Tuesday, September 30, 2008



America’s liberty depends upon the United States Supreme Court. It is the highest judicial institution in the land. Some say it is the most powerful Court in the world. While we here at Reason, Commerce, Justice & Free Beer withhold our judgment as to the Supreme Court’s international influence, we proudly recognize the Supreme Court for its vital role in protecting liberty for all Americans. Our Supreme Court desegregated our schools, required police to advise arrested people that they may remain silent and asserted power over Congress by invalidating laws that violate core constitutional principles. In short, our Supreme Court is daring. Justices stand for principle, not just the political party that put them in power. Our Framers were very wise in creating a branch of government dedicated solely to defending the spirit of our basic charter.

Today, Supreme Court justices carry on that principled tradition. They approach constitutional issues with reason, courage and calm, rational detachment. They never allow their emotions, politics or religious beliefs to interfere with their judgment. By avoiding conflict on the bench, the Court projects a unified front that transcends petty Washington infighting. After all, the Constitution endures through the centuries; Congressional majorities and Presidencies do not. Because justices put their trust in enduring principle, they avoid the divisive, mean-spirited partisanism that so poisons contemporary political dialogue. The Supreme Court has dignity. It does not descend into shouting matches between Republicans and Democrats.

In today’s edition, we are proud to present a piece written by eminent Supreme Court associate justice Antonin Scalia. Justice Scalia is world renowned for his cogent opinions and historical approach to constitutional interpretation. He takes inspiration from our Nation’s founders and often cites sources from their generation in order to understand what our Constitution means. Justice Scalia understands that it is his responsibility to tell us what the words in the Constitution mean. He is the justice. We are just observers. We may think we understand the principles embodied in the Constitution—they are in English, after all—but Justice Scalia looks beyond the language to give us the full story. We are grateful for his insights.

Justice Scalia also understands the value of professional collegiality. For better or worse, Justice Scalia shares decisionmaking power on the Supreme Court with eight other justices. In order to maintain the Court’s unified image, it is essential for each justice to maintain good relationships with his colleagues. Rapport, respect and constructive dialogue all play a role in the Court’s unique interpretive role. Justice Scalia knows this, and he cares deeply about his work in shaping our Nation’s liberty through constitutional interpretation. He knows that he cannot produce lasting judicial contributions without closely working with his fellow justices. We applaud him for his selfless approach to our constitutional tradition. In an era of increasing disrespect in America, Justice Scalia’s concern for professional cooperation should command our praise.

Justice Scalia does not shy away from publicity. He is a man of principle, and he is not ashamed to voice his opinions. He puts his faith in the American people to make decisions, not courts. He does not believe he should decide policy questions. But he is not afraid to decide policy questions when he feels that constitutional principle compels him to do so. Similarly, he believes the Court should stand by its previous decisions, unless he disagrees with those decisions.

As in any interpretive discipline, jurists on the United States Supreme Court will occasionally disagree. There is always more than one way to interpret a principle. But when Justice Scalia disagrees with a colleague over a constitutional issue, he is always certain to maintain the Court’s dignity. We salute Justice Scalia not only for his intellectual powers, but also for his commitment to dignity on the bench. In an increasingly acrimonious political climate, Justice Scalia rises above the din with principle and honor. We hope that you—our readers—take heart in his wise words about the value of professional collegiality in our Nation’s most significant constitutional institution.

Introducing : The Justice Antonin Scalia Doctrine for Insulting, Degrading, Denigrating and Humiliating Your Professional Colleagues

By : Antonin G. Scalia, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, Seat 10 (1986-present); Law Professor, University of Chicago School of Law (1977-1982)

Many people have said many things about the United States Constitution. But no one really knows the men who wrote it in 1787. We can only look at the documents and the language they left behind. We can try to understand what they thought and felt about the words they used, but it is an imperfect enterprise. And one thing is certain: The Framers had very different values than those we hold today.

Yet all too often in modern American life, people call for us—the United States Supreme Court—to rewrite the Constitution. That is not our job. Our job is simply to say what the Framers wrote in 1787. If the people want to change the Constitution, all they have to do is follow the rules in Article V. I’m not going to get into the technical requirements, but let me tell you: It can be done. We’ve already done it 27 times since 1787.

I believe in the American people. I will not strike down laws enacted by democratic majorities unless two things are true: (1) the law clearly violates exact words in the Constitution; and (2) I strongly disagree with the law. Obviously requirement (2) is more important. This is what my “colleagues” on the bench will never understand.

Between the 1950s and early 1970s, the Supreme Court made some truly shocking decisions. Ignoring Congress and the States, several landmark decisions desegregated public schools, granted free lawyers to indigent defendants in criminal cases at taxpayer expense, required States to suppress evidence seized in violation of the Fourth Amendment, imposed burdensome obligations on arresting officers to recite slogans about remaining silent after apprehending suspects, permitted child murder, banned State funding for religion, and required States to adopt a “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard before convicting criminal defendants. Nothing in the Constitution mandates any of these things. Yet the Court stepped in and “created law.” And don’t forget: No one elects Supreme Court justices. These judicial rogues essentially rewrote the Constitution without approval from the people.

This is not what Supreme Court justices do. We are here to say what the Constitution means, not to invent liberal nonsense from the bench. We are here to recite the words as they were understood in 1787, not to “guess” what they “probably” mean “today.” The Constitution is not “organic;” it is archaic, and that is just the way it is supposed to be. But all too many justices—even today—staunchly defend the judicial piracy practiced between the 50s and early 70s, labeling decisions from that era “advances in liberty.” They are all a bunch of ill-informed, stupid idiots who don’t know a goddamned thing about this Constitution or the men who wrote it.

I am talking especially about Justice Stevens, Justice Ginsburg, Justice Souter, Justice Breyer and sometimes Justice Kennedy. You guys have made some pretty dumb-ass decisions over the years, let me tell you. Collegiality is essential on the Court, but when you are as dumb as these cretins, different rules apply. Let me give a few examples.

I am collegial with Chief Justice Roberts because he agrees with me, but Justice Stevens—yeah, right. This wheezy son-of-a-bitch has his 88-year-old head up his ass. Just last term, he wrote that “State-sanctioned killing is becoming more and more anachronistic” in a case involving lethal injection. What the hell are you talking about, you shriveled-up piece of shit? You think “State-sanctioned killing” is “anachronistic?” States executed hundreds of people last year. That’s last year, not 500 years ago. You call last year “anachronistic?” What are you, stupid? In my dissent, I told Justice Stevens that he “blatantly disregarded,” “totally ignored” and “grossly mischaracterized” every single case bearing on the issue. Of course, that is the kind of language I use in formal opinions, but what I really meant was: “Are you really as stupid as you look? Yo’ mama so old she went shopping at the Roman Circus.”

What gets me is that dumbasses like Justice Stevens really think they are right. In some cases, he gets four of my “colleagues” to go along with his bullshit. Normally I am very collegial, but when four of my “colleagues” actually believe what Justice Stevens has to say, I make some exceptions. I will call them “freakin’ morons” in special footnotes—and I am not afraid to name names. When it comes to the Constitution, I do not tolerate stupidity. Sure, it is important to have a disagreement once in a while, but anybody who agrees with Justice Stevens must be mentally ill. And I’ve said that in conference before, too.

Sometimes I will call Justice Stevens an idiot even in cases I win. Last year, I got to write the opinion that gave Americans the right to carry pistols to defend themselves. In my opinion, I basically told Justice Stevens that he was imagining things again when he suggested the Second Amendment presupposes that the American people only have the right to “bear arms” in connection with service in a State militia. Huh? What dictionary are you reading from, you senile old bastard? This is the thing I really hate about these so-called Supreme Court justices: They read words and tell you what they “think” they mean. That is not our job. Unlike Justice Stevens, I actually know what the Framers meant when they wrote the words. And when they wrote: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed,” it is perfectly obvious what they were talking about. It’s not brain surgery; I just recited what the words mean: “The State can’t make it illegal to carry a pistol, militia or no militia.” Of course, I also said you need to have a “self-defense reason” to carry the pistol, but how difficult is it to say you’re defending yourself?

In essence, we currently have at least four justices on the Court who don’t have the slightest idea what they are doing. Justice Kennedy is a butthead. My dog is smarter than Justice Souter. It’s a wonder Justice Ginsburg graduated from high school. Justice Breyer is about as smart as my left ass-cheek. And Justice Stevens is in a class by himself for pure imbecility. These morons are disrespecting the American people by “inventing” rights that appear nowhere in the Constitution and that no legislature ever considered. Rather than reversing the constitutional errors committed in the 1950s, 60s and 70s, these idiots actually defend them. Ironically, they think they are protecting liberty when they do this. In fact, they are perpetuating judicial piracy and hoodwinking the American people. We don’t make policy. We only invalidate policy when we don’t like it. There is a big difference there.

Our Supreme Court is an extremely important institution in the American social order. We are a voice of wisdom, restraint, tradition and principle. We work well together, provided we can exclude Justice Stevens, Justice Souter, Justice Ginsburg and Justice Breyer. I am always collegial with Chief Justice Roberts, Justice Thomas and Justice Alito. These great jurists understand that the Court does not stand for piracy, but sober judicial interpretation. Obviously I accord maximal collegiality to these men. Their intellectual powers and rhetorical flair—especially Justice Thomas’—make them centerpieces in the fight for constitutional liberty.

In a time gone by, our Founding Fathers believed in liberty. Chief Justice Roberts, Justice Thomas, Justice Alito and I understand that, and we took an oath to protect the Framers’ dreams. They envisioned a land where every man could participate in commerce without undue interference. And they envisioned a land where States could govern with minimal restraint, consistent with time-honored traditions such as the death penalty and interrogation. They did not envision a Supreme Court with powers equal to Congress. Nor did they envision a Supreme Court that “invented” rights designed to further a post-modern liberal agenda.

I do not respect anyone who thinks the Constitution means anything other than what it meant in 1787. I am not afraid to stand for principle, and that means I am not afraid to insult, degrade and denigrate anyone who disagrees with me. This is my doctrine. As important as collegiality may be in constitutional debates, it must be earned. I am collegial with justices, lower court judges and even laymen if they respect tradition (as I understand it) in the Constitution. I am not collegial with justices, lower court judges or laymen if they think the Constitution is simply a “framework” in which to invent fantastic rights such as the right to “commit consensual sodomy in one’s own home.” The Framers would have been outraged by such a proposition, and so am I. Anyone who suggests such constitutional abominations does not deserve collegiality. He deserves to be called a stupid-ass punk. And that is exactly what I will call you if that’s what you think.

Monday, September 29, 2008


America Must Protect Portugal from Imminent Russian Aggression

By : Sarah Louise Heath Palin, Candidate for the Office of Vice President of the United States and President of the United States Senate; Governor of the Democratic Republic of the State of Alaska; Foreign Policy Expert

Alaskans have broad experience in foreign relations matters. Unlike any other American State, Alaska is situated between two foreign Nations: Canada to our South and Russia to our West. Internationalists routinely complain that America’s comparative isolation from foreign neighbors disqualifies her from effective foreign policy. These complaints do not apply to Alaska. Like a central European Nation, we are a State surrounded by foreign adversaries. We understand diplomacy because we have to.

As Governor of Alaska, I obtained valuable experience in foreign policy practice. I oversaw trade missions across the Bering Strait to Russia. Although I was not physically present during those trade missions, I heard they went well. Our emissaries reported that the transactions between East Siberian port officials and West Alaskan fur merchants proceeded without substantial hitch. Additionally, our merchants reported that the Russians were somewhat suspicious hosts.

Personally, I have never left American territory. But I have learned a lot about the world through books. Many young people backpack through Europe and even Asia during college. I worked for a living. I had to educate myself about foreign lands through books, and I did an excellent job. I understand what makes countries tick. My experience as mayor of Wasilla and later as Governor of Alaska only reinforced my international acumen. I routinely heard reports about Canadian cross-border foraging and I took measures to ensure expedited passport checking procedures at all Canadian highway crossings. In short, my tenure as Governor has uniquely qualified me to speak on foreign policy matters.

Just last week I posed for photographs with the Pakistani President, whose name I cannot pronounce. During that photo session, I heard stories about Pakistan and India that were very interesting. In return, I told stories about Alaska, including my secret recipe for elk burger seasoning. I made polite conversation about freedom and the United States. I also mentioned that I was running for Vice President with John McCain. I said that I had read books about Pakistan and knew the name of its capital city: Baghdad. The Pakistani President was extremely impressed with my knowledge. He wished me well in my future endeavors. It felt invigorating to represent the United States in a diplomatic capacity.

But not all diplomatic missions can be so cordial. Alaska’s proximity to Russia only reinforces the serious nature of foreign policy questions. Based upon reports I received from West Alaskan fur merchants, I have learned that Russia is a wily and dangerous competitor. I have seen several movies about Russia, including Red Dawn, Dr. Strangelove and The Hunt for Red October. I also heard that Russia used to be a Communist country, and that is not good at all. Recently, I also heard that Russia invaded its defenseless southern neighbor, Georgia. At first I pictured Russian tanks in Atlanta, but an advisor later told me that there is another Georgia near Russia, not the Georgia near Disney World.

That news relieved me, but Russia is still dangerous. Putin may rear his ugly head at any moment. I heard that he is no longer the Russian President, but West Alaskan fur merchants reported that several Russians were discussing an imminent Russian attack on Portugal during a recent trade mission in Anchorage. Considering what Russia has already done in Georgia, we must take seriously every threat of future Russian aggression.

Portugal is a free and beautiful country. I have not been there, but I have read a book about Portugal. They grow oranges there. There are beautiful seaside towns and vacation escapes. The Portuguese are peace-loving people. They love freedom and equality. They have faith, just like Americans. As far as I know, Portugal borders Russian territory. That means that Russia may at any moment engulf Portugal in tyranny. We must not allow this to happen. We must take a stand to stop Russian aggression. I agree with Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice: It is not 1968 anymore. My calendar says it is 2008. Obviously she is right. It is not 1967, either. In fact, it is currently no year other than 2008.

Russia must not remain unchecked. If we allow Russia to conquer Portugal, what is next? The Sudan? Bolivia? These are valuable U.S. allies. I have read books on all of them, and it would be simply tragic if Putin were allowed to make them Russian. The United States has a moral duty to protect Portugal now. We must not allow Portugal to go Georgia’s way. And because Portugal is so close to Russia, we must do something immediately. We could start by sending a trade mission to Moscow and demanding that Russia cease all hostile action toward Portugal. We should confront them with the statements obtained from the West Alaskan fur merchants and demand an explanation. Good diplomacy at times requires confrontation. And when it comes to defending Portugal, testy dialogue is a risk we must take.

Obviously no one wants a war. John McCain hates war, and so do I. Still, threatening war is a legitimate diplomatic tool. I recommend demanding that Russia abandon its aggressive plans against Portugal or risk war with the United States and its Allies. This is the only way to deal with Putin. He only understands strength. If he wants to wage war on freedom in Portugal, he must deal with us, too. The United States fights countries that fight freedom. We do not tolerate dictators anywhere. That is why we attacked Iraq, and that is why we will defend Portugal.

Let us stand with our beleaguered Portuguese brethren. We must not delay a single moment in curtailing Russian aggression. We must not allow Russia to invade countries at will. Nations of freedom do not invade other countries. Let us come together to defend Portugal—and freedom—from the Russian hordes. Here is my diplomatic message to the Russian aggressors: Hands off Portugal, you dirty commies.

Sunday, September 28, 2008



By : G. Willie Branson III, President, Association for Responsibility in America (ARA); Chairman, United Collection Professionals Guild (UCPG)

Three years have passed since Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans and the Gulf Coast casinos. At the time, President Bush and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) delivered timely, generous assistance to many families touched by nature’s wrath. Our government provided housing, medical care, temporary employment opportunities and free electricity to millions of former New Orleans residents. It even paid to transport many former residents several hundred miles to Houston, Texas. There, it continued to support these residents with free housing. Under such comfortable circumstances, it surprised no one that these residents did not want to return to New Orleans. Why would they? If I was receiving a free meal, I wouldn’t want to leave, either.

But Katrina struck three years ago. That’s three years ago. To this day, many New Orleans residents continue to insist that the government support them, complaining “they cannot find jobs.” They say the hurricane altered their lives and they cannot get back on their feet. They say they lost everything they had. Many remain in free housing in Houston, draining valuable federal money that could be far better used to stem a looming financial crisis in New York. These residents refuse to budge. They are indignant that the government now wishes to cut them off.

We have a simple message for these former New Orleans residents: You are to blame for your problems. You brought this situation on yourselves. Rather than heed fair warnings from authorities prior to the hurricane, you chose to remain in harm’s way. You had every means at your disposal leave the city, yet you foolishly faced the tidal surge. What can we say? Play with fire and you’ll get burned. Or, to be perfectly accurate, play with a flood and you’ll drown. You lost your homes and your jobs because you knowingly encountered a natural disaster. And now you expect us to feel sorry for you three years later? New Orleans residents should have been grateful that the federal government provided them any housing at all. It is pure insolence for them now to say the federal government should continue to shower them with free benefits.

America became great as a Nation because Americans understand what it means to be “responsible.” Yet as the 21st Century continues, it is becoming sadly apparent that more and more Americans are losing that virtue. In our parents’ time, no one expected a free lunch; they worked for a living. If a disaster struck, they faced adversity with stoic vigor. They did not cry and whine for help. They did not feel entitled to benefits. If they did not earn their benefits, they had no right to them. And they certainly did not expect their government to give them free housing. They were responsible; they saw to their own welfare in good times as well as bad.

But Katrina “victims” seem to think that they have a right to free help from the government. This is not responsibility; this is laziness, pure and simple. While many Americans briefly sympathized with New Orleans residents following Katrina, that momentary sympathy did not transform into a lifetime entitlement to free housing, or a permanent license to receive free money. And that was three years ago. If you can’t get a job in three years—no matter what adversity you face—you are to blame. Worse, when you put yourself in adversity’s way, you are even more to blame for your predicament. Responsible people heed warnings. When they can avoid adversity, they do. The same cannot be said of Katrina “victims.”

Former New Orleans residents embody all that is wrong with America today. Rather than viewing life in our country as opportunity to better oneself, they expect our country to keep them in comfort. They are lazy, whining, insolent, ungrateful, layabout losers. They expect our Nation to hold their hands through life. They give nothing to a Nation that gave everything to them. It is not our responsibility to sustain these losers. Responsible Americans take care of themselves. Yet these crybabies moan they lost everything. They say they lost their homes, their relatives and their futures. What pathetic, whining excuses! Most did not even own their homes, yet they say they “lost them.” Most were unemployed, yet they say they “lost their futures.” Most had relatives who were dying anyway. So who cares whether the hurricane shaved a few years off their unemployed lives? A strong, responsible person would have dusted himself off and made a new start. A strong, responsible person would not have asked for help. But these losers do not understand what it means to be responsible. Instead, they whine and accuse the government of “callousness” and “cruelty.”

Let us get this straight: It was “callous” and “cruel” to move you—at no cost—to Houston and place you in free government housing? It was “callous” and “cruel” to provide you with free electricity and air conditioning, as well as opportunities for employment with local commercial establishments? If New Orleans residents consider such selfless generosity “callous,” it is hard to fathom what they would consider “generous.” How about an individual 4500 square foot mansion for each family, with a guaranteed tax-free annual income of $1 million? Would that be enough to cover you, you ungrateful pests? Put simply, New Orleans residents’ complaints should disgust every responsible American. It is time to mute them once and for all.

What is the solution? And how can we restore responsibility to the rightful place it deserves in the pantheon of American values? In the short term, we must immediately suspend all further funding for Katrina relief programs. We have poured far too much money into this problem and we have created an entire class of insolent, self-serving wretches. It is simply un-American to cultivate irresponsibility in our citizens. To that end, we must also tabulate the exact amounts spent on each Katrina “victim” and send a bill to each “victim.” Even those “victims” imprisoned at federal expense must pay for their prison lodgings and amenities. We must re-instill responsibility as a key American virtue, and financial liability is an excellent way to do this. If each whining Katrina “victim” suddenly has some bills to pay, it will seem less attractive to sit around free housing all day waiting for handouts. And we must eliminate traditional avenues to avoiding responsibility. That means amending the Bankruptcy Act (Title 11, United States Code) so as to forbid bankruptcy defenses on any Katrina-related invoices. To win the war on irresponsibility, we must bring home the notion that debts are debts. They must be paid no matter what adversity befalls the debtor. It is time to stop the indulgences.

In the long term, we must promote responsibility. As the Katrina mess sadly shows, a terrible moral disordering has upset our Nation’s social fabric. Rather than accept blame for their foolish actions, all too many Americans blame others for problems they created themselves. To correct this imbalance, we must get back to first principles. What is responsibility? Responsibility means answering for one’s actions. That, in turn, means accepting blame for foolhardy actions. If a child plays with a saw he knows is dangerous, he must accept the blame for cutting off his hand. He cannot blame the saw maker for failing to install redundant safety mechanisms. He committed the blameworthy act, and he must answer for its consequences. Similarly—like the child playing with a dangerous saw—Katrina “victims” foolishly remained in New Orleans, despite warnings to leave. They suffered consequences for their foolishness. A responsible person would have accepted these consequences, but these ungrateful losers did not. They chose to blame everyone and everything but themselves: The city government; FEMA; President Bush; their financial circumstances; racism; Congress; economic disenfranchisement. In short, they did not answer for their actions. They attempted to foist blame on others. That is not responsibility. That is irresponsibility and cowardice.

What can we do to root out the irresponsible cowardice that has corrupted so many Americans? Obviously it is difficult to change people’s character, and responsibility is the hallmark of good character. But through law we can entice people to change their ways, no matter what they actually believe. We can start by denying compensation for any injury even remotely caused by the injured person’s fault. In all too many lawsuits, injured people injure themselves. We can promote responsibility as a virtue if we eliminate all recovery when the Plaintiff’s own behavior contributes to the injury. For example, if a city power pole falls on a man walking down the street drunk, he should not be able to sue the city because he was drunk. A responsible man would not have been drunk and would have noticed the danger. Currently, our legal system “compares” blame. This merely promotes irresponsibility by rewarding irresponsible people for their own foolishness. It is time to bar all lawsuits in which the Plaintiff contributes to his own problems.

Promoting responsibility will not be easy. But we must return to the virtues that made this Nation great. Responsibility can be uncomfortable. After all, no one likes to suffer negative consequences. We do not like to hear about others in pain. But this is exactly the problem: Too many Americans are willing to sympathize with irresponsible people because they have “touching stories.” This is nonsense. We must deal harshly with irresponsibility, no matter how sympathetic the story. We must not allow our personal feelings to interfere. For every indulgence we make, we weaken our virtues as a Nation. We cannot afford to feel sorry for people who lose their homes and families because they chose to remain in harm’s way. That would reward bad decisionmaking and elevate irresponsibility to profitability. We have already gone far down this road, and we must act now to correct the damage. Stop feeling sorry for Katrina “victims.” No matter how much you may sympathize with them because they suffered, you must remember that they put themselves in their own predicament. If you indulge them, you merely encourage them to pursue their socially useless behavior. That means more government expense, more irresponsibility and more unemployment. Certainly we can agree that these are not things we want as a Nation.

Katrina “victims” are like dogs: They look at you from under the dinner table with wide, plaintive eyes. You give them a morsel from your plate because you feel sorry for them. Yet after the first morsel, they come back for seconds. And thirds. And fourths. Soon there is nothing left on your plate, and the dog both depends on and expects your indulgences. It would have been better not to give anything to the dog in the first instance. And that should be our policy today.

Responsibility is its own reward. We are well aware that answering for one’s own actions is easier when one has some money to spare, but responsibility knows no social or economic distinctions. Just because a person finds himself in a predicament does not permit him to depend on the rest of us. Katrina “victims” have themselves to blame for their predicament. Their plight is not our problem. Certainly there is value in the adage: “But for the grace of God go I.” But that adage does not apply when it comes to financial responsibility. If government observed that adage, every person who has a hard month would have a permanent claim on the treasury. We all have had hard months. But we face our problems soberly and responsibly. We find a way; we do not moan, whine and pout for freebies. It is time to stop the handouts in New Orleans and Houston. We must restore responsibility to America. And that means showing good old American-style tough love to those irresponsible, whining luggards who think government owes them for their own stupidity.

Responsibility : It’s Our Policy ®

Saturday, September 27, 2008


Free Traders’ Association to Abolish the SEC and Prosecute its Current and Former Employees as Enemies of Commerce

By: Mr. James Garfield Bollingbrooke, Jr., Executive Officer

In these dark economic times, this Nation needs clear guidance. American consumers face unprecedented dangers from predatory lenders, failed mortgage houses, unemployment, inflationary currency policies and rising interest rates. Why has this come to pass? The answer is simple: Federal regulation of the securities markets. Since 1933, the Federal government has incessantly meddled in private commercial affairs. It has created monolithic bureaus that harass business with burdensome paperwork requirements and picayune micromanagement. Rather than protect the public from fraud, these Federal bureaus have dramatically increased the costs of doing business, crippling the spirit of free enterprise that drives this Nation. It is time to reverse the tide. It is time to abolish the SEC and every other bureau that interferes with the securities markets. If elected, we promise not only to abolish antiquated Federal programs like the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, but also to prosecute every current and former employee of the SEC for actively undermining commerce in this country. By criminalizing interference with commerce, we will send a clear message that our citizens do not tolerate vexatious governmental meddling in their business affairs. We promise a return to prosperity. We promise a business environment where every man can bargain as he wishes, without having to file thousands of documents and report private economic data. What is freedom, after all, if not liberty from governmental restraint? Vote for privacy. Vote for opportunity. And vote for a vibrant economic future in which America leads the global economy.

Contented Network of Employed Persons Without a Shred of Compassion for Unemployed Persons

By : Joshua A. Parker, Insurance Adjuster and Employed-Person-in-Charge (EPIC)

In our country, employment is not a right. One must earn employment; it does not magically appear in one’s lap. To find employment is to fulfill the American dream. We are living the dream because we work. Yet all too many lollygaggers sit around all day without a job, blaming the “system” for their own listlessness. We, the Contented Network of Employed Persons, have a message for these sluggards: It’s not our problem that you aren’t employed. We are getting our paychecks, how about you? Nope! And like we care. You complain that the “economy is bad” or you “don’t have a parent who can get you a job.” Again, how is that our problem? We have jobs because we got an education and knew someone who was hiring. Sure, we might have been hired during better times, but what can we say? That’s the way the cookie crumbles, compadre. You tell us that you have an education, too, but can’t find work to save your life because companies aren’t hiring in a recession. Well, maybe it’s time to start lowering your expectations a little bit. You can’t start at the top, after all. Not only that, why should we care about you? It’s not our problem that you are living with your parents or can’t pay your medical bills. I have a job. You, on the other hand, are a complaining loser and you deserve exactly what you’re getting. You’re worried that you don’t have health insurance because you’re unemployed and you don’t have any money to pay for it yourself. Hello! If you just applied yourself and got a job like the rest of us, you wouldn’t be whining anymore. Who really cares about your problems, anyway? I show up at my job every morning and go home every night. I get paid on Friday and drink on the weekends. I am happy. What possible difference does it make to me whether you have a job or not? This Election Day, vote for people like us who actually work for a living. Who cares about unemployment? Let’s focus on questions that actually matter. We have no time as a Nation to worry about people who don’t matter.

Friday, September 26, 2008


Searching for a job is no easy task. In times past, Americans could easily find work as long as they were physically able and motivated. Today, physical capacity and motivation are not enough. Even great talent will not guarantee you a job in a shrinking market. As the financial industry faces crisis this month, this trend will only continue. Here at Reason, Commerce, Justice & Free Beer, we understand what you are going through. We salute you for getting up every morning, reviewing your resume, buying presentable resume stock paper and envelopes, making copies, paying postage to send out your resume, checking your email, returning phone calls, dry cleaning your interview attire, attending interviews, writing cover letters, maintaining an “employment search log” and diligently reviewing the employment sections in all major newspapers. Salute yourself for your work ethic. One day, you will serve an employer and earn a wage. On the happy day you receive your offer, all your toils will have been worth the effort.

But not all news can be good news. Even after sending your resume to dozens of potential employers, only a handful will ask to see you. And among those, many will reject you, even after an interview. In these circumstances, it is easy to feel discouraged. You will wonder what factor caused your rejection. Do not give in to these temptations: Employers have their reasons. They are not for you to know. And they should not dampen your zeal to serve them.

In order to enrich your job search process, it is important to recognize certain correspondence. When seeking employment, you will send and receive many letters. To be a good job searcher, you must immediately know what a letter means. Additionally, it is important to understand what employers mean in the words they write. Below, we print a sample rejection letter. In it, we hope to show not only the form rejection letters commonly take, but also the criteria employers consider important in making strategic personnel decisions. By understanding a candidate’s unfavorable attributes, it is possible to define and strengthen your positive attributes. To win employment, you must know your audience. And knowing your audience means avoiding what they dislike as much as it means playing to what they like. We hope the following rejection letter will help you avoid discussing topics that most employers dislike.

All employers are different. But they share common ground when it comes to hiring. They want dedication, enthusiasm, obedience, flexibility and “team player” capacity. Blow your own horn, but never project an impression that you are more valuable than the employer’s interests. Show how your individuality will enrich your employer, not yourself. Modesty is a virtue.

September 20, 2008

To : Mr. Jesus Christ, Applicant #452D
From : Mr. Howard F. Swanson, Jr., Human Resources Management Associate
Re : Your Application for Employment at Data-U-Serve Corp.

Dear Mr. Christ,

Thank you for your interest in employment as a Junior Marketing Associate at Data-U-Serve Corp. As you know, Data-U-Serve is the Southeast’s premier provider of corporate data solutions for mid-to-large size special customer service firms. Our company achieved success because it has great team members, and we thank you for your desire to be part of our winning team. We have been winning in the corporate data solution business since 1988. That is a long time.

You recently interviewed in our Clearwater office. Despite your unique background, we regret that we are unable to offer you a position as a Junior Marketing Associate at Data-U-Serve. Our hiring committee considered several factors to reach its decision, and we would like to explain why we are unable to extend you an offer at this time.

At Data-U-Serve, we believe that our customers’ needs take precedence over everything. We work hard to please our customers, and they reward us with their business. Junior Marketing Associates are the frontline team players in reaching out to new customers. They must possess solid verbal communication skills, knowledge of Microsoft Office programs, proven sales ability and flexible, goal-oriented demeanor. Following your interview, we felt that you would not be a good match for our Clearwater marketing team.

Our hiring committee expressed doubts about your ability to reach out to new customers. During your interview, you told us that your greatest achievement in life was “loving your neighbor as much as you loved yourself.” That kind of attitude will not work at Data-U-Serve. Our hiring committee had concerns that you would give as much respect to our many competitors as you would to Data-U-Serve. That is unacceptable. Marketing Associates must play on the Data-U-Serve team. They must never give ear to competitors, let alone “respect” or “love” them. Loving people is not what we do. We are in the corporate data solutions business.

We also worried about your statement that you always ask for others to “forgive your debts,” because “you forgive theirs.” Data-U-Serve is a profitable business. We actively pursue past due accounts. We do not forgive debts, nor do we expect our creditors to forgive our debts. That is not the way business works. If Data-U-Serve practiced your policy, we would not be in business. We would have been bankrupt a long time ago. Furthermore, forgiveness is not a positive attribute for a Junior Marketing Associate. Junior Marketing Associates must actively seek out new customers. Forgiveness or deferral to competitors would hamper your efforts to secure new accounts. To that extent, your dedication to forgiveness gave us grave concerns about your capacity to aggressively locate new customers for Data-U-Serve.

During your interview, our hiring committee asked you whether there was a person you admired and why. You replied that you admired Mahatma Gandhi because he embodied the principle that the “meek shall inherit the earth.” This seriously damaged your chances for employability at Data-U-Serve. Data-U-Serve did not achieve its preeminent position in the corporate data services industry through meekness. We aggressively cultivated new business with a driven, professional team of sales-focused people. In this business, only the strong survive, and we do not give second chances to employees who miss opportunities. Being strong means being aggressive, and your praise for “meek people” led us to believe that you would not seize the initiative in developing new accounts. More specifically, our Marketing Associates cannot be “meek.” They have to go for the throat. Your answers led us to believe that you would not do this. Rather, we got the impression that you would sit at your desk while competitors secured new accounts.

Finally, our hiring committee asked you what you sought in life. Good candidates for Junior Marketing Associate typically answer this question by responding: “Maximum customer satisfaction;” “Successful marketing engagement;” “Profitable and productive customer relationships;” “Award-winning service at minimal cost;” or “Data-U-Serve’s best quarter.” You responded that you sought nothing in particular in life because “your Kingdom was not of this world.”

This mystified our hiring committee. First, the committee did not understand what you meant by “Kingdom.” You are not a King; you are an applicant for Junior Marketing Associate, namely applicant #452D. Second, and more importantly, the committee expressed serious reservations about your focus on something other than the world. Good employees have their feet on the ground on the real world. They have practical, achievable goals. You seem to put your trust in something beyond this world. Such an attitude is completely incompatible with effective, day-to-day business management at Data-U-Serve. At Data-U-Serve, we respond to customer and business concerns on an everyday basis. We do not look beyond the account list or the balance sheet. Our goals are financial. They are achievable in this world. Quite frankly, our committee does not believe that you possess the proper, business-related focus to be a successful Junior Marketing Associate. More troublingly, the committee does not believe that you will be dedicated to Data-U-Serve in all matters. After all, if you focus on something beyond this world, you will not be focused on Data-U-Serve. We require that employees focus exclusively on our company during company time, not something else. That is why we pay you.

Our hiring committee was impressed with some of the accomplishments on your resume. Few of our applicants can claim to have walked on water, healed blindness or risen from the dead. As exceptional as these accomplishments may be, however, they are not relevant to actively marketing corporate data services technology to a broad customer base in the Southeast. We do not ignore your accomplishments. They simply will not be useful in Data-U-Serve’s everyday business. You are certainly a well-rounded, interesting individual, but those are not necessary qualities in a Junior Marketing Associate. Experience in marketing, proven sales ability or a business-related degree would have helped you. Turning water to wine did not.

Thank you again for your interest in employment with Data-U-Serve. We wish you all the best in your future endeavors. As indicated, we are unable to hire you at this time. We will nonetheless retain your resume for 12 months and we will contact you if a suitable position opens during that period.

Sincerely yours,

Howard F. Swanson, Jr.
Human Resources Management Associate, Data-U-Serve Corp.

Thursday, September 25, 2008



When I was young, I did not exactly know what “cynical” meant. Throughout that time, I was cynical; I just did not know the technical definition. Today, I am doubly cynical—and I know exactly what the word means. The more I learn, the more cynical I become. My cynicism has become my bulwark against life. It is the residue of every life experience. It is the inference I draw from things I have seen before. But “cynical” has a negative ring to it: “You’re not cynical; you’re just realistic.” Is it “realistic” to be “cynical?” Or are the two terms identical? To understand this, we need to look at the words. And more importantly, we need to know what it really means to live “in the real world.”

So what is cynicism, exactly? And why does it protect me? I always start with the dictionary. It tells me that “cynicism” means: “1. believing that people are motivated in all their actions only by selfishness; denying the sincerity of people’s motives; or 2. sarcastic, sneering etc.” There are two essential components to this definition, and they explain why I used to confuse cynicism with skepticism. First, cynicism is a belief system that targets people’s motives. It examines human behavior. It queries why people act in a given situation. Second, cynicism makes assumptions about the behavior it examines. It assumes that selfish motives largely motivate human behavior, and that when people say something, they probably do not mean it. Thus, while cynicism is similar to skepticism in the sense that it perpetually doubts whether people honestly believe the things they say, it goes beyond merely reflexive doubt. It concerns assumptions about people’s motives and sincerity, and that involves judgment.

This sounds bleak. Certainly we have met people in life who appear to have pure motives. We have met people who truly cared about our well-being. They wanted to see that we were successful, happy or materially secure. We may even have encountered people in life who gave for no other reason than to help others. They did not appear to have any motives other than to ease another’s strife. We have known generous people in our lives. Or have we?

How much more often have we encountered people who appear to wish us well, when in fact they really want us for money, one-sided caring, services or sex? How much more often have we encountered people who go about their lives in a fanatical quest to better their own economic or social positions? Sure, they ask “How are you?” in the hallway, but do you think they care how you are really doing? Your boss may seem friendly when you are performing well. But if you fail to deliver what he wants, will he care about you then? In sum, how much more often in life do we encounter people who care about nothing but themselves? Generosity, in other words, does not exist: It is merely a means to a selfish end, an expense with a view to a future payoff. Accumulated experience with people culminates in cynicism.

Cynicism arises through observation and experience. It is a belief system that derives from sensory input. Younger people tend to be less cynical because they have observed less than people who have had more time to watch human behavior. When I was a teenager, I had vague doubts about people’s sincerity, but not until I reached my late 20s did I really begin to see how selfish and insincere people truly were. My cynicism deepened for two main reasons: (1) I had my own financial obligations; and (2) I learned legal doctrine.

When I first began paying my own bills, I felt constant pressure to go out and make money. I had to; I did not want to go homeless. So I got jobs when I could. I met people at work who faced the same basic dilemma as I did: Either get a job or go homeless. But it is no easy task to get a job in the 21st Century; even really bright students may not have the “economically useful skillset” necessary to sufficiently please a prospective employer. There is not as much beer in the keg as there was once, and employers like to keep it to themselves when possible. The people I met at work understood this. They took the steps needed to get their jobs. They were thinking about themselves; they did not care about all the other people who could not get a job. They even sneered at them and blamed them for being lazy. In other words: “They got theirs.” It was not their problem whether “You got yours.”

I observed even more in the workplace. Partners and senior managers talked ceaselessly about bonuses and salaries. They talked about billing totals and returns. It was “all about them.” They fired young lawyers who did not meet their billing totals. Why? At first I did not understand. Later I found out it was because they were not bringing in enough revenue to satisfy the partners’ profit requirements. In other words, they fired people who were not making enough money for them. Every time I looked at law firm websites, they advertised how much money their partners made or how much money their firm brought in each year. They advertised how much money they won in particular cases, or how much money their clients were worth. And most significantly, the overall message was universal: “Hire us! We can make you (or save you) more money than our competitors!” Of course, they would make bigger salaries in the process. Again: it was all about them—and their money. Selfish motives dominated their behavior. They were the only motives they had.

My academic experiences refined my observations about what motivates human behavior. Law school essentially teaches doctrines involving property; “justice and right” are purely incidental to practical rules that ensure the profitable transfer and movement of goods, land and services through the economy. I came to this understanding only after reading thousands of cases and statutes, most of which involved parties bickering over who should win money or how much they should win. In contracts class, we read about who made a promise to pay whom, and for how much. In business organizations, we read about disappointed business owners determined to get the most money out of their investments, or directors who exploited shareholders for personal gain. In estates, we read about warring relatives determined to get the most money from their dead parents. In torts, we read about injured people determined to get the most money from their injuries—and the machinations of those determined to give them least amount possible. In income tax, we read about people determined to reduce or eliminate the tax liability they owed. In sales, we read about people who did not receive as much money from their goods as they bargained for. In secured transactions, we read about people wrestling over who should be paid first when another person goes bankrupt. In property, we learned about who gets the land or trinket, and for what reason. In every case, we read about people determined to get what they want. They did not care about anyone but themselves. In fact, they bitterly contested every attempt by someone else to get what they wanted. In law, selfish motives form the basis for advocacy. In any legal case, each side vigorously asserts its own interests. It is ritualized, State-supervised selfishness.

But selfishness does not just inform commercial behavior and legal disputes. True, commercial life implies selfishness, but selfish motives exist in every human activity. Sexuality is a prime example. If people do not interact with each other in order to achieve financial gain, they interact with each other for some other gratification. When a single man talks to a single woman in whom he has a sexual interest, do you think he really cares about what she has to say? No: His motives are purely selfish. He wants to have sex. He wants a positive bodily sensation. He will say whatever is necessary to achieve his goal, just as the hopeful employee says whatever is necessary to get the job. Whenever I see two people talk to each other in a non-commercial setting, I immediately wonder: “What does he really want? What does she really want?” When they talk about sports, the weather, or what they did last weekend, I doubt their sincerity. “Just say what you really want from her!” This is cynicism: We question people’s motives. We doubt their sincerity. We assume they are advancing their own interests.

After I fully embraced cynicism as a “worldview,” I began to question myself. After all, cynicism reflects complacency. Cynicism depends on assumptions about human behavior, and it is usually foolish to rely on assumptions. I reproached myself for immediately judging situations. I did not like making assumptions because I thought I was being lazy. For a while, I genuinely tried to approach situations with an open mind, reserving my cynical judgment until I had some real proof that selfishness was motivating the action. Yet in case after case, my observations confirmed my initial cynical appraisal: Why did the hospital call me? To make sure it received its payment. Why did the lady next door talk to me? So that perhaps I could help her with a legal problem for free. Why does my agent seem so happy to talk to me? Because she makes $100 for every hour I work, while I only get $35. Why does the salesman ask how my family is doing? So I will buy from him and give him a commission. In each case, I honestly tried to believe that selfishness was not motivating the behavior. But every time, I received firm proof that these people were simply using me as a means to enrich themselves in one way or another. Put simply, I now feel safe making assumptions when they are cynical assumptions. When I approach interactions with people—especially with commercial overtones—I presume that they will resort to any methods necessary to achieve their financial ends. I also believe nothing they say unless it involves the benefits they hope to extract from me. If they act do not act from pure selfishness, they pleasantly surprise me. If they do, they confirm my assumption. It works quite well. And I never get disappointed.

Cynicism is a reasonable intellectual system in a free market system. Capitalism requires that people selfishly advance their own material interests. Selfish incentives provide the motivation to work hard and to produce. The prospect of massive financial gain—and becoming “better” than your neighbor—inspires innovation, inventiveness and clever solutions. In our system, everyone wants to make money. It is the overriding, universal goal. To reach that goal, you need to think about yourself. If you are thinking about yourself and your financial success, obviously selfishness motivates you. So cynicism provides a perfect analytical tool for dissecting every action in a free market economy. For example, if a corporation donates $1 million to a children’s hospital, we say: “They are not giving money because their motive is to help children. They are giving the money so they can write it off their tax bill. Or they are giving the money in order to advertise later that they are a ‘generous, community-minded business,’ leading sympathetic investors to give them more money for more profitable endeavors.” Yes, this is a cynical reading. But in a system where a dollar spent must ultimately yield more than a dollar, it is eminently reasonable.

Cynicism provides an excellent framework for understanding human behavior in our world. But it carries a negative connotation. It conjures bitterness, resignation and despair. It is dismissive to call someone a cynic. It implies that the person cannot succeed in life and can do nothing but blame the world for his own shortcomings.
Nonetheless, these negative overtones do not accompany the word “realist.” If a person is a “realist,” he simply faces facts soberly with a “real world” understanding. The dictionary tells us that a “realist” is a “person concerned with real things rather than those that are imaginary or visionary.” It goes on to say that a realist is “practical rather than visionary.” In common parlance, we respect people who are “realistic,” while we dismiss people who are “cynical.” “Realists” broach legitimate concerns about actions; “cynics” make unfair assumptions. Still, how different are they? I find it interesting that a “realist” is “practical” and concerns himself with the “real world.” Cynics may not be as practical as realists, but both observe the “real world” and generally expect the worst from it.

What exactly is the “real world” in which the practical “realist” lives? And what does it mean to be “practical?” In an earlier essay, I suggested that the phrase “real world” typically issues from older people to younger people in order to warn them of the harsh environment they will encounter in a ruthlessly commercial world. In the “real world,” dreams will not pay your rent. You must either earn money to pay your rent or you will be homeless. It does not matter how creative or imaginative you are. “Realists” understand the “real world.” They understand that commercial life is harsh. They know that people are out there to enrich themselves and plan their actions accordingly. They do not enter commercial transactions with bright eyes; they assume that their counterparts will cheat them if they can. After all, in the “real world,” people do what they need to do to survive. When faced with an appetizing offer, the realist says: “Let’s be realistic. It is too good to be true; no one gives you a free lunch.” The realist prepares himself for unfair, selfish treatment because “that’s the way the real world is.” This is “practical, not visionary.” The realist knows that people are selfish. He “faces the facts” and adapts to avoid disappointment.

Does this sound familiar? Is there really any difference between the realist and the cynic? The realist guardedly approaches “real life” because selfish people will likely resort to anything to get what they want. Similarly, the cynic assumes that people will act selfishly, so this puts him on guard. Does the realist assume that selfishness motivates them? Does he doubt their sincerity, as a cynic does? I think he does. Perhaps his assumptions are not as resigned or bitter as the cynic’s, but they are still assumptions. Both cynics and realists have doubts about what motivates human behavior and they approach problems knowing that people are generally only looking out for themselves. Like a cynic, a realist does not enter into a relationship expecting only good things; he is aware that the other person might be using him for selfish ends. To be “realistic” is to acknowledge certain assumptions about human behavior, then plan one’s actions accordingly to avoid disappointment. Cynics do the same thing, though in a more reflective, critical way.

Reflection and criticism separate realists from cynics. Realists simply accept that the “real world” is harsh and unforgiving. They simply accept that self-interest motivates people as they make their way through life. They “practically” adapt their behavior to coincide with the assumptions they have made about the world. Cynics, on the other hand, express dismay about the “real world.” They recognize the same assumptions as realists, but they lament the fact that people have only selfish motives. This is why the dictionary says that cynics are also “sarcastic” and “sneering.” A cynic resigns himself to the fact that people will only act for their own gain, but he takes pleasure in expressing disapproval for that selfishness. After all, a cynic always points out the disparity between what a principled person would do in a given situation and what a selfish person would do in the those circumstances. Principles do not concern realists, nor do realists worry about the gap between principles and “real life.”

My cynicism manifests itself through satire. My life experiences and studies have largely vindicated my assumption that people generally have selfish motives and rarely say what they actually mean. Still, I am not bitter, and I do not think a cynic must be bitter. Rather, I put my trust in principles. My belief in principles may render me a “visionary” or “imaginary,” but they sustain me. Principles often conflict with the “harsh commercial realities” of “the real world,” but I do not merely accept “the real world.” I am “realistic” in the sense that I do not expect a free lunch in the “real world,” but I am not a “realist” to the extent that realists resign themselves engaging in self-centered commercial wrangling. I criticize through my cynicism. I point out the folly and hypocrisy that self-interest can spawn. I point out the inconsistency between larger principles and the way people—especially people in power—actually behave. Whenever I bring my cynicism to bear in a situation, I am aware that there could be a principled approach, but the actors resort to a self-interested one instead. This inconsistency creates satire. I am “realistic” about what to expect from the “real world.” But I am “cynical” in my zest for criticizing it. Satire gives air to that zest. If I cannot change the “real world,” at least I can understand it, deconstruct it and mock it. Cynicism lets me do that—and enjoy it at the same time.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


Hot Dudes in Favor of Putting Hot Chicks in High-Level Cabinet Positions for the 21st Century

By : Brent G. “Fo’ Shiznit” McKillup, Senior Party Spokesman and Chief Event Planner

Guys, you know who you are. You’re about 30, you work hard, you work out hard, you take care of yourself and you like to go out on Fridays and Saturdays (or Sundays if it’s a three-day weekend). You care about your appearance, and you expect the ladies to do the same. You are a hot dude; and you know it. But most importantly, you care about gender equality. For too long, only boring old men have held senior cabinet positions, from Treasury Secretary to Chairman of the Federal Reserve to Secretary of Homeland Security. For too long, government has silently endorsed sexism by relegating women to lower positions with lower pay. It is time to turn the tables. It is the 21st Century: We need to get some hot chicks in high-level cabinet positions. We believe that hot dudes deserve to see some smokin’ females talk about interest rates, Grand Jury investigations and foreign policy trends. Hey, we work hard. We want to see some first-class babes in our government, not tired old geezers and crabby old women with facial hair and buckteeth. We want some “bud-onk-a-donk” in our female public servants and we want it now. Enough of this business attire; let women dress the way we want: We want to see our next Secretary of State in a G-string, spandex and halter top. In short, we, the Hot Dudes in Favor of Putting Hot Chicks in High-Level Cabinet Positions for the 21st Century, have a simple demand: “Show us what you’re workin’ wit’.” This is no longer a male-dominated society. Dudes, it is time to get some fine females into positions of power. We have no problem with women as long as they are hot. This year, vote for gender equality. Vote to see what you want to see in government. Vote to get some Hot Chicks in ’08.

Disappointed Debutantes United for Sanctions Against Frivolous and Noncommittal Men

By : Ms. Doris G. Witherspoon, Managing Director and Spokesperson

Every day, dangerous men break their word in America. Every day, dangerous men spin self-serving stories, disarming innocent women against future betrayal. How often have frivolous and noncommittal men lured women into believing that they are ready to make the marriage vow, only to back out at the last minute, claiming: “I need time to think about this,” or “Something is telling me not to do this”? We, the Disappointed Debutantes United for Sanctions Against Frivolous and Noncommittal Men, believe that government must take a stand against these male scoundrels. In an earlier time, men kept their promises. Today, men say anything to get what they want. Our Nation rose to strength because men had honor and integrity. They did what they said. They did not fear commitment; they embraced it. Now, American men cannot even commit to going out on Saturday night because “they might want to hang out with their buds.” This is national travesty. No longer may government permit men to shirk their promises. We must root out vacillation, hedging, conditional assents, “maybes” and lame excuses. We advocate creating a National Promise Registry enabling women to charge men with violating their commitments. This may seem a harsh measure. But when trustworthiness is the goal, all means are justified. Answers such as “I’ll think about it,” “Let’s talk about it tomorrow,” “Do you have to do this today?” “What are my options?” and “Maybe later this week” must be categorically banned. Men will only restore their honor with strong, confident language. They must be forced to say: “I will,” not “I’ll think about it.” They must say: “I will be there at 9 PM,” not “I might see you at 10-11ish.” Our Nation rose to greatness because men kept their commitments. They did not break their word. It is time to restore trustworthiness to the American male. In the process, we will not only revive honor in the United States, but we will save countless women from the agony inflicted by frivolous, noncommittal men. This is a fight for values. This is a fight for integrity. Take a stand for straight talk this election. Protect women from disappointment at scoundrels’ hands. Vote for Disappointed Debutantes in 2008. This year, tell the world “I will,” not “I might.” It is time for this Nation to finally say “Yes,” not “Maybe.”

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


By : Kent J. Oversoone, Former Chief Financial Officer and Portfolio Supervisor, Treasure Island Funds Management Co., Inc., New York (died September 21, 2008)

Does market volatility have you down? Are you anxious? Is your hard-earned money flitting away as the Dow plunges and politicians bicker? "How much longer can these losses continue?" you wonder. It is true: Since the Lehmann Bros. collapse last week, the U.S. financial markets have descended into chaos. Fortunes are disappearing. Brokers with lucrative portfolios on Friday wake up with worthless portfolios on Monday. Homeowners owe more money on their mortgages than their homes are worth. Mortgage lenders are going belly-up in droves. Employers are losing their income-bearing assets, requiring them to cut jobs. College graduates cannot find employment. Gas prices are rising again. And on it goes. There is no end in sight.

This is not the American dream. This is the American nightmare. We are all losing money. We are losing everything we worked a lifetime for. We are failing. Despite our best efforts to work, manage a portfolio, save and watch our investments, the market is destroying us. We followed the rules; we did what we were told. Now we are suffering for it.

Market volatility has made our lives a living hell. From hour to hour, we live in suspense. Our stomach knots as we watch the industrial averages slowly sink all day. We think about our children's educations, our wives, our homes, our vacations. We think about all the things we worked so hard for and realize that they will soon be gone. We are losing all our money. We are losing, losing, losing. We even pray--even though we never did before.

But there is a way out from this misery. There is a way to solve your financial woes and escape this volatile market once and for all: Get yourself a pistol and shoot yourself in the head. It is not as difficult as you may think. In an instant, you can free yourself from the anticipation, worry, anxiety, fear and depression that will plague you for the rest of your days. In one, painless instant, you will free yourself from thinking about finances, interest rates, loans, puts, calls, mortgages and short-sells. No more will you fear failure or feel the sting of defeat. Once the bullet passes through your skull, Wall Street will no longer dictate how you feel. In fact, nothing will dictate how you feel: No more bitter relationships; no more disappointing children; no more illnesses; no more regrets; no more mistreatment from employers; no more passing over for promotions; no more collection calls; no more caustic disputes over money; no more unfair parking tickets; no more taxes; in fact, no more anixety about anything at all. You will be out of the game for good.

Admit it. You failed. You did not succeed, you worthless, unimaginative loser. You could not stay ahead of the curve, my friend, and you did not think out of the box. You did not choose the right stocks and you sold when you should have bought. You are to blame...do you like the way this makes you feel? Of course not. Do something about it. Think about yourself for once. Get out of the race; you will feel much better for it. Would you rather go on living in uncertainty? Would you rather get up in terror every morning, knowing that your precious life savings are going down the drain? How about all the investors who depend on you? Do you want to lose all their money, too? What about your wife? Do you want to see her reduced to poverty? Do you want to file for welfare after living your whole life in a beautiful one-family home?

Do yourself a favor: Get a pistol and shoot yourself in the head. Refuse to live in financial terror. Beat the Wall Street Crisis. Tell the world that you refuse to live in fear any more. I did; and you can, too.

Monday, September 22, 2008


By : John S. McCain, United States Senator (R-AZ) and Republican Candidate for President of the United States

We cannot allow Barack Hussein Obama to become President of the United States. If elected, Obama would take this Nation down a dangerous path toward universal health care, peaceful relations with foreign powers, greater educational opportunity, higher wages, improved environmental protection and more welfare. He is an enemy of American business. He would dishonor our fighting men and women by hastily withdrawing them from Iraq. America must hold firm in Iraq for at least the next 100 years. Any other course would betray the ideals for which we fight. Obama contends that it would better honor our armed forces to take them from harm’s way in a country that has nothing to do with America. He believes that the environment should take precedence over America’s freedom from Middle Eastern oil barons. He believes taxes should be the reward for success in America and that everyone deserves a chance. This is rubbish. In response to all Obama’s proposed actions I have but one answer: We cannot allow a communist Muslim negro to lead this Nation. No one with the name “Hussein” should ever lead a Nation of Freedom. Neither Barack, nor Hussein, nor Obama are American names. My name is John McCain. These are both American names, not Muslim ones. What message would we send to Islamic terrorists bent on killing every American if we elect a man with an Islamic name? If we elect Barack Hussein Obama, the terrorists win. Good citizens of the United States of America, look no further than names and skin color. I am John McCain. I am Christian and white. I am a war hero. I stand against terror. He is Barack Hussein Obama. He is Muslim and black. He would deliver this Nation into the hands of her enemies. He never bore arms against Communist hordes in defense of this Christian Republic; no one named Hussein ever could. And let us never forget that only one letter separates Obama from Osama. On September 11, 2001, our Nation declared war on all people named Osama. This year, our Nation is seriously considering making a man President who is only one letter removed from Osama. We stand on a precipice: Do not allow this travesty to befall our Christian Republic. We must not elect a communist Muslim negro. I am John McCain, and I endorsed this message.



We take language for granted. It comes to us naturally: We do not often think about the words we use to express our daily wants and thoughts. But language conceals ingrained social values. Our words are not static; they are organic. They have grown over centuries. Our words have intricate histories, and those histories often reveal startling truths about the things we say. In many cases, language reinforces power relationships that have long existed in society. But because language is organic, those power relationships are not apparent at first glance. We must dig beneath the words to discover what they actually tell us.

This is no easy task for an English speaker. English is a haphazard mishmash of three distinct Indo-European linguistic traditions: Germanic; Latin; and French. I have had the good fortune to learn all three traditions, and for virtually every English word, I can pinpoint the tradition from which it came. Those traditions unlock the word’s organic genealogy, and only then is it possible to truly grasp what the word means. We must look not only to the English word itself, but also to its corresponding equivalents in other Indo-European languages. These references shed light on the meanings and power implications buried in everyday English words.

Debt fascinates me because it implies a quintessentially uneven power relationship. We know that a “debtor” owes money to another person. Formally, English calls this other person a “creditor.” By giving money to the debtor in the first instance, the creditor creates an obligation in the debtor to give the money back. The creditor occupies a superior position with respect to the debtor. Either the debtor returns the money—and anything else for which he bargained—or the law forces the debtor to do so. If the law favors one party over another, it is safe to say that the favored party is “superior” to the other. And if one party can literally compel another to do something, is that party not “superior” to the other?

Still, debt means more than to merely owe money. The dictionary tells us that a “debt” in English means: (1) something owed by one person to another; (2) an obligation to pay or return something; or (3) a sin. A sin? How did that get in there? It is one thing to simply owe someone $500. It is quite another to say that owing that money is a sin. Sin implies an offense against religious authority, a transgression against God that weighs on the individual conscience. Sin implies moral guilt, not just legal obligation or liability. Does this mean it is immoral to have debt? This would render the greater part of American society irretrievably sinful. Perhaps more troublingly, does this mean that creditors not only have legal power over debtors, but spiritual power as well? Does their status as creditors empower them to burden a debtor’s conscience with knowledge that he has transgressed against God’s law as well as man’s?

To truly see whether debt means sin, we must dig beneath the word. “Debt” derives from combining two simple classical Latin words: “debere” (“to owe”) and “habere” (“to have”). So, in simple terms, we see that debt literally means “to have things to owe.” These roots say nothing about moral transgression; they merely say that a person “has things that he owes.” Perhaps we can find a clue in the purer English word “owe.” “Owe” derives from a Middle English—and earlier Germanic—word: “aughte.” That leads us to the modern English word “ought,” which essentially doubles for the word “should.”

We all think we know what we “ought” or “should” do in particular circumstances. Or do we? When we say we “should” do something, we acknowledge that there is some external—and usually superior—force constraining our freedom of action. We may want to do something, but we should do something else. Why? Because we are attempting to conform our behavior to an external standard in order to avoid negative consequences. When we do not do what we should, our conscience bites us. We feel guilty. And perhaps we will suffer more tangible consequences as well, beyond those that our own minds can inflict on us. In any event, failing to do what we should triggers moral culpability. We have failed to conform to an external standard. Our nonconformance makes us guilty.

We have arrived at the intersection between “debt” and “sin.” If we “owe” someone money, we have a “debt.” If we “owe” something, that means we “should” give it to the creditor. If we do not give it to the creditor, we have failed morally. We are guilty because we did not meet the moral standard that the creditor has imposed upon us. In this sense, a creditor creates not just legal obligations in the debtor, but also moral ones. This makes him incredibly powerful: He dictates not only how the debtor acts, but also how he feels. He dominates both the debtor’s physical and emotional behavior: He must pay the money back or face legal compulsion; and if he does not pay the money back, he feels guilty. This is a double penalty.

Words in related Indo-European languages strengthen the connection between “debt” and “sin.” In German—a close linguistic relative to English—the word for “debt” is “Schuld.” “Schuld,” in turn, can also mean “guilt” or “fault.” Obviously, guilt and fault imply morally wrong behavior. Wahrig’s German Dictionary bears this out in its “Schuld” definition, as I translate: “1. An obligation to give back money; 2. A person’s worthiness of punishment for violating God’s law (sin) that can be felt in the conscience; 3. The internal relationship of an actor to his act; punishable misconduct; or 4. To bear responsibility for something.” In German, as in English, “debt” primarily means an obligation to pay money to a creditor. But it also means conscious sin that is punishable under God’s law. Punishment, like debt, implies an uneven power relationship: One party inflicts pain on another for failing to meet a standard of behavior. It is significant that the German definition links the ideas of debt, guilt, conscience and punishment. All these concepts require a superior party and an inferior party. They strengthen the moral texture imbedded in the word “debt.” A debtor is not merely financially liable to his creditor; he is morally liable to him as well.

Russian provides further support for the connection between debt and sin. Although Russian is not a component language of English, it nonetheless shares its Indo-European roots. In Russian, “dolg” means “debt.” Significantly, that root also governs the word “dolzhen,” meaning “should.” As in English, there is a relationship in Russian between debt and moral conformance. If one does not pay his “debt,” he is not acting as he “should.” And that means he has failed to meet the moral standard.

In this linguistic light, can we fairly say that “debt” is “sinful?” Perhaps that would be overstatement, but debt unquestionably implies a power relationship, just as sin does. The word “debt” yields an entire complex of negative attributes: “owing;” “sin;” “moral nonconformance;” “punishment;” “guilt;” “fault;” “obligation;” “liability;” “legal compulsion;” “punishable misconduct.” The debtor incorporates these negative attributes. They bear on his property, his body and his conscience. They relegate him to an inferior physical and emotional position to his creditor.

Interestingly, the “negative complex” imbedded within “debtor” has a thematic opposite: creditor. While the dictionary reveals a negative complex behind “debt,” it reveals a positive complex behind “credit.” At first glance, we see that a “creditor” is simply “a person who extends credit or to whom money is owed.” But to truly understand a “creditor,” we must examine the Latin root “credere,” meaning “to believe.” This initially gives a positive impression: The creditor believes that his debtor will pay him back. Believe is a positive word. It implies trust in an idea, and trust implies loyalty, faith and principle. The English word “credit—“ which in turn derives from “credere”—reinforces “creditor” with an even more positive glimmer. Credit means: “1. belief or trust; confidence; faith; 2. the quality of being credible or trustworthy; 3. [] a person’s reputation; good name; 4. praise or approval to which one is entitled; 5. a person or thing bringing approval or honor…9. (a) trust in one’s integrity in money matters and one’s ability to meet payments when due; (d) permission to pay later for goods or services.”

Creditors, then, are morally pure compared to their guilty debtors. They have “belief,” “faith,” “confidence,” and “trust.” They are entitled to “praise,” “honor” and “approval.” Thematically, the creditor beams with positive attributes; the debtor sinks under negative ones. It is only natural that the creditor is superior to the debtor, whom he can punish with physical and emotional pain. Through the language that defines creditors and debtors, we see a lopsided confrontation between pure and tainted, between good and bad. In this sense, debt functions in precisely the same way as sin: It posits a good party and a bad party, and the bad party suffers for his transgression, both physically and psychically. In these simple, everyday words, we see power structures at work.

Debt pervades American society. No one has enough money, so they borrow it. Sometimes they borrow it for necessities, such as a home or an education. Other times they borrow it frivolously for luxuries. No matter their motivation, they are all debtors. They subject themselves to the legal and moral power of their creditors. And creditors use their power for commercial advantage. Although the classic relationship between creditor and debtor envisions an individual giving money to another individual on the understanding that he will pay the money back, today the typical creditor is no longer an individual. Instead, a typical creditor is a faceless institution dedicated to making a profit on money it loans. For every dollar loaned, the creditor receives two back. When the creditor has millions of debtors in his grip, he cannot fail to win. It is good to be a creditor. It is easy money.

There is a reason why creditors always win. They leverage not only their legal power over debtors, but also their moral power. Whether debtors acknowledge it or not, they feel a sense of “wrong” when they cannot pay what they owe. In law, they have nothing but an obligation to pay money. The law cannot force them to feel bad about the fact that they cannot pay. But a debtor's own conscience can trigger negative emotions, and it does. Creditors know this. Their “collection agents” admonish debtors to “do the right thing.” They scold them for “disrespecting someone who gave you money” or “betraying their trust.” They tell them: “Don’t you feel bad that you haven’t paid us back?” The law does not require that a debtor feels guilty because he can’t pay. But creditors like it when the debtor feels this way, because it increases the chances that the debtor will give him their money. It provides a motivation to pay. And from a power perspective, a superior party always relishes his authority to inflict pain on those under his power. Creditors are no exception. They have the power to burden debtors’ minds and spirits, not just their bank accounts. That is real power, and they exercise it.

Language tells us the story behind the word “debt.” Behind those four simple letters lies a complex history of power. Creditors will always win. They will always hold the legal, moral and even linguistic advantages. We may not be able to change our status as debtors. But at least we can understand the game that is being played upon us, and we can—to some extent—choose how we feel. While language may brand the debtor a “sinner,” only we have control over our individual conscience. Neither law nor collection calls can affect that.

Sunday, September 21, 2008


I have been writing satires for about 10 years. During that time, I occasionally had doubts about whether I should keep it up, because at times reality was more absurd than anything I could invent. At other times, what I once intended as a farce actually foreshadowed what actually happened later. That depressed me. After all, satire is supposed use exaggeration in order to expose the vice, corruption, hypocrisy, stupidity, overzealousness, illogical arguments, folly and all the other haughty failures of which powerful people are capable. It criticizes, but does not posit that its exaggerations will actually come to pass. But what is exaggeration one day may not be exaggeration the next. Human stupidity must never be underestimated.

I do not presume to say that my satires are "prescient." I certainly cannot tell the future. I simply observe people and their arguments. I follow their arguments where they ultimately lead, and--more often than not--they lead to absurdity.

Just two months ago, I wrote a "political party statement" satire about a farcical "Republican Mother." I publish it below. In it, I draw a caricature. I thought I was exaggerating to make my point. Then, a few weeks ago, Sarah Palin materialized on the political scene. To my chagrin, my satire suddenly became reality. Does this make me feel vindicated? No. If I satirize something, I hope to show that it should be rejected in principle. But in this case, I satirized something, and now it forms the entire basis for the Republican presidential platform. Now, absurdity does not provide a warning or a laugh; it actually guides serious policy. That is frightening.

Republican Mothers in Defense of Normalcy, Propriety, Decency and Appropriate Behavior

(Written July 2008... before Sarah Palin became a household name)

By: Mrs. Susan Ridewell Crotchford, (Lt. Col. – Ret.) Headmistress

Thanks to years of Democratic rule, moral decay has burrowed deeply into the fabric of this Nation. Abnormal sexual behaviors, wasteful spending, teenage pregnancy, irresponsible lifestyle choices and dishonesty threaten to permanently destroy the proud heritage of responsibility that made this country great in decades past. We must rescue the United States from the rot inflicted by Democratic permissiveness. To do this, we insist on a return to normalcy, propriety, decency and appropriate behavior in all circumstances. These are values for which all Republicans stand; one look at any Republican confirms that he is not only normal, but also decent, responsible, honest and—above all—appropriate. We must instill Republican values in every heart. That means returning to responsibility in life, faith and business. That means paying one’s bills before they are due. That means saving one’s money, not spending it on trinkets. That means refraining from sexual activity before marriage. That means honoring the marriage vow. That means engaging only in procreative sexual activity, and only within marriage. That means recognizing the roles of husband and wife. That means rearing one’s children, not fleeing one’s obligations like a jungle beast. That means telling the truth, even when it leads to severe consequences. That means protecting children at any cost, including sacrificing our own Constitutional rights. It also means living normally. We must no longer tolerate late nights, swearing, alcohol-drinking and extramarital affairs. Good people go to bed at 9 PM, even on weekends. Democratic insistence on “fun” and “relaxation” has plunged this Nation into wickedness. In this election, tell the world that you refuse to be deviant. Tell the world that you believe in normalcy, frugality and decency. It is high time that we—as a united Nation—stepped up and announced that we believe in a single virtue: responsibility.


Americans for the Destruction of Iraq

By: Brig. Gen. Rick “Cruise Missile” McGurk, USMC (ret.), Commanding Officer

By now, it should be clear to any American who calls himself an American that the “War in Iraq” is not going well. Why? Because we are not destroying Iraq. Insurgents are killing our boys (and a few gals) because we are leaving Iraq intact and giving Iraqis a chance to kill Americans. We need to stop this and stop it now. Until now, American foreign policy in Iraq—like American foreign policy in Vietnam forty years ago—failed because we are not taking off the kid gloves. It is not enough to occupy Iraq; we need to destroy it once and for all. By casting your vote for our party, you will ensure ultimate victory in Iraq. What will we do? First and foremost, we will implement the party motto: “The Only Good Iraqi is a Dead Iraqi.” To achieve that goal, we will draw on proven American military know-how to really solve the Iraq problem by killing many, many Iraqis. No more provisional governments. No more “joint operations” with Iraqis. No more “education” and “training.” We pledge to use American air power the way it was meant to be used: To carpet bomb, firebomb, clusterbomb and—yes—drop nuclear weapons. The time for limited measures is long past. Let’s clean up the Iraqi mess here and now. Vote for us in ’08 and send a message to those terrorist bastards they’ll never forget.

Political Association for Increased Mercantilism in Iraq

By : Gustave Frederique Colbert, Senior Economic Advisor and Policy Director

American armed forces seized political control in Iraq more than five years ago. Yet five years later, America has won precious little from its agonizing commitment in Iraq. Thousands have died for nothing. It is a national tragedy. In times past, Nations gained tangible benefits from their military successes. They took land, resources, treasure, and commodities from conquered territories. Today, America ignores history by refusing to take from victory what it rightfully hers. We, the Political Association for Increased Mercantilism in Iraq, believe that America should treat Iraq like a colony, not a democratic experiment. According to Webster’s Dictionary, mercantilism is a “system of political economy…based on accumulating bullion, establishing colonies…[and] developing industry and mining to establish a favorable balance of trade.” America has an unprecedented opportunity to strengthen its economy by seizing Iraq’s plentiful natural resources and treasure. America has an unprecedented opportunity to solve its domestic economic worries by infusing its treasury with riches taken from its defeated foe. We believe that America committed a grave error by “turning Iraq over to Iraqis” for “self-rule.” Five years of continuous civil war have proven that Iraqis cannot govern themselves. Rather, they need America’s abiding hand to quell the violence and restore prosperity to the region. America has a chance to make its tortured involvement in Iraq worth the struggle. America has a chance to colonize Iraq and to lay free claim to its vast oil and mineral reserves. We must merely adjust our thinking. No more must we prize “democracy” over “drilling.” Iraq is our land now. We paid for it with our own blood and toil. We must only look to history for guidance: When a Nation colonizes a foreign land, it has a right to all the booty the land will yield. Exploiting Iraq’s resources—at no cost—will reduce gas prices, encourage overseas investment, benefit industry and deflate the national debt. These are tangible economic benefits, not far-flung political hopes. When Spain seized Mexico in the 16th Century, it did not concern itself with “native self-government;” it simply took all the gold and brought it home. So too must we approach Iraq. It is time to invest in our new colony for ourselves, not the colonized peoples. It is time to increase mercantilism in Iraq. Let us finally gain something from our Nation’s brave military engagement. Let us justify our sacrifices in blood with benefits in gold. It is time to think of ourselves, not the Iraqis. Vote for Mercantilism in 2008. And vindicate the toils of our fighting men and women.