Friday, August 12, 2005

Welcome to "Because That's the Way God Decided to Do It!" The new book by Doug Powers


Here are some samples from my new book, now available for purchase by clicking here, or on the above photo. It's also at Barnes & Noble and Amazon:

"Because That's the Way God Decided to Do It!"

A Conservative Father Fields Confusing Questions from His Confused Kids About a Confusing World

Inadequate explanations of politics, parenting, economics, war, technology, and the future of the human race

Samples from each of the 12 chapters:

From Chapter One, "Why does mom get so stressed out?"

It isn't difficult for me to empathize with your mom's level of stress...

I’ve spent many days in a row alone with you kids. I can attest to the fact that full-time parenting is a job that puts you under incredible pressure. The only other things that can possibly relate to being under that amount of constant stress are air traffic controllers and the waistband on John Goodman’s skivvies.

There was time for nothing else. Outside contact with other humans was out of the question. I became the D.B. Cooper of our town. I felt as though the warden had placed me in “the box” with four tiny Type-A’s and I wouldn’t be let out until I’d answered every question ever posed by humankind, which is part of the reason I wrote this book—to give you comfort in the fact that, though I stumbled through the answers back then, you can rest easy in the knowledge that I’m still terribly confused.

You have a way of making me feel horribly uneducated. For example, when I took over the duties, which are normally admirably performed by your mother, for a week, you forced me to admit an embarrassing fact several times over—I do not know why the sky is blue. What’s more disturbing is that you seemed to find humor in my lack of scientific knowledge.

With that admission out of the way, get this: Not only do I not know why the sky is blue, but I also don’t know where God lives or exactly what causes thunder. I don’t know how to start a fire with two sticks. I don’t know why we hiccup, if there’s life on other planets, or why dogs can’t talk. I also don’t know how to do long division. No kidding. And while we’re at it, I may as well tell you, I don’t know what keeps the sun burning, why, if the theory of evolution is true, there are still monkeys, and how come electricity can’t travel through rubber.

Oh, remember when I told you that I didn’t know where babies come from? I was lying.

From Chapter Two: "What's 'technology'?"

Technology has now led us into cloning, and human clones are definately on the way.

Something people often assume is that their clone would be exactly like them. This wouldn’t necessarily be the case. Genetic predisposition is no match for environment. If you cloned, say, Ted Kennedy, chances are he would have the same features, but despite all the genetic similarities, life doesn’t live in a vacuum. Environment can trump genetic pre-programming. Just because Ted’s clone would be genetically a perfect match, that still doesn’t mean that the clone couldn’t turn out to be thin, Republican, and be able to drive safely across a bridge.

The next time somebody says, “Imagine how far we could advance the world if we could clone Einstein or Copernicus,” remember that cloned copies of these geniuses, due to upbringing and environment, could turn out vastly different. Don’t be shocked if Einstein’s clone is intellectually and physically lazy, getting up off the couch only for “gettink zee beer and zee Prinkles”, and Copernicus’ clone only uses his mathematical ability to figure out how many Nextel Cup Series points have been accumulated by Sterling Marlin.

From Chapter Three: "Will we ever live in outer space, and if so, will we still be able to watch 'Sponge Bob'?"

Someday, we could find ourselves moving to outer space, or another planet, simply because we’re trying to avoid falling objects.

Remember when we read “Chicken Little”, and how he kept yelling, “The sky is falling”? Well, the little feathered annoyance may not have been far from the truth. Scientists are continually monitoring asteroids that pose a potential threat of colliding with the Earth. This, however, is no reason to panic, kids. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go downstairs and start digging a subterranean bunker.

Astronomers are always scanning outer space, peering into the heavens to spot rogue asteroids that could end up being the celestial equivalents of Billy Joel’s car.

Recently, they spotted a potential ozone hazard that could cross our path in the year 2019 (yes, you still have to finish high school. Sorry).

These astronomers, effectively keeping with their tradition of not overly personalizing things, are calling this asteroid “NT7”. Scientists tell us that NT7 is the first object to ever record a positive rating on the Palermo Technical Impact Hazard Scale. If I knew what that meant, I’d probably be scared right now. On the Palermo scale, this particular 1 ¼ mile-wide asteroid has a threat level of 0.06. Ratings that measure between -2 and 0 warrant some level of concern. 0 through +2 is a very high risk, and a rating above +2 means that an earth-destroying event, such as a strike by an asteroid over two miles wide or Michael Moore falling down in the shower, is imminent.

From Chapter Four: "Why do we need money?"

...we also need money so we can give half of it away in the form of taxes.

Paying taxes wasn’t always such a treacherous undertaking. For a long time, this country was run on very limited funds. Up until the early 1800’s, the government was run purely on internal sales taxes and revenue from a gigantic powdered wig closeout sale. Then, in 1817, the government got rid of internal taxes and functioned completely on tariffs on imported goods.

Can you imagine running the bloated monster of a Federal Government we have today solely on the 4% we’d get from taxes imposed on imports of running shoes and plastic novelty poop?

We were created with the ability to create. All this is evidenced in the brilliance of many of our finest moments, from medicine to art to science—but that all came to an end with the adoption of the 16th amendment in 1913. The amendment gave Congress legal authority to tax income and resulted in a revenue law that taxed incomes of both individuals and corporations. All the creative energy that would have gone into curing disease, designing grand buildings, music, and exploring the farthest reaches of the universe, now goes into trying to figure out a way to write off our lawnmower as a dependent.

From Chapter Five: "Why do you watch sports so much?"

The Super Bowl halftime show made me wonder why...

Final determinations on who’s responsible for the “Janet-gate” break-in have never really been settled, but CBS has already decided that MTV won’t be involved in any more Super Bowl doings. After all, it would have been tragic if Adam Vinatieri had blown the last second field goal because he slipped on spilled silicone.

Some people certainly were offended by the Janet Jackson incident at halftime of the Super Bowl. I was. I don’t like it when my old-fashioned sense of decency is compromised while I’m trying to watch one of the world’s most violent sports.

From Chapter Six: "Why do we need a president?

So we can be exposed to good campaign slogans is one reason...

What's a campaign slogan? This is a saying or phrase that is used to make a candidate memorable, often used in an attempt to take your mind off their illegal fundraising and/or newly discovered mistresses.

Any political candidate can use a good campaign slogan, but in the increasingly politically correct world you inhabit, will a candidate be able to have a slogan that doesn’t offend anyone? Let’s take a look at some of the more notable slogans in American history, and then I’ll describe for you why they wouldn’t work in this day and age, then suggest a current slogan.

Abraham Lincoln: “Vote yourself a farm.”

PC criticism: Farms have cows, and cow flatulence contributes to ozone depletion. Cows are also responsible for a high number of fraternity initiation blazes, where often all that is found behind the gassy bovine is a charred frat pledge with a look of surprise on his face, still clutching a Zippo lighter.

Modified slogan: “Vote for me and, should you already have a farm, we’ll pay you to not have animals or grow anything.”

Theodore Roosevelt: “A square deal for every man.”

PC criticism: Oh sure, for every man. Also, squares have sharp corners, and somebody could get hurt!

Modified slogan: “A soft, padded, circular deal for every person, including gay and transgender, and also animals, especially ones that live in the rain forest.

Herbert Hoover: "A chicken in every pot and a car in every garage."

PC criticism: Offensive to vegetarians, bulimics, those with poultry allergies, and people who get the nervous trots over auto emissions.

Modified slogan: "Your favorite food in moderation, and a usable mode of public transportation on any non Ozone Action Day."

Dwight D. Eisenhower: "I like Ike."

PC criticism: This sexually suggestive saying may have been allowed back in a more innocent era, when June and Ward could call their kid "Beaver" without snickering, but in this day and age, this sort of aggressive advance is unwarranted and unnecessary. It will also cost you Tina Turner’s vote.

Modified slogan: Nowadays, permission is a must. The proper slogan should be "May I like Ike?"

Ronald Reagan: "It’s morning in America."

PC criticism: Implies that those who sleep past, say, 10 or 11 a.m. or work second or third shift at a factory, will miss out on any of the goings on in this country.

Modified slogan: "The time of day you usually get out of bed, that’s what time it is right now in America, and elsewhere for that matter."

Bill Clinton: "Building a bridge to the 21st century."

PC criticism: The bridge doesn’t get built when you’re in the Oval Office preoccupied with producing what ended up being the most panned release up until "Gigli" came out.

Modified slogan: Buy time so your critics can’t complain that the bridge didn’t get completed. Something like "Building a bridge to the 23rd century" should do just that.

From Chapter Seven: "What does God look like?"

The Bible says that God made man in his own image, so I suppose what God looks like is relative to what each individual sees in his or her bathroom mirror. For some, frankly, I think this is one of the chief causes of atheism.

For you kids, God is probably an almost four foot tall student with a cute face that is occasionally covered in ice cream who wants an XBox for Christmas. To, say, Carrot-Top, God is a somewhat annoying redhead who carries a prop bag and does long distance commercials. God is in the eye of the beholder, and that’s the beauty of God... unless the beholder happens to be Andy Rooney.

From Chapter Eight: "Why are there wars?"

With war comes the inevitable war protester... Now in her 70’s, Ono, wife of late Beatle John Lennon, and “singer” whose shriek also happens to be the mating call of the “Tinnitus Warbler”, performs from time to time what she calls a “Cut Piece”, in which audience members come onstage and clip off pieces of her clothing until she’s nearly naked... Supposedly, it somehow promotes world peace.

Ono took other steps to help save us from ourselves. She once rented a billboard in London, which read, “Imagine all people living life in peace.” Now that cashiers at Piccadilly Square gift shops and bellboys at The Conrad have read the message on a daily basis, is the world really much closer to eliminating the threat of nuclear holocaust?

In the years since Yoko’s husband, John, released the pacifist anthems, “Imagine” and “Give Peace A Chance”, the couples’ “bed in”, and Ono’s first “Cut Piece”, we had a continuation of hostilities in Vietnam, the tragedy at the Olympic games in Munich, the hostage crisis in Iran, embassy bombings, hijackings, continuous violence in the Middle East, and constant terrorist attacks around the world. Why isn’t symbolic protest working? Because terrorists, criminals, war mongers, and despots clearly don’t listen to FM radio, read back issues of “Rolling Stone”, and attend Paris theater nearly enough.

From Chapter Nine: "Why do we need an education?"

While you're in school, try to learn to appreciate the lessons you're being taught...I wish I would have, but only now am I beginning to recognize the lessons I learned, and from whom.

For example, I remember my Sex Education teacher, Mrs. Redker. From her, I learned all about abstinence. Given the failed nature of my relationship with girls at the time, this was like teaching an Okie about dust bunnies.

For some reason, the school had the audacity to get just about the least attractive woman in the tri-county area to teach the class. I suppose the thinking there is that when you’re teaching kids to drive, you don’t start ‘em out in a sports car. When I walked into that class for the first time, it was the sexual equivalent of discovering that your basketball coach is Mickey Rooney.

From Chapter 10: "Who wrote these instructions?"

One big factor that tests our measure of the intelligence of others is the way instruction manuals are written, and the frustration we feel while trying to interpret them and apply whatever it is said instructions are telling us to do.

Instructions are guidelines that are intended to make something easier, but all too often they end up compounding the confusion.

At some point in the future, when another civilization digs up the big box encrusted with Britney Spears stickers that is our time capsule, the most telling of all items about who we were and what we did will be our instruction manuals. The word “instruction” comes from the Latin “instructus”, meaning, “teach”. We later added the “tion”, which is Anglo-Saxon for “morons.”

Instructions are, by definition, a teaching tool. But we humans have taken the original intent and stretched it to absurd lengths. We’re giving common sense a wedgie, and yanking the waistband all the way up to the Oort cloud.

From Chapter Eleven: "Why did our school decide to do that?"

I learned of the PC at your school just before Halloween a couple of years ago, when one of you wanted to go to the school party dressed as Darth Vader. Your school, however, informed everyone that, though they are free to wear their costumes to school on Halloween, they could have “no weapons.”

Part of your outfit was the “light saber”, the weapon of choice for any Jedi Knight or evil Lord of the Empire, and a weapon which, when used properly, strikes fear into the hearts and minds of galactic enemies everywhere, along with school administrators.

I’m sure the school’s extensive research shows that most people end up getting hurt with their own light saber. They’re right. I mean, if you swung that thing really hard at somebody they might get a tiny red mark on their skin. Tragedies like that can only be avoided, thanks to these attentive school administrators.

As far as I know, most of the major school tragedies that have happened over the years didn’t happen during the Halloween party. Like I said earlier, when I was in elementary school in the early 70’s, it was a costume free-for-all. You could wear anything you wanted, and perhaps even get criticized by your teacher if your costume or weapon wasn’t realistic enough.

If you dressed up as a plastic explosive, you’d get marked down a grade if you forgot the blasting cap. “Billy, that stuff won’t explode without a blasting cap. Think, Billy, think! You slack off like that in the real world and you’re just not going to make it, mister.”

This all took place during some hard emotional times. There was Vietnam, Watergate, the nuclear threat, The Manson Family, and Bachman Turner Overdrive. It was a time of horrors. And in spite of all that they still let us take fake weapons to school. Not anymore.

From Chapter Twelve: "Why are you so stressed out, dad?"

There are plenty of reasons for us to lock the doors and never come out. Constant terror threats have some of us knocking back enough Kaopectate to stop up Old Faithful.

There are missiles pointed at us from all manner of psychopaths, with plenty of lunatics warming up in the nuclear bullpen. That sound you kids hear is Enrico Fermi knocking his knees together. In the past few years, we’ve been told to stock up on bottled water, generators, duct tape, potassium iodide tablets, canned foods, and batteries. To top it off, people hunkered down in concrete bunkers 500 feet below the surface of the earth and wearing lead-lined underpants have told us there is no reason to alter our daily routines.

When we fly, we’re subjected to electronic, and sometimes actual, strip searches. While on the plane, we’re constantly looking at shoes trying to spot a heel with a fuse hanging out of it, and hoping that the guy snoring in a deep slumber in the seat next to us isn’t the Air Marshal. After the flight, we rent a car and impulsively check the trunk for things left by the previous driver, such as a jacket or suitcase nuke.

Click here to order from Booklocker (probably the quickest way to get it -- takes just a few days).

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