The Watering Hole Saturday, July 7, 2012 – A Day in the Lives of Two Joes

What follows began as a post on my original blog. That version was posted Oct 27, 2007. I kept much of the original, but I admit I did not test every link left in there from the original. Oh, and at the time, California was battling wildfires believed to be the result of arson. Today, my heart goes out to the people of Colorado, who are battling their own destructive wildfires. Amazing how little of that I had to change to ‘update” it.

Someone sent me the great piece below, called “A Day in the Life of Joe Republican.” I thought it was a great example of the hypocrisy that many conservatives live when they denounce things they rely on every day of their lives as being liberal. Here is that piece first, and then we’ll continue from there. I have no idea to whom I should give credit for the first part, as it was one of those things sent through the tubes of the Internets. As to the follow-up response to it that I’ll discuss afterwards, I’ll do the guy a favor and not mention his name (since I don’t know it) on the off-chance that this was supposed to be satire, or humorously-intended. It just seems too much like how a conservative would “re-invent” Joe Republican, that I didn’t think it was facetious. So, in case it was serious, I decided to counter it.

“A DAY IN THE LIFE OF JOE REPUBLICAN”

Joe gets up at 6 a.m. and fills his coffeepot with water to prepare his morning coffee. The water is clean and good because some tree-hugging liberal fought for minimum water-quality standards. With his first swallow of water, he takes his daily medication. His medications are safe to take because some stupid commie liberal fought to ensure their safety and that they work as advertised.

All but $10 of his medications are paid for by his employer’s medical plan because some liberal union workers fought their employers for paid medical insurance – now Joe gets it too.

He prepares his morning breakfast, bacon and eggs. Joe’s bacon is safe to eat because some girly- man liberal fought for laws to regulate the meat packing industry.

In the morning shower, Joe reaches for his shampoo. His bottle is properly labeled with each ingredient and its amount in the total contents because some crybaby liberal fought for his right to know what he was putting on his body and how much it contained.

Joe dresses, walks outside and takes a deep breath. The air he breathes is clean because some environmentalist wacko liberal fought for the laws to stop industries from polluting our air.

He walks on the government-provided sidewalk to the subway station for his government-subsidized ride to work. It saves him considerable money in parking and transportation costs because some fancy-pants liberal fought for affordable public transportation, which gives everyone the opportunity to be a contributor.

Joe begins his work day. He has a good job with excellent pay, medical benefits, retirement, paid holidays and vacation because some lazy liberal union members fought and died for these working standards. Joe’s employer pays these standards because Joe’s employer doesn’t want his employees to call the union.

If Joe is hurt on the job or becomes unemployed, he’ll get a worker compensation or an unemployment check because some stupid liberal didn’t think he should lose his home because of his temporary misfortune.

It is noontime and Joe needs to make a bank deposit so he can pay some bills. Joe’s deposit is federally insured by the FSLIC because some godless liberal wanted to protect Joe’s money from unscrupulous bankers who ruined the banking system before the Great Depression.

Joe has to pay his Fannie Mae-underwritten mortgage and his below-market federal student loan because some elitist liberal decided that Joe and the country would be better off if he was educated and earned more money over his lifetime. Joe also forgets that his in addition to his federally subsidized student loans, he attended a state-funded university.

Joe is home from work. He plans to visit his father this evening at his farm home in the country. He gets in his car for the drive. His car is among the safest in the world because some America-hating liberal fought for car safety standards to go along with the tax- payer funded roads.

He arrives at his boyhood home. His was the third generation to live in the house financed by Farmers’ Home Administration because bankers didn’t want to make rural loans.

The house didn’t have electricity until some big- government liberal stuck his nose where it didn’t belong and demanded rural electrification.

He is happy to see his father, who is now retired. His father lives on Social Security and a union pension because some wine-drinking, cheese-eating liberals made sure Dad could take care of himself so Joe wouldn’t have to.

Joe gets back in his car for the ride home, and turns on a radio talk show. The radio host keeps saying that liberals are bad and conservatives are good. He doesn’t mention that the beloved Republicans have fought against every protection and benefit Joe enjoys throughout his day. Joe agrees: “We don’t need those big-government liberals ruining our lives! After all, I’m a self-made man who believes everyone should take care of himself, just like I have.”-

Well, I sent that to a liberal friend of mine, and he in turn sent it to several of his friends, some of whom are conservative. One of his conservative buddies decided to answer the list back.

Of course, the web would not be “fair and balanced” if there weren’t an equal and opposite view out there. All it takes is Google, and changing one word in the title of your piece. Enjoy the dichotomy!

(signed) Mr. Fiscally Conservative Democrat

“A DAY IN THE LIFE OF JOE DEMOCRAT”

Joe gets up at 6 a.m. and fills his coffeepot with water to prepare his morning coffee. He can only afford to drink four ounces a day because his tree-hugging governor raised the sales tax for the fifth time in four years to pay for gov’t run Daycare, the Playboy channel for incarcerated sex-offenders, free needle-exchange programs, social services for illegal aliens, and condom-vending machines in preschool.

But he savors every drop, for next year he’ll only be permitted to buy decaffeinated coffee because FDA testing found that force-feeding lab rats 20 gallons of coffee per day raised their cancer rate by .0003% per thousand.

With his first swallow of water, he rations his daily intake of medication. He can’t afford all his meds because some stupid commie liberal ambulance-chaser drove pharmaceutical costs through the roof with frivolous law suits.

His meds are subsidized by his employer’s medical plan because some liberal closed shop union workers fought their employers in order to garnish employee wages so that Joe would labor under the illusion that someone else is picking up the tab when in fact his employer is reaching into Joe’s own back pocket.

He prepares his morning breakfast, bacon and eggs. Joe’s bacon is unsafe to eat because some girly-man liberal fought for limited liability laws so that if anyone dies of food poisoning, the meat packing industry will pay a fine and pass the cost on to the customer.

In the morning shower, Joe reaches for his shampoo. His bottle is properly labeled with each ingredient because some crybaby liberal thought that he was too stupid to know that imbibing a pint of shampoo might be harmful to his health.

Joe dresses, walks outside and takes a deep breath. Joe begins to cough, choke, and gasp for breath because some environmentalist wacko liberal fought for passage of the Kyoto treaty, allowing Third World countries to contaminate the world air supply with carbon monoxide.

Joe doesn’t dare go out at night because some environmentalist wacko liberal lawmaker forbad the spraying or draining of malarial swamps.

Joe lost his first home to wildfire because some environmentalist wacko liberal lawmaker forbad the thinning old growth forest land.

His dad used to take the train to work. But when the Federal highway system destroyed our once-magnificent train system, Joe had to resort to the filthy, crime-ridden subway system because some fancy-pants liberal fought to disarm law-abiding citizens so that street gangs could mug commuters, then cop a plea based on post-traumatic slavery disorder.

Joe begins his work day. Joe’s dad used to support his family at a middle class lifestyle on a single income. But it now takes two or three incomes to do the work of one because liberal bureaucrats drove up the cost of doing business through overregulation and usurious corporate taxation.

If Joe gets bored with his job, he can fake an injury and collect workman’s comp., retiring to the slopes of Aspen to recuperate because some stupid liberal didn’t think that employees might try to bilk the system.

It is noontime and Joe needs to make a bank deposit so he can pay some bills. Joe’s deposit is federally insured by the FSLIC because some godless liberal thought that financial institutions should be able to defraud their customers and then file for bankruptcy, thereby shielding the pension and severance pay of board members while sticking the taxpayer with the tab.

Joe has to pay his federal student loan because some elitist liberal decided to subsidize college education so that universities, freed from competitive pressure, no longer had to keep tuition costs down.

Joe had the GPA and SAT scores to get into Harvard, but he had to settle for a community college because racial quotas kept him out while admitting inner city students who couldn’t read or write, but had mastered multiple techniques of fitting a condom in high school sex-ed.
Joe is home from work. He plans to visit his father this evening at his farm home in the country. He gets in his car for the drive. He has to practice defensive driving because some America-hating liberal had alcoholism classified as a legally-protected disease and disability.

He arrives at his boyhood home. The countryside used to be a quiet, leisurely, pristine place to live until the Federal highway system and force bussing overran the bucolic countryside with suburban sprawl as urbanites fled the cities.

His family used to live off the land, in harmony with nature, until some big-government liberal stuck his nose where it didn’t belong and demanded rural electrification, powered by fossil fuel consumption.

He is happy to see his dad. Dad will be the last generation to retire on Social Security because some wine-drinking, cheese-eating liberals regularly raided the SS trust-fund to subsidize social programs, instead of allowing workers to invest their own earnings in compound interest-bearing accounts.

Joe’s Dad was forced into early retirement, without a pension, because some environmentalist wacko liberal discovered a snail-darter in the cooling system of the local nuclear plant, where his dad used to work.

Joe’s uncle used to be a cattle rancher until he was driven out of business because some environmentalist wacko liberal lawmaker kept him from shooting wolves that preyed on his livestock.

Joe’s cousin used to work at the local lumber mill until he was laid off because some environmentalist wacko liberal discovered a spotted owl on timber land.

Joe’s relatives used to receive assistance from the local chapter of the Salvation Army until it had to close its doors because some liberal civil libertarian sued it for refusing to offer domestic partnership benefits to all its employees.

Wine-drinking, cheese-eating liberals also invented a Constitutional right to an abortion, resulting in 45 million fewer workers to support the retirees.

In addition, wine-drinking, cheese-eating liberals promoted SS so that no able-bodied, adult child should ever be saddled with the onerous burden of caring for the elderly parents who devoted the best years of their lives caring for them when they were young and helpless.

Finally, wine-drinking, cheese-eating liberals lobbied for involuntary euthanasia so that burdensome parents can be put out of their children’s misery.

As the day ends, Joe reflects on his nation, his liberties and his freedoms. He is free because conservative cold warriors kept commie lefty Liberals from unilaterally disarming America.

Joe resents having to be so dependent on gov’t goods and services, but since he didn’t ask for it, since–indeed–it was imposed on him anyway, against his will, and forcibly deducted from his hard-earned wages, the only way he can recoup a fraction of his losses is to play the hand he’s been dealt–even if the deck is stacked against him.

But given a choice, he refuses to a vote for a Massachusetts liberal who was drafted; who tried to dodge the draft by requesting an education deferment to study in Paris; who volunteered for the Naval reserves (when his deferment was denied) to duck active duty service; who gamed the three-purple-hearts-and-your-out policy by writing up his own glowing after-action reports about his self-inflicted flesh-wounds; who, after receiving a dishonorable discharge, laid the groundwork for a successful political career by slandering his comrades-in-arms; who eventually ran for president on the platform that he served honorably in a dishonorable war; and who angrily denounced a war he authorized.

Joe gets back in his car for the ride home, and turns on NPR. The radio host keeps saying that liberals are good and right-wingers are bad. He doesn’t mention that the beloved liberals have fought for the infringement of every freedom that Joe’s old man used to enjoy and take for granted.

* * * * * * * *

Well, where to begin? I guess I’ll start with the intro, since there are some things that need to be cleared up there.

Of course, the web would not be “fair and balanced” if there weren’t an equal and opposite view out there. All it takes is Google, and changing one word in the title of your piece. Enjoy the dichotomy!

I would enjoy it, if it was based on facts and the truth. Unfortunately, this list is not. And who the hell says that the internet has to be “fair and balanced”? Are you one of those people who thinks that if we’re not hearing both sides of a dispute, we’re not being properly informed of the truth? Did it ever occur to you that in a dispute where one side’s take differs from the other’s, it’s usually because one of them is lying? Or is it that you think there is nothing wrong with lying to get your way?

“A DAY IN THE LIFE OF JOE DEMOCRAT”

Joe gets up at 6 a.m. and fills his coffeepot with water to prepare his morning coffee. He can only afford to drink four ounces a day because his tree-hugging governor raised the sales tax for the fifth time in four years to pay for gov’t run Daycare, the Playboy channel for incarcerated sex-offenders, free needle-exchange programs, social services for illegal aliens, and condom-vending machines in preschool.

Not so fast, Joe! I checked a recent store receipt to confirm my suspicions. If Joe thinks he has to ration his coffee because the governor raised the sales tax rate, then Joe needs to get out more. Coffee beans that you grind yourself (or at the store after you purchase them) aren’t taxable. So, go ahead and have that second cup, Joe.

But he savors every drop, for next year he’ll only be permitted to buy decaffeinated coffee because FDA testing found that force-feeding lab rats 20 gallons of coffee per day raised their cancer rate by .0003% per thousand.

Not quite. It must have been the caffeine that was determined to be bad, not the coffee itself, otherwise Joe wouldn’t even be able to get decaf next year. When Sacharrin was found to have caused cancer in lab animals given doses equivalent to drinking 800 cans of soda a day (that’s 75 gallons, not 20, and it would be physically impossible to drink that much in one day, anyway), they required that the product carry a warning to that effect. They haven’t yet banned it, even though subsequent tests confirmed the potential cancer risks (see article). Drinking 10 gallons of just water would kill you, so forget about 20, let alone 75. Besides, do you really think they’ll ever ban coffee outright in this country? They could announce that drinking coffee causes your sex organs to fall off, and they would still have a hard time banning it. Just never going to happen, especially not for the reasons Joe here thinks.

With his first swallow of water, he rations his daily intake of medication. He can’t afford all his meds because some stupid commie liberal ambulance-chaser drove pharmaceutical costs through the roof with frivolous law suits.

Wrong again. The high cost to us of prescription medicine has nothing to do with “frivolous lawsuits”. That’s an old chestnut that the right still likes to throw out once in a while. Yes, there are people who file lawsuits for what appear to be stupid reasons. But if it wasn’t frivolous, then it must have had merit. Which means that the pharmaceutical company probably did do something wrong for which they should be made to pay. It shouldn’t be profitable to rip off customers and be protected by the law. But the most important hing to keep in mind is that the problem isn’t that meds cost so much, it’s that they charge so much. And one reason they charge so much is to get back some of the excessive money they spend on advertising. A company rep would drive around and give away boxes of the stuff to local doctors. Some of them, in turn, give them to their patients several at a time (if it is safe to self-medicate, such as with heartburn). I was once given a pill by a doctor that came in a free sample pack from the pharmaceutical manufacturer. The packaging alone for that one pill had to cost close to two dollars. (I know this because my job involves knowing such things.) It’s all done in the name of advertising, to get their drug’s brand name out into the public’s mind. Maybe they could save themselves some money if they spent more on bringing advertising costs down and less on trying to convince you to convince your doctor to write you a prescription.

His meds are subsidized by his employer’s medical plan because some liberal closed shop union workers fought their employers in order to garnish employee wages so that Joe would labor under the illusion that someone else is picking up the tab when in fact his employer is reaching into Joe’s own back pocket.

Joe is laboring under an illusion. An illusion that his employer-provided medical insurance is money coming out of his own back pocket. Backing up a moment, if his meds are “subsidized by his employer’s medical plan”, then how come “He can’t afford all his meds”? Is he on a boatload of meds per day? Is he a hypochondriac? If his meds weren’t subsidized at all, which ones would he choose to take? Lucky for him he doesn’t have to make that hard choice. As for the money for this coming out of his wallet, Joe doesn’t understand how it works. You see, it’s a “benefit” that your employer offers you. Your employer sees it as an incentive to want you to keep working for them. It has a certain dollar value that the company is paying. They can write it off as a business expense. (At some companies, if you want to cover your family, you pay the extra out of your own pocket. That way, everyone in the company is getting the same benefit, and not being given more just because they reproduce more than others.) At the same time they do it because they want you to take care of your health, because a healthy worker is a more productive worker. (Some, like my bosses, do it because it’s the morally right thing to do, and they feel good about being able to do it. It’s a family-owned company, so any profits would go to the few shareholders in the family. It literally is money out of their own pockets to offer it to us, and we are a small enough company that we would be exempt from any laws that mandate they do it.) But if you choose not to accept a company-offered health plan, they will only pay you what they would pay for the plan they offer, provided you can prove coverage under an equivalent or better plan. Otherwise, you pay for that plan out of your own pocket. Joe should talk to someone at his company to have his benefits program explained to him.

He prepares his morning breakfast, bacon and eggs. Joe’s bacon is unsafe to eat because some girly-man liberal fought for limited liability laws so that if anyone dies of food poisoning, the meat packing industry will pay a fine and pass the cost on to the customer.

Wrong again, Joe. I don’t know who’s been teaching you what Liberalism is versus what Conservatism is about, but I can promise you that if liability laws are limited “so that if anyone dies of food poisoning, the meat packing industry will pay a fine and pass the cost on to the customer“, it’s not because liberals fought for that. It’s because conservatives, especially “fiscal conservatives”, fought for that. Hardcore fiscal conservatives believe that anything that hurts the bottom line profits of a company is inherently bad, so they like to see no government regulation at all. That includes regulatory standards regarding health and safety. Too costly, they say. Dead customers don’t give a lot of repeat business, I say.

In the morning shower, Joe reaches for his shampoo. His bottle is properly labeled with each ingredient because some crybaby liberal thought that he was too stupid to know that imbibing a pint of shampoo might be harmful to his health.

Not quite, Joe. You see, as technology advances and new ways are found to simulate what people use to use in their household products but can’t any more (sometimes because the species of creature that produced that ingredient has been hunted to extinction), we’re finding out that the human body sometimes reacts2 badly to these things. Warning labels that point out that the product contains ingredients known to cause allergic reactions in people help save lives. And is Joe in the habit of drinking just anything that comes in a bottle of some kind?

Joe dresses, walks outside and takes a deep breath. Joe begins to cough, choke, and gasp for breath because some environmentalist wacko liberal fought for passage of the Kyoto treaty, allowing Third World countries to contaminate the world air supply with carbon monoxide.

That would more likely be because the US refused to take the lead on Global Warming and Climate Change. We can’t expect the developing nations of the Third World to do anything about their own environmental pollution if we don’t show them how it’s done. What happened to “good old American know-how”? How come our corporations have such a defeatist attitude when it comes to trying to do something about not polluting the air that the breathe and the water that we drink? The longer we take to get started, the further we fall behind the rest of the world who are doing something about it. Joe should accept that the climate is undergoing changes resulting in weather patterns we are not used to seeing, and for which we are presently under-prepared to handle. Add to that the impending oil shortages and rising energy costs (even without the greed exhibited by certain corporations), there comes an even greater incentive to stop trying to pump as many dollars out of the ground and into the pockets of the people who are financing and supporting the very people with whom we are supposed to be at war, and start helping small businesses in this country profit from the wide-open market of renewable enery sources right here in the US. Obviously there is not a one-size-fits-all solution, but the people who live in areas that get at least a decent amount of year-round sunshine should be able to buy affordable solar panels, and the people who live in areas that get a lot of wind at least some part of the year should be able to buy wind-power generators, and the people who live in areas where there is a good deal of warmth underground should be able to buy affordable thermal energy systems. There are present-day technology, real-time solutions to the problem now, and continued support by the federal government (instead of giving billions to the oil industry to explore for oil instead of making them pay for it themselves) will help bring down the price and, at the same time, do something that might help make our biosphere a little less unfriendly to us humans. A little less profit-taking, a little more planet-saving.

Joe doesn’t dare go out at night because some environmentalist wacko liberal lawmaker forbad the spraying or draining of malarial swamps.

Yes, because sometimes the government would send out helicopters to spray mosquitos while kids were outside playing. So their parents exercised their First Amendment rights and petitioned the government for a redress of grievances. Besides, does Joe not own a jacket? Has his local merchant made the business decision to not stock bug repellent, even though he’s apparently located near an undrained swamp?

Joe lost his first home to wildfire because some environmentalist wacko liberal lawmaker forbad the thinning old growth forest land.

First of all, I’m sorry Joe lost his home and the memories within. Seriously. That kind of thing sucks. That having been said, did Joe know the area was susceptible to wildfires when he bought the place? Did he understand the risk? Did he have homeowner’s insurance? Because he doesn’t appear to be homeless today, so he must have had the money to buy another house. Did he move to some place less dangerous? It’s his choice. It’s a free country. What’s his point? That there would never have been a wildfire if the old growth forest land had been thinned out so that some timber company could make a buck? Has Joe ever heard of lightning? These things are going to happen, regardless of how much thinning of forests is done. It can reduce the chance of someone losing his home to wildfire, but it won’t eliminate it. Then there’s always the occassional arsonist, as in the recent California fires. (My heart goes out to those people. If there’s anything I or your fellow citizens can do, just ask.)

His dad used to take the train to work. But when the Federal highway system destroyed our once-magnificent train system, Joe had to resort to the filthy, crime-ridden subway system because some fancy-pants liberal fought to disarm law-abiding citizens so that street gangs could mug commuters, then cop a plea based on post-traumatic slavery disorder.

Is Joe referring to the marketplace of ideas favoring the Eisenhower Interstate Highway System over the rail line? And that other stuff is illogical. Perhaps Joe Democrat’s creator isn’t familiar with the mass transit system in some areas. I can take a train down to NYC, but once there, there are no above-ground trains to take, so I would have to take the subway to get around within the city. So the loss of the above-ground railway system to the Interstate Highway System would have had nothing to do with why Joe’s father started taking the subway to work. (By the way, it hasn’t stopped people from taking the train down to the City from where I live; both the trains and the highway are used. I know, I drive on the highway and over the rail tracks every day) At least, it doesn’t make any sense where I live.

Joe begins his work day. Joe’s dad used to support his family at a middle class lifestyle on a single income. But it now takes two or three incomes to do the work of one because liberal bureaucrats drove up the cost of doing business through overregulation and usurious corporate taxation.

No, greedy corporations drove up the cost to consumers, and wages lagged behind inflation, so families had to come up with more jobs among them to make ends meet. But those Big Oil Company execs are doing all right, aren’t they? They sure look like they’re getting their three square meals a day (and then some). That’s Capitalism for you. The rich get richer and the fat get fatter.

If Joe gets bored with his job, he can fake an injury and collect workman’s comp., retiring to the slopes of Aspen to recuperate because some stupid liberal didn’t think that employees might try to bilk the system.

That would be a crime. Why would Joe automatically assume he could get away with insurance fraud which is illegal and has severe penalities? Does he think no one ever checks on these things? I’ve seen many newspaper reports of city officials and employees supposedly out on disability doing things they shouldn’t be physically able to do if they were as badly injured as they claim. They usually get caught. Joe would have to be an idiot to think that this made sense as a financial security plan. But he would get free room, board and clothing in prison.

It is noontime and Joe needs to make a bank deposit so he can pay some bills. Joe’s deposit is federally insured by the FSLIC because some godless liberal thought that financial institutions should be able to defraud their customers and then file for bankruptcy, thereby shielding the pension and severance pay of board members while sticking the taxpayer with the tab.

How could Joe believe that Liberals would want banking institutions to get away with ripping people off? I have found that it usually pro-business Conservatives who like to fight for these kinds of things. Republicans, especially, like to tout “Caveat Emptor” (“Let The Buyer Beware”) as the best form of Capitalism.

Joe has to pay his federal student loan because some elitist liberal decided to subsidize college education so that universities, freed from competitive pressure, no longer had to keep tuition costs down.

How exactly does making college affordable for everyone raise the price? I don’t understand. Joe thinks that because education is subsidized, the colleges and universities would have no incentive to keep tuition costs down. How would constantly raising the tuition costs attract more people? Or would that only attract the kind of people who equate quality with price? Maybe they wanted to subsidize their athletic teams? Besides, if more students can afford to attend a college, there is less incentive for them to need to raise tuition, because they will be takinig in more people now that it’s affordable. It’s exactly like the theory that says if you lower income taxes, you’ll take in more revenue.

Joe had the GPA and SAT scores to get into Harvard, but he had to settle for a community college because racial quotas kept him out while admitting inner city students who couldn’t read or write, but had mastered multiple techniques of fitting a condom in high school sex-ed.

Just because Joe failed condom-fitting in high school sex-ed is no reason to be jealous. Besides, if Joe’s GPA and SAT scores were good enought ot get into Harvard, then why did he end up in a community college? He must have been good enough for another prestigious school. Sounds like Joe is easily discouraged. Maybe that’s why he failed condom-fitting.

Joe is home from work. He plans to visit his father this evening at his farm home in the country. He gets in his car for the drive. He has to practice defensive driving because some America-hating liberal had alcoholism classified as a legally-protected disease and disability.

Wrong again, Joe. It’s not because alcoholism is a disease (and it is, trust me, I know) that Joe has to practice defensive driving, it’s because it’s too damn easy to get a license to drive! In my state (and each state varies), when I got my “Operator’s License”, I had to answer a 20-question, multiple-choice test. I needed an 80% score or better (16 out of 20), and of the four questions regarding road signs, I was allowed to get up to two wrong. (I aced my written test, by the way. First and only time.) Then there’s a very simple road test you have to take where the purpose is to see if you can operate the vehicle correctly. Note that that’s “operate the vehicle”, not “drive”. You learn just how to drive in my state after you get your license. And that’s why we need to practice defensive driving on the highways – because not everyone who is given a license to drive has the ability, talent, and intelligence to do so. And doesn’t Joe’s auto insurance company offer a discount to drivers who take a defensive driving course?

He arrives at his boyhood home. The countryside used to be a quiet, leisurely, pristine place to live until the Federal highway system and force bussing overran the bucolic countryside with suburban sprawl as urbanites fled the cities.

Many people out there may be too young to remember the big debates over forced bussing. This was something ordered by the courts when certain communities (mainly in the South, but elsewhere in the country, too) refused to integrate their schools quickly enough after Brown v. Board of Education (or, as it’s officially known in legal circles, Oliver L. Brown et.al. v. the Board of Education of Topeka (KS) et.al.). I wouldn’t be so quick to blame that on Liberals. Maybe if bigots – who tend to be conservative – hadn’t fought and resisted integrating their schools so much, the courts would not have imposed that bussing plan. (Many who resisted pointed to the wording of the Supreme Court’s decision that said they must integrate their schools “with all deliberate speed”. Instead of interpreting that to mean “as quickly as possible”, they chose to claim it meant “take your time”.)

His family used to live off the land, in harmony with nature, until some big-government liberal stuck his nose where it didn’t belong and demanded rural electrification, powered by fossil fuel consumption.

Oh, Joe. Where do you get your facts? The Rural Electrification Act of 1936, one of the most successful programs in government history, allowed the federal government to provide loans to communities who needed to upgrade their electric service. But the source of the power to provide the electricity did not need to be fossil fuel-based. There is also hydro-electric power. And that “big-government liberal” to whom you refer must have been President Franklin D. Roosevelt, whose programs to help lift us out of the Depression really began the modern Conservative movement. Today’s Conservatism defines itself by what it’s against, not what it’s for. And it’s against everything FDR did to rescue the country.

He is happy to see his dad. Dad will be the last generation to retire on Social Security because some wine-drinking, cheese-eating liberals regularly raided the SS trust-fund to subsidize social programs, instead of allowing workers to invest their own earnings in compound interest-bearing accounts.

I am 52 and, as far as I know, the money for my Social Security retirement will still be there when I need it. A common falsehood promulgated by the right is that SS will go bankrupt around 2040. This is false. In 2041, money coming in to the fund will no longer exceed money going out of the fund. It will not be bankrupt. That is a lie the conservatives want you to believe so that you’ll support privatization of Social Security. But privatizing Social Security means that the guarantee that your funds will be there is gone, because you will be forced to risk your money on the stock market. Just because the market has gained money overall throughout its existence, that does not mean that everyone who invests in the market will make money. And putting your retirement funds into risky investments defeats the entire purpose of having a guaranteed retirement income system.

Joe’s Dad was forced into early retirement, without a pension, because some environmentalist wacko liberal discovered a snail-darter in the cooling system of the local nuclear plant, where his dad used to work.

Joe’s Dad must live in Tennessee or Alabama, the only two place where snail darters can be found. They live in gravel and sand shoals, not nuclear power plant cooling systems. I suspect that Joe’s Dad lied to him about why he lost his job. Maybe Joe’s Dad lost his job due to incompetence? That does still happen, despite what conservatives blame liberals for.

Joe’s uncle used to be a cattle rancher until he was driven out of business because some environmentalist wacko liberal lawmaker kept him from shooting wolves that preyed on his livestock.

Wolves are such misunderstood creatures. Like all animals, they serve an important ecological and environmental function. They don’t simply attack livestock, they also eat other small creatures, too. This, in turn, keeps the small creatures from overrunning the place, spreading disease and being a nuisance. It also keeps the small woodland creatures from eating too much of the plant vegetation and nuts. This leaves more plant life to take in carbon dioxide and give off oxygen, which we humans need to breathe. It’s a great Circle of Life. Perhaps he could have kept his ranching business if he could find a better way to protect his livestock from not just wolves, but bears and other predators, too. It’s one of the things you have to put up with if you want to live out in the country.

Joe’s cousin used to work at the local lumber mill until he was laid off because some environmentalist wacko liberal discovered a spotted owl on timber land.

Like the wolves above, owls are predators that keep the population of the smaller animals from going wild. And if Joe’s cousin’s lumber mill was getting their wood from only one place in the forest, then they weren’t going to be around long anyway. (I noticed Joe Democrat’s problems seem to be digressing from Joe Republican’s, but that’s okay. He’s still wrong.)

Joe’s relatives used to receive assistance from the local chapter of the Salvation Army until it had to close its doors because some liberal civil libertarian sued it for refusing to offer domestic partnership benefits to all its employees.

I wondered what this was about, so I looked up the story. The Salvation Army is a religious organization that wants to receive funding from the government. [From the link:]“The group is handed millions of dollars of both federal and local funding at the same time as it fights to overturn local laws banning discrimination based on sexual orientation. In 1998, the San Francisco-based Human Rights Commission, one of the largest gay groups in the country, ordered SA to offer domestic partnership benefits or lose a $3.5-million city contract. For one whole year SA refused to comply, and was finally forced to forfeit its contract.” I do not know if that meant it had to close its doors to the needy, or that it simply had less to work with in doing so. But other charitable organizations exist that could have helped out Joe’s relatives.

Wine-drinking, cheese-eating liberals also invented a Constitutional right to an abortion, resulting in 45 million fewer workers to support the retirees.

There is little point in getting into a debate over whether or not a woman should be allowed to terminate her own pregnancy. She most definitely should have that right. But where Joe goes all mentally irregular is where he tries to deduce that had the Supreme Court not decided that the States may not deny a woman the right to have an abortion during the first tri-mester of pregnancy, when the State had no interest beyond the woman to care about, they were not inventing a right that didn’t already exist. If you’ll read your Ninth Amendment to the Constitution, it says:
Article IX.
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

In simple terms, that means that just because the Constitution did not spell out a right that we as citizens have, it did not mean that we didn’t have it. But that’s beside the point.

Just because there have been some 45 million abortions in the US (which is where I am assuming that he is getting that number; I don’t really feel like doing his research, too), it does not logically follow that there would be 45 million more workers earning money and paying taxes into the treasury. For one thing, not all abortions took place long enough ago that those “potential” people would be working today. And a number of those would probably have died too young to contribute much, if anything at all. The law of averages tells us that. It’s really just thrown out there at inappropriate times during other discussions to register a personal disgust on the part of the speaker to the idea of woman being allowed to control their own bodies. I treat them as baseless smears and consider them meaningless.

In addition, wine-drinking, cheese-eating liberals promoted SS so that no able-bodied, adult child should ever be saddled with the onerous burden of caring for the elderly parents who devoted the best years of their lives caring for them when they were young and helpless.

Did Joe’s parents take care of their parents when Joe was young? And who says that “able-bodied, adult child[ren]” can’t take care of their parents if they wanted to anyway? This is really a non-sensical argument. Besides, I thought Joe was on a lot of meds up above. Is Joe an able-bodied adult? If so, then why is he on so much medication? And if he isn’t, wouldn’t he appreciate that he doesn’t “have to be saddled with the onerous burden of caring for [his] elderly parents” without at least a little help from his fellow Americans (which is what Social Security is)? It’s part of that whole philosophy of us watching out for each other. That’s what our taxes do. We all chip in to help all of us meet our needs, not just the rich and strong and able-bodied. All of us. Sorry if that conflicts with the Conservative ideal of “Every Man For himself.”

Finally, wine-drinking, cheese-eating liberals lobbied for involuntary euthanasia so that burdensome parents can be put out of their children’s misery.

Joe must be fantasizing here, because no normal person would consider euthenizing his parent against their will just to relieve his own misery. It takes a sick mind to think that this is why the Right-to-Die battle is being fought. There are many people who feel that being kept alive artificially, just to gain a few more weeks or months, at such a great cost to their family, is not worth the suffering and misery of existing pointlessly. If someone is going to die from something at any time soon, and nothing can be done to prevent it, and the only thing to look forward to is possibly weeks of pain and discomfort, then why shouldn’t that person have the right to say they wish to end their own life? Why should they be forced to contrinue living against their will? Who are we to say a person must suffer, so that we don’t have to let them go?

As the day ends, Joe reflects on his nation, his liberties and his freedoms. He is free because conservative cold warriors kept commie lefty Liberals from unilaterally disarming America.

Excuse me. I am a Liberal Air Force veteran and proud of it, and I was stationed at Ramstein AB, West Germany, from 1986-1988, during the Cold War. Conservatives weren’t the only ones protecting your right to say such things. I was, too.

Joe resents having to be so dependent on gov’t goods and services, but since he didn’t ask for it, since–indeed–it was imposed on him anyway, against his will, and forcibly deducted from his hard-earned wages, the only way he can recoup a fraction of his losses is to play the hand he’s been dealt–even if the deck is stacked against him.

Does Joe live in a Blue State? If not, then his state is likely receiving more back from the federal government than they send there in taxes. No one is making Joe use those programs. Besides, if people like Joe, who probably doesn’t really need the help, didn’t use it, it would cost less to the taxpayers and increase your annual tax refund.

But given a choice, he refuses to a vote for a Massachusetts liberal who was drafted; who tried to dodge the draft by requesting an education deferment to study in Paris; who volunteered for the Naval reserves (when his deferment was denied) to duck active duty service; who gamed the three-purple-hearts-and-your-out policy by writing up his own glowing after-action reports about his self-inflicted flesh-wounds; who, after receiving a dishonorable discharge, laid the groundwork for a successful political career by slandering his comrades-in-arms; who eventually ran for president on the platform that he served honorably in a dishonorable war; and who angrily denounced a war he authorized.

About the only thing I can say in response to this diatribe, is that Joe is seriously misinformed about a number of things. Perhaps a search through credible sources (meaning sources whose only agenda is to uncover the truth) may help Joe learn just how wrong that entire paragraph was. Oh, wait. John Kerry is, indeed, a Massachusetts Liberal. That part is correct. READ A BOOK NOT WRITTEN BY LIARS!

Joe gets back in his car for the ride home, and turns on NPR. The radio host keeps saying that liberals are good and right-wingers are bad. He doesn’t mention that the beloved liberals have fought for the infringement of every freedom that Joe’s old man used to enjoy and take for granted.

Oh, and don’t forget to enjoy the American way of life made possible by Liberals.

This is our daily open thread. You can talk about this or anything else upon which you wish to opine.

67 thoughts on “The Watering Hole Saturday, July 7, 2012 – A Day in the Lives of Two Joes

  1. Joe’s uncle used to be a cattle rancher until he was driven out of business because some environmentalist wacko liberal lawmaker kept him from shooting wolves that preyed on his livestock.

    That is the risk that a rancher takes when they set their cattle free to roam thousands of acres of federally owned land. The cattle need to share the land with the other wild critters that live there. His other choice is to keep his cattle in pens. What Joe forgot to mention is that his uncle pays practically nothing for the use of federal land.

    • I love wolves. As a longtime outdoors person, I dislike cattle on public lands only slightly less than I dislike ranchers. Cattle don’t drive pickups and carry guns, after all; they just make a mess of things. They eat too much of the natural graze, and they shit all over the place. The difference between cow crap and, say, deer or elk pellets is astonishing considering they both eat the same stuff.

      Wolves, meanwhile and of course, are natural predators who serve to add that balance to the natural landscape that human intrusion invariably alters or destroys. Wolves were, in fact, largely if not completely eradicated (by humans) in the lower 48 until some reintroductions commenced a decade or two ago. They cause zero problems, simply carry on with their natural duties of maintaining balance. And they’re hated for it, and feared because ‘them wolves is killers.’ True, they will kill and eat the occasional cow, but are of basically zero danger to humans. I can’t recall, in fact, any incident ever where a human EVER has been attacked directly by a wolf or wolves.

      When I lived in AZ, I always enjoyed laying a paraphrase of Edward Abbey on the anti-wolf crowd. I’d say to them, “I agree that wolves eat cattle. My only question is, do they eat ENOUGH of the damn things!”

      I got plenty of stink-eyes in return, but seldom if ever a compelling verbal retort. There isn’t one, is probably why.

        • Naturalist Aldo Leopold worked, when he was young, at killing off wolves. The last one he shot was in the mountains of eastern Arizona, and in his book “A Sand County Almanac” he wrote this description of that moment, the moment of his catharsis:

          “We reached the old wolf in time to watch a fierce green fire dying in her eyes. I realized then, and have known ever since, that there was something new to me in those eyes — something known only to her and the mountain. I was young then and full of trigger-itch; I thought that because fewer wolves meant more deer, then no wolves would mean a hunter’s paradise. But after seeing the green fire die, I sensed that neither the wolf nor the mountain agreed with such a view.” ~Aldo Leopold in A Sand County Almanac

          In the same segment of the book, he also writes:

          “Only the mountain has lived long enough to listen objectively to the howl of a wolf.”

          I completely concur.

        • Around here, they kill red foxes for the fur. Someone complained to me that the foxes were killing their chickens. I asked them how did they know it was a fox and they told me that the heads were torn off the chickens. I replied, a raccoon did that and I continued to say that if the fox killed the chicken, all that would remain would be the bones and besides, the fox would take the chicken back to its den. The person replied, “Oh.” I told him that it was disgusting to kill any animal just for the fur. It’s also disgusting to bet money on animals but that’s a story for another time.

          • I’d have probably told the guy that if he kept the chickens in, say, his bedroom, they’d be safe and his worries would be over. Then he’d get mad at me for some reason I certainly don’t/can’t comprehend.

            People. Yuk. Most are living proof of evolution being a long way from complete, also strong evidence that there is no god, no creator. I mean, what sort of all-knowing eternal creator deity would create a creature like humans, intellectually helpless critters who spend most of their time either killing something or trying to make money? No way!

      • ” I can’t recall, in fact, any incident ever where a human EVER has been attacked directly by a wolf or wolves. ”

        You’ve obviously never read “Call of the Wild” by Jack London….

    • Joe’s uncle’s form of federally subsidized ranching makes it hard for eastern farmers to compete on land we own that is comparatively expensive. Damned welfare ranchers.

  2. “Joe turns on NPR.” Bwahaha. I wouldn’t mind finding his NPR affiliate, though, because around here they’re usually falling over backward not to hurt the feelings of Conservatives.

    • With the exception of Radio Times and Terry Gross, I find the same thing here. There’s a NPR show called “Tell me more” which is very conservative.

    • It’s going to be 100 degrees today. I’m staying indoors. I watered all the veggies this morning and some of the flowers so that these plants can tolerate today’s heat.

      • We’re already at 100, headed for 105 or so. I spent the morning selling my products in a parking lot. I’m not leaving this house unless it’s on fire.

  3. Awesome post, Wayne.

    Once again, the liberal version of the story is based in history and fact, and the conservative version is full of fanciful unicorns and pure bullshit.

    • did you lube up his dick with some faggy “organic” olive oil and let him fuck your armpit?

      Hmmm, that’s a new one. How do all these “decent Americans” know about this stuff? I’m pretty open-minded, but I’ve never heard of fucking an armpit.

        • Fair point. ;)

          I guess if a guy let’s another guy fuck his armpit, that means he really isn’t gay? :D

      • “Organic olive oil”? Really?

        Trying to get a ‘feel’ (sotospeak) for inorganic olive oil but no luck so far. Still, if anyone is going to use inorganic olives for anything oily, it’d likely be the homos.

        What does the bible say about organic vs inorganic olive oil? Is there an extra virgin inorganic olive oil, I wonder? How about Larry Craig? Has he said anything on the matter?

        Questions, questions questions. Always more questions than answers.

    • The one ranter has forgotten Markos’ last name is Zúniga, thus his father wasn’t Greek!

      • I had to look it up, because not even my Greek dad had much use for his Greek heritage and decided to re-invent himself as a Latino. Philotimos roughly translates to “doing good.”

        He un-Greeked himself. :lol:

  4. It’s official: Mermaids aren’t real

    Not to be outdone announcement-wise, this week the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) – a U.S. federal agency that has traditionally concerned itself with reporting on fish stocks – took an official position on mermaids. It reported on its website: “No evidence of aquatic humanoids has ever been found.”

    • No doubt the bleeding butts will be tearing into her for being a bleeding heart. The part that is so frustrating about this is if we opened Medicare to everyone (an insurance pool of the entire nation) and didn’t cap contributions, taxing both earned and unearned income, the price for every American would be teeny.

  5. I was searching for a station on AM radio and stumbled across the local “Conservative Catholic” station. I could only take about a minute of it because the freak was whining that “Jesus never talked about socialized medicine”. I don’t think that fundies would bother me so much if they actually read their precious Buybull. As most of you no doubt know, He didn’t just talk about health care, He HEALED THE SICK WITH NO EXPECTATION OF REWARD.

    • Jesus failed to say much about HMOs, either. Or futures trading. Wingnuts often claim that Jesus never demanded the State take your money and spend it on the poor. But the Gospels don’t prescribe how to care for the poor, they just say DO IT! But this is how they can claim to be Christians while cutting off any funding to social service programs. “Jesus wants me to spend that money on a boat!”

      • Except he did make those comments about rendering unto Caesar. Even pointed out that money was from Caesar, not God.

        • Money was from Caesar, not Higgs Boson!

          Oh…wait a minute…money is from Higgs Boson!

          I’m so confused…..
          ;)

  6. Well, my dad got married yesterday, and after two Long Island Iced Teas with dinner last night, I really don’t give a shit.

    I’m making progress. ;)

    • In some way this could possibly be looked at as a major accomplishment. The getting married part. Knowing what little I do I would think the occasional LIIT or Margarita would be a perfect idea. (I tried a mango margarita recently and found it quite soothing.) I’m sure some sort of congratulations are in order and I will go will congratulating you on the Iced Teas. Hugs as well.

      • I’ve never been a Brad Pitt fan, and I wouldn’t wish that on my dad, no matter how much he pisses me off. Yikes.

  7. It is, indeed, a fascinating read. To lie with impunity, pass it off as “science” – simply by having other idiots say so. Propaganda central.

    Yesterday

    petelngh on July 6, 2012 at 6:28 pm said:
    I’ve become addicted to RationalWiki! If you haven’t read “The Wedge Document” from the Discovery Institute? I strongly recommend it. It’s a fascinating look at the hostility to science and the depths to which fundies will lie, cheat, and steal in the name of Jesus. Keep in mind that these freaks staunchly deny ANY religious agenda. They’ve even tried to pass off that lie to a sympathetic judge who, thankfully, is smart and honest enough to see through their tattered veils.

    Rationalwiki Wedge Document

    • “Materialists denied the existence of objective moral standards, claiming that environment dictates our behavior and beliefs.”

      They lost it right there. One cannot claim objective anything when using the subjective as an argument. Objectively speaking, the behavior of the Church has been nothing but a continuous power grab with such nice examples as the Crusades, the Inquisition and the division of the New World between Portugal and Spain in spite of the fact that their were existing civilizations in those territories at the time.

      One cannot claim objectivity when relying on subjective proofs.

    • Also, it is impossible to claim objective morality when one puts Except after any of their moral claims. As George Carlin said…Thou Shalt Not Kill. Four words, no wiggle.

    • The truly disturbing part is that there are a lot of motivated, malevolent, and well funded freaks working hard to bring this nightmare to our country and they take in a whole lot of well-meaning suckers. I’ve known quite a few sane people who have said “this ID stuff makes a lot of sense”. This is usually followed with “it has nothing to do with religion”. Needless to say; that’s something that demands immediate debunking and having a copy of the Wedge Document, and the RationalWiki article about it and Wedge Strategy, is a very good source. I’ve found about half of those people catch on before any feelings get hurt but it’s gotten loud a couple times.

      One has to be careful around truly nice people who are just following that very real voice in all of us that constantly asks “what’s out there”. I think some people just carry that thought until they get so far beyond their understanding of how the universe works that they just stop and say “from here on is God’s problem”.

      Despite the loud wackos; I don’t see anything to suggest that most people in a modern society don’t practice what is really a form of agnosticism with a vague feeling that there’s a whole lot of shit that no living person will ever know and it’s quite likely that the human race will pass without a true inkling of what’s really “out there”.

      Most of us bring the question up, infrequently, as a journey in knowledge and imagination. A distressingly large minority see it as a constant battle to prevent any possibility of realizing just how fucking puny each of us is. And, all too often in history, mobs of these frightened children actually wage war to prevent anyone else from understanding mans’ minute place in the cosmos and, even worse, be satisfied with that.

      Perhaps the scariest thing, to sane people, is how vocal the crazies are when provided with instant communication. The encouraging part is that most lack the self-discipline to avoid dying in a shoot out before more damage is done. For every mass-murderer who actually racks up a body count how many are found out and helped or incarcerated before a tragedy can occur? While the sheer number is daunting I think it’s best that they sit at their computers and rage against reality.

  8. I got as far as the first paragraph in the Introduction.

    “The proposition that human beings are created in the image of God is one of the bedrock principles on which Western civilization was built. Its influence can be detected in most, if not all, of the West’s greatest achievements, including representative democracy, human rights, free enterprise, and progress in the arts and sciences.”

    What bilgy, fumy, theocratic offal tripe.

  9. This can’t be good:

    Damaging Winds Possible Across the Great Lakes, Mid-Atlantic and Portions of the Midwest

    The Storm Prediction Center is outlining an area of severe weather for the Great Lakes, Mid-Atlantic and portions of the Midwest for tonight and continuing into Sunday. Damaging winds are the main threat with this storm system, but hail and isolated tornadoes cannot be ruled out.

    • Is that another one of those huge weather bombs?

      Don’t remember what it’s really called. There was one over the Mid-West a couple years ago.

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