Wednesday, March 29, 2017

The History of An Entitlement (Updated)

This is the history of  how we got The Affordable Pizza Act.

Woodrow Wilson writes in an 1898 letter to a colleague that “I took the family out for a Pizza Pie as all good red-blooded American families should”.

This colleague wrote President McKinley urging mandatory Pizza Fridays.

In 1903, President Theodore Roosevelt said, “A man who doesn’t like pizza is a rapscallion and should be punched in the snoot, tarred, feathered and run out on the rails”.

In 1911, President William Howard Taft ate three pizzas at one sitting.

In 1925 a reporter said to President Coolidge: "I bet a fellow ten whole dollars that I could not get you to say two words about pizza!" The President responded: "You lose".

The campaign song for Alfred Smith in 1928 was “A Slice Would Be Nice”

 In 1933 as an effort to help struggling dairy farmers in Wisconsin, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt created the Wednesday Pizza Administration or The WPA. The Federal Government commissioned free pizza to be given out in special government stores called “Huts” every Wednesday.

The radio stations all over America played the songs “Hey You Let’s Chew” and "Tony, You're My Pepperoni".

After Pearl Harbor, the country was urged to cut down on its pizza consumption in order to show Hitler and Tojo we mean business.

In the 1948 Presidential race, President Harry Truman said, “The Republican Party wants to take away your pizza and I won’t let them do it".

 In 1952 Presidential candidate Dwight Eisenhower promises to go to Korea and hold the anchovies.

In the 1960 Presidential debates, John F.Kennedy said that there was pepperoni gap.

 In 1966, President Lyndon Johnson signed an executive order changing The Wednesday Pizza Administration into The Pizza On Friday Program (POFP) since the modern American family was very busy on this day.

In a 1972 interview at a Washington D.C. area Pizza Hut, President Richard Nixon denied ever having pizza.

In 1975, President Gerald R. Ford had the roof of his mouth burned by a New York Style Pizza.

 In 1979, President Carter signed an executive order allowing for federal funding of deep dish pizzas.

 In a 1986 compromise with the Democrats, President Ronald Reagan allowed citizens to substitute spaghetti for pizza if they wanted.

After a rousing convention speech in 1988, President George Herbert Walker Bush caves into Congressional pressure and signs legislation to allow specialty pizzas on the POFP.

 Bill Clinton wins the White House in 1992 promising bread sticks.

 In 2000, George W. Bush promises “buffalo wings with your pizza” while Al Gore promises “buffalo wings and the beverage of your choice”.

In 2008,  Illinois Senator Barack Obama wins The White House promising never to get your order wrong.

In 2010, President Obama signs The Affordable Pizza Act, which includes children being able to use their parents' coupons until the age of 26.

 In 2011, after years of an exploding Federal Budget, Congressman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin proposes deep cuts to The Affordable Pizza Act. The poor and needy would still qualify; however, the middle class will be issued a coupon for use at their local Preferred Pizza Provider (PPP).

 The chairwoman of The Democratic Party, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, called Ryan and the Republican Party: “Pro starvation”. She added "People need food to eat. Pizza is a food. If they don't eat food they will die. Paul Ryan wants people to die."

In 2012, it is revealed that Republican nominee for President Mitt Romney has never seen a pizza.

While campaigning for re-election, President Obama says, "Whatever pizza you like, you can have that pizza.

In 2013, New York businessman Donald Trump tweets: "HEY DOMINO'S! MY ODER IS 45 MINS LATE! SAD!!

When The Affordable Pizza Act goes into effect in the fall of 2013, it turns out the only type of pizza available is cheese pizza, thin crust.

In a speech in 2016, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton claims to both love and hate pizza.

In 2016, New York businessman Donald Trump wins The White House, in part, by saying "Look, I know Papa John. Good friend. Great guy. Makes great pizza. I would probably make better pizza if I was in the pizza business, but I'm not. So, I ask Papa John, who is a great guy and big, big supporter, what can we do about the sorry, terrible, atrocious, Affordable Pizza Act? He said, now get this, that he didn't know. Now if PAPA JOHN doesn't know what to do about Pizza, we're in big trouble, believe me." 

In 2017, in an effect to repeal and replace The Affordable Pizza Act (aka "Obama-pizza"), Congressional Republicans somehow manage to set themselves on fire.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

The Trump Drinking or Ding-Ding Game

As long as everybody is going to yell at each other, we might as well develop a game.

I just read a Facebook post from Anne LaMott who is another of those Super Cool Christian writers that can say the word "shit" and get away with it.

This is what she partially said in her post.

"The pain, grief and sheer disbelief of a majority of Americans since November 8 can hardly be expressed. This can't actually be happening, but it is. It's On Beyond Zebra. We wake up wondering if, while we slept, Trump accidentally bombed North Korea because he got a little bug up his kadunkadunk at 3:00 a.m. Steve Bannon and Jared Kushner at the helm? Even my Republican friends are sick about Trump and Paul Ryan's draconian and insane budget. Just off the top of my head, they want to cut Meals on Wheels? Meals on WHEELS? It tuns (sic) out that Ryan has dreamed since college about how much food there will be for the rest of us when we stop free handouts to those greedy grabby gobbly sick and elderly people. 

People are afraid on (sic) turn on their phones: what bizarre thoughts and threats has Trump tweeted at dawn? Friends started smoking. Not to mention that everyone has gained the Trump Twelve."


First of all, it is "badonkadonk" not "kadunkadunk".

Secondly,  how could Trump "accidentally" bomb North Korea?  "WE WERE GOING TO BOMB CHINA BUT WE BOMBED N. KOREA! MY BAD. NOT REALLY". Not meaning to be all smart, shouldn't you worry more about North Korea bombing Japan and oh, South Korea?

Thirdly, about the draconian and insane budget. "Meals on Wheels" is not a federal program. It is a non-profit organization that receives funding from the states in Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) that the feds send out. The individual states determine how much money is given to Meals on Wheels. I'm sure you would be surprised to learn that CDBGs have been used in political pork barrel schemes.

I noticed she mentioned "Meals on Wheels" but not the funding for The Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars, which is scheduled to be eliminated entirely.  Oh, the humanity!  How can this republic survive without The Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars? I bet the EVIL Paul Ryan has been dreaming of this since middle school!

"People are afraid on (sic) turn on their phones: what bizarre thoughts and threats has Trump tweeted at dawn"  I'm not quite sure where Ann lives, but I haven't noticed anyone afraid to turn on their phones.  In fact, just about everybody I know keeps their phone on all the time.

"Friends started smoking."  Really?  Name one. Seriously, since we're blaming Trump for the pain, grief, and disbelief, it would be nice to know who deals with their candidate losing by reaching for a pack of Pall Malls, especially when they haven't smoked before.  We may not want to put those people next to the door in the airplane if you catch my drift.

"Not to mention everyone has gained The Trump Twelve".  I haven't gained twelve pounds since Trump was elected.  I did gain five pounds due to a milk shake binge I went on last September. Stupid Trump. He tweeted: GO AHEAD ALAN-HAVE THAT MILK SHAKE! (BTW, I MAKE THE BEST MILK SHAKES!)

But I'm not a person to get wrapped around the axle about all of this politics glob. I'm a person of action. So, I have decided to create a game that drinkers and non-drinkers can participate in.

The game is an homage to the "Hello, Bob" drinking game in which the contestants watched the old "Bob Newhart Show" and took a shot when somebody said, "Hello Bob".

There were a lot of "Hello Bobs" in this episode.

The rules are simple, you take a shot or you say "Ding-ding" (for my Baptist friends) when you are watching the news and you hear:

1. The President saying "fake news".

2. If someone says about the budget "People will die due to this budget"

3.  Double shot or ding if they add the word "literally" as in "People will literally die due to this budget".

4. Somebody says, "He says what's on his mind" like it's a good thing.

5. When somebody says "People will die due to the repeal of Obamacare"

6.  Double shot or ding if they add the word "literally"

7. Upon reading there has been a bank robbery in D.C., the President tweets that Barack Obama did it.

8. A celebrity takes five minutes of their precious time to remind you that Donald Trump is a Fascist.

9. The President starts talking about the ratings for "The Apprentice".

Feel free to add your own. Just watch out-you may have to be hospitalized for substance abuse.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

No Offense

"Comedy is not pretty" ~ Steve Martin

This may be seven and half years too late, but today is a good time when I open up to my readers and explain what I write and why I write.

Simply put: I write about what I want to write about and I want to get laughs. Nothing more, nothing less.

Sure, there have been times when I've commented on a big topic and I want to be taken seriously, but mainly I try to be as funny as possible with the little talent I have.  I am fully aware that nobody 50 years from now will give a hoot about my opinions. In fact, I should amend it to read nobody 50 minutes from now will give a hoot about my opinions.

You know what? That's okay with me. I only wish other people thought the same way.

I'm not sure what it is, but people seem to take offense to everything.  On top of that, it becomes their job to let you know what you've written is wrong and immoral.

Here's the way I look at it.

It is okay to have a different opinion than I do. That's what makes the world go around. As the cardiologist said, "Different strokes for different folks".  (Lord, I apologize.)

Take, for example, this cartoon:

I don't find this cartoon offensive. In fact, I think the shaming look the frog gives to the lady makes it humorous. The people in the background give it the "oh, I didn't know that's where frog legs come from" look that helps the cartoon.

I had a professor in college who was highly offended by this cartoon. He said it made light of people with disabilities.  It does not. At its very worst, the cartoon makes fun of frogs with disabilities.

But, hey, if you think this cartoon is offensive, then I can't convince you otherwise.  I think you may be a wee bit sensitive, particularly about amphibians.  But mainly, I think you need to heed the instruction of Sergeant Hulka:  "Lighten up, Francis". No frogs were harmed in the publishing of this cartoon.

Recently, Samantha Bee got in trouble with a bit she did on her show where she was commenting on young men with "Nazi Hair".  You know, since the election of President Orange, the whole country has turned into Berlin circa 1936 except for our brave late night comedians.

It turns out one of the young men with "Nazi Hair" was a kid who has brain cancer. On top of that, he was a "Never Trumper".

I find this rich since Bee practices "Jon Stewart Satire" ("Everybody is stupid and dumb except for people who think like I do").  That, to me, is offensive because it shows no self-awareness and it is plain mean spirited.

That's my point. I never try to write anything mean spirited.  I never write out of spite trying to stick it to whoever I want stuck. It is not my job to "comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable". I just write what I see, hear, and think.

I have made fun of Baptists (which I am one), married men (which I am one), and Southerners (which I am one).  I have made fun of some self-important people (including one columnist who made light of someone's first name when the columnist has the worst first name a man can be given), Republicans, and Democrats.  I try to make fun of everyone because everyone has their foibles and that's the essence of humor.

Having said all that, I am not perfect. Something may sound funny to me and it may come out offensive.  Lord knows I have made comments that I later regretted when I saw the other person's point of view.

However, the intention has never been to hurt anyone or to put somebody in their place. That's just not me.

So, if I write anything you don't like, it is okay to tell me. After thinking about it, I may just agree with you and write an apology.  Or I may not.

 I think we'll both live.

Sunday, March 5, 2017


"I are a graduate of Cobb County Public Schools"  ~  Common joke heard in Cobb County.

Yes, I am.  I went to East Valley Elementary School, East Cobb (then Jr.) Middle School, and Wheeler High School.   At the point and time I went, they were the best public schools in the county.

Here's what I remember.  I remember they taught me how to tell time.  You would not believe how this impresses people. In thirty some odd years of employment, I've never been late to work. I've never been late to a meeting.

Once, I was working a temporary job after I was laid off at United Healthcare. My supervisor said, "We want to hire you because you show up".

Showing up, as Woody Allen once remarked, is 80% of success.  My education stressed the importance of showing up. Many times, my grade was "rounded up" because I simply showed up and showed I care.

My education stressed the importance of waiting in lines. The cool kids, the narcs, the heads, the dorks, and the dweebs all had to wait in line, particularly at lunch.  You'll get in. Honest.

On one of our trips to New York, we went to the 9/11 Memorial. There were a couple of people behind us, from a European country which has the Effiel Tower, and they were constantly breaking in line.  We almost had an international incident.

My education stressed the importance of sitting down and shutting up. This is a trait that is missing in today's educational atmosphere.

Recently, Charles Murray, a social scientist was hired to give a lecture at Middlebury College.  Dr. Murray wrote a controversial book 25 years ago called "The Bell Curve".  Some people say it isn't very nice.  I can't comment because I haven't read it.  However, it was an academic book and the issues Murray describes should be debated in an open academic atmosphere.

Yeah, right.

That's not how the game is played these days. Today, if there is something you don't like, you try to shut it down. Here's how The Washington Post describes it.

"The demonstrations began conventionally enough, with several hundred organized protesters packed into a lecture hall Thursday, chanting and holding signs. They ended with Murray being forced to cancel his lecture and later being surrounded by an unruly mob made up of students and “outside agitators” as he tried to leave campus, according to witnesses and school administrators.

"After swarming Murray and two school officials, the protesters shouted profanities, shoved members of the group and then blocked them from getting to a vehicle in a nearby parking lot. Witnesses said the confrontation was aggressive, intimidating and unpredictable and felt like it was edging frighteningly close to outright violence."

The President of Middlebury College, Laurie L. Patton, says she will respond to“clear violations of Middlebury College policy”, which I assume is you don't act like a bunch of trousered apes when you encounter an opinion you don't agree with.

By the way, Middlebury College is a "top-tier" liberal arts college, which means it accepts only about 16% of the students that apply and the tuition is around $48K a year.

All of this could have been avoided by simply going to the lecture, sitting down, listening to whatever the dude said, then going back to your dorm and writing a paper.

Those days are gone with the wind. Part of the problem frankly lies with the parents.

My mother always told me that she didn't care if I was a smart person as long as I was a good person. Parents don't seem to emphasize that at all. The upper-class kids seem like they have been told that they are the most wonderful creatures to ever pop up in this world and their self-esteem is the most important ingredient to a successful life.

While the lower middle-class and poor kids are sort of left on their own. Hillbilly Elegy author J.D. Vance quotes one of his teachers: "They want us to be shepherds to these kids. But no one wants to talk about the fact that many of them are raised by wolves".

But, the education establishment is not blameless. They become enamored with the latest educational fad and want to ride that horse until it passes out. Back when I was coming along, it was "Open Classrooms". Now it is "Common Core".  And none of it ever works.

I don't claim to have any answers. Maybe "School Choice" is the answer. Maybe it is not.  I'm just glad I'm not going to school.