Saturday, January 09, 2010


Mea Culpa

The following article appeared originally in The Onion, June 24, 1998 | Issue 33•24.

I received it without attribution in a many-times forwarded email and committed the error of posting it here without checking on its history. I apologize to The Onion for inadvertently ripping off their rich satire. To any of you to whom it may have resonated as reality, I commiserate. "I feel your pain.*"

linearthinker, January 12, 2010

*William Jefferson Clinton (See, nik? I've learned my lesson well.)


WASHINGTON , DC - Congress is considering sweeping legislation which will provide new benefits for many Americans. The Americans With No Abilities Act (AWNAA) is being hailed as a major legislative goal by advocates of the millions of Americans who lack any real skills or ambition.

"Roughly 50 percent of Americans do not possess the competence and drive necessary to carve out a meaningful role for themselves in society," said California Senator Barbara Boxer. "We can no longer stand by and allow People of Inability to be ridiculed and passed over. With this legislation, employers will no longer be able to grant special favors to a small group of workers, simply because they have some idea of what they are doing."

California Senator Barbara Boxer
[Photo via Gerard Vanderleun's American Digest]

In a Capitol Hill press conference, House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid pointed to the success of the U.S. Postal Service, which has a long-standing policy of providing opportunity without regard to performance. Approximately 74 percent of postal employees lack any job skills, making this agency the single largest U.S. employer of Persons of Inability.

Private-sector industries with good records of nondiscrimination against the Inept include retail sales (72%), the airline industry (68%), and home improvement "warehouse" stores (65%). At the state government level, the Department of Motor Vehicles also has a great record of hiring Persons of Inability (63%).

Under the Americans With No Abilities Act, more than 25 million "middle man" positions will be created, with important- sounding titles but little real responsibility, thus providing an illusory sense of purpose and performance.

Mandatory non-performance-based raises and promotions will be given, to guarantee upward mobility for even the most unremarkable employees. The legislation provides substantial tax breaks to corporations that promote a significant number of Persons of Inability into middle-management positions,and gives a tax credit to small and medium-sized businesses that agree to hire one clueless worker for every two talented hires.

Finally, the AWNA Act contains tough new measures to make it more difficult to discriminate against the Non-abled. For example, it bans discriminatory interview questions such as "Do you have any skills or experience which relate to this job?"

"As a Non-abled person, I can't be expected to keep up with people who have something going for them," said Mary Lou Gertz, who lost her position as a lug-nut twister at the GM plant in Flint, Michigan, due to her lack of any discernible job skills. "This new law should really help people like me."

With the passage of this bill, Gertz and millions of other untalented citizens will finally see a light at the end of the tunnel.

Said President Obama: "As the President With No Abilities, I believe the same privileges that elected officials enjoy ought to be extended to every American with no abilities. It is our duty as members of the government to provide each and every American citizen, regardless of his or her inadequacy, with some sort of space to take up in this great nation."


Art imitates life...


Anonymous said...


M. Simon said...

Hope this drives some traffic to you:

nik said...

This is verbatim plagiarism from The Onion, which published it in 1998. The only change you've made is quoting Boxer where Onion quoted Clinton. The Onion piece has been widely cited/quoted since-but always (until you) with credit given to them...

linearthinker said...

Thanks, nik. Credit has been given to The Onion. I goofed.

OregonGuy said...


I've had moments, too. It is especially hard to give attribution for an image that has been sitting on my machine for ages, and has just become trenchant.

So, I know what you're feeling. This too will pass. (And, besides, the update was much needed.)

linearthinker said...

Hi, OG.

Good to hear from you.

I always enjoyed your images. It's so easy to just store to disk without capturing the source.

Best wishes for 2010.

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