Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Friday, March 17, 2017

MICROWAVE CONSPIRACY



We have just learned that before he left the White House, President Obama had a microwave installed. This was not just a device to warm up a cup of coffee or cook a frozen dinner. This baby could spy on anyone in the White House and send its observations back to people who might be conspiring against a future White House resident.

The microwave could be configured not only to hear any conversation its target might be part of, but it could also read the target’s mind. The FBI and the Department of Justice both deny the presence of this extraordinary microwave or any device that can eavesdrop on people in the building. However, for all we know, these agencies might be part of the conspiracy.


Our sources tell us that the conspirators now have plans to introduce a new toaster into the President’s residence. It would be able to gather information and send it out through WiFi signals. This is a serious issue. With this new spyware, the conspirators would be able to find out how many pieces of toast the President has each morning, but also how he likes his bread toasted.

Monday, March 13, 2017

ROBOTS



Retired professor Carl Perrin of Lakewood, NJ, has become the Garden’s State’s foremost expert on robots. Ask him anything about robots, and he will give you an answer. If he doesn’t know the answer, he will make up some plausible-sounding alternate fact.

Some people who know him are worried. What is he going to do with all that information about robot? One theory is that he is planning to use robots in the next election. Yes, even though he will be 90 on Election Day, some people fear that he will make one last effort to become President of the United States.

According to the theory, Perrin will enlist hordes of robots to campaign for him, sending emails and tweets to voters. They will also knock on doors to get out the vote for a really, really senior candidate.

Our advice is: Keep an eye on Perrin. You never know what he might be up to. 



Saturday, February 4, 2017

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

DEATH NOTICE



We are sad to inform you that truth has died in Washington. Funeral services will be held next Thursday at a church to be announced. The passing had been expected for some time because truth has been fading away for years.

Politicians are not particularly known for their veracity. (“I did not have sex with that woman, Miss Lewinski.”) But of late political aversion to truth has become stronger than ever. Take for example, the President of the United States. Years ago he spread the word that Barack Obama had been born in Kenya. It did not matter that it was an outright lie. Donald Trump kept repeating it for years.

It would take a book to list all of the falsehoods Mr. Trump uttered during the campaign, but one of his first was typical: He had seen thousands of Muslems in New Jersey cheering with the planes hit the twin towers in New York. It did not matter that the event never happened. Trump’s proof was that many of his followers claimed that they had “seen” the same thing.

Winning the presidency did not cure the Donald of his “little fibs.” The day after the inauguration Donald accused the press of lying about the size of the crowd at the inauguration, claiming that it was larger than reported by the media. The National Park Service tweeted pictures of the crowds at Trump’s and at Obama’s first inauguration. The pictures clearly showed a lot more people at the Obama event. Shortly afterwards the Park Service’s twitter account was deactivated.

Who really cares about which event had the biggest attendance? Nobody except Honest Donald. He cared enough to have his press secretary, the hapless Sean Spicer, berate the press for their “dishonest” reporting. Why would anyone quibble about statements that are so easily disproved? Is Donald’s ego so fragile that he cannot stand the thought that Obama’s inauguration might have attracted a larger crowd than Trump’s own?

When Spicer’s “facts” were easily shown to be untrue, Kellyanne Conway came to his rescue, stating that Spicer had cited “alternate facts.” “Alternate facts” occur when someone doesn’t like the real facts, so just makes up something that he likes better. In some circles, alternate facts are known as lies.

One of the reasons that there is so much resistance to the Trump presidency, besides the fact that he probably had some unwarranted help, is that Hillary got almost 3 million more votes than he did. Honest Donald got tired of hearing about this, so he claimed, untruthfully, that he would have won the popular vote had there not been so many illegals voting for Hillary.

If you’re looking for the truth coming from Washington, you’re going to have to wait at least four years.



Thursday, December 29, 2016

BULL IN THE CHINA SHOP



After Donald Trump was elected to the presidency, the stock market started climbing. Presumably this was based on the premise that taxes would be lowered on business and the wealthy. Given the Republican majority in both houses of Congress, this seems likely to happen. However, not everyone is optimistic about the economic outlook over the next four years.

This is partly because we can’t take Mr. Trump at his word. He often does not seem to comprehend the complexities of the issues he deals with. He frequently walks back statements he has made or says they were merely jokes. Sometimes he outright lies and continues to insist of the veracity of those lies long after they have been exposed as falsehoods.

Also Republicans are generally regarded as friendly to business while Democrats are thought of as hostile to business, but recently the economy has flourished under Democratic administrations and floundered while the Republicans had the White House. President Clinton handed President Bush a tidy surplus in the federal treasury. Bush promptly squandered it by lowering taxes on the well-to-do and starting a misguided war in Iraq. Under the Bush administration we saw the greatest economic struggle since the Great Depression. President Obama took the mess that Bush had handed him and turned it around, pulling us out of the Great Recession and handing the economy to President Trump in a much better shape than it was when he received it. Do you have any confidence in Donald Trump’s ability to handle it with care?

Conservatives believe that the marketplace will be able to resolve any issues it faces. If you just let things go, the law of supply and demand will make everything turn out right in the end. They resent liberal meddling, making up rules and regulations that hinder business’s ability to function without interference.

And yet that is just what Donald Trump did when he stepped into a business decision made by Carrier in Indiana. The company was going to shutter two plants and send them to Mexico. Trump talked them into keeping one of those plants open, partly by having his running mate, who happened to be governor of Indiana, grant the company some $7 million in tax credits. Trump also threatened to impose a heavy tariff on any material coming from that Mexican plant into the United States. It is almost like having the central government decided how many pairs of shoes were to be made, as was done during the Soviet government in Russia

Can the President step in, in the decision any business makes if he does not agree with it? Is the governor of every state involved going to grant tax credits to companies that say they’re going to move out of the country? What will stop manufacturers from threatening to move out of the country unless they get significant tax breaks? What will prevent the companies that keep manufacturing here from replacing huge portions of their work force with automation?

Mr. Trump blames China and Mexico for the loss of manufacturing jobs in the United States. He threatens to tear up international trade agreements and raise trade barriers in the form of high tariffs against countries he deems our adversaries in trade. However, those jobs are gone forever. More jobs have been lost to automation than to companies sending them overseas. What is needed is not a trade war but education to prepare American workers for the new world that is emerging through automation, computers, and the internet.

If America raises import duties on goods from other countries, they will retaliate by doing the same to us. Such warfare will destroy the delicate symbiosis that keeps the world economy in balance. The real estate bubble that burst in 2008 threw the economy off balance not only in this country but world-wide. The Great Depression of the 1930s was felt in every country. In warfare no one wins. Everyone loses. This is true in economic war as well.

A recent issue of The Week featured Trump on the cover as a bull in the china shop. It was an apt comparison.






Friday, December 9, 2016

GOVERNMENT BY TWITTER



During the primary campaign an 18-year-old college student named Lauren Batchelder told candidate Donald Trump that she didn’t think that he was “a friend to women.” The next day on Twitter called Batchelder “an arrogant young woman” and speculated that might have been a plant for a rival campaign.

After that she started getting threatening and sexual phone calls. One said, “I wish I could punch you in the face.” Another told her, “Watch your back, punk.”

A few days ago Chuck Jones, leader of the United Steel Workers at Carrier in Indianapolis, said that Trump had lied to Carrier workers. Trump then tweeted that Jones had done a terrible job representing the workers. If the union was any good, Trump said, they would have kept the jobs in the country.

Jones then started getting threatening phone calls. One told him, “You better keep your eye on your kids.” Another said, “We know what car you drive.”

Then the CEO of Boeing was quoted as questioning Trump’s policy on trade. Trump responded with a tweet that said that the cost of building Air Force One, which was being done by Boeing, had spiraled out of control. He quoted a cost of $4 billion, which was far from true. He also threatened to cancel the contract with Boeing.

The next morning Boeing stocks fell nearly $2 a share.


What do you call a government whose citizens fear to criticize its leaders?