February 2009

In this tough economy, many company leaders are showing their compassion by taking pay cuts. This little entry is dedicated to Roger Goodell, NFL Commissioner. Due to the recession, the NFL has been forced to cut 15% of its 1100 jobs. And Goodell is taking a hit, too. He is voluntarily taking a 20-25% pay cut from his $11 million salary plus benefits.

Big. Freaking. Whoop.

“All of us understand that it will continue to take collective sacrifice to get through this challenging economic environment, but these and other steps by our office and clubs will enable us to be more efficient and better positioned for future growth,” league spokesman Greg Aiello said.

Yes, the Commissioner will be struggling with his $8 million salary. How about this: he cuts his salary to $5 million, and they set a maximum salary for all people related to the NFL, that’s coaches, referees, and of course, players. Max that yearly salary out at, say, $10 million a year, and you can save a whole bunch of NFL jobs, as well as create a bunch of random ones, just for kicks and giggles.

Long story short, I’m not impressed with the sacrifices.

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Can I tell you something?
Got to tell you one thing.
If you expect the freedom that you say is yours.

Prove that you deserve it.
Help us to preserve it,
Or being free will just be words and nothing more.

     “Can I Tell You Something” – Kansas

Do you have an irrational fear of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)? Please understand, ANY fear of the ACLU is irrational.

There is a long-running push to smear the ACLU as some sort of communist organization. Why is this? Do we have TOO MUCH freedom of speech? Is that a problem?

Do you idiots even understand the purpose of the ACLU? Or know what “civil liberties” means?

Your civil liberties are your rights as a citizen. They protect you FROM the government.

Good Lord man, pull yourself together. At it’s most basic this means you can speak freely. You can stand on a chair in the middle of a park and call the president a lying, thieving lunatic, and you won’t get arrested for it.

Do you object to having this right? Is this overly complicated?

Oh, I get it. Freedom of speech is okay when the speaker AGREES with you, but it is a bad idea when someone says something “objectionable”. Sometimes morons go out there and say hurtful things about people you like.

Well, I hate to break this to you, but if we take away the rights of morons* to speak in public then you take away the rights of everybody.

Buck up, laugh at the morons. Better yet, go protest THEIR activities.

Get with the program. Support civil rights and support the ACLU.
It is the AMERICAN thing to do.

*And by “morons” I am specifically talking to you, Westboro Baptist Church.

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“Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell even claimed that government spending didn’t get us out of the Great Depression. What does he think did? Tax cuts? New Deal programs reduced unemployment nearly in half (if you include government jobs) and the Depression ended when the government intervened heavily in the economy at the onset of WWII.” – Jonathan Alter

You know who hated FDR? The Republicans. It surely bugged them the first time he won in 1932, although they probably understood, what with the Great Depression and everything. The three subsequent victories brought out a viciousness in the Republicans that they have never let go of.

Let’s get one thing out of the way here first. We at Winkest Link support the 22nd amendment, limiting presidents to two terms. We want this limit even for popular Democratic presidents. Unlimited terms can too easily lead to abuse of power, and Dems can abuse power as easily as Republicans.

The real issue here is revisionist history. Rewriting history to paint popular Democrats in a bad light is now the conservative de rigueur. They are never allowed to admit to any legitimate reasons for the popularity of FDR, or JFK, or Bill Clinton.

Did these three men emphasize helping the little guy? Pull us out of a depression? Preside over our greatest economic booms? Support civil rights? Help us win WWII?

Apparently all of that was a smoke screen.

The conservative line is that Kennedy was popular because he was handsome, had a beautiful wife and died young (before we could learn how awful he really was). Clinton was a smooth talker who just happened to come along during an economic boom.

FDR is widely considered one of the greatest presidents ever. To try to discredit him, conservatives repeat-repeat-repeat these whoppers….

  • Only the war pulled us out the Great Depression.
  • After four years, FDR was still popular only because he blamed the bad economy on the previous administration.
  • Government spending didn’t get us out of the Great Depression.
  • FDR was a communist who hid the fact that he was a Jew by changing his “real” name from “Rosenfelt”. (Wherever you are standing right now, there is someone within shouting distance that still believes this.)

The Lie Machine that cranks this stuff out has been going strong for nearly 100 years now. It has only been escalated with the popularity of talk radio, beginning with Rush, but not ending there, and has elevated the lies to a new level.

It is way too kind to call Rush “fact-impaired”. He knows the facts, he just chooses to lie. And the “Rush-wannabe’s” are even worse, making up increasingly slanderous statements that believers (haters) swallow whole.

The wannabe’s are so hateful and so awful that I won’t mention their names here. Believe me, they would love to be mentioned, even in this little blog, because they crave all the attention they can get.

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Conservatives sometimes confuse us. Never with their brilliant logic, but usually with obfuscation and buzz-words. They like to create clever catch-phrases that sound interesting, but have no real meaning, other than to make liberals sound bad.

“America, love it or leave it.” This phrase is delightful. It implies America is perfect, and any changes would be bad changes. Conservatives love that one.

Thomas Sowell of the Creators News Service recently wrote an article with a number of ‘bullet point’ observations about various issues. The bullet-point article is a trick for the mentally lazy writer, when they don’t have a whole lot to say about anything in particular. (We should know, we use this trick all the time!)

His amazing bullet point observations earned him a nomination for Bonehead Du Jour.

Sowell Gem #1: “How can a president of the United States be re-elected in a landslide after four years when unemployment never fell below 15 percent for even one month during his first term? Franklin D Roosevelt did it by blaming it all on the previous administration. Barack Obama may be able to do likewise.”

Our comment: Roosevelt wasn’t re-elected because he blamed anybody. He was re-elected because he lowered unemployment from 25% DOWN TO 15%. Way to conveniently ignore THAT little detail, bonehead.

Sowell Gem #2: “Democrats could sell refrigerators to Eskimos before Republicans could sell them blankets.”

Our comment: What the hell does THAT mean? That Eskimo’s are morons? That Democrats are smooth talkers?

We have decided to translate Gem #2 as follows: The Republicans have screwed things up so badly, and lied to us so many times over the last eight years, that nobody wants to believe a damned thing they say.

Does that work for you too, Mr. Sowell?

CONGRATULATIONS THOMAS SOWELL, BONEHEAD DU JOUR !

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From time to time we will be making recommendations for other websites you may not have heard of. Today, we make a pitch for you to check out the website fivethirtyeight.com.

Once you get there it sort of speaks for itself, but let us first give a little example of what it has to offer.

This chart below was made by fivethirtyeight.com It shows the average annual increase in income for different levels of income, the 10th percentile being the poor and 95th percentile being the wealthiest among us.

It won’t surprise you that the graph for George W Bush is pretty awful. It would actually be much worse, but this chart does not include information for calendar year 2008, which was not a good year for anybody. The updated numbers will no doubt put him in the ‘disaster’ category.

Everyone did well under the Clinton administration. In fact, those who fared the worst under Clinton still did better than those who fared the best under Reagan/Bush1.

Give fivethirtyeight.com a look. You won’t be disappointed.

Also, tell us about your favorite websites. We will review them in future articles…

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As we see the inevitable big(ger) government coming (at least for temporary purposes), let’s prepare for the evils of socialism.  You see, nothing good has ever come out of socialistic ideas. What has the post office ever done for you? Receiving bills in your mail is pretty crappy, isn’t it? And the same thing goes for police officers. You’ve never been in a car accident, or seen somebody driving dangerously. Why should we fund them with our hard-earned money? And the fire department? Your house has never been on fire. There have never been any major catastrophes that would have been worse without firefighters on the scene, right?

And those libraries! Free knowledge is just wrong, and who reads books anyway?

Let’s make a stand against this socialistic big government! Who’s with me?

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Do you remember when Republicans tried to privatize Social Security?
You may remember that it was fairly recently, and while that is true, this idea has been on the Republican drawing board for a very long time.

The concept is intriguing. Instead of the ‘boring old government’ giving me a ‘boring old rate of return’ on my money, why not invest it in the exciting stock market and retire rich? Nobody handles money worse than our government! Make me rich!

Is there something wrong with Social security? If not, why would Republicans want to change the funding of a successful program?

Hmmm. Do you suppose some Wall-street execs got in the ear of some (or all) Republican congressmen?
Is there any chance they didn’t?

Think about it, billions & billions in ready cash. What would that influx of money do to the stock market? It would hyper-inflate all manner of stocks. The CEO’s of those companies would look like geniuses.

Remember, too many CEO’s have contract incentives to promote short term gains. In some cases, a surge in the stock price can mean tens or hundreds of millions of dollars in bonuses being paid to a single CEO, so CEO’s have great motivation to access the mass of cash that is Social Security.

Does the image of stock prices rising excite you? It should, but only when the rise is due to actual corporate value. Increasing the price of a stock is significantly different than increasing the value of a stock.

Artificially inflated stocks will inevitably collapse. This, of course, is what we are witnessing now.

If we switch to having people invest their own Social Security money, some will gain, and some will surely lose. All stock market investments are risky. Even without a crash or recession, some people will lose money.

What happens to these people? Do we guarantee THEM some minimum income? If so, you are encouraging people to make high-risk investments. When more people opt for high-risk, more will fail, and the more that must be financed for their bad decisions.

Of course, we don’t HAVE to guarantee them a minimum income. We could just ignore them, and let them live on the streets. They would only have themselves to blame for being such poor stock-pickers.

Because of the current financial disaster, Republicans have backed away, but only temporarily, from the push to put your Social Security money in the market. But don’t be surprised if some reintroduce it soon, as a way of ‘revitalizing Wall Street’.

And know for certain, when things get better they will try to sneak this past us again. They will again try to scare you with the word ‘socialism’ and by saying ‘government is the problem, not the solution’.

It was simple corporate greed that led to the current crash. Do we think this thirst for instant riches has magically gone away? Nope. These money managers make Trump look like Mother Teresa.

And they have the ear of the Republican party.
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Community organizer.

Sarah Palin ridiculed this position during the campaign. She said being mayor of small-town Wasilla was just like being a community organizer, “only with real responsibilities.”
Big laughs all around.
You know what this nation needs more of? Community organizers.

President Obama has been calling for more people to step up and make this world a better place.
Do you feel like you can’t make the whole world a better place?
You don’t have to. Start small, in your own community.

Volunteer at a homeless shelter, or an animal shelter.
Become a mentor at a nearby school.
Visit a senior center (and bring a CD player with some music the seniors might like).
Organize a neighborhood watch, or join one.
Beautify your neighborhood, plant flowers, or other plants.
Pick up litter in a nearby park, or along the street.
Volunteer at the library, or the zoo.

Step up people. Make your world better.
Just don’t tell Sarah. She wouldn’t understand anyway.

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The first real mistake admitted by a president in almost a decade.  Sure the mistake wasn’t large, essentially failing to vet Tom Daschle, and find that he has some unpaid taxes.  But this is a major step forward in the office of President.

The reason people didn’t like Bush was that he was caught red handed in several mistakes, but failed to take responsibility for any of them.  When it is obvious that you are the problem the best thing to do is admit your mistake.

Obama didn’t really have to take the blame here, but showed good moral character in doing so.  When you know what the mistake was you can then work to fix it.

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You know the story.

  • She is unmarried.
  • She already has six kids between ages two and seven.
  • She wants another girl.
  • She begins fertility treatment.
  • She has eight more. Octuplets.

Is the fertility business so destitute that they couldn’t tell this woman “Honey, fertility is not your problem. In the last seven years you have had six kids. If you want another baby just go have another baby. Odds are about 50-50 it will be a girl.”

Well, she got a girl. Actually two! Double your pleasure! Oh, yeah, and six more boys in the mix. Simple math now, 14 kids between the ages of seven and zero.

This is among the most selfish acts we have ever seen. She can’t commit to marrying someone, but she can commit to 14 kids?

We often feel sorry for an only child, because there is a lot of emotional and intellectual learning in dealing with a sibling or two. It is not that an only child can’t be emotionally stable, it is just that they miss some life experiences.

Regardless, we feel better for the only child than we do about being one of 14. None of those kids will ever feel neglected, right?

By the way, why would she stop now? Fourteen cannot possibly be a magical number. Apparently NO number is too high. She should try to have 20 or 21, all under the age of 10.

How about the burden put on the seven-year-old girl? Will she be asked to help raise the 13 behind her? Count on it. Her own childhood, at age seven, is almost over. How sad.

Dear Mom of 14: We know you love the attention this is bringing you. Please stop making this about you and start focusing on making each of these children feel special. They need a real mom, and a real dad might help a bit too.

By the way, the pinheads at Fox have been merciless in ripping this woman. Are they concerned about the welfare of the children? Nope. They are worried that taxpayers might have to aid this family.
Would they allow funding for a poor pregnant woman to have an abortion? We doubt it.

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