US has record number of millionaires, poor people, irony

Two news stories from the same day:

Millionaire Population Soars — Again

According to a new survey from Phoenix Marketing International’s Affluent Market Practice, the number of American households with investible assets of $1 million or more rose 8% in the 12 months ended in June. The survey says there now are 5.55 million U.S. households with investible assets of $1 million or more.

USA’s poverty rate reaches highest level in 51 years

A total of 43.6 million people lived in poverty last year, up from 39.8 million in 2008 — the third consecutive annual increase. Extended unemployment benefits lifted 3.3 million people out of poverty, compared with 900,000 in 2008.

The Penguins of Irony’s favorite moment in the effort to save journalism from its future

Here are two of the 10 projects that came out of the “Journalism That Matters” conference at the University of Washington in January.

  • Abundant Journalism: Led by Fancher, this group eventually wants to link journalism projects and initiatives with potential donors.
  • Microfinance: The initiative would provide business and micro-finance training for journalists who want to launch new media ventures.

Whether all 10 initiatives that came out of the JTM Pacific Northwest conference can score the necessary funding to survive remains uncertain. While some have obtained initial grants, others remain unfunded. [Former Seattle Times Executive Editor Mike] Fancher acknowledged that each will face heavy competition for financing.”

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Fight at health-care forum leaves anti-reform protester with big medical bills

Kenneth Gladney, 38, of St. Louis, claims he was injured when union members attacked the politically conservative Gladney last Friday. The union denies says this and says Gladney started it. Both sides are preparing the traditional “I’m made of rubber, your made of glue defense.” Whoever’s fault it was, the melee ended in six arrests. It was one of several at meetings around the country held to discuss ideas to reform the nation’s costly health care system.

Gladney is accepting donations toward his medical expenses. Gladney told reporters he was laid off recently and has no health insurance.”

Sadly the article doesn’t mention if anyone asked Gladney “Oh, irony where is thy sting?”

 

Cry Havoc and release the Penguins.

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Self-serving attempt at ballot box stuffing

OK, I’ll admit that I like getting pointless awards and such as much if not more than the next person. The voting for blogger’s choice awards is open and I’m up in the humor, business & marketing categories.

My site was nominated for Best Business Blog! My site was nominated for Best Humor Blog! My site was nominated for Best Marketing Blog!

The truth is I will win none of them and shouldn’t given the categories. (I got an honorable mention in marketing when the blog started out as part of CMO magazine). If there was an award for best humor business & marketing blog, I still wouldn’t win but I’d have a shot. That said, I will now beg for your vote in one or all three of the categories above. Click on one of the pictures and it will take you to the site and yeah you have to register to vote so it’s a pain and I’m sorry. And yeah, I know these awards are even less meaningful than a people’s choice award.

All that said, allow me to list my campaign promises in an attempt to win you over:

  • I will or will not (depending on your preference) take a stand on a controversial subject
  • I won’t increase taxes.
  • I won’t raise your cholesterol.
  • I won’t wage a negative campaign — despite using won’t a lot.
  • I will not coddle terrorists.
  • I will not infringe on your civil liberties.
  • I will support your right to bear arms as long you are not an idiot.
  • I will provide universal health care for my dog and office manager Roxxy.
  • I will eat my vegetables.
  • I will offer you a cup of coffee (or tea).
  • I will say thank you and I will say excuse me after I burp.
  • I will say no to drugs — except a few like FlowMax that you really wish I wouldn’t mention.
  • I will put down the toilet seat.
  • I will think a lot about cleaning up my office.
  • I will not start any wars.
  • I will go to Disney World (although not any time real soon).
  • I will brush and floss regularly.
  • I will take time to smell the roses even though they aren’t my favorite flower.
  • I will cackle with glee when the Yankees any team from New York loses. (Heather — is this better?)
  • I will listen to both country and western musics.
  • I will try to have the longest categories list of any blog anywhere.
  • I will not run GM into the ground.
  • I will cry havoc and loose the penguins of irony.

Norway honors penguin for military expertise

Nils Olav, colonel-in-chief of the Norwegian King’s Guard, was knighted today in a ceremony in Scotland. King Harald the Fifth of Norway said his fellow monarch — Col. Olav is a king penguin — is “in every way qualified to receive the honour and dignity of knighthood.” More than qualified than some others given that the list of people knighted (by the UK) includes Elton John, Rudy Guiliani, and Tom Jones. I would watch the vid to see how smartly Col. Olav reviews the troops.

While some may scoff at claims of Olav’s military brilliance and see his rank as some rank PR stunt, I say otherwise. Want proof? Name another foreign military officer who has been kept behind bars for 20 years. They may call it a “zoo” but hey so’s Guantanamo. I sense a PETA protest.

For his fine sense of irony, we’d like to honor King Harald. Therefore he is now:

PS — an old joke: What’s the difference between the Army and the Cub Scouts? The Cub Scouts have adult leadership.

Yeah, but do they have penguins?

Why Al Gore shouldn’t have won the Nobel Peace Prize

First my bona fides:

  1. I started covering global warming in the early 1990s. I have no doubts about it and have read more on the topic than your average bear (especially the polar bears who don’t read that much anymore because they’re having to look for new homes because the polar ice cap is melting, fortunately for them this is happening just as the US real estate market is tanking … but I digress).
  2. You really, really don’t want to know how much military history I’ve read. It’s a lot. I remember my cell phone number because it’s close to the year of the battle of Hastings. I know when the first battle that we have records from both sides was. (1300 BC. Hittites vs. Egyptians. The home team Hittites, under coach Muwatallis, won the contest at Kadesh but didn’t cover the spread. In case you were wondering, Muwatallis is also known to history as Mutwatallis and Mutwatalli II. His friends all called him Fred because when they tried to call him Mut he had them beheaded.) So yeah, you don’t want to go there with me.
  3. Ever since he got out of politics I’ve been a big Al Gore fan. Prior to losing the 2000 election I never would have suspected he could be interesting AND funny. Love him on Futurama and Saturday Night Live. No I have never seen “Inconvenient Truth.” As the great Tim McIntyre puts it: I don’t need to study for a test I’ve already passed.
  4. So…

Al Gore won the Nobel PEACE Prize? Yeah, I know environmental problems are and will cause all sorts of conflicts. So what? They always have. Dear Nobel Committee (and this is as close to it as I will ever get) what part of the phrase “peace prize” don’t you understand?

doctors without borders logoThe Peace Prize goes to great groups like Doctors Without Borders and The Red Cross. It goes to people who actually stopped fighting or helped people deal with the aftermath of war. It also went to Henry Kissinger. That Peace Prize is most notable because Tom Lehrer cited it as proof that irony was indeed dead.

Penguins Employee of the monthThis is a stretch. If you want to give a prize for generally helping the planet than give one of those. Mr. Gore would certainly deserve that one. But lets give the Peace Prize to something having to do with armed conflict. Is that asking too much? So that’s why I am naming the Nobel Committee the Nat’l. Assoc. of Penguins of Irony Employee of the Month. I look forward to their acceptance speech.

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Heather has two daddies and they happen to be flightless iconic waterfowl. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

Penguins of Irony finally out of the closet?

SHILOH, Ill. – A picture book about two male penguins raising a baby penguin is getting a chilly reception among some parents who worry about the book’s availability to children — and the reluctance of school administrators to restrict access to it.

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Someone in Texas cried “Havoc!” and loosed the penguins of Irony!

SAN ANTONIO (Reuters) – Twenty-one penguins were rescued on a hot east Texas highway on Tuesday after a truck carrying the wildlife to a temporary home south of Houston overturned, said a state trooper.

NB: Pictured above is a rockhopper penguin not a gentoo, which was the type of penguin loosed in Texas. The Rockhopper has been chosen as the official Penguin of Irony™® because among its distinguishing characteristics is “a slightly crazed look in its eyes.” The gentoo, left, clearly can not be said to suffer from any form of mental illness.

Fowl News

The Press Ducks An Issue: The liberal media put all of its biases aside long enough to come to the aid of a family of ducklings last week. The members of the fourth estate had gathered outside a DC courthouse where Karl Rove was testifying about who leaked the name of an undercover CIA officer when they saw a mom duck and family trying to cross busy Pennsylvania Avenue.

The reporters and camera crews waiting for Rove dashed out into the street ahead of the ducks and halted traffic. When they got to the other side the little ducklings couldn't make it up the curb. Once again the journalists came to the rescue and lifted the little ducks so they could join their waiting mother.

Following the incident, NBC offered the ducklings their own sitcom, ABC lined up the mother to replace Rosie O'Donnel when she's fired from The View and reporters from the Washington Post & the NY Times got into a fist fight over who first asked the ducks to blame the Bush administration.

Next They'll Be Called "Little Tales": "Theme park bosses have re-named their colony of fairy penguins amid fears they could upset the gay community. Managers at Sea World, on the Gold Coast [in Australia], are now calling the species "little penguins" in case associations with the word "fairy" offend visitors to the park."*

Oddly the National Zoo in Washington DC has not renamed its Jackass Penguins despite repeated complaints from members of Congress.

*Note well, no actual people complained about this: However, Queensland's gay community and other zoos which keep fairy penguins described the name change as ridiculous and unnecessary. Kamahl Fox, chairman of gay support group the Gold Coast Breakers, said: "I wouldn't be upset by fairy penguins at all."