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Monday, October 15, 2012

Science Fiction


In Blade Runner, the most famous science fiction film of all time, in what is now known as the ”Tears in Rain”  soliloquy,[i] the dying replicant, Roy Batty, delivers the following monologue during a drenching downpour at the film's end, moments before his own death:
“I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die.”[ii]

That monologue captures my feelings precisely when I think about American politics today.  We have seen and are still seeing things you wouldn’t believe.  If not time to die, it is at least time to self deport.

A recent example (only one of many):  Representative Paul C. Broun (R. Ga.)



The Georgia Congressman prepared a videotape on September 27, 2012, in which he made an announcement in Hartwell, Georgia, that thrilled his constituents to the bone.


Broun, a medical doctor, told his adoring audience that current scientific theories are meant to convince people that they do not need a savior. 

“God’s word is true.  Iv’e come to understand that. All that stuff I was taught about evolution and embryology and the Big Bang theory is lies straight from the pit of hell."[iii]

Braun sits on the Science, Space, and Technology Committee of the United States House of Representatives.  That committee has jurisdiction over almost all scientific research and development in the United States that is supported by the government, including environmental and marine research, technology; the National Institute of Standards and Technology, NASA; the National Science Foundation; National Weather Service; outer space, science scholarships, etc. 

Science, Space, and Technology Committee

Representative Paul C. Braun is one of a select few men in the country in charge of scientific research in the United States.

Need I say more?

Governor Romney advises that if we don’t like what is going on here in the USA, we should self deport.



[i]  Tears In Rain is the final monologue of the replicant Roy Batty in the movie. It is frequently quoted and has been described as "perhaps the most moving death soliloquy in cinematic history". The final form of the speech was improvised by Rutger Hauer, the actor who delivers it.(Mark Rowlands (2003), The philosopher at the end of the universe, pp. 234–235).
[iii] Associated Press.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The NFL and the Economy


In a thought provoking Op-Ed piece in the New York Times[1] about the ending of the recent NFL referee lockout, Roger Martin from the School of Management at the University of Toronto made the argument that the NFL lockout situation is a metaphor for our modern economic system.


Martin argues that argues that the referee lockout demonstrates that the modern economy is no longer a war between capital and labor as Karl Marx supposed a century ago. 

Marx bifurcated the economic system into capital and labor. Capital provides the means of production. Labor turns invested capital into profits.
Karl Marx

According to Martin, capital has now finally demolished labor, and that battle is over.  When unions became important enough to threaten capital, capital fought back fiercely.  First, capital moved factories to areas where unions could not get a foothold (the sunbelt) and then offshore to Mexico and China.  Labor is almost irrelevant now except in some service industries that cannot easily use foreign labor and in government (i.e. the service unions and public employees unions like schools, police, firemen, etc.)  Even there, its back is gradually being broken. The air traffic controllers strike was an early example. The battles earlier this year in Wisconsin and Chicago, as well as the public employee layoffs and contract re-negotiations in cities and towns across the nation, demonstrate the current desperate situation labor now finds itself in.  Even Democratic mayors are attacking teacher’s unions.

Now, says Martin, having largely defeated labor, the real economic battle now for capital is a struggle against talent, and that is why income in equality is increasing so dramatically. Labor has almost no slice of the pie.

Talent first began to threaten capital in Hollywood. Actors realized they could demand bigger and bigger slices of the pie. Then the same thing happened in professional sports. 

Talent is not fungible in the way that the janitors at the NFL stadiums are.  A talented movie actor is not fungible. The key NFL players are not fungible.  A talented quarterback cannot be locked out and replaced with any old football player standing around in the unemployment lines.  The contest between capital and talent is usually now won by talent.

Wall Street traders, ever watchful of where the money goes,  took note of the huge wins by talent in entertainment and professional sports and argued that they too were just like big sports stars.  People who rose to the top (or got lucky with a big bet) in financial services demanded whatever they could get.  Outrageous pay packages were the result.

In the case of businesses other than sports, executives needed to convince the owners (capital) that they are irreplaceable talent as opposed to replaceable cogs in the machine.  Frequently, the owners are suckered into believing them, or in the case of corporate boards, they are often in on the scam.  Hence, the obscene CEO pay packages in large corporations.

All too frequently the so-called executive talent is a lot like roger Clemens and Lance Armstrong, fakes and cheaters. Bernie Madoff was considered one of the most talented investors on Wall Street.  He pulled the wool over the eyes of thousands of savvy money managers for years. Lance Armstrong was the same kind of talent.

Modern corporate pay packages take capital (the shareholders and investors) to the cleaners.  Ever wonder why the stocks and mutual funds in your IRA account are not paying off much these days? Ask the CEOs of the corporations your IRA is invested in. These guys consider themselves irreplaceable talent like Drew Brees, entitled to pocket the lion’s share of corporate profits, starving capital.  If there are no profits, they still take home a huge chunk of money by taking out ever larger corporate debt to cover their ballooning salaries, further impoverishing investors (capital).

Martin argues that the NFL referees, like the players, are skilled talent that cannot be replaced by any old person with a striped shirt. Thus, the refs won the battle against capital. The capitalist owners mistook them for labor, easily defeated, and did not realize that they were actually talent, not so easy to crush.


The referee lockout does explain some things about our system, but not the way Martin thinks. There is another way to look at the NFL lookout that explains something even more important about our modern economic system than the struggle for money between talent and capital.

NFL referees are not talent.  They are not like play-making quarterbacks.  They are not like box office film actors that can make or break a film. With enough training and experience, all the refs could be replaced, even with foreign labor.  The refs are no more talented than the skilled and experienced air traffic controllers replaced by Ronald Reagan.

The referees are basically policemen, regulators, and judges.  In other words: government.


Without talented referees in a football game who know what they are doing, everyone starts cheating and the entire game goes to Hell. This is what happened to the NFL, culminating in the game between Green Bay and Seattle in which unskilled referees awarded the victory to the losing team.

The same thing happens in the American economic system as a whole.  When government is impoverished and disrespected, even hated, it begins to attract a class of people who don’t know what they are doing and don’t much care. They don’t get paid the big bucks and they don’t get no respect-- so why bother? When that happens, everyone in the economic game starts lying, cheating, and stealing. Sometimes on a huge scale. Think Enron, AIG, Lehman Brothers, Countrywide Finance. This list is a long one.

We now think it is a good idea to elect people to run the government who have no experience in government , who don’t believe in government, who don’t believe in rules, and who think the game should be played without referees.

The free market works better without rules and regulations, they say.

Try that in the NFL.

The new Tea Party congressmen hate government and want business to have free rein, unconstrained by burdensome rules and regulations that keep people from ripping off other people and making a complete pig sty out of the entire playing field.  A recent Presidential candidate (Rick Perry) admitted that he does not even know the name of some of the government regulatory agencies he wants to eliminate.

Next time you decide to put someone in government who hates government and wants to get rid of all the rules, so we can have a free market, think about the gigantic mess the NFL got itself in without good referees.



[1] The article was published in the Times on 9/29/2012.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Exceptionalism


To my legions of devoted readers, I apologize for the recent silence of the blog. I was too depressed to write.

It is depressing to realize that, in this world of money takers and money makers, as an old retired person with no Wall Street connections, I could easily fall into the wrong group: the 47%, of the populace composed of slackers and parasites. This worthless 47% are sick people, poor people, college students, minimum wage types, good-for-nothing low wage earners, disabled veterans, and old geezers with dementia.  They are the “money takers.”  They are income redistributors sucking the economic lifeblood out of America, living off the hard work of billionaire bankers, oil company CEOs, Wall Street traders, and hedge fund managers (the “money makers”).

The icing on the cake for me was finding out that the next President of the United States says that he doesn’t even care about me and other 47 percent of America who are takers.

I could not locate any money to take. …so I took to the bottle.

The only encouraging part of the 47% news was the revelation about Mark Leder. Leder is the private equity  fund billionaire who hosted of the exclusive party at which Romney made his 47% pronouncement.  Leder is best known, according to the magazine that broke the story[i], for his extravagant parties featuring nude Russian models and live sex![ii]

So far, I have been unsuccessful in securing an invitation to one of Leder’s live sex parties.  If anyone knows how I could get an invitation, please help me out.  My lips will be sealed--I promise--about what Romney might say at the party about percentages or whatever else. I am also willing to participate in any way I can in the entertainment.

Live sex parties are part of American exceptionalism.  Check it out on wikipedia.  Condi Rice based her foreign policy on exceptionalism and boasted about it at the recent convention. The basic idea of exceptionalism is that because we Americans are better than anyone else, we get to do whatever we want.
Mormons especially know all about exceptionalism.[iii] A basic Mormon belief is that Jesus, the only begotten son of god, actually came to America and did not go to any other non-exceptional modern nations. This is only one of many fascinating Mormon beliefs.

Exceptionalism distinguishes America from all other nations.  Less exceptional nations run their systems on corruption, socialism, communism, hero worship, religious fundamentalism, confusion, and other false ideologies, that prevent small businesses from doing whatever they want to do to create jobs.

On the other hand, America was ordained by God to teach other nations how to run their affairs. We have all the answers, and that makes us exceptional.

So don’t go around like Obama apologizing for America when we have to burn up a few Korans or kill small children in far away villages with drones. We have to do things like that sometimes to get nonbelievers to recognize our exceptionalism. The essence of being exceptional is being able to get away with doing whatever you want.

As an exceptional nation, we are obligated to teach benighted nations how to run their affairs and elect leaders. It is no good to keep burning down foreign consulates, shooting diplomats, and throwing bombs. We need to teach these misguided fledgling nations how to discuss politics in a more rational and non-threatening way. People on opposite sides should go out and have a beer together, like Tip O’Neill and Ronald Reagan used to do.

One way we could help out would be to send other countries examples of how American democracy works. For example, we could show them how Americans who disagree with the President’s view express their own opinions in a friendly way. One way we do it is by staging mock lynchings of the President, as reported recently by NBC News.


Or if someone in a political debate disagrees with you, you can say to him or her, as American political spokesman Bill whittle recently said:

“If such a thing [referring to Whittle’s view] is not self-evident to you…. I should tell you I own a gun and I know how to use it. I assure you that the pleasure I would take in shooting you would be temporary, minimal, and deeply regretted later.”

Another way to show young democracies how to debate politics in a rational way would be to show them some of our inspiring educational political signs, such as this one:



If none of that works, we could teach them how to prevent worthless slackers without driver’s licenses from messing things up by voting, as we are now trying to do in Pennsylvania, Florida, South Carolina, Wisconsin, and Texas.[iv]

It’s our manifest destiny. Let’s get busy and spread our exceptional American democracy to the world.

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This is an organic free-range blog from a parallel universe. It may contain factual material that could be hazardous to deeply held delusions.




[i] Mother Jones magazine. Leder owns Sun Capital, a private equity firm in Boca Raton, Florida, and is part owner of the Philadelphia Sixers.( See note 2 below).
[ii] If you are a sick prurient type of individual like me, you can read all about Mark’s sexploits in the Philadelphia Enquirer.
[iii] For a surprising theory about the curious connection between Mormonism and American exceptionalism, see the article in the NY Times here by Simon Crichley entitled “Why I love Mormonism”.
[iv] See the article on America’s past and current history of disenfranchisement in the Huffington Post.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Pants on Fire in NC?


In the last blog I noted a few of the more outstanding lies by Romney and his running mate, Pinocchio Ryan. Now it’s the Democrats turn to try to match them lie for lie.

Can they do it?


Maybe.

According to one observer, “so far there is little to be believed in the course of the Democratic Party convention. It is a great concoction of half-truths, distortions, and outright lies. The hypocrisy fills the convention all like the musk of a dead, decaying animal corpse.”[i]

This sounds promising.

In fact, it sounds exactly like the other convention that ended last week.

But as this blog has often pointed out, it’s not just the number of outright lies you can tell or the totally quantity of dissembling you do.  It’s the weight of the lies that count.  The real key is how well do the lies fit into and support your narrative of why your way is the best way to run the country.  A heavy weight lie fits into the narrative and makes the story work.

To put it in a nutshell, the Democrat’s story is that we are all one big family and that no one is really successful unless the whole family, including the elderly, the weak, the unemployed, etc. are all brought along and given opportunities to succeed, at least to some extent.  It’s no good for one person to be wildly successful and then “slam the door behind him” as Michelle Obama said, closing down the opportunities for the rest of the family.

The Republican narrative, on the other hand, is that its every man for himself and the government needs to stop making job-creating successful businessmen drag along a bunch of lazy good-for-nothing freeloaders.

These are thumbnail versions, of course.  A more detailed and accurate description of the two narratives each party buys into appears in the excellent article by Bill Shireman in the September 5, 2012, Huffington Post.  I recommend this article for a full picture of two contrasting dogmas by an astute political observer.  Unfortunately, however, Shireman has deluded himself into thinking that we can undo the destructive effects of these false political narratives. He has a three-step plan, each step of which is insanely unrealistic. [ii]

But now…back to the Democrat’s convention lies.

It is only half time, but how are the Dems doing in cooking the facts to support their one-sided phony story? Five big ones have been noted so far and Obama has not even taken his shot.

1.       Bill Clinton opined that it is only the Republicans who stand in the way of compromise. This is a big fat blatant lie because it ignores the fact that both parties are now extremely polarized, according to The Blaze.[iii]

2.       Delaware Gov. Jack Markell claimed that Mitt Romney has said that “he likes to fire people.” This is a distortion. What Mitt really said was that he liked to fire people in the service industry who don’t provide good service.[iv]

3.       Connecticut Gov. Daniel Malloy made the claim that the Republican platform would “take away a woman’s right to choose even if she is a rape victim.” That may be true, but Mitt Romney has said that he does not agree with it. So this is a twisting of the truth. Same thing as a lie only more effective.

4.       Various speakers enumerated the harmful cuts that Romney would make under his plan to cut 20% from domestic discretionary expenditures, including  first responders, Head Start, Pell Grants,  after school programs, etc. This is a scare tactic lie. The truth is that Romney has not said exactly which programs he would cut to make the 20% overall cut.

5.       Bill Clinton said that Obama’s plan would cut the deficit by $4 trillion. That figure is not accurate because it includes $1 trillion in cuts Obama has already agreed to. It also counts almost $1 trillion in savings from winding down the wars in Afganistan and Iraq that Obama had already planned to make anyway.

On top of all that, the Democrats have been throwing around the “N” word way  too much (the “N” world that refers to a German dictator, not the other “n” word). This is totally uncalled for because no one in the Republican party is openly calling for a German style dictatorship.[v]

Joseph Geobbels, Propaganda Minister

It should be clear that, so far at least, the Democrats are lying as much as one would expect, but they have totally failed to connect their lies to their underlying narrative.  Their message is splattered all over the place.  They cannot seem to keep their story straight. They even let a few facts enter the arena illegally. They are wandering off message half the time, and the lies they are telling do not hook into the dogma that they need to promote.  It’s a messaging disaster.

In creating a masterful story and underpinning it with a strong foundation of appropriate lies, the Republicans are still the masters. They have the PhDs. The Dems are still in elementary school.  In fact, some of them seem to have skipped school altogether.



[i] The quote is from the always enjoyable Rightside News blog.
[ii] You can read about Shireman’s absurdly optomistic scheme here.
[iii] This list of 5 Democratic lies is taken from The Blaze.
[iv] The full Romney quote is ““I want individuals to have their own insurance. That means the insurance company will have an incentive to keep you healthy. It also means if you don’t like what they do, you can fire them. I like being able to fire people who provide services to me. You know, if someone doesn’t give me a good service that I need, I want to say I’m going to go get someone else to provide that service to me.” Jan 9, 2012.
[v] Pat Lehman, the dean of the Kansas Democratic delegation, said of the Republican convention that It’s like Hitler said, if you’re going to tell a lie, tell a big lie, and if you tell it often enough and say it in a loud enough voice, some people are going to believe you,” Also California Democratic chief John Burton said of the Republican speakers that "They lie and they don't care if people think they lie ... Joseph Goebbels -- the big lie, you keep repeating it," Burton said. "That was Goebbels, the big lie."Read more about how the Dems are throwing around the Nazi word at: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/09/05/third-democratic-party-official-reportedly-likens-republicans-to-nazis-at/#ixzz25hxPX7Ph

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Conventional Lying


There is every day political lying. Then there is conventional lying.  Conventional lying is actually a misnomer.  It is not the usual run-of-the-mill political lying. It is the kind of outrageous, continuous, and repeated (even sometimes bizarre) lying you can get away with at a political convention because you have an audience that is only too eager to believe the most incredible falsehoods imaginable.

This is what is now happening at the Republican convention in Tampa. Most likely, the same thing will happen when the Dems get their pack of lies all assembled and allocated out to their speakers at their convention.

Why is this happening?  If you have been reading earlier articles in this blog, you know only too well. 

The reason for all the lying is that most of the time the facts available to us do not fit together into a nice coherent simple story, but it’s the story –not the facts– that counts when people are putting together in their minds what they believe in and how they vote.

Facts are messy.  Facts lead to confusion.  Too many facts and too much truth seeking leads to uncertainty and the realization that we might not know as much as we think we do. In fact, taken to an extreme, it can lead to the realization that we don’t know very much at all about anything.

The human mind cannot handle that kind of uncertainty.  We need to know what the Hell is going on so we can act now. “Hey man, I got to vote. I can’t be bothered trying to figure out all that complicated macroeconomic budget and Medicare stuff.”

Over millions and millions of year, our brains have worked out short cuts that allow us to make decisions and act without too much time-consuming and burdensome thought, fact finding, and analysis.  After all who wants a course in zoology when you are about to be eaten by a sabre-toothed tiger?  Better to attack first and ask the scientific questions later.

Smilodon fatalis. Photo from Wikipedia Commons 
Get this guy with a spear before he gets you. Worry about what biological genus he came from later. If you start giving a lecture on the eating habits of Smilodon Fatalis, you will be dinner.

We have carried that biological survival lesson into the 21st century.

If the facts don’t fit the simplistic story that we use to navigate our life, the answer is:  change the facts.  Make up some lies that will fit the story.  It is way too difficult and confusing to puzzle things out and change the whole story to fit the elusive and ever-changing facts. With a little twisting here and there and a little obliviousness and obfuscation of the truth, we can proceed happily on our way without any unnecessary interference from the complexities of real world.

Politicians are our story tellers in the modern world.  It follows logically, therefore, that they are the leading experts in fact “adjustment”. They are the authors of the political "narratives," as their consultants call the stories that motivate the voters.

Meanwhile, self-righteous political reporters and pundits are busily engaged in documenting all the lies and fact distortions emerging from the Republican convention.  In a week or so, they will be complaining about all the lies and distortions put forth by the Dems to justify their story.

Robert Reich, for example, who should know better, is disturbed about Romney because “resorting to outright lies -- and organizing a presidential campaign around a series of lies -- reveals a whole new level of cynicism, a profound disdain for what remains of civility in public life, and a disrespect of the democratic process.”[1]

Almost every major newspaper has articles about the recent convention orgy of lying.  James Downie at the Washington Post called Paul Ryan’s speech “breathtakingly dishonest” and quoted a Romney advisor as saying “We’re not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact-checkers.” [2]

The LA Times called out one of the most popular convention lies in its headline “Rick Santorum Repeats Inaccurate Welfare Attack on Obama."

The  NY Times took the Republican speakers to task one by one for a ”parade of truth-twisting, distortions, and plain falsehoods.”  The liars included Chris Christie of New Jersey, Bob McDonnell of Virginia, John Kasich of Ohio, and many others. The paper’s editorial board opined that “it was startling to hear how many speakers in Tampa considered it acceptable to make points that had no basis in reality…Voters looking for a few nuggets of truth would not have found them in Tampa on Tuesday.”[3]
What is the point of all this documentation of all the lies?  Every idiot on the street knows that the truth is not going to change anyone’s mind.  These experienced reporters should know what every politician knows: Facts don’t matter unless they fit the story.

At the moment, we have two stories in vogue.

One story is that things only work in life if every man is free to advance his own personal interests and exercise his special talents unfettered by rules and regulations. Anything else is socialism, and socialism is a proven failure. [4] A whole lot of facts need to be adjusted to fit that narrative.  Plus-- you need a big banner saying “You didn’t Build That.”

The other popular story is that we are all in this community together and the more powerful and stronger of us need to share resources to help pull along the weaker and less able of us if any of us are actually going to have a good life.  Anyone who thinks otherwise is cruel and selfish.  If that is your story, you are going to need to make some big fact “adjustments” concerning exactly how much free stuff the rest of the country can afford to hand out to the aged, infirm, and underprivileged without bankrupting the whole country.  Or maybe you can just ignore that awkward cost side of the equation, which is what the Dems will do at their convention.

There are still more lies to tell at the Republican convention. Each speaker seems to have his or her personal allocation.

Then come the Democrats.

Can the Dems outdo the Republican lying machine? Or at least match them lie for lie?

It will be a tall task, but they have a lot to work with and some of these guys came from Chicago --so I am not putting it past them.



[1] Article in the Huffington Post about Romney’s well-funded lying machine.
[2] The link to Downie’s article is here. Elsewhere in the Post, other reporters noted the same trend. Jonathan Bernstein called Ryan’s “flat out” lying “staggering”. See his article here.
[3] The editorial can be read here.
[4] In his convention speech, Paul Ryan said that President Obama and the Democrats see “life as one “dull, unadventurous journey from one entitlement to the next,’ as part of a “government-planned life.’.” (You gotta love that statement!)

Friday, August 24, 2012

Obama's Ignorance





A friend sent me a picture of this sign from the side of a county road in Louisiana. Similar signs are popping up on public roads all over the country to point out how ignorant President Obama is about what it takes to be successful.  According to the sender, the purpose is to “sweep the nation and send a message about the audacity, arrogance, and ignorance of Obama.

In a recent speech, Obama made the incendiary statement (echoing Elizabeth Warren’s now famous off-the-cuff message[1]) that people become successful in life –not all on their own—but with the help, somewhere along the way, of someone else, a teacher, a parent, a coach, a mentor, a church leaders, or someone else perhaps.[2]

The Romney campaign radically distorted the President’s statement–essentially dismembered it--to make it sound like a call for government assistance.  Then they began using it in its hijacked form in political ads to pour gasoline on the anti-government fire burning in the hearts of the right wing. Romney claims that President Obama's comments were "insulting to every entrepreneur, every innovator in America."[3]

This cynical tactic is working. (Taking the low road never fails in politics. Never.)

How ignorant is Obama?

He is so ignorant that he thinks Mr. Herbert had a mother and father, or at least a mother or a foster mother, who helped him through childhood before he got into business.

He is so ignorant that he thinks that Mr. Herbert probably went to school, at least elementary school where he had teachers working in a building, paid for by the taxpayers, providing him with a basic education. Same thing for all his employees. And his customers.

Obama is so stupid that he actually thinks that roads and bridges, as well as telephones and the internet, may be helpful to Mr. Herbert in getting employees and customers to his place of business and in getting goods and services delivered to and from the business.

Obama is such an idiot that he thinks Mr. Herbert needs local and national electric power systems and local public water systems to operate his business.

Obama is so dumb that he thinks police officers and courts are helpful in maintaining law and order so that Mr. Herbert’s business can operate with being robbed on a daily basis, as many businesses are in countries that do not have functioning police and courts.

Obama is so stupid that he thinks that laws enacted by democratically elected legislators protect businesses like Herbert's from unfair competition and extortion by criminal enterprises who would otherwise demand protection money from legitimate businesses, as they do in “failed” nations.

Obama is so stupid that he thinks that businessmen (as well as their employees and customers) are benefitted by government institutions such as the Centers for Disease Control  that protect everyone from catastrophic epidemics.

Obama is such an idiot that he think businesses need strong military and intelligence systems to protect the nation from terrorists and enemies who would like to see our whole way of life disappear.

Obama is foolish enough to think that businessmen travelling on business need air traffic controllers to keep aircraft from colliding into each other in flight.

The list of Obama’s idiotic beliefs goes on and on, endlessly it seems.

Why can’t he just leave businesses alone?

It works in Somalia.  Why not in Louisiana?

………………………………………………..
Warning! This is a certified organic free-range blog. There may be factual or truthful material remaining in the text that escaped editing.
To comment on this blog, click on the hyperlink at the bottom that reads “Post a Comment.”


[1] Warren’s off the cuff statement (now claimed to be a communist manifesto) is as follows: “There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own. ….You built a factory out there—good for you! But I want to be clear. You moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for. You hired workers the rest of us paid to educate. You were safe in your factory because of police forces and fire forces that the rest of us paid for. You didn’t have to worry that marauding bands would come and seize everything at your factory, and hire someone to protect against this, because of the work the rest of us did. Now look, you built a factory and it turned into something terrific, or a great idea—God bless. Keep a big hunk of it. But part of the underlying social contract is you take a hunk of that and pay forward for the next kid who comes along.”

[2] The text of the President’s statement prior to its dismemberment by the Romney campaign is as follows: "If you've been successful, you didn't get there on your own.  If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges."

[3] Romney’s statement as reported on CBS News.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

I.Q. Test



Which of the following is smarter?

Missouri Senate Candidate Todd Akin
Uterus of 13-Year Old Girl Raped by Close Relative













You guessed right!

 It’s the Uterus.

Even newly minted Republican Senate candidate Todd Akin admitted  that the uteri of rape victims are incredibly smart, so smart in fact that, according to Aiken, they actually prevent rape victims from getting pregnant. [1]  Todd revealed that being raped causes women to “secrete a certain secretion” that kills sperm.[2]

This little-known[3], but ingenious, behavior by uteri avoids a whole lot of political problems.  Here in the U.S. it makes it OK to legally prohibit rape victims from obtaining abortions in order not to be forced into fathering the child of their assailants. VP candidate Paul Ryan joined Todd Akin in promoting legislation to make this the law of the land.

In Muslim countries, it allows a rape victim to avoid being stoned to death publicly for allowing herself to be raped and then become pregnant.

All this is very convenient, and we owe this amazing scientific discovery to Todd Akin.  Akin is now the most popular celeb in America, beating out even Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian.   (All three of course have a lot in common, mixing intelligence and sex into a potent popular brew.) 
Paris, Upstaged by Todd

Akin is incredibly popular among Republicans now because his discoveries about how the female body handles rape and incest have taken the media spotlight off Presidential candidate Romney’s perfectly legal tax schemes, his astonishingly fruitful IRA and his mysterious offshore bank accounts.

The spoltlight is also diverted from VP candidate Paul Ryan’s bizarrely cruel political philosophy (Cribbed from  Atlas Shrugged.)

Democrats also have fallen for Todd. They cynically dream that his candidacy may cement their hold on the votes of rape and incest victims nationwide, or at least in Missouri.

Todd has a little something for everyone. A nonentity until last week, Todd was happily swilling moonshine in his native Ozarks when suddenly he got the idea to run for the U.S. Senate. With a little help from Harry Reid, he won a competitive Republican primary. The rest is history.

The Ozarks is no stranger to scientific discovery. It has the highest per capita concentration of Nobel Prize winners in the United States.[4]

Todd has made other astonishing discoveries. He was the first to reveal that liberals hate God.  And he proved that the school lunch program, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, children’s health insurance, all federal education programs, all federal antipoverty programs, federal disaster relief, federal food safety inspections and other food safety programs, national child labor laws, the minimum wage, overtime, and other labor protections and federal civil rights are ALL TOTALLY AND FLAGRANTLY unconstitutional.[5]

Welcome to politics in Amerika in the Year of Our Lord 2012!


[1] Interview of Todd Akin on Missouri TV station KTVI-TV.
[2] The genealogy of Akin's  discovery is set forth in the an article by Robert Mackey in the Lede.
[3] Some say that Todd was not the first to make this discovery. According to the NY Times, the theory is based on 13th century medicine when it was believed that a women had have an orgasm in order to conceive (although not necessarily at exactly the same time as her male partner). By logical extension, then, if a woman became pregnant, she must have experienced orgasm, and therefore could not have been the victim of rape because how could she be raped if she was having that much fun.
[4] The source of the scientific prowess in the Ozarks is its religious and educational leadership, including Assemblies of God, Baptists  and Southern Baptists, Church of Christ and other Protestant Pentecostal denominations. Scientific organizations headquartered in the Ozarks include the Assemblies of God and the Baptist Bible Fellowship International in Springfield, and the Pentecostal Church of God in Joplin.
[5] Aiken was of 5 Congressmen to vote against the school lunch program.