March 10, 2014
Innocence of the Law is no Excuse
As if parents with school-age children don’t have enough to worry about already, what with whether or not their children are eating enough vegetables from the red-orange subgroups, or ensuring that they participate in as little physical activity as possible, now we have a scourge Planet Moron has been following for some time:
Some might dismiss the threat posed by imaginary weapons, however they’re not taking fully into account the many pretend deaths that could result if schools didn’t act quickly and decisively to neutralize the non-existent threat.
Take for example, the boy caught red-handed with an imaginary bow and arrow.
Look, you could put out a make-believe eye with that thing.
If only the trouble ended there. The problem with letting little things, like not having a bow and arrow, pass without the proper disciplinary action, is that things can quickly escalate into children believing that they can get away with not having even deadlier weapons.
And that’s how we end up with the boy with the finger gun.
First of all, as any young boy will tell you, finger guns have a nearly inexhaustible supply of pretend ammo, limited only by the ability to say “bang,” quite possibly putting the finger gun in violation of magazine ammo limits.
And second, finger guns are the gateway weapon to other harmless non-firearms, such as the miniature gun-shaped key chain charm.
Don’t let its diminutive size fool you. It may be small, but it’s just as not deadly as the finger gun.
Perhaps it’s the times we live in, but it doesn’t stop there, either. Yes, now we have:
Keep in mind that the only difference between a make-believe bomb and the real thing, is that a make-believe bomb doesn’t actually exist. And that is simply a difference without a distinction. Other than the distinction that it’s not real.
And so, when it comes to education, we here at Planet Moron fully support zero tolerance for anyone found in possession of things they are not actually in possession of, and that the punishment meted out should be as severe as if they had actually done something wrong.
Hey, a little compassion and common sense here, people.
March 05, 2014
“AAAAAAAHHHHH!!!” He Explained
There have been some concerns raised lately regarding the safety of a common food additive called azodicarbonamide, or “ADA,” which is used mostly to soften the texture of baked goods. While recognized as safe by the FDA, some people have cited research calling this into question, pointing out that ADA breaks down into urethane, which can be toxic.
If you are like most Planet Moron Readers, you’re probably thinking to yourself, “Unless they’re adding it to gin, cigarettes, or despair, it doesn’t really affect me.”
Also, “I could see how that could be something worth looking into, but certainly nothing go get hysterical about.”
And that’s the problem. You’re not going to get frenzied headlines over an obscure substance that has for decades been used widely in food with little obvious ill effect.
But that’s a problem that’s easily resolved. All you have to do is point out that ADA is also used in industrial applications such as in the production of foamed plastics as a blowing agent. What good does knowing that do you?
And just like that, we have ourselves a national health crisis.
Now, if someone wants to argue with you, noting that bread without ADA still has urethane, you can point out that they are eating yoga mats. And when they add that the mere act of toasting a slice of ADA-free bread produces far more urethane, you can say they might as well be toasting a yoga mat, and how about some butter for that yoga mat, you yoga mat eater
Also, yoga mat.
See how much easier non-sequiturs make having what would otherwise be a boring debate over scientific merit?
Intrigued by the potential for creating wholly pointless hysteria, Planet Moron launched an extensive investigation that included wandering around our kitchen in pajamas, and has uncovered disturbing evidence that our food, the food you feed your family, the food you provide to your innocent, trusting, children, contains substances that are also used in totally unrelated products that sound scary.
For example, there’s calcium carbonate. That sounds kind of chemically. It can be used as a preservative and also as a color retainer on such foods as organic apples.
You know what else calcium carbonate can be used for? Filler in unplasticized polyvinyl chloride drain pipe!
That’s right, when you’re eating an organic apple, you’re basically sucking on a drain pipe.
And it gets even worse. Take this common bottle of salad dressing.
Looks benign enough, and eating salads is healthy! Well, take a closer look.
That salad dressing of yours contains vinegar. You know what else has vinegar? Yeah, that’s right. Forget Wishbone, think Windex.
How does dumping a bottle of Italian window cleaner all over your greens sound, huh? Clearly we must act now to see to it that this powerful industrial detergent is removed from all salad dressings.
Well, all this talk of food has made us hungry. A nice big bowl of aircraft-de-icing fluid sounds just about right.
February 28, 2014
You Should Only Have Rights if You’re Right
Our old friend, New York Times columnist Mark Bittman, has identified what is possibly the single biggest peril facing America, one that, according to Mr. Bittman,
“Poses greater threats to our existence than any communicable disease you can name.”
What is this hazard that stalks us?
Or, as he prefers, “rights,” because the only rights that are truly legitimate are those rights that are exercised in a fashion that would be agreeable to Mark Bittman.
And therein lies the problem. As it turns out, you’re simply a victim of the “the corporate consumption complex,” in which “companies engineer hyperprocessed foods in ways precisely geared to most appeal to our tastes.”
Yes, that’s right, companies continue to insist on producing products that will appeal to you.
How. Dare. They.
But the products they sell don’t appeal to Mark Bittman, of course. Unlike you, he’s not a complete imbecile who cannot possibly be trusted with the “right” to choose what is best for him. That imbecile would be you, what with your tiny mind, poor education, and non-New-York-Times editorial job.
Why, you might even work with your hands. <shudder>
And, according to Mr. Bittman, it’s not just food, it’s all manner of industries selling things “in ways that will cause premature mortality.”
Sure, you may think you are capable of weighing the tradeoffs and risks associated with certain products and endeavors based on your own values system, priorities, and personal circumstances but the problem with that is you are not taking into account Mark Bittman’s values system, priorities, and personal circumstances when making your decision.
And really, isn’t that more important? After all, he’s written books! Well, cookbooks.
Incidentally, here is a brief list of things that can bring on premature mortality:
- Any job other than potato farming.
- Any sport other than swimming.
- Any city other than Fishers Indiana.
We are aghast that anyone would risk their life doing anything other than swimming at their potato farm in Fishers Indiana.
It’s like you people don’t care if you live or die.
So, what can we do about people exercising their “right” to make decisions different from Mark Bittman? According to Mr. Bittman, it’s all spelled out in the book, “Lethal but Legal,” by Nicholas Freudenberg. We’ll be exploring this book in the near future, but rest assured, the solution involves doing something about those “rights” of yours.
The current occupants of the White House share a similar concern regarding your seeming inability to choose the same things that they would, particularly Michelle Obama who has worked tirelessly to tackle the childhood obesity epidemic that doesn’t exist. However, they believe they have hit on a possible answer:
As they see it, one of the main problems with people eating more than people in the White House think they should, is that nutritional labels are obscuring the number of calories food contains by cleverly hiding it next to the word “calories.”
It’s a brain tickler all right.
The new label at least partly solves this problem by making the number bigger in a way that just screams, “Hey, look over here! Big number! Big! Pay attention to the big number. Big scary number.
The proposed label also changes some of the nutritional content provided since studies have demonstrated that it is healthier for people to ignore how much vitamin D is in their food rather than ignoring how much vitamin A there is.
They also add the category “added sugar,” because as everyone knows, sugar that has been added is worse, possibly due to contamination by cooties.
And finally, we’ll leave you with the White House exercise video that is sweeping the nation:
Thus demonstrating that if you run limply for one minute in your dress shoes once a week, you just might one day develop a nearly complete inability to stretch your quads.
December 12, 2013
We Have Them Right Where They Want Us
This week, fiscally conservative budget cutter Congressman Paul Ryan managed to reach an historic agreement with his liberal Senate colleague, Patty Murray, in which spending will be cut, the deficit will be reduced, and taxes held steady.
How did he accomplish this monumental feat?
By agreeing to a deal in which spending will be raised, the deficit enlarged, and taxes increased.
William Shatner’s got nothing on this guy.
Interestingly, Congressman Ryan, who as we mentioned before, is a fiscally conservative budget cutter, points out that his budget deal actually reduces spending AND the deficit. Well, not now. Next year and the year after discretionary spending increases by over $60 billion. But just you wait, once 2022 rolls around, we’ll be rolling in spending cuts.
The fiscally conservative budget cutter also asserts that his plan does not raise taxes, only “user fees,” which unlike taxes, is spelled completely differently.
Some might point out that increasing user fees on, for example, airline passengers, so as to offset increased defense and domestic spending that has nothing whatsoever to do with airlines could possibly be considered a hidden tax.
In the words of fiscally conservative budget cutter John Boehner, those people are “ridiculous.”
There is the question of why a deal had to be done at all. Had the sequester cuts simply been left in place, discretionary spending would have gone down in 2014 and 2015 rather than going up under Congressman Ryan’s budget cutting-ish plan.
But that would have meant the Pentagon would have had to get by on $500 billion dollars next year as opposed to $520 billion.
What if we once again find ourselves in a position where we have to bomb a country that hasn’t attacked us? What then? Are you going to be the one to tell those brave young men and women in uniform, “I’m sorry, but you won’t be required to place yourself in mortal danger not defending the United States?" Well, are you?
We didn’t think so.
Now all we can do is hope they can successfully sneak it through Congress in 36 hours before anyone can think about it.
After all, taking into account your supporters' opinions can be so… messy.
November 11, 2013
Standing up For Principal, er, Principle
Powerful business interests want to turn the tide against Tea Party-like upstarts within the Republican Party and return the GOP back to its traditional roots:
Doling out special favors to powerful business interests.
The problem is that radical Tea Party Republicans are spending far too much time trying to ward off fiscal catastrophe when that time could be better spent enriching powerful business interests at the expense of everyone else.
For example, according to CNBC:
“Call it the wrath of establishment Republicans and corporate America, always considered the best of friends. Since the Republican takeover of the House in 2010, they've watched the GOP insurgents slow a transportation bill and reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank, block a treaty governing the high seas and stand in the way of comprehensive immigration legislation.”
This is surely a dystopian future these radical fiscal conservatives paint, one in which lucrative transportation bills for which we have no money receive additional scrutiny. One in which private businesses have to finance their own imports and exports at market rates without the benefit of your money. One in which Congress refuses to surrender United States sovereignty to unnamed foreign courts. And one in which businesses are denied immediate access to abundant sources of dirt-cheap labor.
Let’s face it. We owe it to our children to ensure that they never have to live in a world in which the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service is not fully funded. Or do you want to be the one who has to look into your young child’s eyes and tell her that it was you who allowed it to happen. That it was you who stood by and did nothing while others saw to it that the marketing and promotion of potatoes was left only to the people who grew and sold potatoes.
Just tell her you’re a monster now and get it over with.
To ensure a future in which government exists to reward the powerful, old-line establishment Republicans and their business allies are planning to support candidates that are not radical extremist Tea Partiers.
Such as South Dakota where an open Senate primary is allowing challengers from the right to go up against Mike Rounds, a well-known former governor who has refused to sign a no-new-taxes pledge.
No new taxes pledge? What if a private business needs a sweetheart deal? Where is the money supposed to come from? Aside from China, we mean. It is absolutely essential that we elect moderate Republicans to ensure not only that business interests have a friend in Washington, but to make sure that taxes can still be raised, just not raised as much as those dastardly Democrats would! Not significantly less, but less.
Okay, sometimes less, and sometimes more, such as when old-school conservative governor Bob McDonnell signed into law the largest tax increase in Virginia history, but it was for a traditionally conservative reason:
Powerful business interests supported it.
And that’s why the Republican Party has to, as former representative Steve LaTourette, put it so eloquently, “beat the snot” out Tea Party Republicans.
Steve LaTourette believes strongly that Republicans should be a lot more like Steve LaTourette, and so has started a new PAC dedicated to seeing to it that that happens.
Hey, that ought to fire up the base! Finally, someone willing to forgo principle, so he can stand up for principal.
As LaTourette pointed out:
“40, 42 House members have effectively denied the Republican Party the power of the majority."
You know another way to deny the Republican Party the power of the majority?
Lose the majority.
October 29, 2013
If You Like Your Health Care Plan, You’re Wrong
There has been a growing controversy this week as millions of people are discovering that they are losing the health insurance they like as Obamacare regulations take hold. Many are confused, since President Obama had promised on repeated occasions that, if “you like your plan, you can keep your plan. Period.”
In fact, he specifically said, “Let me repeat this. Nothing in our plan requires you to change what you have.”
Sure, at first glance, it appears as if The President was being less than completely truthful about Obamacare, but fortunately, the problem isn’t with the law. As White House advisor Valerie Jarrett explains, the problem is that insurance companies are following the law.
FACT: Nothing in #Obamacare forces people out of their health plans. No change is required unless insurance companies change existing plans.
Those SOBs will stop at nothing to comply with the law, even if it mean you can’t keep your existing health plan. What's their excuse, "I was just following orders?" Let's see, where have we heard that before? Oh yeah.
Okay, sure, so the Administration knew that you would lose the plan that you liked, and even wrote the regulations to make sure of it, but did you ever consider the possibility that when the The President said you would get to keep to your health care plan, he might not have been talking about you specifically? Maybe he was talking to someone else in the room, perhaps Valerie Jarrett.
What, if you were sitting next to a couple at dinner and the woman said, I love you, would you immediately assume she meant you as well? (Note: She doesn’t. BTDT.)
And besides, the issue isn’t really whether or not you like your plan, it’s whether or not you’re too stupid to want a better, more expensive plan. For example, let’s say there has never been any history of mental illness in your family and you show no signs whatsoever in yourself, so you decided you don’t want to have to pay for mental health benefits.
Well, that just proves your crazy, and probably should be required to pay for mental health benefits.
Think of it as the Catch-22 of Obamacare.
And then there’s the pediatric dental care that 55-year-old single men have been living without for far too long.
We’re fortunate that President Obama is around to tell us what we need.
So, to review, President Obama did not lie when he said if you like your health care plan, you can keep it. After all, Vulcans can’t lie. They can, however exaggerate.
So, he exaggerated.
October 23, 2013
Obamacare User Guide
There has been an unfortunate amount of confusion regarding how to apply for insurance under Obamacare, most likely due to the lack of information available during the government shutdown. In this vacuum, many people simply went looking to sign up using the web site.
What is this, 2005?
Nobody uses the Internet anymore. Sure, Obamacare has a web site but that was mostly just for older citizens who are simply more comfortable with things they are familiar with, no matter how obviously dated, like CDs, or Miley Cyrus keeping her clothes on.
As it turns out, Obamacare is much more cutting edge, with new and exciting ways to sign up. To help you with what may be unfamiliar technology, we’ve prepared a short user’s guide.
The Obamacare User Guide
Putting The “no” in “Innovation!”
No doubt, most of you are unfamiliar with this exciting new development. At only a fraction of the thickness of an iPad, and lighter than a Galaxy S4, Obamacare’s paper applications are a stunning site to behold.
And when it comes to flexible displays, the future is here! Paper can be flexed into all manner of shapes, and even made into small flying craft, “paper airplanes,” if you will. Try that with a laptop! Paper is like the carbon nanotubes of the new century, with nearly limitless applications!
And paper is totally backwards compatible with any type of writing instrument, from pens, to pencils, to Sharpies to crayons. It’s obsolescence proof!
You’ll find using paper technology to apply for Obamacare is as easy as 1-2-3!
Then it’s on to page 2!
And some appendices.
And just like that, it’s a week later and you’re almost ready to send in your application. Which brings us to a related innovation.
Rather than go through the laborious process of first finding out where your cursor is on your monitor, then looking for the “Send” button, then moving your cursor all the way over to the Send button and then having to apply downward pressure in order to “click” on it like you have to do using the Internet, all Obamacare’s paper application requires is the quick and easy application of a stamp! For those of you younger than 27, please refer to our stamp FAQ below for any questions you may have.
Stamp Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What’s a stamp?
A: It’s a sticky piece of paper you apply to an envelope.
Q: What’s an envelope?
A: It’s a paper folder with a sticky flap you put your paper application in.
Q: What’s paper?
A: Please see section above.
Q: Is it also sticky?
A: Not usually, no.
Q: Because it seems like everything having to do with paper is sticky.
A: The paper application is not sticky.
Q: I hate sticky things. Ever spill a latte on an Xbox game pad? Now that’s sticky.
A: It’s not sticky.
Q: Boy, I could use a latte right now.
A: Remember, you’re trying to apply for health care.
Q: Oh,yeah. So, can I get unlimited stamping?
A: No, not really.
Q: Can I roll over my unused stamps to the next month?
A: As a matter of fact, you can.
After Sending in your paper application using a stamp, you can now sit back and relax, and know that you’re covered. In 6 to 8 weeks. Maybe.
Toll-Free Phone Number
Phones aren’t just for texting, updating your facebook status or sending instagrams, you can talk on it, too!
It’s true! And Obamacare makes use of this technology by permitting you to call a toll-free phone number. Please consult our Toll-Free Phone Number Faq if you have any questions.
Toll-Free Phone Number FAQ
Q: What’s a toll?
A: Its’ when you have to pay for a phone call.
Q: You have to pay for phone calls?
A: Well, in a sense…
Q: Because I have unlimited calling.
A: Well, then, you don’t have to worry about it.
Q: Then why bring it up?
A: It’s mainly for people who use land lines.
Q: What’s a land line?
A: It’s a phone that is wired to the wall.
Q: Oh, like those pens at banks.
A: Well, not re…
Q: So people won’t steal them, got it.
A: No, that’s not…
Q: I guess it would make sense that people who are too poor to be able to afford unlimited calling probably live in bad neighborhoods and would want to wire their phones to the wall.
A: No, you’re missing the point…
Q: So, what if I don’t need the toll-free number, what should I do?
A: Use a stamp.
Q: What’s a stamp?
And there you have it. As the President said, Obamacare is “not just a web site.”
It’s also stacks of paper and call centers!
That all rely on the web site.
October 21, 2013
Our National Nightmare - Week… Wait, What? It’s Over?
The federal shutdown came to an abrupt end last Thursday when the government reopened, thus freeing the American people to once again drink in the intoxicating elixir of liberty, in part by pulling into the parking lots on the side of the George Washington Parkway.
Now we know what it must have felt like when Thomas Jefferson finally seized Iwo Jima from the Nazis and put an end to the Hundred Years War.
If you are like most Americans, you’re probably thinking, “Thomas Jefferson wasn’t at Iwo Jima, he dropped the Atomic bomb on Godzilla in order to destroy the Death Star. “
Also, “Wait a second, the shutdown is over? We have some questions.”
Of course you do.
Q: So, what does it mean to have the shutdown ended?
A: Hundreds of thousands of government workers are now back on the job, doing the non-essential work of the people.
Q: Surely there’s more to it than that.
A: Of course there is. With the government fully back up and running, school children will once again be able to say the pledge of allegiance.
Q: Are there any downsides?
A: Well, the barricade industry is probably heading for a prolonged slump.
Q: Any others?
A: Not really. Wait, oh yeah, utter fiscal catastrophe. Otherwise, we’re good.
Q: So, what did the GOP gain by shutting down the government and threatening national bankruptcy? A postponement of Obamacare?
Q: Cuts in spending?
Q: Entitlement reform?
Q: What, then?
A: Republican Paul Ryan and Democrat Patty Murray agreed to have breakfast.
Q: Are there any lessons can we learn from this sorry episode?
A: As the old saying goes, never take a hostage unless you are prepared to release him totally unharmed.
Q: So, we’re going to see this whole thing all over again next year?
A: Yes, the issues at hand are simply too grave not to be willing to stand up for your principles, and then sit right back down again. Do you know what that’s called?
October 16, 2013
Our National Nightmare – White House Garden Edition
Among the very many tragedies that have resulted from the government shutdown, perhaps even worse than Congressman having to wash their own gym towels, is the fate of Michelle Obama’s vegetable garden which has descended into a kind of futuristic dystopian nightmare where feral squirrels devour organic heirloom tomatoes, weeds overtake the once meticulous vegetable beds, and worms gorge themselves on the President’s sweet potatoes (which it should be pointed out, are technically tubers and not vegetables, but hey, the guy can call down drone strikes so let’s just keep that to ourselves).
The garden was originally meant to set an example to average Americans of what could be accomplished with just a little determination, a can-do attitude, and a full-time professional staff of gardners.
Really, why you fat slobs don’t just get up off the couch for once and hire a nationally acclaimed organic farmer to tend to your kitchen garden we’ll never know.
If you are like most Planet Moron Readers, you’re probably asking yourself, “Is pepperoni a vegetable? Because if it is, I’m golden.”
Also, “I’ve seen the pictures, my 80-year-old grandmother takes care of a bigger garden than that by herself. Why doesn’t the First Lady and her daughters go get their hands dirty for once when the cameras aren’t running?”
Hey, you know what? You’ve got some anger issues out there. You really need to watch your tone. Michelle Obama is the First Lady! She has never done much of anything of note other than marrying well, pointing out that moving around is probably a good idea, and alerting the populace to epiphanies such as, “Water is so basic.” She has never herself stood for office or been elected by the people to in any way represent them, or chosen by them to be a spokesperson for their interests and as such is deserving of our… wait a second, where were we going with this?
Regardless, we hope the shutdown ends soon so Michelle Obama can write sequel to her book, “American Grown: The Story of the White House Kitchen Garden and Gardens Across America.” Working title:
“American Rot: The Story of Watching the White House Garden go to Seed From The Comfort of My Bedroom Window.”
In other shutdown news, the Park Service finally figured out that using one of its two barriers to block the exit on the George Washington Parkway scenic overlooks kind of defeated the whole purpose of keeping people out and has now placed both at the entrance.
Just another way the Park Service is managing to cost taxpayers more money when they are closed than when they are open.
October 14, 2013
Our National Nightmare – Week 3
Q: Are areas served by the National Park Service still being Barricaded?
A: Partly. We took some pictures this morning of the two barren parking lots scenic overlooks along the George Washington Parkway. The first one was still closed.
But people had broken through the barricades of the second one and can be seen “recreating” in clear violation of the law
Q: Let’s start calling that a “Liberty Lot!”
A: More like a Lawbreaker Lot, if you ask us.
Q: We heard there was a protest this weekend among vets angry over the closure of war memorials.
A: Yes, hundreds of vets turned out.
Q: Well, that’s something.
A: Unfortunately, they were racists.
Q: What? How can you make a blanket statement like that?
A: There was a guy there with a confederate flag.
Q: Wait a second. The Occupy Wall Street movement that got such good press had scores of self-professed anti-Semites holding up signs. What would you call those?
Q: And one guy among hundreds with a Confederate flag?
Q: Okay, so how are the negotiations over the shutdown going?
A: Not well, Republicans refused to accept a demand by Democrats to roll back parts of the sequester.
Q: They want to negotiate over the shutdown? That’s how this started and Republicans were accused of committing economic treason.
A: That’s right.
Q: What’s it called when Democrats do it?
Q: So, where does this leave us?
A: It’s an embarrassment. Here we have duly elected representatives with different viewpoints representing the interests of a diverse electorate.
Q: Wait, that’s not a good thing?
A: Don’t you understand, the French are laughing at us!
Q: Who cares about that?
A: People who spend a lot of time in France.