Archive for the ‘Humor (pointed)’ Category

Obama 2012 Theme Song

Listening to a news report a couple weeks ago, about Tom Petty sending a cease and desist letter to the Bachmann campaign demanding they stop using “American Girl” as a theme song, I simply shook my head. What is it with celebrity twits? Do they project their own dimwittedness to all their fans? Does Petty really think people are so stupid as to assume using the song implies his endorsement of her campaign? Or is he just an insufferable pettifogger?

Anyway, I don’t want to get bogged down in that discussion. It’s pointless.

Later that day, or the next, I popped Neil Young’s “Sleeps With Angels” CD in the car and was soon listening to one of my favorites of his: Piece of Crap. As I shouted the tag line with each verse, loudly, it occurred to me that this could be Obama’s 2012 theme song. And we all know he wouldn’t get the same grief Bachmann did.

So I went home, found the words, then began writing my own. Here’s the original, with the new lyrics below.

Piece of Crap

Original Lyrics

Tried to save the trees
Bought a plastic bag
The bottom fell out
It was a piece of crap

Saw it on the tube
Bought it on the phone
Now you’re home alone
It’s a piece of crap

I tried to plug it in
I tried to turn it on
When I got it home
It was a piece of crap

Got it from a friend
On him you can depend
I found out in the end
It was a piece of crap

I’m trying to save the trees
I saw it on TV
They cut the forest down
To build a piece of crap

I went back to the store
They gave me four more
The guy told me at the door
It’s a piece of crap

Obama 2012 Lyrics

Tried to save the planet
Bought a plastic duce
The bottom fell out
It was a piece of crap

Saw it on the tube
Messianic overtone
Now you’re home alone
It’s a piece of crap

I thought this would begin
An epoch, utopian
But this hope and change
It was a piece of crap

Lemmings, me and friends
Believing he transcends
I found out in the end
It was a piece of crap

I’m trying to save the planet
Catechized by the TV
They razed the greatest country
To build a piece of crap

Fake leader, tinsel orator
Meretricious class warrior
Thinks he should get four more
It’s a piece of crap

Imagine this song blaring at every Obama campaign stop, with those majestic columns falling over in the background. It’s perfect.

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A Primer on Progressive Taxes

[Note: this is not my work. It’s something that was mailed to me during the “tax cuts for the wealthy” “debate” in the early Bush years.  Source unknown.]

Let’s put taxes in terms everyone can understand. Suppose that every day, ten men go out for dinner. The bill for all ten comes to $100. If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this.

The first four men — the poorest — would pay nothing; the fifth would pay $1, the sixth would pay $3, the seventh $7, the eighth $12, the ninth $18,  and the tenth man — the richest — would pay $59.

That’s what they decided to do. The ten men ate dinner in the restaurant  every day and seemed quite happy with the arrangement until one day, the owner threw them a curve (in tax language a tax cut).

“Since you are all such good customers,” he said, “I’m going to reduce the cost of your daily meal by $20.” So now dinner for the ten only cost $80.00.

The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes. So the first four men were unaffected. They would still eat for free. But what about the other six — the paying customers? How could they divvy up the $20 windfall so that everyone would get his “fair share?”

The six men realized that $20 divided by six is $3.33. But if they subtracted that from everybody’s share, Then the fifth man and The sixth man would end up being PAID to eat their meal. So the restaurant owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each man’s bill by roughly the same amount,  and he proceeded to work out the amounts each should pay.

And so the fifth man paid nothing, the sixth pitched in $2, the seventh paid $5, the eighth paid $9, the ninth paid $12, leaving the tenth man with a bill of $52 instead of his earlier $59. Each of the six was better off than before. And the first four continued to eat for free.

But once outside the restaurant, the men began to compare their savings. “I only got a dollar out of the $20,” declared the sixth man, then pointing to the tenth, “But he got $7!” “Yeah, that’s right,” exclaimed the fifth man. “I only saved a dollar, too. It’s unfair that he got seven times more than me!”.

That’s true!” shouted the seventh man. “Why should he get $7 back when I got only $2? The wealthy get all the breaks!” “Wait minute,” yelled the first four men in unison, “We didn’t get anything at all. The system exploits the poor!”

The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up. The next night he didn’t show up for dinner, so the nine sat down and ate without him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered a little late what was very important. They were FIFTY-TWO DOLLARS short of paying the bill! Imagine that!

And that, boys and girls, journalists and college instructors, is how the tax system works. The people who pay the highest taxes get the most benefit from a tax reduction. Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may not show up at the table anymore.

Where would that leave the rest? Unfortunately, most taxing authorities anywhere cannot seem to grasp this rather straight-forward logic!

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Assume a Can Opener

An architect, an engineer, and an economist are trapped on a deserted island. They have no fresh water or food, but have bountiful supplies of coconut (for milk and fruit) and canned tuna. Unfortunately there is no way to open any of them.

The three men sit down to brainstorm a solution.

After some time the engineer steps forward and describes an idea for a catapult hurling a coconut from a distance at a can of tuna, opening it and splitting the coconut simultaneously. Tracing calculations in the sand regarding trajectory, velocity, and gravity, he explains in detail the physics supporting his plan. The other two are intrigued and the three proceed with the implementation. Upon completion, and having positioned the catapult according to the engineer’s specifications, they launch a coconut at a can of tuna. It is a direct hit, but fails to open either the tuna or the coconut.

They sit down again to brainstorm.

Next, the architect stands up saying he has an idea. Using illustrations sketched in the sand, he describes a structure of coconuts and tuna cans with twin stress points, and a chain reaction that would force open a can of tuna and a coconut at the same time. The three men decide to proceed and build the structure according to the architect’s design. The last piece of the structure is placed at the point calculated to start the chain reaction that should direct the force to the precise locations of the target tuna can and coconut. Nothing happens.

The three men sit down again to brainstorm.

After a short time the economist excitedly proclaims, “I have it!” The other two listen expectantly, only to hear the economist begin, “Assume a can opener …”

Partisans and ideologues frequently make unsupported assertions that make me want to object to the assumption of facts not in evidence. People of any political stripe are capable of such a “handwave,” but liberals do it with particular panache.  They are often so wildly presumptuous and factually challenged, yet conveying strangely unflinching certitude, that I find a kind of respect for the sheer audacity. Although the joke pokes fun specifically at the dismal science, “assume a can opener” often springs to mind as generally representative of the ivory tower and, as such, an apt characterization of the short-circuited “logic” and dearth of facts that are the underpinning of neo-liberalism. That is the reference for the category of that name on

A pdf copy of this article is available here.

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