Archive for the ‘politics’ Category

President Annouces NIH Campaign To Fight The Crippling Epidemic of Affluenza

July 23rd, 2014 1 Comment

 

WASHINGTON DC –Declaring the rampant spread of Affluenza “a national state of emergency,” today President Obama signed into law a new $212 billion National Institutes of Health initiative to fight the nation’s crippling, and often fatal, epidemic of Affluenza.

President Obama announcing the Affluenza initiative in the East Room

President Obama announcing the Affluenza initiative in the East Room

Affluenza has long been a problem in the U.S. but recent advances in early detection have determined that it is much more widespread than previously believed. While studies show that 47 percent of Americans are inoculated from it by a pre-existing condition known as poverty, this leaves more than half of the country vulnerable.

Researchers define Affluenza as a serious cognitive disorder that alters the way our bodies respond to widespread prosperity. As the Affluenza hormone floods the bloodstream unchecked it distorts sufferers interaction with objective reality, as evidenced by a lack of empathy and generosity, and general anti-social behavior. Instead of driving down anxiety, general prosperity fills Affluenza sufferers with a desperate craving for more possessions and bigger tax breaks. This can lead to manic acquisitions of jewels and luxury properties, delusions of wisdom and, in the most acute cases, a run for national public office.

President Obama praised the bi-partisan support for the bill.

“Members on both sides of the aisle see Affluenza every day. More than half of your representatives — your congressmen, your senators — have symptoms. It’s rampant among my cabinet appointees, heads of think tanks, lobbyists, CEOs, limousine liberals and union bosses. This is a first bold step to eliminating Affluenza and the stigma that surrounds it.”

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell called “groundbreaking” the new public/private partnership between the NIH and the Donald Trump Capital Preservation Institute, home to cutting edge research in this field.

Affluenza has long gone undiagnosed. Until as recently as 2007 it was common for Affluenza sufferers to be labeled as sociopaths, psychopaths, or narcissists. When virulent clusters first were detected in Darien, Connecticut and Palo Alto, California in 1998, researchers believed the disease targeted only white male Americans. As scientists from the Trump Institute isolated Affluenza’s symptoms, they identified undiagnosed cases throughout the NBA, in Kim Jung-Un’s family and among most of the Real Housewives of New Jersey, proving that Affluenza strikes all races and genders.

The Trump Institutes initial case-control study of the pathology paired individuals who suffer from Affluenza with a control group of asymptomatic individuals, nicknamed “suckers” by the researchers. The researchers plotted subjects’ activities of daily living on a six-pronged matrix consisting of general douchebaggery, insufficient tipping, number of Malcolm Gladwell books read, teeth whitening, frequency of attendance at destination weddings and times the charges were dropped without having to go to trial. At the conclusion of a six-year longitudinal study, Trump scientists identified two types of Affluenza: the rare Type One and the more widespread Type Two, comprising 95 percent of the cases. Type Two sufferers have the same acquisitive impulses as Type One but do not have the money to pay for their purchases.

“We used to think of these people as the backbone of our economy,” said President Obama. “Now we understand they are suffering too.”

Aversion therapy for Affluenza suffers has met with limited success.

Aversion therapy for Affluenza suffers has met with limited success.

The research grant will fund a clinical trial on a new drug, The Donald, that is a competitive receptor for the Affluenza hormone. This psychoactive topical medication can be transmitted trans dermally through a hairpiece, or applied directly to the scrotum by specially trained masseuses. The NIH will also be funding research on a different drug delivery system being tested at the Mitt Romney Research Institute and Equestrian Center at the Cayman Islands. The Romney team is experimenting with distributing the medicine through the climate control systems of all luxury vehicles with a list price above $46,000.

The mood during the signing ceremony in the East Room was one of triumph after the long hard fight for the bill. President Obama handed out memorial pens to Koch Brothers, 25 members of the Walton Family, the Clintons, Larry Ellison, Robert Redford, Jay-Z and Beyoncé, Elon Musk, and Oprah. All in attendance sported plump gold moneybags on their lapels, the worldwide symbol of Affluenza awareness. At the close of his remarks, Obama reached into his suit jacket pocket and affixed one to his lapel.

“Ich ein bin Affluenza,” he said with moist eyes.

The room erupted in applause.

Ho Ho Ho The Cheney’s Wish You A Merry Christmas

December 24th, 2013 1 Comment

My first humor column

Merry Christmas from the Cheneys. The state of our family is strong

for Al Jazeera America wherein I conjure Lynne Cheney’s Christmas letter wishing you and yours “secure communications, private accommodations and complete deniability in the months to come.”

Occupy Consensus – – Ground Level At The Oakland General Strike

November 4th, 2011 1 Comment

I was one of the thousands of protestors who joined Oakland’s November 2 General Strike and marched to the Port of Oakland, the nation’s fifth largest, to shut it down. I believe in protesting government policies that have widened the gap between the rich and everyone else. Yet I participated despite deep reservations; I doubted that a leaderless movement could pull off something this logistically complex.

 

What I saw changed my mind. Even though there was no one named leader, participants emerged to keep the demonstrations focused, calm and non-violent. There were no police visible on the streets for the ten hours I was there, yet the crowds organized their own ways to maintain order. (Violence broke out very late at night after most people had gone home.)

 

The first significant action I saw that day occurred around noon in front of the Chase branch at 20th and Franklin streets. A family whose home Chase had foreclosed set up their living room in the intersection. There was a well-worn area rug, a spent sofa with a side table and a battered lamp.

 

“I have been a Chase customer for many years,” said Brenda Reed, a homeowner who has lived in Rockridge, one of Oakland’s better neighborhoods, for 38 years. “The bank is going to foreclose on my house on Thanksgiving week. I’m not leaving. They robo-signed our loans. They sold us predatory mortgages. They took a $16 trillion bailout with our money, then refused to modify our loans.”

 

Reed then urged the crowd to take out their cell phones and shouted out the direct line for CEO Jamie Dimon’s personal assistant. I wasn’t sure how leaving angry voice mails for Jamie Dimon’s assistant was going to help Ms. Reed, but the crowd was enthusiastic about this the gesture, riding off the triumph of having shut down the Chase branch at the corner for the day.

 

The crowd, which started at about 400 strong, increased quickly in size and emotional intensity during the episode in the intersection. We then marched to a Bank of America a few blocks to the east intending to shut it down. The B of A branch was on the ground level of a skyscraper and had floor-to-ceiling windows that offered a clear view of the tellers inside. As the crowd pressed forward, some in the front started pounding on the windows. The glass starting to undulate in big waves, and I became terrified that it would shatter, slicing the demonstrators and causing a riot. Monitors from the Service Employees International Union, who wore brightly colored fluorescent vests to distinguish them from the crowd, stepped in between the demonstrators and the windows to diffuse the situation.

 

Despite moments of high tension, there was good feeling, even exuberance, among the protestors and the atmosphere of a giant street party. We marched back from the B of A to the encampment in the plaza with the Brass Liberation Orchestra , a New Orleans-style marching band with a great brass section. At the plaza there was a man on a tricycle circling the crowd with a boom box playing James Brown’s “Funky President” (“People, people, we got to get over, before we go under.”) Up on the makeshift stage at the corner, Boots Riley, Oakland musician and activist, spoke into the mic. “There are people who call themselves experts who would have told you that something like this wouldn’t happen in the United States,” he said. “We’re proving them wrong. We’re proving that the people are fed up with the set up.”

 

The big moment of the day was about to begin: a march to the Port of Oakland.

 

After a three-mile walk, the waves of protestors, which now numbered in the thousands, reached the target. As we spilled out into the massive lanes into the Port and dispersed among the many gates, dancing broke out. The Longshoremen, some of whom who had walked out on the job that morning in solidarity with the strike were there, as were ironworkers, nurses, teachers, and members of the airport workers’ union.

 

Stranded in the general chaos were the independent trucking contractors behind the wheels of their rigs. One trucker started to rev his engine and the truck bucked as if he was threatening to run over the marchers who had gathered to block his passage. One slip of the clutch and there would have been carnage. As he continued to gun his motor, a young woman climbed on top of the hood of the truck and sat on the windshield front of the driver, while a young man climbed up to the window to speak with him. After a quick chat, the driver and the young man shook hands. The driver turned off his engine, and exited the truck to the cheers of the crowd.

 

Actions like these were spontaneous. The most direction we received was from text messages telling us where to assemble and for what purpose. Via text I learned about and joined one of the general assemblies called at port entry gate near where I stood. My group sat in a circle and if someone wanted to speak, he or she stood up and yelled, “Mic check!” The crowd then repeated that back to acknowledge that that individual had the floor.

 

Statements were brief. One young woman acknowledged the significance of what we had all accomplished: Oakland’s first general strike in 65 years, which (at least until that point) had been peaceful. But, she said, what the movement needed to do to affect real change was to occupy Sacramento and DC, to work to elect candidates that reflected the movement’s views and could change policy. Many wiggled their fingers in at their eye level to signal agreement.


As my friend and I left, sore in the legs from ten hours marching in the streets, I was impressed by how much this fledgling movement had accomplished in just two months. Here were thousands of people closing down the port, closing down the city, and planning to clarify their diffuse messages, as well as making the first murmurs of trying to influence politics. There was no charismatic figure guiding the evolution, but it was evolving rapidly nonetheless.