What Every Foreigner Should Know About An American Scandal

IRS

The bizarre official seal of the IRS combines scales, a key, stars and an upside down V.

A lot of people in other countries (I call them “foreigners”) read my blog posts.   In fact, folks from dozens of countries have done so.  I know that’s weird, but it’s true.  It causes me to wonder what our foreign friends think of America, beyond our well-known Western decadence.

You may wonder if you’re a foreigner.  If you live in a foreign country, you certainly are one.  Of course, you might live here in America.  If so, ask yourself these questions:

  • Am I dressed in swaddling clothes?
  • Do I have a funny accent?
  • Do I speak some odd Martian-sounding language?
  • Am I wearing a fez?
  • Do I own a prayer rug?
  • Have I ever stoned anyone?
  • Have Americans ever invaded my hometown?
  • Do I throw shoes at people?
  • Have I sworn allegiance to a king, queen or other potentate/monarch?
  • Is my facial hair bizarre and unkempt?

If you answered “yes” to any of these, you’re probably a foreigner.  If not a foreigner, you just could be a typical American weirdo.

Even if you’re an American, imagine if you were a foreigner.  We’ll call you “Vlad.”  In your country, such things as child slavery and genocide are scandalous.  As a result, you might be quite confused by what passes for scurrilous behavior in the Greatest Nation on Earth™.

Do foreigners follow American politics? If so, it must be confusing.  Then again, maybe it’s just like things in their countries.  Regardless, as a service to foreigners, I have penned this simple primer on the latest American political scandal.

You foreigners may not be familiar with the Internal Revenue Service or the “IRS” as we Americans call it.  The IRS is a cabal of tax collectors formed many decades ago by the United States Government.   I shall attempt to write in a way that explains the IRS to the uninitiated.  (Also, you may be an American but not a tax payer–like my children–and unfamiliar with the ways of the IRS.)

As we know from Judeo-Christian lore, tax collectors are reviled and for good reason.  They take our money. No one likes that.  That is the function of the IRS.  They collect our taxes through a system only slightly less complicated than the plot of the film Dune. In return, we hate them.

Each year, we voluntarily fill out tax returns and send them to the IRS.  This squares us with the government.  Some people don’t do this. They are known as “tax cheats.”  Some are known as “convicts.”  Some people don’t think they really have to pay taxes.  They are called “tax protestors” or “nuts.”  Many of them, too, as known as “convicts.”

The IRS is in the news now because it has been picking on people–and not just any people, but conservative people–really conservative people.

Most conservatives in the U.S. are members of the Republican Party.  Wealthy people are usually Republicans.  So are a lot of old people.  We have Nazis here, too, but they usually aren’t Republicans.  Conservatives are called the “Right” or “Right-Wingers.”

Most liberal folks in our country are Democrats.  A small number are card-carrying Communists or Socialists.  Some belong to the Green Party, the sole function of which is to nominate unelectable candidates for public office.  Young people are Democrats.  According to Republicans,  all the poor and unemployed are also Democrats.  Liberals are called the “Left” or “Leftists.”

Here in America, we have a group called the “Tea Party.”  It’s really just an offshoot of the Republican Party, but even more conservative.  Some of my Leftist friends call them “Tea Baggers,” which is just sophomoric, yet still funny.

The Tea Party is a so-called grassroots political group (not a real political party, mind you) which named itself after the famed Boston Tea Party which occurred way back in America’s colonial days.  That Tea Party protested taxation of the colonies without representation in Parliament.  Now, this Tea Party–being citizens of our Republican form of democracy–actually has representation in Congress, but they still call themselves that because…oh Hell, it makes no sense.  They just call themselves that.  It’s okay.  We’re Americans and can call ourselves anything we want.

The Tea Party is basically against the government, unless the government is wildly conservative (if one can be wild and conservative).  They don’t like taxes or immigration or government spending or much of anything else related to the government.  The don’t like our current president.  I don’t think they liked our last president, either.  I pretty sure they didn’t like the one before that or the one before that.  I think they like Ronald Reagan, but I don’t think they would have liked at the time he was president.  Maybe they don’t like anyone.  They might like our Senator from Kentucky, Rand Paul.  After all,  they helped get him elected.  Soon, they’ll find out he’s a closet Libertarian.  Then, they won’t like him.  Or maybe they will.  I don’t really know.

I’m not sure anyone likes the Tea Party, unless they are, of course, in the Tea Party which–as we noted above–isn’t really a political party.  The Libertarians are an actual party, although Ron Paul (Rand’s dad) might be the only member.  Democrats certainly don’t like the Tea Party.  Republicans don’t much like it, either.  Thus, it would seem to be a prime target for persecution.

If you are a foreigner, you probably don’t know that Americans love to be persecuted.  I’m not talking about real persecution, to which you might be subjected in your country.  We just like to think our politics or religion or sports teams are persecuted.  Everyone is against them.  Why do we like that? It just makes us feel self-righteous, like we’re the underdog.  We like that.

Now, you might be reading this as a foreign resident of the American prison known as Gitmo.  If so, you will not find any of this to even remotely qualify as persecution.  Well, let me ask you this:  Where the hell did you get access to a computer?  You’re not even a U.S. citizen (hopefully).

Occasionally, though, there is real persecution or at least bullying that goes on.  The IRS has been caught doing just this very thing.  How?  It turns out that they’ve been scrutinizing conservative groups, including Tea Partiers, to determine if they really qualify as “tax exempt.”  What is a tax-exempt group, you ask?  Well, I’m a lawyer.  Allow me to explain.

Americans pay taxes on damn near everything, except for the 50% who don’t.  Corporations pay taxes, too, except for the ones who use our Byzantine tax code to avoid paying taxes.  Some corporations don’t have to pay taxes, because the IRS doesn’t make them.  These are “non-profit” corporations, an oxymoronic designation if there ever was one.  Our churches and charitable organizations typically qualify for that status, even though people can get incredibly rich working for them–especially churches.  Don’t you wish you were an American?

Other groups qualify, too.  Oh, I could go into great detail to explain the criteria, if I knew what they were.  Just trust me on this one.  One such group is what is known as a 501(c)(4) organization which includes civic leagues, social welfare organizations and associations of employees.  Here is a link to a mind-numbing IRS brochure on the subject.  One of the things the IRS doesn’t like is when such groups are formed to promote or elect candidates for political office.  That’s a no-no.

Evidently, the IRS embarked on a project where such terms as “Tea Party” or “Patriot” would draw special scrutiny with invasive and downright loony inquiries into the organization’s workings.  The obvious problem is that any such group in our country is bound to be a Right Wing organization which oppose anything the current Presidential administration says or does.  (As an aside, should any of you foreigners move to the United States, be very wary of any thing dubbed “Patriot.”  Those things tend to be sketchy and even frightening.)  It also just seems nasty and unfair.  We don’t like that kind of stuff, especially when it happens to us.

Now, we have a full-blown scandal on our hands.  Americans love scandals, too.  Scandals here tend to be given the suffix of “-Gate.”  Soon, this will be called “IRS-Gate.”  Why do we do that?  Because we had a political scandal almost four decades ago involving the Watergate Hotel.  Again, don’t ask too many questions.

The outrage is now palatable.  Congress is outraged–Republicans and Democrats alike.  The Tea Party is outraged.  The President is outraged.  So is the IRS.   When did the IRS start this kind of nonsense?

I suspect this kind of behavior dates back to 1918 when the Bureau of Internal Revenue changed its name to the Internal Revenue Service. Our greatest American criminal was arguably Al Capone, a Chicago gangster who ruled a vice kingdom in the 1920’s that grossed $100 million a year.  He spent many of his last years in prison, his brain rotting from syphilis.  Why?  It wasn’t for the many murders, gambling, bootlegging or prostitution for which he was responsible.  It was tax fraud.  That’s right.  He crossed the IRS.  Bad move. (Just to be clear, the IRS put him in prison.  It didn’t give him syphilis, at least as far as I know.)

Why should anyone be surprised that the IRS would attack people?  Well, truthfully, no one should be surprised.  The IRS is viewed as either a gang of incompetent government bean counters or jack-booted thugs ready to take everything you own.  You probably have something similar in your country.  It’s probably called the Ministry of Finance or some other haughty foreign title.

As a foreigner, you are likely confused.  Why is this a scandal?  In your country, something like a military coup might be considered scandalous.  Understand the Right and the Left  hate each other, probably much like in your own country.  Folks on the right hate, hate, HATE President Obama.  They condemn everything he does.  Everything.  They don’t like his economic policies or tax policies or foreign policy or domestic policy.  They don’t like his vacations or his golf game.  They don’t like his wife.  Or his mother.  They say he’s dumb, lazy and out of touch.  People call him a criminal.  Every bad thing is his fault.

You may be thinking that these Right-Wingers are awful.  There is only one group as bad as they are.  That group is the Left.  The Left hates, hates, HATES President Obama’s predecessor, George W. Bush.  They hated his economic policy, his tax policy, his foreign policy, and his domestic policy..  They hated his vacations.  They didn’t like his family  The Left said he was dumb, lazy and out of touch.  People called him a criminal.  Every bad thing was his fault then and now.

Since these two groups hate each other, they’ll stop at nothing to discredit the other.  The Left now uses the IRS to attack its enemies, just as the Right has done in the past.  The Left even has the hubris to say:  “Why didn’t you say anything when the Right was doing it?”  Well, when the Right was doing it, they liked it, so there was no need  to protest.  Pretty simple, really.  Besides, didn’t your mother ever tell you “Two wrongs don’t make a right?”  If not, what kind of mother did you have?

You might wonder what the fall out will be.  We have something called “Congressional Hearings.”  These are dog and pony shows where people are called before our government representatives to either answer inane questions or listen to long-winded speeches which aren’t really questions at all.  These are mostly designed to help our representatives get re-elected.  Think of it as reality television with less dignity.

It’s also possible that there could be criminal charges, although no one is sure that any crime has been committed.  That doesn’t matter.  We Americans like to threaten criminal charges even when there is no crime.  Treason is one of our favorites, even though our courts don’t really know what that is and no one is ever prosecuted for it.

We will also talk of removing the President from office.  We love to talk about that, even though it would result in the Vice-President becoming President.  We have a storied tradition of our Vice-Presidents being blithering idiots or dangerous sociopaths, yet we wouldn’t mind them assuming the highest office in the land.  Go figure.

impeachbush

Impeaching President Bush was a popular notion.

impeach obama

We  would like to impeach Obama, but without all the apostrophes.

One thing that won’t happen is that the people who actually did all the bad stuff getting fired.  They’re civil servants.  They just stay right where they are.  Count on it.

There is, of course, the endless media blathering, too.  We have a phenomenon here where every city in our country has at least one radio station devoted to 24 hour a day talking heads from the Right.  They spend most of their time talking about subjects which they say the media doesn’t talk about it as though they aren’t part of the media.  Odd.

What makes IRS-Gate so appealing is that it involves taxes, one of the lines of demarcation between the Left and the Right.  The Left believes that taxes are good and should be increased on the rich, so that our government can use that money to benefit the poor.  The Right hates taxes and believes they should be decreased, especially on the rich, so that the rich can use that money to benefit the poor.  Both positions ignore two very real problems:  The government tends to waste money, and the rich tend to keep it.  To have the Left seek to tax groups on the Right goes to the very heart of this philosophical conundrum.

So, what we have is a confluence of all things American:  Taxes and the government; the Right and Left; over-the-top media; paranoia; and general hatefulness.  The only thing missing is some sexual aspect to it all.  Don’t give up hope–there is still time.  Perhaps someone will blame it all on an outbreak of syphilis at the IRS.

As a foreigner, you might not want to visit America now.  Don’t be foolish.  We’re still better than your country.  Now, that’s not to say you’ll be welcome.  We’re a nation of immigrants with a long history of hating immigrants, but that subject will have to wait.  In the meantime, enjoy the show.

©thetrivialtroll.wordpress.com 2013

How Evil or Not Is Our President?

I’ve watched a little of the History Channel series on the Bible.  A lot of folks are bothered by the violence in it.  I assume those people haven’t actually read the Bible, the Old Testament in particular.  There is incest, forced slavery, rape, murder of every description and even genocide.  It’s tough stuff.  A lot of folks who want to ban other books because of the Bible would probably want to ban the Bible itself if they ever read it.

Some are upset by the portrayal of Satan.  Why?  He looks like our president. Really, he does (the TV Satan, that is).  It’s supposed to be a coincidence, and maybe it is.  It does, however, raise the question of whether Obama is, in fact, Satan or just really evil.  My conservative friends think so.  My liberal friends think quite the opposite, of course.  The hard right (rock-ribbed Republicans, as my Dad would have said) reject everything Obama says or does as wrong-headed and Socialist.  The Left accepts everything he says or does as being brilliant and enlightened.  In other words, he’s the Democrat version of George W. Bush.

satan

I don’t know much about Satan or Lucifer or Beelzebub or whatever you call him.  The Bible doesn’t talk that much about him, either.  All this stuff about him being the proudest angel and falling from grace, etc., isn’t in the Bible.  Regardless, I know he’s bad news.  He tempts us with all kinds of evil.  I can’t endorse that behavior, although I have to admit that I’ve enjoyed a few of his temptations.  He’s also the overlord of Hell, which is bad in all possible ways with its lakes of fire, weeping and wailing and the obligatory gnashing of teeth.

So, why the Hell does the President look so much like Satan?  There really can’t be a good explanation, UNLESS–you got it–he IS Satan.  Okay, I know that’s a stretch.  What if he’s just the Anti-Christ?  The evidence is disturbing to say the least:

  • The Westboro Baptist Church thinks he’s the Anti-Christ.  That’s a credible source for theological truths.  They also think the U.S. Army is dominated by homosexuals.
  • The Obamacare microchip implants are certainly a bad sign.  The Mark of the Beast.
  • The name “Barack” has 6 letters, as in 6-6-6.  How convenient.
  • He’s black.  The History Channel has proven that Satan is, too.  Plus, Satan is always called things like the “Dark One.”
  • As we all know from the film Jesus Christ Superstar, Judas was black.  Coincidence?
  • Although the Bible says nothing about the age of the Anti-Christ, isn’t there at least a decent chance he would be about Obama’s age?
  • It is well-known that the Anti-Christ will be a charismatic figure, much like–you guessed it!–Obama.
  • Revelation 13:5-8 says the Anti-Christ will rule for 42 months.  That’s fairly close to one term of Obama’s presidency.
  • There’s even a website that questions whether he’s the Anti-Christ.  If he weren’t, why would someone go to all that trouble?
  • Michael Savage says Obama is “the most evil” President ever.  That’s good enough for me.
  • This passage from Revelation 13 succinctly describes Obama:
    • [1] And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.
      [2] And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.
      [3] And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast.
      [4] And they worshiped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshiped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? Who is able to make war with him?
      [5] And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.
      [6] And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.
      [7] And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.
      [8] And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world

    They might as well put a photo of Obama next to this passage.  Sixty or seventy years ago, a lot of churches thought the Papacy was the Anti-Christ.  Don’t they look silly now?

Those of you with a  conservative bent are probably smiling.  Maybe you’re thinking:  “He can’t be serious, but, you know, all that makes sense.”  If you’re over there on the Left, you may be angry, thinking:  “Another right-wing Nazi making fun of the greatest President ever.”  If you’re really far Left, you’re probably an atheist anyway and just generally offended by anything hinting at religion.  You don’t have faith in anything, except the Government, that is (that’s big G Government, just like big G God).  Oddly enough, atheists now worship a man who has been a Christian his entire adult life.

All this naturally leads to my next line of inquiry.  If we dismiss Obama as Satan or even the Anti-Christ, what if my friends on the Left are correct and he is a great man–the greatest man?  Consider:

  • We know nothing of Jesus’s teen or young adult years.  The same can be said of Obama whose formative years remain shrouded in mystery.
  • Some people think Jesus looked like this:
jesus

The resemblance is uncanny.

  • Jesus was black.  Okay, I have no direct or indirect proof of this, but isn’t it at least possible?  The Bible doesn’t say he wasn’t black.  Don’t you find that suspicious?  I do.  Besides, look at his picture!
  • Like Jesus, Obama has fed the multitudes.  In Obama’s case, it’s with food stamps, but the effect is similar.
  • Obama made Chris Matthews’ leg tingle.  That has to be some kind of miracle.
  • Louis Farrakhan once said of Obama “The Messiah is speaking.”  He never says anything nutty.
  • Speaking of miracles, Obama got a black man elected President of the United States–TWICE!
  • Jesus and Obama are both excellent public speakers.
  • Both were carpenters.  I’m little thin on facts to support this one, but it hasn’t been dis-proven to my satisfaction.
  • We all know that Jesus was born of a virgin mother, but what of Obama?  What do we know of his so-called “father?”  Not much.  Did he even exist?  If not, why not?
  • I’m pretty sure Jesus didn’t have a birth certificate, either.
  • One can persuasively argue that Jesus, too, was a community organizer.  He organized an entire religion!
  • Jesus’s followers were the meek, the downtrodden, the poor in spirit.  Isn’t this exactly what folks on the Right say of Obama’s supporters?

Before you condemn me to the Lake of Fire, I am not suggesting that Obama is the Messiah or even a Messianic figure.  I only ask the questions that others fear.  Not surprisingly, I have no answers.

As with any serious theological debate, there are countervailing arguments.  If he were God or something similar, it’s hard to understand why Rand Paul wasn’t smited during his recent filibuster. If he were Satan or one of his minions, one would think he would try to woo the religious Right instead of constantly enraging them.  We can’t allow such obvious inconsistencies to derail our reckless speculation.

The Bible is thin on details describing Satan.  I’ll admit that Revelation contains an excellent description of the Anti-Christ what with the two heads and whatnot.   Although the Bible makes it clear that Jesus will return, it is equally explicit that we don’t know when or where.  Using those criteria, it is impossible to eliminate Obama.  Thus, we may never know the answer until it’s too late.

If Obama is Satan, then where does that leave Dick Cheney?  If Obama is the Messiah, then why is he a Muslim?  If he is just a man, why do we have all these questions, none of which are subject to adequate answers?  Have I written this under Satan’s spell or by divine inspiration?  Where does Glenn Beck fit in to all of this?  Why does Rachel Maddow look like a dude? We may never know the answers to these and other questions.

So, where are we?  I don’t know.  Maybe Obama is an Ivy League-educated ideologue who surrounds himself with like-minded people–a decent family man with whom a lot of people (myself included) vehemently disagree on some issues.  The Liberal George W. Bush.  NOW, I’m talking crazy.

©thetrivialtroll.wordpress.com 2013

Dennis Rodman: Athlete, Spy, … President?

“There is nobody in the CIA who can tell you more personally about Kim Jong Un than Dennis Rodman and that in itself is scary.”

Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Steve Ganyard

rodman

Dennis (“the Worm”) Rodman recently visited North Korea. He went there with three Harlem Globetrotters–I don’t why only three, but that was it. The Globetrotters were there to play ball with some North Koreans. Rodman went to watch.

Now, the Worm claims that the “FBI” wants him to be a spy.  At least that’s what he told The Miami Herald recently.  Perhaps that’s true.  I’ll set aside the obvious questions about why the FBI would be involved with this, given its focus on domestic law enforcement.

North Korea is the most cloistered country on Earth. It is, as it has always been, shrouded in secrecy. Foreign media is banned.  The U.S. does not have diplomatic relations with the Democratic People’s Republic of North Korea. No embassy. No official visits. No communication. No one really knows what goes on there. In fact, The Korean War isn’t even over. The North and South just declared a truce. We know almost nothing about what goes on there.

One man knows, at least to some extent. That man is Dennis Rodman. The Worm. The hard-partying, tattooed, body-pierced, rebounding machine. The same Dennis Rodman who once wore a wedding dress to promote his autobiography. Arguably, the best rebounding forward to ever play basketball.

The confluence of these two personalities is significant, at least to me. Both fascinate me. Rodman, the ultimate blue-collar athlete. Kim, the ultimate political loony, a Communist dictator in an age where there are few Communists. Both are mysterious and more than a little unhinged. Yet, there they are together.

In some ways, Rodman’s life is the American Dream. He and his two sisters were raised in poverty by their mother. His absentee father claims to have fathered over 20 other children. Rodman says it may be more like 40. He wasn’t a high school basketball star. He wasn’t recruited. He was 5′ 6″ high school freshman who couldn’t make the basketball team. He graduated high school and worked as a janitor until he got a chance to play. He attended a junior college and then Southeastern Oklahoma State, where he was an NAIA All-American. While in college, he was taken in by a white family he considers now to be his own.  It’s a story right of Hollywood.  It rivals our President for a rags-to-riches tale (more on that later).

Rodman was drafted by the Detroit Pistons where he did the dirty work–defense and rebounding. He was quiet, even humble. He cried when he was named NBA Defensive Player of the Year. He perfected rebounding, making it his one dominating skill.

Somewhere along the line, he became the Dennis Rodman we now know. Dyed hair. Tattoos. Piercings. He never stopped being a defending, rebounding machine. Along the way, he dated Madonna, married and divorced Carmen Electra and even did a stint on Celebrity Rehab. He’s made movies. He’s wrestled. Now, at 52 years old, he still has the sculpted physique of an athlete and the lifestyle of out of control rock star.

We know Kim Jong Un, too. Sorta. He’s the cherubic evil dictator of the DPRK following in the footsteps of his grandfather and father. His father, the late Kim Jong IL, was best known to Americans in photos of him looking at things, which he apparently did quite often. Dad loved Elvis, basketball and action movies. Reportedly, he also was quite fond of pornography. We all know that he was a stellar athlete, shooting 34 under par the first time he played golf, running marathons in record time and regularly bowling perfect games.

We know considerably less about young Kim. He’s called Dear Leader. We know he’s in his 30’s. He may or may not be married. He bears a striking resemblance to Russell from the film Up. He has a jacked-up haircut which is odd considering that his Dad has a fabulous pompadour. Like his father, he likes to look at things. He has a disgraced brother who has been banished from DPRK. Other than that, we don’t know much about him.

up

Nuclear boom-boom make Dear Leader happy!

Like Pop, Un likes to saber-rattle, threatening South Korea and the United States with destruction. He lives like a king or at least an evil dictator. He’s a fat little bastard in a country where people regularly starve to death. He likes nuclear testing and firing rockets, even if they don’t always work.

Now, these two unlikely characters have crossed paths. Rodman has met the Kim Jong Un–the only American to ever do so. Think about that. Dennis Keith Rodman is the only American to meet the man. What does this mean? I don’t know, but I’d like to speculate.

I don’t discount the possibility that Rodman is a traitor, a gender-bending Benedict Arnold (I’ve seen pictures of Benedict. He might have been doing a little gender-bending himself). Perhaps he’s come into government secrets while partying. He might have been in Colombia with those congressmen and black-mailed them. Armed with this information, he traveled to North Korea. Kim then paid him in millions of whatever weird-ass money they use (with Kim’s face on it, no doubt).

Don’t expect the Worm to be hanged for treason. Treason is hard to prove. Plus, no one really knows what it is. According to scholars like Sean Hannity it’s whenever someone criticizes a Republican president during a war. Woodrow Wilson thought it was saying anything negative about a declared war. It’s all confusing. That’s why people get prosecuted for espionage, instead.

Call me naive, but I don’t see the Worm as a traitor. Only in America could a man from his background rise to the level of success and public curiosity as he has. He wouldn’t turn on us.  Besides, there is, as they say, more to the story here.

Is he an assassin? Could be. Maybe he planned to garrote the rotund strong man but didn’t get the chance. As easily the largest human in the DPRK, he probably could have strangled dozens of people before being subdued. If he went off, he’d look like something from a Japanese monster movie, crushing tiny Koreans under his feet. It’s no coincidence that Rodman was drinking a Coke with Un. Coke is not sold in the DPRK. Maybe Rodman was allowed to smuggle in a few cans to addict the portly strongman to the elixir known as high fructose corn syrup. This time, it was regular Coke. Next time? The really New Coke, with extra arsenic.

Perhaps it was simply a diplomatic mission. Un hates Americans. That’s clear. It’s part of his upbringing: America = Evil. But, he loves basketball, just like his father. Pops owned a basketball signed by Michael Jordan. Maybe young Kim thought Rodman was Jordan. That wouldn’t be too hard to pull off. Under this theory, Rodman’s trip has the tacit approval of the State Department. Rodman can use his new friendship for our benefit. Now, if Kim starts testing nuclear weapons again, Rodman can call his cell phone:

KIM: Hello, Dear Leader here.

RODMAN: Yo, Un. Worm.

KIM: Dennis! How’s it hunging?

RODMAN: Hey, dude, man, what’s up with all that underground testing shit?

KIM: Worm, we must show your evil government that we are ready to destroy it.

RODMAN: [Laughing] You are one crazy mutha——. Hey, if you drop that shit, I’ll shoot over and play you a game of HORSE. Bring some Cokes, too,

KIM: Hmmm. DEAL!

Crisis averted. That’s a reasonable scenario, but I think more is at work here than a mere budding friendship between a crazed nuclear madman and an alcoholic, cross-dressing NBA Hall of Famer.

Dennis Rodman is a spy, enlisted by the President of the United States himself to infiltrate North Korea. With today’s nano technology, outfitting a nose ring with a camera is child’s play. Nipple rings go from a fashionable accessory to stealth recording devices. He is returning home with invaluable information.

Implausible, you say? Consider this: Rodman’s estranged father owns a restaurant in the Philippines called–get this–Rodman’s Rainbow Obamaburger! How convenient that he somehow got permission to use the President’s name for commercial purposes. Coincidence? You be the judge.

rodman3

To my knowledge, no one in the State Department has commented on Rodman’s father’s cozy relationship with the President.

How do I know Rodman is a spy? Consider the evidence:

  • Why were only three Globetrotters on the trip? What did the others know that made them a security risk?
  • Isn’t it strange that our State Department doesn’t even plan to talk to Rodman, the one man who knows Kim Jung Un personally?
  • Kim Jong Un loves basketball. Rodman played basketball.
  • The entire Kim family loves Michael Jordan. Rodman played with Michael Jordan.
  • Rodman’s father clearly has close connections to the White House.
  • Why does Rodman always wear sunglasses?
  • Photographic evidence proves that Rodman has a close personal relationship with former President George H.W. Bush. Why does the mainstream media continue to suppress this?
rodman2

Suppressed photo of meeting between Rodman and former CIA Director and President George Bush

My theory, amply supported by all the above, is that Rodman’s trip was anything but a basketball mission. One scenario is that, in the 1990’s, a young Barack Obama was climbing the ladder of success. Although most of his time was spent orchestrating his shaky Hawaiian Birth Conspiracy and fake Christianity, his sights were set much higher. Knowing that cooperation from the notoriously haughty Michael Jordan would virtually impossible, he forced Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf to trade for Dennis Rodman, the odd everyman of the NBA. Reinsdorf no doubt feared that Obama would call upon the aging vestiges of the Weather Underground to “disrupt” the Bulls’ season. Once Rodman was in Chicago, his relationship with Michael Jordan would open doors for Obama who knew of the elder Kim’s affection for MJ. A mere 10-15 years later, it all came to fruition as Obama called Rodman for a favor. The Worm delivered.

This theory, while certainly plausible, is too simplistic. There is more at work here. Much more.

At this point, you’re probably wondering the same thing that struck me during my research. Is it possible that Dennis Rodman and Barack Obama are the same person? Naturally, I have no proof of anything, but there are simply too many coincidences. How do you explain the following?

  • Both men were born in 1961.
  • They are African-American males.
  • Both Rodman and Obama spent several years in Chicago at the same time. There are no known media reports about what they did together during that time. How can that be?
  • Both Rodman and Obama had so-called absentee fathers who lived in foreign countries.
  • Both have two daughters.
  • Both Rodman and Obama enjoy playing basketball.
  • Both Rodman and Obama smoke.
  • There are no known photographs of them together.
  • Why hasn’t the White House responded to my many letters and faxes demanding to see a photo of Obama and Rodman together?
  • Obama has been the President for over four years, and Rodman has not visited the White House even once during that time.  How can that be?
  • Why hasn’t Rodman produced a copy of his birth certificate?
  • Why hasn’t Obama produced his college transcripts? Could it be that they show excellent grades at Southeastern Oklahoma State?

Then, too, there are the startling physical similarities between the two men:

dennis_rodman1

Note how Rodman cleverly covers his ears in most photos. Protruding ears, of course, cannot be easily masked. Consider, too, how covering one’s body in tattoos and piercings distract the viewer from facial features.  There is also little doubt that somewhere in all that is a Muslim tattoo of some kind.

Then, we have the President:

obama

Note the laughably inept body make-up. Even skilled Photoshopping doesn’t help. Thanks to the butchering of this photo, the President’s physique doesn’t even resemble Rodman’s. Yet, his nipple piercings are apparent when this photo is magnified. It’s not surprising that the White House doesn’t release such “photos” to the public.

Does this prove that they are the same person?  Well, no, but it raises questions–questions no one seems willing to address.  Don’t expect “your” government to offer anything.

I know that I’ve put myself at great risk by raising this issue, but it’s time that public knows the truth.  The Worm has indeed turned.

©thetrivialtroll.wordpress.com 2013

How Smart Aren’t You?

dumb

Did you ever think you might not be all that smart?  If you’re really dumb, you probably haven’t.  I’ve think about it sometimes, even though I seem to be fairly bright.  Of course, if I’m not so smart, I’ll probably would like I’m smarter than I really I am.

I’d rather have almost any problem that dumbness.  Almost.  Horrible diseases would be worse, as would disfiguring scars.  Face tattoos may be worse.  Morbid obesity, too, but you might be able to do something about that.

I recently wrote a post about stupidity and one its key elements–dumbness. After I wrote it, it got me thinking (See? I’m not dumb).  My observations, while spot on as usual, are of no aid to a man or woman who does not realize his or her own dumbness.  While my post may have been of benefit in identifying the dumb or truly stupid, it left a gaping hole.  How do you know if you yourself are dumb or possibly even stupid?

It strikes me that the truly dumb don’t know it.  How could they?  If someone pointed it out, they may not understand.  This would be especially true if that someone was a smart person.  It may all be above their heads.

I thought devising a quiz for dumbness.  But the dumb probably aren’t good test-takers.  How could they trust the test results?

Instead, I offer certain red flags for your consideration.  Below are telltale signs of dumbness.  I don’t write this to offend, although I surely will.  Consider it a public service:

YOU BELIEVE IN CONSPIRACIES

The dumber you are the more conspiracies you believe.  Even believing in just one is a bad sign.  Multiple?  Uh oh.  Here’s the deal with conspiracies:  They get found out.  People can’t keep their mouths shut.  Someone talks.

Here’s a helpful rule of thumb:  If you believe in a conspiracy and at least one of the conspirators is alive, it probably didn’t happen.

Let’s take the JFK assassination, the grand daddy of all conspiracies.  Quite a few smart people believe this one.  According to the theorists, Lee Harvey Oswald, Jack Ruby, Clay Shaw, J.D. Tippit, Lyndon Johnson, The Warren Commission, the Mafia and many, many others were all involved.  There are many variations on this conspiracy, enough to fill several books–which they have. None of the conspirators ever cracked and made public their story.  Weird, huh? Hundreds–maybe thousands–of people coordinated to kill one man and everyone kept their mouth shut.  Do you know why?  BECAUSE IT DIDN’T HAPPEN.

What about the moon landing?  Lots of folks think it didn’t happen.  Are you one of them?  They can point to many “facts” supporting their claims.  All of those have been debunked; however, any skeptic is just part of the conspiracy.  I was a kid when Neil Armstrong walked on the moon.  Another kid told me that it couldn’t happen because “the moon would turn to blood.”  It didn’t.

How about 9/11?  Think George W. Bush orchestrated it?  If so, he is the most evil and diabolical mind to ever sit in the White House.  Do you really believe that?

There are a couple of things that drive conspiracies.  One is that some things seem too big not to be part of some larger evil.  How could a little piss ant like Lee Oswald shoot the President?  How could a bunch of loons just waltz into our country and fly planes into buildings?  There must be some explanation!  Other things–like the moon landing–are so fantastic that they lend themselves to wild theories.

Sadly, dumbness also drives conspiracy theories.  I’m sure some dumb guy reading this now thinks I’m in the CIA.  Maybe I am.

YOU HATE SMART PEOPLE

Do you think smart people lack “common sense?”  Do you think people who attend the top universities are “elitists?”  Do you call people who excel academically names, like “nerd” and “dork?”  If so, you have a great chance of being dumb.

The really smart folks are the ones who made our lives worth living.  They invented almost everything.  I’m sure there a few things that dumb guys invented, maybe the toilet paper holder or Bluetooth headsets.  Regardless, smart people have made most of the good stuff.

A guy once told me that I lacked common sense because I didn’t know how to trap a bear.  Really?  If you find yourself saying something like, stop.  You are treading the path of dumbness.

Likewise, people who attend the finest universities in our country also tend to be smart.  Okay, there are some “legacies” who get in these schools, too.  (George W. Bush, the entire Kennedy family, etc.).  Overall, though, these are the best and the brightest.  Be glad they go to these schools.  They come up with stuff like microwave ovens, satellites, cell phones, face transplants and computer software.  Of course, you don’t have to go to one of these schools to do well, but it won’t hurt you.

Plenty of smart don’t go to the best schools.  Bill Gates is an example.  They’re still plenty smart. They’re not elitists.  They’re just smart.  If you don’t understand that, well…..you get the picture.  Or maybe not.

Oh, being well-educated doesn’t necessarily make you smart.  I’m a lawyer, and there are plenty of dumb lawyers.

Smart people are the ones you are tempted to deride by pointing out their lack of social graces or general “coolness.”  They’re also probably signing your pay checks.

YOU USE NON-WORDS

There are a lot of words in the English language, probably thousands.  I’m sure other languages have just as many or even more than we do.  There’s really no reason to make up words. I’m not talking about colloquialisms or even words like “ain’t.”  As we know, “ain’t” ain’t a word, but we use it.  Where I grew up, it’s as much a part of the language as any other word.  I’m really talking about words that just flat aren’t words.  Here’s a partial list:

  • Supposably
  • Irregardless
  • Hain’t (the correct word is “ain’t.”)
  • Mater
  • Efforting
  • Ath-a-lete
  • Drowneded
  • Excape
  • Orientate
  • Interpretate
  • Nucular
  • Reoccur

Of course, this list could go on and on.  Don’t even get me started on things like “I could care less,”  which means you actually do care, at least to some extent.  If you continually use fake words, you might not be the sharpest knife in the drawer.  Stop it.  If you can stop, then you’re not dumb.  If you don’t understand any of this…you know that means.  I guess.

YOU BELIEVE EVERYTHING ON THE INTERNET

The Internet is wonderful. It’s hard to imagine life before it, although many of us remember those times.  We would thumb through over-sized newspapers, staining our hands with news print just to find out what yesterday.  Now, the world is instantaneously at our fingertips. The downside, of course, is that the Internet is available to everyone without filter and certainly without editors.

Here’s a story I heard on the Internet last Fall:

President Obama is planning to throw the 2012 Election.  He has already built a massive compound in Hawaii to which he will move in January 2013.  He will then be named Secretary-General of the UN.  Then, he will be free to live openly as a Muslim.  He will then impose a one-world order.  He and Michelle will get divorced so that he can then live as a gay man.  It is well-known that he and Rahm Emanuel belong to a Chicago gay men’s club called the Down Low Club.

I didn’t make that up.  Google it.  It’s out there.  It seems that this story wasn’t true, but people believed it.  Someone emailed it to me.  If you believe stories like this, it isn’t good.  If it’s on the Internet, it may not be true, especially if doesn’t sound true.  Here are some other things on the Internet that aren’t true:

  • The government has a plan to put computer chips under our hides.
  • Members of Congress get paid their full salaries for life.
  • Obama wears a secret Muslim ring.
  • The UN has a plan to confiscate all our guns.
  • Starbucks won’t serve members of the military.

Again, this is just a small sampling.  If you read something on the Internet-especially if it is about someone you despise–think about it.  If you’re even half-way smart, you’ll be suspicious of the fake ones.

Just don’t believe what you read on the Internet.  In fact, you’re on the Internet right now (unless you’ve taken to printing my popular blog).  You shouldn’t even believe this.  Trust me.

Here’s a test.  Log on to Facebook. Scroll. Soon, you will see a post about some outrageous offense, usually involving a politician.  If you are tempted to “like” or repost it, STOP.  Google the story or go to Snopes.com (which, by the way, is not funded or owned by George Soros).  If you believe the story regardless of proof to the contrary, oh well.

CONCLUSION

If you question whether you’re dumb, you probably aren’t, unless it’s because people are always telling you that you’re dumb.  Of course, if those people are themselves dumb, it may not mean anything.

I do not consider myself as expert nor am I fit to judge.  I am, however, fit to offer my opinions, dumb or not.  After all, this is the Internet.  Irregardless, it has to be true.

©thetrivialtroll.wordpress.com 2013

The Common Man’s Guide to the Fiscal Cliff

fiscalcliff

Hunter Thompson once said: “The edge… the only ones who know where it is have gone over it.” He later shot himself and had his cremated remains shot out of cannon by Johnny Depp. I’d say that’s somewhere over the edge.

Now we Americans are all on the edge–the edge of the dreaded Fiscal Cliff. Since I grew up in Eastern Kentucky, I like to call it the Physical Cliff, because that’s what we call our Fiscal Courts. You may also call it a “clift” if you like. Regardless of pronunciation, we are there, on the edge, ready for the plunge.

Perhaps the Mayans were on to something with their silly calendar. Maybe they knew there would be a United States and that it would one day be run by gaggle of twits. Maybe they picked December 21 because they knew no work would be done during the holidays and that might as well be the end of things. It’s hard to say.

What is the Fiscal Cliff? Since I eschew research, I don’t really know. I have, however, gathered bits and pieces of information listening to people rant and rave about it. As best I can tell, come January 1, 2013, tax rates go up and military and non-military discretionary spending goes down–all the way across the board. Every pet project and sacred cow in the spendthrift world of federal government gets cut. Taxes go up, too. And over the edge we go. What happens then?

Before you read further, bear in mind that I am not expert on economics or any other topic. Much of what you will read here is inaccurate. Some of it is just flat made-up. Regardless, it should provide a useful overview of the issues facing our great nation.

If you’d like to really learn about the budget, the Congressional Budget Office has a handy 100 page overview of the next couple of years. It’s like reading H.P. Lovecraft if he were a complete dullard or budget wonk. By raising taxes and cutting spending, the federal deficit will eventually be decreased by $2 trillion dollars, blah, blah. If you understand that, you’re miles ahead of me on this deal. Let’s face it: I don’t understand any of this. If that’s too confusing, maybe this will help:

fiscal

No? I’ve done my own, simpler graph to show the potential outcome:

fc_0001

The Cliff is some kind of Idiot Test for the federal government. This raising taxes and cutting spending is unpalatable to everyone. Those of a conservative sort have sworn their allegiance to someone named Grover Norquist. Evidently, he makes you swear never to raise taxes. (Don’t feel bad. I don’t know who the hell he is, either). The Left, of course, can’t palate not spending. Cuts are like taking Paris Hilton’s trust fund away. Sure, she would survive, but would life really be worth living? Both sides are united for their distaste with cutting ALL spending. So, the thought was, this plan will force these conflicting groups to agree for the betterment of all. Maybe it will. Maybe not.

President Obama wants to raise taxes. Why? More money, of course. Grover Norquist doesn’t want to raise taxes. Not now. Not ever. Why not? It’s just bad, I guess. As a result, the Republicans will entertain increasing tax revenue but not raising tax rates. What?!? I don’t follow it, either, but it’s okay to raise tax revenue by eliminating deductions or “loopholes” and broadening the tax base. “Broadening the tax base” means taxing people who don’t pay taxes now. Just don’t raise rates. This is called “tax reform,” not taxes increases, even though it would increase the amount of taxes paid. Get it? Me neither.

The Republicans demand spending cuts. Since the federal government is broke and getting broker (if that’s possible), this seems reasonable. Then, why don’t they like the spending cuts at the bottom of the Cliff? Doesn’t a massive cut take care of things and eliminate all the debate about what to cut? Nope. We can’t cut military spending. Why not? I’m not sure, other than we can’t. We spend as much as the entire world put together on our military. Reducing that would cripple us. Maybe it would, but that seems unlikely.

The Democrats are equally obstinate about social programs or, as the Right likes to call them, “entitlements.” “Entitlements” are handouts to people who don’t deserve them. Laggards, wastrels, layabouts. Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid are the battlegrounds. The Left doesn’t seem to grasp that the system was designed to function exactly the way it does. That’s why it’s failing. Overhauling it is a good idea. But, like many good ideas, Washington isn’t interested. These expenditures aren’t part of the Cliff, but the Republicans want them reformed.

Here’s a little secret: they’re not really cutting spending. They’re just going to spend less than they want. In Washington, you can actually increase the amount you spend, but still call it a decrease. This is called a “sequester.” They are sequestering the budget, which appears to mean that the budget won’t increase in 2013, but it will in later years.

To understand this, you must understand Washington Math. Spending “cuts” aren’t really cuts at all. They are more like reduced increases. Let’s say you make $40,000 a year and spent $50,000 this year. Next year, you plan to spend $60,000. Someone-me, for instance–says “Whoa, there, Rockefeller. You can’t do that. You have to decrease your spending!” You then decide to spend $55,000. Under Washington Math, you’ve just cut spending by $5,000. Make sense? Of course not.

But, you ask: “Wouldn’t increased revenue and decreased spending be a good thing?” Not so fast, genius. When it comes to money, the government is like my kids. They spend what I give them. Whether it’s $2 or $20, they spend it. Then, they ask for more. That’s how the government works. They’ll spend all the tax revenue. All of it. They’ll still spend more than they have, just less of it. Think of it as less of more.

So, we find ourselves at loggerheads. Democratic President, Republican House, Democratic Senate. Can they ever agree on anything? We stand at the edge, ready to plunge. At the precipice with us are the President, a pompous know-it-all determined to get his way, and John Boehner, the yam-colored, leathery Speaker of the House, who is also determined to get his way. If we’re going to take a tumble, they are poised to give a friendly shove.

What will happen if we plunge over the Cliff? Here is my prediction, based on nothing other than pure guess-work:

  • Taxes will increase on someone, maybe everyone.
  • Spending will increase, but it will be called a decrease.
  • The President will blame George Bush, but in a bizarre twist it will be George H.W. Bush.
  • George W. Bush will emerge from seclusion and once again inexplicably declare “Mission Accomplished!”
  • In an ill-conceived attempt to improve Congress’s image, Mitch McConnell and Nancy Pelosi will have a hot make-out session on The O’Reilly Factor.
  • The State of the Union Address will be replaced with this 800 number recording: “The state of the union? It’s just really shitty.”
  • Grover Norquist will have some kind of spell.
  • White House spin doctors will replace “recession” in the lexicon with cooler-sounding “Obamacession.”
  • Glenn Beck’s TV show will come back, but he’ll need about seven more chalkboards.
  • Chris Matthews will yell about all of it.
  • General Petraeus will take his own plunge, if you know what I mean.
  • My car will be totaled. (My bad. That’s something that will happen if I drive my car over a cliff).
  • Beans will replace dollars as the international currency of business, thus transforming all Doomsday Preppers into Captains of Industry.
  • As a show of cooperation, Obama and Boehner will compromise on a $1 per pack cigarette tax. The compromise will be that it won’t apply to the President or Speaker of the House.
  • The Death Panels will work overtime to reduce the number of unemployed.
  • Honey Boo Boo won’t care. (On second thought, maybe she will. Her taxes will probably increase).

Don’t be alarmed by this nightmare scenario. Compromise is still possible. Indeed, it may even be likely. Here’s how it will work:

Taxes rates will increase on the highest earnings but not all that much. Loopholes will be closed, thus broadening the tax base. The end result will be more taxes for almost everyone. Republicans will save face by claiming that the President is insane and shoved it all down their throats by promising HUGE spending cuts, none of which will actually be part of the compromise. Spending, of course, will actually go up but less than projected. This will be called deficit reduction, even though the deficit will actually increase. Both sides will declare victory.

As you have no doubt garnered, it’s all rather simple. Now, enjoy your time on the edge. It’s where all the fun stuff happens anyway.

©thetrivialtroll.wordpress.com 2012

Are You Conservative or Liberal? Take the Test

I paid more attention to this election cycle than I usually do. Why? I don’t know. Maybe it’s because everyone on social media spewed about the election. That’s probably a good thing. I was able to deduce to things: (1) Liberals hate Mitt Romney; and (2) Conservatives hate Barack Obama. Pretty simple.

What isn’t so simple these days is to figure out if you’re a liberal or a conservative. My archly conservative friends think I’m liberal. My liberal friends think I’m conservative. My staunchly political friends of both stripes can’t believe that any sane person wouldn’t vote a straight ticket in an election. Alas, I am an Independent. For me, a straight ticket is a list of perennial candidates, crackpots and unelectable do-gooders.

Honestly, I’ve tried to figure out where I fall on the political spectrum. Some folks tell me I’m a Libertarian. When I read about Libertarians, I tend to agree; however, when I listen to Libertarians, I vehemently disagree. I often refer to myself as a conservative, but then some real conservative says something insane, and I change my mind.

So, I decided to come up with a simple quiz to help answer this question. As a public service, I have reproduced it below:

I. FOREIGN POLICY:

1. Which statement best describes your views on the anger toward the West in the Middle East?

a) The West is a bunch of capitalist pigs. I am angry toward it, too.

b) They aren’t as angry as I am toward them.

c) Nuke ’em, except Israel.

2. Which group of countries do you consider the greatest threat to world peace?

a) The United States, Great Britain and Israel

b) Canada, Mexico and Greenland

c) North Korea, France and any country where the leaders wear robes.

3. Which statement best describes your views toward China?

a) We must stop all human rights violations in China, even if they don’t want our help

b) We should try not to make them mad since they make all our stuff

c) Nuke ’em

4. What do you think the US role in foreign affairs should be?

a) Become friends with everyone

b) Stay the hell away from foreigners

c) Try to build strong relationships with friendly governments. Nuke the rest of ’em.

5. The biggest risk to America’s security is:

a) American imperialism

b) The federal deficit

c) Everyone who answered “a” to this question.

II. SOCIAL ISSUES

1. Which statement best describes your views on a woman’s right to choose?

a) Women have the unfettered right to choose anything, up to and including the euthanasia of their children under 18 and husbands.

b) Frankly, I haven’t given it much thought. I’m a man.

c) When did this happen?

2. What best describes your reaction to the term “homo-queer?”

a) That’s just another pejorative term for our gay friends and indicative of the hate-mongering on the right.

b) That’s a word my mother once said when she was trying to say “homosexual.”

c) That’s just another example of “political correctness” run wild.

3. What best describes your position on “traditional” marriage?

a) Marriage is loving relationship which should be allowed between or among any two or more people, regardless of sex, age or species.

b) I’m divorced. Don’t get me started.

c) Marriage is a holy union between a man and woman until one gets caught cheating on the other.

4. What best describes your position on immigration?

a) Everyone who sets foot in the US should automatically become a citizen.

b) I don’t care. I’m a foreigner.

c) I’m okay with it, as long as you speak English and look like me.

5. What best describes your religious views?

a) There is no God. And if there is one, he’s a woman.

b) I am God

c) My God is the only god. And he’s a Christian.

III. FISCAL ISSUES

1. Taxes should be increased on:

a) The rich, which is anyone making more money than I do.

b) Anyone except me

c) No one, except the people who don’t make enough money to pay taxes

2. The best way to reform welfare would be to:

a) Make it available to everyone except rich

b) Make it available to me and no one else

c) Eliminate it, except if it is provided to job creators

3. The best way to balance the federal budget would be to:

a) Raise the tax rate on the rich to 120%

b) Suspend Congressional pay until the budget is balanced.

c) Start two wars and then lower taxes.

4. The biggest area of waste in the federal budget is:

a) Subsidies to the rich

b) Congressional pay

c) The food stamps used by those answering “a” to this question

IV. IMAGE ASSOCIATION

1. What is your reaction to this photo?

a) Tingling in various body parts

b) Who is that?

c) AAARRRGGHHH! The Devil!

2. What is your reaction to this photo?

a) AAARRRGGHHH! The Devil!

b) I never could figure out how his hair stayed so dark.

c) Drop to your knees, followed by uncontrollable crying

3. What is your reaction to this photo:

a) Vomit in mouth. Rinse. Repeat.

b) When did Gregg Allman shave?

c) Ooooh. Hootchie Mama!

4. What is your reaction to this photo?

a) More tingling

b) Matt LeBlanc has really let himself go.

c) Vomit in mouth. Swallow. Repeat.

5. What is your reaction to this photo?

a) Another pathetic example of the exploitation of women.

b) Damnation. Sweet.

c) Is that Ann Coulter?

V. TRUE/FALSE

The following are true/false questions

1. President Obama is Kenyan. T or F?

2. President Obama is a Muslim. T or F?

3. President Obama is a terrorist. T or F?

4. Karl Rove is a genius. T or F?

5. Sarah Palin is smokin’ hot. T or F?

For every question you answered “true,” add 10 points. If each you answered false, subtract 5 points.

VI. CONSTITUTIONAL LAW

1. Something is unconstitutional if:

a) I don’t like it

b) I don’t like it

c) I don’t like it

2. Which statement best describes your view of gun control:

a) Guns are evil and should be outlawed regardless of the Constitution

b) I can’t control my guns. That’s why I prefer sleeveless shirts.

c) I firmly believe that all citizens have the right to bear arms and shoot other citizens when necessary or convenient.

3. Which statement best describes your view of states rights:

a) The states have no rights

b) My state is run by idiots. Why would they do any better?

c) States have the right to screw up anything that the federal government hasn’t reserved to its own incompetence.

4. Who wrote the United States Constitution?

a) White bigots

b) Abraham Lincoln

c) God

5. Which statement best describes your view of freedom of religion?

a) Religion should be illegal, unless it’s worshiping something like a tree or the President.

b) Leave me alone

c) You are free to worship as you see fit as long as it is an acceptable form of Christianity

VI. ESSAY

In 1000 words or less, describe the effects of global warming on our climate and the changes you believe must be implemented to save the planet from imminent destruction. Attach your answer on separate sheets.

(If you knew enough to write anything, subtract 25 points. If you laughed out loud after reading this, add 25 points. Any other reaction gives you no points).

SCORING

For each multiple choice question you answered “a,” add 5 points. For each you answered “b,” add 10 points. For each you answered “c,” add 15 points. Then take your score from True/False and Essay questions and add to the total. If any question outraged you to the point that you couldn’t go on, adjust your medication and try again.

Once you’ve added up your total, here is how to interpret the result:

100-150 points: Flaming commie, pinko, socialist Leftist. Kim Jong il is your ideal president.

150-200 points: Dangerous, left-leaning weirdo. Gus Hall is your ideal president.

200-300 points: Disenfranchised everyman. Franklin Pierce is your ideal president.

300-375 points: Dangerous, bloodless, right-wing radical. Joseph McCarthy is your ideal president.

375+ points: Ultra right-wing reactionary. George Lincoln Rockwell is your ideal president.

If you somehow managed to score less than 100 or more than 425, please leave the country immediately.

Now you know what you are. Don’t you feel better? I know I do. Even better, you’ll know how to vote next time around. If you don’t, someone will tell you.

©thetrivaltroll.wordpress.com 2012

Eat The Rich

It’s time to be honest. We don’t like rich people, do we? Come on, you know don’t. Think about it. Don’t feel bad. It’s common. Why would Aerosmith, Krokus AND Motörhead all have songs called Eat The Rich, even though they’re all rich (okay, Krokus probably isn’t)? In fact, it’s the American Way.

Some people paint buildings with anti-rich graffitti

Who is rich? It depends. My Dad once asked–rhetorically–“Does a million dollars sound like a lot of money?” His brother responded: “It depends on what crowd you’re hanging out in.” True enough.

Some people might say I’m rich. I make a good living, pay all my bills on time and even save money. That’s rich to some folks, but not to me. To me, rich is not having to work. If you don’t have to work, you’re rich.

This angry fellow doesn’t care for the rich. Imagine the popularity of an “Eat the Poor” sign.

My definition doesn’t work all that well, though. Disabled people don’t have to work. They’d like to work, I guess, but they can’t. I suppose some poor people actually don’t have to work, either. They get by somehow. Retired people don’t have to work, but most of them don’t seem rich to me. I guess what I mean is that if I could live like I do now AND not work, I’d be rich.

Here’s my test to see if someone is rich.  Go to the putative rich person’s house and use the bathroom.  Rich people have rich bathrooms.  Naturally, there is no stink. They have bidets.  They have lotions and fancy soap.  You’ll be afraid to touch the soap.  The towels will be fabulous. You can just touch them, and they will absorb all the moisture from your hide.  I know I’m not rich, because our towels come from Walmart.  It’s like drying yourself with a raincoat.  Don’t even get me started on the toilet paper of the rich.  It’s like using a cashmere.

Typical rich man bathroom.

Most any American is rich compared to an impoverished person in a Third World country. Some people, however, are so stinking rich that no context is required. Bill Gates, for example. He’s worth tens of billions of dollars. Billions. That’s rich anywhere, anytime.

We don’t like that kind of rich. That’s just too damn rich. It doesn’t matter if he gives millions to charity. He damn well should. Rich bastard.

What bothers us–or at least me–is this question: Why couldn’t I think of something like a PC? You don’t even need something that complicated. Mike Nesmith of the band The Monkees is rich. Why? His mother invented Liquid Paper. I could have done that. Someone invented Velcro. Post-it Notes. Staples. Clothes pins. All these simple things, and I’m too freakin’ stupid to think of any of them. Dammit.

I’ll post this on Facebook. Mega-billionaire Mark Zuckerberg invented Facebook. Why didn’t I do that? Now, that punk has more money than he can ever spend.

Sometimes, we admire the rich. They are the American Dream, coming from humble beginnings. Usually, though, we’re just jealous. At least, I am.

You know what really chafes us? People who inherit piles of money. They didn’t do anything but win some kind of genetic PowerBall. That just sucks. It condemns all our prior generations as a pack of losers.

I have an ancestor who helped found Rutgers University and was the driving force behind the founding of Princeton University. The Divinity School at Harvard is named after him. It seems like a guy like that should have been rich. Apparently, he wasn’t. Loser.

My ancestors had jobs like coal miner, plumber, school teacher, carnival barker, store keeper, gas station attendant. No money in any of that. You’d think at least one of them would have invented something worthwhile.

I’ve always wanted a trust fund. I know people who have trust funds. Some of them don’t work. Some do, but not because they have to work. Some clever person in an earlier generation saw to that. Trust funds are the calling card of the rich. Man, I hate that.

You can inherit large amounts of money without having anything going for you. You just get it. No brilliant inventions or hard work. You just make it to the reading of the will. It’s no wonder we hate that.

Of course, the worst is if one of your distant relatives or, God forbid, friends becomes rich. Now, you not only face the fact that your ancestors let you down, but you have an example right in your face of your own failings. You’re left with little choice but to try your best to sponge off them whenever possible.

Some people are rich because they marry rich people. That’s especially galling. We should marry for love, but why can’t we love a rich person? Hating all of them makes that tough. Fortunately, most of us can look past that hate to at least marry someone if he or she is rich enough.

It may have been Scott Fitzgerald who said the rich are different. They are. Rich people go to rich people schools with names like The Goiter School or some other pretentious name. If your school starts with “The,” you’re probably rich, too. They go to Harvard or Yale or Princeton until they go to grad school where they end up at a state university with the rest of us. We like them until we find out they’re rich. Sometimes, we still do like them, but we’re still jealous and secretly hope they’ll give us some money or lose all theirs. Either one would be satisfying.

They have different names, too. Lots of III’s and IV’s and what have you. Names like Conroy Hollingsworth Van Dusenberger IV. You can hardly blame them, given the success of their ancestors.  I’d be glad to be named after my great-uncle Stud if he’d made a fortune. You can also get nicknames like Chip and Trip and Trey. We hate names like that.

The rich belong to clubs, too. Country clubs, lunch clubs, dinner clubs, book clubs. They play croquet and badminton. Their kids play lacrosse, whatever that is. They have nannies and au pairs. They’re different. Not bad different. Just different. We hate that.

We make ourselves feel better by saying things like “money can’t buy happiness” or noting that the Bible talks about shoving camels through eyes of needles and whatnot. Of course, we fail to note that many poor and middle class people are unhappy, too. I’m sure plenty of them go to Hell, too. Unhappy, Hell-bound and not rich. Now, that’s something we’d definitely hate.

We’re a few days from the Presidential Election and being rich is an issue. Mitt Romney is rich, and people don’t like that. He’s “out of touch” or “aloof.” We should just admit the real problem: He’s rich. Oddly enough, Obama is also rich, but it’s a different kind of rich. He became rich as a politician, which should certainly be more suspicious than inheriting money. Somehow, that’s different but not really. We have two Harvard-educated multi-millionaires running for President. That’s pretty much par for the course. Don’t you hate that?

Hating the rich crosses party lines. When George W. Bush ran against John Kerry, we had the same thing–two Ivy League multi-millionaires. They both went to Yale. Both were rich. Really rich. But Kerry seemed super-duper rich. That’s because he married a rich woman, the widow of John Heinz. Heinz was rich. Why? Heinz Ketchup. That’s right–inventors of the greatest ketchup known to man. That’s just too damn much money in one house. Kerry was aloof and out of touch. Bush was down to Earth. Both are richer than most of us can ever think about being without hitting a lick, but one seemed richer than the other and, thus, more hateable.

Most of our Presidents in the past century were rich. JFK was rich. His family made a fortune in bootlegging, but money is money. FDR was so rich that he could marry his own cousin and no one cared. Try that today. Nixon was rich, although he made all his money as a politician. Good old Tricky Dick. I don’t know if Reagan was rich, but he was some kind of movie star–they’re all rich. Now, Truman wasn’t rich. In fact, he was so not rich that the federal government became concerned about him and gave him a pension. No one wanted to see a former president penniless. You don’t have to be rich to be President, but it sure doesn’t hurt. We hate that about the President.

I’m told I should dislike Romney because he’s rich. Apparently, if you’re really rich, you’re evil. I’ve never seen that correlation, but it would make me feel better if it were true. You know, something like rich people eating poor people. Supposedly, Romney doesn’t care about anyone but the rich. I guess that’s possible, but he’s given a lot of his money to charity which can’t be all bad unless it’s a charity for rich people. Folks should just cut to the chase and say: “Vote for Obama. He’s rich but not as rich as Romney.” Naturally, we’d hate anyone who said that.

Even though we hate the rich, we all want to be rich, don’t we? We play the PowerBall to get rich, even though the odds are better that you will one day live next door to someone who walked on the moon than actually winning. It’s worth a shot. When someone wins the PowerBall, don’t you hate them just a little bit?

If there’s a downside to being rich (other than all the hate), it’s that you might not always be rich. It happens. That would suck. Then you’d have to hate people who are like you used to be and are what you want to be, too. Seems like that would be tough. We’d hate that.

One good thing about the rich is that it’s okay to hate them. Other than politicians and athletes, hate isn’t socially acceptable. You can hate the rich without being a bigot or some kind of phobe. Try saying “Eat The Poor.” You’ll have no friends.

If you’re rich, take no offense. I don’t really hate you. I’m just a wee bit jealous. I’d like to be your friend. More importantly, I’d like a trust fund. Of course, if you are rich, I doubt you’d read my foolish blog, but one of your servants might read it to you. (Sorry, more rich people envy. Don’t hate me).

Oh well. Make friends with some rich people. Then, eat them.

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