Take it from Snee: Explaining U.S. branches of government to foreigners, children (Part 3)

Greetings, non-citizens and/or future voters! As you may recall, I recently explained to (at, whatever) foreigners and children how the United States’ political parties work. Since that was a rousing success – mostly because neither of you have command of my language to voice your objections – I’ve been tapped to now explain the three branches of our government.

The three branches are the executive, legislative and judicial branches. These were delineated all the way back in 1789, when a group of self-selected landowners (mostly lawyers) met to secretly and kind of/sort of illegally overhaul our existing government as outlined in the Articles of Confederation. This was the now legal framing of our famed Constitution. Maybe you’ve seen it in your tour through Ron Paul’s breast pocket?

To reflect this spirit of open contempt towards our law of the land, they intentionally set up a lawyer-driven three-way deathmatch between three equal branches. This cage fight is called “checks and balances,” which was based on the use of elbows and fleet footwork in Senate-floor cane brawls.

Because of the amount of information involved, and because every element of our government is ripe for jokes, I’ve divided this into a three part series. Previous installments covered the executive and legislative branches. This week, we wrap the whole shebang up with the judicial branch. Continue reading Take it from Snee: Explaining U.S. branches of government to foreigners, children (Part 3)

For some moms, nagging starts early

Today’s Headline of the Day is a dire warning: “Never wake a sleeping baby.”

We all know the hazards of infants. But, sleeping babies are like sleep walkers. Waking one up during their routine murder spree dreams could put you and your family at risk, especially once they reach they early moving-around stages.

But, depressed moms refuse to heed this warning, and science is trying to figure out why. Possible motives include worrying about the baby’s health or needing emotional reassurance from something you’ve made. (The Guys hug daily print-outs of our Web site every night.) They did not consider the theory that we submitted: revenge for midnight feedings.

Emo and myopic traditions return to Japan

In seems like in Japan arranged marriages, a tradition that has been gradually becoming extinct over the past couple of decades, might be making a comeback. Oddly enough last year’s Japanese earthquake might have something to do with it.

David Millward explains that following the natural disaster, many Japanese have turned to traditional values as a coping mechanism. It was a time of reflection during which family and communal bonds became absolutely essential. Many people went as far as to tying the knot for the sake of safeguarding normalcy. An example of the rationalization:

“Many felt that if they died nobody would care, so they thought they should marry.”

Yeesh. Schools and McBournie, can we get an “emooooooo?” 40% of all unions these days are now becoming arranged marriages. Anxious couples mingling under the supervision of chaperones are once again becoming a standard part of the scenery. According to Sasaki Akiko, a Japanese tour guide, there is no reason to be alarmed by this trend, as all arranged marriages have a much lower divorce rate than that for modern partnerships.

“With an arranged marriage, you go into it with both eyes open, with love you always have one eye closed.”

Nope, that’s not myopic and cynical at all.

Hoser for a pilot

Who doesn’t love flying? It’s like a casino in Atlantic City, you know you’re going in and you’re going to get crappy service, whether or not you go down in flames is anyone’s guess. This problem isn’t reserved for American flights, the Canadians have issues, too.

Like mistaking-planets-for-aircraft kind of issues.

Canadian officials determined that a plane from Toronto to Zurich needlessly went into a dive because one of the pilots thought the planet Venus was a nearby U.S. Air Force C-17, and they were going to collide. The dive sent passengers bouncing off the ceiling of the plane, causing some injuries. (Can you imagine the people in the lavatories?) What’s worse, the C-17 was actually 1,000 feet below the jet, so the dive actually sent them at the plane it it was trying to avoid, so the passenger jet had to climb once again.

A collision was avoided, but the rest of that trans-Atlantic flight probably didn’t go pleasantly.