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Posts Tagged ‘Humor’

Have you ever read the Constitution of the United States of America? I have. Well, not all of it but most of it, the parts I could understand. I’ve also read the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China, English translation. Because it was a translated copy, I can’t be sure I was reading the actual meanings intended by the Founders of the PRC.

Actually, I am unsure if I’m reading the real words and meanings in the U.S. Constitution, since it has been interpreted, misinterpreted, and twisted from here to breakfast and back.

For example, I’ve read the part about Congress and for the life of me, I can’t find a single solitary word that gives Congress the authority to shut down the government because a small cadre of lunatics in the House of Representatives wants to cancel Obamacare, which isn’t Obama care at all but the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

I have this queasy feeling that the Founders had no intention whatsoever of creating a government of idiots. The Founders themselves seem, in retrospect, to have been a moderate group who were mainly teed off about King George telling them how to run the Colonies. Oh, and taking money from them without representation.

But, hell, isn’t that what all governments do? I mean, take money by hook or crook from the citizens and give it to their buddies?

Our government, for example, takes money from mid and low income tax payers and passes it along to pseudo-people and really, really rich people in the form of government contracts worth billions, tax breaks, and off-shore tax havens, to name a few.

When I read the U.S. Constitution, I saw none of this anywhere in that revered document. Which leads me to believe that the power holders in the U.S. do not give a squat about what the Constitution says.

Heck, a little innovative interpretation has worked wonders for white male property owners over the age of 21 who are members of the Republican Party. The rest of us–Mitt Romney’s 47 percent who sponge off of the “real” Americans–we just kind of scurry around waiting for a scrap here and there and getting our buns shot off defending the freedom of Mitt and his buddies, the 53 percent who really count.

That’s modern life in the Shining City on the Hill.

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The Repugnicants are still puzzled over President Obama’s religion. Is he a Christian? Is he a Muslim? What?

Not surprisingly, Repubnicants overwhelming believe he is a Muslim.

This belief is especially strong in the state of Mississippi where a Mississipian recently said Obama isn’t qualified to be the President because he isn’t an American.

What is he, I wondered before he went on to say, “He’s not an American. He’s a Muslim.” The man’s demeanor strongly suggested that the word Muslim is uncapitalized in his neck of the woods.

None of this surprises me. Although I am primarily a product of California and Hawaii, I have lots of distant cousins in the Confederate States of America.

I was visiting one a few years ago, and at dinner, the subject of religion came up. The conversation went something like this.

“I am not at all biased. I believe in freedom of religion.”

“Me too.”

“Why, we have a neighbor who is a (hushed voice) muslim.”

“Is that right?” I whispered.

“She invited me to her house.”

You don’t say?”

“Yes, I do say. And I accepted because, as I said, I am not prejuduced.”

“I remember.”

“When I walked in, I became scared and My God told me to get out.” I had the definite feeling that she was talking in bold caps.

“She did?”

“Yes, and I left without saying a word.”

“Have you seen her since then?”

“Oh, yes. She is a wonderful neighnor.”

“But I thought your god told you to get out.”

“Absolutely.”

But isn’t that some sort of bias?”

“Of course not, silly. God told me to get out, and if he says it, it isn’t bias.”

“I think I’m beginning to see the light.”

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It’s midafternoon on Christmas day 2011. The kids opened their presents early and then faded away to nap. We haven’t had our Christmas dinner yet, but my mind is already fast-forwarding to the New Year. What will the year hold for me, for my family, and for the United States?

Those are unanswerable questions because the future remains as elusive as it always has. Suffice to say, I’m no Nostradamus. I have no mysterious powers that will permit me to create wonderfully vague, ambiguous, and elusive words, phrases and sentences that highly intelligent people like Joe the Plumber will interpret and assign certaintities of time and place to catastrophic events in my name.

I’m just an ordinary guy who lives a low-key life without a lot of daily drama. In short, I’m no politician. I’m just Bob, the guy who lives next door in a neighborhood that’s been around awhile and is beginning to show signs of wear and tear but still is called home to a lot of nice people with a kind of benign nosiness and a tendency toward arguing in favor of their pet loony belief.

Because I’m the only normal man among a bunch of wierdos, I’ve learned to recognize their predictibility and hence foretell their future actions and reactions. For example, one of my neighbors is a man named Bob. People can’t seem to tell the difference between us. But Bob  is predictible. He is absolutely certain that the election of that Kenyan guy as president was the first step in the takeover of the United States by the Soviet Union.

Forget for a moment that the Soviet Union ceased to exist a couple of centuries ago. Forget that the President of the United States is a white guy from Kansas. Forget that Shirley Temple was an ambassador to Tanzania or someplace. But remember that Bob will blame every occurrence in the universe on Brock O. Bama. Bob is predictible.

George Romney is also predictible. George is going to say something today, say  something different tomorrow, and revert to his original something day after tomorrow. Nutt Gingrich is predictible. Everytime he has an affair, he will blame it on his love for our country.

Rick Perry is predictible. His hair is always perfectly coiffured and he talks in a silly fake Texas accent. Ron Paul is predictible. He’ll lambast black people and blame his words on ghost writers. Michelle Bachman is predictible. She’s smart and tees off everyone else because Tea Partiers can’s handle smart women, or smart anyone for that matter.

If you haven’t grasped my drift yet, peredictibility is at the heart of political analysis. In the field of human resources, the experts tell us that the best gauge of how a new employee will perform is how that employee performed in the past.

The same general rule applies in the world of politics. If you want to figure out how a candidate will perform as President of the United States, take a detailed look at his or her past performance. Be careful, however. The responsibilities and authorities of the President far outweigh those of any other office in this country public or private.

As Richard Nixon once said, “Don’t listen to what I say. Watch what I do.” That’s a brilliant observation. Nixon may have been a crook, but he knew a lot about human behavior.

And it’s good advice for anyone who really wishes to assess the current crop of Republican candidates for the presidency. Ignore their debate performance. Ignore their slick ads. Ignore the pronouncements of their supporters.

Look at their records. For example, if a candidate has supported a bill or a law, ask first and formost, “Who benefits? Does the law provide tax breaks or other good things to the one-percenters?” If it does, you will have a firm fix on the strong possibility that the candidate’s policies as President will follow a similar tack.

Once you’ve completed your analysis by collecting the facts, preparing a spreadsheet, and gnashing your teeth because you can’t find an iota of difference between any of them, throw away the whole pile, close your eyes, whirl around three times, and then vote for Obama.

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If you haven’t figured it out by now, Newt Gingrich is a man of grandiose dreams and loony ideas. He once remarked that he was going to change the world. Didn’t Hitler say that? Or was it Caligula?

Newt’s latest crazy uttering is about the United States Federal court system. In a nutshell, he says as president he would arrest judges whose decisions he disagrees with.

Yes, I think a couple of Supreme Court justices are totally unqualified to sit on the bench. Think Scalia and Thomas.

These are justices who are widely known to believe in the same things Newt does. Maybe Obama could arrest these bozos for the lunatic decision to make people out of corporations.

Oh, wait. That’s not what Newt proposes to do. He wants to arrest only liberal judges. Or in the jargon of right wing screwballs, Activist Judges, meaning judges who vote in favor of civil rights for the poor and disenfranchised.

Newt, in fact, would completely dismantle Brown v. Board of Education, a ruling in 1954 that overturned the separate but equal facilities under which Blacks had to endure the ignominy of virtually unfunded Black public schools. According to Newt, giving Blacks an educational chance is unconstitutional.

And yet in his mind arresting judges is perfectly constitutional.

But Newt doesn’t stop at arresting judges.

Before he arrests them, he will have them face an Inquisition before the U.S. Congress to justify their decisions.

There’s really more to Newt than we know, though. He also wants to eliminate child labor laws so that schools can fire their janitors and kids can do the work, all in the name of kids learning how to be responsible adults and support their fired parents.

But that isn’t all. Newt is a well-known fornicator of women other than his wife. When asked to explain his peccadillos, he offered an excuse from patriotism, which I will paraphrase.

“I love my country so much, and I worked so hard on behalf of my country that I got caught up in the moment.”

I don’t think I can add anything to my strong belief that Newt Gingrich should aptly be named Nutty Gingrich and those who support him are ripe for incarceration in the nearest loony bin.

But I will admit that his excuse for screwing his intern while impeaching Clinton for having a little pseudo sex in the Oval Office is a novel one.

Quick thinking insanity. I like the sound of it.

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I was fooling around on the internet this morning trying to think of something to write about when I ran across an article in the Washington Post headlined “Stop beating up on federal workers.”

Since I used to be one, naturally I was interested because I’ve run across the same kind of article many times in the past.

Federal workers have been easy targets for politicians, mostly Republicans, as well as for the American public.

Republican attacks are generally strategic. But below their whining and sniveling about those slothful, overpaid bureaucrats, their attacks have less to do with conservative ideology than with just plain ole meanness. Republicans hate everybody, even their own kind.

The American public’s disdain for federal employees can be traced directly to an overload of misinformation in the media and from equally misinformed fellow private sector workers around the water cooler.

If those superefficient private workers who are perfect in every way would drink less water and make fewer trips to the water closet, maybe contaminated ground water would clear up as well as the air around water coolers.

Let me see if I can clear the air. Here’s the basic complaint about federal workers in a tea bag.

They are rich beyond compare. Every couple of weeks, they receive paychecks that exceed the annual pay check of Donald Trump’s private nann.y

Their medical benefits permit them access to the best medical care in Death Valley, plus two annual visits to top flight medical specialists in Vegas, along with unlimited trips to the Rivera on “rejuvenation leave.”

Moreover, they work when and where they choose. A few opt for regular working visits to private topless clubs for the specific purpose of inspecting the merchandise, which includes a hand on test to assure customers receive what they pay for.

And you know what? It’s their own damned fault. They have forced “the government” at the point of a gun to pay them these exorbitant salaries and grant them unlimited perks. “The government” is helpless in the face of overwhelming labor union strength and power.

I’ve met a few federal workers who wished it were all true, that their workplace was in a topless club.

Alas and a-lack-a-day. Here’s the way it really works.

Congress and Congress alone is the power that establishes wages, salaries, and benefits for federal employees. The workers have no power to alter this system other than to write their congressman. Federal labor unions have no power or authority to negotiate salaries with the possible exception of the postal union.

However, one element can and often does affect whether Congress grants a rise in salaries or not. Plain ole common sense tactical politics.

There are more than a million federal employees. They vote. And their families vote if they are of age. Politicians are many things but they are not dumb. They cater to this large group of potential voters by buying their votes with salary increases and annual raises based on increases in the cost of living. In another world this would be called bribery. But in Washington DC, it’s perfectly legal.

Federal employees are not dumb either. They gladly accept the raises and perks given to them by a greedy Congress. Republicans often bleat about the system in public while tacitly approving of it when the voting chips are down.

Well, there you have it in a tea bag. So the next time you complain about those lazy, slothful, overpaid bureaucrats, ask yourself a question, punk.

Would you refuse to accept a salary that puts you in a league with the big money boys?

Well, would you, punk?

Go ahead, punk. Make my day.

Refuse.

 

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…is a Television show I stumbled across on the Style Channel. It’s actually all about a troupe of faux-blond, overly mascara-ed Texas women who live high on the hog so to speak. I’ve only seen one or two episodes, but based on my limited exposure to it, the program seems to be patterned after The Real Housewives of New York City only bigger and brassier. That’s just the way Texas is.

I’m probably deranged, but I like to watch these shows. I think it all started with Bravo Network’s the Real Housewives of Orange County followed in no particular order by the Real Housewives of New York and then the Real Housewives of New Jersey. Somewhere along the line, the Real Housewives of Atlanta crept in.

They all run to a pattern, big rich beautiful (depending on your tastes) generally blond women who seem to be in a dither over something. I’ve never quite figured out why they are constantly in some kind of verbal brouhaha. In fact, I don’t even know what their arguments are all about.

Occasionally, they’ll have a party and we get a chance to see their husbands, boyfriends, or significant others. These men are all dressed alike, usually in jeans and a white dress shirt untucked and unbuttoned to a point just above the navel.

The men are usually freshly shaven and neatly trimen around the ears. They stand quietly drink in hand near their women and do their utmost to exude confidence, the kind that requires years of acculturation to achieve.

Occasionally, they may look at one another quizzically as if to ask, “Why are these women arguing? Why don’t they just draw and shoot like us manly guys?”

As you might expect based on the show’s title, signs and symbols of conspicuous consumption are all around: upscale shopping, tennis lessons, golf courses, gated communities, cocktail parties, gatherings at intimate lounges, all of the things that make the rest of us wonder why they whine and whine and snivel when a misguided politician wants to raise taxes on the rich.

But are these people really rich? Or do they live from paycheck to paycheck? Have the show’s creators and producers managed to locate a bunch of good looking poor Texas women and trained them in the arts of pretense, which probably isn’t too difficult given the American tendency to embellish our lives.

I don’t know about the Texas beauties but a couple of Orange County wives have been reduced to finding work after a divorce. One of them even moved out of her upscale digs into a more modest residence. But that’s America in the 21st Century. You just can’t trust the politicians to pressure their corporate buddies into bringing a few jobs back to the good old U.S. of A.

I think I’ve listed all of the Housewives of…Genre. If I’ve missed one or more, let me know. And if you have some ideas for similar shows, let me know about them. I have my own ideas. For example, I’d dearly love one about the Housemaids of the Terminator.

That’s my take on life in the idle lane. You may like these kinds of reality shows. To me, they are examples of shows I can’t not watch.

Addendum: You’ll note the following sentence in which two adjectives may seem discordant. “The men are usually freshly shaven and neatly trimen…”  Ordinarily, I would write “shaved and trimmed,” but I decided to slip in an Olde English construction to demonstrate the infinite possibilities for expression in the English language. Another example, “Get your friggin hands offa me you uncouth vermin,” is a form of expression descended from Frisian. Or, “Fuck you, Jack,” a greeting widely used among members of the U.S. Congress, a manner of speaking which is also known to be a regular utterance of Vice Presidents. English is a very adaptable language.

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Most of us  have probably wished at one time or another that we had the power to dispatch someone we don’t like to the outer reaches of Alpha Centauri.

This is just a fantasy, of course. We wouldn’t really do such a terrible thing. We are kindly people who firmly believe in loving our neighbor. At most, we might give someone a case of the hiccups for a day or so just for the heck of it.

But then again, wouldn’t it be fine to really possess God-like powers and use them in a God-like manner?

What would you do? What would I do? What if?

After a great deal of contemplation befitting God, I finally developed a list of tasks that I consider worthy of God’s attention.

1.      Consign Michelle Bachman to an eternity of reading Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States.

2.      Reduce Antonin Scalia to a jabbering idiot so that he could never again rule on a case before the Supreme Court of the United States. Oh, wait. He already is a jabbering idiot.

3.      Cut off the water to Bristol Palin’s new home in the Arizona desert.

4.      And, oh, by the way, transport Bristol to a Fred Astaire dance studio promptly at noon every day. No reason for the noon thing. It just sounded nice.

5.      Exile Glen Beck to Del Rio, Texas. Sorry, People of Del Rio. I’ll think of something to compensate you later.

6.      Force-feed Rush Limbaugh a bottle of fast-acting diet pills three times daily.

7.      Recall John McCain to active service in the United States Navy, promote him to Admiral, and assign him as an aide to President Obama.

8.      Vaporize Obama’s long-form birth certificate. This will drive the Birthers nuts because they won’t be able to find a document they can claim was doctored.

9.      Change the name of California. I’ll entertain suggestions.

10.   Establish an e-mail system for communicating with my flock. I’ve become deaf from listening to the people in Del Rio complain about Glen Beck.

That’s about all I can handle at the moment. Thinking is tough work. But I would like to explain why most of my God-like actions are directed at conservatives or whatever they’re called today. No secret. They’re so visible. And loud. And…well…fill in the blanks.

Or, if you’re a conservative, perhaps you might consider publishing your own list of liberal bogeymen along with your fantasies about dispatching them to the far reaches of the universe.

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