Typewriter

They had been up in the attic together doing some cleaning. The kids uncovered an old manual typewriter and asked her, “Hey Mom…what’s this?”

“Oh…that’s an old typewriter,” she answered, thinking that would satisfy their curiosity.

“Well what does it do?” they asked.

“I’ll show you,” she said and returned with a blank piece of paper. She rolled the paper into the typewriter and began striking the keys, leaving
black letters of print on the page.

“WOW!” they exclaimed, “that’s really cool…but how does it work like that? Where do you plug it in?”

“There is no plug,” she answered. “It doesn’t need a plug.”

“Then where do you put the batteries?” they persisted.

“It doesn’t need batteries either.” she continued.

“Wow! This is so cool!” they exclaimed. “Someone should have invented this a long time ago!”

Received from Da Mouse Tracks.
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Are the Fake News Awards Persuasive?

By now you know President Trump announced his winners for the Fake News Awards. You can see them here. Let’s talk about what he got right in terms of persuasion.

The very idea of a Fake News Award is unusual and provocative. That guarantees attention. Getting attention is step one in any persuasion play. Nearly everyone who cares about American politics is aware of the story. I’m no historian, but I doubt any prior president has combined theater and politics so ambitiously and so effectively. President Trump is intentionally and deftly “bringing the show” on this topic and lots of others. If you don’t understand persuasion, you might think he is just being crazy or narcissistic or authoritarian or some other misdiagnosis. But if you know that attention and memory are the primary levers of persuasion, and you see how often he commands both, you might recognize that you are seeing something special here in terms of a talent stack. (A talent stack is a combination of skills that are designed to work well together, such as the collective sub-talents for persuasion, theater, and politics.)

President Trump didn’t need to announce the Fake News Awards ahead of time. He could have simply put together the list and tweeted it any time he wanted. But he knows anticipation controls attention, and it amps up the perceived importance of whatever follows. He primed us. His supporters were salivating for the “good stuff” to come, while his detractors in the anti-Trump press probably hoped they didn’t make the top ten. (Then they did.)

Many of you wonder why he didn’t do a televised awards event. I’m sure the idea was considered. But in my view, that would have been a step too far. The Fake News Awards are, by design, supposed to be humorous without being funny. By that I mean the situation itself is funny. And that’s the perfect “light touch” for a Modern Presidential event. If it had been a televised event with some glitz, you would have wondered if that was a good use of your tax dollars.

President Trump also had what I call the comparison problem. We all hold in our minds a standard for what an awards event should look like. A simple press event would have been disappointing because we would imagine how it could be more like the Golden Globes, and we would reflexively judge it to be underwhelming. And if he matched the production quality of a traditional awards show, critics would say he isn’t focused on the job of governing. A live awards event would have seemed to viewers, because of the comparison problem, either too little or too much. There was no “just right” to be had with that model. But a tweeted list of winners gets the point across without risk. It was the right choice.

One of President Trump’s biggest persuasion challenges is that critics accuse him of being authoritarian when it comes to pushing back at the press. They tell us that only a dictator — or wannabe dictator — tries to muffle a free press. But at the same time, 90% of press coverage of this president is negative, and a shocking percentage of it is inaccurate. The pundits are far worse than the standard “news” professionals, of course, willing to pedal speculation as pre-facts. It’s a legitimate problem for this president, and he wanted to address it without going full-dictator. He needed a light touch that was so obviously not-a-dictator-thing-to-do that critics would have to use pretzel logic to say it was. (Which they are, adding to the humor of the situation.)

When you do a Fake News Award, you’d better have your facts and your sources straight, and you’d better show them. President Trump did that. Had the President simply declared a story to be fake, we might wonder if he was exaggerating or lying. But when you see the story and the correction right in front of you, it’s hard to argue he got any of it wrong. And you know the press was salivating to say he did.

A live awards event also would have provided the anti-Trump press and pundits a visual weapon to use against him. We humans are visual creatures, and we reflexively conflate situations that look similar. If President Trump had held the stage for an hour complaining about the free press, that looks dictatorish no matter how you try to soften it. But a tweet that has nothing but facts and sources gives critics no visual fodder with which to counter-persuade. All they have are the visuals from the fake news stories themselves.

Normally it is good persuasion technique to lead with strong visuals. But in this situation, it would have been a mistake to give the critics easy visual targets.

I’ve taught you about pacing and leading in this blog, and in my book, Win Bigly. The technique involves agreeing with a subject you want to persuade (pacing) until it seems you are both on the same page. Once you have paced, you can lead. In this case, the President listed ten Fake News winners we can clearly see were fake (or at least wrong). Then he added an eleventh item that claims the Russia Collusion story is fake because it has produced no evidence the President was involved in any sort of crime. As you know, a lack of evidence is not proof of innocence. But after reading ten indisputable fake news examples in a row, your mind is primed to lump the eleventh with the first ten. That is solid persuasion technique. (A persuasion rookie might have put the Russia story first on the list because of its relative importance to the presidency.)

Overall, I’d give this an A+ for persuasion technique. President Trump made his points without going over the top, and without giving his critics fodder for counter-persuasion. Considering all the ways this could have gone wrong, it’s impressive how many traps he avoided while hitting his targets. This is the sort of persuasion you only see from a very stable genius.


For more lessons on presidential persuasion, see my book, Win Bigly.

The post Are the Fake News Awards Persuasive? appeared first on Dilbert Blog.


Dilbert Blog

First Day Of School

It was the first day of school, and the first grade teacher decided to see how much her students knew about math.

“Dewey, can you tell me what is 3 and 2?”

Dewey said, “That’s when you should watch very, very carefully before you swing at the next pitch.”

Received from Steve Sanderson.
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Ulcer

A baseball manager who had an ulcer was in his physician’s office for a checkup. “Remember,” the doctor said, “don’t get excited, don’t get mad, and
forget about baseball when you’re off the field.”

Then he added, “By the way, how come you let the pitcher bat yesterday with the tying run on second and two men out in the ninth?”

Received from ArcaMax Jokes.
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How North Korea Can Become Switzerland of the East

North Korea is playing nice with South Korea lately as they coordinate joint participation in the Olympics. But don’t get too excited about that niceness because it is a wedge strategy to separate South Korea from the United States in our unified position against North Korean nukes. Still, talking feels like a positive step compared to the alternatives.

The big issue, as we all know, is that North Korea wants nuclear weapons and most of the rest of the world, especially the United States, is unwilling to live with that. Hence the economic sanctions.

So what would a solution to this stalemate look like?

For starters, you need a solution in which both sides seem to have won something. The alternative involves squeezing their economy until we choke it out, and that’s the current default path. The problem with that approach is that it risks pushing them to a war of desperation, and while we wait for that horror, millions of innocents will starve. The United States will come out on top eventually, but not at a cost we can be happy about. So allow me to suggest a winning option for all involved. I call it the Switzerland of the East plan.

Kim Jong Un went to school in Switzerland. He knows it as a country that gets just about everything right and does it without a traditional army. Is Switzerland safe from attack? Yup. Safer than just about any other country. Their famed neutrality is like a psychological army that costs nothing. No one has a reason to attack them, and everyone knows they won’t cause trouble.

Now, who would you rather be — a European country paying for a standing army, always worried about attack — or a country that is enjoying its neutrality while skiing and enjoying hot chocolate? I would argue that the Switzerland model is more stable and more respectable than any competing model, including the United States. And that gives North Korea a winning end state. They can, if they choose to pivot, become Switzerland of the East.

If North Korea traded away it’s offensive nuclear capabilities in return for a UN designation declaring them a neutral country, they could have the protection of China, Russia, South Korea, and the United States. Collectively, we would become North Korea’s free military while they prosper. Under this plan, the United States would draw down its military assets in South Korea as well.

On top of such a plan, I have previously suggested creating a 100-year roadmap for Korean unification. The reason for such a long time frame is that it takes pressure off of the living. The next generation would need to close the deal, and that gives lots of time for confidence steps along the way. The Olympic coordination is a confidence step. Increasing travel is another. Then trade, communications, etc. No need to rush.

The key to this plan is that it gives North Korea not just a winning path, but the most winning path any leader ever took. It would lead to a Nobel Peace Prize for sure, shared by other leaders, I assume. And it would give North Korea a BETTER outcome than the one they are currently aiming for. At the moment, their greatest realistic ambition is to survive. Becoming Switzerland of the East is better than that. Way better. So much better it can hardly be compared. One thing we know about Kim Jong Un is that he likes sports and he likes winning. If he pivoted to become Switzerland of the East, he’d win harder than any leader ever won anything.

And the rest of the world would win too.

North Korea would still need a functioning economy that didn’t depend on smuggling arms and other illegal stuff. But the world would gladly help them rebuild. I can see North Korea as a sort of Las Vegas model, where laws about personal behavior are lax and the money flows.

The United States and North Korea are engaging in a psychological war right now. And for the first time in history it is a fair fight. President Trump understands the mental game like no president before him. And Kim Jong Un appears to have a similar toolset. Never have we had such a perfect setup for peace. There is a win here for both leaders, and a win of historic proportions.

North Korea surely holds no hope of conquering South Korea or destroying the United States with fire and malice, despite their colorful rhetoric. Two years ago it was popular to believe Kim Jong Un was nuts. Now we see him as rational and clever. He’ll recognize a better deal when he sees it. And becoming Switzerland of the East could be the best deal any country ever had.

It’s time for some winning all around.

The post How North Korea Can Become Switzerland of the East appeared first on Dilbert Blog.


Dilbert Blog

Old Soldiers Never

When General Douglas MacArthur retired from the military in 1951, he stated famously, “Old soldiers never die, they just fade away.” But five-star
generals are not the only ones who never die:

Golfers never die, they just lose their drive.

Lumberjacks never die, they just pine away.

Accountants don’t die, they just lose their balance.

Bank managers don’t die, they just lose interest.

Vehicle mechanics? They re-tire every day.

Teachers don’t retire, they just mark time.

Roofers don’t retire, they just wipe the slate clean.

Engineers never retire, they just lose their bearings.

Beekeepers never retire, they just buzz off.

Musicians never retire, they just decompose.

Farmers never retire, they just go to seed.

Watchmakers never retire, they just wind down.

Academics never retire, they just lose their faculties.

Painters never retire, they just put a gloss on it.

Tree surgeons never retire, they just branch out.

Old librarians never die, they just check out, become overdue, and lose their circulation.

Old crossword puzzlers never die, they just go across and — hopefully — up.

Old milkmaids never die, they just kick the bucket and lose their whey.

Old plumbers never die, they just get out of sink and go down the drain.

Old teachers never die, they just grade away and lose their principals, their faculties, and their class.

Old math professors never die, they just go off on a tangent.

Old mimes never die, they’re just never heard from again.

Old housemaids never die, they just return to dust.

From “The Gift of Age” (c)2010 by Richard Lederer and from http://www.guy-sports.com/jokes/

Received from Sermon Fodder.
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The Titanic Test

Recently a teacher, a garbage collector, and a lawyer wound up together at the Pearly Gates. St. Peter informed them that in order to get into Heaven,
they would each have to answer one question.

St. Peter addressed the teacher and asked, “What was the name of the ship that crashed into the iceberg? They just made a movie about it.”

The teacher answered quickly, “That would be the Titanic.” St.Peter let him through the gate.

St. Peter turned to the garbage man and, figuring Heaven didn’t REALLY need all the odors that this guy would bring with him, decided to make the
question a little harder: “How many people died on the ship?”

Fortunately for him, the trash man had just seen the movie, and answered, “1,228.”

“That’s right! You may enter.”

St. Peter then turned to the lawyer. “Name them.”

Received from Thomas Ellsworth.
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5 Heartbreaking Side Effects Of The Opioid Crisis In America

By Abraham Mireles,Jordan Breeding,Markos Hasiotis,Andrea Meno  Published: January 15th, 2018 


Cracked: All Posts

When It Rains, It Pours

The unusually rainy winter we have had in Phoenix this year reminded me of a joke some of our Seattle, Washington relatives related a few years ago.
It seems a lady moved from Phoenix to Seattle and when she arrived it was raining. While she moved in, it rained. The next day it rained… and the
next.

After several rainy days, while standing on her porch, she noticed a young boy on the porch of her neighbor’s house. Trying not to sound too
depressed, in a cheerful voice she called over to the lad, “Hi son, I’m your new neighbor.”

“Hi,” the boy called back and waved.

“Say, son, does it ever stop raining here?” she asked.

With a look of consternation, the youngster replied, “Lady, how would I know? I’m only six years old!”

Received from Richard R Lewis Jr.
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Dillerisms

Quotes from Phyllis Diller.

Whatever you may look like, marry a man your own age. As your beauty fades, so will his eyesight.

Housework can’t kill you, but why take a chance?

Cleaning your house while your kids are still growing up is like shoveling the sidewalk before it stops snowing.

The reason women don’t play football is because 11 of them would never wear the same outfit in public.

Best way to get rid of kitchen odors: Eat out.

I want my children to have all the things I couldn’t afford. Then I want to move in with them.

Any time three New Yorkers get into a cab without an argument, a bank has just been robbed.

We spend the first twelve months of our children’s lives teaching them to walk and talk and the next twelve years telling them to sit down and shut
up.

Burt Reynolds once asked me out. I was in his room.

What I don’t like about office Christmas parties is looking for a job the next day.

My photographs don’t do me justice -they just look like me.

The reason the golf pro tells you to keep your head down is so you can’t see him laughing.

You know you’re old if they have discontinued your blood type.

Received from Margaret Cole.
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Plane Reservations

Recently, I called to make reservations on a small charter plane that departs from our equally small airport.

I knew that I would be flying in a very small plane, so I was not surprised when the clerk said, “The plane is very full with baggage and
passengers.”

Then she asked, “How much do you weigh, sir?”

Not thinking clearly I answered, “With or without clothes?”

“Well,” said the clerk, “how do you intend to travel?”

Received from Thomas Ellsworth.
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President Trump Earns the Highest Presidential Approval Level of All Time

The Small Business Optimism Index hit an all-time high. That’s the new Presidential Approval Poll.

In olden days (pre-2016), candidates for president were not so different from each other. I can remember pundits complaining endlessly about how similar the Democrats and Republicans had become. In that environment, you can easily imagine someone who voted for Candidate A warming up to Candidate B. In those simpler times, a presidential approval poll meant something.

Today, a “presidential approval poll” is little more than taking attendance. If you’re a Democrat, you disapprove of President Trump as a lifestyle choice. If you voted for Trump, you probably still approve of him because you knew exactly what you were getting. And if you are an anti-Trump conservative, you allow cognitive dissonance to rule your brain and you say he’s doing a good job but you disapprove of him anyway. David Brooks accidentally described this phenomenon in this article.

I contend that business optimism — and small business optimism in particular — are the new standard for presidential approval because “economics” captures most of what a president influences.

If a president starts a war, or threatens to start one, the economy flinches.

If a president starts a trade war, or threatens one, the economy flinches.

If a president is tearing apart the fabric of civilization in one way or another, the economy collapses.

If a big terror attack succeeds on the homeland, the economy flinches.

If immigration is allowed in large numbers, the economy feels it.

I could go on. The point is that all of the “big” issues directly influence the economy via their impact on our psychology and our resources. In a free, capitalist country, “the economy” captures all the goodness and badness of a presidency without really trying. And the measure that best reflects the future of the economy, in my opinion, is small business optimism.

Big businesses can do fine with a president who promotes policies that favor big corporations, even if the rest of the country is suffering. But when small business owners are feeling good about the economy, that means the president is doing a more bottoms-up job of getting things right. President Trump has focused on bottoms-up economics from the start, meaning jobs and lessened regulations. Apparently that is working.

I have been telling you for two years straight that psychology drives the economy, and that a Master Persuader such as President Trump can directly influence psychology and optimism. We see him doing that right before our eyes.

At the same time President Trump is “talking up” our economy, he’s talking North Korea’s economy to ruin. If you own a company that is involved in smuggling with North Korea, you probably noticed that South Korea nabbed two tankers that satellite photos spotted cheating. That’s going to be a financial disaster for those shipping companies. The psychology of the corporations involved in smuggling just changed, courtesy of the Master Persuader who has no intention of taking his boot off the North Korean economy until they lose their nukes. This approach is already causing North Korea to get flexible, at least in the talking sense.

Keep in mind that all of the personality negatives that are reflected in the old-timey presidential approval polls are exactly what is scaring North Korea into the arms of “good cop” South Korea. President Trump’s tweets didn’t cause a war; they caused North Korean flexibility, exactly as I predicted.

And if you are still worried about President Trump’s mental health, I’ll do a Periscope later today to tell you how badly the media has abused the public on that topic. For a preview, check out this interview that Dr. Drew did with Dr. Bandy Lee on her opinions of President Trump’s mental health. The media reported her as saying he was mentally unfit. That wasn’t the case. She has no professional opinion on the President’s mental capacity because she has never met him. Her primary concern is about societal violence as a result of his presidency. That is completely different from what has been reported all week. I nominate this story for the Fake News Awards. I think it can be a finalist.


You will enjoy my book Win Bigly because you enjoyed this blog post.

 

 

 

 

The post President Trump Earns the Highest Presidential Approval Level of All Time appeared first on Dilbert Blog.


Dilbert Blog

Watch Your Hat and Overcoat

The crowded cafeteria sported a large sign reading: “Watch Your Hat and Overcoat.”

Meyer did. He kept turning every minute, almost choking over his food. His pal, Moshe, kept on eating, without thought of his own coat on the
hook.

Finally Moshe said, “You, dope…stop watching our overcoats.”

“I’m only watching mine,” replied Meyer. “Yours has been gone for over half an hour.”

Received from Pastor Tim.
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Irish Wolfhound

On a hot, sticky afternoon, a man decided to stop in at his favorite pub for a cold, frosty glass of his favorite beverage. He left his companion, a
massive Irish Wolfhound, tied to a post just outside. The man was enjoying his beverage when a very upset gentleman came in and asked nervously, “Who
owns the Wolfhound outside?”

The owner replied, “I do. Something wrong?”

The other man replied, “Sir, I’m sorry, but my dog just killed your dog.”

The Wolfhound’s owner was incredulous. “Wha- How- What kind of a dog do you have?”

The nervous gentleman replied, “A Chihuahua.”

The man was now even more incredulous. “How in the world could your Chihuahua kill my Wolfhound??”

The gentleman softly replied, “I think he got hung up in his throat.”

Received from Mike Ryan.
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5 Tiny Decisions That Nearly Ruined Your Favorite Games

By Chris Rio,James Kinneen,Jordan Breeding,Joe Phillips  Published: January 06th, 2018 


Cracked: All Posts

Poor Eyesight

An airline pilot with poor eyesight had managed to pass his periodic vision exams by memorizing the eye charts beforehand. One year, though, his
doctor used a new chart that the pilot had never before seen. The pilot proceeded to recite the old chart and the doctor realized that he’d been
hoodwinked.

Well, the pilot proved to be nearly blind as a bat. But the doctor could not contain his curiosity. “How is it that someone with your eyesight can
manage to pilot a plane at all? I mean, how for example, do you taxi the plane out to the runway?”

“Well,” says the pilot, “it’s really not very hard. All you have to do is follow the instructions of the ground controller over the radio. And
besides, the landmarks have all become quite familiar to me over the years.”

“I can understand that,” replies the doctor. “But what about the take-off?”

“Again, a simple procedure. I just aim the plane down the runway, go to full throttle, pull back on the stick, and off we go!”

“But once you’re aloft?”

“Oh, everything’s fully automated these days. The flight computer knows our destination, and all I have to do is hit the autopilot and the plane
pretty much flies itself.”

“But I still don’t see how you land!”

“Oh, that’s the easiest part of all. All I do is use the airport’s radio beacon to get us on the proper glide path. Then I just throttle down and wait
for the co-pilot to yell, ‘AIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!’ pull the nose up, and the plane lands just fine!”

Received from Thomas Ellsworth.
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Parking Problem at Church

A few years ago, I caught a story on the radio about a Baptist church that had a problem. It was with the Methodists down the street. Some Baptists
were unable to find a space in their own parking lot because members of the nearby Methodist church, which met earlier than the Baptists, got there
first. So the Baptist church had a problem.

Now, they COULD have towed the Methodist’s cars away. Or, they COULD have patrolled their lot Sunday mornings. Or, they COULD have written a letter to
the offending church members imploring them to park elsewhere. But they didn’t.

Instead, they did something else. One Sunday morning they stuck a bumper sticker to every car in the lot — Baptist and Methodist alike. They all got
one. The sticker read: “I’M PROUD TO BE A BAPTIST!”

No more problem.

Received from Timothy Anger.
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Is President Trump’s Nuclear Button Tweet a Sign of Insanity?

On CNN yesterday, Jake Tapper described President Trump’s recent behavior — including the President’s tweet about having a bigger nuclear “button” than North Korea — as abnormal and unstable. In other words, crazy.

Is it?

One folksy definition of “crazy” is that it involves trying over and over again a solution that has never worked while hoping it works next time. President Trump is doing something closer to the opposite of that. He’s doing something new, both strategically and verbally. To be fair, new things can be crazy too. But usually only if they don’t work. When a new and unexpected thing works out well, we call it genius. And that begs the question: Is President Trump’s approach to North Korea working?

We’re seeing economic sanctions on North Korea that have the support of the UN Security Council. That part is working, and it took diplomatic skill to make it happen.

But we also see satellite images of tankers smuggling oil into North Korea. The sanctions looked as if they were not effective until South Korea detained two tankers involved in smuggling oil to North Korea. Grabbing two tankers doesn’t do much in terms of limiting supply, but it does dramatically change the perceived economics of being a smuggler. And if grabbing two tankers doesn’t get the message across, South Korea can keep detaining tankers until the economics do change. North Korea would be willing to take big risks to break the sanctions, but the shipping companies on which they depend will not. Shipping companies will only participate in wrongdoing when they are confident they won’t get caught. That calculation changed when South Korea detained two tankers.

I told you months ago that the United States was going to war with corporations that trade with North Korea. We’re seeing that with the detained tankers. Whoever owns them is bleeding cash while they sit unused. And I speculate that our intelligence services are making life difficult for other CEOs and corporations involved in violating the economic sanctions. President Trump knows he doesn’t need to stop all of the smuggling and cheating — he only needs to increase the risk until it is uneconomical for the companies involved. We’re heading in that direction.

For the first time I can recall, time is on our side with North Korea. Every passing day sees North Korea’s economy shrinking while South Korea and America thrive. We’re effectively already at war and winning hard. The longer North Korea waits to get serious about negotiating, the weaker their hand.

A recent statement out of North Korea said, in effect, that they need their nuclear weapons as a deterrent because the United States is performing war games along its border. The way I interpret North Korea’s statement is that they are getting flexible. This is the first time I’ve heard North Korea speak of their nukes as conditional on what we do. In other words, they are open to denuclearizing if we reduce their perceived military risk. They haven’t said that directly. But that’s how I read it.

North Korea recently made friendly gestures toward South Korea, offering to participate in the upcoming Olympics and opening cross-border communications for the first time in a year. The trend we are seeing is that the tougher the sanctions and rhetoric from the United States, the more flexible North Korea is becoming.

But let’s talk about President Trump’s latest tweet about North Korea. Here is the text:

“North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un just stated that the “Nuclear Button is on his desk at all times.” Will someone from his depleted and food starved regime please inform him that I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!”

Here we see President Trump “pacing” (or matching) the hyperbolic rhetoric of Kim Jung Un. The two leaders are trash-talking each other like sports rivals. But what is missed in the hysterics over wording is that President Trump and Kim Jung Un are negotiating personally, albeit in public. And I think it is safe to say both players know they are being over-the-top with their trash-talk. The odds of a nuclear miscalculation based on anything said so far is effectively zero. And if the rhetoric ratchets up to a new level of hyperbole, I would still see no additional risk. President Trump and Kim Jong Un have demonstrated they know the difference between trash-talk and action.

The Persuasion Filter says this public trash-talking probably lowers our risk of a nuclear accident. If you don’t share the kind of personality we are seeing displayed by both leaders, you might miss the biggest variable in play here. What I see is two unconventional leaders already in conversation, getting a feel for the other, and on some level enjoying the exchange. You know President Trump loves this sort of verbal battle, and he’s good at it. Now keep in mind that North Korea is a tiny country that would normally be below America’s radar. But Kim Jong Un has the full attention of the President of the United States and is trash-talking with him in public. I have to think he enjoys the verbal jousting on some level, same as President Trump.

So while it might look to many observers as two crazy leaders heading for a nuclear showdown, to me it looks like two colorful characters who probably have a weird kind of respect for each other. Let me put it another way. Which of these two situations carries a greater risk of accidental nuclear war?

  1. Two nuclear foes who have no communication and are trying to interpret the actions of the other.
  2. Two nuclear foes trash-talking each other (with humor) in front of the world

I’ll take option two every time. When Kim Jong Un and President Trump are trash-talking in public with hyperbolic humor, they’re talking. The only risk is that one of them doesn’t understand the other is being over-the-top for effect. And I see no real risk of that. They both know what they are getting with the other.

I’d be worried if I saw Kim Jong Un yammering about the latest round of economic sanctions being an act of war. But instead he’s talking of participating in the Olympics in South Korea. That sounds like a leader who is trying to avoid war.

If you are a literal type of person who doesn’t recognize hyperbole or humor, I can see how this situation looks scary. But I promise you neither leader has a physical “button” on his desk, of any size, to launch a nuclear attack. And I feel confident that both leaders understand humor and hyperbole when they see it.

My view on all of this is that we are closer than we have ever been to a peace deal that results in a non-nuclear North Korea. Everything I see suggests President Trump is successfully “setting the table,” as he likes to say, for productive talks. Can the hundred-year plan for reunification be far away?


You might like my book, Win Bigly, because the alternative is to believe you are about to die in a nuclear blast.

The post Is President Trump’s Nuclear Button Tweet a Sign of Insanity? appeared first on Dilbert Blog.


Dilbert Blog

Katie, Jedi, And Other Conspiracy Theories Making The Rounds

By Tim Hawkman,Chris Pauls,Scott Laffey  Published: January 02nd, 2018 


Cracked: All Posts

Tour of London

A Texan was taking a taxi tour of London and was in a hurry. As they went by the Tower of London the cabby explained what it was and that construction
started in 1346 and it was completed in 1412.

The Texan replied, “Shoot, a little ol’ tower like that? In Houston we’d have that thing up in two weeks!”

The cab passed the House of Parliament next, the cabby stating that it started construction in 1544 and was completed 1618.

“Boy, we put up a bigger one than that in Dallas and it only took a year!”

As they passed Westminster Abbey the cabby was silent.

“Whoa! What’s that over there?” asked the Texan.

“Darned if I know, wasn’t there yesterday…”

Received from Thomas Ellsworth.
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How President Trump Changed Your Imagination

Do you remember when candidate Trump told us (in effect) that he would be the first non-politician to win the presidency? It seemed impossible to even imagine such a thing. Then he did the impossible.

Do you remember when it was common wisdom that if the U.S. recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel it would be a huge problem? President Trump did it anyway. So far, it looks like a minor problem at most.

Do you remember when experts said President Trump shouldn’t mess with the Iran nuclear deal because it could cause a huge problem for the United States and its allies? He did it anyway, and it is likely a supporting variable for the Iranian protestors who don’t like how their government is creating problems that don’t need to be problems.

Do you remember when experts said China will never help squeeze the economy of North Korea because China fears a refugee crisis? President Trump encouraged China to squeeze anyway. Then he helpfully provided satellite photos of tankers cheating on the high seas. After South Korea grabbed and held a second cheating tanker, the economics of smuggling oil have turned negative, or will soon. And North Korea is sounding — at least to my ears — more flexible than ever.

That branch is stronger than you imagined.

Do you remember when it was common wisdom that we couldn’t put enough pressure on Pakistan to make them stop harboring terrorists because Pakistan is also an ally in many ways? President Trump just cut off their funding and put them on notice.

Do you remember when experts said withdrawing from the Paris Climate Accord would be a catastrophe? President Trump did it anyway because he didn’t like the deal. I’ve seen no indication that exiting the deal made the climate worse. Here I’m only talking about the quality of the Accord and what little impact it would have had in the best case scenario.

The big wildcard in our many “impossibles” has to do with the tax bill and the deficit. Experts say it is impossible to get enough growth from the tax bill to pay for the deficit. But the experts are blind to the persuasion of it all. If President Trump persuades the economy higher, let’s say to 5-6% GDP, there’s a good chance he will accomplish the impossible once again and pay for those tax cuts. The tax cuts alone won’t get us to that GDP, but as part of a larger package of persuasion-by-optimism, it is strong sauce.

The meta-impact of President Trump routinely doing the “impossible” is that it changes how all of us view our world. If Trump can keep doing the impossible, time and time again, why can’t we?

Sometimes things are literally impossible. But much of the time we are only limited by our imaginations. Many of us simply couldn’t imagine that a number of the things President Trump has done would work out well. These were not simple surprises; these were failures of our imagination.

In 2015 I told you that candidate Trump would change far more than politics. I said he would change how we understand reality itself. And one of those biggest changes is in the scope of our imaginations. One year ago it was hard for me to imagine Saudi Arabia taking a sudden turn toward modernization. One year ago it was hard for me to imagine an uprising in Iran that could reshape its destiny. I assume it was hard for the Iranian public to imagine it as well. But they sure are imagining it now.

President Trump isn’t the only variable in the world. But he does create a pattern in our minds of making the impossible seem achievable. Don’t underestimate the impact that pattern has on the imaginations of everyone watching.

And don’t be surprised if 2018 is the year when people all over the world shed their mental prisons and take on the “impossibles” in ways we have never seen. Thanks to President Trump, people everywhere are beginning to recognize the difference between real impossibilities and simple failures of imagination.

Welcome to The Golden Age. It starts now.


If you want to be part of The Golden Age, consider signing up to be an expert (at anything) with my startup’s app called Interface, which is nearing completion. The first experts who sign up will get priority search rankings. We have several hundred experts already, on all kinds of topics, and more coming every day. Imagine a world where you can get advice on anything, directly from an expert, on a video call via your phone, in less than a minute, with no paperwork. We’re almost there.

The post How President Trump Changed Your Imagination appeared first on Dilbert Blog.


Dilbert Blog

6 Times Mankind Tackled Problems Like Insane Supervillains

By Richard Gough,Stephan Roget  Published: January 01st, 2018 


Cracked: All Posts

Loose Fitting Clothing

April teaches many aerobic classes. She told a lady who was looking to sign up for the class to just wear loose fitting clothing to the class.

“Honey,” the lady replied, “if I had any loose fitting clothing, I wouldn’t be signing up for an exercise class.”

Received from Pastor Tim.
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Happy New Year 2018

May you get a clean bill of health from your dentist, your cardiologist, your gastroenterologist, your urologist, your proctologist, your podiatrist,
your psychiatrist, your plumber and the IRS.

May your hair, your teeth, your face-lift, your abs and your stocks not fall; and may your blood pressure, your triglycerides, your cholesterol, your
white blood count and your mortgage interest not rise.

May New Year’s Eve find you seated around the table, together with your beloved family and cherished friends. May you find the food better, the
environment quieter, the cost much cheaper, and the pleasure much more fulfilling than anything else you might ordinarily do that night.

May what you see in the mirror delight you, and what others see in you delight them. May someone love you enough to forgive your faults, be blind to
your blemishes, and tell the world about your virtues.

May the telemarketers wait to make their sales calls until you finish dinner, may the commercials on TV not be louder than the program you have been
watching, and may your check book and your budget balance – and include generous amounts for charity.

May you remember to say “I love you” at least once a day to your spouse, your child, your parent, your siblings; but not to your secretary, your
nurse, your masseuse, your hairdresser or your tennis instructor.

And may we live in a world at peace and with the awareness of God’s love in every sunset, every flower’s unfolding petals, every baby’s smile, every
lover’s kiss, and every wonderful, astonishing, miraculous beat of our heart.

Above all, may you continue to smile, may your life be filled with laughter, and may you never forget the words found in the Book of Proverbs, “A
gloomy spirit rots the bones; but a merry heart is like good medicine.”

Wishing your a very Happy, Healthy and Prosperous 2018!

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9 Terrifying Things Doctors Pulled Out Of Living People

By Alex Hanton,Tiago Svn,Ivan Farkas,Kelly Stone,Peter Santiago  Published: December 28th, 2017 


Cracked: All Posts

Observations on Growing Older

TODAY IS THE OLDEST YOU’VE EVER BEEN, YET THE YOUNGEST YOU’LL EVER BE, SO ENJOY THIS DAY WHILE IT LASTS.

~Your kids are becoming you…and you don’t like them…but your grandchildren are perfect!

~Going out is good.. Coming home is better!

~When people say you look “Great”… they add “for your age!”

~When you needed the discount, you paid full price. Now you get discounts on everything… movies, hotels, flights, but you’re too tired to use
them.

~You forget names …. but it’s OK because other people forgot they even knew you!!!

~The 5 pounds you wanted to lose is now 15 and you have a better chance of losing your keys–than the 15 pounds.

~You realize you’re never going to be really good at anything …. especially golf.

~Your spouse is counting on you to remember things you don’t remember.

~The things you used to care to do, you no longer care to do, but you really do care that, you don’t care to do them anymore.

~Your husband sleeps better on a lounge chair with the TV blaring than he does in bed. It’s called his “pre-sleep.”

~Remember when your mother said, “Wear clean underwear in case you GET in an accident”? Now you bring clean underwear in case you HAVE an
accident!

~You used to say, “I hope my kids GET married… Now, “I hope they STAY married!”

~You miss the days when everything worked with just an “ON” and “OFF” switch..

~When GOOGLE, ipod, email, modem were unheard of, and a mouse was something that made you climb on a table.

~You tend to use more 4 letter words … “what?”…”when?”… ???

~Now that you can afford expensive jewelry, it’s now not safe to wear it.

~Your husband has a night out with the guys, but he’s home by 9:00 P.M. Next week it will be 8:30 p.m.

~You read 100 pages into a book before you realize you’ve read it.

~Notice everything they sell in stores is “sleeveless”?!!!

~What used to be freckles are now liver spots.

~Everybody whispers.

~Now that your husband has retired …. you’d give anything if he’d find a job!

~You have 3 sizes of clothes in your closet…2 of which you will never wear.

Received from dadiodio.
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The Demolition President

President Trump has delivered on a number of promises for his base. But there was an impressive amount of breakage along the way. You might say he President Trump did as much demolition as he did construction. The press is doing a good job of telling us what he accomplished in 2017. But they keep leaving out all the stuff he broke that probably needed to be broken. I’ll fix that for you here.

GOP – Trump broke the GOP and reconstructed it along his terms, successfully it seems.

DNC – The DNC has no charismatic leader, no game plan, and little money.

Clinton Dynasty – Done

Bush Dynasty – Done

Mainstream Media – The public learned that news coverage is based on bias as much as fact.

NFL – Ratings down, attendance down.

If President Trump were a large piece of construction equipment, which one would he be?

FBI (leadership) – The FBI as a whole is still highly credible, but the leadership is not.

Pundits – Nearly all the pundits were wrong about Trump’s nomination, election, and successful (by Republican standards) first year.

Government Regulations – For good or bad, we have fewer regulations now.

Hollywood – Big stars are alienating 40% of their potential audience whenever they take time off from groping.

North Korea – They used to have a pathetic but functioning economy. That situation is changing rapidly.

ISIS – Remember ISIS? They used to be a big deal.

TPP – Pulled out

Paris Climate Accord – Pulled out

Reality – I told you in 2015 that candidate Trump would change more than politics. I told you he would change the way we saw reality. Do you remember when you thought the news reported facts and that humans used those facts to make reasoned decisions? You probably don’t think that anymore.

I’m probably leaving out some stuff that got broken. It’s been a busy year.


My startup, WhenHub, is taking early sign-ups for experts (on any topic) who want to make money on our new app called Interface, now in development. The first experts who sign up will get preferential search rankings. See details here.

The post The Demolition President appeared first on Dilbert Blog.


Dilbert Blog

Coffee Choices

In our home we tend to get the children to help out. One day our youngest son came in to the living room and asked, “Does anyone want a cup of
coffee?”

“Yes please!” we said.

He replied, “What kind of coffee do you want? Capitated or decapitated?”

Received from Pastor Tim.
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Ulterior Motive?

My dry cleaner very generously provides a stack of free newspapers for his customers.

As I took my copy, I told him, “I hope the business grows enough to offset the cost of the papers.”

Oh, don’t worry about us,” he chuckled. “Nothing dirties clothes more than newsprint.”

Received from Thomas Ellsworth.
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Walk On Water

Dallas heard that his father, grandfather and great-grandfather had all walked on water on their 21st birthdays.

So, on his 21st birthday, Dallas and his big brother Damon, headed out to the lake. “If they did it, I can too!” he insisted.

When Dallas and Damon arrived at the lake, they rented a canoe and began paddling. When they got to the middle of the lake, Dallas stepped off of the
side of the boat… and nearly drowned.

Furious and somewhat embarrassed, he and Damon headed for home.

When Dallas arrived back at the family home, he asked his grandmother for an explanation. “Grandma, why can’t I walk on water like my father, and his
father, and his father before him?”

His sweet old grandmother took Dallas by the hand, looked into his eyes, and explained, “That’s because your father, grandfather, and
great-grandfather were born in January, You were born in June, dear.”

Received from Andrew Clark.
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Merry Christmas from GCFL!

All of us at GCFL want to wish all of you a Merry Christmas!

May the love of our Savior, Jesus Christ, surround you all the days of your life.

Merry Christmas to you and your family!

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The Guy Who Wrote ‘A Christmas Carol’ Was A Total Monster

By B.T. Doran,Matthew Kohlmorgen,Javier Yepes  Published: December 22nd, 2017 


Cracked: All Posts

Laboratory Cells

My mother works in a laboratory and is responsible for keeping tissue cultures alive. So that she won’t forget, she writes “feed cells” on her
calendar. One day she noticed that someone had scribbled in “take cells for a walk.”

By the end of the month, a number of anonymous reminders had been added: “Take cells to Disneyland,” “Cells on vacation,” “Cells back” and, on Yom
Kippur, “Jewish cells get the day off.”

Received from Pastor Tim.
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12 Famous People You Didn�€™t Notice Died In 2017 (Part 2)

By Lisa Skye,Justin Crockett  Published: December 21st, 2017 


Cracked: All Posts

The Law of Parenthood

There is the Law of Gravity – and then, there is the Law of Parenthood

– A child’s behavior will improve in proportion to the distance she is away from the parent.

– Two is equal to two, except when referring to time. Two minutes of tantrum lasts 20 times as long as two minutes of quiet time.

– The choice of a preschooler’s best friend corresponds directly to the distance the friend lives from your house.

– A child’s enjoyment of a popular entertainment will be inversely proportionate to the parent’s enjoyment.

– The chance of a surprise visit by your parents-in-law is directly proportional to the size of the mess in your home.

– A child will always eat exactly what she has loved for the past year unless it is the only food in the fridge.

– The ease with which a toddler acquires the ability to say a word increases with its likelihood to embarrass a sailor.

Received from Pastor Tim.
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How to Determine If You Should Talk About Politics in Public

When candidate Trump first set about the job of redefining politics (and reality) back in 2015, people had lots of predictions about how things would turn out. One year isn’t long enough to know everything we need to know about his presidency, but it’s long enough to to check some of our predictions. As a public service, I put together a list of predictions that various people made about Trump that you can use to evaluate your own predictive powers. Count the number of items on the list that you once predicted would be true. I’ll tell you how to evaluate your score at the end.

Did you once believe…

Trump will never win the GOP nomination.

Trump will never win the presidency.

Stocks will drop if Trump is elected.

President Trump will deport ten million illegal immigrants.

Trump will be gone (impeached, jailed, or quit) by end of 2017.

Trump’s immigration ban on several Muslim countries will be found unconstitutional.

Trump colluded with Russia, and that’s a crime.

Trump obstructed justice (a crime) by firing Comey.

Trump’s skills as a “con man” might get him elected but it won’t transfer into doing the job of president.

Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel will cause huge problems.

Trump’s tweeting will cause huge problems.

GOP will never embrace Trump.

Trump will get nothing important done.

Trump will not work effectively with leaders of other countries.

GOP senators will vote against GOP priorities because of President Trump’s mean tweets.

Trump will not nominate qualified judges to the Supreme Court.

Trump is incompetent.

Presidential approval polls are a good predictor of how a president will perform.

The military won’t follow Trump’s orders.

GDP will never stay above 3%.

— end —

I didn’t get any of those predictions wrong. But if you got 15 or more wrong, you might want to consider never saying anything about politics out loud again for the rest of your life. Just a suggestion.

Clinton supporter expresses surprise at his lack of prescience

Okay, okay. I know you are quibbling with a few items I included on the list. Maybe you think the bad news for Trump — such as the alleged Russia problems — will sink Trump eventually. We can revisit this list next year. But if you are wrong for three years straight — about almost everything Trump-related — please adjust your confidence in your predictive powers accordingly.

If you got 15 or more of those predictions wrong, please consider reading a copy of my book, Win Bigly, to learn how to use what I call the Persuasion Filter to predict better.

The post How to Determine If You Should Talk About Politics in Public appeared first on Dilbert Blog.


Dilbert Blog

Mowing the Lawn

I was trying to mow the lawn before my husband got home from work, but our electric lawn mower refused to cooperate. It would run fine for a few
seconds, then cut off, run again, cut off. Finally, I gave up and waited for my husband.

He had a good laugh when he diagnosed the problem. Instead of plugging in the mower using a three-prong adapter, I had hooked up the cord through the
Christmas-tree light blinker.

Received from Pastor Tim.
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12 Famous People You Didn�€™t Notice Died In 2017 (Part 1)

By Lisa Skye,Justin Crockett  Published: December 20th, 2017 


Cracked: All Posts

Musical Puns

Q: How did the tuba player kill himself?
A: He walked off a clef.

Q: How do musicians pay their debts?
A: With quarter notes.

Q: Why did the percussionist leave?
A: He was drummed out of the orchestra.

Q: Why did the opera house fire their male singer?
A: He was always singing tenor eleven notes off.

Q: Why aren’t fish allowed to play in an orchestra?
A: Because you can tune a piano but you can’t tuna fish.

Q: Why did the conductor tell the trumpeter to stop talking?
A: He was always trying to blow his own horn.

Q: What do you call a conductor who is always giving his orchestra grief?
A: A treble maker.

Q: What does a musician use to sign his checks?
A: A time signature.

Q: Why was the clarinetist always cutting himself?
A: His music was always too sharp.

Received from Bill.
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Rain or Shine

It was raining quite hard as U.S. Marine trainees assembled outdoors for a briefing. On a blackboard, the lieutenant instructor had prepared a
detailed drawing of the tactics he wanted practiced.

“Don’t think we’re going to call this off just because of a little rain,” he said.

Then he turned to the blackboard which had been washed clean.

Received from You Make Me Laugh.
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Plowing The Land

A husband and wife were driving down a country lane on their way to visit some friends. They came to a muddy hole in the road and the car became
bogged. After a few minutes of trying to get the car out by themselves, they saw a young farmer coming down the lane, driving some oxen before
him.

The farmer stopped when he saw the couple in trouble and offered to pull the car out of the mud for $ 50. The husband accepted and minutes later the
car was free. The farmer turned to the husband and said, “You know, you’re the tenth car I’ve helped out of the mud today.”

The husband looks around at the fields incredulously and asks the farmer, “When do you have time to plow your land? At night?”

“No,” the young farmer replied seriously, “Night is when I put the water in the hole in the road.”

Received from Steve Sanderson.
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Scott Adams’ Life Story Update

I thought I’d update my life story here. This was created in the WhenHub Studio at WhenHub.com. This is a nice gift idea for someone in your life. You can easily create a life story for someone you love. Share on social media or play to your TV on Christmas day with Apple TV or Google Chrome. Also good for New Year’s Eve parties — show the year in review.


The post Scott Adams’ Life Story Update appeared first on Dilbert Blog.


Dilbert Blog

Tastes Like Chicken

A man is caught sitting at a make-shift campfire by a forest ranger, and to the ranger’s horror, the man is eating a bald eagle. The man is
consequently put in jail for the crime. On the day of his trail, the conversation went something like this:

JUDGE: “Do you know that eating a bald eagle is a federal offense?”

MAN: “Yes I do. But if you let me argue my case, I’ll explain what happened.”

JUDGE: “Proceed.”

MAN: “I got lost in the woods. I hadn’t had anything to eat for two weeks. I was so hungry. Next thing I see is a Bald Eagle swooping down at the lake
for some fish. I knew that if I followed the Eagle I could maybe steal the fish. I caught up with the eagle who lighted upon a tree stump to eat the
fish. I threw a stone toward the eagle hoping he would drop the fish and fly away. Unfortunately, in my weakened condition, my aim was off, and the
rock hit the eagle squarely on his poor little head, and killed it. I thought long and hard about what had happened, but figured that since I killed
it I might as well eat it since it would be more disgraceful to let it rot on the ground.”

JUDGE: “The court will take a recess while I consider your testimony.”

(15 minutes goes by and the judge returns.)

JUDGE: “Due to the extreme circumstance you were under and because you didn’t intend to kill the eagle, the court will dismiss the charges.”

The Judge then leans over the bench and whispers: “If you don’t mind my asking, what does a bald eagle taste like?”

MAN: “Well your honor, it is hard to explain. The best I can describe it is somewhere between a California Condor and a Spotted Owl.”

Received from Thomas Ellsworth.
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Ideas for Improving Life in High Crime Areas

Crime is the base problem for a number of poor urban areas. Wherever you have high crime, you have trouble attracting employers. And without employment options, you end up with poverty, a low tax base to support schools, hopelessness, drug dealing, and the rest. So I thought I would share some ideas for reducing urban crime. The first idea comes from Black Lives Matters out of New York. I can’t judge this sort of idea from my suburban home in California, but I share it with you because it belongs in the conversation. There is a small experiment going on in part of Harlem that has drastically reduced violent gun crime. Police say the big difference is the number of illegal guns they took out of the neighborhoods in question, but they also credit a group called Street Corner Resources with “. . . a mix of adult education courses, connections to legal and housing help and free job placement programs that would result in positions that could pay $ 40 to $ 50 a day more than selling drugs.”

I think it’s always fair to be skeptical of success claims. But I like any plan that can be tested small and evaluated. This example fits that model perfectly. Ideally, we should have a dozen different programs running in different neighborhoods around the country to see which ones work best.

I’d also like to see a system in which senior citizens within a dangerous neighborhood can watch security camera videos of all public spaces in their general area and report suspicious activity to police. Perhaps they can be paid for this service. You’d need a system that piped the videos directly to residential TV sets or mobile devices and randomized the camera views so the criminals never know which residents are watching which blocks. That keeps the watchers safe.

I would also expect more police and security drones coming into use to get closer looks at crime in progress, and to follow perps back to their hiding places. Imagine a senior citizen viewing a crime on a security cam and alerting police who send up the closest drone from a secure rooftop nearby to get a better look. That should drive most crime indoors, at the very least.

I’m sure there are lots of other ideas for reducing crime. I’d like to see the government do a better job of shining a light on various local crime-fighting experiments so everyone knows the options and we can pick the winners as they are identified. Wouldn’t you like to see regular reports on the news about crime-fighting experiments that are working well?

Update: Baltimore is using aerial surveillance to fight crime. See article.

 

The post Ideas for Improving Life in High Crime Areas appeared first on Dilbert Blog.


Dilbert Blog

Spelling checker

Eye halve a spelling chequer
It came with my pea sea
It plainly marques four my revue
Miss steaks eye kin knot sea.

Eye strike a key and type a word
And weight for it to say
Weather I am wrong or write
It shows me strait a weigh.

As soon as a mist ache is maid
It nose before two long
And eye can put the error rite
It’s rarely ever wrong.

Eye have run this poem threw it
Am shore your pleased to no
It’s letter perfect all the weigh
My chequer toiled me sew!

Received from Janice Beasley.
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Spanish Bible

My family was visiting a church and the minister announced they had both Spanish and English Bibles for use during the service.

My youngest son tugged at my sleeve and whispered, “Mommy, I want one of those Spanish Bibles.”

“Don’t be silly, you can’t read Spanish,” I quickly rejoined.

Holding out his own Bible to me, my kindergartner explained, “Mom, I can’t read English either.”

Received from Doc’s Daily Chuckle.
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Why Black Lives Matter (BLM) and Republicans are Natural Allies (or should be)

One of the big changes in our national consciousness, thanks to President Trump, is that many of us are starting to see politics in terms of “deals.” We are also thinking about a growing economy. Compare that approach to the Obama/Bernie/Clinton worldview that is more about wealth transfer in a world of scarcity. For my purposes today, you don’t need to decide which approach is better. I only make the claim that we are more focused on the Art of the Deal than at any time in American politics. This is one of the many ways President Trump is in our heads.

And the deal-making mindset, along with some lucky coincidences, has created the greatest opportunity for improvement that the African-American community has seen in decades. At the same time, Republicans have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to earn a larger share of the black vote in 2018 and beyond. All we are missing is the right deal. Is there a potential deal that is good for President Trump and the GOP while also being good for BLM?

Yes. And it isn’t even hard.

I’ll get to that deal after some necessary context. (It’s worth your time.)

You probably remember that candidate Trump famously asked African-American voters during the campaign “What the hell do you have to lose?” It sounded like a weak offer when I first heard it. But combined with his deal-making approach to politics, you could also see it as an invitation to pitch some ideas. The door is open.

Some of you might recall that when Colin Kaepernick started the kneeling trend in the NFL, I publicly offered to help translate any ideas he might have for improving the lives of black Americans into “Republican language” so there would be some hope of persuading the group that held the most political power. I never heard any specific suggestions from Kaepernick. But as I often say, he gets full credit as a Master Persuader for capturing our attention and holding it. He has skin in the game, he broke no laws, and he turned a back-burner issue in America into a front-burner issue. I give Kaepernick an A+ for American activism. Was Kaepernick offensive to people who love the flag and respect the police? Absolutely. That’s why we paid so much attention. But he didn’t break anything except for the way we think, and that was his objective.

As of this writing, Kaepernick only got us halfway to where he wants us to be. He lacked specific suggestions for improvement. Black Lives Matter has been similar. They get high marks for attracting attention, but they have so far been more provocative than helpful. I need to pause here to tell you that BLM has a wide range of personalities and priorities in it. On one extreme you have folks who are anti-police, anti-borders, pro-violence, and other unhelpful positions. But other chapters support the rule of law, including support for police, and are looking for practical solutions to real problems. If you dislike the extremists in BLM, consider supporting the BLM leaders who are focused on peaceful and practical solutions. That’s the mindset that gave us Martin Luther King Jr. I think that worked out for everyone.

Black Lives Matter (NY Chapter), under the leadership of Hawk Newsome, just came up with a set of suggested improvements that can — with a little negotiating — appeal to both Democrats and Republicans. If both parties like what they see, Republicans have the stronger hand because they are in power at the moment. The tie goes to the party that can make things happen. Love him or hate him, President Trump does make things happen. And he likes making deals. In other words, BLM of NY is answering President Trump’s invitation with a “What do you have to lose?” offer of their own.

If you have the time to hear my persuasive pitch of BLM-NY’s ideas on video, see them here. For the full persuasive effect, watch the video before reading the “spoilers” that follow. But this blog post can be consumed without watching the video.

I contacted Hawk Newsome to see how I could help his cause after watching a video in which he flipped a crowd of Trump-supporters from haters to friends in about five minutes. It was one of the most impressive acts of persuasion I have ever seen. Watch it here and see what I mean. This isn’t the BLM you thought you knew.

Hawk shared with me an early version of his chapter’s suggested improvements for the country. Again, I was impressed. The suggestions were beneficial to Americans in general, not just the black community, although that group might feel they have the most to gain, and perhaps they do. This was the same sort of persuasion strategy that got President Obama elected twice. Obama emphasized his policies, not his color, and that approach allowed people of every ethnicity to support him. BLM of NY figured out how to do the same thing. They offer practical suggestions that are designed to be good for people in general. I can support that.

Prior to publication of BLM-NY’s suggestions, I ran them past a prominent Republican to see what he thought. To my surprise, the prominent Republican — who shall remain nameless for now — told me BLM was thinking too small. So he offered as an alternative some bigger themes that I’ll share with you first because these are quite compatible with BLM’s priorities.

A Prominent Republican’s Vision for Improving Black Lives (because they matter):

  1. Create safer neighborhoods to attract jobs and create optimism.
  2. Fix school bureaucracies in communities where students are failing.
  3. Create apprenticeships for unskilled adults
  4. Address the opiod epidemic directly and by improving the environment.

You probably think those are good priorities. BLM agrees. And if I took it further and asked you which group thinks Charter schools are a good idea, you might be surprised to learn that the answer is “both.” On the big stuff, and on much of the small stuff too, BLM is entirely compatible with Republican ideals. When you are trying to make a deal, it helps to start with the parts upon which you agree.

Now I’ll share with you the BLM-NY list of suggestions. These ideas go directly to improving the credibility of the police. Republicans want the police to be credible too. Republicans also like good data, the rule of law, voting participation, and legal decisions that are free of bias. That’s what BLM-NY is focused on too. Here’s their list. Notice that every suggestion is useful for citizens in general, not just one ethnic group.

Ideas from Black Lives Matter – New York

  1. Prosecute and jail police that falsify reports.
  2. Police must call an ambulance if defendant complains of illness.
  3. Voting rights for people in prison
  4. Independent prosecutors for police killings of unarmed civilians.
  5. Comprehensive national database of police shootings.
  6. New York holiday for Day of Remembrance for victims of police brutality.

I’ll discuss these points in order.

Prosecute and jail police that falsify reports.

I think most Republicans would agree that a police officer who falsifies a police report must be held accountable. Republicans like the rule of law, and they like honesty. So far, BLM and Republicans are on the same page.

Police must call an ambulance if defendant complains of illness.

You might not know that people in police custody have died while begging for medical care that was not granted. I think we’d all want access to emergency medical care if we were in police custody. You might see some abuses of the system, but I think we’d all agree this one is worth discussing.

Voting rights for people in prison

I’ve never understood why prisoners lose the right to vote. Voting makes people feel part of the system. It seems like one of the few psychological influences that can nudge law-breakers toward becoming law-abiding. Realistically, only a small percentage of convicted criminals would bother to vote. The prickly part is that most would (presumably) vote Democrat. But Republicans can compete for those votes, and should. A good start would involve taking the lead in returning the vote to that class of folks.

Independent prosecutors for police killings of unarmed civilians.

Why not try independent prosecutors for police shootings of unarmed civilians? You could test it in one city or more and see how it goes. Budget-wise, I suspect we’d be better off in the long run with this sort of credibility-improving process. Perhaps you’d get less after-verdict violence. It’s worth discussing, and probably worth testing somewhere.

Comprehensive national database of police shootings.

Republicans will argue that the data does not show police are more violent with black suspects. African-Americans will tell you their lived experience says otherwise. BLM-NY offers the only sensible way forward, recommending national standards for reporting police violence against unarmed civilians. Who hates better data?

New York holiday for Day of Remembrance for victims of police brutality.

New York can decide on whether or not it wants a Day of Remembrance for victims of police brutality. I think the idea as proposed is divisive, framing the situation as one in which police are the bad guys. The point of the suggestion is to keep the problem of police violence against unarmed citizens in our thoughts, but I’m sure there’s a more productive way to do that. For example, if BLM and the GOP find a way to work together on some parts of this list, no one will forget that anytime soon. I prefer focusing on the positives.

Now consider how perfect the set-up is for a win-win deal between African-American voters and the GOP. President Trump’s biggest political problem is the perception that he’s a racist. Improving the economy and the job market doesn’t fix that problem, although it helps. But taking seriously BLM-NY’s list of suggestions — in some negotiated and improved form — would be a game-changer.

President Obama was hugely popular among black voters, but there is a sense in the African-American community that he didn’t deliver. Democrats have no charismatic leader at the moment, and not much power at the federal level compared to the GOP. Never before has the GOP been in such a strong position to make a play for a good portion of the African-American vote. All they need to do to get the ball rolling is take BLM-NY’s suggestions seriously as a basis for a deal. And BLM-NY is making that easy by presenting practical ideas that are not race-specific.

I spoke with Hawk again yesterday and both of us had just watched the recent viral video of a police shooting of an unarmed man in a hallway as it had been recorded on the police officer’s body cam. When you see the video you can understand why the cop opened fire. The man was reportedly armed, according to the initial call to police, and refused to keep his hands where he was ordered to keep them. In this case, the body cam protected the police officer as well as the reputation of the police by showing us exactly how the tragedy unfolded. Hawk and I were left wondering if a greater focus on body cams for police would be a practical approach to building confidence between the black community and police. I don’t know the answer, but here again we see a practical idea that I assume Republicans can embrace.

And to that I say, why the hell not?

 

The post Why Black Lives Matter (BLM) and Republicans are Natural Allies (or should be) appeared first on Dilbert Blog.


Dilbert Blog

Speeding Juggler

A driver was pulled over for speeding by a police officer. As the officer was writing the ticket, she noticed several swords in the car.

“What are those for?” she asked.

“I’m a juggler,” the man replied. “I use those in my act.”

“Well, show me,” the officer requested.

So he got out the swords and started juggling them: first three, then more, finally seven at one time, overhand, underhand, behind the back, putting
on a dazzling show and amazing the officer.

As another car passed by, the driver did a double take looking at the cop and the juggler, and said, “My! That’s one tough sobriety test!”

Received from Pastor Tim.
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5 Movies Where The Heroes & Villains Would Be Reversed Today

By James Kinneen,Michael Garowee,Dan Hopper  Published: December 06th, 2017 


Cracked: All Posts

Remember Me?

One evening, two girlfriends and I went to a nightclub, only to find the place packed with young people. At 40, we felt old, but before we could make
a dignified exit, a tall, handsome man approached us.

“Perhaps we were being a little hasty in leaving,” I thought.

Then with a big smile, the man extended his hand to one of my friends and said, “Hello. Remember me? You were my third grade teacher.”

Received from Thomas Ellsworth.
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Sharing a Locker

Another man and I share a locker at work. Noticing that it needed a new combination lock, my partner said he would pick one up on his way to work the
next day. It occurred to me later that I might not see him in the morning. How would I find out the combination? I needn’t have worried.

When I arrived at work I found that he had used the locker before me and had left a note reading: “To find the first number subtract 142 from your
high score the last time we went bowling. The second number is 16 less than that. To find the third number subtract 1.87 from the amount you owe
me.”

Received from Thomas S. Ellsworth.
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Family Of Skunks Walking

A family of skunks went for their morning walk. They came to a fork in the road.

The daddy skunk said, “My instinct tells me to take the left fork.”

The momma skunk said, “My instinct tells me to take the right fork.”

The baby skunk pondered a moment and said, “My end stinks too but I still don’t know which road to take!”

Received from DOROTHY SPILLER.
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40th Wedding Anniversary

A married couple, in their early 60s, was celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary at a quiet, romantic little restaurant.

Suddenly, a tiny beautiful Fairy appeared on their table. She said: “For being such an exemplary married couple and especially for being so thoughtful
and loving to each other for all this time, I will grant you each a wish.”

“Oh, said the wife, I want to travel around the World with my darling husband.”

The fairy waved her magic wand; and — poof! — two tickets for the Queen Mary II luxury liner and Ten Thousand Dollars appeared in her hands. Then it
was the husband’s turn.

He thought for a minute and said: “Well, this is all very romantic, but an opportunity like this will never come again. So I’m going with my mind and
not my Heart. “

“I’m sorry my love, but my wish is to have a wife 30 years younger than me.” The wife and the Fairy were shocked and disappointed. But a wish is a
wish.

So, the Fairy waved her magic wand, and – Poof! — the husband became 92 years old.

The Moral of the story:

Men who are ungrateful husbands should remember; Fairies are female.

Received from WestiMom.
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Homeless Woman

A well dressed lady was approached by a homeless woman one day on the street. The homeless woman asked for a few dollars for something to eat. The
lady pulled a $ 10 from her purse and then asked the woman, “If I give you this, are you going to buy wine instead of dinner?”

“No, I had to give up drinking a long time ago,” said the woman.

“Well, if I give you this, are you going to go shopping for clothes instead of eating?”

“No way. It is all I can do just to stay alive on the streets.”

“Well, if I give you this, are you going to get your hair done instead of having a meal?”

“No, I have not even washed my hair in over a month. Why would I do that, I am just hungry.”

“Well,” said the lady, “I am not going to give you this $ 10. Instead I am going to take you to dinner with my husband and me tonight.”

The woman said, “Are you sure you want to do that? I am so dirty and I smell awful.”

“Oh, that’s OK. My husband needs to see what happens to a woman who gives up wine, shopping and having her hair done!”

Received from Cathey Self.
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Dig a Hole

The boss ordered one of his men to dig a hole eight feet deep. After the job was completed the boss returned and explained an error had been made and
the hole wouldn’t be needed. “Fill ‘er up,” he ordered.

The worker did as he’d been told. But he ran into a problem. He couldn’t get all the dirt packed back into the hole without leaving a mound on top. He
went to the office and explained his problem.

The boss snorted, “Honestly! The kind of help you get these days! There’s obviously only one thing to do. You’ll have to dig that hole deeper!”

Received from Clean Joke of the Day.
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Fishing on the Job

My son, Scott, an insurance broker in Florida, loves ocean fishing and takes his cell phone along on the boat. One morning, we were drifting about ten
miles offshore as Scott discussed business on the phone.

Suddenly, his rod bent double and the reel screamed as line poured off the spool. Scott was master of the situation.

“Pardon me,” he told his customer calmly. “I have a call on another line.”

Received from Derick Porter.
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New Father

The first-time father, beside himself with excitement over the birth of his son, was determined to do everything right.

“So, tell me, Nurse,” he asked as his new family headed out the hospital door, “what time should we wake the little guy in the morning?”

Received from Thomas Ellsworth.
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Hulk Write Book

One day Hulk was sitting in his office, and decided to write a book. Other well known book characters liked his idea and soon pens were flying!!
Despite what you might have thought, it didn’t go over well and people would not buy their books. For the life of me I can’t figure out why.

Here is a selection:

Anger Management by Hulk

Be the Life of the Party by Batman

Keep Your Feet on the Ground by Superman

How to Let Go of the Things You Love by Frodo Baggins

Tanning Basics by Snow White

How to be Hot by Mr. Freeze

And its companion: How to be Cool by Human Torch

How to Fit In by The Thing

The Life of a Mature Man by The Joker

Being a Modest Woman in Today’s World by Wonder Woman and Black Cat

How to be Flexible by Frankenstein

How to Keep a Straight Face in All Situations by Mr. Flexible

How to Raise Your IQ by Bullwinkle Moose

Easy Manicures by Wolverine

How to Get Over Schizophrenia by Dr. Jekyll

The Complete Book of Manners by Venom

Practicing Good Hygiene by Count Olaf

How to Come Out of Your Shell for Young Adults by the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Received from Bonnie.
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Check Your Baggage

A fellow had a buzzard for a pet and decided to take him to Hawaii on vacation. He realized it was a long flight and that he couldn’t afford the
exorbitant fees charged by air lines for extra luggage.

He wasn’t prepared for Delta to deny boarding to his pet buzzard, Buford, though. Seems Buford had too much carrion baggage.

Received from Ted Floyd.
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I Love Thanksgiving

Some people REALLY love Christmas, but I love Thanksgiving.

Last year I had my chance to do the traditional thing of shooting my own turkey for Thanksgiving.

Man, you should have seen the people scatter in the meat department!

Received from Pastor Tim.
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Cracked’s Holiday Gift Guide For Your Family And Loved Ones!

By CRACKED Staff,Katie Goldin  Published: November 24th, 2017 


Cracked: All Posts

Thanksgiving Definitions 2 of 2

KINDRED: Fear that relatives are coming to stay. (Internet Source)

MATING RITUAL: Trying to coordinate holiday dinnerware, glasses and silverware. (MsSam)

OLD-TIMER: One who can remember when folks sat down at the dinner table and counted their blessings instead of calories. (Internet Source)

OPTIMIST: A woman who leaves the holiday dishes because she’ll feel more like washing them in the morning. (Variation of an Internet Source)

PUMPKIN PIE: Congealed weapon. (Charles Waugh and MsSam)

RECIPE: A series of step-by-step instructions for preparing ingredients you forgot to buy, in utensils you don’t own, to make a dish even the dog
won’t eat. (Internet Source)

STUFFED: How you look when you rebuckle your belt after Thanksgiving dinner. (MsSam)

THANKSGIVING: 1) When one species ceases to gobble while another begins. (Based on a statement by R. E. Marino)

(2) Waistful holiday. (Charles Waugh)

(3) A holiday that always falls on Thursday because the Pilgrims came here in search of a four-day weekend. (Internet Source)

THANKSGIVING DINNER: 1) Half-time feast.

(2) A time-consuming event that takes an hour to eat, a day to cook, a week to arrange, and a month to bounce back from. (Based on a statement by
Robert Orben)

(3) Giving your family the bird. (Charles Waugh and MsSam)

TIME TO STUFF A RUBBER TURKEY: Pranksgiving. – Joseph Leff

TURKEYS: (1) The stuffed of which dreams are made. (Statement by Charles G. Waugh and Kathy Sweet Waugh)

(2) Native American chicken. (Charles Waugh)

(3) A fowl bird. (Internet Source)

Received from Stan Kegel.
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George Washington’s Thanksgiving Proclamation

[New York, 3 October 1789]

By the President of the United States of America. a Proclamation.

Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to
implore his protection and favor–and whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me “to recommend to the People of the
United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God
especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.”

Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that
great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be–That we may then all unite in rendering
unto him our sincere and humble thanks–for his kind care and protection of the People of this Country previous to their becoming a Nation–for the
signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of his Providence which we experienced in the course and conclusion of the late war–for
the great degree of tranquillity, union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed–for the peaceable and rational manner, in which we have been enabled
to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national One now lately instituted–for the civil and
religious liberty with which we are blessed; and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and in general for all the great and
various favors which he hath been pleased to confer upon us.

and also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech him to pardon
our national and other transgressions–to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly
and punctually–to render our national government a blessing to all the people, by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional
laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed–to protect and guide all Sovereigns and Nations (especially such as have shewn kindness unto us)
and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord–To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the encrease of
science among them and us–and generally to grant unto all Mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.

Given under my hand at the City of New-York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789.

Go: Washington

From https://founders.archives.gov/documents/Washington/05-04-02-0091

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Thanksgiving Definitions 1 of 2

3.14 PUMPKINS: Pumpkin pi. (Joseph Leff and MsSam)

ACT OF DESERTION: What usually happens after dinner, due to a terrorist bombe. (Internet Source)

BUFFET: A French word that means, “Get up and get it yourself.” (Internet Source)

BUTTERBALL TURKEY: Someone who would rather watch a soccer match on TV than join the family for Thanksgiving dinner. (MsSam)

CALORIE: Basic measure of the amount of rationalization offered by the average individual prior to taking a second helping of a particular food.
(Lexicon)

CASSEROLE: Thanksgiving leftovers incognito. (Variation of a daffynition by Lexicon)

CIRCUMSPECTIVE DESSERT: Pumpkin pi. (MsSam)

FLABBERGASTED: Bewildered at your weight gain over the holidays. (Variation of an Internet Source)

FOODSTUFF: All you can eat buffet. (Charles G. Waugh)

FOWL: Four letter bird. (Variation of a statement in Art. Moger, ed., The Complete Pun Book, 1979, p. 99)

FOUL WIND: Breeze produced by a flying turkey. (Internet Source)

KEY TO A SUCCESSFUL THANKSGIVING DAY PARTY: The tur-key. (Joseph Leff)

GOBBLE: A bull that talks turkey. (Internet Source)

GOBBLERS: Found both on and around the Thanksgiving dinner table. (Internet Source)

GOBLET: A male turkey. (Internet Source)

HOLIDAY DIETERS: A word to the wides is sufficient. (Internet Source)

HOLIDAY GROCERY LIST: What you spend hours writing, then forget to take with you to the store. (Internet Source)

HOME COOKING: A place many a man thinks his wife is. (Stan Kegel)

Received from Stan Kegel.
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Turkey Leftovers

Copyright 1995 W. Bruce Cameron
http://www.wbrucecameron.com

Like many men, I am different from my wife in ways, which are noticeable, and, in my opinion, fortunate.

Take the Thanksgiving turkey. (And I mean that literally. PLEASE come over to our house, open the refrigerator, shove aside everything growing green
fuzz, and take this carcass away before it reincarnates as turkey lasagna or turkey tetracycline or whatever new concoction awaits the family.) But
take Thanksgiving–my wife prefers small birds that fit nicely into the roasting pan and which can be cooked in a few hours.

“Ha!” I can be quoted as sneering. I trace my own gender lineage to that proud, hairy group of hunter-gatherers who, prior to the invention of TV
remote control, would take their spears and go pull down a huge bison for dinner, stopping at the bar on the way home for a couple of cave brews. So
when I go to the store for a turkey, I find a TURKEY: a Jurassic, many-pound fowl with drum sticks as large as my thighs and wings you could park a
car under.

Words cannot describe the delight on my wife’s face when my neighbors help me carry the bird into the refrigerator, where, following the instructions,
it is left to thaw for a period of six months. (My wife often has several interesting but impractical suggestions on where else we might stick the
turkey for this thawing procedure.) Cooking begins around Halloween, a slow roasting process which varies from my mother’s recipe in that there are no
flames or threats of divorce “if anybody says a word about how the turkey tastes.”

I enjoy every step of turkey preparation, particularly since I am not involved in any of it. Well, that’s not entirely true–at one point, I am asked
to reach into the mouth of the turkey and retrieve the giblets, which turns out to be a bag of what looks like pieces of Jimmy Hoffa. (I realize I am
not, technically speaking, putting my hand in the bird’s “mouth,” but I’d rather not dwell on what this means.) How the turkey manages to swallow this
stuff in the first place is beyond me. Traditionally, we open this bag, dump the contents into a pan of water, and boil the results. Only the cat is
happy about this development.

As wonderful as this all is, by the fourth or fifth night my appetite for turkey variations has waned, and I provide valuable feedback to my wife by
making gagging noises at dinner time. Her verbal (as opposed to projectile) response to this is to imply that it is somehow MY fault we have so many
leftovers, to which I logically reply, “hey, YOU cooked it.”

Now, before you men out there become too smug with how adroitly I out maneuvered her with my quick retort, you should be advised that she STILL blames
me for our turkey-induced bulimia. Therefore I appeal to my readership: has anyone else noticed bizarre psychiatric spousal reactions to turkey
consumption which might explain this whole controversy? Please advise via return e-mail, which will be picked up by the crack WBC technical team and,
judging by previous results, forwarded to the Governor of New Jersey.

Thanks… oh, and Happy Thanksgiving, too.

Received from Mikey’s Funnies.
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Hello!

One night I woke myself up with a loud “Hello!” to someone in my dream. As the next day came and went, I thought the nocturnal outburst was mine alone
to remember.

But that night, as my wife and I were getting ready for bed, she said dryly, “If you see anyone you know tonight, just wave.”

Received from Thomas S. Ellsworth.
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Really Want Children

A priest was getting ready for a trip to Rome, and a man came to him with a request: “When you get to Rome, could you light a candle for me and my
wife? We really want children and the doctor just told us we might not be able to have any.”

The priest agreed to the request. Ten years later, he ran into the man again in a super market. With him were about twelve kids.

“Oh, this is wonderful!” said the priest. “But tell me, where’s your wife?”

“Oh, she’s gone to Rome to blow out the candle.”

Received from Star.
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Loan Repayment

Two lawyers are in a bank, when, suddenly, armed robbers burst in.

While one of the robbers takes the money from the tellers, the other lines the customers, including the lawyers, up against a wall, and proceeds to
take their wallets, watches, etc.

While this is going on lawyer number one jams something in lawyer number two’s hand. Without looking down, lawyer number two whispers, “What is
this?”

To which the first lawyer replies, “It’s that $ 50 I owe you.”

Received from Clean Laffs.
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A Moon Funny

Two airheads in California are sitting outside on a cool, clear evening, looking at the moon and talking.

One asks: “Which do you think is farther away … Florida or the moon?”

The other replies (with eye-roll): “Hellooooooooooo! Can you see Florida from here??”

Received from Mikey’s Funnies.
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Nuts

As a receptionist in a doctor’s office, I once admitted a lady in her eighties. In going over her admission health profile, I was asking her questions
to clarify the boxes she had checked.

I got to the box where she had checked “Emotional Problems” and asked her to clarify what she had wrong.

She just sighed and shrugged her shoulders. “I have had seven children. If that isn’t enough to make someone nuts, I don’t know what is.”

Received from Da Mouse Tracks.
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