Monday, January 31, 2022

Sunblocks Ranked

         From the Annals of “The National Liar”:

       Sunblocks Ranked



          Ranking types of sunblock, in increasing order of effectiveness:


          rating 0:  A bottle full of chemical goop.

          rating 1:  loose-fitting, cool, all-covering clothes

          rating 2:  shade tree or shade forest

          rating 3:  overcast weather

          rating 4:  a floor, 4 walls, and a ceiling

          rating 5:  winter

          rating 6:  night


Friday, January 28, 2022

Solar Nova – World Destroyed

From the annals of the National Liar

Volume 0, #0, April 1, 1993

Solar Nova – World Destroyed


          At precisely, 12:57 A.M. Greenwich Mean Time, on May 1, 1984, the core of the Sun collapsed. In the resulting fiery rebound, the Sun went super-nova. It consumed its entire supply of fusile matter in a stupendous thermonuclear explosion.

          Eight minutes later, the light, heat and radiatin of the solar nova impacted the planet Earth. The blast hit so hard that every living creature on the day side perished instantly; all life on the night side died minutes later; and within hours the globe itself was vaporized.

          Earth does not exist. You do not exist. This paper does not exist. You are not reading this paper. You only think you are.

          Reaction to the solar nova was mixed. The Dow-Jones Index fell three points, but trading was active in the money markets. Congress passed a bill forbidding future solar novas; this was challenged, and is now awaiting review by the Supreme Court. A movie about the solar nova is now available on video cassette.

          Polls show that 93% of the American people agree that the end of the world had no effect on their daily lives.

          For further details, see p. 493.




Thursday, January 27, 2022


 From the annals of the National Liar

Volume 0, #0, April 1, 1993


The National Liar hereby retracts the article titled “Europe to Balkans – Drop Dead”, which appeared in last month’s issue of the Liar. The story claimed that NATO’s political leaders, in cooperation with the UN and other international agencies, have chosen a policy of “malign neglect” towards the former Yugoslavian republics. The Liar alleged that this decision was based on feelings of disgust, apathy and contempt held by the average European towards the Balkans’ ancient feuds. We reported Margaret Thatcher as saying, “If they want to kill each other off, let them.”

Since then it has come to our attention that the story was, in fact, accurate in every detail;  and as such inappropriate for publication in this newspaper.

The National Liar deeply regrets the error.




Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Ask Dr. Psience

 From the annals of the National Liar

Volume 0, #0, April 1, 1993


Ask Dr. Psience


          Dear Dr. Psience:

          How do airplane fly?

                   Signed, Light-Headed

          Dear Light-Headed:

          There exist aerodynamic equations and wind-tunnel models; but those are all rationalizations. The real reason why airplanes fly is because people believe in them. Emboldened by faith, people pay their tickets, file into the airplane, and strap on their seat belts; lo and behold, the airplane flies. It is an instance of mind over matter; the law of levity. The aerodynamic equations are for the benefit of skeptics.

          Similarly, telephones are not really explained by electric currents and long-distance microwave relays. These too are rationalizations. In fact, telephones are ritualized telepathy.



          Dear Dr. Psience:

          Where are all the extraterrestrials?  You’d think some of them would have visited us by now.

                   Signed, Lonely

          Dear Lonely:

          The extraterrestrials are already here. They are all around us; we merely cannot see them as yet.

          Researchers at the Stanislaw Lem Institute have proven that the physical processes that we regard as natural are, from the extraterrestrial point of view, artificial. Whether the cosmos is our invention or theirs remains to be determined.



          Dear Dr. Psience:

          All of my atoms are 99.999999999999% empty space! How come I don’t fall through the floor?

                   Signed, Dizzy

          Dear Dizzy:

          Because electrons have spin ½. Such particles are called “fermions”; no two of them can be in the same place at the same time. If not, then you would fall through the floor; and what’s more, there would be no chemical bonds. Matter as we know it would not exist.

          Quarks are also fermions, and yet you can find a triple of them inside every nucleon! Why? Because they differ in their “color”; an unobservable quantum number. This saves the theory; but it leaves open the possibility that electrons might also acquire unobservable quantum numbers, allowing them to overlap.

          So who knows, dear Dizzy? You might fall through the floor after all!



          Dear Dr. Psience:

          Why is the night sky dark? If the universe is infinite and full of stars, then the night sky should be one solid blaze of starlight. Why isn’t it?    

                   Signed, Benighted

          Dear Benighted:

          The usual theories include: the “tired light” theory, which says that light loses energy on its way here; the “fractal universe” theory, which says that the cosmos is made of clumps of clumps, so that most of it is empty space; the “Steady State” theory, which says that the universe is full of receding stars that appear out of nowhere; and the infamous “Big Bang” theory, now discredited. (See the article “Big Bang Theory Explodes” elsewhere in this issue.)

          The real explanation is simple. If the night sky were one solid blaze of starlight, then there would be no mystery to the universe, and life would be impossible.  Since life is, in fact, possible, it follows that mystery does exist; therefore the night sky is dark. And so it is!



          In last issue’s schematic diagram of a thermonuclear fusion reactor, the leads to the magnetic field stabilization grid were accidentally reversed. The National Liar apologizes for any industrial mishaps that may have resulted from this error.



          The Missing Mass, the Law of Levity, Medical Uses for Plutonium, the Population of  the Universe

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Three Pillars of Pseudocracy

           From the annals of the National Liar

          V2#2, October 31, 1995

          Three Pillars of Pseudocracy


          Pseudocracy is government of the lies, by the lies, and for the lies; it is where yes becomes no, up becomes down, bad becomes good, and true becomes false. Naturally pseudocracy is paradoxical; double-think is how it (un) works.

          Pseudocracy, being a form of government (albeit the worst one) has three manifestations; via the Sword, the Coin, or the Pen – that is, by force, by trade, or by dialog. Pseudocracy corrupts each of these, via:

          Negative Justice – corrupting the State;

          Counter-Efficiency – corrupting the Market;

          Reverse Rationality – corrupting the Language.

          These are the Unholy Trinity of Pseudocracy.

          Negative Justice is even less justice than injustice. Injustice commonly means a mere indifference to justice; as having other motives, such as power or money; whereas negative justice is very actively concerned about right and wrong; it just has the sides reversed. To beat a negative-justice rap, just blame the victim.

          Under justice, an accused defendant is released if found innocent. Under injustice, the accused is released if found rich. Under negative justice, the accused is released if found guilty.

          Case in point; the Menendez brothers.

          Counter-Efficiency is even less efficient than inefficiency. Counter-efficiency is efficient inefficiency; when the “shadow work” needed to stay in the system exceeds the work done by the system. Shadow work is counter-efficiency’s dark empire; it is waste motion; technological entropy; when luxuries become necessities.

          Case in point; Windows ‘95.

          Reverse Rationality is even less rational than irrationality. Reverse rationality is double-think;  when yes is no, up is down, bad is good, and true is false.

          Under reverse rationality, the “alternatives” are part of the status quo. Each option is carefully weighed, check, measured – and from this, precisely the wrong choice is made! (Not approximately, mind you; precisely!)

          Reverse rationality;s Latin motto is “Credo Quia Falsum Est”: I Believe It Because It Is False.

          Case in point: The Contract With America.

          Under pseudocracy, it is revolutionary to think clearly, act sensibly, and speak honestly. If reflection, prudence and honesty are natural (or at least habitual) to you then you will be a revolutionary.

          This requires faith, hope and courage; you will face pressure to conform to the party line. If you doubt, if conformity seems tempting, then remember; yes is not no, up is not down, bad is not good, and true is not false. Draw the line! It’s your mind!


          Postscript; Plato the Republican

          Plato’s Republic postulated a perfect aristocracy. It is divided into three castes; the commoners, the guardians, and the philosopher-kings. Their economics and ideologies fit their condition. The commoners compete in a Darwinian free-market environment, and thus produce the economic surplus needed to support the other two castes. The guardians are those who took, but did not pass, a ruling-class exam; they have police, army and executive duties. The philosopher-kings are the best and the brightest; they run the system, and profit from it.

          Thus we get a spectacle much like the “socialism for the rich, capitalism for the poor” which defines post-cold-war economics. The emerging socio-economic pattern seems new, but it was described by this Ancient Greek Republican. (A Grand Old Party indeed!) Its most starling feature; Plato’s frank admission that the ruling class must rig the system in its favor, and lie about that to retain power. Pseudocracy in action!

          But even crafty Plato had to admit that his Aristocracy is unstable; that the tides of history shall transform it, as it does all else. Aristocracy degenerates into timocracy, or what we call plutocracy; this degenerates into oligarchy; this in turn degenerates into monarchy; this in turn degenerates into anarchy; this in turn degenerates into democracy. Plato, the aristocrat, regarded democracy as the lowest form of government; but I disagree. Beneath democracy is pseudocracy; and beneath that is Plato’s Republic. Round and round it goes!





Monday, January 24, 2022

Nobel Peace Prize Abolished

 From the annals of the National Liar

          V1#1, October 31, 1994


      Nobel Peace Prize Abolished


          Stockholm, Sweden – The Nobel Peace Prize committee has unanimously agreed to award no more Peace Prizes, on the grounds that the Peace Prize is a threat to world peace.

          “It’s a consistent pattern,” said one prominent committee member. “Every time we award a Peace Prize, war breaks out. It seems that politicians stay on their best behavior until we, in effect, give them the go-ahead.”

          “It’s not too surprising, given the quality of the recipients. We’ve awarded many more Peace Prizes to terrorists than to saints. Consider for instance Arafat; or for that matter Kissinger. Three months after his Peace Prize, Nixon bombed Hanoi for Christmas.”

          “It’s true that Mother Teresa didn’t go on a killing spree after getting her Peace Prize, but then again she didn’t have a history of mass murder, unlike most of the other Peace Prize recipients. So it is possible to get a Peace Prize without getting corrupted, but only if you have the spiritual fortitude of a saint.”

          “Let’s face facts; Nobel founded the Peace Prize because he was guilt-stricken over inventing dynamite. He thought it would end war; then he thought his Peace Prize would end war. Poor fool! In effect, the Peace Prize was founded by a mad bomber; it has usually gone to mad bombers; and has been usually followed with mad bombing.

          “The road to Hell is paved with good intentions. So to Hell with the Peace Prize! Sheer double-think, that name; really it’s a War Prize.”


Friday, January 21, 2022

Nuclear War!

          From the Annals of the National Liar

V1#1, October 31, 1994


          Nuclear War! 

No Survivors


          Washington – Early this morning, nuclear war broke out between the United States and the Soviet Union. In a furious exchange of deadly thermonuclear explosives, the two superpower societies quickly destroyed each other, civilization, the human species, and life on Earth.

          “Finally, the other shoe dropped,” said Ronald Reagan, four times President of the United States and architect of its annihilation. “Well, it’s all over now.”

          “Life was good,” said Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachev. “For a moment there I thought we could make peace; but in the end it turned out that the people and their leaders preferred death. Too bad; the human race might have amounted to something.”

          The Soviet Premier was referring to the brief halt in the Cold War that occurred in the late ‘80’s. This respite, however, proved short-lived; it ended with Reagan’s second re-election in 1988, the reinforcement of the Berlin Wall in 1989, and the passage of the Star Wars Bill in 1990. This sparked the final, and fatal, round of the arms race, culminating in an ill-fated Soviet first-strike on America’s leaky missile shield.

          “The Star Wars missile shield was 99% effective,” said the director of NORAD. “However, the 1% left over was more than enough to wipe us all out. I’d say ‘back to the drawing board’, but there aren’t any drawing boards left.”

          “A magnificent technological achievement,” said Dr. Edward ‘Strangelove’ Teller. “Universal simultaneous bereavement! There will be no tears, not mourners; no-one will envy the dead, for now we are all dead. My congratulations to my colleagues in America and the Soviet Union.”

          The televangelist Jerry Falwell said, “It’s Armageddon. Hallelujah!” The Islamic Jihad issued a fatwa against both superpower leaders, then withdrew it when neutral observers pointed out its superfluity. Pope John Paul II said, “This is the afterlife. Make the most of it.” The Dalai Lama agreed, saying that this is our opportunity to escape the wheel of rebirth. “Or would you prefer your next billion incarnations as a cockroach?” he impishly inquired.

          On Wall Street, stocks rose as dramatically as the fireball that vaporized the Street. Congress adjourned indefinitely, as did the Supreme Court, as well as all executive branches except the ATF, the CIA, and the IRS.

          The Cable News Network has put together a video of World War Three, no available in selected supermarkets. MTV has announced its intention to compile a tape of Armageddon music, and will be holding a contest next week.

          Harris polls indicate that 99% of the American people disapprove of the end of the world; however, an equal percentage said that it made no difference in their daily lives.