Friday, April 27, 2018

31-derful Years

Readers- We're giving ourselves a break because we're focused on daughter Jarlsberg's 31st birthday today! For that reason, we're reposting our page from last year which was guest written in part by the birthday girl herself! We hope you'll enjoy it!


Hey, we at least TRIED to update the graphic.

Today we're doing something unprecedented: giving you a youthful perspective on life and living in 2017, rather than our standard fist-shaking "angry old coot with a bullhorn" perspective.

We're doing this in honor of (and with the indispensable help of) Daughter Jarlsberg, who celebrated her 30th birthday yesterday! 

If you'll allow a moment of parental gushing, she's an extraordinary young woman who - among many other accomplishments - has been a National Merit Scholar, Phi Beta Kappa college graduate, Dallas Morning News editorial writer, Symphony Orchestra musician, children's book author, and is a Speech Therapist who has a special gift for working with young children.

She's also faced (and overcome) more than her share of challenges, including significant health conditions, entering the workforce during the "lost generation" of the job-killing Obama economy, and the always-frightening possibility that she could grow up as crazy as her father. Let us all give thanks for the ameliorating qualities of Mrs. Jarlsberg's calming genes and maternal guidance.

With that preamble out of the way, here are 30 Life Lessons that this freshly-minted 30-year-old has picked up along her journey so far. Let us all learn from her wisdom...

1. Nothing good ever comes from clowns. 

2. Never try to blackmail a murderer.

3. Have a flashlight in every room - you never know where you're going to be when the lights go out. 

4. You can microwave regular oatmeal just like instant oatmeal. 

5. Someone doesn't have to be a bad person to still be bad news. 

6. Understand statistics - otherwise people will lie to you with facts. 

7. Understand personal finance.

8. If you're going to speed when driving, make sure someone else is going faster than you. That's who the police will pull over.

9. Driving and competitiveness should have nothing to do with each other. Let the angry speed demons pass you.  My personal zen-like phrase is "be the rock in the river." 

10. Life is too short for cheap, crappy toilet paper. 

11. One's living space should be both tidy and expressive of your life and personality. This ensures that, when you are murdered, the forensics team and investigators will be able to get a clear picture of your circumstances and thus more likely to catch the killer.

12. Large groups of women can quickly turn into war zones about nothing.

13. There are more sociopaths in the world than you would think.

14. All Christmas lights are beautiful.

15. Prolonged self-pity is a form of narcissism. 

16. There is a very tight correlation between parents who refuse to discipline their precious babies and parents that get easily, easily offended. 

17. You can generally identify these parents before even meeting them by hearing the 'creative' names of their children. I'm looking at you, Camelot.

18. Even when they make you crazy, having a dog keeps you sane. 

19. Stick up for people being bullied. You'll probably end up being bullied too, but no one should have to feel isolated and alone. 

20. Very few people tolerate someone making a constant stream of puns. Keep them close and cherish them.

21. Ramen stops being cheap when you have to buy heartburn medicine to go with it.

22. Beware the quiet ones - they are the ones who, when pushed too hard, will lose their minds with rage. As the quiet one, I admit to relishing the look of absolute, pants-staining terror on the faces of those who didn't see it coming. I'm looking at you, jocks who threw french fries at me. ONCE.

23. Running a spoon under hot water, then placing it on a mosquito bite, will instantly stop the itching. I feel sad for all of the summers I didn't know this. 

24. Compatibility with your co-workers makes up to 99% of your job satisfaction.

25. Wear comfortable, practical shoes. You never know when the zombie apocalypse will start, and trying to run in strappy stiletto heels is a recipe for disaster. 

26. Don't try to hide mistakes. It just makes things harder for everyone. 

27. It's nice to have your own theme song. Mine is Academic Festival Overture by Brahms. 

28. Never underestimate Japan's power to screw with your mind. 

29. Life doesn't owe you a thing. 

30. Sometimes, when you get stuck in a routine, it feels like your life is being lived for you. Those are the times to do something a little different - it reminds you that your life is yours.  So yeah, I am going to get that third ear piercing! Sorry Mom and Dad!

Good stuff, huh?  Feel free to add to this list of useful life lessons - and share 30th birthday wishes - in the comments section!

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Giving a Handout Job

stilton’s place, stilton, political, humor, conservative, cartoons, jokes, hope n’ change, bernie sanders, $15, guarantee, jobs, program

As the old saying goes, "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't teach simple math to Bernie Sanders." A saying which is particularly apt in light of the Vermont senator's statement that he will soon be announcing a new federal jobs program which would guarantee a $15/hour job and health benefits to every adult American who "wants or needs one."

Sure, such a program sounds like it would be prohibitively expensive, but surprisingly the whole thing could be funded simply by raising taxes so high that the evil rich and the somewhat-evil middle class will literally beg for quick, merciful deaths.

Even apart from the funding for such a program, we foresee a number of other problems with the idea:

• What the heck kind of jobs will these even be? Jobs in the actual government?! Because we're not guessing that this new pool of workers would add much in the way of efficiency for our already hopelessly moribund bureaucracies. Or will the government create businesses which will compete with their private sector counterparts, who will be at a distinct disadvantage when it comes to getting employees or actually being profitable?

• When these magical $15/hour jobs appear, what will happen to those currently making less than that amount? Oh yeah, they'll all jump ship and take the new jobs (which apparently aren't finite in number). And who will take their places? No one - unless they're stupid and hate money. Although Bernie's plan does contain a loophole: the new jobs are for adult Americans.  Meaning the jobs with substandard wages can still be performed by children.

• Bernie's plan would include job training (presumably in many languages) for any who need it. But where will these instructors come from? And how will job seekers be ferried back and forth to class? We're guessing that in any given week, one third of the group will be paid $15/hour as drivers, one third will be paid $15/hour to take classes, and the last third will get $15/hour to teach. The next week (and the one after), they all switch jobs. Finally, a perpetual motion machine!

• Businesses trying to compete for workers by offering higher wages (while simultaneously being taxed more) will have to raise consumer prices significantly just to survive. Unless, say, GovMart or GovPizza or McGovBurger undercuts those prices since they're not required to make an actual profit. So the likelihood is that prices in the private sector would shoot up until consumers rebel and desert them...after which the private businesses will close, reducing the tax base, and forcing taxes to be raised even higher to keep the program funded. This is what is known as a "death spiral" to both economists and the gigantic self-devouring worm Ouroboros.

Is Bernie's plan likely to pass? Thankfully, no - but it's a frightening bellwether of where quite a few Progressives want to take the country. And if the midterms go badly for our side, they just might possibly get the chance.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Kiwi's Playhouse

stilton’s place, stilton, political, humor, conservative, cartoons, jokes, hope n’ change, earwigs, kiwi, diverticulitis

We're easing into the week with an Earwigs post because multiple sources in the media have declared that today, April 23, the world will come to an end - so we thought "why bother?"

The actual cause of Earth's destruction today isn't quite settled science. Some are saying that a phantom planet which usually hides coyly behind the sun will smash into us today, while others have declared that they've found previously unfathomed hints in the Bible that today will be the beginning of Armageddon. In either case, you'll surely be able to catch it all on Facebook Live.

It's particularly ironic that our planet is going kaput today because we're no longer incapacitated by acute diverticulitis. We're actually much improved, and pounced on a dab of scrambled eggs and white toast today in much the same way that the bird above would hurl itself at a worm if he ever sees one.

Eggs and toast might not sound like deluxe dining, but after a week of dining on thin broth, Werther's originals, teriyaki sauce, and gummi worms it felt like a feast! And this is as good a place as any to thank everyone for their well wishes and advice over the past week - all were (and are!) very much appreciated.

And no, we still can't drink liquor. So we wish the news media would make a greater effort to meet us halfway by not reporting so many things that would normally drive us to drink.

Further bulletins as warranted, and see you in the comments section! (And if anyone has previously missed it, just click on the title above each day's cartoon - like "Kiwi's Playhouse" today - and you'll be whisked away to the comments section where wisdom and hilarity cavort in equal measures!)