A real survivor, graduation speeches, tax numbers

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Here are a few items worth sharing:The next "Survivor" series -- Six married men will be dropped on an island with one car and three kids each for six weeks.

Each kid will play two sports and take either music or dance classes.

There is no fast food.

Each man must take care of his three kids, keep his assigned house clean, correct all homework, complete science projects, cook, do laundry and pay a list of bills with not enough money.

In addition, each man will have to budget enough money for groceries each week.

Each man must remember the birthdays of all his friends and relatives and send cards out on time. No e-mailing.

Each man must also take each child to a doctor's appointment, a dentist's appointment and a haircut appointment.

He must make one unscheduled and inconvenient visit per child to the emergency room.

He must also make cookies or cupcakes for a school function.

Each man will be responsible for decorating his own assigned house, planting flowers outside and keeping it presentable at all times.

The men will only have access to television when the kids are asleep and all chores are done.

The men must shave their legs, wear makeup daily, adorn themselves with jewelry, wear uncomfortable yet stylish shoes and keep fingernails polished and eyebrows groomed.

During one of the six weeks, The men will have to endure severe abdominal cramps, backaches and headaches and have extreme, unexplained mood swings but never once complain or slow down from other duties.

They must attend weekly school meetings and find time at least once to spend the afternoon at the park or a similar setting.

They will need to read a book to the kids each night and in the morning, feed them, dress them, brush their teeth and comb their hair by 7:30 a.m.

A test will be given at the end of the six weeks, and each father will be required to know all of the following information: each child's birthday, height, weight, shoe size, clothes size, doctor's name, the child's weight and length at birth, time of birth and length of labor as well as each child's favorite color, middle name, favorite snack, favorite song, favorite drink, favorite toy, biggest fear and what they want to be when they grow up.

The kids vote them off the island based on performance.

The last man wins only if he still has enough energy to be intimate with his spouse at a moment's notice.

If the last man does win, he can play the game over and over again for the next 18 to 25 years, eventually earning the right to be called Mother. -- From one of my daughters

Graduation speeches -- Some day, a Voltaire will emerge to satirize the Panglossian roster of speakers peppering U.S. university graduations in the era of the Tea Parties and multitrillion-dollar government debt, which ironically will end up dumped on the young people graduating from our schools of higher learning.

This year's speakers are big on extolling current orthodoxies instead of questioning them. Inadvertently they reveal a lot about the state of universities, most of which are knee-deep in state funding, hostile to controlling costs and hothouses of political correctness.

This may be why many universities have chosen commencement speakers so irrelevant to reality. Last week, Young America's Foundation released its 17th annual commencement speaker survey and found university officials handing Obama administration officials speaking duties nine times this year, compared with a mere 14 times in the full eight years of the Bush administration.

"This year's research found that [myriad] speakers were not only White House officials but also liberal ideologues, newsmakers, authors and entrenched Washington insiders, while conservative best-selling authors, business leaders and free-market Nobel laureates were once again absent from the list," the group noted.

Some of the top draws included President Obama, who at the University of Michigan chastised those who question his big-government programs as extremists and then warned of violence.

Energy Secretary Steven Chu was just as out of it at Washington University, using his soapbox to praise 1960s radicals and then to warn about global warming, a junk-science idea about to go the way of the dodo.

There was also first lady Michelle Obama, who had demanded a shakedown of 100,000 community service hours from George Washington University students before she'd come to speak, as if students ought to be ladling soup instead of studying.

Obama's media supporters were featured too, MSNBC host Rachel Maddow playing the old-time favorite of Blaming Bush at Smith College. Maddow ranted about supposed corruption in the Bush administration while ignoring what's going on today.

It underlines that some universities are no longer places to question authority, but cheerleaders for the establishment. It's a sad sight, given that it is graduates who will in the end be forced to foot the bill for these big-government excesses and warped values. -- Investors Business Daily

By the numbers: The effect of tax increases -- $2.4 trillion: The overall tax increase faced by American families, seniors and businesses if current tax cuts expire.

$1,716: The average tax increase for more than 100 million Americans if tax cuts are allowed to expire.

$2,034: The average tax increase that will hit 17 million seniors if the tax cuts of 2001 and 2003 are allowed to expire.

$3,637: The tax increase, on average, that 26 million small business owners will be facing if tax cuts are allowed to expire.

1.5 million: The number of jobs that could be created by full repeal of the Death Tax.

$91 billion: The cost of reinstating the Death Tax.

$19.6 billion: The amount spent in 2009 by Congress on frivolous pork projects that use taxpayer funds to reward local special interests and pressure groups.

44 million: The number of married couples affected by the marriage penalty before it was reduced by President George W. Bush. These families will be hit hard once again if the marriage penalty is reinstated.

$1,480: The average cost in 2000 for couples punished by the marriage penalty. -- The Heritage Foundation

Gary Rust is the chairman of Rust Communications.

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