Posts Tagged ‘politics’
Topeka, Kansas (AP) – In keeping with its tradition of seeing the influence of homosexuality everywhere, the Westboro Baptist Church began picketing its own establishment today, holding a protest to call attention to what it calls the “pernicious fags who run this institution.”
WBC founder and pastor Fred Phelps led a group of approximately 30 church members in the protest, most of whom held aloft placards in the familiar Westboro style: “GOD HATES WBC” “GOD LOVES YOUR ENEMIES” and “WBC FAGS OUT”. It was a rare appearance of the 84-year-old Phelps, whose age has increasingly sidelined him in church activities and administration, and a sign of the seriousness with which the WBC Read the rest of this entry »
Paris, France (Reuters) – A government-commissioned analysis of the late Palestinian Leader Yasser Arafat’s remains has concluded that he did not die of poisoning, as some Palestinians had charged, but by natural causes. Arafat died in 2004 and no autopsy was conducted at the time. The report also noted that Francisco Franco, who took power in Spain in the 1930′s and held office for four decades, is still deceased, and that the Earth continues to make its way around the sun each year.
A resurgence of the poisoning allegations led to Arafat’s exhumation and testing of his remains and personal effects. A Swiss team found evidence consistent with poisoning by polonium-210, a radioactive substance, while a Russian report, soon retracted, found no such evidence. Arafat died in a French military hospital after suffering bouts of intestinal distress. Franco has not come back to life in the meantime, and, perhaps more surprisingly, the sun continues to function as the star around which the Earth moves. Read the rest of this entry »
A two-decade study of dietary components and human physiology have led the CDC to conclude that, “the all-too-common assumption that the human body is somehow incapable of properly processing gluten – principally wheat gluten – has no scientific basis and rests solely on the documented increasing wussiness of Read the rest of this entry »
Memphis, Egypt (AP) – Semillontep, the veteran butler of Pharaoh’s palace, nurses a grudge against viceroy Tzafenat Pa’aneakh, who, he claims, has failed to show sufficient appreciation for the butler’s efforts to free him from the royal prison.
When Pharaoh had a disturbing set of dreams, Semillontep recalled that two years earlier, a Hebrew slave was able to correctly interpret the mysterious dreams that the butler and chief baker had while they were in prison. He humbly suggested to the king that the Hebrew, known then as Joseph, might be able to perform a similar feat for His Highness where the court soothsayers had failed. Accordingly, Pharaoh summoned Joseph from jail, and indeed, the Hebrew gave a convincing, accurate explanation of the royal dreams, along with an astute set of administrative instructions to prepare for the epic events that the dreams portended. Semillontep anticipated a proper recognition for this act of generosity, which was not forthcoming.
As a result of his thankless efforts, says Semillontep, Pharaoh appointed the thirty-year-old Joseph as viceroy to administer the very system he had envisioned, and renamed him Tzafenat Pa’aneakh, “the decoder of the mysterious.” The butler understood that Pharaoh himself would not give more than a token expression of gratitude for his referral to Joseph, as he was obligated to serve his master loyally in any case. Moreover, Semillontep owed his own debt of gratitude to the king for the amnesty that spared him while his colleague the baker was executed – the very fate that Joseph had foretold in interpreting the pair’s dreams. But Semillontep still feels left behind in the face of the rapid advance of this lowly Hebrew nobody to whom everyone is suddenly genuflecting.
“I made him who he is,” hissed Semillontep to his wife, Sirrah. “And here I am, still stuck in a dead-end job with the threat of a death sentence hanging over me if I screw up one more time,” he lamented, recalling the episode that got him in trouble several years earlier, when Pharaoh found a fly in the royal wine goblet.
Tzafenat Pa’aneakh was unavailable for comment. His representative said the viceroy was busy traveling to all the major cities and towns of Egypt to oversee the grain-amassing project that he had proposed in order to prepare the land and region for an anticipated famine. Pa’aneakh’s spokesman claimed no knowledge of the butler’s contention, but he did note that Semillontep had for some reason forgotten about the languishing Hebrew in the prison for two years before mentioning anything to Pharaoh.
“One rather suspects motives other than the mere feeling of being slighted,” suggested the spokesman, noting that it was not unusual for native Egyptians to discriminate against people of other ethnicities, and to enslave them. “One has to wonder whether the same resentment would exist if His Excellency Tzafenat Pa’aneakh were born and raised in Egypt instead of Canaan.”
Jerusalem (AP) – Polling stations across Israel are open today for the Labor Party primaries, in which the party membership will select its next leader for a period of continued marginal significance to national politics. Read the rest of this entry »
New York (AP) – New York City mayor-elect Bill de Blasio has announced that his first move as Mayor on the first of January will be to empower New York City Police and concerned citizens to shoot the owners of dogs that leave excrement on the ground and neglect to clean it up within minutes.
De Blasio called a press conference this morning to publicize his intention and to give New Yorkers notice of the impending policy change. Until now, dog owners and walkers have been subject to fines of up to $500 for the violation, but de Blasio asserted that he has received unending complaints from residents of all five boroughs that canine fecal matter can still regularly be found adorning various parts of the city. He hopes to gain City Read the rest of this entry »
Washington, DC (AP) – President Obama has instructed the State Department to end its four-year-old attempt to convince Israelis to resolve the ongoing conflict with the Palestinians and other Arab nations by voluntarily drowning themselves in the Mediterranean Sea. The decision was greeted with disappointment by representatives of Turkey, Egypt, Jordan, and the Palestinian Authority.
Four years ago, Obama directed then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to embark on a subtle publicity campaign aimed at engendering among Israeli Jews the resolve to drive themselves into the sea, as a way of ending the deadlock over Read the rest of this entry »
Geneva, Switzerland (AP) Typhoon Haiyan has killed at least 10,000 people in the Philippines and rendered many times that number homeless, but the International Red Cross has stopped short of calling the destruction a “disaster,” preferring to reserve such strong language for when white people are the victims. The vast majority of those killed, injured, or suffering property loss are Asian, some of them Muslim.
Some European and American news outlets have devoted attention to the storm and its aftermath, but mainly to focus on the possibility of Westerners – i.e. white people – who fell victim to one of the most powerful typhoons ever recorded. Read the rest of this entry »
Washington, DC (AP) House Republicans took up discussion today of the Violence Against Women Act, telling it not to worry its pretty little head about complicated legislation and asking it to get drinks for all the Congressmen.
The pending bill, introduced by NY Democrat Nita Lowy, would levy severe penalties against individuals or institutions that promote or tolerate mistreatment of women. A similar bill in the Senate has been probed extensively by Republicans seeking vulnerabilities, and has been attracting significant attention on the chamber floor.
Lowy proposed the legislation after receiving repeated complaints from constituents about a lack of federal muscle behind enforcement of sexual harassment and assault complaints, especially in the armed services. Women who complain to superiors about sexual harassment or rape in the military often find themselves ostracized, disbelieved, or facing disciplinary consequences for going “over the head” of those who allegedly perpetrate or tolerate the behavior. Similar bills have received inauspicious receptions from Republicans, Read the rest of this entry »
Lausanne, Switzerland (AP) – In the wake of forensic evidence that the radioactive element Polonium-210 was present in some of the personal effects that late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat had with him when he died, his widow Suha Arafat sees the hand of Israel in this and other deaths of prominent icons as far back as 2,000 years ago.
Arafat died in 2005 at age 75, after a period of physical deterioration and a set of mysterious symptoms that sent him to a French military hospital. Speculation and rumors surrounding the cause of death eventually led to the exhumation of Arafat’s body from its Ramallah resting place for further testing. The University of Legal Medicine in Lausanne, Switzerland, tested a number of the personal effects he had with him when he died and found elevated levels of the radioactive isotope of Polonium, infamously instrumental in the assassination of former KGB agent Alexander V. Litvinenko. Read the rest of this entry »
Washington, DC (AP) – Secretary of Douchebaggery Anthony Weiner introduced a new douchebag timetable this morning, announcing that jogging or otherwise engaging in public athletic activity while shirtless would be federally sanctioned through November and December, and resume in March. The previous schedule endorsed the behavior only from May through September. The new policy also includes updated provisions for aggressive hitting on members of the opposite sex, for selfish assertion, and for treating wait staff with open disdain.
In explaining the decision, Weiner cited feedback from douchebags across the country complaining that they have been unable to adequately foist their egos on those around them without more accommodation from the government. The Department wasted no Read the rest of this entry »
New York (AP) – The debate over immigration reform attained added urgency today when securities investment broker Wayne Stockton, 50, of Bronxville, NY, announced that he was unable to pursue his lifelong desire for a career in seasonal fruit harvesting because migrant illegal immigrant workers would work for far less.
Stockton, who handles trades for stock and bond investors totaling at least $50 million each day, has struggled to find a rural employer who can meet his wage demands. The Lexus-and-BMW-owning Read the rest of this entry »
New York (AP) – The United Nations Security Council reacted this morning with dismay to Israeli efforts to destroy a tunnel from the Gaza Strip, denouncing Israel for collectively punishing Gaza residents by denying all of them the ability to sneak into Israel and sow destruction or kidnap soldiers.
“We condemn Israeli measures that punish the entire population of the Gaza Strip for the actions of a few,” read a Security Council statement read, in part. “Preventing every single Gaza Strip resident from surreptitiously gaining entry to Israel and harming Israeli soldiers, civilians, or infrastructure constitutes a clear violation of the Geneva Convention,” Read the rest of this entry »
Jerusalem, Israel (AP) Israel announced final approval for the construction of 1,500 residential units in a neighborhood of Jerusalem that it captured in the 1967 war, causing the end of the world yet again. The occurrence marks the latest in a series of hundreds of construction projects that have brought about the complete and irreversible cessation of human civilization on Earth.
The move prompted condemnation from Palestinians, the United States, and the European Union, who each called on Israel not to bring all of world culture and human achievement crashing down by granting formal approval for several hundred buildings to be built on a dozen barren hillsides abutting an existing neighborhood. The neighborhood, called Ramat Shlomo, lies on the other side of the Green Line, the boundary that marked the 1948 cease-fire between Israel and Jordan. Each instance of Israeli clearing, digging, Read the rest of this entry »
Jerusalem, Israel (AP) – After several fruitless weeks of back-and-forth negotiations over so-called Final Status issues over which Israelis and Palestinians differ, the delegates to the talks have decided to abandon the effort and watch The Princess Bride repeatedly instead.
The talks, conducted in secret, have apparently yielded no results yet on questions of: Palestinian refugees; the status of Jerusalem; borders; the nature of the hoped-for Palestinian military, if any; whether the nascent Palestine would recognize Israel as a Jewish state; and myriad other unresolved points of contention that have dogged the two sides since the Oslo Accords of 1993, which was supposed to be an interim agreement. Read the rest of this entry »
Pottsville, Iowa (AP) The chickens of Lot No. A44933BD-L7H1 at the Agriprocessors factory farm expressed revulsion today at the conditions under which humans are crowded in the coach section of civilian aircraft for transport.
Terming the practice “barbaric” and “unconscionable,” the birds called on the airline industry to immediately modify its practices to provide the humans with individual space that would meet minimum dignity requirements and food that does not demand a complete abandonment of aesthetic and hygienic sensibilities to consume. Read the rest of this entry »
The report points to an oversupply of words in the economy with which the also-increasing supply of pictures cannot keep pace. Despite the prevalence of Facebook feeds and Flickr files, the number of words has outstripped the number of images by more than a factor of 1,000, meaning that it now takes far more than 1,000 words to equal a single such image. Read the rest of this entry »
Rome, Italy (AP) – US Secretary of State John Kerry spent most of yesterday afternoon and evening attempting to persuade Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu that the secretary’s chin was not fake, but reportedly did not succeed, sources present at the meeting say.
The session in the Italian capital was originally slated for discussion of Iran’s nuclear ambitions and US-Israel disagreement over how strictly to treat Iran in that regard. Once the talks got underway, Netanyahu found himself unable to concentrate on the official agenda, focusing instead on what appeared to be a bicycle seat wedged under the skin in the front of Mr. Kerry’s skull. Read the rest of this entry »
Moscow (AP) – The head of a Russian forensics agency ruled out the possibility that late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat was poisoned with a radioactive substance, Russian media reported last Tuesday. As a result the Palestinians will be forced to resort to other accusations in order to paint the desired evil picture of Israel, he said.
Arafat was confined to his Ramallah headquarters during a 2004 uprising against Israel and developed still-unexplained symptoms. He died after being flown to France for treatment. Close aides, advisers, and relatives repeatedly accused Israel of assassinating him, though no hard evidence to support that charge was ever produced. Read the rest of this entry »
Geneva (AP) – The Iranian delegation to international talks over the country’s controversial atomic program has said that Tehran could in principle accept a reduction in its uranium enrichment capabilities as long as it could guarantee enough nuclear fuel to launch no more than four weapons at Israel.
Talks over the program have been going better than many experts expected, with Iran apparently showing more flexibility in its attitude toward international inspectors, slowed enrichment, and adherence to limits imposed by the International Agency for Atomic Energy. In an effort to loosen or remove economic sanctions that have been hurting the regime, Iran’s representative to the talks said they might be able to accept a limited arsenal that could only destroy Israel, but not threaten any other nations. Read the rest of this entry »
Ramallah, Palestinian Territories (AP) – After more than two decades of relying primarily on the simple, handheld “rock” device to register displeasure with Israeli military rule, West Bank Palestinians plan to bring more sophisticated weapons to bear. The Rock 2.0 is expected to enter service in 2014.
The first Palestinian Intifada, or uprising, against Israeli occupation began in 1987, with local youths aiming simple rocks, and occasionally heavy weapons such as cinder blocks, at Israeli soldiers. For a time in the 1990′s and early 2000′s, Palestinian militants regularly resorted to explosives and guns in their conflict, but an Israeli military operation in 2002 sharply reduced the incidence of such attacks, and for the last several years the mainstay of the Palestinian protest movement has remained the reliable, affordable, easily obtainable rock. Read the rest of this entry »
Brookline, Massachusetts (AP) – Recent high-school graduate Emily Rosenthal can’t wait to cast her vote in the next elections, unaware that her choice will be drowned in a sea of other ballots by the misinformed, the ignorant, and the malignant.
Rosenthal, who began her studies at Boston University several weeks ago, eagerly anticipates having her say in who gets elected to municipal positions this year, including two judges, a village alderman, and school district officials. She also might get to vote in a special election to replace a scandal-plagued Congressman if he ends up resigning, but that remains unlikely, which is just as well, because her vote would never count for much in a sea of mass media manipulation. Read the rest of this entry »
New York, October 2 (AP) – Following Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s fiery address to the UN General Assembly, the New York Times issued a sternly worded editorial chastising the premier for closing the door on the annihilation of Israel as a diplomatic solution to Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons capability.
Netanyahu had warned the UN delegates and world leaders not to be taken in by Iran’s recent charm offensive, arguing that nothing in Iran’s nuclear policy had changed despite a softer tone from the Islamic state’s leadership. “Facts are stubborn things,” he said, and pointed to Iran’s continued enrichment of uranium at levels consistent only with the development of atomic weapons, along with pursuit of technologies aimed at attaining missiles to deliver such a weapon. Iran’s leadership has continually spoken of a world without Israel, and the Jewish state sees its neighbor’s nuclear efforts as a threat, despite the fact that such a development would obviously solve all the world’s problems.
Nevertheless, the New York Times editorial argued, it would be unwise to dismiss Iran’s apparent recent efforts to find a non-military resolution to the Iran crisis, which has included crippling economic sanctions. “We must allow that [President Hassan] Rouhani’s overtures are sincere,” the editorial read, “and the destruction of Israel might represent only one non-military option to defuse the tension between Iran and the Western world.” It reprimanded Netanyahu for attempting to stand in the way of a rapprochement in US-Iran relations for the sake of petty concerns such as the welfare of Israel.
The editorial called on President Obama to work with Netanyahu to persuade the Israeli leader that emphasizing the military options against Iran would only prejudice events toward exactly that result. “The President should take advantage of the closer ties he has developed with Mr. Netanyahu during this second term in the White House, and explain to him the benefits of adopting an approach that would enable Iran to delay, evade, conceal, and continue its pursuit of weapons of mass destruction while pretending to cooperate with the West,” said the New York Times. “Even if that results in the complete extermination of Israel, the diplomatic path is the preferable one,” it concluded.
Washington, DC (AP) – In a move surprising to both supporters and opponents of President Obama’s landmark universal health care law, the Supreme Court ruled this morning that the far-reaching piece of legislation, affecting hundreds of millions of Americans, is actually a variety of cheese similar to cheddar.
Democratic supporters and Republican opponents have waged a public conflict over the constitutionality, feasibility, and costs of the health care package, with Congressional Republicans threatening to withhold funding for the program. The Court ruling at once forces the administration to reconsider the application of the law and deprives Republicans of ammunition in the fight against it.
In a split decision, the Court decided 5-4 that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), as the package is formally known, is not a piece of legislation at all, but a semi-hard cheese with the pungency of of young Gouda and a texture evocative of Pecorino.
Writing for the majority, Chief Justice John Roberts praised the PPACA’s strong flavor and creaminess, noting how unusual it is for a cheese made from cow’s milk to achieve the particular balance of flavor and texture normally associated with sheep cheeses such as Pecorino.
“We find the PPACA a sumptuous feast of the senses,” Roberts wrote. “The unmistakable aroma of a fine Pecorino gives way to the not-quite al dente feel of a sensuous, creamy Gruyère.”
In a spirited dissent, Justice Antonin Scalia vigorously denounced that characterization, asserting that in fact Obamacare bears only a passing resemblance to cheese. Scalia minced no words in putting forth the argument that if anything, the PPACA calls to mind and palate a delicate veal carpaccio.
“Far be it from this judge to weigh in on matters of taste, but since the majority has already done so, let it be known that the majority would not know a mozzarella from a matza,” wrote Scalia, referring to a type of crispy, unleavened bread eaten by Jews on Passover. “In fact Obamacare would be best served with a nice Rosé, or better yet, an apéritif of some sort, but you won’t hear such things from the stodgy confines of the rest of the bench.”
In practice, the ruling leaves the PPACA out of the realm of direct influence from Congress, as regulation of cheeses and other dairy products falls under the aegis of the Department of Agriculture. While calling into question the medical application of the health care package, the Supreme Court has nevertheless granted the President effective carte blanche to apply it as the agency that answers to him sees fit.
“We certainly see this as a victory,” said White House Chief of Staff Jacob Lew. “A victory to be savored, perhaps on a rye cracker with nigella or caraway seeds.” Lew himself noted that he could not necessarily partake of the cheese, as he follows Jewish dietary law; the vast majority of cheeses available in the United States are not kosher, as they use rennet, an enzyme from animal sources that is considered a meat substance under Jewish law, and may not be mixed with dairy.
Congressional Republicans were quick to voice their disappointment. “Not what I expected at all, to tell you the truth,” conceded Mitch McConnell (R-KY). “We had been near certain the Court would see things our way, considering the Chief Justice’s own conservative tastes.” McConnell said he had yet to decide whether he would purchase any of the PPACA.
“My tastes run more toward Brie and Camembert,” he confessed, referring to softer cheeses.
New York (AP) Addressing the United Nations General Assembly for the first time, newly installed President of Iran showed a softer side of the regime yesterday, preaching acceptance for everyone, provided they harbor animosity toward the Jewish state.
“The Islamic republic seeks engagement with the world, not discord,” said Hassan Rouhani to the annual gathering of world leaders, “and we can achieve that harmony if everyone accepts the premise that the Zionist regime is evil and must be obliterated.” Iran’s denies that its continued enrichment of uranium is intended to produce atomic weapons, while Israel and other Western countries have warned of the dangers of a nuclear-armed Iran.
Until recently, the official tone of Iran’s rhetoric has been defiant. Rouhani’s predecessor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, repeatedly and unabashedly issued predictions and calls for Israel’s destruction. Iran has supported various armed groups that attack Israel, including Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in the Gaza Strip. But with Rouhani now in office, the Ayatollah-run country has tried to burnish its image, portraying the new president as a more accommodating personality. Rouhani was heavily involved in the early stages of Iran’s nuclear program.
“It’s a hopeful sign,” said Venezuelan delegate Jose Maria Cortes. “For years, the world got used to hearing nothing but opposition to Israel’s existence, and now Iran has completely altered its approach, and they simply oppose the existence of Israel and are working to threaten it any way they can.”
French diplomat François Martin shared the Venezuelan’s assessment. “France has watched with concern as Iran repeatedly rebuffed the International Atomic Energy Agency,” he recalled, “but Rouhani and his fresh approach mean that now we can expect only further obstruction, concealment, and, ultimately, a nuclear-capable regime that has made no bones of its desire to rid the world of one of its neighbors.”
American officials have remained wary, and echoed Israeli admonitions to observe Iran’s behavior, rather than its pronouncements. “The Obama administration is certainly in favor of open discourse,” said US ambassador Samantha Power. “But we reserve judgment on Iran until it demonstrates a genuine shift in its policies, not mere lip service to the idea of removing Israel from the map.” The US has led an international effort to levy economic sanctions on Iran, and Iran’s economy has suffered as a result. Power said the US has noted Iran’s strong relations with such reputable states as Russia, Venezuela, Cuba, and Syria.