The DC Folly Trolley – 07/29/12

OK, let’s stop making fun of Mitt Romney.

From all reports, Mighty Mitt did very well in grade school. In fact, he finished first in his class in the ABCs.

Got all the way up to Z without missing a single letter.

Romney won contests in fifth grade and retroactively won in fourth, third, second and first grade.

However, he refuses to release the Certificates he received for memorizing the alphabet for any of those grades.

To show you what a determined guy this candidate is, at this very moment, he’s brushing up on his ABCs just in case a question about it comes up during the debates.

Remember Mitt, P comes before Q. That was always one of the hard ones.

photo

Image courtesy of DONKEYHOTEY.

***

Committee Announces Award

From its hideout in Pasta Fagioli, Italy, the Nobella Prize Committee announced a second award in as many weeks.

Michelle Bachmann is the most recent winner of the MVP prize. The representative from Minnesota won the award for her remarks that the Statement Department is infiltrated by the Muslim Brotherhood.

Ms. Bachmann directed her attack at Huma Abedin, an assistant to Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, charging that Ms. Abedin’s association with the Muslim organization represents a security threat to the United States.

In McCarthy like fashion, Bachmann called for investigation into the matter of Muslim infiltration of the government and would support termination of any member suspected of association with the Muslim Brotherhood.

For her hatching of a 21st century form of McCarthyism, the Committee believes the Minnesota congresswoman deserves its Most Valuable Putz award.

.

Winners of The Most Valuable Putz Award receive a certificate acknowledging the award as well as a forged autographed copy of a photo of Don Alberto Vito Nobella, the originator of the prize. .

These exceptional individuals also receive a statuette named the Pubar engraved with the words “Putzed up beyond all reason.” Known as the Putzie the statuette is sculpted of rusted metal stolen from an auto junk yard.

The Putzie is given while supplies last and unfortunately for the current winner supplies just ran out.

File:God's Children (Michelle Bachmann and Rick Santorum).jpg

Birds of a feather – Michelle Bachmann and Rick Santorum by Boris Rasin (Boris Rasin).

***

Eric Cantor seems to believe he could not practice his religion anywhere else in the world as freely as he can in the United States.

I wonder how countries like England, France, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland and many others would interpret such a statement, to say nothing of Israel.

Of course, he could be a Pastafarian. In which case I’m not certain which countries allow freedom to practice those beliefs.

Taking his remarks about the right to practice religion freely in the U S more as a statement of American exceptionalism rather than one of limitations on religious practices in other countries, Eric Cantor’s statement does not quite ring true.

I wonder how countries like England, France, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland and many others would interpret such a statement, to say nothing of Israel.

While many laws do restrict specific religious practices, the intent is not always to prevent free worship. The law in Sweden, for example, regarding the slaughter of chickens is an issue that addresses cruelty to animals. The law, while it seems silly on the surface, actually prohibits the kosher killing of the birds by Orthodox Jews. It seems likely, however, that the concerns of animal rights activists and Jewish practices can be reconciled.

File:Roast chicken.jpg

Does it really matter how it’s killed. (Photo by H. Padlecklas).

The same applies to recent developments in Europe banning circumcision. From all appearances, that issue should be resolved permitting the religious ritual, although the practice may be limited to clerics. In any case, initiating the ban in the first place does seem suspect – if not antisemitic then anti-Muslim and a reaction to what many Europeans consider an immigration problem.

The religious clothing ban in France, sadly, could be a safety issue rather than a blatant attempt to restrict religious freedom as many Muslims believe.

Nevertheless, dress can represent a public expression of religion and be an imposition on others. And while laws do impact more on certain religions, they apply to members of all religions and, therefore, should not be considered a restriction of religious freedom.

Yes, Israel is a special case. However, none of the religious ceremonies are actually denied even though they are restricted to Orthodox rabbis. They must simply be performed in a manner prescribed by law. And, as I recall, many Israeli citizens are not Orthodox and can practice or not as they see fit with only a few exceptions.

So if by “freedom of religion,” we mean the unfettered right to practice religious rituals, even those others may consider harmful, I don’t believe that right exists anywhere. Therefore Eric Cantor is, as any law abiding citizen, free to practice or not as he sees fit in many countries. But the right is not absolute.

***

Other laws prevent religious practices in public even in the United States. Here, for example, prayer in public schools is prohibited because it represents an attempt to impose a religious practice on others. The law does not in any way limit freedom of religion. Any person can say a prayer in a public school, a public building or even a courtroom simply by bowing his head and praying silently.

What I find odd is that no one ever goes to a courtroom to pray. Courts of law generally begin sessions at 9 AM and anyone is permitted to enter, sit quietly on a bench and say a prayer. I personally know of no one who practices this ritual on a regular basis or, for that matter, who has done so even once. But we are all free to pray anytime, anywhere.

What a person cannot do is to get up in front of the court and force everyone present to pray in a manner which he dictates. This restriction applies to everyone regardless of religious persuasion.

The best policy is, as always, to keep religion where it belongs – in church.

***

Speaking of killing chickens, that Swedish law mentioned a couple of paragraphs above does seem rather silly.

I say “silly” because I remember my parents taking us kids with them to a poultry farm to buy chickens for dinner. The farmer grabbed a fear stricken bird by the legs, yanked it from a wooden cage, jammed it into a funnel like device with its head sticking out of the hole on the bottom. He then slit the chickens throat, let it bleed out, removed it and chopped off its head. He put the dead bird into a vat of steaming water for a few minutes and next removed its feathers by holding it against a large spinning wheel whose tines stripped the bird clean.

That practice would today violate the Swedish law.

File:Albertus Verhoesen Chickens and park vase.jpg

A source of food and not much else. Painting by Albertus Verhoesen.

However, we always enjoyed a fine dinner thanks to the farmer and his bird.

Although I witnessed this procedure many times, I never thought of it as being cruel to animals – anymore than the actions of a mother lion hunting and killing a zebra to feed her pride.

Animal rights activists might consider the slaughter of chickens cruel and that a more humane method should be used because, after all, we humans are civilized. And, while that is so, referring to ourselves as “civilized” may be hubris more than truth. We might recall that we humans over the millennia have massacred billions of our own kind. Keeping that slaughter in mind, the manner in which chickens are processed to furnish food for survival seems a token issue at best. 

***

So did Walmart become one of the biggest corporations in the world all by its little ole self.

Hardly.

I’ve noticed that Walmart locates many of its stores near interstates or on or near busy state highways.

It’s huge fleet of tractor trailers make daily use of these convenient roadways, all built with taxpayer dollars.

The local roads that carry millions of customers to Walmart stores were also built with taxpayer money.

I wonder what kind of corporation Walmart would be without the support contributed in so many ways by the American taxpayer. Roads, schools, police, fire protection, etc, benefit us all. Yes, even Walmart.

Sorry, Sam. You didn’t do it all by yourself. Even I contributed to your success. And you’re business would still be selling sundries in Arkansas without my help, and the help of many others.

***

 

This Bloke Is A Joke

Photo courtesy of DONDEYHOTEY.

You mean elephant riding isn’t an Olympic sport. Since when?

 Image courtesy of DONKEYHOTEY.

 

Mighty Mitt, what a critter

Left the Brits feeling bitter.

His written statement he misplaced

So his remarks then soon disgraced

A city proud in Olympian glitter.

.

In London the Mittster was no smash

Headlines read “It Was a Crash.”

He left the queen in a dither

And from it all he tried to slither

To the airport in a baffled dash.

.

Oh Mitt, poor Mitt, what a twit

Got the British in a snit

Opened his mouth and spoke and spoke.

And the Brits replied “this bloke’s a joke.”

Oh Mitt, poor Mitt, is he really legit.

 

 

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8 Responses to “The DC Folly Trolley – 07/29/12”

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