Warning: “SILLY” is Taking Over the National Agenda

The following anonymous document was delivered to this office by a conscience-stricken participant in a cult of public relations sociopaths that apparently has yet to come to the attention of the FBI, the CIA, CNN or Sally Jesse Raphael. It is reprinted here as a public service.

Confidential Update
TO: Members of SILLY
FROM: Your Leader

When we first began our work, it was our mission to see how far public credulity could be stretched, common sense tortured, distinctions blurred and morals confused. With a few well-placed and scientific-sounding reports, innovative lawsuits, and pathbreaking government regulations we hoped our small conspiracy–the Society to Inspire Loony Legal Yarns (SILLY)–could agitate media and public opinion. Little did we realize that we eventually could dominate a large part of the national agenda!

Today we are close to shoving “serious news” (war and peace, economic affairs and other yawners) completely out of people’s minds.

Some of our best recent efforts have been in the military, where explorations showed a surprising vulnerability to latter-day puritanical obsession. Crucial to distracting attention from issues like America’s defenselessness against nuclear missles has been a parade of dubious sex scandals. They reached their high point when General Joseph Ralston was forced to withdraw from consideration as the next chairman of the Pentagon’s Joint Chiefs of Staff because of an affair 13 YEARS AGO when he was separated from his wife.

General Ralston and the Pentagon command structure may feel bitter, but they should console themselves with the knowledge that the general’s sacrifice in the service of expanding political correctness will be recognized by coming generations as the means by which the most powerful military in the world finally was conquered.

The military also has been fertile ground for new gender-norming regulations we have been able to institute. I am delighted to report that SILLY agents have been able to get the Army to enact a lesser distance requirement for women throwing hand grenades in combat than exists for men. Unfortunately, the newly acceptable throwing distance may be within the the bursting radius of the grenade. (Note: We next should insist that warning labels be put on women’s grenades or, alternatively, that smaller grenades be issued to them.) This development shows why, when reality conflicts with political correctness, the latter should prevail.

Congratulations also goes to the agent who persuaded the female Blackhawk helicopter pilot to sue on behalf of her infant daughter’s CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT to be breast fed while the mother is on duty. Nothing so stigmatizes legitimate concerns of women in the military or elsewhere as such SILLY lawsuits.

Enough about sex, gender and the military, though it surely has been a productive resource for SILLY endeavor–and almost inexhaustible.

Think of our new accomplishments in product liability–and in our general aim of getting people to blame someone else for their troubles. There is for example, the attempt to consign the “moostache” milk campaign to the same fate as Joe Camel. If a cartoon figure causes people to smoke cigarettes and makes tobacco companies liable for subsequent lung and heart ailments, what about all those celebrities announcing the benefits of milk? Are they unaware that milk has fat in it–cold nicotine, you might call it–that can clog arteries and contribute to strokes and heart failure?

The new lawsuit of the man in Bothell, Wash. against Safeway and the Dairy Farmers of America therefore makes perfect sense–in its SILLY fashion. Is fat “addictive”? Of course it is–properly interpreted–and we will be commissioning laboratory studies of french-fry and milk-shake eating rats to “prove” it.

In the fields of family relations and race, our agents have had tremendous success at promoting PC over-reach. Hats off, for example, to the Ohio commission that proposed to resolve the problem of finding enough black parents to adopt black children by making it legal for black convicts to adopt.

Also on the topic of race, we note with pride the lawsuit of Mostafa Hefny, an Egyptian immigrant living in Detroit, who believes he is being denied affirmative action scholarships, grants and jobs because the federal government refuses to designate him as “black.” Hefny points out that his skin is, in fact, darker than some people who are termed African-American. After all, he says, “I was born and raised in Africa and they were not.”

Waste, fraud and abuse in government is another field open to creative interpretation. There is, for instance, the Wenatchee, Wash. locksmith who claimed $250, 000 in damages from the city for depriving him of his livelihood. When the police stop to help motorists who have locked themselves in their cars, he argued, they are making an “unconstitutional gift of public funds”–funds that should go to him.

Even the meaning of democracy is subject to PC revision. The state of Illinois is interpreting the federal Motor Voter Law to require mental health agencies to help all clients to register and vote in national elections, even if their mental age is as low as 5 or 6.

This just shows that eventually we may get an electorate that finally is in synch with the other causes SILLY is promoting.

So, to the growing number of SILLY agents from Washington, DC to Washington State, keep up the good work. We are winning!

Bruce Chapman

Cofounder and Chairman of the Board of Discovery Institute
Bruce Chapman has had a long career in American politics and public policy at the city, state, national, and international levels. Elected to the Seattle City Council and as Washington State's Secretary of State, he also served in several leadership posts in the Reagan administration, including ambassador. In 1991, he founded the public policy think tank Discovery Institute, where he currently serves as Chairman of the Board and director of the Chapman Center on Citizen Leadership.