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10:20 AM Sun, Dec. 16th

Column: C&P to a longer life

Today we offer a column that could almost be called Internet Cut and Paste screed. If you subscribe to the theory that there is a finite amount of keystrokes a human being can perform in a lifetime, and I do, using the cut and paste column-writing method figures to increase my life expectancy by at least a few minutes.

No one can predict the when of it all regarding the year, month and day I'll actually kick the bucket, but I'm hoping the time I'm buying with the C&P method of column-writing extends me past the last commercial break of "CSI: Seligman" to the point where I know whodunit.

C&P column, Part 1: The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that just 6 percent of likely U.S. voters share a favorable opinion of Venezuela President Hugo Chavez. Sixty-seven percent (67%) view the late Venezuelan leader unfavorably, while 27% are not sure.

One idio ... oops, admirer, Sean Penn, said that "poor people around the world lost a champion" when Chavez died last week. I'd say Chavez's fondness for poor people is due more to the fact that his net worth when he died was in the vicinity of $2 billion. Unlike Bill Gates, who amassed his fortune by making stuff people wanted to buy and use so they could make money, too, Chavez made his money by taking much of Venezuela's wealth for himself.

My favorite Penn video, meanwhile, is of him with his posse out to save those stranded by Katrina - in a leaky rowboat. Sean, if the acting thing gets stale, I sense a future for you in FEMA.

C&P column, Part 2:

I'll call Bob a friend of mine. I'm pretty sure we've met before, and twice he's dropped off an item titled "More modern way of living" that apparently ran as an unsigned letter to the editor in Beaufort, N.C.

I never got around to calling Bob back to tell him we couldn't run it because it was likely copyrighted, but then I did a search and found out this "letter" has appeared in a number of publications without anyone seeming to care about a copyright.

So I figure this C&P has gotta be worth seven minutes:

Republicans and "so-called" conservatives are at it again. They are claiming that the Constitution gives people the right to have guns without the permission of the government. If that were true, then how could New York and Chicago have laws against it?

We Democrats are sick and tired of Republicans constantly using the Constitution to cover up their true plans, which are to make us all afraid of everyone else. Our great president came from a civilized part of the country where there is strict gun control, and he is only trying to bring the benefits of that more modern way of living to the rest of us. I don't know the exact statistics, but I'm quite certain that Chicago is a lot safer than Jonesboro, when it comes to gun violence.

But do Republicans and conservatives listen to the voice of reason? No, of course not. All they want to do is whine and complain about how gun control and wealth redistribution violate the Constitution, as if the Constitution were all that great, anyway. There are a lot of things that need to be changed about the Constitution, I'd say, and President Obama needs to change it.

The Republicans are just trying to stand in the way, because the president is black. They even dared to question whether he was born in this country. I think all this demonstrates that the Constitution needs to be amended when it comes to the qualifications for being president. Right now, it says that a person has to be 35 years old and be a natural born citizen. Well, that is obviously unfair because there are a great many otherwise qualified people who cannot run for president because their mothers had to have a C-section. But because the Constitution was written a hundred years ago, nobody even thought of the discrimination that would result from a doctor having to deliver a baby in this unnatural way. Now that we Democrats are in control of the government, that's just one more thing we should change in our drive to make life fair.

OK, it was funnier the first time I read it.

C&P column, Part 3: Uh-oh, running out of room. We'll skip the C&P and come out and say that the Department of Homeland Security probably did NOT purchase 2,700 light-armored tanks or mine-resistant armor-protected vehicles (MRAPs). But thanks anyway for dropping the stuff off for me to look at.

Yes, there are all kinds of Internet stories about the purchase, even a mention on the Drudge Report about it. But I Googled "obama dhs purchases 2,700 light-armored tanks little green footballs" and found out the 2,700-plus vehicles are for the Marines. And that information from Little Green Footballs seems to be well documented, while all the other stories about the DHS and the vehicles didn't provide any information to back up what they were saying, at least on the stories I clicked on.