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, November 30, 2010

Touching Junk

There certainly was a lot of bitching during the last few weeks about the new TSA procedures in place for anyone traveling by air. The newest wrinkle is full body scanners — think MRIs without the cold, detached analysis of a medical professional who is duty bound to the patient’s privacy. The scanners should, theoretically, show if anyone is packing any sort of weapon, or even a bomb.

Those fliers who are too squeamish to go through the scanner are allowed to object and decline standing inside the scanner. In these cases, the flier has then implied that they will allow the TSA agent to pat them down. The pat down is, unfortunately, more invasive than many people prefer to have done by someone — a total stranger - who hasn’t even gone to the trouble of trying the stupidest pick up line on them.

One person has seen this new procedure as just one more instance of the big, bad federal government over reaching their authority. This fellow, identified as John Tyner, recorded his encounter with the TSA and warned them, “Don’t touch my junk!” As expected, the man posted his recording on YouTube, where it went viral and he became a folk hero.

Some people have even gone as far as to label him a “patriot”. This title is debatable. One moment of civil disobedience does not necessarily a patriot make. Then also his declaration “Don’t touch my junk” cannot, in my humble opinion, compare to Patrick Henry’s “Give me liberty or give me death”. Oh, it will make a nifty T-shirt slogan, but a phrase of defiance to spur massive protests and outrage? Nahhh!

Another man, genuinely concerned about the effects of the body scan on his young daughters, called for a massive action of civil disobedience on the busiest day for travelers all year — the day before Thanksgiving. His plan called for travelers to reject the scanner and force TSA personnel to run their hands over them. The TSA responded with warnings that such actions would slow down an already slow-as-a-snail’s-pace security process to a dead stop. The agency made further predictions that many flyers would miss their flights, connections, and perhaps actually re-enact the travails suffered by Steve Martin and John Candy in Planes, Trains and Automobiles.

Flyers heeded this warning and chose not to protest too much. The great demonstration against big government overreaching died before it had a chance to begin. There could be several reasons why the protest was a bust. Maybe many travelers had an urgency to get to grandma’s house on time. Perhaps people weren’t in a patriotic mood. Or perhaps the thought of waking up in a strange motel somewhere in the American midwest with the hands of a burly traveling salesman between their thighs was too much to bear.

The media duly reported all these goings on about the controversy: the procedures, the protests, the demonstrations, and the whimper of an aftermath. Others naturally chose sides and weighed in with their views. Mystery writer and part-time humor columnist Lisa Scottoline took the route of common sense — as many passengers did on Thanksgiving Eve — and determined that the three minute pat down, while invasive, was not as inconvenient as being blown out of the sky by a suicide bomber sitting in the First Class section.

Then there were the self righteous who railed against government intrusion and, in this instance, conservative Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer had the most provocative response. He not only proclaimed the “Don’t touch my junk” man a patriot, but also called for stepped up profiling of certain passengers so that the rest of the air traveling public would not be inconvenienced. This would leave the federal government to fend off discrimination lawsuits for the next 200 years or so, but so what? At least the planes would fly on time; they might not be 100% safe, but they would leave the tarmac on schedule.

Still, the profiling suggestion did not offend me as much as Krauthammer’s echoing the phrase, “Don’t touch my junk!” Okay, I like to believe I’m a very open-minded person, so I will allow that Charles Krauthammer is going through life with the same biological equipment as the next man, myself included. Also, he has every right to proclaim his right to privacy of his most private parts. What I don’t need is the thought that he feels the need to loudly proclaim that he has “junk” at all. This is waaaayyy more information than I ever wanted to know about Charles Krauthammer.

If he and so many others are so upset about the TSA, then they should do what Anne Marie and I do: we take the train!

(Thank you for reading! Please mind where your hands are at all times, and you won’t have time to worry about other people’s hands!)

Friday, November 26, 2010

Yo! Tax Me!

One month and counting until the Bush era tax cuts expire, and it should prove to be an interesting month in the halls of Congress. The Republican majority in the House is insisting on making the tax cuts permanent. On the other side is President Obama (and most, not all, of the Democrats) who campaigned to extend the tax cuts for the middle class, and allow them to expire for those making over $250,000 per year. Since the election, Obama has signaled a willingness to compromise on the issue, even as the Republicans have signaled a willingness to destroy his presidency by any means necessary.

The Republicans argue that taxes should not be raised during a recession and could harm small businesses. This seems plausible, if it weren’t for the fact that their reasoning is self serving. So who would be hurt by the allowing the tax cuts to expire besides small business owners? Well, for one thing it would mean raising the taxes on many members of Congress, who happen to be multi-millionaires.

Many have pointed out that extending the cuts for the rich will increase the deficit by $700 million. The deficit is one thing the Republicans have been railing against for years, but when it comes to cutting taxes they don’t have a problem with it. Their leadership has not — to my knowledge — offered any spending cuts anywhere else to offset this addition to the deficit. In fact, I believe their official response has been to insert their fingers in their ears and yell, “Nah-nah-nah! I can’t hear you!”

On this point, President Obama should dig in his heels and, at the very least, insist that Republicans propose spending cuts. As it stands now, he appears too willing to compromise (another concept alien to Republican leadership) on the issue. Then, to complicate things further, another group has stepped forward with their own radical view.

The group, comprised of multi-millionaires and billionaires have signed a petition that encourages Congress to let the tax cuts expire for them! In effect, this group has painted a large yellow target on themselves and held up a large sign saying “Hey, tax me!” Two names have been reported in the media supporting this idea: Warren Buffet and Ben Cohen of Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream fame. This group is arguing that they have benefited greatly from the economic opportunities available in America, and that they should be paying their fair share of the cost needed to keep the country running.

Hey, if they have no problem with paying more taxes, then why should I complain? We all must realize that, as citizens of the greatest country on earth, that it does take funds to keep it great. There is no getting around this fact. No one has a magic wand to make everything happen and, with the exception of volunteers pitching in at non-profit groups, nobody works for free. It takes hard work by millions of people, people with financial obligations who need to be compensated to keep the wheels of the American economy well oiled and moving forward.

Let’s put this in another perspective. Many Americans are labeled as “patriots” because they fight to keep America free. They have a right to this label and God knows they’ve earned it. Many of these same Americans do more than fight and pay taxes: they die to ensure our country’s liberty. If they can fight to the death to achieve this goal, then why the hell should the rest of us bitch about how high our taxes are?

Those in the tea party who believe they have been “taxed enough already” should keep this fact in mind when they start their shouting matches at public meetings and drown out the voices of common sense. You want patriots? Look at Warren Buffet and Ben Cohen. They realize the true cost of freedom, and they’re not afraid to pull out their checkbooks to pay for it.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have this incredible urge for Ben and Jerry’s ice cream...

(Thank you for reading. Please don’t be afraid to do/pay your fair share to help.)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Pope Sees The Light!

Startling news from the Vatican this week with reports that Pope Benedict XVI has seemed to reverse his position on the use of condoms. In a book length interview to be released today, the Pope has stated there are times when the use of a condom can be justified. He noted that male prostitutes could use condoms to prevent the spread of AIDS. Keeping in mind that earlier the same Pope stated that distribution of condoms would only worsen the epidemic, these newest comments are all the more earth-shattering!

Okay, truth be told the world did not spilt apart and implode upon itself when the Vatican released the comments ahead of the book's publication. Also, there were no reports of cats and dogs moving in together, no signs of the sky catching fire, or any sightings of a massive locust invasion. Although Bristol Palin’s continued success on Dancing with the Stars despite the expert judges’ dismissal of her hoofing talents may be a sign of a coming apocalypse. Stay tuned...

The Pontiff has appeared in these entries before. In the course of those past entries, I could not resist the opportunity to remark (I’ll admit cattily) on some pronouncement of his which reinforced the notion that the Church was regressing back to the Dark Ages. Even now, I am trying my best to side step any commentary on his latest statement. It would not be dignified for me to speculate where the Pope is leading the Church with this revised attitude. To that end, a journey on the high road of life is many times rewarded with a renewed sense of heightened ideals of justice and integrity.

On the other hand, taking the high road too much could aggravate one’s fear of heights. So, what the hell...!

There are some great opportunities ahead if the Pope decides to put his statement into practice. I can see a section of the Vatican set aside (in the basement, natch) for the first of a franchise retailing chain: Benny’s Procreation Emporium! Yes, come to Benny’s for all the latest in procreation advice and devices for prevention (wink wink). Benny’s will offer their own line of holy rubbers to prevent the spread of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases. I can just see the ads for this new venture now: “We will not sell Trojans! We will sell our own house brand, Little Christian Soldiers.”

Okay, I think I got it out of my system. I know I’m burning in hell for this, but I do feel better now...

Actually, on further thought, this venture is probably doomed from the start. Really, would anyone trust an organization that is committed to the notion of being fruitful to actually sell condoms? Even if they do make an attempt to market them in good faith (no pun intended), should the buyer beware that they are getting a quality product for their money?

For example, what would stop them from offering “holely” (misspelling intentional) rubbers. These Little Christian Soldiers could be faulty, being perforated with a microscopic hole. The holely condom might fail to spread AIDS, but it could produce a pregnancy. This way, they could stay in good with the “man upstairs” (wink wink).

The Pope will undoubtedly take a lot of criticism for his new stance, and I wouldn’t be surprised if some of the more conservative members of the Church give some thought to “retiring” the Pontiff (wink wink). Many progressive thinking people should commend the Pope for seeing the light on this subject and exercising common sense over rigid religious dogma. There is hope yet that the Church may step out of the Dark Ages after all.

(Thank you for reading. Please remember not to fear common sense. It can be just as useful to living a good life as age old beliefs.)

Friday, November 19, 2010

Money Over All

At the risk of over-generalizing a group’s beliefs or ideals, I have figured out that conservative Republicans are beholden to a seemingly unspoken, unwritten mantra. That mantra being: money matters more than people themselves. I realize that this is a dangerous assumption that is not true of all those professing to be Republican. On the other hand, they are very quick to immediately label liberals as Socialists or Marxists, so what the hell! Let the stereotyping proceed!

My conclusion became self evident during the closing weeks of the last election cycle, which seemed to be bitchier than usual in its tone. The election results ushered in a fresh set of conservatives who are vowing to slash spending, cut the deficit, ban earmark projects, and do it all without compromising with Obama and the Democrats. Even before the freshman class is sworn in, there are others already in power that are exercising these prerogatives and finding favor from other Republicans. Specifically, we can see this in New Jersey governor Chris Christie canceling his state’s financial participation in the building of a new railroad tunnel under the Hudson River.

Christie — who it should be noted is being seen as the heir apparent to Ronald Reagan’s mantle — fretted over a projected multi-billion dollar overrun for which New Jersey would have assumed responsibility. He argued that the state doesn’t have the money. So New Jersey could build it at a later date when they do have this money? Doubtful!

Arguments about investment in the state’s future, thousands of jobs that would have been created, the resulting tax revenue from the thousands of jobs that would have been created, and the development of the area near the tunnel were all lost on Christie’s hard-hearted, short-sighted position. So now there are no new jobs (an accusation which, ironically, Republicans are fond of hanging on the Democrats), no development, and no new revenue.

Most importantly, there is an element of infrastructure concern: the tunnel was built over 100 years ago and can no longer adequately service the New York metropolitan area. It was built to last a long time, but it won’t last forever. Structural failure is inevitable and with it the possibility of human casualties. Obviously the potential for human catastrophe can’t trump the importance of saving a buck.

The reaction to Christie’s decision has been as expected — mixed. Progressive thinking people denounced his decision. Conservative Republicans applauded his reasoning, and at least one — Pennsylvania Governor-elect Tom Corbett — has declared that he will emulate Christie when he takes office. Some wags — in the liberal media I assume — have bestowed the label “Christie Jr” onto Corbett. Works for me!

Christie’s action is just the beginning of a frightful trend. Of course, it’s good to cut back on spending, but the savings have to be done wisely without endangering the welfare and security of the society as a whole. The incoming ladies and gentlemen from the Tea Party don’t seem terribly concerned about this possibility, especially when they continue to call for less government regulation of business. They act like the Wall Street meltdown in 2007 never happened.

Regardless if the Republican majority picks and chooses what programs to fund and not fund, it will be us, the American people, who will once again bear the cost of their decisions. The cost may not come in the form of a higher tax bill. It could come in terms of lost jobs and human lives.

Of course, if my generalizations are exaggerated and/or inaccurate, then please, someone with a conservative mindset is free to answer my charges. Please exercise your First Amendment right and prove me wrong. Will anyone be able to defend this miserly point of view? Doubtful!

(Thank you for reading. Please remember what we refuse to pay for today may look like a bargain tomorrow.)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

O’Donnell, BoDonnell, CoDonnell, DoDonnell...

And now a complete list of all the different spellings and mistakes made at Christine O’Donnell’s expense that I have made on this blog. I do this as both a public service and to rub it in her face what a loser she is.

1. Kathleen O’Donnell (A long overdue and belated thanks to Janey for catching this one.)

2. Christina O’Donnell (Caught by my editor.)

3. Sarah Palin (Okay, this might actually be more of a Freudian slip than a misspelling. Honestly, who could tell Palin and O’Donnell apart? They both have wacko extreme right-wing views on everything from abstinence to big government, and both have said the darnedest things in public.)

4. Lisa Murkowski (Again, more of a confusion of political philosophies than an actual misspelling.)

5. Leza Murkwsk

6. Murkowski O’Donnell

7. Officer Krupke (Worst misspelling of Christine O’Donnell that I ever wrote.)

8. Krupke O’Donnell

9. Willie Gillis, Jr. (No relation whatsoever to today’s subject. This is a recurring character found in Norman Rockwell’s work. I just needed another name to round out my usual list of nine names and or items.)

(Thank you for reading. Please remember, it’s “i” before “e” except after “c” and a million or so other exceptions.)

Friday, November 12, 2010

The Cookie Fairy

News item: While speaking at a benefit for a Christian school in Bucks County, Tea Party Princess Sarah Palin noted that the state of Pennsylvania is proposing to restrict sugar intake by public school students. Palin used this as another example of big government intruding on the private lives of the average American. With this in mind, the following scene could happen in a Pennsylvania school in the near future...

(School bell rings while students enter Mrs. Hebert’s classroom.)

Mrs. Hebert: Okay, kids, settle down. I have some bad news today. We won’t be able to have cupcakes like I planned for Anne Marie’s birthday today.

Class: Awww!

John: Why is that, Mrs. Hebert?

Mrs. Hebert: New state regulations don’t allow us to give you food with too much sugar. They say it’s not good for your health, and they do have a point.

John: Aww, what do they know is good and isn’t good for us?

(The door flies open and a woman in a glitter dress and a tiara, holding a tray of cookies, enters.)

Sarah Palin: Hi kids! I have heard your groans of disappointment and I have come to rescue you from the evils of big government!

Mrs. Hebert: Who are you?

Palin: I am the cookie fairy! And I am here to give these good boys and girls all the sugar-laden goodies that their parents would want them to have!

Sally: Do any of the cookies have raisins? I can’t stand raisins!

Terry: Hey, Sally! Watch what I can do with these raisins! I can shove them up my nose and...

Sally: Ewwwwww!

John: Ha ha! That’s funny, Terry!

Anne Marie: Thank you, Cookie Fairy! But I’m lactose intolerant!

Sally: And I can only eat gluten-free foods!

Terry: And I’m borderline...

Palin: Enough, children! Eat your cookies! Before Obama takes them away from you!

(The door opens again. Two men in suits enter.)

Agent: Okay, Cookie Fairy! Come with us! We have the school surrounded and we’ve already confiscated your Magical Flying Moose.

Palin: Who are you?

Agent: We’re from the Pennsylvania Department of Health and we have a warrant for your arrest!

Palin: Curses and taxes! I am trapped!

(The window blows open from a mighty gust of wind.)

Class: Oohhh...

Palin: Christine O’Donnell!

O’Donnell: Yes, I’ll save you Cookie Fairy! Hop on the back of my broomstick and we’ll fly out of this oppressive socialist atmosphere!

Palin: Goodbye children! your sweets!

Agent: Stop them!

(Too late! O’Donnell and Palin fly out the window.)

Mrs. Hebert: Thank dog she’s gone! Let me have those cookies, children. If you eat them you’ll be bouncing off the walls from overdosing on all this sugar!

Class: Awww!

(Thank you for reading. Please remember to beware of biased sound bites from fly-by-night political wannabes!)

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Snort Notes – November 2010


Olbermann — who has made a none-too-subtle transition from news anchor to media darling for the liberal left — was revealed to have made several financial contributions to Democratic Congressional candidates for the mid-term elections. MSNBC — in a fit over their ethics being harmed - suspended Olbermann for an indefinite period of time without pay on Friday, November 5. As of Monday morning, November 8, the network announced that Olbermann would return to his evening Countdown show on Tuesday, November 9.

Once again, network television justice is swift. Admittedly this latest incident didn’t occur as fast as CBS acting as Paul Reubens' judge/jury/executioner when they pulled Pee Wee Herman off the air just hours after Herman’s alter ego was arrested for jerking off in an adult theater, but it was swift nonetheless. Still, the 180 degree turn exercised by MSNBC was also fast.

The network should be commended for having a standard of ethics at a time when ethics is largely absent and bias is commonplace throughout the rest of American media. Olbermann was within his First Amendment rights to contribute money, but he just forgot to ask permission to do so. So the network smacked his wrists even as they endured criticism about the suspension from everyone including conservative pundits and their own Rachel Maddow.

Did the stinging comments from outside force MSNBC to reconsider? Doubtful. More likely the top network brass realized that Olbermann is their biggest success. He is a major draw for viewers, which translates into higher ratings, which translates into massively major ad revenues. The whole incident was an interesting coda to the money-drenching, mud-smearing election last week. Proof once again that ethics be damned, money wins again.


This latest brouhaha started when former GOP Darth Vader wannabe Karl Rove made some unflattering comments about Palin’s reality show not giving people the impression that she is suited to occupy the Oval Office. Palin countered by comparing her show to Ronald Reagan’s film career, specifically mentioning his role in "Bedtimes for Bonzo, Bozo or something". The GOP Old Guard, led by Noonan, went bonkers.

In her Wall Street Journal opinion column, Noonan recounted that Reagan’s Hollywood and political career rose above Palin’s pithy dismissal of his life. She summarized that he was more than just “an actor”, and suggested that Palin was a “nincompoop”. Take that, Sarah! This will teach you to misquote a movie title!

(The actual title is Bedtime for Bonzo, and even then it’s probably not his most notable role. That honor should go to his portrayal of the doomed George Gipp in Knute Rockne – All American.)

PERSONAL NOTE: Okay, it’s obvious to me now that my entire world has been upended. Let’s briefly recap my life recently: I was laid off and I am at a major crossroads of my career; my beloved Phillies did not make it to the World Series; now I find myself AGREEING with Karl Rove that Sarah Palin is not suited to be President of the United States. Imagine my horror: Karl Rove and I seeing eye-to-eye on a subject, any subject! And I’m defending Ronald Reagan’s film career!

This scares the hell out of me! Help me, Keith Olbermann, you’re my only hope! That aside, I am just tickled pink to see all this conflict between the old and new Republicans fighting it out in public. The Gipper would have none of this, if he were still alive. Yes, despite my personal tribulations at present, the weather is nice and sunny, and life is good any day a Mama Grizzly is smacked down and gets put in her place.

(Thank you for reading. Welcome back, Mr. Olbermann!)

Friday, November 05, 2010

I Hope I’m Wrong, But...

...the recent repudiation of President Obama’s agenda as so claimed by gloating members of the Republican Party, who will become the majority in the US House in January, could be a blessing or a disaster. As expected — in both polls and history — the ruling Democrats lost their majority in Congress. This reversal of fortune happened as the result of many bitter campaigns across the country, with the more notable races run by rising and uncompromising Tea Party Republicans.

The President has acknowledged the defeat as a signal to find common ground with conservatives in solving this country's most pressing problem: the economy. Much to his credit and my surprise, the new Senator from Pennsylvania, Pat Toomey, has also signaled a readiness to work with the Democrats to resolve differences. On the other hand, there are such established Republican politicos such as Mitch McConnell (Kentucky) — who has vowed to make Obama “a one term president” - and another leading Republican in the House, Rep. Mike Pence (Indiana) has ruled out any compromise with Obama.

In other words, the leaders of the Party of No pledge legislative gridlock. Among this gloomy prospect of a political log jam, we can find a silver lining. The economy is improving in very small increments, admittedly at a very slow pace. This was the problem Bush the Elder faced when he was running for re-election in 1992. The economy was growing towards the end of his term, but the improvement came too little and too late for many voters to see the difference in their lives.

Similarly, President Obama is overseeing a growing economy, even as his opponents are ready to write off his policies as disasters. With the silver lining scenario, the economy could continue to grow — regardless if the failed Bush tax cuts are extended or not. I say failed because, if job creation was a principal reason for the tax cuts in the first place, somebody please tell me where are the jobs? Anyway, if the economy continues to grow, then Obama’s policies might be considered a success, and he should win re-election in two years.

Congress should work with the Executive branch to heal our ailing economy. This may not happen if Republican leadership rules out compromise — a significant step in the legislating process — or if they decide to devote all of their energies to pushing Obama out of office. This diversion could lead to another disaster on the scale of the 9/11 attacks.

Consider this small note from recent history: the Republican Party regained control of Congress when Clinton was in the White House, and they vowed then as they are now to remove the sitting president from the Oval Office. They had a remarkable stroke of luck when Clinton’s arrogance or ego (take your pick) led him to stupidly fall into a trap of perjury during the Paula Jones/Monica Lewinsky scandal. It is quite possible — and this is pure speculation on my part - that Clinton’s subsequent impeachment forced the administration to focus on the president’s legal woes and away from international threats to our security. Issues like education, health care reform, and the economy (booming at that time) cried out for our attention. Still, they paled in comparison to the threat from al-Qaeda and Osama bin-Laden.

Today, al-Qaeda is still a major problem for our nation’s security. However, the efforts by the GOP to remove President Obama (as McConnell has hinted) could distract and imperil us to a larger danger on the horizon. This danger is extending into Afghanistan with cash payments to President Karzai, and playing a larger, more influential role in the struggling democracy in Iraq. In a word, the threat is Iran.

I would hope that both parties would reduce their zealotry to play “king of the hill” and remember that we — the American voters — have hired them to manage, govern and resolve the issues that endangers our democracy. We are, after all, the largest human resource department in the world, and that they as public servants are our employees. If they forget this small fact, then they will face termination the next time we enter our voting booths.

If the Tea Party Republicans insist on playing with fire, then we may all get burned. As I said, I hope I’m wrong...

(Thank you for reading. Good day and good luck.)

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Sanity and Fear on the Mall

Last weekend, more precisely October 30, 2010, a date which will live in satirical infamy, a ruthless and provoked attack on American political fear and loathing occurred in America’s front yard: the Mall in Washington, D.C. It was there that forces from a cable television network dedicated to comedy and American satire unleashed themselves onto the multitudes gathered in the name of sanity, political compromise, and moderate discourse. The throngs were huge, enthusiastic and — from all accounts — most had a good time.

The event, labeled Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear, conceived in the wake of Glenn Beck’s Rally to Restore Honor, was hosted by Comedy Central’s The Daily Show host Jon Stewart. The original intention might have been to poke holes in Beck’s hyperbole, but it grew to be the largest gathering of people united for the sake of laughing at our collective fears and, dare I say, themselves. Stewart carried the sanity portion of the program, while fellow Comedy Central show host Steven Colbert (The Colbert Report) handled the fear side.

It was almost like it was meant to be the comedy version of Woodstock, only there was no line-up of comedy all-stars, had a shorter duration (three hours as opposed to three days) and no brown acid. Okay, that might be an exaggeration. Maybe there was some acid present, but so far I haven’t heard of any reported overdoses of controlled substances. In any event, the rally covered both sides of hope and fear in a true sense of being fair and balanced. (Oh where have we heard that cliché before?)

Stewart and Colbert dueled back and forth with their respective points of emotional view throughout the proceedings. Stewart awarded a select few with his “medal of reasonableness” for their displays of courageous acts of moderate temperament against forces of extremism. Colbert had his own award — the medal of fear, symbolized by a gold-embossed figure of a naked man running with scissors. One of the fear awards went to the true targets of the event: cable news networks that foment their right and/or left wing agendas. Since no representatives of the cited networks sent anyone to accept the honor, Colbert gave the award to a seven year old girl.

The comedy — rather mild when compared to a Marx Brothers classic or an episode of Monty Python — alternated with musical acts as diverse as Kid Rock and Sheryl Crow and an unlikely duo of Ozzy Osbourne and Pete Seeger look-alike Yusef Islam (or, if you prefer, The Artist Formerly Known As Cat Stevens). Obviously Islam’s inclusion was a nod to religious tolerance. Yes, it was wonderful, and as the Christian God might put it, “ was good”.

Glenn Beck and Fox News were never mentioned by name because they are actually only a small part of the bigger problem. Stewart, Colbert and company rightly outed the entire media for their on-going orgies of fear and bias. The right (Beck, Gingrich, Coulter, etc.) was represented just as much as the left (Olbermann, Maddow, Blitzer, etc.) in the various montages of news program highlights that no longer inform, but rather inform and intimidate. Stewart made the point with a surgical flourish of his satirical scalpel that the enemy is not on the right, or the left. It is the same enemy which an iconic political leader reasoned was our true foe only a few hundred yards from where Stewart made his point. As FDR said in 1933, the enemy is fear itself.

Now the crowds, estimated to be in excess of 200,000, have returned to their homes throughout the United States, and are preparing to exercise their Constitutional right to vote for members in both houses of Congress. Fear is heavily favored to win the day, but distress not - the voices of reason will not be drowned out. Righteousness may go on a short vacation and injustice may ride a wave of populism, but no matter. We should all remember another tried and true cliché: whatever the outcome, the republic will survive.

Now go in peace, with a cream pie on your face and a banana peel beneath your feet...

(Thank you for reading. Please remember...Steven Colbert gave an award depicting a NAKED MAN to a SEVEN YEAR OLD GIRL! I just thought I should emphasize that point once more.)