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Posts Tagged ‘Humor’

Since I focus on public finance, I think California is crazy because of punitive taxes and reckless spending policies.

But I can understand why other people think California is crazy, period.

This is a state, after all, where politicians come up with bizarre ideas such as regulating babysitting and banning Happy Meals.

Not to mention banning other things as well.

So you won’t be surprised to learn that the Golden State is leading the way in attacking the horrible scourge of plastic straws.

Plastic straws are quickly becoming a takeout taboo. Starbucks has vowed to get its iconic green sippers completely off store shelves by 2020, while Seattle banned all plastic utensils, including straws, from bars and businesses city-wide earlier this month. San Francisco quickly followed suit this week and passed an ordinance that, once approved, will ban plastic straws beginning in July of 2019… It may seem as though the quarter-of-an-inch diameter drinking straw is the least of our worries. But environmentalists say the fight’s got to start somewhere. “We look at straws as one of the gateway issues to help people start thinking about the global plastic pollution problem,” Plastic Pollution Coalition CEO Dianna Cohen told Business Insider.

If I’m willing to claim earmarks are the gateway drug for big spending, then I can’t complain when other people come up with imaginative claims about other types of “gateways.”

In any event, there is a legitimate reason to be concerned about plastic.

Some straws drift out to sea, becoming just one more piece of the 79 thousand-ton colossal floating iceberg of trash called the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Scientists who’ve studied the patch, a trash heap wider than two whole Texases that bobs somewhere between Hawaii and California, have discovered it’s essentially a watery pit of litter and illegal dumps that’s trapped in the ocean currents, and it is basically all plastic. …The anti-straw movement may have first picked up steam because…Texas A&M graduate student Christine Figgener…noticed something encrusted in the nose of one of the male turtles. …The team soon figured out it was actually a “plastic straw stuck in his nose,” and removed it, hoping the extraction might help give him some more breathing time on Earth.

But the people on the left side of the country are not actually solving this problem.

Plastic pollution is basically a problem caused by developing countries.

So the politicians in Seattle and San Francisco are making the Nanny State more intrusive without achieving anything.

A classic case of virtue signaling.

But look at the bright side. It’s already generated some great political satire.

Starting with this little girl.

I imagine the plastic straw will be a gateway for operating an unlicensed lemonade stand!

And if SWAT teams run out of harmless pot smokers to harass, they now have new target to justify their budgets.

And the gun grabbers will appreciate the importance of dealing with high-capacity straw dispensers.

Though it’s unclear how the left will deal with the danger of concealed straws.

Especially since some of those straw nuts will become dealers.

I’ve saved the best for last. For those old enough to remember OJ Simpson and the white Bronco, this image of a renegade toddler will bring back memories.

Remember, if you outlaw straws, only outlaws will have straws.

Next thing you know, they’ll try to outlaw tanks.

It’s a slippery slope!

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Back in 2016, I had an informal “politician of the year” contest. The three candidates were:

  • The Prime Minister of Malaysia, who took normal cronyist corruption and added several zeroes to the total.
  • The president of the Philippines, because he announced to voters that none of his mistresses would be on the public payroll.
  • The follicly-challenged President of France, Francois Hollande, who squandered more than $100,000 per year on a hair stylist.

As a proud American, I was chagrined that no Americans made the list.

So I’m delighted to report that our first contestant in the 2018 race is from the United States.

Courtesy of the Washingtonian, let’s look at a very strong candidate for this year’s award.

Parking laws in the District can seem like a mess, but as any DC driver can note, confusion is not an excuse for breaking the law—unless you’re DC Councilmember Jack Evans. Evans, whose free-form approach to parking regulations has been well-documented, was spotted in his car Saturday morning, idling in a no-parking zone in Georgetown… Evans is hardly the first member of the DC Council to be criticized or spotlighted for flouting the District’s traffic and parking rules. …But of all of these, Evans is the council’s best-known parking-law skeptic. As it turns out, he has a point: In 2002, the DC Council granted itself the same legal immunity that members of Congress enjoy in the District, allowing them to park in bus zones, crosswalks, and residential permit zones when on official city business.

But the mere fact that there are special rules for insiders isn’t what qualifies Mr. Evans for an award.

If that was the case, the folks on Capitol Hill would deserve an award for wanting exemptions from the Obamacare law that they imposed on the country. Or we could give a giant prize to the bureaucrats at the OECD, who get tax-exempt salaries while pushing higher taxes on the rest of us.

What makes Mr. Evans worthy is the remarkable logic that he used when confronted by a lowly voter.

Kmetz says he first noticed Evans’ car parked at the corner of 32nd and Q streets, Northwest, while on his way to the post office. …Kmetz approaching Evans and asking the councilmember if he knows he is parking illegally. “Can I ask you something? Why do you care?” Evans responds. “Because if I parked illegally, I would get a ticket,” Kmetz says. “If I park illegally, that opens up a spot for you,” Evans says.

That’s some impressive sophistry.

But I’m wondering if Mr. Evans missed a golden opportunity. Instead of being snarky, he should have expressed fake empathy and told Mr. Kmetz that he would “solve” the problem the by submitting a bill to provide chauffeur-driven limousines to all members of the DC Council.

And he could even demonstrate his “frugality” by buying second-hand limos from the federal government’s massive fleet.

P.S. Since I’m mocking politicians, here’s an amusing joke that a reader shared with me.

Though I would amend the joke by removing “bipartisan.” As we saw with TARP, or the budget deal earlier this year, it’s almost always bad news for taxpayers when the Evil Party and Stupid Party agree on something.

P.P.S. Here’s a good link if you enjoy anti-politician jokes.

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Last month, we summarized libertarianism in five images.

In the interest of fairness, now let’s give equal time to the other side. After all, statists deserve an opportunity to present their case.

And we’ll start with this image, which makes the same point about coercion found in the “two-sentences” column I shared two months ago.

Unfortunately for our leftist friends, coercion doesn’t lead to effectiveness.

So this next image aptly captures the inherent problem of statist solutions.

So now you understand why Santa Claus sometimes has a problem.

And what happens when you mix the coercive nature of government with the fantasy world of government-provided goodies? Well, President Eisenhower already gave us the answer, but here’s the visual version.

But let’s not forget somebody has to pay for this collectivist utopia.

And that brings us to the joy of taxation.

Last but not least, we’ll close with an image that illustrates how statism works in practice, which is why the message in this poster is so painfully true.

Having now presented five images for libertarianism and five images for statism, I suppose I could put together a poll to see which philosophy has more support.

But since libertarians are against untrammeled majoritarianism, that somehow doesn’t seem right. So instead I’ll simply recycle this bit of humor on the difference between the public sector and the private sector. Actually, there’s a scene from Ghostbusters that tells us everything we need to know.

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As part of my collection of libertarian humor (both pro and con), I provide an answer to the age-old question of “why did the libertarian chicken cross the road?”

Sticking with that theme, here’s some amusing satire from Babylon Bee.

Clad in his favorite Sunday Gadsden flag T-shirt, local libertarian believer John Revere reportedly screamed, “AM I BEING DETAINED!?!” to every person who attempted to shake his hand during the greeting time at Beech Reformed Church over the weekend. He bellowed the phrase at the top of his lungs to each of the fourteen people who happily greeted him and grabbed his hand during the mandatory time of saying hello, witnesses confirmed. …“You can’t be too careful,” he said. “Deep-state government shills are everywhere, and as soon as you let your guard down, you find yourself in a dungeon getting waterboarded at Guantanamo Bay.” …Revere had…tithed his 10% to the church using an untrackable crypto-currency, sources confirmed.

This is probably the same guy who is the annoying libertarian at Thanksgiving dinner.

But sometimes libertarians can be pathetically awkward rather than merely annoying.

I’ve shared Part I and Part II of the life of a libertarian dork. Well, here’s Part III.

Ouch. No wonder some leftists accuse us of being dorks.

P.S. I like to think I’m more of an opportunistic – but probably deluded – libertarian.

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I’m a big believer that some images do a great job of capturing an issue.

Speaking of socialism, let’s look at some more images that reveal the essence of that bankrupt ideology.

Here’s a cartoon from Libertarian Reddit that does a great job of showing the real difference between capitalism and socialism.

Perfectly stated. Reminds me of the insights offered by Thatcher and Churchill.

Sadly, if you provide the statists with real-world evidence, many of them still prefer the world in top-right frame rather than the bottom-right frame.

Heck, the IMF actually publishes studies supporting equal levels of poverty.

As you might suspect, there are plenty of socialists who enjoy the benefits of capitalism while urging statism for everyone else. Think, for instance, about all the leftists who use tax havens.

Or this hipster millennial.

Maybe he could have a ménage à trois with Pajama Boy and Julia? Though only if everyone is guaranteed equal levels of disappointment.

Next is a helpful reminder from Bernie Sanders about the very thin line between socialism and communism.

Though I’m not sure there’s a meaningful difference.

Last but not least, this gem from Libertarian Reddit appealed to my juvenile sense of humor.

Basically the same message you find in the last item in this collection of socialism humor.

P.S. Here’s my two-part series (here and here) on the bizarre allure of socialism.

P.P.S. For additional examples of socialism humor, click here, here, here, here, and here.

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I expressed my disapproval yesterday about the pro-Stalin propaganda in Gori, Georgia.

Yes, I realize he’s the most noteworthy person to be born in that town, but that’s hardly a reason to acknowledge – much less celebrate – the life of a totalitarian butcher.

In response, I thought about writing a column documenting Stalin’s awful crimes against humanity, but perhaps mockery is a more appropriate response.

So let’s start with this news report from the Onion.

…a group of Johns Hopkins University researchers released a report Tuesday indicating that the late Soviet Union leader Joseph Stalin was only one great purge away from creating a communist utopia. “Our research demonstrates that if Stalin had shipped a mere 100,000 more people to Siberia, the whole communist experiment would have worked out perfectly,” said historian and report co-author Franklin Morrison, adding that all of the USSR’s corruption, hunger, and disease would have disappeared overnight if Stalin had simply been able to let a few million more Ukrainians starve to death. “It’s a shame, because in 1953 the Soviet Union was really on the precipice of becoming a perpetual workers’ paradise devoid of all poverty and want. Unfortunately, Stalin passed away before he could round up just one last group of intellectuals and make them dig their own mass graves.”

Sadly, some leftist academic probably believe this satire.

They need a copy of this book.

Of course, some statists (like these dopes) will trot out their usual excuse that “real communism hasn’t been tried.”

Speaking of dopes, I wrote last month about the loathsome decision by the President of the European Commission to honor Karl Marx. Well, it appears he’s also going to authorize having Marx on the currency.

But the sensible folks at the European Central Bank intervened and insisted on an appropriate denomination.

I’ve saved the best for last.

Those of you familiar with the silly fuss over “cultural appropriation” will definitely appreciate this gem.

Marx must be very proud of the starvation caused by his ideas since he also tweeted on the topic back in March.

For additional examples of communist satire, click here, here, and here.

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I’m currently in Zürich, Switzerland, where most shops are closed because “May Day” is an official holiday (thanks to Swiss federalism, the 26 cantons make such decisions rather than the central government).

As a fan of warm weather, I certainly don’t object to a celebration of springtime. But I have a hard time feeling festive because May 1 also has been hijacked by communists and socialists for “International Workers’ Day.” And the two holidays – unfortunately – have blurred together for some people.

Celebrating workers and seeking to boost their incomes is a worthwhile goal, of course, but communists and socialists shouldn’t be involved since their policies invariably result in lower living standards for ordinary people.

So I’m going to celebrate May Day by adding to my collection of anti-communism humor (see hereherehere, and here for other examples). For our first item, we’re going to mock the leftist claim that communism has never failed because various totalitarian regimes were not examples of “real communism.”

And some true believers hold to this laughable excuse until the bitter end.

Let’s briefly digress so I can make a serious point. A few days ago, I condemned the European Commission’s top bureaucrat for agreeing to take part in a celebration of Marx’s 200th birthday.

Well, the New York Times reminds us that it also belongs on the list of dupes and apologists by publishing a column lauding the supposed insights of Marx.

What precisely is Marx’s lasting contribution? Today the legacy would appear to be alive and well. …countless books have appeared, from scholarly works to popular biographies, broadly endorsing Marx’s reading of capitalism… In 2002, the French philosopher Alain Badiou declared…that educated liberal opinion is today more or less unanimous in its agreement that Marx’s basic thesis — that capitalism is driven by a deeply divisive class struggle in which the ruling-class minority appropriates the surplus labor of the working-class majority as profit — is correct. …Racial and sexual oppression have been added to the dynamic of class exploitation. Social justice movements like Black Lives Matter and #MeToo, owe something of an unspoken debt to Marx… The transition to a new society where relations among people, rather than capital relations, finally determine an individual’s worth is arguably proving to be quite a task. …But he does offer a powerful intellectual acid test for that change.

Amazing that someone could write such nonsense in 2018.

Now let’s return to the deliberate humor. Here are some parents who don’t realize they’re making a big mistake (though, as Chuck Asay humorously depicted, maybe we should blame the person who believes in myths as an adult).

For what it’s worth, I think the cartoon would have been even better if the guy was wearing a Che Guevara t-shirt.

I’ve saved the best for last. Or, to be more accurate, this final bit of humor is my favorite because it’s hard to find economics-oriented humor (hence my appreciation for this Wizard-of-Id parody).

,

Reminds me of Cuba and North Korea (and Venezuela, though I don’t believe that awful regime has ever officially claimed to be Marxist).

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