On Satire Bits: Vol. 46

With my project out of the way and tax information in the hands of an accountant, now its on to a variety of tidbits of things to do.

Seems like it’s a long time since the last bit of mid-week satire. Even though I wasn’t posting tidbits from The Onion midweek or in Friday’s Opinions in the Shorts, I was still gathering headlines from my favorite satire source.

I have more than normal because most of these have something to do with relatively recent news. Enjoy. Which is/are you favorite(s)?

North Korea returns to normalcy with synchronize disco jump-rope gala

Disappointed couple on 8-month waiting list to get married at the Pentagon

Girls Gone Wild Bankruptcy forces thousands of wet, wild party girls into tough job market

Chicago man bushes mound of snow from beef sandwich before eating it

Poll: 99% of human beings prefer big, slippery hound dog pope

Transportation Secretary hoarding traffic cones and stop signs before the sequester

Iran promises to end nuclear program in exchange for detailed diagram of atomic bomb

Les Miserables wins Oscar for most sound

Obama and Congress must reach deal by March 15, and then by April 11, and then by April 20th, and then by May 1st

Bus transporting Carnival cruise passengers crashes into sewage treatment plant

Hung-over Energy Secretary wakes up next to solar panel

I-95 diagnosed with highway cancer

Ben Affleck nominated for best friend of Matt Damon

Dead iPod remembered as expensive

College freshman roommate has had excuses to go home every weekend since August

Millions of human beings experiencing emotions about JJ Abrams directing Star Wars

Rod Stewart passes for elderly aunt

On God and Government: The Interview

As we often hear about the separation of church and state, but we don’t always hear about religion’s impact in government through lobbying and campaign contributions. Yet, with the 2012 presidential campaign season approaching, we hear about the importance the evangelicals have in early states as Iowa and South Carolina.

Let’s not kid ourselves, religion has always played a role in our government. James Madison had a reason for including freedom of religion in the Bill of Rights, and the same be said for Thomas Jefferson’s letter to the Danbury Baptists. The US Supreme Court first used “building a wall of separation between church and State” in Reynolds v United States (1878).

William Jennings Bryan’s rooted his presidential campaigns in his faith. Rev. Billy Graham influencing the White House goes back to President Eisenhower. Rev. Jerry Falwell’s Moral Majority served as a force for the conservative right in the 1980s. Today, Rev James Dobson’s Focus on the Family is strong. By the way, the PBS series God in America is a wonderful learning opportunity. (Video, transcripts, and other resources are here.)

On Easter Sunday, ABC’s This Week (with Christiane Amanpour) used the entire hour to feature God and Government. Below are some points that I found interesting.

The show opened with separate interviews with two prominent pastors: Rev. Franklin Graham and Rev. Tim Keller. Listen to them helps demonstrate differences within Christianity. The interviews are on this link.

Equally information was the roundtable discussion between Dr. Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention, Eboo Patel, founder of a the Interfaith Youth Core and a former member of President Obama’s Faith Advisory Council, Reverend Al Sharpton, and ABC’s Cokie Roberts and her husband Steve Roberts, an interfaith couple (Catholic and Jewish). Again, the theological differences are both profound and interesting. Here are a couple of quotes that struck me.

(C Roberts) Well, one would hope that religion stands in the place of trying to make people come together on high ground. But the – the fact is is that – that there’s lots of arguing and yelling and screaming and it takes place among religious people; in some cases inside churches. But I don’t want to go too far on this because keep in mind this – in this country, we’re not fighting with each other over religion. And that’s happening in most parts of the world.

(Sharpton) If – with – with all of us sitting around this table from different faiths, if those that we learned and emulate those faiths that Mohammed and Jesus and Moses set out, they wouldn’t have a problem. It’s those that come in their names that have so polarized American and world society. And I think if we sought to rise to the level, the thinking, the spirituality of those that we claim to follow, we would be able to break those barriers down.

(Patel) Faith can either be a bomb of destruction. It can be a barrier of division. Or it can be a bridge of cooperation. Our job is to make it a bridge of cooperation.

(Patel) We have a remarkable opportunity in this country. This is the first nation that brings people from the four corners of the Earth from every conceivable ethnic, racial, religious, national background to build together a country. We have an opportunity to be a city on a hill where the Mosque, the Synagogue, the Church, the Tsonga, the secular humanist society, works together in a world in which those communities are too often at each other’s throats.

(S Roberts) I think an even more pressing spiritual issue is tolerance. Our whole history has been replete with spasms of intolerance. And eventually we overcome them, and we have to do it again. … But history tells us that that will change. For 250 years that each new group America says we’re now perfect, we’re going to pull up the drawbridge, because the next group – the Germans, the French, the Italians, the Irish, the Jews, the Chinese, the Japanese, they’re going to degrade our culture. All of the rhetoric, all of the hate, all of the nativism that is being focused on Muslims and to some extent on Latinos today, we’ve heard periodically throughout our entire history.

(Land) (about the birthers and those thinking President Obama is a Muslim) I think they’re irrational, and a little imbalanced. I – I have no doubt whatsoever that Barrack Obama is a very typical 21st century main line Protestant. …  I say the idea that he wasn’t born in Hawaii, and the idea that he’s a Muslim is just flat nuts.

What are your thoughts?

Resources

On the Possible Shutdown

This wasn’t my original thought for today’s post, but as the budget deadline approaches, I could not let it pass without some random thoughts for the rational.

This process has been going on for months. Surely nobody believes that before the November election Republicans weren’t delaying the process as Democrats were trying to get agreement before January. Let’s face it – our elected officials care more about ideologies and their special interest groups than the country and its citizens.

The US Government employs millions of people across the country – most being outside of the Washington area. Yet, our elected leaders expect them and other affected commerce across the land to take the hit.

If a shutdown, delaying pay to essential employees is pathetic. Yep, those in the armed forces – some who already have financial turmoil because of their reserve status and being away from their normal job – will have pay checks delayed.

Here’s an idea. If a shutdown, Congress must stay in session because they are the ones who can undo the problem. Therefore, they must work without pay AND without back pay. Oh that’s right – they would never agree to sacrifice themselves.

Speaker Boehner (R-OH) is on the political tightrope. Will he stand with the noncompromising Tea Party to shutdown the government and furlough employees or make a deal with the Democrats to keep government open?

As pundits wonder about the various effects of a shutdown, remember this thought – there will only be losers – thus no winners. I have a difficult time believing the Washington realizes this. After all, Republicans continue to misread November’s election results and Democrats continue to blame Republicans.