April Fools’ Day Videos Good for a Few Laughs

In the spirit of April Fools’ Day, it seems appropriate to share three humorous videos on health care, hounds and howls of laughter.

The first video, ObamaCare – Live Your Carefree Lifestyle, mocks the Patient Care and Affordability Act of 2010 (a.k.a., “ObamaCare”) and is brought to you by the folks behind Freedom Fest, an event taking place July 14-16 at Bally’s in Las Vegas.

The second video, Doggie Dentures, is from across the pond and has to do with a product to make your dog’s life better.

Though it’s a couple of years old, the third video carries a timeless message (i.e., “The Government Can”) from Tim Hawkins, one of my favorite comedians.

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I Gladly Accept This Nomination, Mr. Sullivan

Earlier today, after reading a post Pamela Geller published at Atlas Shrugs, I published a piece under the headline, Is State Dept Playing April Fools Joke on Israel? The difference between our posts?  I videotaped my computer screen as I went through the motions and clicks on the State Department web site to show proof that, at least for a while on April Fool’s Day, the page dedicated to information about Israel was gone.

Within a few hours, Andrew Sullivan had caught wind of my post and honored me as a Hewitt Award nominee in a post published at his The Atlantic blog, The Daily Dish.

What is the Hewitt Award?  According to this Sullivan post, it is “named after the absurd partisan fanatic, Hugh Hewitt (and) is given for the most egregious attempts to label Barack Obama as un-American, alien, treasonous, and far out of the mainstream of American life and politics.”

Who else has been nominated?  The following individuals were finalists for the Hewitt Award 2009:

Who won?  Rush Limbuagh with 50 percent of the 4,500+ votes.

I think I’m in good company; therefore, I gladly accept this nomination, Mr. Sullivan.

Is State Dept Playing April Fools Joke on Israel? (Update)

Based on his actions and the statements he’s made since climbing onto the world stage three years ago, I’m convinced President Barack Obama would be happy to see Israel and all of its Jewish inhabitants disappear from the surface of the Earth.

Truth be told, his posture toward the Jewish State — minus out-and-out calls for Israel’s destruction — seems to mirror that of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.  Evidence of that can be found today, on April Fool’s Day of all days, on the U.S. Department of State web site — albeit in a virtual sort of way as shown on the short video below.

Visit the U.S. State Department web site featuring an “A-Z List of Country and Other Area Pages” and click on the letter “I” and then on the word “Israel”.  When you follow those steps, you land on a page where you’re greeted by the following message:  “We’re sorry. That page can’t be found and may have moved.”

Hat tip:  Atlas Shrugs

UPDATE 4/01/10 at 4:50 p.m. Central: Looks like they’ve fixed it.  Must have read this blog.

UPDATE 4/01/10 at 6 p.m. Central: See I Gladly Accept This Nomination, Mr. Sullivan.

UPDATE 4/01/10 at 7:09 p.m. Central: For all of the idiots people who demand evidence, proof, etc., I point you to Gateway Pundit’s latest about Obama’s treatment of All Things Israel.  Stick this in your pipe and smoke it!

Postal Service Changes Raise Cash, Fight Hunger

The U.S. Postal Service expects to save more than $100 million annually through a series of cost-cutting steps, but a handful of other steps reportedly being taken by the agency during its economic crisis will raise both cash and eyebrows.

Eighty district offices will be closed, according to a recent news release.  In addition, more than 1,400 mail processing supervisor and management positions at nearly 400 facilities around the country are being eliminated and nearly 150,000 employees nationwide are being given the opportunity to take an early retirement.

According to an unidentified agency source, however, the agency is taking three other steps as follows:

  • The Postal Service will soon begin replacing its familiar red, white and blue outdoor mail receptacles with new coin-operated mailboxes.  In addition to paying for stamps, Postal Service customers will be required to deposit 25 cents into a slot in order to deposit a letter at a mailing location other than their home mailbox. So as not to confuse customers who wait until the last day to mail their tax returns, this program will not begin until April 16 and is expected to be completed by Dec. 31, 2009.
  • In order to lower printing and production costs and boost affinity program revenues, the Postal Service will no longer offer self-adhesive stamps or stamps pretreated with nasty-tasting moisture-activated adhesives.  Instead, customers will be able to choose from a variety of “Flavor-Lick” and “Fresh-Scent Spray” adhesives that capitalize upon unique marketing arrangements with several name-brand companies.  To date, the list of companies said to be partnering with the Postal Service on the “Flavor-Lick” initiative includes — but is not limited to — Coca-Cola®, Listerine® and Red Bull®.  A partial list of the companies said to be participating in the Fresh-Scent Spray” initiative includes — but is not limited to — Dolce&Gabbana®, Glade® and Yankee Candle®.
  • In an effort to help reduce world hunger, the Postal Service plans to phase out traditional wood-based paper envelopes.  In place of them, the agency will offer only envelopes made of rice paper after July 1.  Furthermore, the Postal Service has notified envelope manufacturers and customers alike that the agency will no longer deliver envelopes not made of rice paper after Dec. 31, 2009.

If the measures above are successful, many government watchdog agencies expect the Postal Service to implement several other ideas, many of which were reportedly submitted by third graders.

Arms Accessory Likely to Anger Animal Activists

Despite the strong possibility that it’s use might incite anger in animal activists, the “Kitty Corner” combat weapons accessory featured in the video below might actually benefit warriors in the urban battlefield environment.

[Note: Before you dismiss this completely as the late-arriving April Fools Day joke it might be, watch the video from the Discovery Channel's Future Weapons program and listen to the explanation about the one second of delay such a device might prompt in an adversary. You'll find that such an accessory might actually provide a soldier or Marine with a slight advantage. At a minimum, it will offer the warrior far from home a warm fuzzy.]

Kitty-Corner Weapon Accessory

April Fools Day Prank Picked Up by CNET

Today, I was pleasantly surprised to find my 2008 April Fools Day prank — concocted several weeks ago and posted early this morning at Bob McCarty Writes — mentioned in an article published at the CNET News Blog.

CNET News Blog April Fools Pranks 2008

Writer Jonathan Skilling began his piece, All the April Fools’ news that’s fit to print, with this declaration:

The word of the day is “prank.” Unless maybe you’re one of the ones who got taken in hook, line, and sinker, in which case it’s “doh!”

What followed was a glimpse into the best April Fools Day pranks of 2008. Among them, he included my post, Scientists Harness Kinetic Energy from Keyboards. My day was made! My prank had been mentioned in the same piece as one of history’s all-time great pranks — Orson Welles’ War of the Worlds stunt.

Things only got better when I realized my effort also appeared alongside several high-profile, modern-day pranks, including the following:

My thanks go out to my blogger friends — Monoblogue, Noisy Room and Right Truth — who helped spread the word about this effort. I look forward to pulling off an even bigger and better stunt next year.

How Will the Trucking Shutdown Impact You?

In a post three days ago, I reported on the threatened April 1 shutdown by independent truckers. Today, I take a look at the number of truck drivers likely to participate in the effort, the likelihood of the shutdown getting the attention of members of Congress and the impact such a shutdown is likely to have on both independent truckers and ordinary Americans.

Sunset Truck…by Point-Shoot-Edit

Participation

Realizing it next to impossible to calculate an accurate number of truck drivers who will take part in this extremely serious April Fools Day effort, I’ve opted instead to crunch numbers to determine how many truckers might participate. In order to do that, I must first look at how many independent owner-operators and professional drivers are in the mix. To do that, I turned to one government source and one industry source:

  • U.S. Department of Labor statistics show that almost 1.7 million people “drive a tractor-trailer combination or a truck with a capacity of at least 26,000 GVW, to transport and deliver goods, livestock, or materials in liquid, loose, or packaged form.”
  • The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association counts as members, according to a page of the OOIDA web site, more than 160,000 male and female drivers representing all 50 states and Canada. Collectively, they own and/or operate more than 240,000 individual heavy-duty trucks and small truck fleets.

Based solely on the numbers above, a shutdown by all members of the OOIDA would result in almost 10 percent of the nation’s truckers being parked April 1. And, if you think a 100-percent participation rate would be impossible to achieve, think again.

In an article published March 27, OOIDA President and CEO Jim Johnston said “…we saw nearly 100 percent of truckers participating in strikes” as part of a larger statement about what he remembered as the desperate days of the ’70s:

“Even back in the 1970s, when we saw nearly 100 percent of truckers participating in strikes, it did not lower fuel prices,” Johnston said. “Short-term relief from the situation then was the result of a temporary implementation of a mandatory fuel surcharge.”

In short, the possibility of more than 160,000 drivers shutting down April 1 is real.

Congress

Dan Little, the Carrollton, Mo.-based operator I interviewed for the aforementioned post, told me his goal in shutting down tomorrow is, first, to get the attention of elected officials in Washington, D.C., and, in turn, generate action on their part to help fix the problems that prompted the shutdown in the first place.

Unfortunately, I don’t believe members of Congress have it within them the ability to address anything inside of a 24-hour period. Additionally, they don’t have as one of their top 435 priorities the needs of America’s independent truckers. Instead, re-election seems to be the top priority of most of the 435 members of Congress.

Impact

In truth, I don’t suspect a shutdown by independent truckers will impact most Americans at all. Instead, I believe the following chain of events will take place:

  • Initially, the shutdown will result in shipments normally hauled by independents arriving one day late or being shipped using alternative carriers (i.e., companies that own large fleets of trucks, buy fuel by the thousands of gallons and, among other things, self-insure their fleets as means to lower costs);
  • After independent truckers realize their one-day effort has failed to bring about the intended results, they will go on a full-fledged strike that will last only as long as their will power and wallets allow; and
  • In much the same way as corporate farming interests have replaced family farming, the days of the independent trucker will come to a screeching halt and those who want to remain behind the wheel will have to be content working for “the man” or finding new lines of work.

Sadly, independent truckers, I think your days are numbered.

* * *

See also:

Truck Shutdown Deemed ‘100 percent successful’ (4-02-08)

Truckers’ Shutdown Effort Produces Varied Results (4-01-08)

No Joke: Truckers to ‘Shut Down’ April 1 (3-28-08)