Wednesday, July 29, 2009

This dialogue took place

Setting: Leninaghdad, Czechoslonesiaran, August 1961.

Bad Guy: "We must take power in the White House to spread our agenda."

Another Bad Guy: "What is our agenda, again?"

BG: "Socialism! Also, fascism. We are out to create a state where the people are entirely dependent on the government, to the point where the government is their religion. Also, Islam."

ABG: "How will we go about that?"

BG: "By insisting on taxing the rich at a top rate of 39 percent."

ABG: "Harsh! But, wait a minute. It's 1961. The top rate in the U.S. is 91 percent."

BG: "Yes, but by the time our plan comes to fruition, the top rate will be 35 percent, and the move to 39 percent will seem like a horrifying redistribution of wealth."

ABG: "My lack of real God! That's a drastic decrease. How long is our plan going to take?"

BG: "Forty-seven years."

ABG: "Wha?"

Third Bad Guy: "Let me take it from here, Bad Guy. You see, we thought about selecting someone near U.S. presidential age who we could groom to fit in with American society, and be seen as prime leadership material. It shouldn't be too hard: give some Italian guy a crew cut and hook him up with a mediocre dialect coach, teach him to say the Pledge of Allegiance. Then we'll falsify some citizenship documents for him, which won't be hard, because it's 1961 and they still hand-write a lot of that stuff. Simple times we live in. Also, we would get him some prime media coverage on that one newscast they show on TV for 30 minutes a day. In no time flat, he'd be the president, a man everyone trusts unequivocally, and then he could do all of our evil Commieslamofascist bidding from within."

ABG: "And then we could take control of the U.S.?"

TBG: "Hell, no. Who wants that?"

BG: "The point here is to get the citizens to pay more taxes and be a slave to the U.S. government."

TBG: "Actually, we want them to pay less taxes, but think they're paying more. Makes the outrage all that more poignant."

ABG: "Sounds good. Times have never been riper for such an American political invasion."

BG: "Exactly. That's why we're waiting until 2008."

ABG: "How come?"

BG: "Because this random black infant we picked needs time to mature."

TBG: "But not too much time. Want to see him?"

ABG: "Adorable! What's his name?"

BG: "Barack Hussein Soetoro."

ABG: "Isn't that name obviously un-American?"

TBG: "That was a concern, yes. So we decided to go with another name that could fly under the radar. Barack Hussein Obama."

BG: "Obama! Sounds like Alabama! Everyone knows blacks are popular there."

TBG: "And - get this - his mother is a white woman from Kansas. He's got both black and white blood, so all of America will love him, just as they do his interracial parents."

ABG: "Sounds bulletproof. So will Kansas be his falsified birthplace?"

BG: "Absolutely not. We're going with that new state, Hawaii. The one far from the mainland, that used to be its own kingdom."

TBG: "Remember, we're shooting for heartland values here. If we went with Kansas, it would be too obvious. People would be suspicious."

BG: "And given that the influence of the press is likely to increase as time goes by, potentially foiling our plan, we need as little suspicion as possible."

TBG: "And we're hoping that, by then, not only will it be acceptable for a black man to be president of the United States, but that our little baby Barack will win at the exact moment we need him to be president for our nefarious scheme."

ABG: "Is there any special reason that baby Barack would ever have aspirations for presidential leadership?"

BG: "Not especially. For all we know, he could become a teenage drug user, a basketball star or a community organizer later in life. Maybe all three."

TBG: "But there's also no reason for him not to be president. Aside from all the strings we're illegally pulling, of course."

ABG: "What if he fails to win the election? Do we have a backup plan?"

TBG: "We're also cultivating one John McCain. But, meh. We liked that he was born in Panama, but he already has 25 years of experience as an American. He's white and a potential war hero, so we doubt we could make much nefarious headway with him."

BG: "He's definitely our Plan B, if you catch my drift."

TBG: "We've learned from McCain that American education is outstanding, but it doesn't suit our ends very well. So we'll school Obama in a Jakarta madrassa."

ABG: "Won't that sort of educational background worry Americans?"

BG: "Naah. Americans are sophisticated people. They send their children to Christian schools in droves, so they'll be completely trusting of an educated black man from another land and religion. You know, melting pot and all that."

ABG: "Any drawbacks to our plan?"

TBG: "That the sheer flawlessness of it will cause Obama to be such a perfect (and perfectly timed) U.S. foil for our White House operation that he may turn into an actual good guy."

BG: "You gotta admit, we covered all the bases with this one. In no time, we'll have crushed the great patriotic Satan United States with our little baby here! Well, give or take 48 years."

ABG: "Fair enough. So, just one more question..."

BG: "Yeah?"

ABG: "What on Earth makes you think there's any logic to this at all?"

BG: "Duh! We're barbarians!"

ABG: "Ah."

Monday, July 27, 2009

A birther bonanza

Prompted by the latest wave of Obama birth certificate BS (and an oddly appropriate rerun of King of the Hill, in which Hank discovers he was actually born in New York City), I fished out my own birth certificate. You know, just to see if I was born and all. What I discovered shocked me.

First off, it says, "Certificate of Live Birth." Well, that's not a proper Birth Certificate, is it? It's a Certificate of Live Birth! That's different.

Second, it says I was born at Lafayette General Hospital in Lafayette, Louisiana. That hospital is now known as Lafayette General Medical Center. I smell a coverup. (Furthermore, the hospital's address is listed as 134 Hospital Drive, which has to be made up.)

Third, though the original certificate was filed on May 16, 1980, eight days after my birth (itself a fishy delay), the copy I have is dated March 4, 1983. What sort of sinister conspiracy could have taken place within those three years? The mind boggles!

Fourth, I have no proof that news of my birth ever appeared in my local newspaper. That's mostly a matter of not having looked for it, but STILL.

And finally, this entire document was prepared, signed and notarized WITHOUT MY PERMISSION. Damn those dastardly government registrars!

I guess I'll never be able to run for president, because there's no way this will pass muster or - wait, I'm white? Oh. Never mind.

This didn't help my stomach bug

I won't blame you if you don't watch this.



Sarah Palin's speeches are typically more of a test of physical endurance than an intellectual exercise. This one nauseates me for a different reason: it was actually relatively coherent. Shall we count the vomit-inducing ways?

- Is it me, or does Sarah seem really energized? She seems relieved in the way people get when they finish their final college exams, with that glow you get when you've decided to leave a boring event and you get that second wind. And for her, that boring event is the governorship.

- Random salute to our brave troops. Cheaper applause can't be bought at Dollar General.

- Uh...what?

- I wonder how many people heard Sarah talk about, "The road that is north to the future," and mentally added Dan Quayle's quote, "or whether we're going to go past to the back!" I'm barely old enough to remember Quayle, and even I did it.

- "Just between us, Alaska is better than the U.S. Wait, what's C-SPAN?"

- Sarah deserves credit for avoiding the old political cliche, "Our best days are still ahead." But avoiding it with the mother of awkward transitions to more troop praise debits that credit.

- She almost says something about soldiers not worth snark, but then mentions the soldiers who fight for freedom of speech, "Which, par for the course, I'm going to exercise!" (Cheers) Forget Tina Fey - I think David Cross could best lampoon that line.

- Sweet Jesus, can you make a point without leaning on the military in every sentence? We get it, you support the troops. That's so edgy of you! Let me guess: you also like apple pie?

- "So how about, in honor of the American soldier, ya quit makin' things up?" (Thunderous cheers) Careful, Sarah! That's no way to get a gig with Fox News.

- "Our new governor has a very nice family too. So leave his kids alone." (Rapturous cheers) I'm sure the media will, as long as one of those kids doesn't completely undermine one of his top campaign platforms.

- "Remarkably succinct words" - "What does Sarah Palin never include in her speeches, Alex?"

- Based on her pantomimes, Sarah could easily get a job as a symphony orchestra conductor. But she'd probably step down halfway through Beethoven's Second.

- Isn't the energy rebate socialist?

- Do you suppose they abbreviated the Petroleum Oversight Office before they named it?

- "They just don't get it on this one...You're gonna see anti-hunting, anti-Second Amendment circuses from Hollywood. And here's how they do it: they use these delicate, tiny, very talented celebrity starlets, they use Alaska as a fundraising tool...Stand strong and remind them, patriots will protect our individual guaranteed right to bear arms...We eat; therefore, we hunt."

1) What ever would Sarah do with a real sense of perspective about enemies?

2) Shooting animals from a helicopter isn't hunting; it's a drive-by.

3) Project much?!!

4) No single statement encapsulates Sarah's ill fit for public office better than, "We eat; therefore, we hunt." It's deliberately ignorant of the gun issue, and sounds like something Bush would say drunk.

There's another eight-minute segment of this, but I'm queasy enough as it is.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Health care clarification

Obama's health care plan is NOT socialized medicine. In fact, those of us who actually want socialized, single-payer health care are disappointed that such an option remains taboo.

The Democrats' health care plan proposes a "government option." What that means is, people can choose (key word there) to buy into (also key) a health plan offered by the government. This would not be unlike the way individuals and employers now buy into health plans offered by private companies - except that the government couldn't refuse you over preexisting conditions or price you out of coverage. This option would likely be attractive to those whose current health plans are cost-prohibitive and/or nonexistent.

Critics claim this is unfair. In fact, it makes things very fair, which is why private insurers and the teabag crowd couldn't possibly hate it more. As it stands now, private insurance is the only cushion available to most non-elderly people, if even that. The companies know this and price accordingly (high). They are responsible to no one but themselves, and often see your growth as an obstacle to their own growth. They and their apologists claim that a government option would put them out of business. But that's really up to them, isn't it? There isn't a single thing keeping private insurance companies from offering a lower-priced, more expansive product than the government - except for greed.

Taxpayers already spend exorbitant amounts of money on health care for the uninsured, who often must wait until an expensive emergency to seek help. Even those who have insurance are often one major illness away from bankruptcy. And yet, the criticism of Obama's plan touches on the same template as every other teabagger bugaboo: it's socialist! A burden to the taxpayers! It's a blow to the magic of the free market! Do you really want Big Government bureaucrats to replace the benevolent bean-counters of the private sector?

Well, yeah, if the government can offer a better plan. Which, in the absence of a single-payer system, I think it would.

No wonder Big Business is so scared.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Caption Central

Today's captions brought to you by the Party of No!



--Hey, Obama, on your way to get your real birth certificate?
--Look at the celebrity Obama, getting the red-carpet treatment
--The Obamessiah walks on the blood of all the people socialized medicine's gonna kill
--A Jimmy Carter portrait. How fitting!
--Red: the color of China, Commies and Canada
--Leave it to Obama to step all over the economy, which is in the red
--So where are those millions of supporters who came to the inauguration now, huh?
--Walking away from America's problems, hey?
--"Those new taxes have to be around here somewhere..."
--What's with the face, Obama? Upset that your presidency has already been set in stone as a complete failure?
--Look at his cocky strut, like he's got a plan or something...
--Where you headed, Obama? Out for a smoke?
*Off to bowl badly?
*Off to one of the 57 states?
*Off to say "uh" every time your Teleprompter blinks?
*Off to brainwash more people into supporting your unappealing platform of expanded health care, withdrawal from Iraq and middle-class tax cuts?
*Off to the store for more socialism?
--Nice house! Did Tony Rezko get you that one too?
--Hussein's got BO!
--He walks with an appreciation for all the steps he takes, because Obama is a basketball player, and you don't quit walking when there's guarding to be guarded. In a way, walking is like being a community organizer, but with actual walking on red carpet. Only dead fish walk with the flow. (Contributed by Sarah Palin)
--That's right, use the back entrance, boy.
--Ayers. Wright. ACORN. Something. (Not clever, but neither are they)

More captions

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Poll-lemic

It is my sincere hope that every one of these wingnut yokels currently gloating over Obama's supposedly low poll numbers is just as worshipful of them when they tilt in Obama's favor. As I recall, they were happy to have a president who took pride in laughing at polls, and they were exceptionally good at deflecting Bush's sub-30s ratings by pointing out Congress' then-9 percent approval rating. By that logic, all Obama supporters have to do is point out Sarah Palin's ratings, and he will win. Or something.

I'll be watching.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

A thought about racism

Stripped of all physical and demographic attributes, Barack Obama and Sonia Sotomayor are intelligent, experienced and quick-thinking people at the core, well-suited for the highest levels of public service. Though race has played a key role in shaping their experiences, they'd be assets no matter who they were.

Republicans, on the other hand, choose women and minorities based solely on the fact that they're women and minorities, such as Sarah Palin and Clarence Thomas. They do this to combat their well-deserved reputation as the bastion of the Angry White Male, even though all they actually achieve is a more diverse-looking bastion of the same outdated ideas. And, on top of that, they're openly proud of this.

So which side is more racist, really?

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Sarah Palin, Red Dawn and other scary things

- I've been following several online forums regarding Sarah Palin for the past few days, and I've come to the conclusion that she does in fact have a bright political future. Not because she's qualified - as if - but because leadership isn't what today's Republicans value. They want someone who can accomplish two things: 1) be as narcissistic, shallow and religiously vindictive as the below-average voter and 2) drive liberals and moderates off the deep end. That's why it doesn't bother them that Palin quit before her first term as governor was up, or even because she might be in legal trouble. Because who cares, right? She can now spend her time stumping for Republican candidates, writing books (so to speak) and maybe even join the Fox News team! And when she drops those gigs just as fast to throw her antlers in the ring in 2012, they'll cheer her all the way. She's the logical end of a party that not only actively hates government, but also shows why we need it. Sarah Palin is not a candidate; she's a brand.

I guess someone forgot to tell her that mavericks don't have brands.

- Fine print in advertising is getting ridiculous. Now there's a commercial for acne medication that stresses the supermarket pharmacist is an actor, not a doctor. Another TV spot features a man in a suit talking broadly about some legal service, and the fine print helpfully tells us that the man is an actor, not a lawyer.

I could understand this if either one of these men were offering anything that could be vaguely construed as medical or legal advice. But they weren't. In both cases, they were essentially saying, "Sometimes you need help. Buy this." Are there actually people out there who are desperate for an acne cure, but will only act on that need when a doctor-looking guy says it's OK? Is the company afraid that they'll get sued if some teen's face explodes from the medicine and they'll be held liable because the teen found that actor and got a prescription from him? Just hire that fake attorney from the other spot! He looks like he knows what he's talking about.

- There should be a Facebook filter to sift out people whose statuses are entirely song lyrics and/or calls to pray for their infant who might have a cold.

- A remake of Red Dawn is in the works. Really? Did we even need the first one?

Red Dawn once held the Guinness World Record for most violent movie, at a rate of 2.23 violent acts per minute. Apparently, something's even worse than that now. So, what is driving this remake of the ultimate insurgent celebration, aside from the complete lack of original ideas in Hollywood? Screenwriter Carl Ellsworth:

"The tone is going to be very intense, very much keeping in mind the post-9/11 world that we’re in... As 'Red Dawn' scared the heck out of people in 1984, we feel that the world is kind of already filled with a lot of paranoia and unease, so why not scare the hell out of people again?"

Why do I think a President Palin is going to factor heavily into this screenplay?

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Department of Defensive

Rule #125: A bitter pill to swallow
If the private sector is really the best source for health care, then a competitive government option shouldn't be the end of the world. Often lost in this debate is the word "option," which you think would stir the steamy juices of capitalism. After all, corporations love to talk about "unfettered choice" and "let the market decide," at least until it actually does. Yes, I've heard the criticism: "Government would have an unfair advantage!" Oh, really? Like the insurance companies don't have a much, much worse advantage now? At least the government is accountable to the people, and not just some anonymous penny-pinchers somewhere. And don't tell me some bureaucrat will stand between me and my doctor; that would be an improvement.

The private sector offers government as the enemy because it can't say what it really fears most from a public health care option, lest it be taken the right way: "This would really hurt our ability to suck blood from desperate people." These companies know full well that, to stay in business among a decent public option, that they will have to lower prices, improve coverage and be more accountable overall. You know, actually play by the rules of competitive business. Oh, the horror! If anything, though, the option would only strengthen the marketplace and, in the long run, make all avenues better. And if corporate health care's aim is to help people, that can only fuel its mission further.

If, on the other hand, corporate health care is a massively bureaucratic, bottom-line obsessed, unaccountable, for-profit clusterfuck, then maybe it does have a reason to feel threatened.

Rule #126: B.O. B.S.
Don't refer to Barack Obama as "B.O." or "Hussein," and then defend it by saying, "But that's his name!" Don't pretend it's anything other than childish disrespect and/or an obvious attempt to stoke prejudice. And don't say we do this with past presidents, because JFK's and FDR's initials weren't synonymous with body odor. Just greatness.

Rule #127: Premature flagellation
Obama doesn't have "one last chance" to prove anything. He's been president for six months. That's one-eighth of his first term. In Simpsons terms, he's still a crudely drawn segment on the Tracey Ullman Show. Does anyone remember what George W. Bush was up to in the summer of 2001? Besides nothing? No, and it certainly didn't define his legacy, did it? Nope. If Bush could wreak historic levels of havoc in his last seven years and three months in office, then Obama has plenty of time to at least begin the recovery.

Those calling for Obama's premature political death generally didn't want him to thrive in the first place. Or they're just contrarian/hipster by nature. Either way, give the man a chance.

Rule #128: Giving the man a chance
If Obama isn't giving you what you want right away, wait. It's one thing to grumble that change should occur faster or that the Democrats could be more forceful. Those are valid concerns. But it's another thing altogether to suggest that Obama and Co. don't care and/or are failures because everything they promised (and many things they haven't, for that matter) haven't come to complete fruition just yet.

Reagan/Bush didn't ruin the country in six months, and Obama won't fix it in six months. It takes longer for a 3-minute oil change than some people expected to see sweeping changes on certain issues. Those things will happen; public sentiment is on the right side of gay marriage, public health care, habeas corpus, military overextension, the economy, etc. For what he has on his plate, Obama's doing a good job at least chipping at it. The particulars are worth debating, but eyes are on the prize. And that's more hope than we had over the past several years.

I'm glad my mom didn't give up on me at six months. But she was probably too devastated over the death of John Lennon to think about it much.

Rule #129: Don't Ask, Don't Tell


This is not a real question.

The rest of the rules

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Things

- As I get older, I realize just how grating it is to continually hear from baby boomers, "You missed out on..." That generation will go to its mass grave thinking it was the best thing to happen to recorded history. I guess every generation does that, but in the words of an ad I once saw in a magazine from 1989, "Generations come and go. Some are just a lot cooler than others." Way to dis the Greatest Generation over some Seagram's, yuppies.

But as far as I can tell, baby boomer culture is no different than any other: revered tremendously by those who grew up with it, who necessarily see it as the reality gauge to which nothing else can compare, while others see it as OK in spots and full of itself in others. Hell, I even like a lot of what the generation gave us. But greatest ever? Don't be so self-important.

That said, I do know what people in my generation (whatever mine is) really did miss: the feeling of knowing we will be better off than our parents. Way to think outside the box on that one, baby boomers. You guys do have Obama, though, so maybe there's hope on the tail end.

- I think I have yet to hear the word "fornication" spoken in any cadence other than TV preacher. It's like a password for religious fanaticism. I'm genuinely impressed by the religious right's efforts to have a parallel culture, with alternative music, TV shows, public events, celebrities and even vocabulary. Heh heh heh. Alternative lifestyle. Huh huh huh.

- Somebody tell Sarah Palin that you can't sue the press for slander just because you don't like something they said about you. There's a thing you have to prove called "actual malice" if you're a "public figure." Oh, you need a definition, Sarah? Well, "actual malice" refers to an intentional attempt to cause someone tangible harm through defamation and -- Oh. Sorry. "Public figure" refers to someone who is in the public domain of criticism, whether through politics, fame or other widespread exposure. You're that. Deal with it.

- If I played pro football, I'd watch Bill O'Reilly clips before every game. At least until the NFL told me to stop because too many people were getting hurt.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Sarah Palin, governor of ADD

Can you imagine if, in late 2006, Barack Obama had resigned his Senate seat for no apparent reason? And then announced his presidential candidacy the following February? What would the massive fallout have been from the right?

"Barack Obama is nothing but a terminally ambitious politician who will do anything to climb up to the ultimate seat of power, even if it means ignoring his sworn duty to represent the people of his state. His resignation only makes those priorities all that much clearer. If he can't even be bothered to finish his single term in high office, what chance does he stand as president?"

In other words, it wouldn't have been much different than it actually was, but it would have been true.

Keep this in mind if Sarah Palin decides to run for president, because her resignation from the governorship of Alaska is only going to make this more hypocritical/entertaining.

As quoted by the Kansas City Star, "Palin said she was taking 'my fight for what’s right in a new direction.' She said she could be more effective and better serve Alaska and the country from outside the governor’s office.

"She said she had decided against running for re-election as Alaska’s governor, and believed it was best to leave office even though she had over a year left in her term.

"'Many just accept that lame duck status, and they hit that road,' she said. "They draw a paycheck. They kind of milk it. And I’m not going to put Alaskans through that."

I'm no politician, but I'm pretty sure that's not how it works. When you're elected, the assumption is that you're going to fulfill your obligation, not just quit when you get tired of doing the job. Running with the lame-duck analogy also suggests support for euthanasia, which may undermine Palin's conservative agenda. If such a thing is even possible.

Well, at least Palin consulted the people before tendering her resignation. "People" meaning her kids, which speaks well of her family values as well as her love for democracy:

Star: "'I polled the most important people in my life, my kids, where the count was unanimous,'" she said. "Well, in response to asking, 'Hey, you want me to make a positive difference and fight for all our children’s future from outside the governor’s office?' it was four yeses and one 'hell, yeah!' And the 'hell, yeah' sealed it."

Wow! She lets her kids say "hell"? And is the fifth kid talking already? Does Sarah always ask her children politically loaded questions like that? "Hey, you want to wash the dishes and make a positive difference in the future of this kitchen's cleanliness?" "Hell no, mom, I hate America."

I wonder how Palin is going to effect positive change better when she's not governor. The PTA, perhaps? As a gadfly at Wasilla council meetings? Maybe a forceful letter to the editor? The options are nearly boundless!

If Palin's trying to battle that stereotype of her being stupid, this isn't going to help. Politically, this is about as certain a career-killer as they come that doesn't involve dead (human) bodies. She must have made a bar bet to answer the question, "How can I make myself even less electable than Mark Sanford?"

The roar of disapproval following the announcement from conservative circles was deafening. Oh no, it hasn't been. It's been mixed at best, which only goes to show that Palin has a lot of devoted fans who are as fanatical as they accuse Obama supporters of being. Her support in the wake of this decision is a culmination of two conservative tenets of late: 1) allegiance to party and politics at all cost and 2) an irrational hatred for government. If public service mattered, Palin wouldn't be hailed for giving up the governor's chair over the perception that simply sitting in it made her an elitist, establishment politician. Her decision to forgo serving the people would not take a back seat to campaigning for other Republicans. This says so much about the state of today's Republicans, and why they deserve to be in the wilderness.

They should watch their feet while they're there. We all know Palin's shooting prowess. Which is exactly why I hope she runs in 2012.

Happy Independence Day!

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

New rules

Rule #122: Tonight's top HIStory
It is possible to both follow world events AND mourn the death of Michael Jackson. You're not better than everyone else for alleging that the story is merely a distraction from developments in Iran and Honduras. The real distraction is CNN Headline News! And their exclamation points! On stories about cute white women in peril! All day, every day!

MJ is the most famous entertainer who ever lived. He made a difference in the world. That merits press. Yes, international issues continue to exist, but you can find coverage of them with little effort. I suspect that a lot of this criticism comes from people who feel guilty about following it at the expense of much else. As if it's a waste of time not to spend every second of it fretting over events completely out of one's control. But there's a difference between that and staying informed and active in your passions, and that should be easy if you possess perspective, regardless of what the news deems important.

And spare me the accusations that MJ was a child molester. The only court that ever convicted him of that was the Court of Public Opinion, which thrives on circumstantial evidence and a need to tear down its heroes. Being weird and socially infantile can be indicative of the perils of lifetime fame, but that isn't a logical leap into abuse. Tell me why I should believe two sets of money-grubbing parents over everyone else who ever knew or worked with Michael, or studied his case. Until then, I will revere this genuine influence in my life and that of billions. And follow the rest of the news while I'm at it.

Rule #123: Clean Slate
Reading something doesn't automatically make you a fervent devotee of it. By that logic, Bill O'Reilly and Adolf Hitler are two of my favorite writers. They aren't by a long shot, but at least I have a window into what passes for their thought processes. Exposure to opposing viewpoints is not only not bad, but necessary for critical thinking. No one should ever be ashamed into avoiding a book, Web site or other work because of what superficial impression others might form from seeing them reading it. Those doing the shaming tend to be the most ignorant anyway.

Rule #124: Confidential to "Confused in S.C."
Never say aloud that you're trying to fall back in love with your wife; that's the worst thing you can do in your situation. Unless you refer to your mistress as your soul mate. Oh, I sure hope you get this before it's too late...

The rest of the rules