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With Visibility Of Posts Downgraded, User Sues Facebook For Emotional Distress

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FacebookMenlo Park, CA, June 9 – The owner of a Facebook page struggling to reach and expand his audience is suing the social media giant Facebook for emotional distress resulting from the social media giant’s deliberate withholding of many of his updates from his audience.

Thag Boogerman, who writes for the blog Mightier Than The Pen and the satirical news site PreOccupied Territory, filed  a lawsuit today charging that Facebook, with malice aforethought, displays posts and links to only a handful of users, even when hundreds of users have expressly requested to receive those updates by Liking that page. For each post, the page operator is invited to “boost” its visibility for a cost; the lawsuit charges that this puts beyond Boogerman’s reach the level of exposure necessary to maintain, let alone expand, his audience, thereby thwarting him in his efforts to earn a living, exacerbating domestic tensions, and causing untold emotional distress. Boogerman is asking the courts to order Facebook to pay him $89 million.

Just yesterday, says the thirty-eight-year-old father of five, a user who Liked his page more than a year ago sent him an angry message, asking him why she had not received any updates from his page in six months. She refused to accept his explanation that Facebook’s EdgeRank algorithm was at fault, and accused him of neglecting his audience.

“I can’t afford to promote every single post, link, and status update,” says Boogerman, who lives in Yehupitz Park. “Every one of my posts is important to me and my users, and Facebook makes truckloads of money on ads, data sharing, and who knows what else. This whole thing is a naked attempt to gouge people for more money, and it increases the gap between the haves and the have nots.” He added that this results in the sad irony of Facebook functioning for so long as a social equalizer – notably during the Arab Spring, when the masses of protesters used the site to coordinate anti-government demonstrations – becoming yet another tool with which the moneyed class presses its wealth to its advantage.

Facebook has yet to respond to the lawsuit, but experts expect them to argue for its dismissal on the grounds that they don’t give a crap about little people when there is so much money to be made. This consideration is especially important, they are expected to argue, since the disastrous IPO of the company’s stock last year.

Written by Thag

June 9, 2014 at 3:52 pm

Convict Dies After Typo Has Him Sent Behind Bears

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grizzlyNew York, May 27 – A botched incarceration by the New York Board of Corrections has state officials on the defensive, after a judge’s order to place a convict behind bars was mis-typed by a clerk, resulting in the man being placed instead behind bears at the Bronx Zoo.

Orson Medved, 23, pleaded guilty to burglary charges last week, accepting a deal under which he would serve a reduced term of six months for a break-in he perpetrated in Brooklyn the month before. Judge Ursa Gurdov approved the plea deal, which spared Medved a longer sentence of ten months plus community service. A court clerk apparently inserted an extra “e” into the document, based upon which the Corrections Department placed Medved into the bear enclosure at the Bronx Zoo, where he was fatally mauled by Glacier, a grizzly bear.

Corrections and court officials were quick to trace the source of the mishap, and have assured the city and state that steps will be taken to prevent a recurrence. “We will implement redundancies in the documentation process so that such errors will be caught before it is too late,” said Forrest Forthtriese, a spokesman for the Department of Corrections. State Supreme Court representative Bea Sydapoint promised a thorough overhaul of the sentencing processing system.

The case recalls an earlier incident in which drug offenders were mistakenly sent to diction counseling after a court official misheard the word “addiction.”

Written by Thag

May 28, 2014 at 2:53 pm

Miracle Max Arrested For Selling Horcruxes

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Miracle MaxFlorin, May 15 – Miracle Max, the royal sorcerer emeritus, has been detained and charged with unlawful commerce in magical merchandise, including dangerous items such as horcruxes.

Max, 100, was taken into custody early this morning by a brute squad, and is being held until his arraignment. Law enforcement authorities have yet to give details of the investigation or the information that led them to Max, who has yet to retain a lawyer.

Horcruxes are sinister items used in dark magic to preserve a portion of a person’s soul, in order to protect against death. The production of a horcrux involves murder, though the warrant for Max’s arrest did not indicate that any such killing had taken place.

Friends and family were shocked by the news. “Max could no hurt a fly,” said Inigo Montoya, 31. “He would sooner give himself a paper cut and pour lemon juice on it than even think about such things.”

“He’s a generous man,” added Fezzik, another neighbor. “Treat so nice.”

Other associates were reluctant to rush to Max’s defense, notably an albino who requested anonymity. “Some strange things go on here,” he said, pointing in the general direction of Max’s cabin. “But you won’t find anyone to talk about it explicitly. As far as witnesses go, nobody’s hearin’ nothin’.”

Another friend speculated that the arrest was a frame-up, stemming from the fraught relations the sorcerer has had with Prince Humperdinck since the latter all but forced him into retirement. “Rumor has it the prince is trying to pin a coup d’etat conspiracy on Max as an excuse to declare war on Guilder.”

At press time, Max’s wife Valerie had just told reporters that they had retained a lawyer named Albus Percival Brian Wifric Dumbledore, who has experience in demonstrating that defendants have been framed.

 

For more silliness, visit PreOccupied Territory.

Written by Thag

May 15, 2014 at 3:06 pm

Gov’t To Suspend Traffic Laws When You Are In A Hurry

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RadarWashington, DC, May 14 – To recognize the necessary exception to traffic regulations, Congress has enacted legislation allowing you, specifically, to disregard laws when obeying them would prevent you from getting to your destination on time.

By a 239-102 margin, the House of Representatives passed the Driving Ordinance Urgent Circumstance Hurrying Exception (DOUCHE) Act, which will allow you to run red lights, ignore stop signs, pass on the right, tailgate, honk in quiet zones, speed past schools, disregard seatbelt and child safety seat laws, make illegal turns, travel the wrong way on one-way streets, block intersections and driveways, and implement lane changes and turns without signaling, if under those circumstances upholding the traffic law in question would cause a potential delay of more than 0.8 seconds. You, after all, are the most important person on the road, and your punctuality trumps everyone else’s safety.

The DOUCHE Act goes into effect on the first day of June, but sooner if you really need it. Potential delays of over 10 seconds will justify the violation of other laws, notably the right-of-way generally granted to pedestrians and emergency vehicles. Regardless of any delay, laws prohibiting the use of mobile devices while driving will no longer apply to you, because what you have to say is so important that other people’s lives take a back seat.

Congress enacted the law after you repeatedly voiced your wish that so many other people not be on the road when you, clearly, have needs that override theirs. Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) sponsored the bill, and expressed satisfaction that DOUCHE enjoyed so much bipartisan support.

“This is a milestone in transportation history,” he told reporters after the vote. “It is always gratifying to see common sense win.”

Opposition to the bill came mainly from Tea Party Republicans, who said the measure did not go far enough, as it allowed these exceptions only for you. “As this proposal had too narrow a focus, we could not in good conscience endorse it; instead, Congress should be repealing traffic laws entirely, as they represent government overreach into the lives of private citizens.”

Schumer hopes to follow up with a law that would cancel all littering prohibitions as they apply to you, because you’re actually providing work for the people whose job it is to clean up.

 

More irreverence can be found at PreOccupiedTerritory.

Written by Thag

May 14, 2014 at 2:37 pm

De Blasio’s First Move: Shoot-To-Kill Dog Owners Who Fail To Clean Up

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dog poopNew 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 »

Written by Thag

November 20, 2013 at 9:17 pm

GOP Asks Violence Against Women Act To ‘Run Fetch Us Some Coffee’; Give It Pat On Butt

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Boehner

One provision of the law would make it illegal to write this man’s name on any government document.

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 »

Written by Thag

November 9, 2013 at 10:22 pm

Video Arrested In Killing Of Radio Star

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broken guitarNew York (AP) – Police have detained a video in connection with the 1978 bludgeoning death of a radio star. The arrest comes after years of several self-proclaimed witnesses recounting the circumstances of the murder, but scant other evidence.

New York State’s statute of limitations does not apply to certain serious crimes including murder, so the time that has elapsed since the 1978 incident has no legal significance, but it may be the focus of efforts by the defendant to cast doubt on the reliability of the three key witnesses. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Thag

October 19, 2013 at 9:50 pm

Supreme Court: Obamacare Actually A Kind Of Cheese

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Gouda

Gouda


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.”

260px-Pecorino_romano_on_board_cropped

Pecorino Romano

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.

Written by Thag

September 29, 2013 at 3:09 pm

Supreme Court Upholds Death Penalty For Loud Cellphone User

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"Actually, this is too good for him," wrote Justice Kagan. normally an opponent of the death penalty.

“Actually, this is too good for him,” wrote Justice Kagan. normally an opponent of the death penalty.

Washington, DC (AP) – In a unanimous ruling, the Supreme Court validated an execution sentence for a Long Island man convicted of talking loudly on his cellphone during a train commute into Manhattan two years ago.

Irving Whitaker, 42, of Lakeview, boarded the 7:40 AM train to Jamaica, Queens on a Tuesday morning in July 2011. Within minutes of displaying his ticket for the conductor, Whitaker produced a mobile phone and began conversing loudly with a succession of interlocutors, repeatedly ignoring fellow commuters’ admonitions and requests to either reduce his volume or desist from talking. While some passengers managed to move to other cars, others on the increasingly crowded train were forced to remain in the same car as Whitaker. Word of one passenger’s misbehavior reached the conductor, but the latter was unable to negotiate the tide of commuters fleeing Whitaker’s company in order to reach the offender to remedy the situation.

As the awkwardness and unpleasantness in Whitaker’s car reached its peak, dozens of passengers rushed to get out as fast as they could at Jamaica, the next stop. Two platform bystanders were killed in the stampede and another six were fatally mauled as they were forced in front of an oncoming train on the facing track. A further twenty were injured.

Whitaker pleaded not guilty to eight charges of manslaughter, contending that he was not forcing anyone to leave; they could simply ignore his conversations as they did one another every minute of every commute. The jury was unmoved, however, and found Whitaker guilty on all counts. State Supreme Court Judge Fred Bodoff cited the defendant’s unrepentant attitude in sentencing Whitaker beyond that which state law provides, which is a maximum of 20 years for manslaughter. Bodoff noted other aggravating aspects of the defendant’s behavior, such as a tendency to laugh nervously and nasally at every single one of his own statements, and handed down a sentence of death by electric chair.

Last year a federal appeals court ruled that although the judge had not adhered to the mandatory sentencing guidelines, the circumstances of the case justified this exception. The appeals court decision focused on Whitaker’s repeated, lengthy use of “Uhhhhhhhh,” before each phrase.

The Supreme Court agreed to hear the case several months ago, and closing arguments were delivered in August. In a rare move, each justice elected to write a separate decision. Justices Bader-Ginsburg and Scalia found the defendant’s actions unconscionable enough in themselves to validate the death penalty, while Justices Sotomayor and Alito cited Whitaker’s overuse of, “bizarre,” “whaaaaaat?” and “I’m tellin’ ya.” Justices Kennedy, Roberts, and Kagan also mentioned the content of the defendant’s discourse, which never deviated from celebrity gossip; the continuing woes of the New York Jets football franchise and how to fix them, as if he possesses some special knowledge and expertise; and the unnecessarily salacious details of the very public affair that his secretary was having with the head of some other department at work. Justice Thomas recused himself, as he owns a significant number of shares of several telecommunications companies.

New York State is expected to finally execute Whitaker in December, barring a pardon from Governor Andrew Cuomo. A spokesman for the governor was quoted today as saying Mr. Cuomo would sooner walk on his lips through a sewage treatment plant than grant such a pardon.

Written by Thag

September 23, 2013 at 8:31 pm

GOP Gearing Up To Deny Obama A Third Term

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Obama Big BirdWashington, DC (AP) – November 2016 may be nearly four years away, but the Republican Party has already set its sights on dethroning Barack Obama.

“We made some strategic errors in ’08 and 2012, and we didn’t communicate our messages effectively,” said New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, one of several prominent GOP politicians whose names have been mentioned as possible candidates. “But third time’s the charm – I guarantee you won’t see Barack Obama being sworn in as President ever again.”

History does not favor the incumbent in this case: the last President to win a third term was Franklin Roosevelt in 1940, and he was the only one. But the Republicans are leaving nothing to chance, and have arrived at a two-pronged strategy to ensure that Obama retires from the Presidency for good in four years.

The first prong involves learning from the mistakes of the previous two campaigns, in which the more extreme right-wing elements of the party played an outsize influence and alienated women and Latino voters with their strident rhetoric in favor of restricted access to abortion and tighter immigration control. The Republican National Committee will try to focus on more moderate, pragmatic figures within the party to appeal to those demographics.

The second prong requires the GOP-controlled House of Representatives to obstruct, denounce, foil, bury, dilute or otherwise defeat any Democratic initiative in an effort to prevent Obama and his allies from implementing any policies to which the President can point in an election campaign. House Speaker John Boehner noted, with some gratification, that this element of the strategy does not require any significant changes in Republican methods or tactics.

“We’ve had this part of the plan in action for four years already,” he explained, “and within two years we might even win control of the Senate, too, so things are progressing well, if gradually, on that front.”

Obama, for his part, has said little of his plans for 2016. This early in the term he would naturally not talk about four years from now, preferring instead to focus on the executive challenges of the present. Addressing the next election this far in advance would only cause the electorate to question the President’s focus on the here and now, which could damage his approval ratings.

“We won’t know until a couple of years from now what Obama intends to do in ’16,” said veteran Democratic campaign adviser James Carville. “And even if he’s already made a firm decision, now is not the time to discuss it, except maybe among his closest confidantes. Even then, it might to too risky to let on what he has in mind. Washington has far too many leaks.”

Aside from Christie, the Republicans likely to try to unseat Obama include stalwarts such as Sarah Palin, Bill Richardson, Michelle Bachmann, Fred Thompson and Ron Paul, as well as relative newcomer Paul Ryan. Boehner himself might throw his hat in the ring when the time comes, but he says his focus is on the legislative front right now.

Mitt Romney was unavailable for comment, as he was still busy trying to win the 2012 election.

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Written by Thag

January 14, 2013 at 3:19 pm

NRA, Health Dept. Advocate New Public Health Policy: Hunt Fat People

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fat target

Some of the preliminary work has already been done.

Washington, DC (AP) – The incoming Obama administration has already put forward an ambitious new plan, developed with the National Rifle Association, to combat worrisome obesity trends, and it also signals a breakthrough on gun control legislation.

Long a public health issue, obesity in America has never been more prevalent; a CDC study released in August found that not a single US state had less than a 20% obesity rate, with Southern states averaging more than 35%. Many of those states support lax gun control measures, a fact that signaled opportunity to outgoing Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sibelius.

“It became clear to me, especially after the Newtown massacre, that we need to find a way to work with the gun lobby,” she said at a press conference. “Guns are a public health issue, no question – and we need to engage the gun industry in our efforts to keep America living well.” They key, said Sibelius, was getting the NRA’s agreement on strict gun control measures in exchange for open season on obese people, of which there are now more than 78 million across the country, according to CDC statistics.

“It’s a win-win situation,” said NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre. “Everyone understands the value of free access to firearms – it’s one of our basic rights as Americans. But we at the NRA also understand that our future as a free nation is just as threatened by the lumbering, flabby dweebs who put such a strain on public resources,” he remarked.

“We believe law-abiding American gun owners and users will welcome this minor inconvenience,” he continued. The new policy “puts paid the notion that the firearms industry and its allies are incapable of compromise.”

Under the program, a pilot will first be conducted in several suburban areas with a high concentration of fast food establishments. State and local health authorities will be tasked with tagging the obese with identifying markers. Tranquilizer guns will be made available for this phase, but Sebelius expects them not be necessary in most cases. “What are they going to do, run away?” she asked with a chuckle, noting the tens of millions of dollars that would be saved in diabetes-related treatments alone.

LaPierre found particular virtue in a provision of the legislation allowing the use of armor-piercing bullets on the obese. “It’s very important that we secured that right,” he stated, and said that the NRA found any restrictions on the bullets problematic, but was willing to go along with limitations on their use in other contexts. “There will be plenty of opportunity to exercise our Second Amendment rights with whatever ammunition we desire, as long as we target only the legitimately obese – and let’s face it, they make sweet targets.”

The proposal is not without administrative and legislative hurdles. The food and beverage industry may be loath to see its prime customer base drastically reduced, but lobbyists have said they might be willing to accept some population reduction, given that obesity is a growth industry. The extent of the industry’s flexibility on the issue has yet to be tested.

Of similar concern is the number of obese Americans in possession of guns, a statistic that might complicate implementation of the policy. LaPierre has suggested giving hunters an advantage via a return to the NRA’s original core endeavor, training Americans in marksmanship and the proper use of firearms, with emphasis on tactics that require mobility and a capacity to hide behind objects smaller than a standard golf cart.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie did not return several phone calls requesting comment.

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Written by Thag

January 13, 2013 at 2:19 pm

GOP: Death Penalty Would Have Deterred Murder-Suicde

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BoehnerNewtown, Connecticut (AP) – In the aftermath of the shooting deaths of dozens of Connecticut schoolchildren and teachers in a murder-suicide, the Republican National Committee issued a statement today touting the death penalty as an important measure in preventing massacres of this nature. Republican Congressional leaders also spoke out in favor of tougher penalties against the perpetrators of murder-suicides.

“Some very disturbed people can only be deterred by harsh consequences,” said House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner (R-OH). “It is imperative that American states adopt capital punishment for brutal crimes such as this. For some criminals, only by making them pay the ultimate price can we prevent other would-be mass murderers from committing mass murder and then suicide.” He noted that Connecticut abolished its death penalty in April of this year.

McConnellSenate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) echoed the theme. “The vast majority of Americans are law-abiding people, respectful of the law and of others,” he said at a press conference. “The overwhelming majority of us do not need penalties of any sort to get us to do the right thing. But a few individuals lack, unfortunately, that respect, and the only thing that can deter them from killing other people and themselves is the knowledge that they face the death penalty if they act on those brutal impulses.”

The Connecticut legislature passed the repeal of the state’s death penalty on April 11, and Governor Dannel Malloy signed the bill into law two weeks later. The law does not apply retroactively to the ten people currently on Connecticut’s death row.

RellFormer Connecticut Governor Jodi Rell lamented the repeal of the death penalty. “My administration specifically vetoed the abolition of capital punishment in Connecticut,” she said, referring to her action of May 2009, after the legislature passed a similar measure. “It was exactly this kind of horror I had in mind when I did so. I share the pain and anger of the people of Newtown,” she continued. “We now know all too well what happens when governments refuse to use the death penalty as a deterrent to murder-suicides.”

Rell cited statistics to support her argument, noting that not a single murder-suicide criminal in any state with the death penalty has ever murdered again. Moreover, she pointed out, the criminals in question never again committed any crime at all. “I don’t see how anyone can argue that the death penalty would not be effective under these circumstances, when the facts speak for themselves,” she said. “Life in prison – even without parole – still leaves a criminal with the opportunity to commit more crimes, especially in the event of an escape. These are some of the most dangerous people on the planet, with a reputation to prove it.”

“It’s too late to save the children of Newtown,” said Rell, “but I pray that Connecticut, along with the other sixteen states without a death penalty, reexamines its coddling of the perpetrators of murder-suicides. Then maybe, once again, these monsters can be prevented from taking others’ lives – and their own.”

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Written by Thag

December 17, 2012 at 3:17 pm

NRA Says Arming 6-Year-Olds Would Have Prevented Massacre

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NRAFairfax, Virginia (AP) – In response to the fatal shooting of 26 people at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, National Rifle Association Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre said that had the students been allowed to carry a weapon, the murders could have been averted.

“A gun is an easy piece of equipment to use,” said LaPierre at a news conference at NRA headquarters. “A child as young as five can be properly trained to load and aim one. I’m not saying that arming the children would have necessarily prevented all the tragic deaths, but I know the gunman would have thought twice before entering a classroom of two dozen first-graders with upwards of 140 rounds of ammunition at their disposal.”

“And that’s just if you assume each one has a six-shooter,” he continued, referring to the standard revolver. The number of potential deterrent bullets could rise as high as 360, said LaPierre, if each first-grader were provided with a weapon holding a 15-round magazine. He said the NRA would soon be offering firearms purchasing and training programs in school districts throughout the country.

Lanza, depicted as if he were encountering a roomful of first-graders armed to the teeth.

Lanza, depicted as if he were encountering a roomful of first-graders armed to the teeth.

According to the evidence the police have pieced together so far, twenty-year-old Adam Lanza forced his way into the school building and went from classroom to classroom, shooting students and faculty before taking his own life. It was as yet unclear how the weapons, which Lanza had taken from his mother after killing her earlier, came into her possession. They were a semiautomatic rifle and two semiautomatic pistols.

The shootings underscored the deep divide in the US between supporters of strict gun control and advocates of expansive Second Amendment rights. It is but the latest in a gruesome series of mass murders by gunfire over the last few years, each one rekindling the debate over what makes American society safer: more guns in the hands of more people, the fact of which might deter would-be attackers, or tougher access across the board to the acquisition of any firearms, which would make criminal shootings less likely.

The NRA has lobbied vigorously for freer access to firearms by the broadest possible section of American society. Aside from deterring crime, they contend, the preservation of Second Amendment liberties safeguards other fundamental rights that the government might, under some circumstances, attempt to deny, as if such an attempt would not be backed by firepower and tactics far that would overwhelm, to the point of ludicrousness, anything even collective US gun owners could muster.

As for statistics demonstrating that a gun owner is more likely to be killed by his own weapon than by anyone else’s, the NRA recommends expanding the pool of gun ownership even further. “We’re all about gun safety,” said NRA President David Keene. “Anyone who accidentally shoots himself probably deserves it, and anyone who does so intentionally, well, that’s one fewer loose cannon to worry about, right?” Arming elementary school children, argues Keene, would enable the youngsters to experience the responsibility at a tender age, responsibility that would bring a maturity currently in short supply.

“Kids love top play cops and robbers, or some variation thereof,” continued Keene. “Allowing them to do so with actual firearms would drive home the point that these things are not toys, and that their use requires a seriousness that can only serve them well – in school, at work, wherever.”

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Written by Thag

December 15, 2012 at 10:19 pm

Report: Killing the Poor for Sport Still Illegal

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hunt the homelessScarsdale, NY (AP) – A report in the journal The Economist is sending ripples through the nation’s elite strata by noting that despite the worthlessness of the destitute, the law does not permit hunting them down and killing them just for fun. The study looked at the statutes in all fifty U.S. states, and did not find a single instance of homicide legality shifting with the income level of the victim.

Already, teams of lawyers have begun conferring on the best approach to shield their wealthy clients in case the latter have run afoul of the law in this regard. The situation is made more complex by the fact that many of the lawyers themselves might be in the same predicament.

At the same time, a nascent lobbying effort has taken shape that will press for amendments to existing state codes. The lobbyists are expected to focus initially on states with large concentrations of both poor and ultra-rich, such as New York, California, Texas, Florida, Connecticut and Massachusetts, with secondary efforts homing in on Illinois, Michigan, New Jersey, Virginia and Maryland.

BurnsA search of the Lexis-Nexis database did not turn up any recent cases in which the poverty of the homicide victim was invoked in a defense, but legal scholar Ivory Towers cautions against inferring too much from that datum. “The fact is the vast majority of the wealthy’s indiscretions or brushes with the law never make it into official records,” she said, “so the formal legal databases are not going to be helpful.”

Towers did note that even within the official legal framework the poor tend to be seen as worth less, despite not officially being  fair game. In practice, she explained, courts tend to sentence the poor disproportionately to the death sentence when it is an option, all the more so if the perpetrator is black. If there does exist a distinction among victims, it is that murderers of whites are sentenced to death at a much higher rate than murderers of blacks and other minorities. But that is a far cry from the assumption that it is lawful to simply treat the lower classes as cannon fodder, as entertaining as the prospect may seem, Towers added.

What’s more, the Economist study points out that beyond the legal question, hunting the poor for sport is no longer the safe pursuit it once was. As the ranks of the poor swell, the temptation to cull the herd can lead to disastrous consequences: the sheer number of poor people threatens to overwhelm even the superior culture and firepower of the ruling classes, and provoking the rage of the proletariat and welfare demographic runs the risk of fomenting unwelcome instability.

The danger that the ever-richer will misstep in that regard has increased, says Cal Igula, who teaches economics and sociology at the University of California at Los Angeles. “The obscenely wealthy get more and more out-of-touch as their wealth increases, and they become ever blinder to the risks inherent in exploiting the poor beyond a certain point,” he said.

The study authors did offer the consolation that it is still perfectly legal to pretend not to be a bigot.

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Written by Thag

December 11, 2012 at 9:25 pm

Hamas to Execute Gravity for Collaboration with Israel

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gravityGaza City, Gaza Strip (AP) – The Hamas movement that governs the Gaza Strip has sentenced gravity to death, after the force of nature was convicted of providing assistance to Israel in its recent Pillar of Defense operation against the Gaza Strip, and in numerous Israeli assassinations of Islamic militants. All appeals have been exhausted, says gravity’s lawyer, Mahmoud Souingh.

Gravity stood trial for more than three hundred counts of treasonous collaboration, and was convicted on all counts. The total would have been higher, said prosecutor Mustafa Dayariyya, but his office decided only to pursue the ones with the most direct evidence. Each charge carries a mandatory death sentence by firing squad.

In most of the counts, gravity was charged with causing bombs from Israeli aircraft to descend, whereupon they hit buildings, roads and other targets, all contributing to the deaths of Palestinians. In other cases gravity insisted on allowing noncombatants to be harmed by incoming bombs, even where they were not the intended target. In still others, gravity caused entire structures to collapse after being hit. Although the last group accounted for the largest number of casualties, it represented the fewest individual counts.

In many other cases, the prosecution charged gravity with permitting Israeli artillery and mortar shells to enter a ballistic arc instead of continuing upward, where they would cause no damage.

Souingh had argued that the court should take into account gravity’s behavior when rockets and other projectiles were fired at Israel – that gravity also caused those missiles and shells to strike, and that gravity could not be accused of loyalties to one side or the other. In its closing arguments, the prosecution rebutted that contention by noting that gravity had allowed the Israeli Iron Dome interception system to knock about 80% of the rockets out of the sky, and notably refused to keep the interception projectiles on the ground.

Moreover, argued Dayariyya, gravity caused dozens, if not hundreds, of Palestinian rockets to fail to launch properly, resulting in “friendly fire” casualties among Gazans.

The well publicized trial comes against the backdrop of broad daylight shootings of suspected collaborators during the conflict. The political echelon of Hamas was embarrassed by the appearance of vigilante justice and the brutality with which the executions took place, all on a public street in full view of children and other bystanders. The careful selection of incidents with only carefully documented evidence occurred because while Hamas seeks to maintain the image of an orderly governing body, they have no wish to moderate public rage against collaborators by casting doubt on the veracity of any particular case.

Unlike the suspects gunned down last month, gravity had not yet been formally convicted of, or even charged with, collaboration beforehand. However, a number of Arab media outlets have questioned over the years whether various forces might be merely part of a vast Zionist conspiracy to control the world.

In Egypt, Iran and Sudan, sharks, squirrels and eagles, respectively, have been accused of acting as instruments of Israeli aggression or espionage, pointing to a sinister control Israel exerts over the animal world. Secular Israel has been accused of corrupting faith in God by manipulating the heavens so that the movements of the stars and planets contradict the cosmology of the Quran and other religious works.

Dude...how insecure do you have to be to find this idiot a threat?

Dude…how insecure do you have to be to find this idiot a threat?

In perhaps the most dramatic case, Muslims themselves have been manipulated by Israel and its backers, by mechanisms yet unexplained: the Muslim world was somehow made so insecure in its faith that millions of Muslims reacted with deadly violence to pathetic cartoons and films that made light of the prophet Muhammad. Authorities in Iran, the Gaza Strip, Sudan, Saudi Arabia and Indonesia have vowed to find the purveyors of that insecurity.

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Written by Thag

December 7, 2012 at 11:59 am

How to Choose a Mobster Nickname

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Written by Thag

October 21, 2012 at 10:25 pm

Typo Results in Drug Users Sent to Diction Counseling

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Macon, Georgia (AP) – Eleven residents of the Macon Metropolitan Area convicted earlier this month of possessing illegal drugs were ordered to report to the Booker T. Washington Community Center this morning to undergo diction counseling. The residents, who each have histories of substance abuse, expression confusion as they were shepherded into a room with Connie Stern, M.A., a vocal coach and diction consultant.

“Let’s start with vowels. Repeat after me, everyone: ah, ee, ay, oh, oo,” she began. “Now ee-NUN-ci-ate, please.”

The convicts, clearly not expecting this environment, initially resisted. “Ma’am, how is this supposed to help us?” asked Ward O’thestate, 26, of neighboring Dry Branch.

“Please, pronounce the ‘w’ in ‘how’,” admonished Stern, “or I shall be forced to report to the court that you are not cooperating.”

Connie Stern (AP)

Several other attendees managed to express their consternation at the turn of events, telling the Associated Press they had been led to believe they would be enrolled in a drug abuse counseling program. But Stern engaged their cooperation throughout the one-hour session, the first of ten scheduled classes on proper vocalization and pronunciation.

“The court clearly sees the need for these citizens to transform the way they communicate as the key to turning their lives around,” Stern said after the session. “I’ve never done anything like this before, but the county clerk called me up saying she had a court order that some convicts undergo diction counseling, and there was my name, right in the phone book. She seemed as surprised as I was, but I’m more than happy to count Bibb County among my clients.”

The participants’ reactions were mixed. “That was, uh, different,” reported Meth Labb, 30, of Warner Robins. “It wasn’t like that the last time I went for counseling, that’s for sure. But it says right here on this form I’m supposed to be here, and I don’t want no more trouble from the court over this. I already got fined for missing a session last time around. Maybe this is the one I missed,” he said, scratching his head.

The participants’ bodies had developed a chemical dependency on certain controlled substances, among them crystal meth, heroin and alcohol. As first- and second-time offenders, their plea-bargain arrangements called for them to undergo counseling to help them overcome that dependency.

The process includes meetings with the families of the participants to engage their cooperation and support, and Stern has already met with the relatives of those enrolled. “I didn’t quite understand what we’re supposed to accomplish here,” said Bee Wildered, the mother of one of the convicts. “But I know the system – you just do like you’re supposed to and they more or less leave you alone when it’s done.”

“Do as you’re supposed to, Mrs. Wildered,” corrected Stern. “And make sure your ‘to’ and ‘you’ rhyme with ‘blue’.”

The participants generally agreed that the first session, at least, featured little of the hostility, browbeating and criticism that they thought they would encounter. “I guess I’ll come back – she’s a nice lady,” said Coe Caine, 19, of Fort Valley. “Man, I’m itching to get back home. Mom, can I have my phone back? I need to call Julie. She said she’d hook me up with some – uh, with some – with some books.”

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Written by Thag

October 17, 2012 at 3:06 pm

Classic Thag, November 2010: Give Birth and I’ll Sue You

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Originally posted November 24, 2010.

Subject: Infant Smith v Mr. and Mrs. Smith

If it please the court:

I am writing on behalf of my client, Infant smith, who seeks redress on the following counts:

As Exhibit A demonstrates, my client was clearly happier in his previous quarters, as the lack of reality tv indicates.

1. On 20 October of this year, at approximately 4 p.m., Mrs. Smith knowingly and deliberately separated my client from his source of nourishment, warmth and safety, into an unspeakably harsh environment. Although my client continuously expressed his opposition to this course of action, Mrs. Smith proceeded to expel my client from the premises he had occupied for nine months.

2. While this was happening, Mr. Smith, rather than provide assistance, encouraged Mrs. Smith to continue her actions.

3. In addition to encouraging Mrs. Smith in her mistreatment of my client, Mr. Smith himself seized a pair of shears and severed my client’s metabolism from its source.

4. As a result of Mr. Smith’s act of vandalism, my client, accustomed to receiving oxygen to his cells directly, must inhale a mixture of gases through an untested and immature respiratory apparatus. This mixture of gases has been shown to contain countless pathogens and harmful substances.

5. As a further result of Mr. Smith’s vandalism, my client, accustomed to having nutrients fed directly into his bloodstream, must engage in a humiliating act called “feeding” in order to obtain nourishment: he must hold his mouth a certain way against a very specific part of Mrs. Smith’s anatomy, and repeatedly use his mouth to try to stimulate Mrs. Smith’s endocrine system to produce a substance for my client to ingest. The effort and discomfort involved in both extracting sufficient quantities of this substance and converting its components into physiologically useful materials takes a physical and emotional toll, causing my client to be perpetually tired, upset and uncomfortable.

And as you can see, he is clearly in distress during the procedure.

6. Moreover, whereas before his expulsion my client could efficiently dispose of his metabolic waste products through his circulatory system, he is now forced to expel much of the waste through his own anus, which can irritate his sensitive skin. He lies at the mercy of his abusers in this respect, as well, since only they posses the wherewithal to clean the area. My client’s immature muscular system simply lacks the capacity to address this need, foisted upon him by the defendants.

7. The harsh lighting and unfamiliar, loud sounds of my client’s unwanted new environment further contribute to his discomfort and displeasure.

8. In his rightful environs, my client had no need for garments, but now risks exposure to extremes of heat and cold, not to mention the fundamental violation of his human dignity inherent in that exposure. Here, as well, my client lies at the mercy of his victimizers, as they alone decide if, when and how to garb my client. In addition to the obvious humiliation this engenders, my client has no say in the sartorial selection process.

If it please the court, my client therefore requests his immediate restoration to his previous abode, under the same conditions to which he became accustomed over the course of his entire existence.

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Written by Thag

October 13, 2012 at 9:45 pm

The Media: Just the Plural for Medium – as in Fortune Teller

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Headlines as Appearing in:

The New York Times

The New York Post

Your High School Newspaper

The National Enquirer

Cuomo’s First Nine Months in Office a Modest Success

Guv Giving It All

Andrew Cuomo Elected Governor of NY (the State)

Cuomo Family Avoids Staying at Haunted Executive Mansion

Osama Bin Laden Killed in Commando Raid

We Got Him!

Who Is Osama Bin Laden?

Navy SEAL Team Six Kills Two-Headed Elvis Clone at Bin Laden Compound

Obama Presses Israel on Settlements

Prez to Bibi: Stop It

Debating Team Debates Israel vs. Palestine

Obama Proves He’s a Muslim

Yankees Clinch Division; Red Sox Eliminated

Yanks Top Sux -Again

Cougars Beat Westville High

Ghost of Babe Ruth Runs Amok in Fenway Clubhouse

Irene Damage Estimated at $4 Billion

Hizzoner: Send Irene Bill to Feds

Mrs. Miller Remembers 1985 Hurricane Gloria

NASA Steered Hurricane to NYC

Stock Market Drops 8%

Stocks Tumble, Execs Grumble

Teachers in Foul Mood Over Something or Other Regarding “Pensions”

Invisible Hand Seen over NY Stock Exchange Floor

Gunman Kills 10 in Memphis Campus Shooting Spree

Redneck Rampage: 10 Dead

Student Suspended for Bringing Fake Gun to School

Giant Anaconda Devours Children on Way to School

Idaho Ex-Governor Convicted of Embezzlement, Breach of Trust

Book Thrown at Boise Bookie

Betting Pool Arises over Anticipated Firing Date of Chemistry Teacher

Possessed Jury Calls for Capital Punishment in Civil Lawsuits

Pollution Depresses Economy Dependent on River Fish

PCBs Pound Palookaville

A Reminder to Wash Hands after Using the Bathroom

Godzilla’s Return Imminent, Say Government Scientists

US Strips Former Death Camp Guard of Citizenship

Ex-Nazi Extradition

Mr. Parker Lectures on Prejudice

Auschwitz Guard Reincarnated as Lamp Post

Steve Jobs, Founder of Apple, Dead at 56

Jobs, Well, Done

A Portrait of an American Entrepreneur by Jamie Howard (9th grade)

Will of Steve Jobs Found Scrawled in Blood on Skin of Missing IBM Exec

2 Americans Awarded Nobel Prize for Economics

U.S.A.! U.S.A.!

Senior Awards Ceremony Canceled

Economists Predict Third, Fourth and Fifth Great Depressions before 2015

Heat Trade James Back to Cleveland

LeBron Comes Crying Home

Coach’s Arrest Delays Varsity Tryouts

‘I Learned Basketball from Himmler,’ Says Drunk LeBron

NASA Announces Discovery of New Earth-Like Planet

Life Out There?

Pluto No Longer a Planet

Life Out There!

Should Have Read the Actual Rental Contract

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RENTAL AGREEMENT
between
________________________, lessor
and
________________________, lessee
signed on _____________
for the property at ____________________________________________________________

1. Lessor and lessee must figure out which of the  terms refers to whom before proceeding with any of this.

2. Once the respective identities of the lessor and lessee are understood by both parties, they may enter into awkward negotiations.

3. If lessor and lessee are friends, the lessor must be the one to broach the subject of payment terms.

4. The monthly rent shall be $ ______, payable in cash, check, PayPal transfer, babysitting hours, child care hours, or janitorial hours with emphasis on dish washing.

5. Lessor guarantees that his children will not be actively encouraged to invade the room provided to the lessee.

6. Lessee absolved lessor of liability for damage to lessee property as a result of children nevertheless barging into the room and manhandling everything in sight.

7. Lessor will ensure availability of toilet paper, soap and towels in sufficient quantities.

8. Lessee will keep toilet paper and soap the hell out of the reach of lessor’s children.

9. Lessee is welcome at any family meals at no additional charge, provided sufficient advance notice is given.

10. Lessee will find adequate solutions to the problem of different children insisting on sitting next to lessee during said meals.

11. This agreement may be terminated by lessor with one months’ notice, or by the lessee upon witnessing the havoc wrought by children of the lessor, havoc that could be neither anticipated, as they seemed like such angels, nor prevented, as who would think a seven-year-old could pick a lock?

Signatures:  Lessor ________________________  Date _______________

Lessee _________________________ Date ____________________

Written by Thag

September 14, 2011 at 9:27 pm

Objection! Your Honor, the Defendant Is Wiping Boogers on the Table

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To: Ms. Sally Seppuku
From: P. Lionel  Throckmorton, Esq.

Subject: Your behavior towards my client in preschool

Dear Ms. Seppuku:

I have been retained as attorney by Ms. Melanie Saggypants, your classmate at the Elmer J. Figlicker Preschool. My client wishes to inform you that unless you cease and desist from a series of unwarranted and undesired behaviors, she will have no choice but to terminate unilaterally your relationship as “best friends.” The list of behaviors includes, but is not limited to, the following:

1. Saving a seat at snack time for that poopyhead Arthur.

2. Hogging the violet (purple) Crayola™ crayon.

3. Refusing to allow my client to cut into the line for recess ahead of you, insisting instead that she cut in back of you.

4. Being a know-it-all about which colors mix together to make orange and pink.

5. Always getting to the red-haired doll first, which everyone knows is the prettiest, and not letting anyone else hold it no matter how many times they promise to be your best friend.

6. Holding the scissors with your left hand. It’s just wrong. Only weirdos use lefty scissors.

7. Bringing gross sandwiches for lunch, such as pesto or mozzarella cheese, or anything that is not peanut butter and jelly.

8. Mixing the different colors of Play Doh together.

9. Making a big deal about being one of the only kids in the class who knows how to color inside the lines.

10. Other corroded behaviors that my client reserves the right to specify at a later date.

Should these behaviors not cease entirely by the thirtieth of this month, my client will be compelled to withdraw the “best friends” status that has heretofore characterized the relationship. Such a step would have consequences including, but not limited to, the following:

1. No more spontaneous availability for play dates.

2. No more sharing of junky snacks.

3. No more sharing of shoes, socks and clothes.

4. Finding other classmates with whom to sing nonsense songs over and over and over and over again until a grown-up yells at us.

My client and I anticipate your cooperation in this matter.

Sincerely,

P. Lionel Throckmorton, Esq.

Written by Thag

September 12, 2011 at 8:28 pm

This Court Will Recess While the Plaintiff Puts Away All the LEGO

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Thank you, Your Honor.

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury: you have been assembled here to decide whether Thag and Miggtha, the parents of the plaintiff, have served ably as parents. The plaintiff intends to demonstrate that the defendants knowingly and maliciously deprived my client of privileges to which he has an inalienable right: play dates; junky snacks; being served first; going a week without bathing. They engaged in this behavior with complete awareness that my client desired the exact opposite. They imposed their will on him, using their superior size, experience and authority in the household.

As counsel for the plaintiff, I apologize in advance for exposing you to the disturbing images, episodes and statements you will encounter during these proceedings. But they must be examined by your eyes and ears if justice is to be done. You alone have the power to determine whether the defendants can continue to serve as parents to my client, or at the very least to compel them to alter their parental policies for the better.

We will show that the deprivation the defendants cause my client are attributable only to malice, not to legitimate considerations; that the desired and actual effect of these policies was to upset my client; and that the defendants reacted to my client’s anger by denying he had a legitimate grievance.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is your job: to examine the evidence presented to you and, determine whether, as we believe, it proves that my client’s parents must grant him the privileges and pleasures that he deserves.

***********************************************************

Good morning, members of the jury.

I, too, must apologize to you, for the colossal waste of time this will turn out to be.

You see, contrary to what the plaintiff’s counsel would have you believe, the only animus at play in the interactions between the plaintiff and defendants came from the plaintiff himself. The only malice ever expressed was a product of the plaintiff’s own distorted perception, not from my clients. I intend to show that every single episode of alleged parental misconduct was either precipitated by the plaintiff himself, or beyond the control of my clients.

Thag and Miggtha are more than adequate parents: they provide and care for their children; tuck them in every night; read them stories; even let them watch movies when time allows. But they have certain red lines the plaintiff has repeatedly and flagrantly attempted to violate. It is those violations, not my clients’ legitimate responses to them, that should be our focus here.

Far be it from me to accuse the plaintiff of systematic brinkmanship and provocation although such a characterization cannot be far from the truth; but I will demonstrate that his accusations against my clients stem not from a just desire to right any wrongs perpetrated against him, but from a corrupt worldview that assumes he is automatically entitled to the fulfillment of his desires. For the plaintiff, justice means getting what he wants – or making those who refuse to do so feel his wrath.

Do not be fooled, ladies and gentlemen of the jury. What you will see is not the malicious, cruel story of abusive parents, but a pair of put-upon, tired and patient human beings whose son has yet to outgrow the notion that the universe revolves around him.

What the plaintiff needs, ladies and gentlemen, is not restitution, but the loving, sincere provision of a swift kick in the pants.

Written by Thag

June 30, 2011 at 12:06 pm

Extra! Extra! Read All About These Tired Slogans!

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Right now, for a limited time only, you can get your hands on these advertising clichés with NO MONEY DOWN! That’s right! No money down on these proven hits! With our rock-bottom prices on hackneyed advertising copy, you won’t find a better deal anywhere else!

Why settle for less when you can have the best? Act now, and these overused phrases can be yours at prices so low, we’re not allowed to reveal them in this ad! And if you order now, we’ll also include a set of spare exclamation points! Use them in text messages! Use them in e-mails! Use them to indicate swear words! The sky’s the limit – if you call now!

We all know there’s nothing like a good cliché. When the chips are down and the whole enchilada is on the line, you want phrases with an unmatched track record. You want words that have been there, done that and bought the T-shirt. You want locution that gets right to the heart of your message using language so trite that no one is surprised to read or hear it. In other words, you want to buy these clichés RIGHT NOW. So what are you waiting for?

This great deal won’t last forever. And to make sure your heart’s in it, for the first two hundred callers we’ll also throw in images of streamers, balloons and some fictitious room full of operators just waiting to take your call – operators uttering such phrases as “how may I help you?” and “will that be all, sir?” With those images, you’ll have no trouble at all putting together your own hold music – and this package includes the sought-after platitude “your call is important to us”! Think of what you can accomplish with the tired phrases, the exclamation points and the disclaimers recited at breakneck speed in the last few seconds of the ad!

But wait…there’s more. If you’re one of the first thirty callers, we’ll also give you this book full of quotation marks that you can apply to phrases of your own, and give them the mystique that only quotation marks can provide! Turn words into “words” in a flash! Confuse literate people with your “use” of “terms”! Cast doubt on your intelligence by making your printed slogan look ironic or sarcastic! Nothing tells your customers you might not care about them quite like “We care about our customers” with the visual equivalent of “air quotes”! And it all comes with a thirty-day, MONEY-BACK GUARANTEE!

So what are you waiting for?! Call now and get the cliché package and the exclamation points – at low, low prices! And if you’re one of the first two hundred callers, we’ll give you the stock imagery of attractive, overdressed operators busily answering phones! If you act quickly enough, you can be one of the lucky thirty who walk away with “handy” quotation marks! Get up and call now! Our operators are standing by!

(Void where prohibited. Limit one per customer. Offer expires 01/01/11. This promotion may not be combined with any other promotion. Employees of Mightier Than The Pen and their families are not eligible for this offer. Domestic US shipping only. Please allow four to six weeks for delivery. Price does not include shipping and handling. Tax, title and registration extra. Offer valid only while supplies last. Batteries not included. Each sold separately. All part of a complete breakfast. Paid for by Tim Pawlenty for President. Writers’ opinions are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Mightier Than The Pen. There will be no green M&Ms anywhere backstage. The presence of green M&Ms will result in the cancellation of this contract. © 2011.  All rights reserved.)

Written by Thag

June 21, 2011 at 3:14 pm

You Want Dessert? First Eat This Boot

with 2 comments

We, the undersigned, the parents of this household, acknowledge the receipt of the children’s list of grievances, and dismiss them with a wave of the hand. Our point-by-point rebuttal follows.

1. What other parents do has little or no bearing on the management of this household’s affairs, least of all other parents too lazy to insist on a proper diet for their children. We call to attention to the fact that these other households spend ridiculous stretches of time gaping at their television screens, yet somehow our children did not sense that the lack of such an appliance in our household requires remedying that nonconformity.

2. Please refer again to rebuttal point number one. We shall add that on those occasions when the parents of this household make the effort to procure or prepare burgers, pizza or hot dogs, at least one child demands the food be prepared in a very specific manner or it will go uneaten. The parental efforts have not once yielded an expression of gratitude in keeping with the level of desire the children claim to associate with said foodstuffs. On the subject of chocolate spread, it should be noted that an admixture of sugar, oil, stabilizers and just enough cocoa powder to turn the substance brown does not satisfy any reasonable requirement that a substance dubbed “chocolate spread” must contain something more closely resembling actual chocolate.

3. We refer the complainants to every Friday afternoon, when the treats from friendly Mrs. Lewis render the evening repast an intense negotiation session just to get two of the children to finish a single chicken wing each.

4. Refer again to point number one. It should also be noted that unlike many of their peers, the children of this household remain at negligible risk of obesity, diabetes or the development of such a jaded sense of taste that only the cloyingly sweet retains gastronomic appeal. The parents of the household hereby notify the children that they expect commensurate gratitude in ensuing years for a policy that enables said children to appreciate subtleties of flavor and aroma.

5. We refer the complainants to the fructose content of, for example, a wedge of cantaloupe or watermelon. See also point number four.

6. This house is not a restaurant, at which each diner may select a series of items to be prepared according to his or her wishes. What is more, nowhere in the Bill of Rights, or any other text associate with natural rights, can one find mention of dessert as a right of any sort. In fact, as the parents of this household find necessary to emphasize with troubling frequency, dessert must be earned. As access to dessert is not a right, it follows that the availability of dessert in keeping with one’s own finicky, dainty preferences is not guaranteed under any rational system of human rights.

7. Please refer again to points one and four. It bears pointing out that when the children of this household administer their own serving, the result frequently entails a parent cleaning up a hardly-touched dish of said food within ten minutes.

In light of the above, we the parents summarily reject the claims of the children and note that we the parents are the selfsame authorities to which the children seek to appeal. Now get back to your homework or read a book or something.

Authoritatively yours,

Thag and Miggtha (Mom and Dad to you, you little ingrates)

Written by Thag

June 2, 2011 at 10:54 pm

Serve More Junk Food or the Bunny Gets It

with one comment

We, the undersigned, children of the household, hereby declare our dissatisfaction with the parental policy regarding the category of comestibles commonly referred to as “junk food.” The delineation of our grievances in this matter follows.

1. A detailed survey of our peers reveals that our household policy of only one (1) junky snack per week falls far below the average for each of our peer groups. Our observations and inquiries point to a median daily junky snack provision of two (2) such snacks per child.

2. The parental definition of “junky” is at odds with the sensibilities of our peer groups and their parents. While in this family the prevailing categorization refers to anything containing disproportionate quantities of sugar, fat or salt, society at large holds to a significantly narrower definition. As evidence, we adduce the practice of many classmates who bring chocolate spread sandwiches to school for lunch, and countless families who habitually consume burgers, hot dogs and fries for dinner.

3. There has yet to be a single provable instance in which the consumption of junk food immediately before a meal has affected the appetite of the eater to a substantial degree.

4. The practice of allowing dessert only on weekends leaves the children of this family egregiously under-supplied in comparison with their peers, many of whom even bring dessert to school to eat with their lunches.

5. The parental idea that fruit can somehow serve as dessert flies in the face of societal sensibilities, according to which the “dessert” label can only apply to substances with added sugar and/or fat.

6. The instances in which the parents of the family have neglected to prepare dessert to the liking of every single child are too numerous to catalog. In each case, the child with unfulfilled wishes is left to ponder why his parents seem not to love him as much as they do his siblings, who for some ungodly reason seem to like oatmeal cookies.

7. The serving size of junky snacks and desserts in this household falls far short of the typical serving sizes by which our peers and their parents abide.

In light of the above, we the children petition the authorities to prevail upon the parental units of this household to adhere to more widely accepted standards regarding junk food and desserts.

Respectfully yours,

The children of Thag and Miggtha

Written by Thag

May 31, 2011 at 10:49 pm