Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Sunday, February 26, 2012

It’s Official: The Loony Right Goes Over the Edge.

Stop the presses! Rick Santorum and the Tea Party have revealed the real reason President Obama keeps stressing the importance of making it easier for young people to get a college education. It’s because a university education turns people into liberals.

Get it? The student loan program is really a nefarious plot using tax dollars to create more pointy-headed liberals who will, in turn, further Obama’s socialist agenda.

Well, I’ll give ‘em this much: The more under-educated people are, the more likely they’ll actually believe the crap that the Republican Party and its candidates are telling the American people.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Republicans Just Begging to be Ridiculed.

There is apparently no end to the absurdity … to the over-the-top foolishness to which an astonishing number of Republican politicians will go.

In the Virginia legislature, for example, mindless one-issue Republicans proposed a bill that would require any women seeking an abortion to first undergo a “transvaginal” sonogram. As I understand it, this is a procedure similar to the standard ultrasound in which a wand is applied to a pregnant woman’s abdomen to generate images of the fetus. Transvaginal imaging is a similar procedure ... with one obvious and invasive exception.

At any rate, this proposal is so far over the top that it has prompted national attention and is being wickedly mocked by the likes of Jon Stewart, who claimed to have more than a million frequent flyer miles on Transvaginal Airlines.

And, in a brilliant stroke, a female member of the Virginia Legislature has now proposed a law that would require that all men be given a “transrectal” examination of their prostate before pharmacies in the commonwealth would be allowed to fill a prescription for Viagra.

Isn’t it delightful that these Republican politicians are continuing to make such fools of themselves?

And isn’t it distressing that so many voters appear to be agreeing with them?

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

It must be nice to be never wrong.

As is pretty well known, I’m an active member of NARP, the National Association of Railroad Passengers, and frequently send email responses to anti-rail commentaries appearing in various media around the country.

One of my comments included praise for Governor Jerry Brown’s steadfast support of the proposed high-speed rail line in California. It immediately drew a heated response from someone in Orange County, well-known as a bastion of anti-government conservatism. He attacked me for not being “far-sighted enough to oppose that boondoggle”.

That stopped me cold, because all this time I have been laboring under the illusion that the far-sighted people were those of us supporting the project. How the hell can you be far-sighted and trying to stop progress at the same time??

No wonder we can’t get anywhere. We trying to have a rational discussion with people who watch Fox News.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

A Case of Unintended Consequences

We all pay for gasoline by the gallon. But how do we know we’re actually getting a full gallon? Well, because that’s what the gas pump tells us.

And when we buy three pounds of bananas at the supermarket, how do we know we’re getting exactly three pounds? Because that’s what the scale at the checkout lane tells us.

Ah, but how do we know the gas pump and the scale are accurate? How do we know we’re actually getting what we are paying for?

Answer: We don’t.

In fact, in 2009, which is the last time records were kept, 15% of the scales checked were not accurate and customers – that means you and me – were being overcharged.

Today, here in Hawaii, the Department of Agriculture is responsible for periodic inspections to ensure the accuracy of gas pumps, grocery store scales and similar devices. And today, because of budget cuts, there is one person performing this task. One person.

Just wondering: What would happen if someone who rants and raves about too much government regulation discovered that he just paid $75 for a tank of gasoline that was really worth $69.50?

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Today's GOP is going nowhere, but not fast enough.

Thomas Friedman, op-ed columnist for the New York Times, has an excellent piece in yesterday's edition of the newspaper. Here's one of the nuts:

"The [Republican] party has let itself become the captive of conflicting ideological bases: anti-abortion advocates, anti-immigration activists, social conservatives worried about the sanctity of marriage, libertarians who want to shrink government, and anti-tax advocates who want to drown government in a bathtub.

"Sorry, but you can’t address the great challenges America faces today
with that incoherent mix of hardened positions."

Bulls-eye, Tom!


Friday, February 10, 2012

Trying to Hard Understand

1- The Catholic Church opposes birth control.

2- Half the pregnancies in this country are unintended.

3- The Catholic Church opposes abortion.

4- More birth control would mean fewer abortions.

5- The Catholic Church opposes birth control.

(Hang on … maybe it will start to make sense if we go around again.)