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I am the chief executive officer of the world’s largest religious denomination. Through no fault of my own, a number of pedophiles have found their way into positions of responsibility in my organization. This has caused me considerable embarrassment. What can I do to discourage them?
Wretched in Rome
If pedophiles are your problem, the Israelis might have just the solution. They do not let anyone under the age of 40 into the Friday evening prayer service at the al-Aksa Mosque in Jerusalem. That is to keep out suicide bombers rather than pedophiles, but the same tactic might work. If you keep the kids out of church, the pedophiles will go away.
Recently I became the proconsul of a Middle Eastern country after a successful invasion. The majority group wants immediate elections, but if I let them take power the country might erupt in civil war. What should I do?
Bothered in Baghdad
Hold elections, but use the paper ballots left over from America’s November 2000 presidential election in Florida. Then you can spend the next several years counting them.
I am the religious leader of the majority of citizens of my country in the Middle East. Recently, a superpower invaded us and overthrew our government in order to make us into a democracy. I want to have direct elections so that our majority can rule. What can I do to persuade the occupiers to let us have power?
Baffled in Basra
You need a good lawyer with strong contacts in Washington and experience representing Middle Eastern countries. Why not hire James Baker?
Recently I invaded a country on the grounds that it was hiding weapons of mass destruction. To my consternation, no weapons of mass destruction have been discovered yet. The neighbors are beginning to talk. What can I do about this?
Perplexed on the Potomac
If it hadn’t been WMD, it would have been something else. Doubtless the invadee did something else to deserve it. You know the old adage: “Beat your children every day. If you don’t know what they did wrong, they do.”
Until recently I was the front-runner for my party’s nomination as candidate for president in the world’s leading superpower. I used the Internet to raise funds and recruit supporters, and had a huge following among young voters. In the last month my campaign has gotten nowhere. Now people think I am crazy. I am not crazy and neither am I. What should I do now?
Sincerely yours and yours,
Vexed in Vermont
Perhaps you need to attract an even younger group of prospective voters. Fantasy role-playing is what the Internet does best. Instead of a political campaign, why not market a net-based video game to teenagers? If and when they grow up they will vote for you, and in the meantime they can improve their hand-eye coordination.
No matter what I do, I can’t seem to settle a longstanding dispute with my neighbors. As a last resort I am building a wall between their property and ours, except we can’t agree on the boundary and the neighbors are threatening to take me to court. In the meantime they try to put pressure on me by blowing up busses and cafes. What can I do about them?
Jaded in Jerusalem
You sound like you worry too much. Remember the old joke about Cohen who is pacing back and forth in his bedroom. His wife says, “Come to bed and stop pacing!” Cohen replies, “I’m worried. I owe Levine $10,000. It’s due in the morning and I don’t have it.” Said his wife, “Levine expects you to pay him $10,000 in the morning?” Cohen says, “That’s right.” “Then come to bed,” concludes his wife. “Let Levine worry.”
My people and I are chafing under an oppressive occupation by an arrogant Zionist entity. We threw out a similar occupation by the Crusaders in the Middle Ages, and yet another occupation by the British in the 20th century. Shouldn’t we try to throw out this new occupier?
Raging in Ramallah
What do you mean, “We?” Your history is a bit inaccurate, if I read my Bernard Lewis correctly. It was the Turks who drove out the Crusaders, the British who drove out the Turks, and the Zionists who drove out the British. My advice is to lighten up, enjoy life, and wait patiently for someone else to come and drive out the Zionists.
I am the governator of the largest of America’s states. Recently the mayor of one of our cities began performing marriage ceremonies for gays and lesbians, against state law. Should I stake a strong stand on this?
Hasta la vista, baby!
Concerned in California
I don’t understand the problem. Why would a gay man want to marry a lesbian?
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