The Iran deal – if there in fact is one, nobody seems certain – is causing a lot of angst within the Republican Party. Maybe they know the reason for their concern, but somehow I doubt it.
Don’t worry I’m not going to go into a big analysis of the deal, not yet anyway. As I said, no one is sure that anything has really been agreed.
But the details of the deal aside, what this and many other happenings over the past few years has clearly highlighted is that political parties – and not only in America – have become obsessed with the “if he’s fer it, I’m agin it” mentality.
The facts don’t count.
The reasons don’t matter.
The benefits are never logically weighed up.
Nor are the faults.
It is always just a knee-jerk reaction with no analysis whatsoever. You could write the headlines even before the event it is all so depressingly predictable.
And these pompous parties and politicians have the gall to call it ‘democracy’ and to try to foist it on other parts of the world that don’t want it and haven’t asked for it.
Somehow we have deteriorated to the point where a country full of politicians who don’t know what’s best for their own people, now think they know what is best for everyone else. Self-delusion, arrogance, call it what you like, there are many words that could be applied to describe it, none of them very complimentary.
An example is Republican Senator Tom Cotton, who has clearly learned nothing from what happened in Iraq and Afghanistan, because he now boasts that a U.S. military campaign against Iran’s nuclear facilities would only take “several days” of bombing.
Apparently in his head there would be no consequences. The Iranians will just sit back and take their medicine then wise up and never do it again.
On the other hand, of course, if Obama was against a deal with Iran I bet you Sen Cotton would be all for it.
That’s the real depth of his analysis, and there are (too) many others like him.
A few weeks ago I wrote a post that I called “Why are the bureaucrats destroying what made America great?” (if you want to refer to it please click here)
In it I posed the question as to why a self-defeating wealth-distributing philosophy is taking the place of the business-friendly environment that America is famed for and that made it the wealthiest nation on Earth. And why the bureaucrats are trying to make it increasingly more difficult and expensive for businesses to operate in the US rather than offering more incentives and encouragement.
The example I gave in the previous post was the huge pharmaceutical corporation called AbbVie, which was relocating from Chicago, Illinois, to Europe and thereby effectively cutting its tax bill in half – a significant saving when you are generating billions of dollars in revenue each year.
Now the latest corporation to show its frustration with the way things are deteriorating in America is the Miami based fast food giant Burger King. It is currently in merger talks with Canadian coffee chain Tim Hortons, in a deal that would allow Burger King to relocate out of the US with a view to trying to cut its “big whopper” of a tax bill too.
Since the new company would be headquartered in Canada, Burger King would no longer be liable for punitive US taxes which are now regarded as the highest among developed economies.
It’s another high profile example of what is called an ‘inversion’ deal, a strategy that allows US firms to lower their tax bills by merging with a foreign company, and then relocating to the new country.
The Obama administration’s response has been predictable – cry foul, say it’s not fair, and tell these corporations to forget about the best strategy for their business and just wrap themselves in the Star Spangled Banner.
“My attitude,” the President declared in July, “is I don’t care if it’s legal — it’s wrong.”
It’s great to love your country, but it’s tough when the government of your country doesn’t love you back! And it will take more than bogus emotional claptrap to change the minds of hard-headed businessmen.
What Obama and his henchmen should be doing is asking themselves why it is happening and what THEY are doing wrong that makes these giant wealth creating corporations want to get out of America as fast as they can.
But they won’t do that.
That would make sense – and sense is the last thing that the bureaucrats want to apply to any situation.
So they’ll continue to spend money they don’t have, on things the country can’t afford and probably doesn’t need, and then pass the bill on to the tax payers.
Their short term solution to these corporate inversion deals will be to try to legislate to make them illegal. Good luck with that, I have never seen legislation drafted by an idiot bureaucrat that a team of top corporate lawyers couldn’t drive a coach and horses through.
So rather than stopping the exodus, it’s more of a question of what will be the next corporation to leave???
I did a few posts recently about the resignation of pope Benedict and the election of Francis I (here and here ) and that reminded me of something that happened in the way distant past of the internet. In fact it became the first internet hoax.
I am sure a great many of you are far too young to remember this, so here is the story.
Sometime in early 1994 a press release began circulating around the internet claiming that Microsoft had bought the Roman Catholic Church.
The press release, allegedly from the Vatican City itself, announced that this was “the first time a computer software company has acquired a major world religion.”
The release also quoted Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates as saying that he considered religion to be a growth market and that, “The combined resources of Microsoft and the Catholic Church will allow us to make religion easier and more fun for a broader range of people.”
The deal would allow Microsoft to acquire exclusive electronic rights to the Bible and would make the sacraments available online.
Similarities were drawn between the business practices of Microsoft and the Catholic Church’s historical conversion efforts, claiming that throughout history the Church, like Microsoft, had been “an aggressive competitor, leading crusades to pressure people to upgrade to Catholicism, and entering into exclusive licensing arrangements in various kingdoms whereby all subjects were instilled with Catholicism, whether or not they planned to use it.”
At the time very few seemed to get the joke. Stained Glass Windows 3.1 was not in fact about to be launched, but still many people telephoned Microsoft’s public relations agency to inquire if the news was true.
In the end it got so bad that Microsoft had to issue a formal denial of the release on December 16, 1994.
A follow-up hoax release announced that in response to Microsoft’s acquisition of the Catholic Church, IBM had bought the Episcopal Church.
Since then hoaxes on the internet have gone from strength to strength, from end of the world scenarios, thru Nigerian 419 scams to the plethora of “warn all you friends about this new deadly virus (that doesn’t really exist)” hoaxes.
People were dumb, are dumb and will get dumber!
I have reproduced below the original hoax announcement.
Would you have fallen for it?
If you are reading this blog I doubt it. But read it anyway for amusement value.
By the way, the authors of these hoaxes remain unknown – good for them.
Here it is:
MICROSOFT BIDS TO ACQUIRE CATHOLIC CHURCH
By Hank Vorjes
VATICAN CITY (AP) — In a joint press conference in St. Peter’s Square this morning, MICROSOFT Corp. and the Vatican announced that the Redmond software giant will acquire the Roman Catholic Church in exchange for an unspecified number of shares of MICROSOFT common stock. If the deal goes through, it will be the first time a computer software company has acquired a major world religion.
With the acquisition, Pope John Paul II will become the senior vice-president of the combined company’s new Religious Software Division, while MICROSOFT senior vice-presidents Michael Maples and Steven Ballmer will be invested in the College of Cardinals, said MICROSOFT Chairman Bill Gates.
“We expect a lot of growth in the religious market in the next five to ten years,” said Gates. “The combined resources of MICROSOFT and the Catholic Church will allow us to make religion easier and more fun for a broader range of people.”
Through the MICROSOFT Network, the company’s new on-line service, “we will make the sacraments available on-line for the first time” and revive the popular pre-Counter-Reformation practice of selling indulgences, said Gates.
“You can get Communion, confess your sins, receive absolution — even reduce your time in Purgatory — all without leaving your home.” A new software application, MICROSOFT Church, will include a macro language which you can program to download heavenly graces automatically while you are away from your computer.
An estimated 17,000 people attended the announcement in St Peter’s Square, watching on a 60-foot screen as comedian Don Novello — in character as Father Guido Sarducci — hosted the event, which was broadcast by satellite to 700 sites worldwide.
Pope John Paul II said little during the announcement. When Novello chided Gates, “Now I guess you get to wear one of these pointy hats,” the crowd roared, but the pontiff’s smile seemed strained. The deal grants MICROSOFT exclusive electronic rights to the Bible and the Vatican’s prized art collection, which includes works by such masters as Michelangelo and Da Vinci. But critics say MICROSOFT will face stiff challenges if it attempts to limit competitors’ access to these key intellectual properties.
“The Jewish people invented the look and feel of the holy scriptures,” said Rabbi David Gottschalk of Philadelphia. “You take the parting of the Red Sea — we had that thousands of years before the Catholics came on the scene.”
But others argue that the Catholic and Jewish faiths both draw on a common Abrahamic heritage. “The Catholic Church has just been more successful in marketing it to a larger audience,” notes Notre Dame theologian Father Kenneth Madigan. Over the last 2,000 years, the Catholic Church’s market share has increased dramatically, while Judaism, which was the first to offer many of the concepts now touted by Christianity, lags behind.
Historically, the Church has a reputation as an aggressive competitor, leading crusades to pressure people to upgrade to Catholicism, and entering into exclusive licensing arrangements in various kingdoms whereby all subjects were instilled with Catholicism, whether or not they planned to use it.
Today Christianity is available from several denominations, but the Catholic version is still the most widely used. The Church’s mission is to reach “the four corners of the earth,” echoing MICROSOFT’s vision of “a computer on every desktop and in every home”.
Gates described MICROSOFT’s long-term strategy to develop a scalable religious architecture that will support all religions through emulation. A single core religion will be offered with a choice of interfaces according to the religion desired — “One religion, a couple of different implementations,” said Gates.
The MICROSOFT move could spark a wave of mergers and acquisitions, according to Herb Peters, a spokesman for the U.S. Southern Baptist Conference, as other churches scramble to strengthen their position in the increasingly competitive religious market.
Yet another selection of those jokes you love to hate.
I wouldn’t guarantee the politically correctness of some of them, but enjoy them if you can!
How do Welsh people cross the road?
Are dwarfs the lowest form of human life?
What are the rules of gay poker?
Queens are wild and straights don’t count.
I had a mate who was suicidal.
He was really depressed, so I pushed him in front of a steam train.
He was chuffed to bits.
A little old lady takes her dead cats to a taxidermist to be stuffed.
“Would you like them mounted?” asked the taxidermist.
“Oooo no….” says the lady, “just snuggled up next to each other.”
A woman in the pharmacy sees a deal offering 5 boxes of tampons for a dollar.
She can’t believe how good the deal is and asks the manager, “Is that price correct?”
“Sure is,” says the manager, “It’s a special offer, 5 boxes for a dollar and there are no strings attached!”
Did you hear about the gay carpenter?
He always left a saw behind!
A psychotic rapist escaped recently from a mental institution for the criminally insane. He ran across the street to the laundromat hoping to find a change of clothes. Inside, he discovered two women, and forced them to have sex. Then he fled out the back door.
The next day the local newspaper headline read, “NUT SCREWS WASHERS AND BOLTS!”
Irish bloke walks into a pub and says, “Drink of orange please landlord.”
The landlord asks, “Still orange?”
Irish fella replies, “Yes, I haven’t changed my mind.”
Two blondes walk into a building…
Wow, you’d think at least one of them would have seen it.
What do you call a bloke with a one inch penis?
After announcing he’s getting married, a Scotsman tells his pal he’ll be wearing a kilt.
‘And what’s the tartan?’ asks the mate.
‘Oh, she’ll be wearing a white dress.’ he replies.
Two parrots on a perch.
One turns to the other and says, “Can you smell fish?”
What qualifications do you need to be a road sweeper?
You just pick it up as you go along!
Good King Wenseslas called his local pizza parlour.
“Would you like your usual, sir?”
“Oh yes,” he replied. “Deep pan: crisp and even.”
A customer is ordering food in an Indian restaurant.
“Waiter, what’s this Chicken Tarka?”
The waiter replies, “it’s the same as Chicken Tikka, but it’s a little ‘Otter.”