Posts filed under “General Knowledge”

IN THE NEWS

MORE THAN THIRTY televisions in restaurants and waiting rooms around the metropolitan area mysteriously switched to a documentary film entitled “David Burnham, Make No Little Plans.” Homeland Security agents are investigating but a spokesman warned that no one is safe and we should all be very afraid. Patrons at Dunnings Sports Bar in Etna were particularly affected by the outrage, with eight reported hospitalized with cardiac-related problems after an important play in the Bengals/Browns game was interrupted. The only clue to the identity of the mysterious malifactor behind the attack came in the closing credits of the documentary, which identified it as “A Brazo Production”.

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POST THIS NOTICE WHERE APPROPRIATE.

DANGER FLAMMABLE

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SLOWING DOWN FOR A WHILE.

Dr. Boli understands that one of the attractions of his celebrated Magazine on the Web has been that something new appears almost every day. Not necessarily something good, but something new. The time has come, however, when that schedule will no longer be possible to maintain, at least for a while.

Articles will still appear occasionally, and The Crimes of Galahad will continue in regular weekly installments through the end. And as soon as other commitments leave room for daily articles again, the daily schedule will resume.

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CHILDREN PLAYING BACKYARD BASEBALL.

Overheard:

“Okay, but then I get four outs.”

“Dude, you had like eleven outs!”

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ANSWER TO A BILLBOARD.

A nearby university has put up billboards all over the city with the slogan “An MBA isn’t always the answer.”

Dr. Boli agrees. In fact, he will go further. If you believe that an MBA is ever the answer, then you are asking the wrong question.

Further than that, if you believe that, as the billboard suggests, the answer may instead be a degree in human resources management, then you do not even speak the English language, and should probably address that problem before attempting to answer any more questions.

Dr. Boli is being facetious, of course. The phrase “human resources” has, in fact, a very specific meaning in the English language. The common English term for “human resources” is “slaves.”

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ASK DR. BOLI.

Dear Dr. Boli: I have watched the debates of the various presidential candidates, and I feel as though I am no closer to a decision. (I am an independent and a non-voter, but primary season is no fun without a team to root for.) What do you consider the most important issues in the coming presidential election? —Sincerely, A Woman Who Enjoys Politics as a Spectator Sport.

Dear Madam: “Issues” are a distraction. The candidates will always shout loudest about the things that are least under the president’s control. The election will then be decided by people who “vote on the issues,” and who shake their heads in pity and disgust over the lazy rubes who show an insufficient interest in those “issues.” But the president will not be able to make America’s borders impervious to brownish people or stop corporate executives from making all their decisions on the basis of short-term greed. The president will not be able to make teenagers wise and moral, and will have no effect whatsoever on the crime rate in your neighborhood. The president will have no power to stop the war on Christmas, and no one will become a jot more tolerant because A was elected instead of B.

In fact, there is one thing and one thing only that matters in the election of a president. The government must provide certain essential services, and the provision of them is the special duty of the executive branch of government. Will the president we choose manage a competent executive branch that is capable of delivering those services to the citizens who need them? The more stridently a particular candidate insists on his particular “issue,” the more certain you may be that his honest answer to that question would be no.

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ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY

On this day in 1795, Austria, Russia, and Prussia each took home a little chunk of Poland to keep in a jar.

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CUSTOMER REVIEWS.

∗∗∗∗∗ You literally can’t do without one of these. Buy two, so that you won’t drop dead instantly if you lose one of them.

∗∗∗∗∗ The cats love it! They play all kinds of cute little tricks with it. Like just last week they conquered Moldova.

∗ I wish I could give it negative five stars. I spent good money on this, and my life is still the same bottomless pit of existential despair it always was.

∗∗∗∗∗ I bought 1,248 of these and used them to build a very serviceable garden shed.

∗∗∗∗∗ I think this must be a very good one because it was packaged in a box. I do not like it when I order one of these and it comes in a cheap plastic bag. This is good because it comes in a box.

∗∗∗ The polio vaccine saved countless millions of lives. The atomic bomb threatened us all with annihilation. This isn’t either that good or that bad, so, eh, three stars.

∗∗∗∗∗ Completely satisfied. Would buy again. Of course you must understand I enjoy these products ironically.

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ASK DR. BOLI.

We the People

Dear Dr. Boli: Two of my colleagues were arguing about something the president was doing. One of them said it was unconstitutional, and the other said it was just as constitutional as all get out. I couldn’t follow either argument. Can you explain the United States Constitution to me? —Sincerely, U. S. Representative Michael F. Doyle.

Dear Sir: Your confusion arises from the fact that the document you were probably shown in civics class as the “United States Constitution” is not the “constitution” your colleagues were debating. The written document is a useless fiction. The real constitution of the United States is, like the British constitution, unwritten. It consists of only two brief sections, and curiously enough it always speaks in the first person singular.

The first section categorically prohibits the President of the United States from doing anything of which I disapprove, and grants him near-dictatorial powers to accomplish things that benefit me.

The second section, also known as the “First Amendment,” guarantees my right to make you listen to any ill-conceived natterings I may wish to express and prohibits you from stopping your ears or contradicting me with reasoned counterarguments.

Now that you understand the unwritten constitution of the United States, you will understand any American political argument in which the participants are raising questions of “constitutionality.”

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ARE YOU A CRANK?

How do you know when you have passed from being a mere eccentric into being a crank? If you have a Web site, it may be very easy to tell.

Does your Web site look like a site designed by a religious extremist in 1996? You are a crank.

Is your pet theory so complex that the table of contents runs over eighteen thousand words? You are a crank.

Are the eighteen thousand words presented all in one lump on the front page of your Web site? You are a crank.

Do you use underlines, bold text, italic text, red text, blue text, larger text, expanded text, all capitals, red and blue bold underlined italic text, shaded backgrounds, and ruled boxes for various shades of emphasis? You are a crank.

Do you believe in magic legalism—Dr. Boli’s term for the idea that a certain legalistic form of words or actions will break the spell of evil and bring about the reforms or salvation you desire, and that failure to adhere to the form brings automatic doom? You are a crank.

Do you believe that an entire institution of a billion members has seceded from you, leaving you the only remaining true member? You are a crank.

Do you maintain an annotated list of people who are definitely going to hell? You are a crank.

The question comes of up because of a comment left on our recent article about historical fallacies having to do with slavery:

If you’re at all interested in knowing . . . the Catholic Dogma . . . that we *must believe* to get to Heaven . . . I list it on my website > > > www.Gods-Catholic-Dogma.com

C A U T I O N : The Catholic Church has had no physical properties for 50 years (8 Dec 1965) . . . because of the Sources of Dogma on automatic excommunication for heresy.

The Catholic God knows . . . what we think and believe . . .

Catholic Faith (pre-fulfillment) writing of Deuteronomy 31 : 21 >
“For I know their thoughts, and what they are about to do this day.”

Catholic Faith (pre-fulfillment) writing of Job 21 : 27 >
“Surely I know your thoughts, and your unjust judgments against Me.”

Catholic writing of Romans 1 : 21 >
“They … became vain in their thoughts, and their foolish heart was darkened.”

If you only scan the Index … you won’t see the infallible Dogma from the Pope in union with the Bishops of the world … which * alone * keeps people from eternal damnation.

Dr. Boli was about to say that he does not like to make fun of sincere people’s sincerely held religious beliefs, but that would be a lie. He does like to make fun of some sincerely held religious beliefs. In general there is an inverse ratio between the number of people the crank proposes to damn in hell and the guilt Dr. Boli feels about making fun of said crank. Someone who has said to Dr. Boli, “You, personally, are damned to hell,” can hardly complain about the mild term “crank.”

He will point out, however, that much of the crankiness could be mitigated by good Web design. Make the site look more modern. Give it a menu structure that masks the unfathomable depths of crankiness within. Perhaps you could add a slider.

One of those “laws” that people on the Internet like to cite is called “Poe’s Law,” which says something like this: “Without a winking smiley or other blatant display of humor, it is utterly impossible to parody a religious extremist in such a way that someone won’t mistake for the genuine article.” Dr. Boli brings up Poe’s Law because it is not possible to prove beyond a doubt that www.Gods-Catholic-Dogma.com is not a parody of crank Web sites. On the one hand, if a Web site where the mere table of contents runs to more than eighteen thousand words were a parody, then it would be perhaps the most heroic parody in history, and that seems rather unlikely. But, on the other hand, the commenter signs his name “Mike Bizzaro.”

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