatever its composition, the penny endures.


(To tune of, “Pennies From Heaven,” by Arthur Johnston & Johnny Burke (1936))

If you need to make some change,
Pennies are heaven.
When the price-mark’s something strange
Like $9.57.

Some say the cost is wasteful
I say, “No thanks!”
What would we use to fill up
Our piggy banks?

Say you want to ditch that old coin.
What are you thinkin’?
Illinois pleads don’t dare purloin
The face of Lincoln

So when your pockets jangle
That’s no mystery
Pennies are heaven
And will always be.

Lyric © 2014 by Robert S. Steinberg, Esquire
All rights reserved


(To tune of, “I’ve Grown Accustomed to Your Face,” by Alan Jay Lerner & Frederick Loewe, from the 1956 Broadway Show and 1964 film “My Fair Lady)

I’ve grown accustomed to disgrace
from what is broken in DC.
I’ve grown accustomed to the noise
of politics, the ploys,
No highs, just lows.
Embarrassing, but shows

Are what’s expected up there now
Can one respect dishonesty?
Who had declared our independence
were extraordinary men.
Sorely we could use a
Thomas Jefferson again.

But he is nowhere in that place.
There’s none like him around.
So, I’m accustomed to disgrace.

Lyric © 2014 by Robert S. Steinberg, Esquire
All rights reserved.


A Wall Street Journal Op-Ed by Paula Marantz Cohen, “We Are All Quants Now,” (9/13/14) related this story. A 7-year-old girl was working on a drawing.  “That’s good work,” her babysitter encouragingly said. “Are you proud of it?”  The girl responded, “I’m not sure.  I’ll bring it to school and see how many ‘likes’ I get.”


We no longer measure qualitatively, nay.
How do we measure value today?

Life is measured by how much we own
and not by how much we’ve grown.

Art is measured by how much is paid
and not by the beauty conveyed.

Books are measured by how well fame sells
and not by what truths the story tells.

Music is measured by the downloaded plays
and not by the lilt of a haunting phrase.

And self-worth is measured by the “Likes” I receive
and not by how I, my own self, do perceive.

Yet adding up all we can own and can count
However large the number or great the amount.

We end up with nothing of value to share.
Of meaningfulness these days
the shelves are quite bare.

Our values are vicarious
made to dive or spike
by those who do or do not
click on the “Like.”

© 2014 by Robert S. Steinberg, Esquire
All rights reserved


David Copperfield is the protagonist, in Charles Dickens’ novel bearing the character’s name. Copperfield loathes Uriah Heep who designs a plan and attempts to deviously force David’s childhood companion Agnes to marry him.  Copperfield calls Heep evil because Heep employs offensive false humility to camouflage his cynicism and malicious scheming.

Republican attacks on President Obama cross the line from legitimate to malevolent because the presidential bashing is not critical but represents an across-the-board assault on every initiative proposed or action initiated by the president.  I do not say that the president is not deserving of criticism but I do assert that the criticism leveled by the GOP is not fairly directed but instead offers only biased partisan assaults aimed at discrediting both the man and his policies.  This take-no-prisoners attack plan is both cynical and malicious and reminds me much of the contemptible Uriah Heep.

(To original melody)

The GOP has become Uriah Heep.
Watch your step, their B.S. pile is deep.
Like that rogue from Dickens’ book,
They too give me the creeps.
The GOP has become Uriah Heep.

Cynical and scheming
Recount  the lies they’ve tried
To spring on us.

The GOP has become Uriah Heep.
Keep one eye open, if you dare to sleep.
For unlike David Copperfield,
Who wants what goodness reaps.
The GOP has become Uriah Heep.

Lyric © 2014 by Robert S. Steinberg, Esquire
All rights reserved.


By now most Americans will have filed 2013 income tax returns. The anxiety about filing, having passed, turns into worry over the daily mail. Will the postman deliver a dreaded IRS letter stating that you have been selected for an audit? You might then feel like this.

(To tune of, “Fascinating Rhythm,” by George and Ira Gershwin)

Mister Tax Inspector
You’ve got me really scared
Mister Tax Inspector
I’m in a flurry.
When I read your letter
I was not prepared
Can you do nothing better?
Than cause me worry?

Each year I file my taxes on time.
(Never late, I’m never late)
Feeling like I’ve committed some crime
I wonder,

Could I be mistaken?
To fear you so?
Will I be forsaken?
Will good luck fail me?
If I have finagled
You’re sure to know.
Can you be inveigled?
Or will you jail me?

I thought that self- assessment meant
I’m on my own.
Mister Tax Inspector
Won’t you please leave me alone?

Mister Tax Inspector
I feel abused.
Why am I selected?
Out of the millions?
Why’d you even bother?
I’m so confused.
Say you wouldn’t rather?
Hunt those with billions?

I thought that self-assessment meant
I’m on my own.
Mister Tax Inspector
Won’t you please leave me alone.

Lyric © 2014 by Robert S .Steinberg, Esquire
All rights reserved