Archive for the ‘rhetoric’ Category

Pay Congress What It’s Worth. Nothing.

January 24, 2013

Pay Congress What It's Worth. Nothing.

House Speaker John Boehner (R, OH-8) has put the 113th United States Congress on notice: No work no pay. Pass the budget or you won’t get a paycheck.

This is the same John Boehner who was House Speaker last year, during the 112th Congress, the least productive Congress in 60 years. So does this mean we can get our money back from that Do-Nothing Congress?


Short link:

Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht,

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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Will the Swiss Ban PowerPoint?

July 10, 2011

Will the Swiss Ban PowerPoint?

PowerPoint. It’s ubiquitous. It’s also evil and makes us stupid. PowerPoint has even played a role in our disastrous military policy. The constraints of its format have shackled our minds, blinkered our perceptions and misdirected our actions.

A new political party in Switzerland seeks a ban on the use of Powerpoint and similar slideware. International response has been so great that this has become a worldwide movement.

Sign up today.  The meeting you save may be your own.


The End of D’Souza

September 22, 2010

The End of D'Souza

Writer Dinesh D’Souza has clearly removed himself from legitimate intellectual discourse with his breathtakingly logic-free cover story in Forbes magazine.  “How Obama Thinks” is simply beneath contempt.

D’Souza alleges President Obama has somehow inherited a “rage” against capitalism and Western civilization with “roots” in the (unverified) opinions of the president’s Kenyan father, whom he pictures as some kind of over-educated neo-Mau Mau. This despite the fact that Barack Obama never knew his father, and has written about that at length. This despite the fact that no one has isolated a genetic basis for “anti-colonial rage.”


4th of July Oratory from Sarah Palin

July 4, 2009

4th of July Oratory from Sarah Palin

Americans have long celebrated Independence Day with great speeches presenting  the principles of Democracy and Freedom with clarity and power. This year the nation’s most moving, patriotic, and eloquent Fourth of July Oration was by Alaska’s Governor Sarah Palin:

Now that’s what made our country great.

The offical transcript is here; you’ll want to print these inspiring words on parchment and recite them on Independence Days to come. Especially the part about “only dead fish go with the flow.”

Have a safe and sane 4th of July, and God Bless America.


Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht,

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

Street Light User Fee

April 27, 2009

Streetlight User Fee

District of Columbia Mayor Adrian Fenty has proposed imposing a street light “user fee” on residents and businesses in Washington DC. Funds raised would help defray costs of street light maintenance and operation, and would be collected through surcharges on electric utility bills. If enacted, the measure would cost average DC households about $51 a year.

The rationale for a “user fee” is that it isn’t a tax imposed on everyone; a user fee is only paid by those using a specific service, and is proportional to the rate of use. Mayor Fenty’s measure, however,  does not exempt blind Washingtonians from this “user fee,” and they are not consumers of street light services.


No More Foreclosed Homes

March 5, 2009

No More Foreclosed Homes

What’s all this blather about falling real estate values and home foreclosures? Stuff and nonsense.

Just look around you. There are no more “Foreclosed Homes” —  just “Bank-Owned” houses and “Motivated Sales.”

Just ask any Realtor®.


Caution:There are many underperfoming assets on the Real Estate Euphemism Market today. Not all semantic shifts and short sales of logic are bank-approved. Demand documents written in a language actually understood by some living human population without third-party approval.

Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht,

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

Mary Baldwin — Engaged?

February 9, 2009

Mary Baldwin -- Engaged?

Virginia’s Mary Baldwin College has a new interdisciplinary minor in “Civic Engagement,” reports Inside Higher Education.

Isn’t that a rather unfortunate title for a program at a woman’s college?  It sort of sounds like it leads to an “MRS degree.”


For more information on the program look here.

“Mary Baldwin College” and logo may be registered trademarks of Mary Baldwin College; they are used here  to prevent brand confusion with Mary Washington, St. Mary’s, Marymont, and Alec Baldwin.

Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht,

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

Superbowl Veg-Out

January 30, 2009

Superbowl Veg-Out

This Sunday we the people will remain faithful to the ideals of our forebears and true to our Tostitos. On that day we plant ourselves like torpid tubers on every upholstered surface of our land because we have chosen hope and beer over fear, unity of purpose and bean dip over conflict and discord.

This year we spectate amidst gathering clouds and raging storms. The challenges we face are real. The Steelers? Sure. But Arizona? St. Louis in exile? Puh-leez. What’s up with that? Perhaps Nobel laureate Al Gore can explain it; not us.

That we are in the midst of crisis is now well understood. Our economy is badly weakened, a consequence of greed and irresponsibility on the part of sports handicappers. Sunday’s point spread was clearly devised by AIG, Citibank, and Bernard Madoff.


Near-Witness to Pseudo-Events of History

January 19, 2009

Near-Witness to Pseudo-Events of History

[Looking for the program of the Swearing-In Ceremony (starts 11:30 AM 20 January 2009)? It’s here.]

We went down to the Pre-Inaugural Concert Sunday afternoon, exiting the Farragut West Metrorail station about 2:30 PM and walking down 18th Street, NW to the Lincoln Memorial and National Mall. Motor traffic was banned from the area,  just as it is during World Bank meetings. There was a party atmosphere as the crowd ambled along, and Springsteen‘s voice echoed up from the performance.

The area nearest the Lincoln Memorial concert site was already at capacity and security checkpoints were closed, so we watched the concert on the three giant Jumbotron screens set up between the World War II Memorial and the Washington Monument. The jubilant crowd was friendly and well-behaved, and people of all ages and origins from all around the nation and the world joked and chatted amiably, exchanging notes on the music and performers, expressing their relief, joy, and hopes. It may have been a pseudo-event, but the feelings were genuine.


Media Alert — Caution, Real News in DC This Weekend

January 16, 2009

Media Alert -- Caution, Real News in DC This Weekend

We hate to disturb working reporters covering the vital Celebrity Inaugural Ball lobster-booze-caviar beat, but real news may break in Washington this weekend. Okay, real political news, but that’s as close to “reality” as most remaining Washington scribes get these days.

Sleep-deprived, hung-over DC reporters should report to Howard University at 11AM Sunday for Chapel Call.  Stop groaning — it’s a story. The speaker will be Rev. Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright, Jr., Pastor Emeritus of Chicago’s Trinity United Church of Christ. 

The nondenominational Chapel Call will be held at Howard’s huge Cramton Auditorium to accommodate the expected crush of Fox News, National Review, and Washington Times reporters. Just joshing — the popular weekly event outgrew Rankin Chapel and moved to Cramton long ago.