A site of satirical musings, commentary and/or rhetorical criticism of the world at large.

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Location: Southeastern, Pennsylvania, United States

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Short Notes – July 2008


The idea of a four day work week is slowly being adopted throughout the country, mainly by local and a few state governments. The thinking is that closing down the office one day a week will conserve the energy required to run the office. This would be a good savings for tax strapped municipalities. Theoretically, it should also save employees fuel expenses that they would spend on their commute for that fifth day.

I see this working for the governments, but not necessarily the individual employees. I believe that, despite their best intentions, employees will use the extra time off for activities that won’t save energy. Yes, sir, Dad will come home and proclaim, “Hey kids! I have a three day weekend! Let’s gas up and go on a looooong road trip!”

If Dad really wanted to save energy, he would come home, shut off all of the electricity for the duration, and treat the entire family to a camping trip inside the house. Meals would be raw fruits and vegetables, dry cereal, and possibly trail mix, thus conserving any gas or electricity that would be used to cook the meals. Allowances could be made for anyone who chooses to use charcoal for cooking, but it doesn’t matter. I really don’t anticipate any family resorting to these measures in the name of conservation...not yet anyway.


A recent Congressional investigation concluded that the Department of Justice has denied employment to otherwise qualified candidates for the last seven years on the basis of political philosophy. This is extremely ironic, considering this is the department that would investigate any claims an average American might bring against an employer who may have denied them employment for any reason other than “not qualified for the job.” This is truly weird, but considering this is alleged to have happened during the crony-saturated Bush administration, I’m not surprised.

I wonder what tipped off the investigators? Was it the absence of the letters EOE (Equal Opportunity Employer) at the end of any want ads published by the Justice Department? Or were there incriminating questions in the application, such as: “Are you now or have you ever been a member of the Democratic Party?” or “Do you consider yourself a godless left leaning liberal?” or “If hired by the Justice Department, are you prepared to swear total, unconditional allegiance to Herr Cheney?” Okay, I doubt that the Bushies would have stooped to anything this blatant...but then again, who knows?


Ordinarily, I would keep the wisdom of my father’s words in mind when he told me, “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all,” but this is not an ordinary event. If I pursued this angle on writing about the death of Jesse Helms, then I could just leave a blank space and end my blog entry here. Yet I don’t think silence says enough about Helms’ passing.

Conservatives have noted that Helms' death on the Fourth should be seen as a sign that he was a patriot. Even President Bush called Helms a true patriot. Actually, I see the timing of his death as a declaration of independence from hatred and intolerance. (Sorry, Dad, it’s a tough room today!)

So that’s the definition of a patriot now: a stubborn, old, bigoted individual who doesn’t compromise on anything. I can appreciate some people wanting to flex their political muscle at their colleagues across the aisle, but the art of compromise is essential in the game of politics. No compromise means never having to say you’re a productive member of the U.S. Congress.

The gay community will not miss Helms, nor will many feminists. (Yes, he was even against the Equal Rights Amendment!) At this point, I’m reminded that Ringo Starr wanted everyone to flash the peace sign and say “Peace and love everyone!” on his birthday July 7. A wonderful sentiment but, sadly, Mr. Helms seems to have never grasped this concept.


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