February 15, 2011

Phony-spotting guide?

Filed under: Guest Comment — Tags: , , , — Bob Patterson @ 1:26 pm

Imagine how exciting it would be to be walking around in Berkeley CA (excitement galore, right there) and you saw on the ground a dollar size piece of greenish paper that said “Fifty Dollars”? Your joie d’vivre might diminish considerably when you notice that the portrait on the front side is of a bearded fellow who looks like he might have been one of those misguided clergy men who wanted to make the Hawaiian natives put clothes on and is identified as “Hoffarth.” Then you notice the disclaimer: “for Motion Picture use only.” Drat!

This columnist has, many moons ago, on two different occasions, found a genuine 100 dollar bill and so the first thought when we laid eyes on the Hoffarth bill was to immediately take a picture and start to debate weather we should submit the item to the Berkeley Daily Planet or the Berkeleyside web site. They must have been filming a movie in Berkeley recently and that is the kind of hot news both of them like.

Is that name some kind of joke? Is it a phony name like the one used in a famous e-mail that faked-out a legendary stand-up comedian working for Fox News?

In the era of hit movies from the Jackass crew and the word Punk’d has slipped into the mainstream American vocabulary, who wouldn’t love the irony of finding a Hoffarth bill?

Don’t all Americans appreciate a good practical joke? Lately, we have noticed some political pundits are analyzing the new Obama budget proposals and slaping their own foreheads and saying: “Oy vey! We thought he was a progressive!” The joke that the Reagan Democrat fooled voters into thinking he was a progressive is another hilarious example of Punk’d-ing for fun and frivolity. Young Internets citizens might not remember the time when an American President and his pals concocted a clever ruse about something that had to do with aluminum tubes that were positive proof that a new war needed to be started.

The President went though all the effort to cook-up a clever reason never realizing that all he had to do was ask.

[We’ve heard an urban legend about an attractive young lady who had a very close male friend and when he had to move to a different geographical area he asked her whey they had never hopped into bed together and she responded: “Because you never asked!”]

Some pundits are groaning about the apparent buyers’ remorse factor that the far lefties are experiencing as the Reagan Democrat President reaches out his hand to the far righties in the Republican Party.

Cynics are asking: Shouldn’t a President who works so assiduously to be a one term President get what he wants?

This columnist tends to emulate the taciturn nature of saloon owner Ricky Blaine in the movie Casablanca and thinks that the Australian bandit Ned Kelly was spot-on when he said: “Such is life.”

Is it time to inject some obscure and esoteric (but relevant) items? Watching some newsreel footage from 1953 we saw and heard Adlai Stevenson chide his successful rival for the Presidency for being in charge of a political party run by businessmen. Wasn’t Harry Truman the last President with businessman experience?

We digress. Speaking of digressing, did you know that a bunch of writers from one very successful liberal web site have their own page on Facebook? Why isn’t Eric Hoffer one of that group? Wasn’t he big on liberal causes? Didn’t a famous communist coin the phrase “One for all; all for one.” Don’t the Hell’s Angels say: “A fight with one of us is a fight with all of us!”?

This columnist wishes he could contact that group of scribes because we’d love to ask them: “Is it better for a columnist to tell his readers what he wants them to think or is it better to throw some apparent contradictions at them and let them think it through for themselves?” It’s just like when George W. Bush said: “You teach a child to read, and he or she will be able to pass a literacy test.”

When dealing with writers like that Facebook group shouldn’t their boss ask them the classic question from the Fifties: “Are you now, or have you ever been a member of the Communist Party?”?

Wasn’t “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity!” a famous communist slogan in WWII?

We’ve read: “In a Communist state a love of neighbors may be classed as counter-revolutionary. Mao Tse-tung counts it a sin of the liberals that they will not report the misdeeds of ‘acquaintances, relatives, schoolmates, friends, loved ones.’” Where did we read that?

In “The Ordeal of Change” (Perennial Library paperback 1963 p. 5), Eric Hoffer wrote: “Things are different when people subjected to drastic change find only meager opportunities for action or when they cannot, or are not allowed to, attain self-confidence and self-esteem by individual pursuits . . . . The substitute for self-confidence is faith, the substitute for self-esteem is pride; and the substituted for individual balance is fusion with others into a compact group.” Was Hoffer a founding father of the teabag movement?

If you see something suspicious report it. Buy War Bonds today.

Now the disk jockey will play “Stickin’ to the Union,” the “Cool Hand Luke” soundtrack album and Roy Orbison’s “Workin’ for the man.” We have to go and file a grievance with the shop steward. Have a “contract approved by a vote of the membership” type week.

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