Evening comedy show

This evening it’s around up of somethings from the web. Things that you won’t find in our Advocate.

First there is the fact that the number of federal subsidy programs is now over 2000. And just 30 years ago it was “only” 1200. The only president under which it fell was Ronald Reagan, but still not below 1000. Meanwhile, this is money that is transferred from one set of citizens to another because the recipients are deemed more worthy of the money than those who earned it. Nice eh? This is the problem. This is the heart of the entitlement program dilemma. It increased under Democrats and Republicans, made no difference. It was like Congress went to work every day looking for something to subsidize, so they could say they are helping someone. But while it does help those who get the free money, it sure hurts those who pay it.

http://www.cato-at-liberty.org/2010/01/25/federal-subsidy-programs-top-2000/

A good example of this is the Race to the Top program, which once again the Advocate today refers to as a “prize.” It goes on to say that 15 states will win the prize of divvying up 4.3 billion dollars. What does that mean for the other 35 states? That means they have some portion of 4.3 billion dollars less to do what they would do for their education. How nice for the Congress and the President to collect money from us all and parcel it out to the lottery winners! Swell guys. I’m sure politics will not play a part in the awarding of the prizes, oh, no, our bureaucrats are too decent I’m sure. Ahem. Meanwhile, the states that don’t win the prize? Oh well, too bad, suffer.

That the winners have to give up more power and authority to the feds over local schools to one degree or another just goes to show how dangerous these subsidies can be. Essentially, states are cedeing sovereignty to the feds over things that are properly the state’s responsibilities. Thus the delicate balance of our federal system of government tilts further towards the imperial presidency. Rome at about 60 BC was like this, than Ceaser came along, and he was popular, like Obama, and he got power, like Obama, and he was … well, let’s hope that anaolgy doesn’t go any further.

Meanwhile, here’s an interesting way to look at the recent Citizens United decision, which allows corporations to spend money on politics. The decision “depends on an idea of the Constitution that forces government to justify its powers to citizens. The critics of the decision assume an idea of the Constitution that forces citizens to justify their rights to the government. Absent such justifications, the government has plenary power over speech and much else.”

“Which concept of the Constitution do you find most appealing?”

This too from the Cato site, linked above. Www.cato.org is a pretty good place for the dry policy analysis that helps put things into factual perspective. Not much of the nipping at the heels variety of political posting.

At http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/news/6995354/Sarcasm-punctuation-mark-aims-to-put-an-end-to-email-confusion.html

is an interesting article about some dude who wants to create a punctuation mark for the ages, and charge people to use it. To supposedly alert readers that the comment written is “sarcasm” Yeah, that’ll work. Hello? It seems that even Xerox gave up and is now a verb, as is Kleenex and Vaseline, and so many others. And poor Sandwich, Boycott and Bowdler – all no longer people, but words. And Edison, Ford and Chrysler no longer people, but things. Oh well, such is the brutal unruly world of language. And the inventor of the punctuation marks? Ampersand? — & — no one knows, but it’s been around for more than a millennia and a half. The Exclamation! Beats me, but I don’t pay to use it that’s for sure. I can’t imagine, in fact, one new mark that is paid for, never mind a new mark to signify something. Even @ for emails, while a long time figure, put to new use, is not purchasable. If this guy, whose idea is OK, I guess, wants to go down in history than let it free to the world. I can get any font I want for free, I can get entire computer programs for free. And this dude wants $1.99 for the right to use his symbol. HA!

I’m recalled of the college professor who intoned that “there’s no way to express a negative, or disapproval in English using positive words.”

From the back bench comes “Yeah, right.” That’s sarcasm, sir, sarcasm indeed. Now if I only had your symbol I could educate my readers – oh no, that’s right, they are smart enough to identify sarcasm when someone writes it. If not, well, they need some reading comprehension courses. Or something.

Meanwhile, I just cracked up hysterically when I found this site: http://www.missourah.com

Photoshopped sarcasm of the finest sort. The joke he does with the official picture of Obama looking in a mirror, with his reflection so pure and clear, and large in the photo, well, then, you just have to see it. But still, what on earth was the White House thinking when they put such a bizarre photo out as an official sort of picture? Amateurs to not realize the sarcasm that could be done. But that is perhaps the biggest problem with Socialists, they have no sense of humor. All politics all the time, makes for a dull and tone deaf guy. Right Mr. Axelrod? Sure.

Still, often people are said to be independents. Just today I ran across a nice lady who asked me about the “Independent Party.” Well, there seems to be no such thing. And yet, there are tens of millions of Americans who are listed or identified as “Independent.” And then they’ll tell you “well, I vote for the man.” Yes, well, what does that mean? Politics is an ideal, it is a philosophical outlook on life, and business, and so many things related to our society. How can one be wishy washy between say, taxes. Either you like more taxes, or you do not. Republicans supposedly want less. Democrats always want more. So how independent can you be when one time you vote for Democrat for some reason, and he raises taxes, and then the next time you vote Republican, and he lowers taxes. What are you independent of? Other than rational thought and considered rectitude. But still, it is your right. What I think, though, that all people ought to do is take this, the smallest political quiz. It it not definitive, nor is is earth shattering. But it sure is something that should make you think before you say you are an independent again. http://www.theadvocates.org/index.html

Now, oddly, my good buddy, 87 and still kicking, whom I assist, likes to say he’s an independent. Rather adament about it. “Did you ever vote for a Republican in your life?”

“No.”

“Would you ever vote for a Republican?”

“No.”

“How is that independent?”

“Well, I vote for the person, not the party.”

Yeah, right. And this is not a recent problem. But one from even years ago. Many people I know claim to be fence sitters, and then they always fall to the left side. Oh well, so much for independence, sort of like the kind that a dog has within the electronic fence at the edge of the yard.

Don’t worry, I’ll be back to sarcastic aspersions at our Advocate tomorrow. It’s exhausting, and I needed a break from ripping apart the mush. Have you ever tried to get your hands around mush? Very hard indeed. Speaking of mush, the president speaks tomorrow. Let’s hope for the epiphany, though expect more of the same. Oh well, as the old headline, sneaked in under cover of night into the Boston Globe, said about one of Jimmy Carter’s speeches: More Mush From The Wimp. What a world.

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