DETROIT (The Borowitz Report) – With just one day until the key Republican contests in Michigan and Arizona, a new survey of likely voters indicates that in a match-up between former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, a majority would choose suicide over either candidate.

Daily Wisdom

DETROIT (The Borowitz Report) – With just one day until the key Republican contests in Michigan and Arizona, a new survey of likely voters indicates that in a match-up between former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, a majority would choose suicide over either candidate.

Bad Dream

I see ignorance, greed, hatred and indifference.

Violence, bigotry and stupidity enveloping the land.

And people like zombies going through the motions oblivious to reality.

Oblivious to a coming crisis.

The author
Nate

Suffocating, scary, disturbing reality.

I want it to be a bad dream.

I want it to be just a  dream.

The world
Just a dream

Just a bad dream.

Sometimes when I am dreaming I am aware of it.

I know I can open my eyes and the dream will vanish like fog in the sunlight.

I am trying to open my eyes, to end the dream.

And I cannot.

I realize it is not a dream.

Disappointment and sadness settle in.

I see ignorance, greed, hatred and indifference.

Violence, bigotry and stupidity enveloping the land.

And people like zombies going through the motions oblivious to reality.

Oblivious to a coming crisis.

And I want to wake up.

Wake up to see that it is just a bad dream.

That people don’t see the poisonous entropy eating at our society, at our souls.

I am trying to open my eyes.
Again and again

Because it is not real.

And I am trying to open my eyes.

To end the dream.

I am trying to open my eyes.

Again and again.

Ayatollah Santorum

Christian Values and Freedom of Religion.
Scary thought.
By listening to Presidential Candidate Santorum I pinch myself and wonder if I am still in 21st Century USA.

The author
Nate

Christian Values and Freedom of Religion

17 century president
Scary thought.

By listening to Presidential Candidate Santorum I pinch myself and wonder if I am still in 21st Century USA.

Since when is being a good Christian, a Christian, or for that matter, being religious at all a prerequisite for being President?  I thought that in the USA we have a separation between Church and State, or to be more accurate, between religion and State.  Furthermore, when, and by what authority, was it determined that an ignoramus like Rick Santorum be empowered to speak for all Christians?

Below are questions I address to Christian Americans:

Do you understand that your religion is being hijacked by fanatics and demagogues?

Do you understand that what you are saying about the religion of Islam is becoming comparable to Christianity?

Do you understand that some of you are moving back toward the Dark Ages?

Do you want respect from the rest of the world?  Do you?  (If “yes”, then why are you allowing kooks like Santorum, or Bachmann and Company set the rules?)

Who gave Ayatollah Santorum the authority to speak for you?

Why is being a good Christian a necessary condition to be President of the USA?  (How about being a good Jew, a good Buddhist, a good Muslim, or a good atheist?

Why are Christians allowing the Crusaders to set the rules?

Do you Christians have any self-respect?

Is being Christian a requirement to lead this nation, or is it more rightfully a requirement to lead a Church?

It has gotten so ridiculous that there is even discussion on TV and radio if Mormonism is a Christian religion, or if Obama is a true Christian?  When somebody says they are Christian, professes to believe in Jesus Christ and goes to church, is that not enough?  How Christian must somebody be to be Christian?

Attack on women rights
Vagina control committee.

So, you do not like Islam because of its:

  • denigration of women
  • denial of reproductive freedom for women
  • dictum that only men can decide all matters concerning women
  • denial of freedom of choice (no contraception, no family planning, no prenatal care, no abortions)
  • rejection of science
  • hatred for gays and lesbians
  • disregard for the environment

What country am I talking about?  What is your best guess?

I am talking about America, the Theocracy under Ayatollah Santorum.

So, my Christian Americans, you did not like this letter.  This letter offended you!

Right?

Good!

Then do something for your country, for our Constitution; do something for the future of this great Democracy, for your kids.

Take your religion back.  Show the world that you are better than that.  Please keep freedom of religion alive.  Protect and advocate for the Constitutional basic tenet of our country, separation of Church and state.  Do not allow fanatics to force your religion on all.  Let people decide and follow their beliefs.  After all, it is a free country .

Please speak up.

The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games
We consume without much regard as to where the stuff comes from and/or who makes it. We do not think about workers in China and about the horrible conditions in which these people live and work. How ready we are to close our eyes and our minds in blissful ignorance. How ready we are to buy, consume, use, throw out and repeat that cycle.

The author
Nate

I recently read an article in the Tribune about our mindless consumption.  We consume without much regard as to where the stuff comes from and/or who makes it.  We do not think about workers in China and about the horrible conditions in which these people live and work. How ready we are to close our eyes and our minds in blissful ignorance.  How ready we are to buy, consume, use, throw out and repeat that cycle.

Off we go!
We do it for the Economy!

After all, we do this not just for ourselves, but to help the economy.  We want these things; we want new gadgets.  We yearn for the latest and the greatest IPhone, IPads, Nikes, and so on.  We want new clothes because we “have” to wear something different every day.  The ads distributed by the  mass media program us.  We become unknowing consuming robots.  We do not want to know; we do not want to think about those Chinese workers; we need to be happy in order to enjoy these new things.

Do we truly need all these things?  Maybe not.  Even though we can have them, maybe we do not need them.

While I was reading the Tribune article a comparison came to mind:  Suzanne Collins in her book, “The Hunger Games” describes a fancy dinner in the Presidential Palace.  Among a huge selection of delicacies, there were special drinks on the table – which, when consumed, allowed the diner to empty his belly and consume more delicacies while the rest of the country is starving.

It seems an outrageous piece of fiction, but there are disturbing similarities to the real world. We live on a planet with limited resources, and yet we mindlessly consume, oblivious to the consequences. We are blind to the looming environmental disasters.  We are oblivious to the sweat and blood and of exploited workers who produce this stuff.  We avoid thinking about the the toxins spread when we discard our “old” gadgets.

We talk about the economy and its the growth.  And we always check those “consumer confidence” numbers.  Why?  Because consumption makes up 70% of the economy.  We are delighted when people are buying more crap.  Because when when we buy more, the economy responds by producing even more stuff.

For our consumption
For our consumption

We talk about the Chinese economy growing 9% per year, but we ignore the reality that this growth is built on the misery of millions of people and is depleting our planet’s resources.  The Chinese economy reminds me of a huge poisonous mushroom that will soon explode casting its poisonous toxins everywhere.

I read that the Chinese Government wants to increase itsown people’s rate of of consumption.  There are 1.5 billion people in China; that’s a lot of consuming.  One can only imagine the consquences of 1.5 billion more humans consuming at a rate equal to that of the Americans. The consequences of that consumption will be unavoidable –  the reality of those consequences will be here whether we admit it or not; it will makes it unwanted appearnance without invitation.  I just hope it is not too late for our planet and for our survival.

Happy Shopping!

A Bike Club Plea: Back in the Saddle, No Sex, Reach Right

I’m sure that, like the rest of us, you’ve been besieged this February by emails bearing news of the tinkering to transportation funding in House Bill 7.
Tinkering, as in absolute cut. Zero. Zilch. Nada. Nothing and more nothing in federal transportation funds for improvements for bicycling and walking.

I want to introduce an article by Bill Lazarus.  I Just want to add that bicycling and walking is a much better alternative to driving and watching TV.  It improves health, reduces our dependency on fossil fuels, reduces air pollution.  In short it will reduce the budget deficit and will fix Medicare and Medicaid insolvency.  Way to go Bill! 

Bill Lazarus

Folks on Spokes Club conservatives – though I don’t count myself among you, I personally ask for an alliance.

I’m sure that, like the rest of us, you’ve been besieged this February by emails bearing news of the tinkering to transportation funding in House Bill 7.
Tinkering, as in absolute cut.  Zero.  Zilch.  Nada.  Nothing and more nothing in federal transportation funds for improvements for bicycling and walking.

Budget for bicycles and walkers cut
Got the idea?

To be fair, House Bill 7 provides the same treatment for all mass transit programs, which would be eliminated from the $260 billion federal transport funds up for renewal in March.
I can only say thank God that Congress is looking after the best interests of the oil industry.
Hmmm.  Maybe that’s not the argument we wish to make.  But I suppose we could bring God into the picture.  After all, it’s a known fact that when you are on your bicycle, it’s impossible to engage in sex.  In fact, after a long ride, you’re likely not to have energy left for such activities.  Natural birth control!
As it stands, biking and other forms of active transportation get a whooping 1.5 percent of federal transit dollars.
In contrast, bicyclists and pedestrians make up 14 percent of all travel fatalities.  Maybe there’s another argument lurking here:  dead folks don’t have sex either:  eliminate life and you also eliminate the need for birth control!
Maybe that’s what the House was thinking when it also decided to fully gut the Safe Routes to School funding that now is a piece of the federal transportation pie.

Big oil interests.
Shortsightedness

Why this fierce attack?  It’s not just happening in that august body known as the House of Representatives.  Bike and pedestrian programs are also under attack in the Senate, albeit in a slightly less savage fashion:  cutbacks, not elimination, are being pushed in that body politic. The pro-cyclists and pedestrian forces are pushing for an amendment that would give some choice to local governments to dedicate funds for sidewalks, crosswalks and bike-ways.
Perhaps a compromise makes sense.  Sidewalks, after all, might be used for sex, but that’s highly unlikely to happen in the middle of crosswalks and on bike-ways.
A different paradigm may be in order.  Remember culture wars?  As I recall, conservatives like harking back to classical white and European (and yes – even Greek – have a, ahem, cup of wine, Socrates) culture.
Remember to write your congressman (or that Republican Floridian or Texan representative for those GOP snowbirds among us) and tell him, or her, all about Al Sturges’ talk at Folks on Spokes’ monthly meeting at 7:30 p.m. on February 23 at the Flossmoor Village Hall:  Biking from Prague to Vienna.  Now, you can’t get more classical than that!
When you compose those letters, remember to renew your membership in Folks on Spokes.  Warmer days will be around the corner, and we’re going to want to go on some bike trips together.  Meanwhile, we can dream about them.  And when you receive your zillionth email urging you to protest bike funding cuts, consider putting in your missive, and maybe even coming up with a new insight.  We need to get these folks’ attention.

William Lazarus    wjlazarus@gmail.com  www.lazaruslegal.com

Let Freedom Ring or Babymaker to the World

Let’s admit it: We’re in a fix, and will remain so for the foreseeable future even if the Republican dream of dismantling government comes true. It likely will take years to undo the immense harm done to the American economy caused by oppressive laws such as those that restrict child labor, require workplace safety, and ban dumping of chemical waste into rivers and lakes.

William Lazarus
Free at last

Let’s admit it:  We’re in a fix and will remain so for the foreseeable future, even if the Republican dream of dismantling the government comes true.  It will likely take years to undo the immense harm done to the American economy caused by oppressive laws such as those that restrict child labor, require workplace safety, and ban dumping of chemical waste into rivers and lakes.

Those laws have put the reins on our economy, making it impossible for U.S. corporations to compete with the likes of a China, a Burma, and a Mozambique.

The good news, of course, is that we are rapidly moving to eliminate the shackles that enslave American corporations and eviscerate their ability to compete.  Once the Republicans take back the presidency in 2012, nothing will be in the way of our nation becoming the great bastion of freedom it was 100 years ago when a meat processor didn’t have to deal with the time-consuming, unpleasant wasteful, and, yes, expensive task of cleaning out the vat and starting over again after its worker fell into the meat grinder and became edible.

Regulations
Ahhh....the scent of freedom

The bad news that even after our society throws off the regulatory chains that have led to our undoing, it will predictably take time for our values to change.  Consumers will need to be trained not to worry about what’s in their hamburger.  The true realization that it does not matter what chemicals permeate our genetically-engineered salmon can only come with patient and tenacious education, and that will not be achieved overnight.

Meanwhile, we can still reach greatness.  The secret is getting rid of that ultimate destroyer of national and family values:  birth control.

Think of it.  If the baby-making role of our American women can be restored, our nation will be blessed with an abundance of infants unwanted by their mothers.  Those infants are not worthless.  They will have a value somewhere.  The free market will be our guide.

Religious fanatics or hypocrites?
Back to the Dark Ages

Not only can their names be sold to the highest bidder, we can market the babies abroad. With the proper advertising campaign, we will be able to sell the infants to third-world nations whose citizens will be eager for the prestige of having their own American-bred child in the family.

The babies will grow up and, properly trained, will become obedient servants.  Their value will be great indeed, and we will be able to cash in on that value now while our nation learns to change its ways so that it can better compete.

By becoming Babymaker to the World, our nation can find strength and economic security during that period when our social values must adjust to the imperatives of competition and the needs and desires of our great corporations.

We must learn that true family values require hawkish attention to the bottom line.  We will all thrive only if the chains that enslave our corporate citizens are thrown off so that the richest among us will get richer and the wealth will be free to trickle down.

William Lazarus is an attorney and sometimes playful writer who practices law and lives in Flossmoor.

How Chris Christie Learned to Duck

Governor Christie chooses to be on the wrong side of history. He chooses to empower bigotry. He chooses to ignore the plight of every fat kid who has been taunted

Matt Cole

Fictional Flashback:  Livingston, New Jersey –  it’s a sunny morning in 1974, the 8th grade boys are attending their regular gym class at Squirestown Elementary School.  On the east wall of the gym hangs a blue and gold banner proclaiming, “Respect is the Name of the Game.”

Bulling in school
Dodgeball

The boys are preparing for an exciting, but often vicious, game of dodgeball, when in waddles a tardy, rotund twelve year old, named Chris Christie (His parents are alliteration devotees). Immediately, one kid yells, “Hey Christie, how come youse late, didda ya stop by youse locker and eat a fudgeba?.”  Then another shouts, “Christie, you look like one of dem balloons in the Macy’s Parade. Hey guys, let’s pop that balloon.”

Get im' good

With that, coupled with taunts and laughter, a maelstrom of dodgeballs pummels the young Christie.  Chris cannot escape; he tries to run, but he’s not too fleet a foot, and is soon trapped between the immovable back wall of the gym and a herd of screaming twelve year olds relentlessly launching pain-inducing projectiles at his soft body.  He crumples to the floor, a whimpering helpless mass.

Mesomorph Coach Nagel intervenes, bellowing, “Cut it out; stop it now; you will all be in a hell of a lot of trouble.” Note: Coaches are the only educators allowed to use mild profanity –  it adds to their image.  The attackers cease their bombardment, and Nagel soothes Christie.

Christie tearfully moans, “Kids shouldn’t be allowed to make fun of another kid’s weight.”  Nagel responds, “I make the rules in this gym; however, let’s refer this to the Student Council Advisory committee and see what they have to say.”

Continue reading “How Chris Christie Learned to Duck”

Save baby’s shoes

Save baby’s shoes
The 2012 field of Republican candidates has been characterized as a gaggle of clowns. Bachmann, Perry, Cain, Insanitorium, GingRich, Paul and Romney (5/6 of his name spells MONEY) could easily have given Bozo and Emmett Kelly a run for the money on America’s Got Talent. Simply said, the Republican field is more bozo–like than Bozo. Let’s leave the clowns and check out the people who orchestrate this circus.

Warning to the gullible Republican electorate: P.T. Barnum, in order  to make room for more customers entering his museum of the exotica, cleverly posted signs reading, “This Way to the Egress.”  Not knowing that “Egress” was another word for “Exit,“ people followed the signs to what they assumed was a fascinating exhibit…they ended up in the street.

GOP learns from him.
PT Barnum G.O.P. role model

Bring on the clowns.  The 2012 field of Republican candidates has been characterized as a gaggle of clowns. Bachmann, Perry, Cain, Insanitorium, GingRich, Paul and Romney (5/6 of his name spells MONEY) could easily have given Bozo and Emmett Kelly a run for the money on America’s Got Talent.  Simply said, the Republican field is more bozo–like than Bozo.  Let’s leave the clowns and check out the people who orchestrate this circus.

P.T. Barnum (1810-1891), the penultimate showman and scam artist, is oft misquoted as famously saying, “There’s a sucker born every minute,” and “Never give a sucker an even break.”  Flash forward to the 21st century, and the Republican Party has its own special Barnums who have taken Barnum’s words to heart.

Please take a gander at some of the chief sponsors of the current Republican freak show:

Continue reading “Save baby’s shoes”