Not only is chess racist, it is also sexist and patriarchal. The fact that the Queen is the most powerful piece on the board proves nothing to the contrary. The powers allowed to the Queen are in truth nothing more than so many sops thrown to the feminists to keep them quiet.
The sexism and patriarchalism of chess is proven by the dignity afforded to the King.
Wherein resides the dignity of the King? At every time in every possible game, the King is on the board. He cannot be captured: he never leaves the board while the game is on. He may be checked and checkmated; he is never captured. His royal consort, however, must submit to sacrifice, and is sacrificed gladly in the most beautiful of games. She has no dignity unto herself; she is but a means, nothing more than an overgrown pawn, and in some cases an ambitious upstart who has clawed her way to the eighth rank with the determination of a Hillary. She must die, when called upon, for the glory of His Majesty.
Another proof that chess is racist and oppressive and ought to be banned is that blacks are woefully under-represented among its players. This evil can have only one explanation: racist suppression of black players. For everyone knows that blacks as a group are the equals of whites as a group in respect of intelligence, interest in chess, and the sorts of virtues needed to play the undemocratic and reactionary 'Royal Game.' Among these are the ability to study hard, defer gratification, and keep calm in trying situations.
For these and many other reasons, we must DEMAND that chess be banned.
We must manifest solidarity with our oppressed Taliban brothers who have maintained, truly, that chess is an evil game of chance.
It is therefore most heartening to read that chess has been banned in some places in America. May this trend continue as we march forward, ever stronger, together to the land of social justice where there are no winners and no losers.
Now half-priced! The perfect complement to the race card. No true liberal leaves home without both. Gives new meaning to 'card-carrying Democrat.' And it secures access to ladies' rooms throughout the land, regardless of the bearer's sex!
If there are no races, then no one is a racist. But conservatives, by definition, are racists. So if race is a social construct in a sense that implies that there are no races, then there are no conservatives either.
Barack Hussein Obama, being mulatto, both white and black, exemplifies the highest form of diversity, self-diversity. It is this amazing fact that explains his success at having brought us all together.
With all the mindless hyperventilation of dumb-assed liberals over gun control in the wake of Orlando, we need some comic relief. Herewith, a repost from 27 February 2013.
What the hell's going on in Florida? The other day an oven shot a woman, and now a dog has shot a man, with an 'unloaded' gun no less. Tragedies like these show the need for Dog Control. Members of the Dog Lobby such as Duane LaRufus of the National Hound Association will scream in protest, but moral cretins like him and Leroy Pooch of Dog Owners of America are nothing but greedy shills for the Canine Industrial Complex. They routinely oppose all sensible Dog Control measures. Follow the money!
Reason dictates that all dogs must be kept muzzled at all times, and when transported in a vehicle containing a gun, must be kept securely locked in the trunk. Assault dogs, whose only purpose is to kill and maim, such as Doberman Ass Biters and Pit Bulls, must be banned. Such breeds are inherently evil and no one outside of law enforcement and the military has any business owning them. Food magazines for all breeds must be kept strictly limited lest any dog become too rambunctious. Dog owners should be 'outed' and their names published in the paper. Special taxes must be levied on all things canine to offset the expenses incurred by society at large in the wake of the rising tide of dog violence.
Such reasonable measures will strike extremists as draconian, but if even one life can be saved, then they are justified. We must do something and we must do it now so that tragedies like the one in Florida never happen again.
I'm sensitive, you're touchy. I'm firm, you are pigheaded. Frugality in me is cheapness in you. I am open-minded, you are empty-headed. I am careful, you are obsessive. I am courageous while you are as reckless as a Kennedy. I am polite but you are obsequious. My speech is soothing, yours is unctuous. I am earthy and brimming with vitality while you are crude and bestial. I'm alive to necessary distinctions; you are a bloody hairsplitter. I'm conservative, you're reactionary. I know the human heart, but you are a misanthrope. I love and honor my wife while you are uxorious. I am focused; you are monomaniacal.
In me there is commitment, in you fanaticism. I'm a peacemaker, you're an appeaser. I'm spontaneous, you're just undisciplined. I'm neat and clean; you are fastidious. In me there is wit and style, in you mere preciosity. I know the value of a dollar while you are just a miser. I cross the Rubicons of life with resoluteness while you are a fool who burns his bridges behind him. I do not hide my masculinity, but you flaunt yours. I save, you hoard. I am reserved, you are shy. I invest, you gamble. I am a lover of solitude, you are a recluse.
I have a hearty appetite; you are a glutton. A civilized man, I enjoy an occasional drink; you, however, must teetotal to avoid becoming a drunkard. I'm witty and urbane, you are precious. I am bucolic, you are rustic. I'm original, you are idiosyncratic. I am principled, you are doctrinaire. I am precise, you are pedantic.
And those are just some of the differences between me and you.
But if you are thinking of not voting for Trump should he get the Republican nomination, by not voting at all or voting for Hillary, Mark Levin has some choice words for you, words with which I heartily agree:
. . . I can understand ‘stop Trump’ in a primary process. But stop Trump or you’ll vote for Hillary? Stop Trump or you won’t vote at all? These people are not conservatives. They’re not constitutionalists. They’re frauds. They’re fakes. They’re not brave. They’re asinine. They’re buffoons . . .
Levin is right. Trump is bad; Hillary is worse, much worse. I shall resist the temptation to add to the list of epithets.
A reader doesn't get the point of my earlier entry:
Dennis Miller: "Melissa Harris-Perry is a waste of a good hyphen."
So let me explain it. Miller is a brilliant conservative comedian who appears regularly on The O'Reilly Factor. If you catch every one of Miller's allusions and can follow his rap you are very sharp indeed. He has contempt for flaming leftists like Harris-Perry. Realizing that the Left's Alinskyite tactics need to be turned against them, and that mockery and derision can be very effective political weapons, he took a nasty but brilliant jab at her in the above-quoted line.
What makes the jab comical is Miller's willful confusion of the use and mention of expressions, one class of which is the proper name. One USES the name 'Melissa Harris-Perry' to refer to the person in question. This person, the bearer of the name, is not a name or any type of expression. The person in question eats and drinks and fulminates; no name eats and drinks and fulminates. But if I point out that 'Melissa Harris-Perry' is a hyphenated expression, I MENTION the expression; I am talking about it, not about its referent or bearer. When I say that the name is hyphenated I say something obviously true; if I say or imply that the woman in question is hyphenated, then I say or imply something that is either necessarily false or else incoherent (because involving a Rylean category mistake) and thus lacking a truth value. Either way I am not saying anything true let alone obviously true.
But what makes Miller's jab funny? What in general makes a joke funny? This question belongs to the philosophy of humor, and I can tell you that it is no joke. (That itself is a joke, a meta-joke.) There are three or four going theories of humor. One of them, the Incongruity Theory, fits many instances of humor. Suppose you ask me what time it is and I reply: You mean now? If I say this in the right way you will laugh. (If you don't, then, like Achmed the Terrorist, I kill you!) Now what make the joke funny? It is an instance of incongruity, but I will leave the details for you to work out. And the same goes for the joke in parentheses.
It is the same with the Miller joke. Everybody understands implicitly that a name is not the same as its bearer, that some names are hyphenated, and that no human being is hyphenated. Normal people understand facts like these even if they have never explicitly formulated them. What Miller does to achieve his comic effect is to violate this implicit understanding. It is the incongruity of Miller's jab with our normal implicit understanding that generates the humorousness of the situation.
But WHY should it have this effect? Why should incongruity be perceived by us as funny? Perhaps I can get away with saying that this is just the way things are. Explanations must end somewhere.
Am I a pedant or what?
But I am not done.
There is also a moral question. Isn't there something morally shabby about mocking a person's name and making jokes at his expense? Some years back I was taken aback when Michael Reagan referred to George Stephanopolous on the air as George Step-on-all-of-us. A gratuitous cheap-shot, I thought.
But given how willfully stupid and destructive Harris-Perry is, and given that politics is war by another name, is there not a case for using the Left's Alinksyite tactics against them? (Is this a rhetorical question or am I really asking? I'm not sure myself.)
Here is a bit of evidence that Harris-Perry really is a a willfully stupid, destructive race-baiter. There is another in the first entry referenced below.
You probably knew that Elizabeth Warren, aka Fauxcahontas, contributed recipes to the cookbook, Pow Wow Chow. You might even know that some have alleged that these recipes were plagiarized by the Indian maiden. But I'll bet you don't know that Jean-Paul Sartre worked on a cookbook. Another reason why you need to read my blog.
We have recently been lucky enough to discover several previously lost diaries of French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre stuck in between the cushions of our office sofa. These diaries reveal a young Sartre obsessed not with the void, but with food. Aparently Sartre, before discovering philosophy, had hoped to write "a cookbook that will put to rest all notions of flavor forever.'' The diaries are excerpted here for your perusal.
Spoke with Camus today about my cookbook. Though he has never actually eaten, he gave me much encouragement. I rushed home immediately to begin work. How excited I am! I have begun my formula for a Denver omelet.
Still working on the omelet. There have been stumbling blocks. I keep creating omelets one after another, like soldiers marching into the sea, but each one seems empty, hollow, like stone. I want to create an omelet that expresses the meaninglessness of existence, and instead they taste like cheese. I look at them on the plate, but they do not look back. Tried eating them with the lights off. It did not help. Malraux suggested paprika.
I have realized that the traditional omelet form (eggs and cheese) is bourgeois. Today I tried making one out of a cigarette, some coffee, and four tiny stones. I fed it to Malraux, who puked. I am encouraged, but my journey is still long.
Today I again modified my omelet recipe. While my previous attempts had expressed my own bitterness, they communicated only illness to the eater. In an attempt to reach the bourgeoisie, I taped two fried eggs over my eyes and walked the streets of Paris for an hour. I ran into Camus at the Select. He called me a "pathetic dork" and told me to "go home and wash my face." Angered, I poured a bowl of bouillabaisse into his lap. He became enraged, and, seizing a straw wrapped in paper, tore off one end of the wrapper and blew through the straw. propelling the wrapper into my eye. "Ow! You dick!" I cried. I leaped up, cursing and holding my eye, and fled.
I confess to being a fan of this TV series many of whose episodes are now over 20 years old. I have seen every episode numerous times. I am not a student of the series as I am a student of the great Twilight Zone series, but then numerous episodes of Rod Serling's Twilight Zone, belonging as it does to the Golden Age of television, really are worthy of study.
What do I like about Seinfeld? Perhaps it is the utterly zany quality of the Jewish humor. Here is some of it in Yiddish (with subtitles).
And the political incorrectness I like. But things have changed in America, so much so that Jerry Seinfeld nowadays refuses to perform before college audiences.
Indeed, it must be jarring for a boomer like Seinfeld, who went to college in the early 70s, when students were debating real issues freely, to confront today’s college campuses, where students often invent issues about which to be aggrieved, many times on behalf of other parties, and then have to find "free speech zones" in which to discuss them.
Consider the uproar over a statue of a man talking to a woman at a Texas college, which some decided was a depiction of "mansplaining," or a man patronizingly explaining something to a woman. Paul Tadlock, the 79-year-old sculptor, said the piece — done for 20 years before its offense was "discovered" — merely depicted his daughter, a student at the time, talking to a friend.
Then there were the students at UC-Berkeley, who called for "an occupation of syllabi in the social sciences and humanities," which sounds serious. Rodrigo Kazuo and Meg Perret felt aggrieved that a classical philosophy course had the audacity to cover actual thought leaders from classical philosophy, including Plato and Aristotle — because they all happened to be white men.
I heard David Brooks on C-Span 2 last night. He uncorked a very funny line. "I am the conservative at The New York Times, which is like being the chief rabbi in Mecca."
By the way, it was a mention by Brooks in his latest book that got my friend Lupu onto Soloveitchik. Now I am reading the good rabbi. I have finished The Lonely Man of Faith and I've started on Halakhic Man. Impressive and important for those of us exercised by the Athenian-Hierosolymanic dialectic.
In other humor news, Heather Wilhelm reports, via Chelsea Clinton, that the Clinton family motto is, wait for it:
“We have a saying in my family—it’s always better to get caught trying (rather than not try at all).”
Full disclosure: When I first read that sentence, I laughed out loud. Next, I read it two more times, just to make sure it was not some glorious figment of my imagination. “Get caught trying?” Who makes this their family motto? Concerned that I was missing the popular resurgence of this wise old adage—a saying that ranks right up there with “There’s more than one way to obliterate an old email server” and “If the silverware is missing, Sandy Berger’s pants are a-jangling”—I decided to Google “get caught trying.” If you’re looking for lots of advice on how to do things like hide an affair from your spouse, illegally sneak over the border, or fight off a wild crow that is trying to eat your lunch, I suggest you do the same.
Here’s the thing: If you “get caught” doing something, it implies that you are doing something secretive, underhanded, or out-and-out bad. What kind of family, outside of the Corleone crime syndicate, instinctively associates “trying” with doing something surreptitious, or an action where one can get “caught”? Moreover, is there any one-liner in the history of the world—with the exception, of course, of “It depends what the meaning of ‘is’ is”—that better sums up the Clinton ethos?
What Miss Wilhelm fails to realize, however, is the signal impetus Bill Cinton gave to a renewed assault upon the question of the meaning of Being, die Frage nach dem Sinn von Sein, a question occluded and forgotten (Seinsvergessenheit!) in political precincts until Bubba re-ignited it with his penetrating inquiry into the manifold meanings of 'is.'
Wondering what had become of Colin McGinn, I poked around and came across this parody by him of somebody he variously refers to as Brigand Lighter, Brendan Lightweight, Barry Litebeer, and Professor Litesmear. Is he referring to some actual person? The post is dated 1 April 2015 which suggests that Professor McGinn might just be fooling around.
I wanted to bring to your attention a passage I came across in Nicholas Rescher’s Philosophical Standardism (Pittsburgh, 1994):
“The old saying is perfectly true: Philosophy bakes no bread. But it is also no less true that we do not live by bread alone. The physical side of our nature that impels us to eat, drink, and be merry is just one of its sides. Homo sapiens requires nourishment for the mind as urgently as nourishment for the body. We seek knowledge not only because we wish, but because we must. The need for information, for knowledge to nourish the mind, is ever bit as critical as the need for food to nourish the body.” (p. 67)
I was struck by what I believed was the distinctively Vallicellan retort, “But it is also no less true that we do not live by bread alone.” I’m curious: Is this a well-known retort among philosophers? If not, did you get that from Rescher, he from you, or is this just an instance of great minds thinking alike?
To the philistine's "Philosophy bakes no bread" you should not respond "Yes it does," for such responses are patently lame. You should say, "Man does not live by bread alone," or "Not everything is pursued as a means to something else," or "A university is not a trade school." You should not acquiesce in the philistine's values and assumptions, but go on the attack and question his values and assumptions. Put him on the spot. Play the Socratic gadfly. If a philistine wants to know how much you got paid for writing an article for a professional journal, say, "Do you really think that only what one is paid to do is worth doing?"
I wouldn't say that the not-by-bread-alone retort is standard among philosophers, especially not now when Christianity is on the wane and one cannot assume that philosophers have read the New Testament. Professor Rescher, of course, knows the verse at Matthew 4:4.
I didn't get the retort from Rescher: Philosophical Standardism is not a book of his that I have read. The retort occurred to me independently as I am sure it has occurred independently to many of a certain age and upbringing.
And of course Rescher did not get the line from me since his book was published in 1994 long before the blogosphere.
And it is not a case of great minds thinking alike since neither of our minds are great. It is more like above-average minds thinking alike, though I concede his to be more above-average than mine.
Is there anyone in philosophy more prolific than Rescher? Here is a list of just his books. Forty years ago I heard the joke about the Nicholas Rescher Book-of-the-Month Club. And he is still happily scribbling away. Here is another Rescher joke:
A student goes to visit Professor Rescher. Secretary informs her that the good doctor is not available because he is writing a book. Student replies, "I'll wait."
I Ain't Superstitious, leastways no more than Howlin' Wolf, but two twin black tuxedo cats just crossed my path. All dressed up with nowhere to go. Nine lives and dressed to the nines. Stevie Ray Vaughan, Superstition. Guitar solo starts at 3:03. And of course you've heard the story about Niels Bohr and the horseshoe over the door:
A friend was visiting in the home of Nobel Prize winner Niels Bohr, the famous atom scientist.
As they were talking, the friend kept glancing at a horseshoe hanging over the door. Finally, unable to contain his curiosity any longer, he demanded:
“Niels, it can’t possibly be that you, a brilliant scientist, believe that foolish horseshoe superstition! ? !”
“Of course not,” replied the scientist. “But I understand it’s lucky whether you believe in it or not.”
Robert Paul Wollf here replies with wit and lefty snark to a charming request by one Pamela N., a personal assistant, who wants to know who Immanuel Kant is referring to when he writes, "Caius is a man; man is mortal; therefore, Caius is mortal." Pamela confesses,
I will admit, I have not read Kant's works. I have, however, spent the last couple of hours combing through post after post after post about this particular quote from the book and cannot find a single soul who would say who they think Caius is.
In reading these many posts, I have come to the conclusion that Kant is probably referring to Pope Caius as he has been venerated by the Catholic Church as a Saint. Given that title, and the fact that Saint's [sic] are given to [sic] a quasi-immortal status [sic], I have ascertained that this is who Kant is most likely referring to. My question for you is, do you think that my assumption is correct? or do you have a deeper insight into who he is referring to?
Last night on The O'Reilly Factor, the sharpest comedian out there uncorked the following:
He makes Narcissus look like he invented self-effacement.
In battling the Left, it is not enough to have facts, logic, and moral decency on one's side; one must turn their own Alinsky tactics against them by the use of mockery, derision, contumely, and all the weapons of invective to make them look stupid, contemptible, and uncool. For the young especially, the cool counts for far more than the cogent. This is why the quintessentially cool Miller is so effective. People of sense could see from the outset that the adjunct law professor and community organizer, associate of former terrorist Bill Ayers and the 'reverend' Jeremiah Wright, raised on leftist claptrap and bereft of experience and knowledge of the world, would prove to be a disaster as president -- as he has so proven, and as even Leon Panetta the other night all but admitted. But Obama came across as a cool dude and that endeared him to foolish voters.
Civility is a prized conservative virtue, and one wishes that such tactics would not be necessary. But for leftists politics is war, and it is the foolish conservative who fails to see this and persists in imagining it to be a gentlemanly debate on common ground over shared interests. Civility is for the civil, not for its enemies.
Some time ago I heard Miller quip, in reference to Melissa Harris-Perry, that
She is a waste of a good hyphen.
A nasty thing to say, no doubt, but not as nasty as the slanderous and delusional things she had to say about the supposedly racist overtones of the word 'Obamacare.'
Conservatives should not allow themselves to be hobbled by their own civility and high standards. As one of my aphorisms has it:
I was one of those who saw "Last Tango in Paris" when it was first released, in 1972. I haven't seen it since and I don't remember anything specific about it except one scene, the scene you remember too, the 'butter scene,' in which the Marlon Brando character sodomizes the Maria Schneider character. In a post from February, 2011 written on the occasion of her death, I had this to say:
Islamic culture is in many ways benighted and backward, fanatical and anti-Enlightenment, but our trash culture is not much better. Suppose you are a Muslim and you look to the West. What do you see? Decadence. And an opportunity to bury the West.
If Muslims think that our decadent culture is what Western values are all about, and something we are trying to impose on them, then we are in trouble. They do and we are.
This brings me to the Jewish comedienne Joan Rivers who died recently at the the age of 81. No conservative can celebrate her life and influence without qualification. For she played a role in making our culture cruder and trashier. By how much? I'll leave that for you to ponder. And of course the comediennes among her admirers will take it, and have taken it, further still, and without the curbs on excess deriving from her education and upbringing.
That being said, conservatives of my stripe defend her right to free speech as against both the Islamists and their leftist enablers who have shown time and again that they have no interest in free speech except insofar as it politically correct free speech.
One of the ironies of the present day is that we conservatives are the 'new liberals,' 'liberal' being used in the good, old-fashioned sense to mean a person who champions toleration.
But of course you must never forget that toleration has limits. Ought one tolerate those who do not respect the principle of toleration? Of course not. If toleration is truly a value, then one ought to demand it not only of oneself but of others. My toleration meets its limit in your intolerance. I cannot tolerate your intolerance, for if I do, I jeopardize the very principle of toleration, and with it the search for truth.
Radical Islam, in its fanaticism and murderous intolerance, has no claim on the West's tolerance. It is no breach of tolerance on our part to demand that they behave themselves. We must also demand of them that if they want to be tolerated, they must tolerate others, Jews for example. They must not be allowed to benefit from the West's tolerance in order to preach intolerance and hate. Just as they have a right to their beliefs, we have a right to ours, and a right to enforce our beliefs about toleration on them if they would live in our midst.
Toleration is a value because truth is a value. A toleration worth wanting and having is therefore not to be confused with indifference towards truth, or relativism about truth. The great Leszek Kolakowski makes this point very well:
It is important to notice, however, that when tolerance is enjoined upon us nowadays, it is often in the sense of indifference: we are asked, in effect, to refrain from expressing -- or indeed holding -- any opinion, and sometimes even to condone every conceivable type of behaviour or opinion in others. This kind of tolerance is something entirely different, and demanding it is part of our hedonistic culture, in which nothing really matters to us; it is a philosophy of life without responsibility and without beliefs. It is encouraged by a variety of philosophies in fashion today, which teach us there is no such thing as truth in the traditional sense, and therefore that when we persist in our beliefs, even if we do so without aggression, we are ipso facto sinning against tolerance.
This is nonsense, and harmful nonsense. Contempt for truth harms our civilization no less than fanatical insistence on [what one takes to be] the truth. In addition, an indifferent majority clears the way for fanatics, of whom there will always be plenty around. Our civilization encourages the belief that everything should be just fun and games -- as indeed it is in the infantile philosophies of the so-called 'New Age.' Their content is impossible to describe, for they mean anything one wants them to; that is what they are for. ("On Toleration" in Freedom, Fame, Lying, and Betrayal, Penguin 1999, pp. 36-37.)
Lincoln and Obama share the Illinois connection. There the similiarity ends. And the Maureen Dowd parody begins:
FORE! Score? And seven trillion rounds ago, our forecaddies brought forth on this continent a new playground, conceived by Robert Trent Jones, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal when it comes to spending as much time on the links as possible — even when it seems totally inappropriate, like moments after making a solemn statement condemning the grisly murder of a 40-year-old American journalist beheaded by ISIL.
I am critical of giving feminism and race the extra attention and insulation from criticism that comes from designating these topics as “entire sub-disciplines of philosophy.” Given that it’s considered impolitic to criticize “entire sub-disciplines of philosophy,” we should vigorously debate what deserves to be considered as such. Knowledge, ethics, and being-qua-being deserve that distinction. It’s not obvious that feminism and race do.
As many suspected, I am an expert in neither philosophy of race nor feminist philosophy. I need not be. One could have principled reservations about a discipline called “conservative studies” without being an Edmund Burke scholar. If you know that conservatism is a position in political philosophy, you might reasonably think it shouldn’t also be a discipline unto itself.
That is essentially the point I’m pressing against feminism as a sub-discipline of philosophy. Let feminism be discussed alongside conservatism, libertarianism, liberalism, fascism, and socialism in political-philosophy classes. Why must feminism, alone among these “isms,” also have its own brand of epistemology, ethics, literary theory, and biology? I doubt feminists would tolerate libertarian counterparts to any of these.
I think Case is making two logically distinct points here, points that ought to be explicitly distinguished.
The first is that, just as conservatism is not a philosophical subdiscipline unto itself, neither should feminism be. The second is that, whether or not feminism is its own subdiscipline, it is dubious to suppose that it entails its own epistemology, ethics, and ontology.
The second point invites parody. If Jewish philosophy implied its own epistemology, etc., what would that look like?
Jewish epistemology: Your mother has privileged access. Jewish ethics: ‘can’ implies ‘don't.' Jewish logic: if not p, what? q maybe? Jewish decision theory: maximize regret.
What principles would a feminist ontology include? That male entities are entia non grata? That they are unnecessary posits? I am tempted to make further jokes about razors and nomological danglers, but I'll leave that to the reader.
Surprisingly, Brian Leiter adopts a civil tone in his discussion of Case. Perhaps the taste of his own medicine administered by me and others has had a salutary effect on him.
Philosophers should be sure to avail themselves of the Transcendental Deduction this year as it has been substantially increased, the truculent opposition of the NRA (National Realist Association) notwithstanding. But to take the deduction philosophers will need the Platonic Form. Be advised that attempts to copy the Platonic Form have been known to cause the dreaded glitch commonly referred to as the Third (Tax) Man.
George Bush, Queen Elizabeth, and Putin all die and go to hell.
While there, they spy a red phone and ask what the phone is for. The devil tells them it is for calling back to Earth. Putin asks to call Russia and talks for 5 minutes. When he is finished the devil informs him that the cost is a million dollars, so Putin writes him a check.
Next Queen Elizabeth calls England and talks for 30 minutes. When she is finished the devil informs her that the cost is 6 million dollars, so she writes him a check.
Finally George Bush gets his turn and talks for 4 hours. When he is finished the devil informs him that the cost is $5.00. When Putin hears this he goes ballistic and asks the devil why Bush got to call the USA so cheaply. The devil smiles and replies, "Since Obama took over, the country has gone to hell, so it's a local call."