Posted on June 17, 2023




Cranial Tumbleweeds

Brains on drugs, atheists & aliens, preppers , etc.


Daniel Clark



* Libertarians like John Stossel refer to the "failed war on drugs of the past fifty years," even as the results of the surrender become painfully obvious. Their argument has always been that legislating against a behavior is the surest way to create more of it, such that if conservatives really wanted drug abuse to become less prevalent, they would legalize drugs. To call that counterintuitive would be far too generous. If Stossel has ever really been serious about this argument, perhaps he'd like to take a vacation to Colorado, and let us know how things are coming along there.

* Or maybe he could just watch the video from the parade after the Denver Nuggets won the NBA championship.

* The "war on drugs," when it can be argued to exist, is really just an increased focus on law enforcement. To inhibit drug enforcement as Presidents Clinton and Obama did, based on the argument that it didn't work anyway, is about as sensible as defunding the police on the premise that crime still exists with or without them. Surely, there is no doubt that when a district attorney decides not to prosecute certain crimes, those crimes are committed with greater frequency. By what logic should it be different where drugs are concerned?

* Clinton and Obama gave us two eight-year stretches of diminished drug interdiction and lax domestic enforcement, in the middle of what libertarians tell us has been a relentless, half-century campaign against illicit drugs by the U.S. government. If they were making a more serious argument, they would recognize the dramatic shifts in policy from one presidency to the next, and investigate whether the drug problem has gotten better or worse depending on who is in charge. The reason they don't is simple. They do not want the answer.

* New York City has just installed vending machines that distribute, among other things, free crack pipes. If this is how America is waging an overzealous war on drugs, we're even worse at it than the libertarians say we are.

* Let's try looking at this from the reverse angle. WNBA player Brittney Griner just spent ten months in a Russian prison for transporting cannabis oil into the country. Anyone care to ask her how likely she is to do that again? After all, drug enforcement is not only ineffective, but it produces more of the proscribed activity, right?

* Note that the previous bullet point identified a "WNBA player" and not "star" as everybody else has been calling her. The word "star" in this context confers an elite status. NBA Most Valuable Player Joel Embiid is a basketball star, for instance. Nobody in the WNBA belongs in that same category.

* In that same vein, there is probably no such thing as a "porn star," but even if there were, would Stormy Daniels qualify? If news editors hadn't given up on accuracy decades ago, they would instead refer to her as a "porn participant," or something.

* Harry Browne, the standard-bearer of the Libertarian Party during the 90s, used to apply the party's position on drugs to abortion also, by making variations of the statement, "(sniff) If the government had a war on abortion like its war on drugs (sniff), then within five years men would be having abortions (sniff)." Now that twenty states have passed significant restrictions on abortion, do members of Browne's party imagine that abortion is becoming more commonplace? Then why has Planned Parenthood been closing up shop in states where these laws have been enacted?

* Just in case anybody is wondering, men still cannot have abortions, regardless of what anyone says.

* Come to think of it, why doesn't Planned Parenthood just stay open, and continue to do that other 97 percent of things it supposedly does?

* It would be a whole lot more honest of libertarians if they'd just come out and say that they want their drugs, or abortions, or prostitution, or fill-in-the-blank, without pretending to care about society.

* John Cleese is refusing to edit a scene from his stage production of Monty Python's Life of Brian, in which a male character says he wants to become a woman, that he should be called Loretta, and that he plans to have babies. Cleese says that "all of the actors, several of them Tony winners, had advised me strongly to cut the Loretta scene. I have, of course, no intention of doing so." Bully for him, but he must realize that there will be a lot of pressure on these same actors to pull out of the project, which could leave Cleese seeking replacements on short notice. Whom could he possibly get, Scott Baio?

* On second thought, it hardly matters who appears in the play, because the 1979 Life of Brian movie was probably the unfunniest 90 minutes of British comedy not involving Dudley Moore. Don't believe it? Pull up the trailer and try to laugh. And those are the highlights. Even the Loretta scene is not nearly as funny on screen as one is led to expect from seeing it described in print.

* You would get the exact opposite impression from reading references to Life of Brian on conservative sites like National Review Online. Why do conservatives feel the need to prove what good sports they are by forcing laughter at having their beliefs maligned? There is a difference between insulting somebody's religion and making fun of it. (For an example of the latter, see: Allen, Dave.) Life of Brian doesn't make any fun.

* This might be hard to believe, because Monty Python's Flying Circus was arguably the funniest show in the history of television, but that was when they were putting more effort into being funny than presuming to be sociologically instructive. In fact, their funniest sketches were often ones in which they weren't trying to make any point at all. One of Cleese's favorites is "The Fish-Slapping Dance," which delivers more laughs in sixteen seconds than Life of Brian does in an hour and a half.

* In another Life of Brian scene that's about as funny as a dead hamster, a falling Brian is scooped up by a spaceship, flown around for a minute by a pair of space creatures who do nothing funny, and then dropped off again. There's no attempt at a joke here. One can only surmise that the message is meant to be, if spacemen, then no God. The only interesting thing about this is that atheists like to lampoon intelligent design by likening it to belief in the Flying Spaghetti Monster. As usual, leftists are accusing others of exactly what they're doing. It's not Christians who believe in the Flying Spaghetti Monster, but the atheists who mock them.

* Exhibit B: In 2008, Ben Stein filmed Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, a documentary about the suppression of intelligent design in academia. In an interview with Richard Dawkins, Stein asks the atheist intellectual to explain how life came about. Dawkins suggests that beings from elsewhere in the universe might have seeded life on earth. So, he wasn't really so opposed to the idea of intelligent design, except that the designer must not be God. Once again, it is the atheist who believes in the Flying Spaghetti Monster. His Jewish counterpart does not.

* The one American member of Monty Python, Terry Gilliam, renounced his U.S. citizenship in 2006. That may sound like a rotten thing to do, until you hear his reason. Gilliam, who hadn't lived in America for decades, discovered that if he remained a citizen, his family would have to sell some of its property in order to pay the estate tax after he died. That may be what leftists refer to as "justice" these days, but it should never be the American way.

* If liberals are looking for reasons to feel ashamed of America, which they always are, let them try this one. Our country is responsible for the lone unfunny member of Monty Python.

* Oh, and also, the cheese that we so proudly claim as our own is really nothing more than a very mild cheddar. That's all. Here endeth the shame.

* Those of us who are not like this Loretta character are now called "cisgender" by the people who have put themselves in charge of such things. What makes them so sure we're not brogender instead?

* If you ever find yourself tempted to start believing in spacemen as they are commonly depicted, do yourself a favor and go to the zoo. Just try looking at a giraffe, a platypus, and an aardvark, just for a few examples, and convincing yourself that life from another planet is likely to appear in humanoid form, like those latex aliens from the Weekly World News.

* Furthermore, what are the chances of some living beings on some faraway planet figuring out how to mine ore and create things from various metals, and then visit us in something that we would recognize as a vehicle?

*Another helpful exercise is to watch the real version of Planet of the Apes, and count all the times that Taylor should have figured out he was on earth before the Statue of Liberty drove the point home to him. "Wait a minute, this planet has human beings and other primates, just like we have back home! Hey, these apes are armed with rifles! They're spraying water at me through a hose!" Tales of little rubber men bobbing around in formaldehyde in the White House basement ought to be treated with at least that much skepticism.

* Why do people assume that if there is life elsewhere in the universe, it must be far more intelligent than we are? What if we discover an extraterrestrial life form, but find that it's really, really stupid? Will we feel responsible for it, and put it on public assistance? That's at least as legitimate a cause for concern as the possibility of it coming to take over the world.

* How do we know that we've been visited by flying saucers? Because the Pentagon admits that it's covering it up! A tad indiscreet, wouldn't you say?

* When there's a spike in reported UFO sightings, that usually coincides with a development in new military technology. Area 51, for example, was a testing site for U-2 spy planes. In recent years there have been sensational reports about aircraft that demonstrate abilities far beyond what is currently known to be technologically feasible. The fact that our enemies are not already deploying these vessels against us suggests that they must be ours. We have had very few reasons for optimism lately. When one is brought to us, we ought to accept delivery.

* In a way, it's too bad there aren't spacemen, because if there were, they would want to settle in America like everyone else, and they would be disinclined to vote Democrat. Just for starters, imagine they've just had the concept of elections explained to them, when somebody tells them it's wrong to require voters to identify themselves. That person would be lucky not to get zapped.

* Being inhuman, they might not be sympathetic to the pro-life argument, but at least they would understand what we were talking about. Imagine how frustrated they'd get listening to the endless stream of pro-abortion euphemisms about women's-healthy-choicey-body-thingey-autonomy-rights-providers, only to later figure out that this was somehow supposed to translate into destroying the human replacement units. They would naturally gravitate toward our side, just to be able to have understandable conversations.

* Assuming that spacemen had been studying us for decades, they would surely know by now what men and women are. How much would they trust those people who profess not to know the difference?

* If a Democrat tried to sell them on the idea of Social Security, it would probably go something like this:

DEMOCRAT: "We are going to take some of what you have and save it for you, so that we may return it to you many years later, when you need it."

SPACEMAN: "Why don't we just keep it then?"

DEMOCRAT: "Because Social Security is a sacred trust! Ed Asner said so!"


* When the Democrats call Social Security a "sacred trust," that would only be true if the money was actually set aside, which it hasn't been ever since the creation of the welfare state. Geraldo Rivera could discover the Social Security trust fund, and when he opened it, the results would not be any different than usual.

* This "sacred trust" lie is a lot easier to get away with ever since Rush Limbaugh "assumed room temperature," as he liked to say. Of all the reasons liberals loathed Rush, at the top of the list was his slogan, "words mean things." That's because the success of liberalism depends on the proposition that the meanings of words are arbitrary.

* Other conservative talk radio hosts see a political conspiracy behind auto makers' decision to remove AM radio from their cars. The reason that is given for this change is that, as we transition (forcibly) to electric vehicles, the electric engines will interfere too badly with the AM signal. Had this decision been made during the Limbaugh Era, there would have been good reason to believe some bureaucrat was trying to shut down talk radio. For decades, liberals tried to concoct their own version of Rush, and failing that, they set out to eliminate him. There's nobody on the air today who comes close to striking that kind of fear in them. For any other host to pretend that he does is sheer vanity.

* It was disappointing to watch Rush go all-in for Donald Trump after he had spent so much of his career defending conservatives from populist charlatans, especially during the NAFTA debate of the early 90s. He saw a lot of himself in Trump, which was a tragic miscalculation. Limbaugh's on-air egotism was pure schtick, and he believed the same was true of The Donald. In a parody of phony media polls, Rush claimed that an official "opinion audit" had found that he was "documented to be almost always right 99.7 percent of the time." Count this among that remaining 0.3.

* Once, in response to a magazine article that referred to him as a populist, Rush did what he called "illustrating absurdity by being absurd." Rather than coming right out and explaining that he wasn't a populist, he decided to become one for a segment on his show, spouting mindless claptrap like, "They're just out to scroooo the little guy! Well, I don't know about them, but I'm fer jobs!" Any Buchananites and Perotistas who were listening must have missed the joke entirely.

* Liberals often accused Limbaugh of giving "marching orders" on his show, but he would never have presumed to tell his listeners what to do. Many other talk show hosts do this. The Glenn Beck show is often very enjoyable, until he starts telling us the nine and a half things we must do to fundamentally change our lives by next Tuesday. Honestly, Glenn, if I have to start canning rutabagas for use as currency after the financial apocalypse, I'm not sure how badly I want to survive it anyway.

* When a woman called Limbaugh and mentioned that she was also a big fan of Beck's, Rush asked if she had her freezer stocked with plenty of bread and butter. "Why? What's gonna happen?" she responded, a second before realizing that he was only kidding. Moments like that were what made the show so much fun.

* No offense to any "preppers" out there. And say toodles to Biff and Muffy for me.

* One of the words that doesn't seem to mean anything anymore is "ban." Democrats deny that they want to ban gas stoves, just because they're not going to kick down people's doors and confiscate them. Nevertheless, they plan to enact regulations with which no gas stove can comply. That way, it would become illegal to sell or buy one. That's a ban.

* Removing a particular book from a school library or curriculum, however, is not a ban. Any parents who want their children to read one of these "banned" books can still obtain it. The fact that it won't be provided by the school does not prevent them from doing so. No school carries every book ever written. The absence of the vast majority of them does not mean all those books are banned. So conservatives like Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis want to omit pornographic books and those whose aim is to turn the children against their country. Liberals would prefer to omit Mark Twain and Dr. Seuss, among others. None of those editorial decisions is a ban.

* Of course, if there's anything liberals can't stand, it's censorship. Just ask John Cleese.



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