Earlier this week I received an obviously computer-generated notice from the Social Security Administration.
It was in one of those convoluted, foldy, envelope thingies where you have to remove the bottom tab first; then hold the envelope up toward the east and remove the tab on the right; then turn three times in a counter-clockwise motion, face the setting sun and remove the southern-most tab … or the entire correspondence self-destructs into unreadable shreds of paper.
I finally had to use my old Ranger K-bar, some steam from the kettle and one of my dear, sainted grandmother’s magic spells to pry the bloody thing open.
Your Benefit Amount
We are writing to tell you that your Social Security benefits will increase by 1.7 percent in 2015. Please check the other side of this letter to learn how this affects (sic) you.
There followed a good foot-and-a-half of explanation in the finest bureaucratic gibberish of what a 1.7% increase to a benefit could mean in a government program.
But, what the heck, I thought! It’s an increase!
What could possible go wrong?
This is s a good thing! Right?
When I was a junior in high school, we were assigned a book to read, George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four. It was a parody of the Soviet Union in which the government brutally controlled all aspects of people’s lives. The head of the authoritarian state is a mysterious and quasi-divine party leader, “Big Brother,” who enjoyed an intense cult of personality.
The government’s manipulation of its citizens is facilitated through the Ministry of Truth, ironically termed MINITRUE. This governmental control of perception is enhanced by a deliberate and purposeful manipulation of language, termed, “Newspeak.”
Newspeak follows the same grammatical rules as English, but its vocabulary has a constantly shifting semiotic reach. Concepts and ideas undesirable to the party are avoided or eradicated as the very words needed to express them are recast or simply expunged from the language.
According to Orwell,
“… the purpose of Newspeak was not only to provide a medium of expression for the world-view and mental habits proper to the devotees of IngSoc (English Socialism), but to make all other modes of thought impossible. Its vocabulary was so constructed as to give exact and often very subtle expression to every meaning that a Party member could properly wish to express, while excluding all other meaning and also the possibility of arriving at them by indirect methods. This was done partly by the invention of new words, but chiefly by eliminating undesirable words and stripping such words as remained of unorthodox meanings, and so far as possible of all secondary meaning whatever.
For example, the Newspeak word, “blackwhite,” has two mutually contradictory meanings depending on whether it is applied to an opponent — “impudently claiming that black is white, in contradiction of the plain facts” — or to a Party member — “a loyal willingness to say that black is white when Party discipline demands”.
So, what does this have to do with s Social Security notice chirpingly announcing that my benefits have increased by 1.7 percent?
On the obverse side of the letter was a stack of actual numbers under the rubric
How Much I Will get And When?
First the good news … the number on the top of the stack was in fact higher than my current payment. But, this of course is a phantom number… a number which the government will never enter on a check which anyone could actually cash.
Now the other news … the number on the bottom of the pile – the one that is actually transmutated into money real enough to buy food, pay utility bills and buy a beer – after the announced increase is smaller than the current payment.
A quick analysis of the deductions indicated that the amount the government is now deducting for Medicare has increased beyond the soi disant 1.7% cost of living increase. So, yes indeed … the cost of living has gone up … obviously more than the stated percentage!
And, Uncle Scrooge is getting his before any of the 1.7% can escape into the consumer economy!
So, under Gov-Speak, an increase in benefits means the beneficiary gets less money!
George Orwell was a seer!
Vatican City, 13 December 2024 – Today, in a completely unexpected move, Pope Patrick canonized ex cathedra the Roman Catholic Church’s first dog saint, St. Lassie.
The gates of heaven were opened for dogs about ten years ago when the then-Pope Francis declared that one day, we will see our animals again in the eternity of Christ. “Paradise is open to all of God’s creatures,” said Pope Francis.
Pope Francis later tried to clarify his statement protesting that he had not made the comment ex cathedra, which would have evoked the Roman Catholic doctrine of papal infallibility on issues of the faith, but only to comfort a child, who was in pain for losing a beloved pet.
However, the “puppy was already out of the bag.”
The Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith took up the issue of puppy heaven and doggie souls, finally declaring in 2015 that Catholic orthodoxy taught dogs did indeed have souls and were therefore candidates to pass through the pearly gates, hopefully not stopping on the way it to mark the gate posts.
Pope Patrick’s predecessor, Pope Linus II, whose own dog Snoopy was tragically killed by the Red Baron in a dogfight over Germany, issued a papal encyclical entitled de animis canium gatorumque, “Concerning the Souls of Dogs and Cats.” He wrote that these animals did indeed possess an “anima,” a non-rational soul which, although only capable of barking and meowing, was created by God and could exist for all eternity in paradise, if properly “cloud broken.”
Pope Linus’ encyclical stirred up significant controversy by seemingly excluding canaries, parakeets and gold fish from entry into the kingdom of heaven. Although the Supreme Sacred Congregation of the Roman and Universal Inquisition is still considering the matter, informed sources indicate that the Catholic Church is unlikely to grant eternity to flushable critters.
Once the Pearly Gates were opened for our fury friends, it was only a matter of time before one of them was recognized for “heroic sanctity.”
In order to expedite the recognition of Lassie as a saint, Pope Patrick employed a technique known as “equipollent canonization.” This allowed Lassie to bypass the traditional stages of conventional canonization, “Servant of God,” “Venerable,” and “Blessed.”
In his statement, the Pope declared that “Lassie has a significant and long-recognized cult following, a constant attestation to virtue, and uninterrupted fame as a worker of miracles.”
Monsignor Augusto Annunziato, spokes-cleric for the Officium Verborum Sanctorum, noted the many times that Lassie pulled Timmy out of wells, lakes, rivers and burning barns as evidence of the new saint’s heroic sanctity.
“It is allegoria sancta,” Monsignor Annunziato declared, “holy metaphor. Sancta Lassia pulling Timmy out of the burning barn represents Holy Church rescuing sinners from the fires of hell. The water images of the well and lake represent the sacrament of baptism, from which the now pure and sinless Timmy arises with the assistance of the catula sancta!”
The first American parish to declare the new saint as its patron, is the now St. Lassie Came Home Church located, not surprisingly, in the Dogtown section of Oakland, California. A life-sized marble statue of the saint has been commissioned, where the faithful can leave doggie-treats in lieu of lighting the conventional devotional candles.
When asked, in the light of canonizing a dog, whether the church would now reconsider its stand on ordaining women to the priesthood, Monsignor Annunziato declared, “Qual è il prolema con te? Sei pazzo? We allow dogs in heaven, not women on the altar!”
Winni Whiney, Friday, December 05, 2024 – A black police officer killed an unarmed white man in Berkeley, California on Tuesday and no one protested.
According to The Berkeley Pravda, the Hate Crimes Squad of the Berkeley Police Department received a tip that a white man was allegedly saying allegedly mean things about minorities. They confronted Bradley Taylor Maxwell outside his Berkeley condo complex and Maxwell fled.
According to police, a hate-crimes officer gave chase, caught up with Maxwell and claimed to have heard him utter an alleged racial epithet before ducking into an apartment. That’s when the officer opened fire, killing Maxwell, who was found only to be carrying a bottle of mid-range chardonnay and a half-pound of brie.
Police say the officer felt threatened, offended and hurt, so he shot Maxwell multiple times in the chest.
The Washington Roast alludes that an unidentified source might have said that it’s believed Maxwell could have been a white recidivist. This source claims to be willing to swear to this on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or before a grand jury, regardless of what forensic evidence indicates.
Thursday night, when police released details of the incident, no protesters took to the streets of Berkeley. OCC News reports the normal hundred or so ancient hippies and UC Berkely undergraduates, who matriculated in Philosophy and English Lit sometime around 1968, continued to demonstrate against the Vietnam War in front of the Berkeley Palace of Workers.
“This one went from good to better from the standpoint of how it ended. The officer was doing exactly what we want him to do,” Sgt. De’Andre Jones, a Berkeley Hate Crimes squad police spokesperson, said at a news conference Wednesday.
Sofía Josefa Rodriquez Maria de Jésus Gomez, the Latina chair-mujer for Frente Nacional Para Reconquista de California (FNRC), the party that holds a majority in the City of Berkley Supreme Soviet, said the shooting re-establishes “that it’s open season on the streets of Berkeley for killing gringo racists.”
According to Berkeley police, the deadly confrontation was initiated when Maxwell allegedly seemed to mutter the forbidden “N Word” when confronted by the officer, an African American, who then emptied his Glock right into Maxwell’s chest.
Todd “Chip” Thompson, a spokesperson for the Berkeley Chapter of White Guilt Anonymous (WGA), a self-help group for white individuals to accept and embrace the psychosocial costs of both historical and fictional white racism, stated, “We’re sorry that a white man again forced a black man to do the unthinkable! Our hearts go out to that officer and his family, who now have to live with this tragedy.”
A blonde, blue-eyed, white Fox News reporter asked retired Attorney General, Eric Holder, a moustache model and Fox News contributor, whether he thought the federal government would launch a civil rights investigation into Maxwell’s shooting.
Holder stated that, although, even if convicted, Maxwell would have been facing only a Class C misdemeanor for crimes against political correctness, compounded by the alleged use of the alleged “N Word” – the maximum sentence for which would have been ninety days of sensitivity seminars – the question is ridiculous.
When the reporter pointed out to Holder that there is no evidence, other than the officer’s testimony, that Maxwell said anything, Holder dismissed the objection stating, “Racism is engrained in the fabric and system of white society. The individual racist need not exist for racism to be pervasive in the white culture. And, a racial slur need not be actually spoken by a white man for that racial slur to have been said.”
Holder then snorted through his poorly-dyed upper-lip caterpillar, characterizing the white reporter as a “hater” for having asked such a racially-slanted question about an obviously justified shooting and banned Fox News from all future press briefings.
Abdul Ben Here Ben There Ben Everywhere, Minister of Oakland’s Nation of Islam Temple, seemed to echo Holder’s sentiments stating on MSNBC, “As the prophet, Elijah Muhammad, may Allah bless his name, has taught us in his inspired writings, Allah made the human race black. But, six thousand years ago, Yakub, a black scientist, living on the island of Patmos, created the white man to be a ‘race of devils’.”
Huey “The Frog Man” Washington, Chairman of the Black Panther Wing of the Oakland Democratic Party, which holds the majority of seats on the Oakland city council, stated simply, “One less cracker to worry about!”
There will be no memorial service or funeral planned for Maxwell due to threats that Oakland will again loot and burn itself to the ground if anything is done, which seems to honor a white racist.
THE-Reverend-Al-Sharpton, was unavailable for comment, the first time in recorded history that this has ever happened. A spokesman for Sharpton stated that he was away visiting one of his money bins in Duckburg that he acquired as reparation from an old, right-wing, white duck, who wore spats and a pince-nez.
In those days the call went out over the networks, the cable channels, and throughout the internet that that the entire world must assemble at in-door malls, strip malls and big-box stores to shop for bargains. This took place while Slick Willy was President and Richard the Second was Mayor of Chicago. And everyone went into town to shop. So Jimmy DeLuca also went down from the village of Arlington Heights in the County of Cook, unto Chicago, that windy city, because he belonged to the house and line of those who are windy. He went there to shop with Marci, his wife, who was pledged to find bargains for all the relatives, friends and co-workers on her shopping list. While they were there, the time came for the stores to open, and she fought, elbowed, punched and shoved, and gave birth to her nickname, “Marci the Maller.” She wrapped her purchases in bright paper and colorful ribbons and placed them in the back of their mini-van, because there was no room available for them in the way-back.
And there were panhandlers living out in the streets nearby, keeping watch over the crowds at night. A police officer of the town appeared unto them, and the glory of Chicago’s finest shone around them, and they were terrified. But the police officer said unto them, “Do not be afraid! I bring you some good news and some not-so-good news that will cause great joy for all the people, who are shopping this day. Today in the town of Chicago, a bargain has been offered unto you. Go ye now to the shelters and soup kitchens of the land, and there you will be given shelter and food. But, woe to you if you remain here on State Street or on the Miracle Mile, where shoppers can see you, for ye shalt be cast into the darkness of lower Wacker Drive.” Suddenly a great host of the Chicago Police Department appeared with the officer, praising Richard Daley and saying through bull horns, “This is an illegal assembly! You are ordered to disperse, so there may be peace on Michigan Avenue to those who shop for bargains.” When the announcements had stopped, the panhandlers said one to another, “Let us go unto Lower Wacker and not see this thing that is about to happen, which the cops have told us about.” So they hurried off.
Marci and Jimmy, and the gifts, were in the minivan. When they saw that all the street panhandlers had disappeared, they spread the word concerning this great wonder they had been seen, and all who heard it were amazed. But, Marci treasured up all these things and stored them in a closet.
The panhandlers returned, vilifying the mayor and all the aldermen, for all the things they had heard and seen.
President Obama Uses Executive Actions To Delay Deportations… My Advice to Congressional Republicans… SHUT UP!
This Friday, President Obama signed two executive actions that would delay deportation for millions of undocumented immigrants. The president’s action will grant “deferred action” to two groups – parents of United States citizens or legal permanent residents, who have been in the country for five years, and young people who were brought into the country illegally as of 2010. Those who qualify will be granted protections for three years.
According to recent reports, the parental group could involve over 4.5 million immigrants, with those brought into the country illegally making up close to 300,000 new applications.
“Mass amnesty would be unfair,” Obama said announcing his executive actions, “Mass deportation would be both impossible and contrary to our character.”
Personally, I think he did the right thing for the immigrants, and mass deportations on this scale are indeed impossible and contrary to the American character. Maybe the president went about it in the wrong way constitutionally, but I applaud his stated intent and goals.
So, my advice to Congressional Republicans, who will soon control both house of congress…
- Shut up!
Don’t say a word! Even if they don’t like how the president did this, most Americans will embrace what he did.
First, it is logistically and compassionately impossible to deport this many people… a public-relations nightmare… even if they could be found. (I’m fairly sure the undocumented immigrants will not cooperate.)
If the Congressional Republicans could cause the government to round up a few million undocumented immigrants, how would they be held until they were processed? Nothing even close to this has been attempted since the… well… no one likes to make comparisons to those people.
Do Republicans want to be perceived as the authors of an illegal immigration “Final Solution”? That’s exactly what this will look like in the media. Not even Bill O’Reilly could put a positive spin on this turd.
Second, Americans are a compassionate people. Perhaps, it’s a subconscious need to share perceived privilege, but most Americans will eventually embrace what they consider “justice” for the parents of children born here and children brought here regardless of the legality. Congressional Republicans can certainly carp on obscure legal issues such as constitutional separation of powers, but if they strenuously oppose these executive orders in the press and in the courts, Americans will see the people affected, not the murky and difficult to understand constitutional issues.
For Americans, when it’s an issue of kids versus law professors, kids win hands down… Thank God!
So, for now, just shut up!
- Realize it’s a political trap.
Remember, the president is an activist. An activist’s goal is to provoke an immoderate reaction.
Also, the president has claimed the moral high-ground in this issue. He has characterized his action as a humanitarian necessity.
He may even be sincere. It’s hard to tell with this guy. He’s such a great liar.
The president also understands that, if Congressional Republicans take this issue to the courts, its stench will still be hanging around for the 2016 presidential elections. And, when the voters go to the polls to choose the next president, especially Hispanic voters, how do you think they will feel about Republicans having gone to court to get kids deported?
- Crowd the Moral High-Ground.
The Republicans will soon control both houses of congress… so they could pass an immigration reform bill that legitimizes everything the president just did. But, they could also tie it to increased mandatory border security and punishing fines for employers, who knowingly hire undocumented workers.
In other words they could crowd the moral high ground and force the president either to accept the border security reforms or to veto a bill that legitimizes his own constitutionally questionable act.
If he does veto the bill, Congressional Republicans could just turn around to those affected and say “we tried to legitimize this questionably constitutional act, so it could not be reversed in the courts, because it was the right thing to do for people in need.”
Ted Cruz would be wonderful delivering that apologia to Hispanic in Texas, Arizona, Florida and California right before the 2016 election.
Anybody but John Boehner. I’ve seen better spokespersons in coffins.
- Initiate a Flank Attack.
If Congressional Republicans feel that they really have to defend the “separation of powers” concept of the Constitution – if for no other reason than to keep the Tea-Party wing in line – they could have their ideological toadies attack the president’s actions in the courts.
Say the State of Arizona versus Obama on the issue of executive privilege. I doubt that Janice K. would shy from the task.
Or, even Scott Walker up in Wisconsin. I’m sure he believes he owes the Democrats a shot or two.
Or, how about Texas, another border state? After the Wendy Davis / abortion boondoggle and being indicted, booked and mug shot for abuse of power in a Democratic plot worthy of Kelsey Grammer’s HBO series, Boss, Rick Perry, on his way to the 2016 primary, wouldn’t hesitate to leave incoming Republican governor, Greg Abbott, a memo written on dissolvable paper in disappearing ink to file suit against the president.
In short, if moving toward the 2016 election, Congressional Republicans want to be perceived as a gang of goose-stepping, ideological block heads, they should start a noisy law suit, which will be perceived by many Americans as an attempt to round up for deportation five million kids and the parents of US citizens.
If they’re serious about defeating Hilary in 2016, then they should just shut up!