Here's part of "Tricky Living," copyright by Russ Walter, second edition. For newer info, read the 33rd edition of the "Secret Guide to Computers & Tricky Living" at
Why do they call it “politics”? Because discussing it is the
fastest way to get Aunt Polly ticked.
If you’re young and not a
liberal, you haven’t got a heart.
But if you’re old and not
conservative, you haven’t got a brain!
That quote was attributed to Winston Churchill (Britain’s
prime minister during World War 2), but according to his fans, there’s no
record he ever said it. That thought was expressed by many people, including a
French historian in the 1800’s. I call it the Conservative’s lament.
The lament is correct. Young people, forever optimistic,
believe that the world will be a beautiful place if you treat everybody kindly and liberally. Old people, who’ve
been mugged and cheated by many “nice-looking” people, become cynical.
For example, when President Jimmy Carter and I were young, we
both believed the Soviets would treat the rest of the world kindly if the rest
of the world would treat them kindly. But then the Soviets, without
provocation, invaded Afghanistan. I was disillusioned, and Jimmy Carter was
voted out of office.
When I was young, I believed that all people who claimed to be
poor should be given generous welfare benefits. But after I chatted with many
welfare recipients who used their money to eat in fancy restaurants, buy drugs,
and visit prostitutes, I grew more cynical about the needs of the “needy.”
Sure, there are members of society who are truly desperate and do need welfare
money; and sure, the rich have a moral obligation to give large sums of money
to the truly needy poor. But when I see the large percentage of welfare
recipients who abuse and even laugh at the system, I want to cry.
When the governor of Alabama, George Wallace, was young, he
ran for office on a platform of being nice to blacks. He even kissed black
babies. He lost the race. Then he changed his tune, became a cynical anti-black
segregationist, ran for office again, and — because he was a cynical
segregationist — won! Although I don’t recommend imitating him (since
segregation is immoral), his life proves one point: cynicism pays.
Why Democrats make me smile
Democrats tend to be liberal, and Republicans tend to be
conservative. But what is “liberal,” and what is “conservative”? What’s the
In 1974, Representative Craig Hosmer (Republican from California)
published a funny list of differences in the Congressional Record. He got it
from a source that wished to remain anonymous. Several people tried updating
(or censoring) that list (especially Rowland Nethaway, senior editor of the Waco
Texas Tribune-Herald, in 1998). Here’s my own attempt to update that
Republicans raise dahlias,
Dalmatians, and eyebrows.
Democrats raise hell, kids, and
Democrats step on the bugs.
Republicans go fishing on
Democrats stay fishing at the
Democrats eat the fish they
Republicans hang them on the
Republicans grab financial
pages and love them.
Democrats grab financial pages
and shove them — into bird cages.
Republicans consume ¾ of
all rutabaga produced in this country.
Democrats throw out the rest.
Republicans follow the
plans their grandfathers made.
Democrats make up their own
plans — but ignore them.
Democrats take individual
delight in reading banned books.
Republicans form censorship
committees to read those books as groups.
Democrats give their
worn-out clothes to the less fortunate.
So do Republicans, who are
smarter and take the tax deduction.
The junk along the road was
thrown from car windows by Democrats,
but can’t be seen by
Republicans from the back of their limos.
Democrats name their kids
after athletes, entertainers, and politicians.
Republicans name their kids
after the richest ancestors.
Republicans close their
curtains at night — but needn’t bother.
Democrats leave their curtains
open — to amuse Republicans.
Republican boys date
They plan to marry Republican
girls but feel entitled to a little fun first.
Republicans sleep in twin
beds, often in separate rooms.
That’s why there are more
Recently, it’s become less true that most Republicans are rich
and most Democrats are poor. To predict how a person will vote, don’t ask about
the person’s income; instead, ask about church attendance: Protestant
“churchgoers” (who attend church at least once a week) tend to vote Republican.
Researchers have recently discovered an even more accurate way
to determine who’ll vote Republican: ask what kind of God the voter believes
in. If the voter believes God is vengeful (punishes sinners and other “bad
people”), the voter will probably vote Republican; if the voter believes God is
forgiving (like Jesus) or laissez-faire (he created the world but then left it
alone), the voter will probably vote Democrat.
According to Democrat analysts, Republicans believe government
should be like a stern father (tough police enforcement)
while Democrats believe government should be like a loving mother (kind
to the helpless). Why can’t we have both?
When this book went to press in August 2007, 8 major Democrats
were running for President. Here’s how they compare. I’ll start with the most
Hillary Clinton (preferred by 30% of
Democrats) went to Yale Law School and married Bill Clinton (who became
President). Now she’s a Senator from New York. Since she lived in the White
House and chatted with Bill often about politics, she has the most experience
with Presidential matters, though her experience is second-hand. As a kid of
Republican parents, she grew up supporting Barry Goldwater, who was very
right-wing. Like her husband Bill, she’s a centrist, trying to appeal to middle-of-the-roaders
who aren’t the far left. Her personality is brittle: her smiles are forced
(ever since Bill had an affair with Monica Lewinsky), her health-care plan was
rejected by Congress because she didn’t know how to be collegial, and her
frosted hair turned off us leftists, though recently she’s made herself over. She’s
unapproachable, surrounded by scary Secret Service agents required to guard
former Presidents and their spouses. Since she’s the only female candidate,
feminists think complaints about her personality are unfair jibes at assertive
women. I fear she’ll suffer the same fate as John Kerry: win the Democratic primary
(because she’s a centrist) but finally lose to a Republican because her
personality is put-offish.
Barack Obama (20%) is the most
academically gifted. He graduated from Harvard Law School (where he was
president of the Harvard Law Review), and Professor Lawrence Tribe declared him
the most talented Harvard Law student ever seen. He wrote two excellent books,
apparently by himself without a ghost writer. He’s taught constitutional law,
and now he’s a Senator from Illinois. He’s the best orator: whenever he speaks,
every sentence fascinates. He’s young and looks even younger. Youngsters like
him better than Hillary and chant, “Don’t tell mama, I’m for Obama!” He’s
multicultural: his father was a black African from Kenya, he grew up in Hawaii
and Indonesia, and he’s learned Muslim and Christian teachings. He’s the best
dresser and has the best style: he knows how to look distinguished even when
he’s not wearing a jacket. He talks frankly and openly (unlike Hillary, who
believes politicians should be more close-lipped). He’s slightly to the left of
Hillary. He’s short of experience: he’s never been an executive, and he’s been
a Senator for just 2½ years.
John Edwards (15%) is a smiling
Southerner who’s been a rich lawyer but now attacks rich folks and claims to
want to help poor folks and make the government generously fund health care and
education. His platform is much further to the left than Hillary’s and Obama’s,
so I’m tempted to vote for him (since I’m a leftist); but his plan to pay for
his social programs isn’t realistic: he just wants to heavily tax incomes over
$200,000 and also increase the government’s debt. Voters are concerned that his
wife’s cancer might distract him from paying attention to Presidential
responsibilities and that his $400 haircut shows he doesn’t have true empathy
for the poor. His style seems too “slick,” but by pushing for his platform he
might actually create more good change than Hillary or Barack. He generously praises
the other candidates, so he’s likeable and might become the Democrat nominee
for vice-president again.
Bill Richardson (10%) is the nicest guy.
He’s the governor of New Mexico. He’s also been the Secretary of the U.S.
Department of Energy and the ambassador to the U.N. He’s the only candidate
who’s been an executive and chatted with foreign dictators. He thinks he
combines the best features of Hillary and Barack. He grew up in Mexico City,
guided by his Mexican mother and American father, then went to high school in
Massachusetts. He has lots of sympathy for immigrants and wants to be
friendlier to Cuba. Since he governs a Western state, he doesn’t try to impose
The other candidates expect
to lose but keep debating so America will hear their valuable wisdom. Joe Biden (3%)
has the deepest understanding of international issues, since he served on the
Senate Foreign Relations committee for 30 years and is now its chairman. He
recommends that the Iraq civil war be stopped the same way the Serbian war was:
split the country into two parts. His weakness is that he makes embarrassing
remarks when speaking off-the-cuff. Dennis Kucinich (1%) was mayor of Cleveland
and is now a Senator from Ohio; he’s a vegetarian pacifist who believes war is
never a good solution. Chris
Dodd (0.6%) was in the Peace Corps and wants to be friendlier to
other nations; he’s been in the Senate for 27 years. Mike Gravel (0.4%)
is a grumpy old antiwar activist who berates the other candidates for being empty
windbags forgetting to vote for Democratic ideals; but since he was a Senator
from Alaska, he favors Alaskan drilling for oil, like a Republican!
Adlai Stevenson’s lament
Adlai Stevenson was the brilliant egghead Democrat who ran for
President against Eisenhower but lost. He made this comment about politicians
and their speeches:
It’s often easier to fight for
one’s principles than live up to them.
Republicans appeal to voters by changing the jargon. Here’s
how the typical voter responds, according to Frank Luntz (a Republican pollster
and spin doctor) and
Eric Effron (managing editor of The Week):
The voter doesn’t mind an
“estate tax” but opposes it when called a “death tax.”
The voter is unsure about
“tort reform” but favors it when called “ending lawsuit abuse.”
The voter is against
“global warming” but accepts it when called “climate change.”
The voter is against
“government eavesdropping” but accepts it when called “electronic intercepts.”
The voter is against “torture”
but accepts it when called “aggressive interrogation techniques.”
The voter is against the U.S.
starting an “invasion” but accepts it when called a “liberation.”
The voter is against war’s
“escalation” but accepts it when called “troop surge.”
The voter is against war’s
“civilian casualties” but accepts them when called “collateral damage.”
The voter is against the U.S. being an “occupying power” but accepts it
when called a “coalition partner.”
The voter is against a U.S.
“retreat” but accepts it when called a “phased troop redeployment.”
The voter is worried about
“civil war” but less worried about it when called “sectarian strife.”
According to Mark Kleiman (a Democrat who’s a public-policy
professor at UCLA) and his friends, here’s how Republicans redefine political
Political term Republican definition
healthy forest no
tree left behind
alternative energy sources new
places to drill for gas and oil
climate change progress toward the blessed day when blue states
are swallowed by oceans
compassionate conservatism poignant concern for the very
ownership society civilization
where just the owners have power
class warfare any
attempt to raise the minimum wage
means of escaping debt, available to corporations but not poor people
the poor aren’t working
leisure time when
the rich aren’t working
free markets Haliburton’s
for tax cuts for the rich
(especially the taxes of Republican donors)
honesty lies told in simple declarative sentences, such as
“Freedom is on the march.”
tense of De Lie
stay the course continue
to perform the same actions and expect different results
stuff happens I
don’t have to live in Baghdad
voter fraud a
significant minority turnout
No Child Left Behind ensuring
that stupid kids learn enough to get jobs in the military
human life up until birth
creation science theory
that Bush’s resemblance to a chimpanzee is just coincidental
person trusted to raise a child but not to decide whether to have one
Patriot Act preemptive
strike on American freedoms, to prevent terrorists from
destroying them first
Republicans fear that the year 2029 will have these headlines:
Ozone from electric cars
kills millions in 7th largest country, Mexifornia, formerly called
California. White minorities still trying to get English recognized as Mexifornia’s
Castro finally dies at
age 112. Cuban cigars can now be imported legally, but President Chelsea
Clinton has banned all smoking.
Baby conceived naturally;
scientists stumped. Couple petitions court to reinstate heterosexual marriage.
threatens Northwest crops and livestock. France pleads for global help after
being taken over by Jamaica. New federal law requires registering all nail
clippers, screwdrivers, fly swatters, and rolled-up newspapers. Postal Service
raises price of 1st-class stamp to $17.89 and reduces mail delivery
to just Wednesdays. IRS sets lowest tax rate at 75%. 85-year 75-billion-dollar
study says diet and exercise are keys to weight loss. Supreme Court decides
that punishing criminals violates their civil rights. Massachusetts executes
last remaining conservative.
We journalists are thankful that Bush is President. Without
him, we wouldn’t have anybody to make fun of!
imitates Carson Here’s the real reason why America voted for George
Bush the younger and made him President: he looks like Johnny Carson, when
Johnny was young. He smiles and is a semi-intellectual affable joker.
That’s what America wants in a President: a talk-show host who
smiles. That’s what America got. But after 8 years, America gets tired of
seeing the same old smiles and wants to change channels.
outsourced This news bulletin appeared on the Internet:
Congress announced that
the office of President of the United States will be outsourced to India. The
move’s being made to save the President’s $400,000
yearly salary and the record 521 billion dollars in deficit expenditures
and related overhead the office has incurred during the last 5 years.
Mr. Bush was informed of
his termination, by e-mail this morning.
The office of President
will be assumed by Mr. Gurvinder Singh of Indus Teleservices, Mumbai, India.
He’s eligible for the Presidency because he was
born in the U.S. while his Indian parents were vacationing at Niagara Falls.
Mr. Singh will receive a
salary of $320 a month but no health coverage or other benefits.
Because of the time
difference between the U.S. and India, he’ll work mainly at night, when most
offices of the U.S. government are closed; but it’s believed he can handle the job without a support staff. He said,
“Working nights will let me keep my day job at the American Express call
center. I’m excited about this position. I always hoped to be President
Singh isn’t fully aware
of all Presidential issues; but that’s okay, since Bush wasn’t familiar with
them either. Singh will rely on a script
tree that lets him respond to most topics. Using those canned responses,
he can address common concerns without having to understand the underlying
issues. A spokesman said, “We know those scripting tools work. President Bush
has used them successfully for years.”
Singh might have difficulty
producing a Texas drawl; but Bush has recently abandoned that “down home”
persona anyway, to appear more intelligent and on top of the Katrina situation.
Bush will receive health
coverage, expenses, and salary until his final day of employment. After a 2-week
wait, he’ll be eligible for $240/week unemployment for 13 weeks. He can’t
collect Medicaid, since his unemployment benefits will exceed the allowed
Bush has been given the
outplacement services of Manpower, Inc. to help him write a résumé and prepare
for his next job. According to Manpower, Bush may have difficulty securing a
new position, since his practical work experience is limited. A greeter
position at Wal-Mart was suggested because of his extensive hand-shaking experience
and phony smile.
Another possibility is his
re-enlistment in the Texas Air National Guard. If he chooses that option, he’d
likely be stationed in Waco, Texas for a month before being sent to Iraq, a
country he’s visited. “I've been there, I know all about Iraq,” said Bush, who
gained valuable knowledge of the country in a visit to Baghdad Airport’s
terminal and gift shop.
Sources in Baghdad and Falluja
say Bush would get a warm reception from local Iraqis. They’ve asked for
details of his arrival so they can arrange an appropriate welcome.
The original version of that bulletin was written by Melynda
Jill and posted at www.GodlessGeeks.com/outsourced.htm.
bulb How many members of the Bush administration do you need to
change a light bulb?
Some Web sites say the answer is:
None. Nothing’s wrong with the
light bulb. Its conditions are improving every day. Any reports of its lack of
incandescence are delusional spin from the liberal media. That light bulb
served honorably, and anything you say undermines the lighting effect. Why do
you hate freedom?
Other Web sites analyzed the Bush administration more
thoroughly and said the answer is really 10:
1 to deny a light bulb needs to
1 to attack the patriotism of
anyone saying a light bulb needs to be changed
1 to blame Clinton for burning
out the light bulb
1 to tell other nations they’re either for changing the light bulb or for
1 to give a billion-dollar no-bid contract to Haliburton for the new light
1 to photograph Bush under the banner “Light Bulb Change Accomplished”
1 administration insider to resign and write a book on how Bush was in the
1 to smear that insider
1 to explain how Bush has had a
strong light-bulb-changing policy all along
1 to confuse Americans about
the difference between screwing a light bulb
and screwing the country
The Internet says the government’s decided to change the
national emblem from an eagle
to a condom,
which more accurately reflects the government’s political stance:
It permits inflation, halts
production, destroys the next generation, protects a bunch of pricks, and gives
you a sense of security while you’re actually being screwed.