Posts Tagged ‘satire’

Thanks to Travellinbaen for letting me publish the post below on his most interesting site called Missing The Ground.

Mac’s discussion on belief, science, and religion in general got me to thinking about the Bible. Here in the Belt Buckle of the Bible Belt, you can walk out your front door and, within half a block, find someone who believes that the Bible is the inerrant word of God.

Most of these folks know that the Bible is not one book, but rather a collection of 66 books. Some of those folks will know that the 66 books were written over a period of about 1600 years. A much smaller subset of those folks will know the complex process by which the Bible came to be the Bible. But if more knew about that process and the disagreement that still exists, they might not take a stance that can only be described as Bible worship – acting as if the Bible itself were God, which breaks the very first commandment.

Imagine the scene. It’s 1547, one year after the Council of Trent (Catholic Church) has announced, “By God, these are the real books of the Bible and not what you Protestants say are the real books of the Bible. And we’re inspired by God in making these choices and you Protestants aren’t.” (See the problem already?)

It’s a small village outside the city of Mainz in what is now Germany. A Lutheran (Protestant) minister walks up to a peasant laboring in the field.

“Pardon me, sir, I’m Pastor Heinrich, a Lutheran minister. How are you this fine day?”

The peasant looks up from his plowing. “Fine. Well, other than the fact that I’m bound to this land for the duration of my natural life.” (Despite their German nationality, these characters talk like something from Monty Python.)

“I won’t keep you from your work. I just wanted to ask you if you have accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior. So, have you?”

“No, sir. My Lord and Savior is right over there. You see the tree branch that’s a little crooked but then points straight up to the heavens? That’s my Lord.”

“A tree branch? You mean to say you worship a stick?”

“Yes, sir. I read about it in an ancient writing that a traveler brought to me. The text says, ‘Behold the tree branch that pointeth toward me, which is to say, upward, toward the sky; definitely not down toward the ground. It’ll probably be on an elm, but maybe an oak – most assuredly on a deciduous tree. That much I know for sure. And everything written here is true. Oh, and I don’t mean to be such a bother, but if you don’t believe this writing, you’ll burn in a lake of fire suffering unimaginable pain for all of eternity. Now that we have that out of the way, I love you and you need to love others. And keep watch for the upward pointing stick…on an elm, or maybe an oak.’

When I read that passage, I knew this particular tree branch was the living incarnation of God.”

“Pointeth? Your ancient text uses the language of the King James Bible?”

“Well, sir, the King James Bible won’t be written for at least another 50 years from now, but I understand that for purposes of this ridiculous skit, the man pecking out our words on a keyboard is more interested in humor than being factually correct.”

“Quite right, but surely you don’t believe in a stick?”

“Why shouldn’t I? It was written down in an old scroll. Very authoritative looking.”

“What’s the name of this old scroll?

“The Book of Rick.”

“The Book of Rick? What a pathetic, unimaginative name.”

“Well, how do you know your Bible is real then?”

“Because it says so in the Book of John.”

“The Book of John? That’s a quite common name now, isn’t it? I don’t know why I should believe a John, but not a Rick.”

“Stop quibbling. This Bible is the inerrant word of God.”

“Dear Learned Minister, you see nothing circular about asserting the truth of a book because the book says it’s true? If I went on that assumption, I’d be worshipping that tree branch as well as your Jesus Christ and some guy named Allah. And who’s got time to do all that worshipping? A man would be up all night trying to work a full day and then get in some worshipping to all those folks.”

The peasant continues, “And when you say ‘this Bible,’ are you talking about the one with the books with those weird names like Esdras and Maccabee?”

“Oh, heavens, no. Those books are not holy and inspired like, say, Obadiah and Malachi.”

“But the Catholic Church says they are inspired. And the Catholic Church uses them.”

“Yeah, well, what do they know? The great giant Martin Luther judged those books to be inadequate.”

“But they were in the Bible for centuries. Why would your God allow people to read those books for centuries believing them to be part of the Holy Word only to have them chunked out by this Luther fellow?”

“You sure seem to know a lot for a 16th century feudal peasant.”

“Feudalism ended about 100 years ago.”

“But you’re still working your poor body to death and living in a hovel. Worshipping a tree branch to boot. What’s the difference?”

“Ah, now I’m no longer a glorified slave. Now I’m a small business. I’m told that if I work hard and don’t cause trouble, great wealth will trickle down to me.”

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Recently, Sarah Palin stated on her facebook page that Rahm Emanuel’s use of the word “retarded” was a “slur on all God’s children with cognitive and developmental disabilities.”

Later, Rush Limbaugh said, “There’s going to be a retard summit at the White House.”

Was Sarah Palin “heartbroken” at Limbaugh’s use of the word “retard”? Of course not. It was satire.

So, thanks to Palin we can see that one’s use of the word “retard” can either be satire or a slur.

Take the Sarah Palin test below to see if you can spot the satire vs. the slur. No reading ahead for the answers. Here we go.

Satire or Slur

1. “If that kid were any more retarded, he’d be one of Sarah Palin’s kids.”

2. “I can’t believe I did that. I’m so retarded.”

3. “Lower health care costs? Take the retards out of the system. It’s not like they’ll know.”

4. “Gypsum boards make for a wonderful flame retardant.”

5. “What’s better than being a gold medalist at the Special Olympics? Not being a fucking retard.”


1. Satire. This was overheard by a member of the Tea Party group.

2. Slur. A Democrat exclaimed this after getting his finger caught in his car door. What a “heartbreaking” remark to make. And about God’s children no less. Tsk. Tsk.

3. Satire. A Republican senator was merely lampooning Democrats and their ridiculous belief that average folks should have health care coverage.

4. Slur. What a poor choice of words! The gypsum board salesman — who regularly donates to the local Democratic Party — should have known better. What’s wrong with saying that his boards are flame-thwarting? Or they’re flame fighters? That’s catchy.

5. Satire. Not only is this just good clean fun, it’s timely, what with the Winter Olympics going on — not that any retards are talented enough to be in the REAL Olympics. Oh, there’s nothing like inoffensive, family humor.

The Standard

We all owe Sarah Palin a big thank you for showing us how to properly evaluate whether someone is using the word “retarded” as satire or whether they’re slurring God’s children, thus, breaking poor Sarah Palin’s heart.

The key is to look at their party affiliation. A Democrat slurs mentally handicapped children when he uses the word “retarded.” But when a Republican says it, well, he’s just telling a funny.

Thanks, Sarah Palin.

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Below is Chris Kelly’s, one of my favorite writers, latest essay. It’s entitled “S.E. Cupp Will Not be Silenced and/or Fact Checked.” As usual, every other line is hilarious.

S.E. Cupp has appeared, by her own reckoning, on CNN, CSPAN, MSNBC, FOX News, Al Harra, Hannity, Geraldo, Red Eye and “dozens of radio shows” including Dennis Miller, Curtis Sliwa, Mancow and Bubba the Love Sponge. She’s been published in the New York Daily News, Washington Post, Newsmax, Slate, Human Events, American Spectator, Townhall and Maxim online. So it follows that she’s writing a book called Losing Our Religion: The Liberal Media’s Attack on Christianity.

That damn liberal media. They won’t let anyone else get a word in edgewise.

Ms. Cupp also says she’s an atheist, so I don’t exactly know how she has a dog in this fight, but what the hell. No one’s crapped out a book with the words “liberal” “media” “attack” and “Christianity” in at least a month. Perhaps it’s just her turn.

Why keep writing this book? Why not just go to the homes of the credulous and beat the shit out of them and take their money?

So what kind of hard hitting anti-anti-Christian muckraking will culture warriors get for their $25 bucks when Losing Our Religion comes out this Spring? We don’t know. (But watch out, Glee.) S.E. Cupp puts a lot of sweaty effort into letting you know she’s a goodtime gal and a thinker. (It’s so creepy when she talks about sports, like getting side boob from George Will.) But judging by her columns, her thesis will be pursued with the intellectual rigor of Glenn Beck reading Chariots of the Gods.

Here’s one of her columns now:

Jihadism Doesn’t Want Converts – It Wants ScalpsRemember when Islamist terrorism wasn’t just about exploding underwear, but religious conversion?

Of course you don’t, because that was a really long time ago.


But transport yourself a few centuries back – and religious fanatics like Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab wouldn’t have simply tried to blow us up.

What do you mean “us?” I thought I was just transporting myself. Who invited you? How do you lose track of the object in a sentence this simple?

First, they would have given us the chance to convert to Islam. It was a last-minute stay of execution, a way to escape certain death.

Not what “stay” means, but okay.

Considering the thousands murdered on 9/11 and since – people who never had the option – it was a pretty good deal.

“Us” deaths in Iraq since 2003: 4,373
“Islamist” deaths from violence in Iraq since 2003: 95,021

Not to say it was very much fun. Not if you were a Coptic Egyptian in the 13th century, when members of the Mamluk Dynasty forcibly converted countless of your brethren to Islam.

Never mind Iraq. Have you forgotten Egypt under the Mamluks? I’m pretty sure there’s a Darryl Worley song about it. Ms. Cupp doesn’t mention – doesn’t care/doesn’t know — that this terrible act of unprovoked Islamist fanaticism occurred after about a hundred years of Crusades. I don’t want to be one of those liberals who always blames Edward I first, but this might have been a factor.

Or if you were Catholic in 1480, when the Italian city of Otranto was invaded by the Ottomans and nearly 1,000 of your neighbors who refused to convert were beheaded on the Hill of Minerva.

There weren’t “nearly 1,000” Martyrs of Otranto. There were 800. That’s why we call them The 800 Martyrs of Otranto. Calling them “nearly 1,000” is like calling The Magnificent Seven “The Magnificent More or Less Ten.” It’s not just a needlessly imprecise exaggeration — Martyrs in the four figures!? Now I’m really pissed off! — it’s the kind of thing a lazy undergrad changes when she’s plagiarizing the encyclopedia.

Or if you were a British merchant seaman in the early 1800s, when Islamic pirates from the Barbary Coast captured, imprisoned and slave-traded more than 1 million European Christians…

Yes, that’s right. One million white slaves in Africa in 1812. That’s how they got country music.

This is the kind of black-is-white stat that TV conservatives love to drop to confuse Alan Colmes. All he has is a general sense from the preponderance of evidence vouched for by all historians, everywhere. S.E. Cupp has a one book from 2005 called Christian Slaves, Muslim Masters.

Its author, Robert Davis, concedes that everyone else who’s ever written a word about Barbary Coast piracy puts the number of Christian slaves at a few thousand. He also admits that he doesn’t have any new evidence besides some math he did in his head: “The only way I could come up with hard numbers is to turn the whole problem upside down.” Davis’ – oh, let’s call it a theory – has been accepted by, well, no one. That’s good enough for S.E. Cupp.

And she even fucks that up. Davis’ million slaves were captured over 300 years, between 1500 and 1800. Cupp’s million white people are enslaved “in the early 1800s.” This is not the same thing. This is a liar who doesn’t even know what she’s lying about.

I can’t wait for the book.

Source: Chris Kelly: S.E. Cupp Will Not be Silenced and/or Fact Checked.

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Episcopal Priest Sues To Be Catholic

An Episcopal priest has sued the Vatican to be ordained a Catholic priest. The Right Reverend Bernard Quindlen, whose case was filed in federal court in New York, says that he got the idea from “the girl scout who sued for membership to the boy scouts.” Rev. Quindlen further stated, “Plus, there’s much less stigma in the Catholic priest ranks about dating younger people.”

Indulgences Plague Vatican

The Vatican applied for a government bailout to help its beleaguered financing of indulgences. Bishop Bartonelli, spokesman for the Vatican, said, “Far too many of the people who purchased indulgences continue to be complete assholes. Just yesterday, I saw a woman who recently purchased a 6-month indulgence taunting a one-legged boy, challenging him to a game of football (soccer). We can’t get St. Peter to honor many of these indulgences.”

And that raises another problem; souls that are already in Purgatory. St. Peter is incensed at some of the people who claim to have prepaid for early release. “You should see some of the total douche bags that I’m having to let out early because of these toxic indulgences. One man, who God thankfully threw in front of a bus, had pushed his ailing elderly mother down three flights of stairs while mockingly exclaiming, “Watch your step! Watch your step! The Vatican is totally on the hook for not setting up a proper screening process for these indulgences. They’ve been selling indulgences like they’re hotcakes. Well, indulgences aren’t hotcakes.”

The Obama Administration is hesitant to get into the indulgence controversy because of concerns that this could lead to entanglement in other religious controversies such as Islam’s honor killings, Judaism’s dietary restrictions, and the suicidal tendencies of that cult in California that worships a comet.

Ugly But Talented?

The world was shocked to learn today that another ugly person has been discovered who has talent. On the cusp of discovering that an unattractive lady from Scotland could sing beautifully, pop culture experts were stunned to learn that there might be two people who are a dreadful sight to look at but nonetheless have talent. Pop culture experts heard of a man in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee who sports a mullet, only 8 good teeth, a cheesy mustache (is there any other?), and a complete flannel wardrobe who plays a masterful steel guitar.

“We’re completely amazed that there isn’t just one but actually two very ugly people who nonetheless have a talent,” said one of those dickhead judges for one of those jerkoff “reality” shows. Plans are in the works to cryogenically freeze both ugly people for future study and then placement into a freak museum.

Teabag Protesters Claim They Can Prove Obama Is A Racist

Skeeter Malone, a recent participant in the teabag protests and founder of the lesser known sugar packet protests, stated that Obama’s recent adoption of a black dog proves that Obama is doing nothing to bridge the racial divide in this country. “He ran on a platform of us being one country. Well if that’s so, how come he didn’t adopt a white dog or a spick, excuse me, a Hispanic dog?” queried Mr. Malone. Obama Administration refused to respond citing its policy of not responding to nutjobs.

A Modern Day Miracle

Recently, a mom in St. Louis, Missouri complained about her kids in a rant to a neighbor and didn’t end that rant with the words “but I love ’em.” Unbelievably, nothing bad happened to the children.

“We have long known that parents must end any complaint about their children with the phrase ‘but I love ’em’ or tragedy will immediately rain down on the kids,” said local pediatrician Dr. Melanie Harper. “But in this particular case, the mother ranted about her kids painting on the walls of her house and then she simply forgot to end with ‘but I love ’em.'” It’s been three weeks and I’m happy to report that none of them has been stricken with cancer, hit by a car, or abducted by a stranger. This may be the first documented case like this.”

Regardless of the happy ending, child welfare officials in Missouri are investigating whether the mom is fit to retain custody of the children.

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Building on the momentum from President Obama’s speech to a Joint Session of Congress earlier this week, Speaker Pelosi has instituted new voting procedures in the House.

Using money from the recently passed stimulus package, Pelosi has ordered the installation of spring-loaded chairs for each representative.

“The Speaker felt that merely voting ‘yes’ was not enough,” Pelosi’s spokesperson said in a written statement. “The Speaker wants the American people to see just how supportive representatives are of a particular bill.”

Rather than simply voting “yes,” representatives will now have 6 settings on their new spring-loaded chairs to choose from. Each setting will spring the representative higher into the air so that the American people can see just how much a representative approves of the measure at issue.

Speaker Pelosi’s spokesperson said, “The idea for the spring-loaded chair was inspired by Speaker Pelosi’s attendance at President Obama’s recent speech to Congress. On issues such as tax credits and ending the war in Iraq, Speaker Pelosi only gave a standing ovation.

However, on issues such as alternative energy investments and education, she jumped into the air as if she was trying to catch a wedding bouquet. Any observer could see that she really supports those issues. This vivid display of support is what she’s trying to capture with the new spring-loaded chairs.”

The chairs have the following settings; each setting flinging the representative that much higher into the air:

1. Yea, I’m for it.
2. Count me in.
3. Damn good idea.
4. Hot damn! About time.
5. WoooooooHooooooooo!
6. Am I for it? I think I may have just had an orgasm. Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

In a show of bipartisanship, Speaker Pelosi also approved the inclusion of a feature specifically designed for House Republicans. The chair will have special settings that will allow it to retreat into the floor at varying depths depending on how much the representative is opposed to the bill. The settings in order of increasing depth are as follows:

1. Did a Democrat write it? Then I’m not for it.
2. Ain’t no way in hell.
3. Is this a joke?
4. You gotta be shittin’ me!
5. Y’all have lost your god damn minds!!

A representative of the manufacturer of the spring-loaded chair stated, “Depending on the vote at hand, we could see some Democrats reaching a 43″ vertical leap while only seeing the heads of Republicans, making them look somewhat like prairie dogs seeing what’s going on topside. On really partisan issues, most Democrats will be ejected into the balcony while most Republicans will descend into the basement.”

The special chairs only cost taxpayers $7 million a piece. Pelosi defended the expenditure as being a job-creation measure. Boeing, who won the chair contract, announced it will hire 2 people to make and install the chairs.

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On these pages, I have described my political stance as that of a Disgruntled Independent or, as it’s called in Mississippi, a pinko bastard communist.

But tonight, only minutes after President Obama gave a detail-filled speech to both houses of Congress and Gov. Jindal demonstrated that Republicans can take a break from blowing corporations to give a speech, I’d like to propose a law whose time has come. There can be no question that this idea has bi-partisan support and deserves quick passage.

I want a law against standing ovations during any speech by a President to Congress. To put it in the small-minded terms that so dominate our current political landscape, I’m “anti-standing ovation.” Or, as I like to call it, “pro-sitting.”

The problems facing our country at any given moment are too serious for the American people to be exposed to a pep rally. Watching Nancy Pelosi max out her vertical leap too soon because she forgot that THIS issue is the one she really, really is jazzed about is just too painful to watch. By the time President Obama got to solar power, Pelosi couldn’t jump any higher despite her best efforts to show that THIS issue is the really important one.

Further, we shouldn’t confuse VP Biden. I would swear that he had a list telling him the issues he had to stand for and the ones for which a simple clap would do. And damn if people didn’t keep jumping up on ones that he was prepared to simply smile about.

When one considers that so much importance is given to whether a politician is sitting or standing, absent the passage of my law, Republicans are in for a long four years because President Obama is going to put a lot of rhetoric in his speeches. Yes, he provided a lot of details tonight, but he also threw out some inspirational lines that are simply too much of a given for the careful Republican to stay seated.

President Obama exclaims, “America will survive this crisis!” Sen. McConnell looks exasperated and thinks to himself, “Hell, I gotta stand up for that one. I can’t be seen as anti-America surviving the crisis. My constituents are pro-America getting out of the ditch.” So, for the sake of Republicans who have to endure an inspirational President, let’s pass my law.

I’m very passionate about my political beliefs. But my passion and conviction don’t rise or fall with my posture. I might be standing when I talk about the trivial and sitting when I talk about the imperative. It matters not whether my ass is in the chair at the time I make the pronouncement. I expect my elected officials to be the same way.

For more on Pelosi’s over-the-top cheerleading, read about her change to House voting procedures here.

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Today, I was listening to the news, which was your basic, generic yammer about our economy being in the toilet, when a story came on about A-Rod’s use of steroids. If you don’t know who A-Rod is, consider yourself lucky.

He’s a major league baseball player who didn’t realize there was something bad in the hypodermic needle he was using to inject himself with. (Who can really blame him on that one? I can’t count how many times I’ve taken a needle and just shot myself full up with whatever the hell just happened to be in there.)

Listening to the A-Rod story juxtaposed against the stories about this crapper of an economy that we find ourselves in kind of made me ticked, and, given that spring training is only a short, 93-game home stand away, I thought it appropriate to bring back one of my first posts on this blog — my rant on major league baseball. I hope you enjoy.

I hate Major League Baseball. How many friggin’ games do you need to play to determine who’s the best team in a given year?

I have so many gripes about MLB that I can’t type fast enough to get them all down. But in no particular order, here goes:

The coaches (excuse me “managers”) wear uniforms. Why in the hell are old, pot-bellied men whose only exercise is to occasionally run out onto the field to futilely argue a call wearing cleats and shirts with numbers? Can you not walk onto a baseball field in a suit? Hell, if dress clothes aren’t your thing, wear the tacky cut off sweatshirts like the Patriots’ coach Belichick. But for all that’s holy and righteous in the world quit dressing like you may, at a moment’s notice, need to put yourself in at shortstop.

Players, who I agree are overworked considering they play 15 games a week, are always on the injured reserve list for sissy injuries, e.g., twisted index finger, sprained piggy that went to market, etc. Why not just go on the list for being damn tired?

Next, get a shot clock. The pitcher has to pitch within 20 seconds and the batter can’t leave the batter’s box once he steps in.

I’m sick of the pitcher and hitter acting like voodoo priests who must make sure everything is in proper astrological and spiritual alignment before they can throw and hit. If Jordan can make the winning jumper with 20,000 screaming fans in his ear, you can throw the damn ball w/out worrying whether “you feel right.”

And batter, I don’t give a damn how many times you strap, unstrap, and strap your batting glove, you have no better chance of hitting the ball — which may or may not be coming depending on the vibes the overly superstitious pitcher is getting at the time.

Umpires, call it a ball or strike. We don’t need to see the call in interpretive dance.

Statisticians, take a breather. I don’t care how Rodriquez’s batting average is against left-handed Scorpios on Tuesday home games at night when the temperature is below 60 and it’s mostly cloudy with a new moon and winds coming out of the west at 15 or below miles per hour.

Why is it ok to knock the ever-living shit out of the catcher when you’re coming home, but you get called out if you yell “boo” at the 2nd baseman while trying to stop a double play?

Why all the spitting? Why all the crotch grabbing?

Why is last night’s pitcher suited up? The chances of his making an appearance is somewhere between the manager going in at left field and Salma Hayek showing up at my door wondering where I’ve been all her life.

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I’ve moved. Please come join me at my new site The Daily Wit. This post and lots of other great new stuff are there.

Before you Democrats get mad, please note that I also wrote a post like this about Republicans. So, here we go — the Top 10 statements that I guarantee will make liberals angry.

Honorable Mention: “Hillary is a bitch and Obama is an empty suit.”

10. “Roe v. Wade? Yeah, that’s a goner.”

9. “Have you accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior? You do know that if you haven’t, you’re going to hell, right?”

8. “Junior, you and your sister stop playing with my loaded pistol that has no safety on it. Now, your mom and I are going upstairs to take a nap, so you put that gun back in an easily accessible location and let us get some sleep.”

7. “I can help you fix that flat tire — and I can do it without government playing any role whatsoever.”

6. “Women who don’t wear make up are ugly and they tend to be uppity.  Why can’t they just cook my supper and hush up?”

5. “Ok, son, take all these cans and other recyclables and just throw them in the trash.  Mother Nature can handle it.”

4. “And if elected, I promise a pound of red meat in every pot and an SUV in every driveway.”

3. “So, I said, ‘If you haven’t done anything wrong, you don’t need to worry about the government spying on us. The government would never abuse that power.'”

2. “We’ll make up the budgetary shortfall caused by cutting taxes on the rich white men by eliminating NPR.”

1. “Later, we’ll be hearing from President Karl Rove.”

Feel free to add a few.

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Now before you Republicans get mad at this topic, please note that I wrote a similar post for the Democrats as well. So, here we go — the Top 10 statements that I guarantee will make conservatives angry.

Honorable Mention: “Bill and Hillary Clinton are just good people.”

10. “Lucretia, once I cash my welfare check, let’s head to the casino.”

9. “John and Fred, I now pronounce you husband and……..husband.”

8. “Auburn Moonlight, after your abortion, remember to finish your homework for your class ‘Feminism And Why White Men Suck.'”

7. “This wind is phenomenally strong.  It could really mess up a person’s perfectly combed hair.”

6. “I just think we need to raise taxes.”

5. “I read the Bible sometimes. I also read the Quran.  They’re all the same.”

4. “The Secretary of Defense has announced that the military will be used to intervene in a conflict that does not involve oil or killing Muslims. It does involve saving poor black Africans.”

3. “How about we put a childproof trigger on that handgun?”

2. “Look, son, light the American flag on the corners so that the flames really kick up.”

1. “Ronald Reagan was a sorry president.  He certainly was no Jimmy Carter.”

Feel free to leave your own.

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Read this article and let me know if you had the same concluding thought as I did. I simply cut and pasted this straight from CNN’s website because I didn’t want to leave out any of the crucial details.

Quick-witted flies can ‘detect swatter threat’

(CNN) — Flies always appear to be a step ahead of the swatter. And now scientists believe they know why.

New research shows flies rapidly calculate an escape route once they spot a swatter.

According to new research published in the journal Current Biology, flies have a quick-fire intelligence and are good at planning ahead.

Scientists at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) filmed experiments using fruit flies and a swatter.

They discovered that flies quickly calculated the location of the threat and an escape plan.

Within 100 milliseconds of spotting the swatter they could move their bodies into a position that allowed an extension of the legs to save them.

Caltech Professor Michael Dickinson, who lead the study, said in the journal that it showed how rapidly a fly’s brain processed sensory information.

“We also found that when the fly makes planning movements prior to take-off, it takes into account its body position at the time it first sees the threat,” Dickinson said.

“When it first notices an approaching threat, a fly’s body might be in any sort of posture depending on what it was doing at the time, like grooming, feeding, walking, or courting. Our experiments showed that the fly somehow ‘knows’ whether it needs to make large or small postural changes to reach the correct preflight posture.”

And Dickinson had some advice on how to successfully swat the lightning limbed insects.

“It is best not to swat at the fly’s starting position, but rather to aim a bit forward of that to anticipate where the fly is going to jump when it first sees your swatter,” he said.

Source: Quick-witted flies can ‘detect swatter threat’ – CNN.com.

My concluding thought: You’ve got to be fucking kidding me.  Sorry for the foul language, but a bunch of scientists standing around a lab swatting flies?  “It’s best not to swat at the fly’s starting position, but rather to aim a bit forward of that to anticipate where the fly is going to jump when it first sees your swatter”????? How the hell can I anticipate where a fly is going to jump unless I’ve got it cornered? If the damn thing is just hanging out on the wall or on a table — like 99.9% of the flies that I’ve encountered in life are — he could “jump” in pretty much any direction.

Sorry all you folks with uncured diseases. We’ve been hammering away at the secret behind the illusive nature of the housefly.  Our discovery?  You gotta lead ’em a little.

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