Monday, March 27, 2017

Should You Buy Their Drugs Because They Are Good For You Or Because Of The Letters They Put In Their Drug Names?

I have posted before about Drug Commercials on TV spending most of the ad telling us how their drug can harm us but still selling hard that we should buy them.

 

There is another interesting thing about drug ads on TV and that’s the names of the drugs especially the letters that are contained in the drug names.

 

For some reason, drug manufacturers have decided that if their drugs contain the letters X and/or J and/or Z and/or Y and/or Q and/or V, we will buy that drug.

 

There is actually one out now called “Xyzal” (I did not make this one up.)

 

Start paying attention to TV Drug Ads and see how often these letters appear.

 

However, don’t forget that, no matter how many of these important letters are in the drug name, that drug could ruin your day or worse.

 

Watch out for these words...”Serious side effects, including death, have happened”.

 

This sounds really bad but it does not stop the Folks Back Home from going to their doctors and demanding a prescription for that drug they saw on TV last night. Many times they can’t remember how to spell or pronounce it so they just say, “You know the one I’m talking about. It’s the one with the letters X and/or J and/or Z and/or Y and/or Q and/or V in its name”.

 

Would I kid u?

Smartfella

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Congress Should Not Have Allowed Milton Friedman To Die

A Short But Impactful Story...

The story happened while Milton Friedman was traveling aboard. (If you don’t know who Milton Friedman was, Google Him!)

After being picked up from the airport, he was being driven to the venue where he was to make his presentation. A government official was accompanying him.

Milton took note that at a construction site workers were furiously digging with shovels.

Since power digging equipment had long ago been invented, he asked the government official, why they were not using modern heavy digging equipment.

The answer he received was that shovels were used to keep employment high in the construction industry. If they used modern equipment, fewer people would have jobs.

Dr. Friedman replied, “Why don’t you give them spoons and create even more jobs?”

Would Milton kid u?

Smartfella

Milton Friedman

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

At Least One Of My Dear Readers Wants To Be Me But, Since Only I Can Be Me, He Has Asked Me To Say What He Would Say If He Were Me And Not He

This Blog Posting is the result of a recommendation that was sent to me by one of my Dear Readers. He appeared to have a valid point. So I looked into the validity of his valid point and henceforth (“henceforth” is Senate Talk) I pecking out this Silliness about the Everyday Foolishness in the U.S. Senate.

 

Here is what was sent to me by Dear Reader...

“The problem with passing legislation is not in the Constitution. All day every day I keep hearing why this or that cannot be done in the Congress. They all have the same reasons... SENATE RULES WILL NOT ALLOW.”

 

He is right. Often we do hear there is no need to go to the Senate with this or that because the Rules of the Senate Will Not Allow or the Rules of the Senate Make This or That Impossible.

 

I researched Standing Rules of the United States Senate and Mr. Wikipedia tells me that there are 44 Standing Rules at the present time. After reading through a bunch of them my logical mind tells me that these 44 Rules are extremely confusing but the Senate likes them that way.

 

I will go out on a limb here and say that it is quite possible that often times when there is a discussion about whether or not to bring up for deliberation something or other on the floor of the Senate and the Standing Rules of the United States Senate are consulted for guidance and the person who is designated to consult the Standing Rules becomes so confused after consulting the Standing Rules that he nixes the whole idea by simply saying “The Rules of the Senate Will Not Allow” because he could not understand what he read, so he coped out by saying Will Not Allow and that shuts everyone up and they are really delighted about being shut up because they can now just go straight to Happy Hour.

 

Yes, I know the prior sentence is too long but I bet many members of the Senate would not allow it to be recorded in the Congressional Record because it is too short.

 

Here are four excerpts out of the Standing Rules of the United States Senate. Do not be discouraged if you can’t understand what you are about to read. You are not supposed to be able to understandable what you are about to read. If they wanted you to understand what you are about to read they would not have written the Standing Rules of the United States Senate.

 

First:

“The Constitution provides that a majority of the Senate constitutes a quorum to do business. Under the rules and customs of the Senate, a quorum is always assumed to be present unless a quorum call explicitly demonstrates otherwise. Any senator may request a quorum call by "suggesting the absence of a quorum"; a clerk then calls the roll of the Senate and notes which members are present. In practice, senators almost always request quorum calls not to establish the presence of a quorum, but to temporarily delay proceedings without having to adjourn the session. Such a delay may serve one of many purposes; often, it allows Senate leaders to negotiate compromises off the floor or to allow Senators time to come to the Senate floor to make speeches without having to constantly be present in the chamber while waiting for the opportunity. Once the need for a delay has ended, any senator may request unanimous consent to rescind the quorum call.”

(Note: Senators only are present when they are the Senator that is speaking. If they were present when others are speaking, they might change their minds about what they heard spoken by another Senator while they were waiting to say what they wanted to say. Changing your mind after hearing what another Senator has spoken is unconscionable in the Senate.)

 

Second:

“There are very few restrictions on the content of speeches; there is no requirement that speeches be germane to the matter before the Senate.”

(Note: There is no requirement to speak about what is being spoken about. If one spoke in response to what had been spoken by another Senator that would indicate that they had been paying attention to what the other Senator had said and paying attention to what is said in the Senate is frowned upon.)

 

Third:

“Any motion under this paragraph may specify the portion or portions of proposed legislation to be considered by the committees, or any of them, to which such proposed legislation is referred, and such committees or committee shall be limited, in the consideration of such proposed legislation, to the portion or portions so specified.”

(Note: Huh?)

 

Last:

“Whenever any committee (except the Committee on Appropriations) has reported any measure, by action taken in conformity with the requirements of paragraph 7 of rule XXVI, no point of order shall lie with respect to that measure on the ground that hearings upon that measure by the committee were not conducted in accordance with the provisions of paragraph 4 of rule XXVI.”

(Note: If you are not confused enough after reading this, you must now go to two other rules which will ensure that you remain confused right up until Happy Hour starts.)

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Have you ever heard of a BuzzPhrase Generator? I have one. I have always thought that I was one of the few that had such a thing but it appears that the U.S. Senate knows of which I speak. (“Of which I speak”...I’m beginning to talk like the Senate.)

 

Using my BuzzPhrase Generator I have come up with a single paragraph for possible inclusion in the Congressional Record. Members of the Senate will not be able to understand what the heck I am talking about either but they will be comfortable with such words and they will be very supportive of my right to have this Foolishness included into the Congressional Record because the Congressional Record is full of paragraphs like this...

We do understand your need to do a total linguistic time phase, however, we are in a serious parallel strategic bind which results in our having need for a compatible organizational mobility analysis. We cannot continue to vacillate on the precipice of an optional monitored concept unless we see some relief in the foreseeable future.”

 

Would I kid u?

Smartfella

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Our Unemployment And Homicide Rates...You Think You Understand What They Mean...But Do You?

Recently I decided I wanted to get a better understanding of the Unemployment and Homicide Rates in the Good Ole USofA. I went to U.S. Government Statisticians Lunch Room and made like I was one of them.

 

At first, since I was not recognized, I was treated with some skepticism but once I spouted off a sentence that was too long, full of buzz words which made no sense and chock full of numbers that were unrelated to each other, I was accepted.

 

After lunch we went back to an office that had a sign over the door which read “Conjureification Department” (that’s where they conjure up numbers to confuse us).

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Unemployment Rate...

I was shown a monthly chart that went back to the beginning of reported history of the U.S. Domestic Unemployment Rate. It was quite interesting.

 

Something caught my eye on the right side of the chart. It was identified as the “True Domestic Unemployment Rate”. Each of these rates had an asterisk next to it that referred to a footnote that simply said, “Ignore This Rate”.

 

The True Domestic Unemployment Rate was always much higher that the Domestic Unemployment Rate. When I inquired about this rate, I was told that this was the Unemployment Rate after adding in all the people who had stopped looking for work.

 

I asked how it was determined that a person had stopped looking for work. The explanation I got was so convoluted, long and complicated that I can’t possible repeat it to you. I did try hard to get a better understanding so as to educate you but I must have pressed too hard because I was told to shut up.

 

I then asked if a person who had stopped looking for work was still unemployed? The answer was yes but I was told that the Folks Back Home did not need to know about this. I pressed again and I again I must have pressed too hard because I was told to shut up.

 

I have often been told, You Can’t Beat a Dead Horse. At about this point I came to the realization that I had gone about as far as I could go on the Domestic Unemployment Rate and decided, If The Horse Is Dead, Get Off The Horse, so I moved on the Homicide Rate.

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Homicide Rate...

A few years ago the Homicide Rate in Honduras was reported by the United Nations as being 91 Killings for every 100,000 people (highest in the world at that time). At the same time the comparable Homicide Rate in the Good Ole USofA was Fewer Than 5.

 

While looking at the U.S. figures, I took note that the figures for Chicago’s Homicide Rate were set off to the side. When I asked what was going on with the Chicago Statistics they said that Chicago was not included in the Fewer Than 5 U.S. Homicide Rate.

 

At first the statisticians tried to change the subject but I really thought I was onto something, so I continued to ask why Chicago was not included in the U.S. Homicide Rate. Again I must have pressed too hard because I was again told to shut up.

 

I did not give up on this one. I continued to press them. All of them became very uneasy and started to sweat a lot and eventually they saw that I was not going to be deterred on this one.

 

Finally the Chief Statistician lowered his head and in a very soft voice said, “If we included Chicago, we would be higher than Honduras”.

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The Bottom Line...

In the future if you want the Unvarnished Truth and getting the Unvarnished Truth will require someone to contact the U.S. Government’s Statisticians on your behalf that someone cannot be me because they won’t let me in the front door anymore. I have been told to never come back.

 

Would I kid u?

Smartfella

Friday, March 17, 2017

Why Are Their Eyes So Big? Why Are They Talking So Fast?

There was a time when News Shows would introduce their panel of Talking Heads and there would be only 2 Talking Heads on the panel talking their heads. The just past political season seems to have promulgated Talking Head Panel Inflation...

image

My heavens! That’s 9 Talking Heads each vying for a precious few moments to convey to us (the breathless folks back home) their Sage Bits of Wisdom.

 

I intentionally said “bits” because that’s all the show has time for them to spew out before it’s the next head’s turn or that next Hard Break (that’s what they call a commercial).

 

All of them talk very fast and their eyes get wide as they speak. I once thought this was because they were bursting with information but now realize they are frantic to get out what they want to say (or have been told to say) before they lose their turn or the next Hard Break arrives.

 

It could be worse. The show is the Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer & Wolfie is not at the Talking Table.

 

I just put on my See Into The Future Hat & here is what I see...

Ø The Talking Tables of the future will expand to the point where there will be hundreds of Talking Heads at the Talking Tables.

Ø Initially they will be limited to a single sentence but over time that will be whittled down to a single word.

Ø There will be red lights in front of each Head and, if he dares say more than 1 word, the light will come on, a buzzer will sound and his mike will be cut off.

Ø Over time the single words that are spoken will be computerized, tabulated, analyzed and conclusions will be drawn as to what they were trying to tell us, if only they had been allowed to tell us.

Ø In the Good Ole USofA we are not allowed to disagree with computer analysis, therefore, we do not flinch when we are told something like, “The Talking Heads (who we all look to for guidance) have been telling us for years that we all ought to Eat More Purple Colored Foods Using Chop Sticks”.

 

Would I kid u?

Smartfella

 

Lagniappe: Gone forever are the days when there were only 2 Talking Heads...

image

If you are not old enough to remember, allow me to remember for you. The above calm, cool and collected guys are Huntley and Brinkley of NBC News and, when they talked the news at us, their Eyes Did Not Get Big and they never Talked Faster than Our Ears Could Hear Them Talk.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Obvious Or Coincidence?

Wow! I say this action by the outgoing Federal Transit Administration Chief was Obvious. You may say it was a Coincidence. The best we can expect in this Obviously Crazy Political World we now live is a compromise as we settle on it being an Obvious Coincidence...Or was it?

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The State of California is in the process of building a Bullet Train from San Francisco and Sacramento in the north to Los Angeles and San Diego in the south.

 

I am not blogging about the benefits, or even the necessity, of the train except to say...It will cost a lot more than originally forecasted and will take a lot longer to build than originally forecasted. Such projects always do.

 

What I do want to blog about is the fact that something appears to be Obviously Obvious about an action taken by the outgoing Federal Transit Administration Chief on January 18, 2017.

 

Here are a couple of bullet point facts about all of this...

Ø Two days before she was no longer Federal Transit Administration Chief (January 18, 2017) the Federal Transit Administration Chief approved a $647 million federal grant for the Caltrain Commuter Service Bullet Train Project.

Ø The now former Federal Transit Administration Chief is now working at an engineering company that is a contractor for the Caltrain Commuter Service Bullet Train Project.

 

The late great Winston Churchill just came into my computer room and said over my shoulder, “California’s Bullet Train appears to be a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma”.

 

Before I got control of myself I did turn to confront Sir Winston and accuse him of becoming a bit dense in the 52 years since he died but I pulled up short and just smiled back at him when I saw he was smiling back at me.

 

In a split second I went from being disillusioned with our Federal Government and Winston Churchill to only being disillusioned with our Federal Government. I’ve been here before.

 

Would I kid u?

Smartfella

 

Lagniappe: Sir Winston once made this same riddle/mystery/enigma comment about Russia but I always cut him some slack when he visits me. He was truly one of the great great men in the history of the world. If he wants to repeat himself to me, I don’t care. Besides he does not have that much to do anymore.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

They Are The Same As They Were Before But They Are Better Because They Are Not The Same As They Were Before

You may find this hard to believe but this Blog Posting started out being one of my shorter ones. Read it anyway because it is Educational ... Or is it?

Oh well, maybe it’s not Educational but is it funny? ... I hope so.

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Just when we thought we understood what we understand, “they” upped and started changing what we understood. I wish “they” would leave well enough alone...

Ø Customer changed to Guest

Ø Employee changed to Associate

Ø Suspect changed to Person of Interest

Ø Tax Increase changed to Revenue Enhancement

Ø Tax Cut changed to Loss of Revenue

Ø Short changed to Height Challenged

Ø No Smoking changed to Smoke-Free Environment

Ø In men’s basketball...MVP (Most Valuable Player) changed to MOP (Most Outstanding Player)

Ø In women’s basketball...MVP (Most Valuable Player) changed to POY (Player of the Year)

Ø Mentally Retarded changed to Intellectual Disability

Ø Congressional Pork changed to Earmarks

Ø Secretary changed to Administrative Assistant changed to Administrative Professional

Ø Unemployed changed to Absent From Employment

Ø Strike changed to Industrial Action

Ø Drinking Fountain changed to Hydration Station

Ø Hungry changed to Food Insecure

Ø Short changed to Height Challenged

Ø Illegal Alien changed to Illegal Immigrant changed to Undocumented Immigrant changed to Undocumented Worker changed to Undocumented Citizen and Undocumented Voter.

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We seem to have a desperate need to get rid of all references to the Male Gender...

Ø Chairman changed to Chairperson or simply Chair but, for some unknown reason, Chairwoman is acceptable.

Ø Congressman changed to Congressperson but, for some unknown reason, Congresswoman is acceptable.

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If “they” can do it, The Fella can too...

Ø Penmanship changed to Penpersonship

Ø Railroad Pullman Car changed to Railroad Pullperson Car

Ø Manual Labor changed to Personual Labor

Ø Man Cave changed to Person Cave

Ø Manhandle changed to Personhandle

Ø Manhattan changed to Personhattan

Ø Mankind changed to Personkind

Ø Mandatory changed to Persondatory

Ø Manipulate changed to Personipulate

Ø Maniac changed to Personiac

Ø Attaboy changed to Attaperson

Ø A Man for All Seasons changed to a Person for All Seasons

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Retail “Progress”

Target Big Box Store:

Ø Target phased out gender-based signage in some departments. The shift comes in response to customer feedback that distinguishing between products for girls and boys is unnecessary and maybe even harmful.

Ø Signs in the kids' bedding areas of Target will no longer feature selections for boys or girls.

Ø In the toys aisles, references to gender were removed.

Ø The use of pink, blue, yellow or green paper on the walls of shelves were removed (I don’t understand yellow & green).

A customer applauded Target for listening to consumers who agreed that “color-coded” marketing is “regressive and harmful”.

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Religious Confusion...

Ø At one time in the Catholic Church we had Sermons delivered to us. All of a sudden the Sermon was changed to the Homily. We all sat around saying to each other, “What’s a Homily?” Then we were told that the change was made because a Sermon was perceived as talking down to us but a Homily did not talk down to us. The Bottom Line ... A Homily was the same as a Sermon but we still felt better. (Actually, I have never seen the harm at telling us we are going to hell if we don’t mend our evil ways, if we are, in fact, going to hell if we don’t mend out evil ways.)

Ø This one I will never categorize as progress... “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone at her” changed to “Let he who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her”.

Ø The Catholic Church has changed its scripture readings to be Gender Correct (Brothers changed to Brethren). Before the words were actually changed in the text itself, our lay people doing our scripture readings made the changes on the fly. One Sunday I was listening with rapt attention (as I always do) as the lady reader stumbled through the reading making everything Gender Neutral. She was having a stuttering hard time until she got to the last one and she just zipped right through it without hesitation... “The Sins of Man”. I wanted to shout at her, “Don’t you know that is The Sins of Personkind!” I resisted the urge because I don’t want to go to hell.

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OK, I am almost done being carried away but please allow me just one more ... Mailman changed to Personperson

Would I kid u?

Smartfella