Stupidity is a rather common commodity. Will Rogers used to say if he ran out of comedic material, all he had to do was see what Congress did the day before. And today, that holds true. Just recently, for example, we saw all manner of stupid explanations for why this or that congressperson voted against raising the minimum wage from its current guaranteed poverty level while voting themselves raises.
Or how about this from the Mayor of Ft. Lauderdale for the “out-of-touch” award. (L.A. Times, May 21, 2006) Mayor Jim Naugle believes that people who settle for a 40-hour-a-week work routine can’t expect to own a home. He says, “I’m supposed to subsidize some schlock, sitting on a sofa and drinking a beer, who won’t work more than 40 hours a week?” (First of all, someone needs to tell the Mayor that schlock is not a noun referring to a person.) The mayor then goes on to add this stunner: “I deny there’s a problem. You can buy condos all day long for $160,000.” Sure you can. Piece of cake – particularly for the Federal minimum wage earners – who, if they work five days, eight hours a day, 50 weeks a year – earn $12,300 a year.
Changing gears a little, a friend of mine recently returned from the Galapagos and was waiting for his plane back to the USA. An American missionary struck up a conversation and asked my friend where he was traveling. My friend informed the good Christian soul that he had just visited the Galapagos. To which the missionary said, “Oh, I don’t want to go there – I don’t believe in evolution.”
Or how about this item from the L.A. Times (April 20, 2006), “Ruth Malhotra went to court last month for the right to be intolerant.” It seems that her college, Georgia Institute of Technology, bars speech that puts down others because of their sexual orientation. So Ms. Malhotra is demanding that Georgia Tech revoke its tolerance policy. Now there’s a noble cause.
Try this item (N.Y. Times, May 17, 2006). “Venezuela May Sell U.S.-Made F-16s.” And guess with whom Venezuela is contemplating selling its fleet of American-made F-16 fighter jets? Did you guess Iran? You’re right. But why be surprised – when you decide to profit by being the world’s leading arms supplier, you often acquire strange bedfellows.
And finally, how about this doozy from the L.A. Times (June 22, 2006): “Today, various religious groups, using the latest technology, are trying to hasten the end of the world.” Consequently, Clyde Lott, a Mississippi revivalist preacher and cattle rancher, is “trying to raise a unique herd of red heifers to satisfy an obscure injunction in the Book of Numbers: The sacrifice of a blemish-free red heifer for purification rituals needed to pave the way for the Messiah!” Unfortunately, Lott’s plans have been sidetracked. “Facing a maze of red tape and testing involved in shipping animals overseas…he has given up on plans to fly planeloads of cows to Israel. For now.” So I suppose the Apocalypse will have to wait for Clyde to sort out the red heifer tape.