Saturday, October 17, 2009

Beyond Parody

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I tell you, folks, it's plumb discouraging.

I've said on several occasions that the problem with doing satire these days is staying ahead of reality. I make up something that's so absurd that I assume people will realize it's a joke, and then suddenly something comes along that makes that absurdity look positively normal in comparison.

Until recently, though, I thought I was doing a decent job of staying ahead.

Not any more.

You may recall that last week, I talked about the rejoicing on the Right over the fact that America wasn't getting the Olympics in 2016. Folks like Glenn Beck, Michelle Malkin and Rush Limbaugh were dancing a spiteful jig because President Obama had lobbied to bring the Olympics to Chicago (which, despite what the wingnuts may tell you, really is part of America. Just like Hawaii). If Obama wanted it, their "reasoning" went, then it must be a good thing that it didn't happen.

I went on to suggest that, since Mr. Obama had recently signed an order forbidding federal employees from texting while driving, then obviously the thing for any good tea-party patriot to do was go out there and text away behind the wheel. The absurdity there was that anyone would actually think that it was a patriotic idea to do a dangerous thing because Obama said not to. It was a joke, I swear it.

Little did I know that they really have gone that crazy. As Exhibit One, I give you the de facto leader of the Republican Party, Rush Limbaugh.

Mr. Limbaugh recently pitched an epic hissy fit on his nationally syndicated radio show over, of all things, flu vaccine.

Seems that El Rushbo got his rage on because Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius had done the unthinkable: She'd gone on TV and said that it would be a good idea if people got vaccinated against the flu.

Now, to any reasonable person, this would make sense. After all, the new strain of H1N1 flu is a nasty critter. The family and I had a mild brush with it ourselves, and I can certainly tell you we wish the vaccine had been widely available a couple of weeks ago.

Not Rush, though. He blew a gasket at the very idea. "Screw you, Miss Sebelius!" he shouted on the air. "I'm not going to take it precisely because you're now telling me I must!"

It should be noted that nowhere in any of Miss Sebelius' statements recommending the vaccine did she use the word "must," nor is there any suggestion in any public pronouncement that vaccination should be mandatory. The actual Sebelius quote is: "We strongly urge parents to take precautionary steps. Flu kills every year, and we've got a great vaccine to deal with it."

But apparently, even the suggestion that a swine flu shot would be beneficial to children, coming from an Obama appointee, is tyranny on the same level as the massacre at Tiananmen Square.

"It's not your role, it's not your responsibility, and you do not have that power!" Rush sputtered to a version of Secretary Sebelius that appears to exist only in his head. "How are they gonna make me take it if I refuse to take it? Who the hell do these people think they are?"

Umm ... actually, Rush, public health is actually part of Ms. Sebelius' role and her responsibility. It's the "Health" part of "Health and Human Services." But again, no one is "making" anyone do anything. You want to risk getting the swine flu, have at it, and I wish you joy.

But you folks can see my problem. You have a major leader of American conservatives going on national radio to holler at the top of his lungs that he's not going to do something that no one is trying to make him do.

You have a prominent Republican leader going completely ballistic because a member of the Obama administration "strongly urged" parents (a group to which he does not even belong) to get flu shots for their kids.

How do you even begin to parody these people?

Which Marxisocialliberalfascist Said This?

No Fair Clicking Through Till You've Posted a Guess:

Hint: Glenn Beck and the teabaggers love this writer:

In taking the matter upon this ground, the first principle of civilization ought to have been, and ought still to be, that the condition of every person born into the world, after a state of civilization commences, ought not to be worse than if he had been born before that period.


It is a position not to be controverted that the earth, in its natural, cultivated state was, and ever would have continued to be, the common property of the human race. In that state every man would have been born to property. He would have been a joint life proprietor with rest in the property of the soil, and in all its natural productions, vegetable and animal.

But the earth in its natural state, as before said, is capable of supporting but a small number of inhabitants compared with what it is capable of doing in a cultivated state. And as it is impossible to separate the improvement made by cultivation from the earth itself, upon which that improvement is made, the idea of landed property arose from that parable connection; but it is nevertheless true, that it is the value of the improvement, only, and not the earth itself, that is individual property.

Every proprietor, therefore, of cultivated lands, owes to the community ground-rent (for I know of no better term to express the idea) for the land which he holds; and it is from this ground-rent that the fund prod in this plan is to issue...

...I shall now proceed to the plan I have to propose, which is,

To create a national fund, out of which there shall be paid to every person, when arrived at the age of twenty-one years, the sum of fifteen pounds sterling, as a compensation in part, for the loss of his or her natural inheritance, by the introduction of the system of landed property:

And also, the sum of ten pounds per annum, during life, to every person now living, of the age of fifty years, and to all others as they shall arrive at that age.

hat tip to Think Progress.

Sunday, October 11, 2009


PepsiCo draws conservative ire for backing gay rights
A group of religious conservatives, ever on the outlook for another group or entity at which to wag a collective, scolding finger, have ratcheted up rhetoric aimed squarely at PepsiCo for its alleged support of "the homosexual agenda."

The American Family Association, which has been promoting a boycott of Pepsi since January, said in a statement Tuesday it has secured more than 500,000 signatures from those pledging to stop buying Pepsi products, which include soft drinks, salty snacks, juices and oatmeal (as if there were anything less wholesome than oatmeal, for chrissake).

AFA's beef with Pepsi is for what it calls the Purchase, N.Y.-based company's financial support of groups promoting the "homosexual agenda." AFA points to two gay-rights groups in particular: Human Rights Campaign and Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, better known by the acronym PFLAG.

PepsiCo didn't respond to queries about the boycott, or whether it donates to these groups. But it does note on its website that it earned a top score, 100 percent, in HRC's 2009 Corporate Equality Index, an annual measure of gay-friendly employment policies. PepsiCo achieved the same score in the 2010 index, along with 305 other companies, according to HRC. PFLAG notes on its site that PepsiCo is among its corporate sponsors.

I think I'll go get me a Mountain Dew.

Fight the Power!

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After the International Olympic Committee announced that Rio de Janeiro and not Chicago would be getting the 2016 Olympics, many Americans were disappointed that the event wouldn't be held on our soil. Certainly President Barack Obama was, since he had flown to Copenhagen to lobby personally for his adopted hometown.

Not those good Americans at the conservative magazine The Weekly Standard, though. "Cheers erupt at Weekly Standard world headquarters," wrote Editor John McCormack in an online post titled "Chicago Loses! Chicago Loses!"

Glenn Beck was also beside himself with glee. "Please, please let me break this news to you. It's so sweet," he chortled on his radio show before reporting that a foreign city would be getting the Olympics rather than an American one.

Rush Limbaugh was unapologetic in his joy over America's loss: "I don't deny it. I'm happy," he said.

The right-wing Web site NewsMax, which last week ran an article fantasizing about a military coup against the government, showed us that they were down with that crazy Internet-speak all the kids are using these days. "Chicago PWNED!" they Twittered.

(In case you're not familiar, PWNED is one of those online misspellings that's become so common it's used as a substitute for the actual word. So, PWNED equals OWNED, which equals "decisively defeated.")

Why were they so pleased? Wouldn't hosting the Olympics be a good thing, not just for Chicago, but for the U.S.A.?

Actually, whether the Olympics are that big a boon depends on who you ask. Some cities, such as Barcelona, got a boost in prestige and tourism from the Olympics. Some, like Montreal, reported losing money on the deal, at least in the short run.

But the folks celebrating the loss never reached that argument. To the leaders of the modern conservative movement, whether or not something is good for the country is irrelevant if they think it gives President Obama a black eye.

Rush Limbaugh said it explicitly. "Anything that gets in the way of Barack Obama accomplishing his domestic agenda is fine with me," he said.

"No Obamalympics," Michelle Malkin agreed.

Remember how right-wingers used to be so outraged about "liberals" being happy when America loses (while never being able to actually point to any real people who ever expressed any such joy)? Just look at them now. So much for "country first."

But what's next? After the rich, warm glow of spiteful satisfaction from this loss wears off, where can the concerned wingnut go to show President Obama he won't knuckle under to his Muslimcommiefascist agenda?

I have just the thing for you. Last Wednesday, President Obama signed an executive order forbidding federal employees to text while driving. The order, according to The Washington Post, "covers federal employees when they are using ­government-provided cars or cell phones and when they are using their own phones and cars to conduct government business."

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood claimed that the ban "sends a very clear signal to the American public that distracted driving is dangerous and unacceptable."

On the surface, this may seem like a sensible precaution. But ­remember, anything President Obama supports, whether it be working hard and staying in school, bringing the Olympics to America, or paying attention to where the heck you're going when you drive, is something that you, as a good conservative, must oppose to your last breath.

So make sure your cell phone is equipped to send texts (or, as we'll be calling them from now on, "Freedom Messages"). Then gas up the SUV, get out there on the road, and start tap-tapping away. Spread the word far and wide that you won't be cowed by the foreign-born Islaminazi Marxist and his evil agenda of safety.

And why restrict yourself just to text messages? Twitter. E-mail. Check out the latest funny cat ­pictures on-line. Show everyone that there are still some proud, freedom-loving patriots out there willing to take a stand and push back against anything that President Obama's for.

Wear your dents and accident-related injuries with pride. And if, God forbid, the worst should happen, be sure to leave instructions that your tombstone should read, "I Really Showed YOU, Barack Hussein Obama!"

C'mon. Do it for Liberty.