Jun 9, 2009

Not to Give Obama Any Ideas...

Morton's Fork.

A Morton's Fork is a choice between two equally unpleasant alternatives (in other words, a dilemma), or two lines of reasoning that lead to the same unpleasant conclusion. It is analogous to the expressions "between the devil and the deep blue sea" or "between a rock and a hard place." This is the opposite of the Buridan's Ass.

The expression originates from a policy of tax collection devised by John Morton, Lord Chancellor of England in 1487, under the rule of Henry VII.

His approach was that if the subject lived in luxury and had clearly spent a lot of money on himself, he obviously had sufficient income to spare for the king. Alternatively, if the subject lived frugally, and showed no sign of being wealthy, he must have substantial savings and could therefore afford to give it to the king. These arguments were the two prongs of the fork and regardless of whether the subject was rich or poor, he did not have a favourable choice

Frankly, I think we're all forked. (Thanks, thanks, I'll be here all week. Remember to tip your waitress. But only in Yuan.)

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