10,000 B.C. – 2015 A.D.
Satire died last night in its sleep. Overworked to the point of exhaustion, Satire expired quietly in the night. A forensic autopsy indicated Satire was overcome by recent events, as Republican after Republican outdid each other – to the point where no longer could a satirical extreme be found. Pundits tried, to no avail. No one could out-extreme the extremists on the extreme fringe of what has now become the mainstream of Republican politics. Satire no longer had the advantage of being outrageous, yet somewhat believable, as more and more outrageous claims and positions were taken each day by candidates who took themselves seriously, even while the sane world looked on with incredulity.
Satire will be sorely missed. Satire is survived by its relatives: irony, puns and limericks.
Services will be held at 11 and Happy Hour.
Once immortal Gods
As silent sentinels stand;
Testaments to faith.
Blind eyes made of stone
Gazing into the future
From past hands hewn.
In faith they lived,
And when faith died,
Stone Gods, immortal,
Faced their own mortality,
In silent repose,
Staring into the future
With blind eyes.
What Gods man makes,
Man alone destroys.
The unalterable remains.
What of man,
Staring into the future
With blind eyes?
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
One of the above passages is from the Declaration of Independence, the other is from the Constitution. Unfortunately, some lawmakers don’t know the difference. The pursuit of Happiness, for some, is the pursuit of the right to discriminate based on their “deeply held religious beliefs”. Based on those beliefs they seek to deny women’s reproductive health care, intervene between a woman and her doctor, force gestation, then leave the woman and child without healthcare, food, clothing and shelter once the child is born. Based on “deeply held religious beliefs” some people, in the name of Christ, want to discriminate against people who love people of the same gender. Make no mistake about it, this is a violent sect of Christianity. Its followers kill doctors who perform legal abortions. Its followers kill gays in some rather horrific ways. Its followers turn to the courts and have obtained the blessing of the highest court in the land to deprive women of healthcare. And now, they turn to the courts to establish the right to discriminate, based on their “deeply held religious beliefs”. This is their Pursuit of Happiness: To turn this country into a “Christian” Nation, according to their view of an authoritarian Christ who rules by the sword and condemns all who do not worship Him. Although this sect (some say cult) is relatively small, they have a disproportionate voice in government. Why? because they vote. The vast majority of eligible voters don’t bother. But this majority is like a sleeping genie. Once awakened, it will be most difficult to put back into the bottle.
What’s your pursuit of happiness?
Assume, for sake of argument, the ruling class, the super wealthy, get everything they want. And it’s a long list, and they’ve already accomplished some of these things:
The ability to pass down their wealth, tax free, in perpetuity;
A zero tax rate, with tax subsidies to their businesses;
No minimum wage;
No child labor laws;
No workplace safety laws;
No environmental protections;
Privatize everything the government does;
Private ownership of all land;
No anti-trust laws – no regulations of any kind on businesses;
No ObamaCare, Welfare, Social Security, Unemployment Insurance or Disability Insurance; etc.
What would they want next?
California is on its way to become another dust bowl. Some estimates predict the State has one more year of water left.
One year. That’s counting the reservoirs and groundwater.
As a result, the State is enacting some pretty tight restrictions on water use, for human consumption. People, who use about 10% of the State’s annual consumption of water, will be asked to cut back on watering their yards to two days a week.
Agriculture, on the other hand, won’t face any restrictions. As a result, some farmers are continuing to plant new orchards.
Fracking will go on, as usual, consuming millions of gallons of potable water, and polluting countless millions of gallons more with toxic wastes filtering into the groundwater supply.
One central valley city has taken a unique approach to saving water. Fresno converted all of its firefighting equipment from pumping water to blasting dirt. The fire hoses now blast out a steady stream of dirt, much like a sandblaster, to put out flames.
The town set up a dredging operation in the Fresno riverbed, which has been dry for years. Sand and dirt is then loaded into dump trucks that follow the fire trucks to the scene of a fire. A typical residential fire can be extinguished with about a half a dump truck load. After the fire is put out, a clean-up crew sweeps up the dirt and sand, which is then strained to remove any coals, ash or other impurities and reloaded into the dump truck. The city estimates about 80% of the dirt and sand will be recovered in this manner.
While city officials are congratulating themselves at this innovative way to save water, residents are not so pleased. Every time there’s a fire, long lines form at the car washes, to wash the falling dust off all the cars that happened to be downwind of the blaze.
In other news, Rand Paul announced his candidacy for the President of the United States. His former High School immediately edited its online version of Rand’s Senior Yearbook, dubbing him “Least Likely to Succeed.”
T h r e a d
A little-noticed provision in last year’s military spending bill abolished April Fools Day. House staffers, usually with a wink and a nod, credit Rand Paul for the deed. Tired of being the brunt of April Fools jokes all his life, he saw an opportunity and seized upon it, slipping in language abolishing April 1 of each calendar year and adding an extra day to March. Starting in 2015, March will have 32 days, and April will start on April 2, 2015.
“I didn’t realize this when we voted on the bill,” Mitch McTurtle commented, “but I like it.” However, he and other Republicans who are secretly chortling over the fact that there is no April Fools Day this year may soon change their minds as fishermen across the country are outraged. Fishing season traditionally opens on April 1, and without April 1, the season will not open this year.
“That’s in the regs.” A Fish and Game lawyer explained. “April 1 marks the beginning of Fishing Season, not April 2, not March 32. Congress created this mess, and it’ll take an act of Congress to fix it.” On the other hand, basketball enthusiasts generally favor the idea, as it adds an extra day for March Madness.
Meanwhile, bait shops across the country are up to their eyeballs in crickets and worms they cannot sell. “This is a huge blow.” drawled one shop owner as he spit out a chaw of tobacco. “How am I gonna stay in business if no one can go fishing?” When told his Representative voted for the bill, the shop owner started whistling “Dixie” as he pulled down the blinds and started cleaning his shotgun.