With a tip-o-the-hat and deepest gratitude to D'oh…although everyone knows his real name, although it's not his name. And special thanks to Clovis for his contribution to this… whatever the hell it is.
DATELINE: Washington, D.C., January something 2006: 'Tis a grand day to be an intrepid reporter in this great city where clocks have been set to see what the Democrats can really do in 100 hours. The plate is full, nay, overflowing with ideas that range from the brilliant to the 5-watt variety. Some want to make all pork public. What silly people. As if the Dems don't have a fondness for fetal pigs. Others want to fix health care. Not that it doesn't need fixing, but none of you have had a clue or the cojones for, oh, twenty years — what's different?
But those aren't the top stories — the ones that grab you by the throat and choke you until you're unconscious or even dead. Now that's what this intrepid reporter calls news.
Bush Did What? When? Why?: U.S. helicopter gunships launched new attacks Tuesday against suspected al-Qaeda members, a day after American forces launched airstrikes in the first offensive in the African country since 18 U.S. troops were killed there in 1993. Where? Somalia. The latest attacks killed at least 27 civilians in the town of Afmadow in southern Somalia, lawmaker Abdiqadir Daqane told The Associated Press. The White House would not confirm the attacks, nor would the Pentagon.
Somalia? Isn't that where we got egg on our face and they made that movie and people wound up head first in concrete slabs? And they're after al-Qaeda, maybe even Osama (Dancing Feet) bin Laden. Boys, boys… you're on the wrong continent. Afghanistan, not Africa. Lord o' Mercy, no wonder we keep losing wars. You can't win 'em if you can't find 'em. And if we're so quick to go after whoever it is we're going after, how about a little aid to Darfur… you know, a bundle of hay or something? Somebody tell us the plan! Please.
Through The Looking Glass: Edge is one of those on-line mags that finds very deep people to offer very deep thoughts. Their latest offering is entitled: THE WORLD'S LEADING THINKERS SEE GOOD NEWS AHEAD. I don't know why they have to yell; maybe a lot of their members are old and don't hear so well. But I digress.
Even though most of us think there's a good chance that we're on a ride to hell in a handbasket, whatever that means, "scientists and the science-minded among us see good news in the coming years." That was the outpouring of response from "world-class scientists and thinkers."
As an untrained journalist, your intrepid reporter knows better than to take sides in this debate, especially because he hasn't gotten around to reading why these scientist are doing the Snoopy Happy Dance. But there is a certain suspicion that seeps up through the floor like a dead mongoose when the publication has to sell itself so hard. I mean, I may call myself "intrepid," but I readily admit I have no idea what that means. But let's give them the benefit of the doubt. If good things start happening, like John Wayne running for the presidency, then I'll start thinking differently.
Bless the Constitution: No one would draw any linkages between Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's recent skiing accident and his call this week to turn California into Massachusetts. Well, not quite, but he does want to require all Californians to have health insurance and to extend coverage to an estimated 6.5 million state residents without insurance. Who knows, maybe he hit his head on a rock — nah, rocks aren't hard enough — maybe on a steep pipe sticking out of the ground. It's not that heath care isn't a national disgrace, it's that most of pols are even worse.
Tax and heal, tax and heal, there's those Republicans for you. The more you read about what's necessary to make this work, the more inclined one is to escape to Canada where they have free health service. "Got a tumor, oh we can see you in eight months. Please take a number." And why do we bless the Constitution? People not born in the U.S. cannot run for president. Phew!
News You Can Use: Beginning in February, the lucky students at that august milestone of academic excellence, The University of Sioux Falls, will have a chance to take a one-credit course: "Finding Dates Worth Keeping."
This course is very important, although many will miss the significance. Have you ever bitten into a date and gone, "Oh raspberries, I wish I'd known in advance that this date had worms." Well, all it takes is a one-credit course to help students tell the difference. Now if they'd just do something about the sexual misconduct going on at that school. I'd tell you, but there be parents reading this.
The Bureau for Bureau of Bureaus: Poor Miami. Two days in a row, their port was shut down by a terrorism scare. This last package, loaded aboard a cruise boat (oh those dastardly terrorists) tested positive six times positive for a military-grade and well-used TV explosive known as C-4. Turns out they were sprinkler parts, and a Coast Guard spokesperson tried to explain how they could be easily mistaken for C-4.
Six times??? I hope they were giving the passengers free drinks while this was going on. And why six tests? What was wrong with five? Didn't they think the passengers valuable enough to try a seventh test? There are answers here that need questions, I say.
Sprinkler Parts? Maybe Terrorist. Weird Odor? Definitely Not: Think of many decaying dead creatures, including a goodly number of skunks, all deciding New York City is their ancient burial ground. Boys and girls, that what's it come to. Authorities in New York are attempting to identify a persistent gas smell across a large part of lower Manhattan.
Morning commuters reported everything they could think of but were assured by Mayor Michael Bloomberg who said he was confident the odor was "not dangerous". A stretch of the commuter train service between New York and New Jersey was temporarily halted, and some Manhattan office buildings were evacuated. The US Department of Homeland Security ruled out any link to terrorism.
Test a box until the hinges fall off because it might be terrorism, but blithely dismiss an odor that had strong men weeping and weak men throwing up? Sure, it may be nothing more than Godzilla farting — but it might be worse. Pretty gutsy that Mayor fellow.
And so goes another episode. Be prepared in the coming (include some time period) when we will be offering you a secret decoder ring so you can read the messages hidden in this column. Despite what the good folks at Edge said, I think we sliding down a long, lazy slope into the LaBrea Tar Pits. Last one is the last one alive. So remember,
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