Columns » Bob Lancaster

Talking points



I don't know who invented talking points. Probably some Socialist. Possibly Moses, since the Decalogue is slightly more accurately rendered as friendlier "talking points" than as sterner "commandments." Possibly Martin Luther, who, in the Old German, was said to have nailed his 95 talking points to the church door. Possibly Mark Twain, in his essay "Fenimore Cooper's Literary Offenses." Or James Carville, his first and maybe only t.p. being the classic, "It's the economy, stupid."

Anyway, here are some talking points for you. They're non-partisan talking points, a rather rare commodity, from someone who long ago went rogue and then apolitical and now subsists on his modest entitlements, in genteel squalor, semi-isolated and largely indifferent, here in one of the neckier exurbs at the back of the book.

Feel free to use any or all of them with or without attribution. No charge. Just another bonus for patient readers of the Arkansas Times, the non-imposter oldest newspaper west of the Mississippi, bringing you local, national and international news since 1819.

OK, without further ado, or adieu, or whatever — talking points.

• Is the McDonald's Happy Meal an inevitable consequence or outgrowth of the expanding domino of socialism?

• Isn't it because it's socialism that the first word of Social Security is social?

• George Orwell was a socialist, so you can throw out everything he said. Mention this fact the next time you hear somebody quoting him approvingly. Don't go see any of George Bernard Shaw's plays.

• Isn't it true that it was never proved that fluoridation wasn't a prime objective of a Socialist plot?

• Isn't it true that anytime anybody begins a talking point by saying "Isn't it true" that person himself or herself is very likely involved in a plot that hasn't been proved not to be socialist and not to be a plot?

• Isn't it possible, and not totally stupidly illogical, that, as the NRA claims, there's an especially sinister socialist plot in which President Obama hopes to destroy your Second Amendment gun rights by strongly supporting and consistently affirming your Second Amendment gun rights?

• Health care is like a box of chocolates. Or like this column. You never know what you're going to get. But you're pretty sure it'll suck.

• Were there oil deposits under the Garden of Eden? If so, how long before did the ex-living things that crude oil is made from live? And where did they live if there was no here here then? And did they live solely in anticipation of someday having their molecules power internal-combustion engines in inerrantist-driven SUVs? And so forth.

Oil talking points are many but it's tricky footing.

• Isn't announcing a scientific theory that just upsets everybody like cutting one loose in a crowded elevator? Isn't that your vaunted science when you get right down to it — Einstein, Darwin, Galileo, Copernicus and them doing the "beans, beans, good for your heart" number in a crowded elevator?

• Those who say there hasn't been climate change and global warming isn't man-caused — how do they know? They have it on the same authority that Beavis and Butthead always cited: Some guy told them.

• If it's true what they say about Islam, how come there's no Negro spiritual that begins, "Nobody knows the trouble I've seen / Nobody knows but Mohammad"?

• Might it not have been a clever way for President George W. Bush to answer his own question in a way that people would remember it when he said, "Is our children learning?"

• Do you think freedom from government regulation was the fifth freedom that Woodrow Wilson just forgot because he was already brain-damaged from the stroke? Don't you think if he hadn't been a godless liberal Democrat he would've changed his first name to something less vulgar? Do you think it might be a punishment from On High if you have a Viagra Woodrow lasting more than four hours that you have to seek medical assistance to avoid Roger Kokov?

• Will the official language of Heaven be English? [Wrong answer: Si!]

• Do you believe, as Bro. Billy Graham once averred, that especially good dogs go to Heaven, if their former masters simply can't be happy there without them? And is there an official barking protocol for such dogs called home? And if they don't follow it, are they cast out to wander a Darkling Plain that's just crawling with invisible ticks?

• All those Gideons giving away Bibles — is that part of the same Socialist-Obama plot against the Second Amendment? I mean, there's a talking point in there that comes right out and says "Thou shalt not kill." How do you think that makes a gun feel that just killed somebody? Or that just killed a moose or baby wolf cub? Poor gun admiring its still quivering handiwork and a Gideon runs up saying, "Hold on there! What about Exodus 20:13!" What does a gun know about Exodus 20:13? So you can't blame the gun but you sure can't blame the shooter. You can't reproach the shooter. If you do, isn't that further confirmation of the plot? Etc.

Talking points. I might post more of them in coming weeks if you find these useful. Just let me know.

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