. . . but no matter if you laff.

Shrubya explains the virtues of his Social Security plan

Tampa, Florida
February 4, 2005

WOMAN IN AUDIENCE: I don't really understand. How is it the new [Social Security] plan is going to fix that problem?

DUBYA: Because the—all which is on the table begins to address the big cost drivers. For example, how benefits are calculated, for example, is on the table. Whether or not benefits rise based upon wage increases or price increases. There's a series of parts of the formula that are being considered. And when you couple that, those different cost drivers, affecting those—changing those with personal accounts, the idea is to get what has been promised more likely to be—or closer delivered to what has been promised. Does that make any sense to you? It's kind of muddled. Look, there's a series of things that cause the—like, for example, benefits are calculated based upon the increase of wages, as opposed to the increase of prices. Some have suggested that we calculate—the benefits will rise based upon inflation, as opposed to wage increases. There is a reform that would help solve the red if that were put into effect. In other words, how fast benefits grow, how fast the promised benefits grow, if those—if that growth is affected, it will help on the red.

CCC: This guy is worse than Reagan. At least with Reagan you knew that he knew that you knew he was merely mouthing platitudes. And, that's OK. It's all good. But Dubya wings it in hope that you don't notice that he doesn't know what he is talking about.

The Republican Zone

From the archive of Tom Tomorrow's "This Modern World" cartoons:

[This Modern World: The Republican Zone (2005-02-15)]


The Puddledock Press, Farmington's feel-good monthly publication which in the past has daintily stepped around town politics, has departed from their non-political posture in the April edition with a piece titled, "Something to Think About." The piece is a ripoff of one or another of hundreds of versions on the web that have been floating around for years. Here are just two:

The Puddledock ripoff version talks about Noah who, resurrected, now resides in Farmington. What astonishing news! Living among us in our wee hamlet is a Biblical superstar who is instructed by the Creator to bang up another ark. Imagine!—our Farmington, chosen as the place where Noah, perhaps having failed the first time around in saving the best of all the species, is going to get it right this time around by selecting his specimens from our town!

Ah, but Noah is thwarted at every turn by "environmentalists" and associated obstructionists who impose so many rules and regulations that poor Noah (even with the almighty Creator on his side) can't defeat in his effort to get that ark of his launched.

Noah whines to God about getting wood for his ark. At the rate our forests are disappearing in Farmington, he could have a problem there. On the other hand, Noah might be able to find enough wood to build his ark if he dogs the developers as they clear the land. They might be happy to supply him with wood, though Noah should stand ready to cough up to buy the logs since after all, the poor developers have to struggle to make a living in the development business. But Noah complains to his God that the reason he has trouble getting wood for his boat is "because there's a ban on cutting trees in order to save the spotted owl."

Perhaps Noah is confused about Farmington, and our little town isn't chosen after all as the supplier of the best examples of the species Noah is appointed to save. It is true that bird populations in our area are diminishing and changing, but to date, no spotted owl that we've heard of has been spied in these parts. And unless our ZBA has changed its name, we have no "Development Appeal Board" in Farmington.

But fine points aside, apparently the only way Noah can succeed is if all who mess with him were to be put out of the way and a happy state of anarchy could reign. If Noah can prevail upon his God to smite the wicked environmentalists and their allies and bring about that anarchy, Noah ought have no trouble finishing his ark, and finding more than a few (like-minded) humans in Farmington eager to scurry aboard.

Living Will is the Best Revenge

Robert Friedman of the St. Petersburg Times offers a satiric view of the hoopla surrounding Terri Schiavo's final days in his column "Living will is the best revenge".

Where's a Woman to Wee-wee?

Jane Wingate

Ya gotta love Farmington.

At the May 23, 2005 selectmen's meeting, I went to use the toilet in the offices behind the meeting hall. To get there, you exit through a door at the back of the hall, angle across a little office, and then through the kitchen. Townfolk who attend board meetings often slip out of the hall to use that toilet.

Now, I'm not, as a general rule, fussy about where I wee-wee. In years of lugging tripod and backpack full of heavy camera gear, I've happily and gratefully wee-weed at field's edge, in ankle-breaking mosquito-y woods, and near the margins of soggy swamps. In Jamaica, a country not exactly overstocked with respectable wee-wee options, I've wee-weed in the bush, and in some pretty unsavory back-alley makeshift toilets. In Italy, where they charge you for everything, often the only toilets available are in tiny closets behind beaded curtains at the back of espresso bars, hangouts for village menfolk, and they grudgingly allow you to use those toilets only if you fork out for a half inch of espresso. And you wanna talk grubby? Mamma mia! Oh, and then there's the challenge of finding a wee-wee place in the desert of the southwest, where often all you get to squat behind are tumbling tumbleweeds tumbling around in vast, empty, kitty-litter moonscapes.

Like many women, I know where all the decent wee-wee places are for miles around. It's just helpful to know those things. And in a pinch, I'm generally not fussy where I wee-wee. Any port in a storm, as they say.

And I've wee-weed gratefully enough in the toilet just inside the main door of the municipal offices. But that wee-wee place is not at the top of my wee-wee list, since every Tom, Dick, and Harry wee-wee there, and before a woman of any measure of delicate sensibilities feels comfy wee-weeing there, she often must go through the drill of peering at the seat to see if it is splattered with a Tom, Dick, or Harry's wee-wee. Never pleasant, sitting in someone else's wee-wee.

Then, a gal always has to check the floor in front of the toilet, in case there are wee-wee drips from Tom, Dick, or Harry's wee-wee, which can get picked up by a woman's slacks puddled around her ankles. Puddled in the puddles, you might say. I did once suggest to the Powers in the town hall that they could fix the situation by labeling one of the two toilets in there as "Men" and the other as "Women." But alas, the suggestion apparently got mired down in the elaborate bureaucracy of The System.

Nevertheless, if I find myself at the town offices during business hours, and am in need of a wee-wee stop, I will grit my teeth and use the one just inside the main door. If I'm lucky, I don't have too much tidying up to do before I make my wee-wee.

However, that toilet shares a wall with the meeting hall, and being, as I said, not entirely without a woman's delicate sensibilities, I do not like to wee-wee there when a meeting is on, because even if you can't quite hear a body wee-weeing in there, you can certainly hear the toilet flush clear into the meeting room, and golly gee, who wants people to be reminded by that flush that you have just finished up your private biz.

So, ever since meetings have been held in the municipal offices, when some of us have needed to wee-wee during town meetings, we have slipped into the back toilet. The room is private, and clearly bears evidence of a woman's considerate touch—conducive to a pleasant wee-weeing experience—with its colorful, child-like paintings on the walls, magazines in case the meeting is dead boring, and even a tiny basket of bandaids in case a wee-weeing woman should have a wee boo-boo.

But, you may wonder, where is all this leading, and what do the simple, fun-loving folk of our town have to do with this treatise on wee-weeing?

Well, as I said, at the May 23 meeting, I slipped out of the hall and through the little office and kitchen, to that pleasant back-room wee-wee station. And when I came out, back through the kitchen and into the little office, there was a red-faced Ernie Creveling, who said to me, "I'm sorry."

Now, that was a mystery, because while old Slippery-er 'n Goosey Doo-doo Ernie has done me a few mean turns, I couldn't think he was apologizing for those.

He repeated his apology, saying "they" told him to come in there and fetch me out.

Well, you could've knocked me over with a fistful of Charmin.

I called upon all my delicate sensibilities and said, "Tell them to go f&%$ themselves."

Later I was told the whole saga. Someone in the Meyer gaggle saw me go in there, and apparently finding my going in there more important than whatever the selectmen were chewing over at the moment, raised a hue and cry, with one upright citizen saying I might be "rifling" through papers. (Or—who knows?—maybe hacking Slippery Ern's computer.) I suppose you might say I was rifling through the toilet paper. Then board member George Meyer, all but tugging at chairman Joan Funk's elbow, interrupting the business at hand, said, not once, but twice, that I was in the back room. At which point, Chairman Funk directed Slippery Ern to go fetch "the individual" out of there. After all, god only knows what nefarious activity I might be up to.

Now, I ask you: what kind of way is that to treat a citizen of our town—one who pays all tax bills on time, and always votes, and has lived in this town, off and on, for forty years? Is it too much to ask for a pleasant place to wee-wee without being treated like a gosh darn criminal, for Jeeny Chriney's sake?

Ah, but in these days of terrorists lurking behind every lilac, if our self-appointed Home-Guard watchdogs declare the nicer wee-wee place off limits because they suspect the wee-wee-er to be sabotaging town security (Egad! she might even be packing her Uzi), then hey, what the hey, eh? It's all good.

Ah yes, ya gotta love Farmington.