Crazy is as Crazy Does

If you ever read the Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series, you might recall a character names Wonko the Sane – a man who had built himself an inside-out house in order that when he was “outside” his house, he’d be “outside the asylum” – Earth, that is. He determined that the Earth was a dumping ground for lunatics when he noticed that there were instructions for use on a box of toothpicks. After all, no sane people would need such a thing. I’ve been feeling a bit like that – or, perhaps, like the scene in the original Planet of the Apes where Taylor, confronting Dr. Zaius, says, “I know who I am, but who are you? And how did this crazy, upside down world get started?”

I got going on this line of thought yesterday when I came across the 10,000th example of someone saying we have to stop Trump because Trump is insane – just this crazy lunatic who was going to destroy everything…or, at a minimum, start a war over some foreign leader’s disrespectful Tweet. Perhaps that is all true. Maybe Trump is completely ’round the bend. But it suddenly came to me in a flash that if he’s certifiable, then he’s no more crazy than everyone else out there. It came to my mind that I had read plenty of stories over the years of kids graduating high school while being unable to read. I looked it up – one source I found, which seemed a responsible source, claimed the number of illiterates getting diplomas each year is about 19%. That’s just on one in five – one in five people who can’t read are getting high school diplomas. But that isn’t the most insane aspect of it – in order for that to happen, at some point some reasonable, responsible people in positions of great authority had to decree that the logical, sane thing to do with someone who can’t read is to give him a diploma!

I know as well as anyone that there are all sorts of reasons why this happens but regardless of all the reasons – no matter what excuses you try to make for why it even must be that 1 in 5 can’t read – there is no way a sane, rational person allows an illiterate to get a high school diploma. Know what else a sane, rational person doesn’t do? He or she doesn’t allow an illiterate to move on from the 11th grade to the 12th grade. Nor from the 10th to the 11th – you don’t allow someone who can’t read to move on from the 1st to the 2nd grade for crying out loud. If you’ve got the kid through the first school year and the kid is incapable of reading, then you do that year over again…and you keep doing it over again until the kid can read or it is proven conclusively that the kid lacks the wit to ever learn how. You don’t move such a kid on to the next grade – there’s no point! It is a useless exercise. It doesn’t help the kid – it doesn’t help anyone. It is monumentally stupid. It is actually harmful to the kid being advanced without learning to read. IT IS INSANE.

But such stuff just slides easily right over us – the School Board members aren’t ejected from the jobs. Teachers and Administrators happily go about their business on their path to collecting their pensions. Parents just roll with it. But that is also a relatively small thing in the panorama of insanity which is our modern world. Remember, we’ve got legal abortion – on the theory that a woman in a bad way will best be helped if we kill her unborn child. Following on with this great and oh, so sane idea we’re now working up plans for infanticide and euthanasia…because death is definitely the answer to all of life’s little problems…except, of course, in the case of people who ruthlessly murder other people; same people saying we must have abortion, infanticide and euthanasia are largely the same people saying we must not kill even the most horrendous criminal…and, heck, not only not kill them, but make their prison experience air conditioned because it would be insane to have criminals being punished suffer a bit.

Sane, rational, responsible leaders – people purportedly unlike that foaming at the mouth lunatic, Trump – gave us such gems as the Korean and Vietnam Wars. Got to love that – nothing like sending young Americans to die in war, tying their hands a bit so they can’t hurt the enemy too badly, and then losing the wars after massive amounts of blood are spilled. The same sense of responsible rationality has now got about 4,500 US troops in the Iraq/Syria theater of operations even though we have no declaration of war, no authorization to use force…and the Democratic candidate for President swearing up and down that she won’t deploy US troops to fight the enemy in a war we aren’t fighting (except we are, and people are dying – but no sane, responsible leader would bring that up to the American people because it would be insane to disturb their viewing of the latest Dancing with the Nitwits on TV…).

It was, of course, just the most rational thing in the world for us to stand by while China moved military forces into the South China Sea; while Russia invaded the Crimea; while Iran deployed forces to Syria; while Saudi Arabia fights a bloody war in Yemen; while Libya disintegrated…thank goodness we didn’t have an insane person running the United States! Who knows what would have happened? We might have got…what? A zillion people forced to be refugees, tens of thousands dead and Jihadists roaming around murdering and enslaving people.

Also in the Sane People’s favor is that $19 trillion in US debt. Only an insane person wouldn’t pile up that much debt. Nor would an insane person ever have thought up the clever idea of having the US Federal Reserve print up money so it could buy US bonds…I mean, my goodness, you’d have to be some sort of drooling, straight-jacketed moron to refuse to see the wisdom in that!

Tickets for not wearing seatbelts. Fines for collecting rainwater. Licenses for nail salons. Pushing for birth control when our fertility rate is below replacement level. Sending billions of dollars to our enemies. Building windmills in the 21st century instead of nuclear power plants. Allowing 18 year olds to vote and serve in the military, but not have a drink or a smoke. Demanding people bake a cake. Student loans so that colleges can charge ever higher tuition. Health insurance to cover you when you’ve got a cold, but will put you on a waiting list if you need heart surgery. Requiring people to have auto insurance so trial lawyer’s always got someone to sue. $250,000.00 for a 20 minute speech. You can go to jail even if you didn’t intend to commit a crime, unless you’re the Democrat nominee for President. Police with armored personnel carriers. Refusing to offend Jihadis. Going out of your way to offend Christians. Libertarians who love ObamaCare.

I assert without fear that no matter what Trump does in office, it won’t increase the level of insanity. It might keep the insanity going. It might drop some bits of insanity and pick up others, but Trump cannot increase the lunacy because we’re collectively so far ’round the bend we can’t see it from here. This is all nuts.

Get back to me in 2017 – if Hillary wins, then I assure one and all that the insanity will just keep on going. If Trump wins, it might keep on going, as well. But I’d like it much better if we started to insist upon some sanity. Something small – just to let us know we can be sane. Perhaps we can pass a law banning the government from fining us for collecting rain water. It won’t come up as an issue too often, but it would be a start…it would be something we could point to and say, with pride, “see, we’re not complete nutters”.

14 thoughts on “Crazy is as Crazy Does

  1. Amazona September 10, 2016 / 10:16 am

    Great rant. Great, great, rant. Aside from the part about requiring auto insurance (which I think is to protect the responsible from the irresponsible, not to enrich trial lawyers) I agree.

    I mentally added a little to “Student loans so that colleges can charge ever higher tuition.”—–and then dumbing down the curricula so the tuition is for nonsensical fluff and/or political indoctrination full of lies.

    And you left out the belief that “global warming” (or “climate change”) is the worst problem facing a world in which growing numbers of fanatics become more heavily armed and more intent on actually, physically, slaughtering hundreds of millions. And that the same people who become slavering screaming savages at the sight of a fur coat are the same people who become equally energized in their defense of tearing the arms and legs off of living human beings in the womb, sucking out their brains while they are still alive, or leaving them to die alone and cold on trash room shelves.

  2. Retired Spook September 10, 2016 / 10:56 am

    My wife and I got home Thursday night from a nearly month-long road trip and cruise to celebrate our 50th anniversary, including a delightful visit with Amazona on the way back. Before I continue, I have to apologize to Cluster for “luring” him back from a self-imposed hiatus and then promptly leaving him dangling in the wind. But thanks, Cluster and Amazona for holding down the fort. I just finished reading the posts and comments going back a week. Imagine my shock to see that pigs did indeed learn to fly while I was gone (Rusty Brown) Back in the day we’d say that called for a drink.

    I agree with Amazona — great rant.

    A bit of good news from the 14 states (IN, IL, WI, MN, ND, MT, ID, WA, OR, WY, CO, KS, MO, AK) plus Canada covering 5,100 road miles and 1,991 nautical miles) that we visited on our trip. We saw numerous Trump signs, posters, etc. and a few Bernie 2016 bumper stickers, but we did not see a single Hillary bumper sticker, yard sign or billboard. Of the couple dozen or so people we talked to on the cruise who voluntarily discussed politics and the election, some were not Trump fans, but NOT A SINGLE ONE was a Hillary fan.

    • Cluster September 10, 2016 / 11:43 am

      Glad to see you back Spook, and that sounds like a hell of a trip, I am sure you had lots of fun and made some good memories. I was in San Diego recently and was also shocked at how many Trump signs I saw – yard signs, bumper stickers, and even a smaller size billboard just outside of town, but I can’t recall seeing one Hillary sign. Not one. And this is in the bluest of blue states, California. I think the fact that Rusty is considering voting for Trump tells you what a bizarre election year this is.

      And then there was this from Hillary yesterday –

      “To just be grossly generalistic, you can put half of Trump supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables,” Clinton said. “Right? Racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic, you name it.” She added, “And unfortunately, there are people like that and he has lifted them up. He has given voice to their websites that used to only have 11,000 people, now have 11 million. He tweets and retweets offensive, hateful, mean-spirited rhetoric.” Clinton then said some of these people were “irredeemable” and “not America.”

      And just for those keeping score, “the basket of deplorables” is not a mean spirited comment.

      • Retired Spook September 10, 2016 / 12:14 pm


        Too funny. The Left is not used to having mean-spiritedness thrown back in its face. The old Alinsky tactic of making your opponents play by their own moral rules isn’t working in this election cycle. I’m still not a Donald Trump fan by any stretch of the imagination, but I do find that aspect of his candidacy extremely satisfying, I’m going to vote for him, if for no other reason than the alternative is too awful to contemplate.

        We took the inside passage Alaska cruise departing from Seattle. We spent the first night after getting off the ship in your old stomping grounds of Boise.

      • Cluster September 10, 2016 / 8:12 pm

        Boise is a great town. My daughter lives there, and I have a cabin just 100 miles north of there in the mountains so I am up that way quite bit. Boise also happens to have one of the best college football teams to ever play the game.

      • Amazona September 10, 2016 / 10:52 pm

        My only memory of Boise is hothotHOT. I was hauling 8 horses home after a horse show tour to Seattle and Vancouver, dodging forest fires through eastern Washington, and a bank thermometer in Boise read 107. I just wanted to get back to the mountains.

      • Amazona September 10, 2016 / 10:56 pm

        Only a Clinton could call ANYONE else “deplorable”. And it seems like this might be dangerous territory for a woman who has to depend on a following willing to vote for someone with her complete lack of morality, decency and integrity.

        I’ve detailed a lot of Trump things I don’t like, but as far as I know he has never sold out his country for money and doesn’t have a string of dead bodies in his wake

  3. rustybrown2014 September 10, 2016 / 12:26 pm

    Meanwhile, we have Hillary, the presumed “adult in the room” who would never make the rash, impulsive decisions that the mercurial Trump would, putting millions of Americans in a basket and calling them “deplorable”.

    Now, I’ve never run a national political campaign before but I’m guessing that expressing explicit contempt for a sizable minority of the electorate is not a prudent thing to do. And people are afraid of Trumps tweets? Here’s his tweeted response, which I couldn’t have said better:

    “SO INSULTING to my supporters, millions of amazing, hard working people. I think it will cost her at the Polls!”

    • Cluster September 10, 2016 / 1:02 pm

      You know I think Trump has learned a lot about being a politician over the last year and finally has some really good people around him. After some early and devastating self inflicted wounds, I think he is finally figuring out how to blend the right amount of level headed policy talk along with just enough red meat for the base. The good thing about this is that it shows that he is a fairly quick study and learning how to succeed in a completely different universe than he is use to. The bad news is that I hope he has time to convince enough people that he can do this job. I think his overall message on nearly every issue from the border, to the economy, to a stronger foreign policy stance, to education is exactly what this country needs. America is only great when every American is participating. And I will say this to every illegal immigrant (or I mean undocumented immigrant so I won’t offend Gary Johnson), if you want to be a citizen, join the military. Not only will you get a great experience and learn many skills, when your service is over this country should grant upon you full citizenship.

  4. rustybrown2014 September 10, 2016 / 12:27 pm

    Whoops, I see Ama beat me to that breaking news.

  5. Cluster September 10, 2016 / 1:13 pm

    From the YCMTSU file, right now on MSNBC they are spinning Hillary’s deplorable comment to mean that she was only referring to half the voters for Trump and was actually speaking to the other half of Trump supporters who are not on the “alt right” and giving them reason to pause and the “space” they may need to consider voting for her. Interesting tactic, but kudos to MSNBC for being a blatant extension of the Hillary campaign.

    • M. Noonan September 11, 2016 / 1:42 am

      In other dispatches from the Asylum, Brown University will now provide free tampons in the men’s room.

      I’m going to start going by the name of Marko the Sane, by the way.

  6. Amazona September 12, 2016 / 12:52 am

    “He determined that the Earth was a dumping ground for lunatics when he noticed that there were instructions for use on a box of toothpicks.”

    One of my favorites is the new addition at the end of the ads for prescription medicines—do not take if allergic to any of the ingredients. Do we really have to be told not to take something that will make us sick?

    • M. Noonan September 12, 2016 / 1:48 am

      Yes, we do – because we’re insane. I had forgotten a bit about Douglas Adams’ work…he was an atheist, by all accounts, but he did have a way of poking holes in everyone’s eternal verities. I liked one scene especially where the group comes across a reporter fleeing from a trial…the thing was, a witness at the trial was given a truth serum and thus had to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth…but they gave him too much! And he started telling the truth…the reporter was asked if he was now heading out to tell the truth, but he said, “no, I made an excuse and left early”.

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