Wednesday, February 11, 2009

It's not all sarcasm

Dear Schmeat -

Have you ever made a clever observation about the state of the world, commonly known as an aphorism, only to be afterward described by a family member, friend, co-worker, or anonymous passerby as "sarcastic"?

It's frustrating; isn't it, to be told something you know to be patently inaccurate, and have to accept, in silence, this counter factual observation, for fear of making an actually sarcastic remark correcting the aforementioned family member, friend, co-worker, or anonymous passerby?

Knowing you, Schmeat, I'm probably preaching to the choir. You know as well as I do that just because a cleverly worded quip is rife with irony, maybe even peppered with some satire, it isn't necessarily sarcasm. It might just be facetious,dry, flip, or even salty, and irreverent.

In many cases, when the intent is simply to amuse, rather than wound, the remark might be better described as farcical, jocular, jocose, indecorous, gay, or, dare I say it, queer.

More often than not, Schmeat, it has been my personal experience that any attempt at irony is seen immediately as sarcasm. It upsets me on many levels. For one it reveals either an ignorance, or a lack of attention to detail on the part of the recipient of my finely crafted mirth.

Secondly, subordanate to the first issue, is the fact that if my gift of kittenish, fanciful bon mot isn't fully understood for what it is, the
stipendiary of said monkeyshine cannot fully appreciate the blithe, and sportive allowance of baffoonery that's been bestowed upon them above all others. Nor can they delight in the riotous, rowdy laughter that accompanies such snappy, waggish tomfoolery.

I just wish that people understood the importance of accurately categorizing humor. It makes all the difference in the world. I mean, if you don't know the difference between humor subcategories, you'll run the risk of telling a sprightly shaggy-dog at a funeral, when anyone with any common sense can tell you that the only whimsy appropriate for such a somber occasion is a quaint, and
jaunty mummery.

It all comes down to a problem with education. Most Americans have been brought up in traditional, monohumorous households that still adhere to the outdated, paternalistic belief system that says there is one true humor, under which all frivolous quips, punning one-liners, and gelastic yarns fall, and there is no room for the audaciousness of an orderisory chestnut.

That's why its so important to make investments in public education, as well as in our situational, sketch, and improvisational comedy programs. Also, the masterful navigation of online thesauri is helpful.

It is only through, education, and awareness that Americans can truly be free to appreciate the difference between a bubbly, gamesome, gagged up, campy raillery and a wry, witty, spirited shenanigan.
He's enjoying a fanciful larf

Monday, February 9, 2009

Libertarians......are whack's okay for me to say that....I googled it and it checked out Part II

Dear Schmeat -

Having previously established the Libertarian views I find most objectionable, I think it's best that I just move straight into analyzing the many flaws in their thinking, so that they can get straight to work correcting themselves.

You see, Schmeat, Libertarian "thinking" seems to fall into three large categories, which are as follows:

  • Unrealistic
  • Misinformed
  • UnAmerican

All of which fall under the larger umbrella of what I like to call "Ludicrous". Now that I have established a framework for classifying Libertarian views, let me walk you through where each of the major points of their platform falls. Let's begin with those odious views that fall under the category of "Unrealistic"

Unrealistic Views:

The Libertarian party believes that its platform is designed to guarantee the freedom and individual liberties of all Americans by having us swallow a concoction of emaciated government and uninhibited free markets.

They make the claim that free markets not only govern themselves best, but that, somehow, they are also the best steward of the common good, and that, if left alone, they will regulate themselves, and provide for the interests of the masses out of economic self-interest. Thus, all basic social services now provided by our bloated federal and state governments, including, but not limited to education and health care, would be provided by the private sector, and what's more, they will all function with superior efficiency.

Why, Schmeat, is this unrealistic?

As seen time and again, money speaks for money. Free markets exist for one purpose; Profit. Private industry has little, and in most cases no financial incentive to provide for the common good. As seen, time and time again, throughout history, and as recently as right now, private industry is all to willing to sacrifice the good of the many for the momentary gains of the few. While it is almost certain that some rudimentary services in the way of education and health care might be provided just to guarantee a functioning work force, it is unlikely that it would compare with the quality, or scope of our, admittedly flawed, public systems.

Misinformed Views:

Libertarians (ship jumper Ron Paul included) regularly attempt to tie their views to some historical precedent, hearkening back to a time when our government was less overbearing, obtrusive, and omnipresent. Libertarians, and Republicans, are oft heard to be the Constitutional party, whose sole ambition in life seems to be to return us to the noble principles laid out by our fore bearers in the Constitution.

Unfortunately they have little understanding of many of the basic facts of U.S. History, let alone a perspective on that history that would allow them to draw comparisons between seemingly nebulous events.

Let's review just a few topics on which the run of the mill Libertarian is in need of a history lesson:

Education: Libertarians believe that education should be provided by private industry and that government should not dictate what is taught in schools. Public education is not a privilege, it is an absolute necessity to have a functioning republic. Our founders provided for public education when creating the Northwest Territory under the Articles of Confederation. This should be proof enough that they felt that government should provide at least basic education. Additionally, the quality of education that would be provided in an all private system is dubious at best. The fact is that our current public system cannot turn anyone away. An all private system would provide quality education to those who fit the mold and could afford it. It would provide an "education" to everyone else.

Taxes: Libertarians propose an end to our federal income tax, claiming that it did not exist before the early 20th century. They are correct in that fact. Unfortunately, when they suggest that we amputate that revenue stream, they fail to suggest a reasonable replacement for it other than fiscal responsibility. They seem to want Americans to believe that prior to the income tax, spending was less and that the government wasn't taking in that money from another source. In fact, the income tax was actually created as a means of boosting the Libertarian's precious free markets. Our economy had been hamstrung by protectionist tariffs, which the U.S. government used to fund its federal programs. The removal of these tariffs provided a boost to our economy, but left a gap in out federal budget. This gap was filled by our income tax.

Free Market Altruism: Libertarians believe free markets to be the answer to most, if not all, of the world's problems, naively trusting private industry to have the best interest of the nation at heart, if only because it is "good for business". This, again, has been proven wrong numerous times throughout our short history. Even if we disregard the current financial shit storm, caused in a large part by greed, shortsightedness, and lack of oversight, our history is rife with examples of private industry's shortcomings. One need only open a high school history book to the chapter on the Progressive Era or the Industrial Revolution to see that private industry fought tooth and nail for the ability to keep wages low, conditions unsafe, and workers impoverished. It took intervention by government to force upon private industry what it would not do itself. It is a fact that much of what private sector workers consider standard practice such as a forty hour work week, health insurance, retirement, 8 hour work day, worker's compensation, unemployment, maternity leave, equality in the workplace for women and minorities, etc etc.....are ALL the result of victories won by workers Unions and enforced by legislation.

UnAmerican Views:

How, you might ask, are the Libertarian's views UnAmerican? Well, Schmeat, it goes without saying that an educated, healthy population benefits from government protection and intervention. To unilaterally eliminate public services only serves the wealthy and well connected. Libertarians are a party of relative affluence, blind to the fact that not all Americans are born into opportunity. In a nation where all men are created equal, they should be given the opportunity for equal footing, an even starting line, and in a nation where the government exists to "provide for the common defense", the government should and must defend against threats both foreign and domestic, and there have been few domestic threats in our history more destructive than an unrestrained free market.

Schmeat, I hope you've enjoyed this two day marathon of venom and misanthrope. I've certainly enjoyed penning it, but don't get to used to it. Schmeat on Schmeat is a forum for lighthearted sarcasm and tomfoolery. It isn't the proper venue for me to spew my totally awesome political commentary on a regular basis. Next blog you can look forward to the kind of ignorant, self-centered diatribe you've come to know and love.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Libertarians......are whack's okay for me to say that....I googled it and it checked out

Dear Schmeat -

You may recall one Ron Paul from the presidential primary season of 2007-2008. He was the guy who was exactly like Dennis Kucinich; Crazy. As you know, Mr. Paul was Libertarian, who believed so wholeheartedly in his party's platform that he chose to jump ship to the similarly dickish, but marginally more mainstream, Republican party in an attempt to gain broader support. I hope Mr. Paul has removed adjectives like "loyalty" and "resolve" from his resume's cover letter.

But I'm not here to discuss Mr. Paul's many failings as both a politician, and a human being, Schmeat. I'm here to discuss the many failings of the Libertarian Party as both politicians, and as human beings. (and for good measure, they make pretty piss poor Americans too)

I had an interesting discussion with an acquaintance of one of my friends (see TheFriendChart for more on those words) recently. Despite how repugnant I found most of the views I was hearing, I didn't immediately mock, or ridicule them. This was because I found myself at somewhat of a disadvantage.

As you know, Schmeat, I don't like to look like a accident. So I didn't feel it prudent to voice any premature, half-formed opinions, lest I look like a fool in front of someone who actually knows what they are talking about. Feeling the need to remedy this situation I promptly Googled the Libertarian party, and, you know what Schmeat? I learned some very interesting, albeit, disturbing facts about this scrappy little cadre of future local office holders.

First, and foremost, I learned that I've been not only mispronouncing their name, but also misspelling it. I was under the impression that they were the LiberAtarian party, spelled and pronounced with that middle "A". Well I was wrong, and from now on when I say or spell their name wrong, it will be out of a lack of respect and a sense of disdain for their political ideas, not because I'm a poor speller, with a slight speech impediment.

Second, and actually foremost, I discovered that Ron Paul was only the tip of the batshitcrazy iceberg. He must have been either: A. The prettiest one or B. The one most resembling what most people would regard as sane. Because after reading their platform and views on current events, I see that Mr. Paul would be what you call a LeftwingLiberalNewYorkJewLibertarian.

The views posted on their website reveal that, for a group of people who think they should run the most powerful nation on Earth, the Libertarians lack even a rudimentary understanding about some topics that are helpful in running a functioning government such as:

  • A working knowledge of the basic principles of Constitution of the United States
  • A grasp of United States and World Histories, including, but not limited to, the stuff that might happen to support their point of view.
  • A sense of the common good
  • Self-awareness, and the ability to objectively, and critically examine whether or not you are living on the same planet as most Americans.

Now, Schmeat, you might be wondering how I came to such inflammatory conclusions about one of our nation's most least respected political parties. Well, Schmeat, I can guarantee you it is all based on their own admissions, via the platform they have posted on their website. Let's briefly review some of their often contradictory, or even historically inaccurate views, shall we?

Libertarians seem to believe:

  • Government should be as small as humanly possible
  • No Income Tax (and as few other taxes as possible)
  • Private Free Markets do EVERYTHING better from health care, to education, to banking , to managing the environment, to caring for the poor, to providing for the common good.(despite evidence to the contrary on most counts)
There are problems with this view Schmeat, and I'd be happy to discuss them with you further at a later date. For now I'll just leave you hanging, wondering what flaw I actually find in the mini platform I've presented. I guess you'll just have to check out "Libertarians......are whack's okay for me to say that....I googled it and it checked out Part II"