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Posts Tagged ‘government’

Signs of the Times


Today I'm posting a couple of short jokes about signs of the times...

During a terrible snowstorm one winter, many of the highway signs were totally covered with snow. The following spring, the states decide to raise all the signs twelve inches.

At a cost of six million dollars, each sign was equipped with a new pole, one foot longer than the old pole.

"That's an outrageous price," said a local farmer, "but I guess we're lucky the state government handled it, instead of the federal government."

"Why's that?" his neighbor asked.

"Because," the farmer answered, "knowin' the federal government, they'd have decided to lower all the highways."

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The pastors of two local churches were standing by the side of the road, trying to be of service to their community by pounding a sign into the ground. It read as follows:

As a car sped past them, the driver yelled, "Would you religious nuts please just leave us alone?!"

Then from the curve up ahead, they heard screeching tires and a big splash.

The one pastor turned to the other pastor and asked, "Do you think maybe the sign should just say, 'Bridge Out'?"

quotation...

"Has anyone else noticed the nonexistence of a charitable organization known as 'Lawyers Without Borders'?" - Ann Coulter

=^..^= =^..^=
Rob

"The nearest thing to eternal life we will ever see on this earth is a government program." - Ronald Reagan


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The World According to Student Bloopers


We're anxiously awaiting the end of "Native American summer" here in South Carolina! I've enjoyed all the 90+ degree weather that I care to for a while. If the meteorologists are to be believed, we should get back to more seasonable temps before the weekend. Phew!

This week is/was Columbus Day. It bothers me a little that Columbus Day is now celebrated on a Monday rather than on October 12th, the day that a sailor on board the Pinta first sighted land in 1492. The first recorded celebration of Columbus Day in the United States took place on October 12, 1792, the 300th anniversary of that event. For centuries October 12th was Columbus Day here in the USA, but I guess it's more important that an extremely small number of people have a Monday holiday and a day off. Strangely enough, this year that long weekend would still have been possible since the 12th is on a Friday this year.

What bothers me far more than moving holidays is the rewriting of history that's happening fast and furious. It's all too common nowadays to have our nation's heros portrayed as villains or simply totally ignored in history books. And worse yet, villains and nobodies are painted as heros. (It's kind of like the "black and white" theme in my last blog post, only this is calling white black and black white.) It was weird to read that there were actually protests resulting in arrests in connection to Columbus Day festivities this past weekend, like Christopher Columbus was some kind of evil person! I say that if history is to be rewritten, it should be done by people who don't know any better - like history students - rather than by those who call themselves historians!

Today's iv is a compilation by Richard Lederer of bloopers from students in history classes. This compilation is from a published work called Anguished English.

The World According to Student Bloopers
Richard Lederer

"One of the fringe benefits of being an English or History teacher is receiving the occasional jewel of a student blooper in an essay. I have pasted together the following "history" of the world from certifiably genuine student bloopers collected by teachers throughout the United States, from eighth grade through college level. Read carefully, and you will learn a lot." - R. Lederer

History of the World

Ancient Egypt was inhabited by mummies, and they all wrote in hydraulics. They lived in the Sarah Dessert and traveled by Camelot. The climate of the Sarah is such that the inhabitants have to live elsewhere, so certain areas of the dessert are cultivated by irritation. The pyramids are a range of mountains between France and Spain. The Egyptians built the pyramids in the shape of a huge triangular cube.

The Bible is full of interesting caricatures. In the first book of the Bible, Guinesses, Adam and Eve were created from an apple tree. One of their children, Cain, asked "Am I my brother's son?" God asked Abraham to sacrifice Isaac on Mount Montezuma. Jacob, son of Isaac, stole his brother's birthmark. Jacob was a patriarch who brought up his twelve sons to be patriarchs, but they did not take to it. One of Jacob's sons, Joseph, gave refuse to the Israelites.

Moses led the Hebrew slaves to the Red Sea, where they made unleavened bread, which is bread made without any ingredients. Afterwards, Moses went up on Mount Cyanide to get the ten commandments. He died before he ever reached Canada. David was a Hebrew king skilled at playing the liar. He fought with the Finkelsteins, a race of people who lived in Biblical times. Solomon, one of David's sons, had 500 wives and 500 porcupines.

The Greeks were a highly sculptured people, and without them, we wouldn't have history. The Greeks invented three kinds of columns--Corinthian, Doric and Ironic. They also had myths. A myth is a female moth. One myth says that the mother of Achilles dipped him in the River Stynx until he became intolerable. Achilles appears in "The Iliad," by Homer. Homer also wrote the "Oddity," in which Penelope was the last hardship that Ulysses endured on his journey. Actually, Homer was not written by Homer but by another man of that name.

Socrates was a famous Greek teacher who went around giving people advice. They killed him. Socrates died from an overdose of wedlock. After his death, his career suffered a dramatic decline.

In the Olympic Games, Greeks ran races, jumped, hurled the biscuits, and threw the java. The reward to the victor was a coral wreath. The government of Athens was democratic because the people took the law into their own hands. There were no wars in Greece, as the mountains were so high that they couldn't climb over to see what their neighbors were doing. When they fought the Parisians, the Greeks were outnumbered because the Persians had more men.

Eventually, the Romans conquered the Greeks. History calls people Romans because they never stayed in one place for very long. Julius Caesar extinguished himself on the battlefields of Gaul. The Ides of March killed him because they thought he was going to be made king. Dying, he gasped out: "Tee hee, Brutus." Nero was a cruel tyranny who would torture his poor subjects by playing the fiddle to them. Rome came to have too many luxuries and baths. At Roman banquets, the guests wore garlics in their hair. They took two baths in two days, and that's the cause of the fall of Rome. Rome was invaded by ballbearings, and is full of fallen arches today.

Then came the Middle Ages, when everyone was middle aged. King Alfred conquered the Dames, King Arthur lived in the Age of Shivery with brave knights and prancing horses and beautiful women. King Harold mustarded his troops before the Battle of Hastings. Joan of Arc was burnt to a steak and cannonized by George Bernard Shaw, and there were many victims of the blue bonnet plague. Finally, the Magna Carta provided that no free man should be hanged twice for the same offense.

In midevil times most of the people were alliterate. The greatest writer of the futile times was Chaucer, who wrote many poems and verse and also wrote literature. Another story was about William Tell, who shot an arrow through an apple while standing on his son's head.

The Renaissance was an age in which more individuals felt the value of their human being. Martin Luther was nailed to the church door at Wittenberg for selling papal indulgences. He died a horrible death, being excommunicated by a bull.

The government of England was a limited mockery. Henry VIII found walking difficult because he had an abbess on his knee. As a queen, Queen Elizabeth was a success. Her navy went out and defeated the Spanish Armadillo.

It was an age of great inventions and discoveries. Gutenberg invented removable type. Another important invention was the circulation of blood. Sir Walter Raleigh is a historical figure because he invented cigarettes. Sir Francis Drake circumcised the world with a 100-foot clipper.

The greatest writer of the Renaissance was William Shakespeare. Shakespeare was born in the year 1564, supposedly on his birthday. Shakespeare never made much money and is famous only because of his plays. He lived in Windsor with his merry wives, writing tragedies, comedies, and errors, all in Islamic pentameter. In one of Shakespeare's famous plays, Hamlet rations out his situation by relieving himself in a long soliloquy. In another, Lady Macbeth tries to convince Macbeth to kill the King by attacking his manhood. The clown in As You Like It is named Touchdown. Romeo and Juliet are an example of a heroic couplet.

Writing at the same time as Shakespeare was Miguel Cervantes. He wrote "Donkey Hote." The next great author was John Milton. Milton wrote "Paradise Lost." Then his wife died and he wrote "Paradise Regained."

During the Renaissance America began. Christopher Columbus was a great navigator who discovered America while cursing about the Atlantic. His ships were called the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Fe. Later the Pilgrims crossed the ocean, and this was called the Pilgrim's Progress. When they landed at Plymouth Rock, they were greeted by Indians, who came down the hill rolling their hoops before them. The Indian squabs carried porpoises on their back. Many of the Indian heroes were killed, along with their cabooses, which proved very fatal to them. The winter of 1620 was a hard one for the settlers. Many people died and many babies were born. Captain John Smith was responsible for all this.

One of the causes of the Revolutionary Wars was the English put tacks in their tea. Also, the colonists would send their parcels through the post without stamps. During the War, Red Coats and Paul Revere was throwing balls over stone walls. The dogs were barking and the peacocks crowing. Finally, the colonists won the War and no longer had to pay for taxis.

Delicates from the original thirteen states formed the Contented Congress. Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin were two singers of the Declaration of Independence. Franklin had gone to Boston carrying all his clothes in his pocket and a loaf of bread under each arm. He invented electricity by rubbing cats backwards and declared "a horse divided against itself cannot stand." Franklin died in 1790 and is still dead.

George Washington married Martha Curtis and in due time became the father of our country. His farewell address was Mount Vernon. Then the Constitution of the United States was adopted to secure domestic hostility. Under the Constitution the people enjoyed the right to keep bare arms.

Abraham Lincoln became America's greatest Precedent. Lincoln's mother died in infancy, and he was born in a log cabin which he built with his own hands. When Lincoln was President, he wore only a tall silk hat. He said, "In onion there is strength." Abraham Lincoln wrote the Gettysburg address while traveling from Washington to Gettysburg on the back of an envelope. He also signed the Emasculation Proclamation, and the Fourteenth Amendment gave the ex-Negroes citizenship. But the Clue Clutz Clan would torcher and lynch the ex-Negroes and other innocent victims. On the night of April 14, 1865, Lincoln went to the theater and got shot in his seat by one of the actors in a moving picture show. The believed assinator was John Wilkes Booth, a insane supposed actor. This ruined Booth's career.

Meanwhile in Europe, the enlightenment was a reasonable time. Voltaire invented electricity and also wrote a book called "Candy". Gravity was invented by Isaac Walton. It is chiefly noticeable in the autumn, when the apples are falling off the trees.

Bach was the most famous composer in the world, and so was Handel. Handel was half German, half Italian and half English. He was very large. Bach died from 1750 to the present. Beethoven wrote music even though he was deaf. He was so deaf he wrote loud music. He took long walks in the forest even when everyone was calling for him. Beethoven expired in 1827 and later died for this.

France was in a very serious state. The French Revolution was accomplished before it happened. The Marseillaise was the theme song of the French Revolution, and it catapulted into Napoleon. During the Napoleonic Wars, the crowned heads of Europe were trembling in their shoes. Then the Spanish gorillas came down from the hills and nipped at Napoleon's flanks. Napoleon wanted an heir to inherit his power, but since Josephine was a baroness, she couldn't bear him any children.

The sun never set on the British Empire because the British Empire is in the East and the sun sets in the West. Queen Victoria was the longest queen. She sat on a thorn for 63 years. Her reclining years and finally the end of her life were exemplatory of a great personality. Her death was the final event which ended her reign.

The nineteenth century was a time of many great inventions and thoughts. The invention of the steamboat caused a network of rivers to spring up. Samuel Morse invented a code for telepathy. Louis Pasteur discovered a cure for rabbis. Charles Darwin was a naturalist who wrote the "Organ of the Species". Madman Curie discovered radi0. And Karl Marx became one of the Marx Brothers.

The First World War, caused by assignation of the Arch-Duck by ananahist, ushered in a new error in the anals of human history.

quotation...

In reference to the recent passing of the famous mime Marcel Marceau... "Do you suppose they observed a moment of noise in his honor anywhere in France?" - Barry Ray, Greenville Journal

=^..^= =^..^=
Rob

Did Washington just flash a quarter for his ID?


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Two Cows … No Hoof Left Unstepped On!


During much of my adult life I enjoyed reading and hearing about politics. I've always voted since first becoming old enough to do so. Yet as important as this aspect of responsible citizenship is, I've known all along that politicians are not the answer to the problems of society. In recent years the political scene, especially on the national level, has left me increasingly disenchanted.

I usually stay away from political things in my iv's because it's a realm of life where people hold very strong personal views, and ivman.com is about a break from stress and tension rather than being another cause of stress and tension. 😎

However, several things lately have me more sick-to-death than ever of most things political! Is anyone else out there sick of the politicizing of this war, with little or no regard for what's best for our country or our military personnel in harm's way?! It seems that for some, power and advancement of an agenda far outweigh what is right and prudent! Also, is anyone else out there already sick of the 2008 presidential campaign?! Give us a break already!!! Starting the whole thing up over a year before the first primary! Good grief! I keep hoping that everyone will be so sick of all the candidates with hats currently in the ring that by the time the primaries actually roll around, these candidates will be off the scene and the voters will finally be presented with some real candidates worth voting for!!!

Because of my frustration, I'd like to poke fun at it all - and then some! I think enough "sacred cows" are lampooned in today's iv that everyone should be amused through most of it.

Anyway, off those soapboxes and on to the iv....

TWO COWS - A Bovine Guide to Political, Corporate, and Societal Theory

Here are some philosophical insights based on COWS, with no hoof left un-stepped-on...

FEUDALISM: You have two cows. Your lord takes some of the milk.

PURE SOCIALISM: You have two cows. The government takes them and puts them in a barn with everyone else's cows. You have to take care of all the cows. The government gives you as much milk as you need.

BUREAUCRATIC SOCIALISM: You have two cows. The government takes them and puts them in a barn with everyone else's cows. They are cared for by ex-chicken farmers. You have to take care of the chickens the government took from the chicken farmers. The government gives you as much milk and as many eggs as the regulations say you should need.

PURE COMMUNISM: You have two cows. Your neighbors help you take care of them, and you all share the milk.

RUSSIAN COMMUNISM: You have two cows. You have to take care of them, but the government takes all the milk.

DICTATORSHIP: You have two cows. The government takes both and shoots you.

ANARCHY: You have two cows. Either you sell the milk at a fair price or your neighbors try to kill you and take the cows.

TOTALITARIANISM: You have two cows. The government takes them and denies they ever existed. Milk is banned.

FASCISM: You have two cows. The government seizes both, hires you to take care of them, and sells you the milk.

CAPITALISM, AMERICAN STYLE: You have two cows. You sell one, buy a bull, and build a herd. Your herd multiplies, and the economy grows. You sell them and retire on the income.

PURE DEMOCRACY: You have two cows. Your neighbors decide who gets the milk.

REPRESENTATIVE DEMOCRACY: You have two cows. Your neighbors pick someone to tell you who gets the milk.

SINGAPOREAN DEMOCRACY: You have two cows. The government fines you for keeping two unlicensed farm animals in an apartment.

DEMOCRACY, AMERICAN STYLE: The government promises to give you two cows if you vote for it. After the election, the president is impeached for speculating in cow futures. The press dubs the affair "Cowgate". Or if you already have two cows, the government taxes you to the point you have to sell both to support a man in a foreign country who has only one cow, which was a gift from your government.

REPUBLICANS: You have two cows. Your neighbor has none. So?

DEMOCRATS: You have two cows. Your neighbor has none. You feel guilty for being successful. You vote people into office that put a tax on your cows, forcing you to sell one to raise money to pay the tax. The people you voted for then take the tax money, buy a cow, and give it to your neighbor. You feel righteous. Barbara Streisand sings for you.

LIBERTARIANS: You have two cows. You let them do what they want. You tell everyone else to go away. What you do with *your* cows is no one else's business!

UNITED NATIONISM: You have two cows. France vetoes you from milking them. The United States and Britain veto the cows from milking you. New Zealand abstains.

REDISTRIBUTIONISM: You have two cows. Everyone should have the same amount of cow. The government takes both cows, cuts them up, and spends more than the cows are worth giving everyone a small portion of cow.

BUREAUCRACY: You have two cows. At first the government regulates what you can feed them and when you can milk them. Then it pays you not to milk them. After that it takes both, shoots one, milks the other and pours the milk down the drain. Then it requires you to fill out forms accounting for the missing cows.

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some corporate and personal philosophies...

AN AMERICAN CORPORATION: You have two cows. You sell one, and force the other to produce the milk of four cows. You are surprised when the cow drops dead and hire a consultant to analyze why.

A BRAZILIAN CORPORATION: You have two cows. You enter into a partnership with an American corporation. Soon you have 1000 cows and the American corporation declares bankruptcy.

A BRITISH CORPORATION: You have two cows. You feed them sheep's brains and they go mad. The government doesn't do anything.

A FRENCH CORPORATION: You have two cows. You go on strike because you want three cows.

A GERMAN CORPORATION: You have two cows. You reengineer them so they live for 100 years, eat once a month, and milk themselves.

AN INDIAN CORPORATION: You have two cows. You worship them.

AN IRAQI CORPORATION: You have two cows. They go into hiding. They send radio tapes of their mooing.

AN ITALIAN CORPORATION: You have two cows but you don't know where they are. You break for lunch.

A JAPANESE CORPORATION: You have two cows. You redesign them so they are one-tenth the size of an ordinary cow and produce twenty times the milk. You then create a clever cow cartoon image called Cowkimon and market them worldwide.

A MEXICAN CORPORATION: You think you have two cows, but you're not sure where they are. You'll look for them tomorrow.

A SWISS CORPORATION: You have two cows. Somebody else has 5,000 cows, none of which belong to you. You charge them for storing their 5000 cows with yours.

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some off-center societal movements...

ARISTOCRATISM: You have two cows. You sell both and buy one really big cow - with a pedigree.

ENVIRONMENTALISM: You have two cows. The government bans you from milking or killing them and fines you for the methane gas they emit.

FEMINISM: You have two cows. You don't need a bull - just adopt a calf.

IDEALISM: You have two cows. You get married, and your spouse milks them.

POLITICAL CORRECTNESS: You are associated with (the concept of "ownership" is a symbol of the war-mongering, intolerant past) two differently-aged (but no less valuable to society) bovines of non-specified gender....

POP CULTURE: Whoa, dude, there's, like...these two cows, man. You gotta have some of this milk, ya know?

SOCRATIC METHODISM: How many cows do I have? Why?

SURREALISM: You have two giraffes. The government requires you to take harmonica lessons.

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All is well here at our house. The weeks between Bible Conference and graduation always fly by, and this first week has been no exception to that! Megan and Drew are doing well, but since he's not been sleeping well during the night, he has two tired parents. Mark and Katie are going up to see them all this weekend. Grandma and I wish we could be stowaways....

This coming week is the annual Living Gallery on campus. We are looking forward to seeing the presentation which has become a part of our Easter celebration here.

quotation...

"The most terrifying words in the English language are: I'm from the government and I'm here to help." - Ronald Reagan

=^..^= =^..^=
Rob

Sacred cows often make the best hamburgers!


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English or German?


Several times lately I've been in situations where people were having fun with "pseudo-German." As a French teacher and a former German teacher, I actually enjoy humor about the languages I love. One article I'm sending today pokes fun at English, and the other lampoons German - both are tongue-in-cheek.

The European Commission has announced an agreement whereby English will be the official language of the EU, rather than German, which was the other possibility.

As part of the negotiations, the British Government conceded that English spelling had room for improvement and has therefore accepted a five-year for phasing in of "Euro-English".

In the first year, "s" will replace the soft "c". Sertainly, this will make sivil servants jump for joy. The hard "c" will be dropped in favour of the "k", Which should klear up some konfusion and also keyboards kan have one less letter.

There will be growing publik enthusiasm in the sekond year, when the troublesome "ph" will be replaced with "f", making words like "fotograf" 20% shorter.

In the third year, publik akseptanse of the new spelling kan be expekted to reach the stage where more komplikated changes are possible. Governments will enkourage the removal of double letters which have always ben a deterent to akurate speling. Also, al wil agre that the horible mes of the silent "e" is disgrasful, and it should go away.

By the fourth yer, peopl wil be reseptiv to steps such as replasing "th" with "z" and "w" with "v".

During ze fifz yer, ze unesesary "o" kan be dropd from vords kontaining "ou" and similar changes vud of kors be aplid to ozer kombinations of leters. After zis fifz yer, ve vil hav a reli sensibl riten styl. Zer vil be no mor trubls or difikultis and everivun vil find it ezi to understand ech ozer. Ze drem of a united urop vil finali com tru! Und efter ze fifz yer, ve vil al be speking German lik zey vunted us to in ze forst plas!

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Germany to Phase Out German
by William Grim

For the sake of those who don't know German (and you don't really need to to catch most of the humor), You'll find a little "glossary" at the beginning of the article to unlock a couple of the otherwise hidden elements of humor. The author himself glossed some of the terms in the article. I also did one minor tweak to the wording to make it more appropriate to my clientel.

GLOSSARY-- (the translations within the story itself were made by the author, William Grim, and not by ivman, and are not all completely accurate)

Lappenhund = lap dog
Pferdeloskarriage = horseless carriage
Fragenschlager = question slinger

Berlin - Citing the success of the new Euro currency, the members of the German Bundestag have voted unanimously to phase out German and to adopt English as the new official language.

"Let's face it," said German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer. "German is one ugly language. I mean, the German word for butterfly is Schmetterling, for goodness sake. That sorta says it all."

Leading German businessmen, like Deutscheseisenbahngesellschaftdirigent (German Railroad Company director) Guenther Lappenhund, say the language changeover will save the Germany economy billions. "We spend all this money on dual-language signage and for dubbing movies," said Herr Lappenhund from his Hamburg office. "What a waste. Who wants to watch 'Hey, Dude, Where's My Car?' ('Achtung, Duede, Wo Ist Meine Pferdeloskarriage?') in German anyway?"

German mental health experts don't think that the loss of their native tongue will be any more traumatic than the change from the Deutschmark to the Euro, which most Germans took in stride. "It's not like Germans have much to be proud of," said Dr. Renate Steinheimer, chairperson of the Psychology Department of Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich. "You don't see swarms of young Germans painting themselves red, black and gold and running through Dachau chanting 'Ger-man-y!' over and over. You think Germany, you still think of ol' Schiklgruber and Sargeant Schultz of Hogan's Heroes. There hasn't been much positive news out of Germany since the Treaty of Westphalia ended the Thirty Year's War in 1648."

Although details of the changeover are still being finalized, the general plan appears to be a complete conversion to English by January 1, 2007 with a 20% reduction in German usage each year for the next five years. German words beginning with letters A to D are slated to be retired by January 1, 2003. A national party is scheduled for December 31, 2006 when at 11:59pm the entire country of Germany will yell out "zwischen" ("between") legally for the last time.

"It'll be kinda sad," said Bruenhilde Fragenschlager, a 10th grade student at the Hockenheimer Hochschule fuer Linguistik und Grammatik (Hockenheimer High School for Linguistics and Grammar), "But I understand the reasons for the change. Still, it's nice that "Gesundheit" and "Kindergarten" are going to be grandfathered in, but I guess that's because they're really English words now. Boy, the next time we start a war, I sure hope we wait to invade Russia until after we've defeated England."
___
by William Grim
© Copyright 2002

quotation...

"The gray areas of life are the dwelling place of the defiled conscience." - Dr. Randy Jaeggli

=^..^= =^..^= =^..^=
Rob

Change is constant, and the most dangerous place to be is inside your own comfort zone.


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