Archive for April, 2014

A Solution to Our Prison Problem – Soccer Balls

prison guard towerNewsflash: Our prison population over the past two decades has soared to a record-bursting 2.4 million. Almost one out of every 100 Americans is currently incarcerated. (Personally, I blame Hollywood celebutantes Lindsay Lohan, Paris Hilton and Justin Bieber for much of the overcrowding problem.)

The USA has more people in prison than any other country in the world – yet one more achievement about which Americans can proudly shout We’re #1. The cost to house all these charming folks is staggering. Check out these startling statistics:

  • The average annual operating cost in 2012 was $28,000 per inmate.
  • Housing the approximately 500,000 people in jail awaiting trial costs $9 billion a year.
  • The cost to put my two daughters through four years of college would be enough to house the entire prison population of Wyoming for four months.
  • An ant can carry 50 times its own body weight.
  • Donkeys kill more people annually than plane crashes.

As these alarming statistics clearly demonstrate, we need to do something about the runaway costs of housing our inmates – not to mention cracking down on Donkeys Gone Wild.

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  • Published On Apr. 23, 2014 by TEJ
  • Kids, Ask Me About God
    – By Reverend Tornquist

    [Note from the staff at VFTB: This week, we are privileged to feature a LIVE CHAT with noted Christian evangelist Reverend Norman Tornquist, host of the popular webcast, Kids, Ask Me About God. Tornquist is the renowned author of children’s books including God Loves Kids with Braces Too, and Skittles – The Devil’s Gateway Snack. We join the LIVE CHAT already in progress….]

    Kids ask me about GodReverend Tornquist: I see we have a question from Sophie. Hello, Sophie. How old are you?

    Sophie: Hi, Reverend Toadkiss. I’m four years old.

    Tornquist: That’s Tornquist. An understandable mistake.

    Sophie: Whatever. I wanted to know – Is God left-handed like me?

    Tornquist: What an interesting question, Sophie. I really don’t know. I will have to pray about that one.

    Sophie: So what you’re saying is you know nothing about God. How did you ever get to become a priest?

    Tornquist: Actually, Sophie, I’m not a priest. I’m a minister. I see that Billy has a question. Go ahead, Billy. How old are you?

    Billy: I’m eight. Hey, Cardinal Tornquist –

    Tornquist: Actually it’s Reverend Tornquist, Billy. What’s your question about God?

    Billy: I want to know, where does God go to the bathroom?

    Tornquist: Another fascinating question. Thank you, Billy. Well, God is all-powerful. So, I guess he can go to the bathroom anywhere he wants. When it rains in the forest, maybe that’s God’s way of peeing.

    Billy: Wow, I had no idea God had to pee so much. Maybe he has a tiny bladder. Sure hope my parents never make me go on any more camping trips. I never knew how gross the outdoors was. Thanks, Cardinal T.

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  • Published On Apr. 15, 2014 by TEJ
  • Tax deductions I’d like to see

    tax deduction - bibIt seems like I’m paying more in income taxes every year. My tax preparer just completed my return and it appears that I owe more in taxes than I actually earned last year. Very discouraging. In full disclosure, my tax preparer was my college-age daughter. I’m thinking subtraction may not be her forte. But in her defense, she was tutored in math by her father.

    Like most Americans – other than my brother Todd – I always pay my taxes. But I am concerned the government will just squander my taxes on unnecessary government boondoggle projects. I assure you, I am perfectly capable of squandering those funds on my own boondoggle projects with no help from Uncle Sam, thank you very much.

    I read the other day that many of the largest Fortune 500 companies routinely claim so many business deductions and tax loopholes that they avoid paying any federal income tax at all. Apparently the key is to become a multi-billion dollar global enterprise with incriminating photos of a U.S. Senator having gay sex with an under-age intern or a sheep, and you won’t have to pay a dime. That seems totally unfair. The only incriminating photos I can get my hands on are a couple embarrassing selfies I took at last year’s company holiday party dressed as Gumby in drag.

    I believe it’s time that we demand our government take drastic action to simplify the tax code. I’ve come up with a plan that will make it far easier for me to pay my fair share – which based on my rough calculations, comes to nineteen dollars and forty-seven cents (give or take a quarter). Under my plan the following items would become tax deductible expenses:

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    • Oh, yeah, Tim, pick on a poor defenseless corporation like GE. I mean, what did GE ever do to…
      Drew Fisher
  • Published On Apr. 10, 2014 by TEJ
  • Warning to husbands: Shopping at Costco can be hazardous to your marriage

    Costco - snowglobeIt started out innocently enough. My wife asked me to go to Costco because we were low on shampoo. No biggie.  Quick errand.  I’ll be back in time for the start of the baseball game.  My mistake was listening to my wife when she asked me to go to COSTCO.

    The second I entered the behemoth warehouse, I was overcome by the allure of wall-to-wall gigantic flat screen Hi-Def TVs showing exotic tropical waterfalls. Some in 3-D. Ooh! I noticed a sign that said if you buy the home theatre sound system package, you can get a 65” flat screen HDTV for only $850 more. What a bargain. So I added an LG 65″ Class 3D 1080p 120Hz LED HDTV with 4 Pairs of 3D Glasses (for the kids) to my flatbed cart.

    As I was lugging my cart towards the shampoo aisle, I couldn’t help but notice the festive Christmas tree display. An 8-ft Pre-Lit Clear Mixed Country Artificial Pine Christmas Tree complete with 800 Clear Dura-Lit Mini-lights for $20 off! Think how much I will save by buying it now before the holiday season. Plus, I’d be doing my part to save the world’s endangered commercial tree farms. So I wedged the tree in between the TV and the sound system and continued on my merry way.

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    • Your resistance to bargains is overwhelming. If, I remember rightly, you once bought a car from Costco. Another…
      Eleanor Rushworth (Yer MiL)
  • Published On Apr. 02, 2014 by TEJ