Wednesday, February 25, 2009


Both Democrats and Republicans are doing their very best to work on the problems that beset our nation in a bipartisan manner. It's just that the two parties have different definitions of the word bipartisan.

To Democrats, bipartisan means "both parties work together and compromise, each giving up something and each gaining something, until both can agree." To Democrats, compromise is a good thing (as in, "let's find a workable compromise.")

To Republicans, bipartisan means "we get what we want, and the other side either joins in or is outvoted." To Republicans, compromise is an evil thing (as in "we will not compromise our values.")

Pity the Republicans. For the last 8 years they've been very successful at bipartisanship (by their definition): They've gotten everything they want, and the Democrats have dutifully either joined them or been outvoted.

Now, suddenly, it doesn't seem to be working. The Democratic President keeps saying he wants bipartisan efforts, the Democrats keep saying they want to be bipartisan...but somehow, the Republicans aren't getting their way and the Democrats aren't joining them or being outvoted.

One can just imagine John Boehner's plaintive whine: "But we're trying to be bipartisan...why isn't it working?"

And in the background, one hears the distant echo of Mandy Patinkin saying, "I do not think that word means what you think it means..."


The Ivory Madonna's story is told in Dance for the Ivory Madonna by Don Sakers.
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Monday, February 16, 2009

Global Strawmanning

Have you noticed that every serious, intelligent person refers to the phenomenon as "Climate Change"? Only the yahoos who deny reality (and the media, who are yahoos of a different type) still call it "Global Warming."

"Global Warming" was a simplistic and misleading term to begin with, and one that should never have been used. Yes, the overall phenomenon involves an increase in average global temperature...but the important thing is that higher average temperature equals more energy in the system, which means more violent extremes. Regionally and seasonally, things will tend to get hotter, colder, wetter, drier, short, more extreme.

It serves the purpose of the yahoos to keep using the term "Global Warming." Then, during the colder times, the more frigid winters, the greater blizzards, the deeper freezes, they can sneer, "Global warming, eh? Doesn't seem that warm to me." Setting up straw men and knocking them down is what passes for argument among the yahoos.

Of course, during the hotter summers, the longer droughts, the melting glaciers, the deeper floods, the stronger storms, and the unseasonably-warm winters, the yahoos don't say anything at all. Refusing to acknowledge facts also passes for argument among the yahoos.

When the Ivory Madonna hears someone use the term "global warming," she tsks and shakes her head. "Educated people call it 'climate change.' You obviously haven't kept up. Why should anyone pay attention to your opinion when you're still using terminology from the last century? Why don't you go off in the corner and pontificate on phlogiston theory and flint-knapping techniques?"


The Ivory Madonna's story is told in Dance for the Ivory Madonna by Don Sakers.
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Thursday, February 12, 2009

Fundamental Differences in Philiosophy

People keep talking about the fundamental differences in philosophy between Democrats and Republicans -- especially in connection with the stimulus bill. Republicans vote in solid blocks against the bill, because it violates their philosophy.

It's true, there are huge differences in philosophy between the parties. And the Ivory Madonna has evolved a truly marvelous way to handle this.

Let the Republicans and Democrats each select one person to represent their philosophical views. Then, give everyone in the country a chance to choose between the two individuals. Those who have no preference, or can't decide, don't have to make a choice.

Then we just need to go with whichever political philosophy gets the most votes.

...What? We already did that?


The Ivory Madonna's story is told in Dance for the Ivory Madonna by Don Sakers.
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Thursday, February 05, 2009

The Russian Problem

Apparently the Russians are eager to help out the United States in Afghanistan. At the same time, the Afghanistan government is threatening to make overtures to Russia.

The Ivory Madonna thinks this is a great idea that could very well lead to a solution to multiple problems.

The United States should go to Russia, hat in hand, and say, "Gee, Vladimir, could you help us out of this mess we've gotten ourselves into, and take over for us in Afghanistan?"

It's a win-win-win solution. Let us count the ways that the everyone wins:

1. The U.S. gets to pull most troops out of Afghanistan.

2. The Russians get to score major status points from the fact that the U.S. was forced to come asking for their help. Russia has a terrible inferiority complex; they're desperate for Older Brother America to recognize them. Hell, we could use the opportunity to make Russia a partner in NATO, which is what they've wanted since the Cold War ended.

3. Russia will be able to get away with occupying Afghanistan with an iron fist, which the U.S. could not. The U.S. and Russia could play "Good Cop, Bad Cop" on Afghanistan...and you bet there would be no quibbles about crossing the Pakistan border to take out Bin Laden.

4. Afghanistan gets a new occupier to hate. All the squabbling Afghan partisans will come together in glorious national unity to oppose the hated Russians.

All of this hinges on one condition: that the U.S. swallow its silly national pride and approach Russia with the deal.

Yeah, the Ivory Madonna doesn't see it happening, either.


The Ivory Madonna's story is told in Dance for the Ivory Madonna by Don Sakers.
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