Everything I Know I Learned Since Jan. 20, 2001

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The Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Everything I Know I Learned Since Jan. 20, 2001

by
Neal Starkman

Being a Christian is the best. It's not really OK to be a Jew unless you live in Israel, the Promised Land. Mormons should learn how to be more Christian. Everyone else should convert or die.

The U.S. does well when huge corporations are allowed to do whatever they want. The more we can make rich people richer, the better it will be for everybody:

Rich people hire everyone else to work for them, making our economy robust.

Rich people got rich because of the free market system and their own individual efforts, for which they should be rewarded. Those people who aren't rich have only themselves to blame.

People in high office -- like the president and the vice-president -- have difficult, complicated jobs. If they forget to do stuff, or if they cut corners here and there, or if they tell a white lie now and then, that's OK, because the important thing is for them to protect us not only from bad things but also from thinking about bad things, unless they feel we need to. The only thing a president shouldn't do is to have sex with someone who's not his wife -- because that's a betrayal of the American people's trust.

Scientists' opinions are neither better nor worse than anyone else's.

Just because someone doesn't use big words or make sense a lot of the time doesn't mean that that someone isn't smart and kind and doesn't have our best interests at heart.

If people disagree with you, the only reasonable explanation for their behavior is that they're traitors. Sometimes they know this and sometimes they don't.

If you have nothing to hide, it shouldn't matter who listens to your phone calls or looks at your bank statements or follows you around the block in a van that says "ClearTone Cell Phones" or talks to your neighbors about who's been visiting you on Tuesday evenings under the guise of "playing poker." Only criminals would object to any of those things.

If you live in an area that's prone to a natural disaster like a fire or a flood or an earthquake or a hurricane, you shouldn't expect the federal government to take care of you when your neighborhood gets destroyed. Next time you'll think more carefully about where you're going to settle down.

Some people in the world are envious of everything we have -- computers and cable TV and cool-looking clothes and the Super Bowl and especially our freedoms. They'll do anything to destroy us, because if they can't have those things, they believe that no one should. These people are probably dark-skinned. That doesn't mean we should be suspicious of everyone who's dark-skinned. Still.

The immigration problem is the most critical issue facing Americans today, except maybe for those terrorists who are envious of us -- unless they're both illegal immigrants and terrorists, which is more common than most people think.

The fall of communism is the best evidence that providing everyone in this country with free health care is doomed and in any case gives drug addicts and slugabeds free handouts and no motivation to succeed on their own merits.

Democrats block progress at every turn, either by spending beyond our means, taxing beyond our means, preventing the administration from doing what's right, or just kind of being obnoxious. They should go away and let Republicans fulfill their mandate.

God speaks to the president, which is really fortunate, because otherwise people might have stronger arguments against what he does.

Neal Starkman lives in Seattle.

© 2007 The Seattle Post-Intelligencer

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