Pick Wayne's Brain

February 21, 2009

Truth Is All Around (The Michelle Bachmann Song 2)

And now, Rep Michelle Bachmann (R-LaLa Land) as Mary Richards in

Truth Is All Around (The Michelle Bachmann Song 2)
Original words and music “Love is All Around” by Paul Williams
Additional lyrics by Wayne A. Schneider

Who can turn her brain off with her smile?
Who can start an interview, and suddenly make it all seem worthwhile?

I’m A Deceiver (The Michelle Bachmann Song)

If you haven’t heard about Minnesota Rep Michelle Bachmann’s latest departure from reality, you can read about it at The Zoo.

I’m A Deceiver (The Michelle Bachmann Song)
Original words and music “I’m a Believer” by Neil Diamond
Additional lyrics by Wayne A. Schneider

I thought facts were only true in fairy tales
Meant for someone else but not for me
Libs are out to get me (doo-do do-doo)
Now that’s the way it seems (doo-do do-doo)
Real annoying fact checks haunt my dreams

When you see my face, Know I’m a deceiver

February 20, 2009

Who’ll Stop The Pain

Filed under: Parody — Tags: , , , , , , — Wayne A. Schneider @ 11:49 PM

As influenced by an op-ed by Nobel-winning economist, Paul Krugman.

Who’ll Stop The Pain
Original words and music, “Who’ll Stop The Rain” by John Fogerty
Additional lyrics by Wayne A. Schneider

Long before November
The pain been comin down.
Worst in history showin’
Recession all around.

February 14, 2009

Are We Born Inherently Good or Inherently Evil?

Filed under: Commentary — Tags: , , , , , — Wayne A. Schneider @ 12:46 AM

I am posting this thread because I would like to have a serious discussion with everyone, but especially conservatives, about the core principles of our liberal and conservative philosophies. I am Liberal (well, Liberal-Libertarian, technically, according to PoliticalCompass.org; it only takes about 15-20 minutes to see where you fall on the political scale) and I want to have a serious discussion about why we think the way we do. I am not a philosophy student, just someone trying to learn things.

I am asking everyone who participates in this discussion to please be polite. I have tried to have such discussions on other sites (mostly ThinkProgress), and, unfortunately, the negative tone of some of the comments toward these people left them, shall we say, not in the mood to continue the dialog. I would not like that to happen here, so I am asking all participants to be respectful to the commenters personally even if you are being disrespectful to the comment itself. Remember to keep the two separate. I would like this to be a discussion of ideas, not of personalities. And since this is my blog and not someone else’s, I will edit and/or delete comments that I feel are too insulting to the person. Rip the comment itself to shreds if you wish, but don’t insult the person making it. I will hold myself to this standard, too.

One last thing before I start things off. This is only a conversation, not a competition. So, please, no wagering.

At the core of the difference between Liberal and Conservative beliefs is the question of whether we, as humans, are born inherently good or inherently evil. Thomas Hobbes believed that without some strong authority keeping us in check, mankind would devolve into a constant state of warfare. In contrast to Hobbes, John Locke believed that man’s natural state was not one of warfare. [Full disclosure: This are general summaries I got from Thom Hartmann’s great book “Cracking the Code”. Some day soon, I hope to sit down and read those links I put in above in full. It’s okay if you don’t right now, but they are there for your own edification.]

So, do you believe that humans are inherently evil and must be dominated by a strong authority of some kind? Or do you believe that we are inherently good, and that our natural state would be to live in cooperation with one another? When I think of this, I am always reminded of a great scene from “The West Wing”. After pipe bombs killed some students at a college and the perpetrators were caught, President Bartlett said of them, “They weren’t born wanting to do this.”

And remember, kids. Be nice.

February 4, 2009

How Much is a Trillion, Pt 2

Filed under: Commentary — Wayne A. Schneider @ 12:27 AM

In How Much is a Trillion, we talked about how a trillion of anything could relate to us as individuals. For those seeking a great job, one paying $1 for every second, they were unlikely to even earn a trillion dollars, as it would take more than 31,000 years to do it. Remember, that’s $1/second. And it would take more than 31,000 years to spend/earn a trillion dollars. Moving on, for sports fans, we compared a trillion dollars to the amount of money it would take to give every major baseball player on the 40-man roster of every one of the thirty teams, a $250 million contract just like A-Rod’s. And we found that they were short of a trillion dollars, with plenty of room to spare. So much room, that they could have, effectively given every player a $750 million contract, and still not quite reached a trillion, though they would be close. Then we looked out into the depths of space to find that the furthest things we’ve seen out there were about 90 trillion miles away, but the light from them would take 15 billion years to reach us, just so we could see what they were up to 15 billion years ago. Well, here’s some more perspective. We found out from our $1/second job that it would take 31,709 years to reach one trillion seconds. (That’s 1,000,000,000,000.)

One trillion seconds ago, humans were just becoming humans. We used to call them Cro-Magnon, but scientists seem to favor the term “Early Modern Humans” (or EMH) now. Not sure why. Something to do with them not really being all that different from Neanderthals after all. A trillion seconds ago, the Earth was coming out of its last ice age.

A trillion minutes ago (more…)

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