Recently in Fake News Category

blogging the roll call vote

Many people have analyzed the speeches by Sarah Palin, Rudy Giuliani, and Mike Huckabee from last night at the Republican National Convention. Here at Zembla, we are focusing on more important matters: namely, the state-by-state roll call vote. Enjoy the real-time observations of the awkward, tedious, and anticlimactic action after the jump.

that's what tiggers do best

Driving down Guerrero Street today, I noticed a series of advertisements for "Grizzly Gulch", a new attraction at the SF Zoo. The promotional campaign could not have come at a worse time for the zoo, reminding a terrified public that, yes, other enormous alpha predators exist at the unsafe, negligent zoo. Judging by other safety standards in the SF Zoo, the grizzlies are most likely separated from the public by a six-foot-high fence of cardboard, and a sign with a stern warning telling bears to stay put.

(Speaking of things that are six feet high, check out The Six Feet or Taller Show, January 8th at 12 Galaxies.)

The SF Zoo could learn from a recent incident at the Hundred Aker Wood Zoological Gardens, when a Tigger escaped from its enclosure and bounced several visitors. One victim was found horribly bounced outside the Tigger habitat. Two other victims were...also bounced. All are recovering swiftly, still somewhat sore and annoyed at the Tigger. One of the as-yet unidentified victims commented, "Oh, bother."

The height of the moat inside the Tigger habitat was 16 3/4 feet. While that height well exceeds the recommended standard for tigers, it does not take into account that Tiggers' tops are made out of rubber, and that their bottoms are made out of springs. An official noted, "Look, we all agree that Tiggers are bouncy, trouncy, flouncy pouncy, fun, fun, fun, fun, FUN. But we must remember that Tiggers are alpha predators, albeit cuddly ones."

According to eyewitness reports, the Tigger followed the victims to a house at the edge of the wood, where he bounced them repeatedly under a gold sign that read "Mr. Sanders". The attack stopped when the Tigger became distracted by a large quantity of extract of malt, and bounced away. Zookeepers tracked down the Tigger when he foolishly bounced into a tree, and was too scared to come down. The zoo's director extracted a promise from the Tigger that he would no longer bounce zoo visitors. However, officials were considering releasing the Tigger from the promise because he "looks so sad".

Managing director Christopher Robin explained. "Sometimes the Tigger gets too enthusiastic, and bounces people that don't want to be bounced. But to take away his bouncing might be to take away his most essential Tigger nature. After all, that's what Tiggers do best, and he's the only one. Oh he's the only one!"

pakistan and bootleg dvds

Things are getting crazy in Pakistan, something that is well-documented at legitimate internet news sources. The president of Pakistan, General Pervez Musharraf, declared a state of emergency, closing down private TV stations, suspending the constitution, cracking down on the judiciary branch, and imprisoning his opponents. This is bad for the Bush administration, who has made Pakistan a big ally in the war on terror and supported them with billions of dollars in aid. It's embarrassing because they're supposed to support democracy, and Musharraf is acting like a dictator.

However, it seems like Pakistan should be a Republican wet dream at this point. Militaristic, focused on the war on terror, president who wasn't actually elected, power in the hands of religious fundamentalists, illegal abortions - Bush should be jealous. Add to that Musharraf's attacks on "activist judges" and the bonuses he awards for beating and imprisoning lawyers, and you would think Republicans would be drooling over the current state of affairs in Pakistan. Incidentally, the two people most prominently complaining about an activist judiciary in the past few days have been General Musharraf and presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

I don't know a lot about its internal politics, but I am not surprised that Pakistan has become violent, if only based on their bootleg DVDs. Yes, bootleg DVDs. The covers of black market DVDs of American films, in Pakistan, feature covers in which they imply far more violent content than their films contain. Or, as my friend reported after a trip to Karachi and many bootleg purchases, "Pakistani DVDs add guns."


Example: The Wedding Planner. As you can see above, the American, non-bootleg version is pretty innocuous. In the Pakistani version, a disembodied arm has been pasted in just below J-Lo's left shoulder, as if Matthew McConaughey was making her plan a wedding at gunpoint. Behind the couple, there is an ominous, shadowy figure holding a weapon. Finally, an automatic weapon points from the left side of the poster, pretty much floating in space.

What does this tell us about the international situation? One, we need to worry less about activist judges, and more about the activist MPAA, whose reactionary rating system apparently has held The Wedding Planner back from being something totally awesome. Two, the United States should devote some of its aid package to camera equipment, lighting, and high-end editing software. Like you wouldn't rent Lawyer Beatdown II: The Revenge? Finally, if the Bush Administration really wants to end this coup, they won't bother with wussy diplomats and negotiators. They'll send Matthew McConaughey, that shadowy dude behind him, and a whole lot of guns. This November: Plan on action!



There's a scandal surrounding Blackwater, a private security firm that contracts with the US military in Iraq. I don't need to get into the specifics here, but there's civilian murders, general disregard for Iraqis and their laws, and drunken, post-Christmas-party politician-bodyguard-shooting. (The Blackwater guard in that case didn't face charges, but he did lose his Christmas bonus. His wrist is still smarting.)

So, Blackwater is clearly a nefarious organization. The founder even stole his nameplate on his way out of a Congressional hearing. However, this shouldn't surprise anyone. They're called Blackwater, a name that to me suggests pollution, dark magic, dead bodies in a river, the stuff that the Dave Matthews Band dumps out of their tour bus. How could you not believe an organization called Blackwater was up to dirty deeds?

Charles Dickens would reject "Blackwater" as a character name due to its lack of subtlety. "'Krook', yes. 'McChoakumchild', absolutely. 'Blackwater'? I don't want to insult my readers' intelligence here."

In The Bourne Ultimatum, they at least go with "Blackbriar" as the name of the dirty assassin-training program - at least that evokes nature and life somewhat, not filthy puddles of oil-saturated water. "Blackwater" means kidney disease, explosions of algae, and water that's full of fecal matter, much like Blackwater owner Erik Prince's Congressional testimony.

I would trust a mercenary army called Cobra more than I would one called Blackwater. Say what you will about the tenets of the Cobra Commander's philosophy, but at least it's an ethos.


get vitamins or die tryin

50 Cent stands to make over $400 million after Coca-Cola bought the company that makes Vitamin Water. Maybe he'll change his name to 40 Billion Cent ha ha topical!

50 Cent might shoot me for making that terrible joke.

I guess he was rich already, but I would really enjoy it if this windfall meant 50 totally dropped his hard-edged persona and basically became Theo Huxtable. Come on, you wouldn't want to hear see him dressed in a Gordon Gartrelle shirt in the video for Justine, Justine!? He could diss Mrs. Griswald, the mean landlady from the Real World Apartments. Or, he could perform a eulogy rap for Lamont, Rudy's old goldfish. I have always thought that, given their inadequate housing and constant proximity to death, goldfish would share a certain life perspective with gangsta rappers, so this could really go places.


Stanford's scandal du jour is the story of Azia Kim, an 18-year-old who sucessfully pretended to be a Stanford student for nearly eight months.

This is very similar to the story of Buddy Teevens, the Florida tight ends coach who led the Stanford football team from 2002-4. Athletic Director Ted Leland was going to conduct an elaborate search for departing coach Tyrone Willingham's replacement, but when Teevens showed up in 2002, no one questioned him. Soon he was leading practices, making recruiting trips, and drawing up doomed ineffectual game plans. The athletic department tolerated this because, as one staffer said, "Buddy was so nice. No one wanted to confront him."


An anonymous SEC head football coach said, "With your assistant coaches, you know two years in advance that this guy is going to end up coaching at a Big Ten school, being regarded as being the top of the game," he said. "Buddy wasn’t one of those. I don't think anyone would say that.

Lacking a Stanford ID or key card, Teevens would enter the locker room by climbing onto a dumpster and entering through an open window. "I thought he just liked breezes," said a former player. "Breezes, and getting his ass kicked at the Big Game." Some players speculate that Teevens was homeless, and spent many nights in the trainer's room if he couldn't find an assistant coach to crash with.

Eventually, the ruse was discovered, and Teevens was relieved of his duties. Friends and colleagues speculate that it may have been peer pressure that caused Teevens to pretend to be a real football coach. He was replaced by Walt Harris, who resigned after his parents found out he'd been spending most nights at his girlfriend's house.

local news seals the deal

On Monday, April 23, a suicide bomber killed nine US soldiers in Iraq. Boris Yeltsin and David Halberstam both died. What did the San Francisco Chronicle use as their top headline?


Yes, the deadly, fearsome elephant seal. 2,500 pounds of raw, harbor -seal-killing fury. The citizens of Sonoma must be warned! Away from Goat Rock Beach, or suffer the seal's wrath!

The seal has reportedly killed a dozen harbor seals, and bitten a surfer. It has also bitten a dog, not to step on anyone's area of expertise. It lunges "like a crocodile", according to witnesses.

It may be that the Chron wanted to feature the story so they could put up a video of the elephant seal doing "straight-out murder":

This film clip can be hard to watch. But it is nature primeval presented in its pure form. The size and power of the rogue elephant seal now dwelling at the mouth of the Russian River near Jenner is on display. So is his murderous intent as he overwhelms the hapless harbor seal, pummels it and twirls it like a wet rag. Meanwhile, as a backdrop, the seagulls on the sandbar flutter and land, again and again, agitated by the event but unsure of the danger to themselves. You may be sure that when the elephant seal ends his rampage, the gulls will swoop in to snatch up the gobbits of offal scattered about on the sand. Such is life in the raw. Or, as the late Kurt Vonnegut remarked, "so it goes."

They may not appeal to people who want reporting, but by God, the Chronicle is going to be #1 with Vonnegut aficionados who collect seal snuff films, or go bankrupt trying.

The best part? The murderous seal's name is "Nibbles".

demian bulwa's notebook

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Demain Bulwa's reporter's notebook:

James Mosqueda: Terrorist?

Mosque + Al Qaeda = Mosqueda?

People in prison become Muslims - heroin is grown in Afghanistan - connection?

Oil tanker full of oil from... Iraq? (Investigate where oil refined)

Mosqueda from Yolo County - terrorists from Lodi County - that's only two counties away! Research further.

To Do:

Get eggs, pork rinds, at Safeway
Build shelf for Pulitzer
Character assassination

ten billion a month

From SF Gate:

War Costs Approach $10 Billion

The war in Iraq is costing $10 billion every month. That's a one followed by 10 zeroes. It's almost impossible to comprehend, so let me give you some perspective. $10 billion a month could...

  • for an across-the-board 25% reduction in taxes for oil companies.
  •, feed, and torture nearly 6 million prisoners - 7.5 million if those prisoners are in Afghanistan.
  • nearly 500,000 quail-hunting trips.
  • ...allow for 75,000 additional wiretaps.
  • over 12 million Medals of Freedom.
  • ...leave 225,000 more minority children behind.

Late Night Appearance Affirms Vigoda Aliveness

A recent cameo appearance on "Late Night With Conan O'Brien" by actor Abe Vigoda confirmed that the 82 year old actor has not yet died. The actor, participating in a sketch about Quentin Tarantino, was greeted with warm applause and mutters of, "He's alive?" Vigoda was a good sport, as always, even donning a blond wig in an [unsuccessful] attempt to spark the [unfunny] sketch. Coincidentally, the audience reaction at seeing a living, breathing Vigoda came just as the sketch itself nearly died.

O'Brien's show adopted Vigoda as a recurring cast member and symbol of man's struggle to stave off the Grim Reaper five years ago. Since then, he has made frequent cameos, his distinctive eyebrows and imposing cranial structure reminding fans of "The Godfather", "Barney Miller", and their own mortality.

"We love Abe," said O'Brien. "And as long as he's physically capable of standing upright and reading a single line written extra-big on a cue card, we're going to keep putting him in sketches that people wouldn't normally applaud, but will because he's in them and not dead. Because that's the Conan O'Brien way, and ever since Andy left, we've been a little bit desperate."

Vigoda enjoys his appearances on the show, and plans to continue to make cameo appearances and cheat death for the foreseeable future. The scourge of dead pools everywhere insists he is working and in good health, and promises to one day "dance on all your motherfucking graves."

Parents of Honor Student Not Especially Proud

Contrary to the sentiment proclaimed by the sticker on the back bumper of their Nissan Pathfinder, parents Eric and Heidi Anderson are not overly proud of their honor student son, Tucker. Tucker, who achieved a 3.57 grade point average in the second quarter, received the bumper sticker along with a congratulatory certificate from the principal last month. The certificate was placed on the refrigerator, mostly obscured by a Pizza Hut delivery menu and an oversized American flag magnet.

"Yeah, he's technically an honor student, but let's be realistic," said Mr. Anderson. "This is seventh grade. We're not exactly talking about the Dean's List here."

Ms. Anderson pointed out the unchallenging nature of many of Tucker's classes. "He got 'A's in Introductory Spanish, PE, and Wood Shop. And judging by the state of that birdhouse in the backyard, his shop teacher is grading on a curve. Let's see how he does next year in Pre-Algebra, or trying to conjugate irregular verbs."

Both parents expressed that, while not disappointed in Tucker's academic performance, they would likely be prouder of athletic or social achievements. "Maybe if he was able to hit the damn ball out of the infield, that'd be something," remarked Mr. Anderson.

"Or maybe if he had a girlfriend," said Ms. Anderson. "Of course with his complexion, that's a pipe dream."

Examining the bumper of his Pathfinder more carefully, Mr. Anderson also admitted that his vehicle was not in fact protected by Smith and Wesson, and that even if schools had all the money they needed, it would be unfeasible for the Air Force to fund purchases of fighter planes by way of bake sales.

USA Finishes Third in BCS Rankings

As critics renew their cries for a world superpower playoff, the United States finished #3 in the final rankings released by the BCS (Battle Championship Series) rankings, behind the People's Republic of China and LSU. China will face off against LSU in the Nokia Sugar Bowl, while the United States will be facing an undetermined opponent from the Middle Eastern Conference in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl.

The BCS rankings average the results of the UN/ESPN and the Associated Press pundits poll with those of five different computer ranking systems. Though the USA was comfortably ahead in both "human" polls, the computers downgraded them due to their weak strength of schedule. Their military record, while impressive, was amassed against weak opponents like Afghanistan and Serbia. In contrast, LSU played Mississippi on the road, Florida at home, and defeated #11 Georgia twice.

"Obviously, everybody wants to see the top two squads face off," said analyst Kirk Herbstreit. "The fans want it, the Republic of Taiwan wants it, and the defense contractors want it. But the conference presidents and defense secretaries signed off on this deal, and now they're just going to have to live with the consequences."

While military fans around the world have been critical of the BCS rating of the United States military, some have called the United States overrated. The lack of success for recent stars after leaving the military, from Norman Schwartzkopf to Wesley Clark to Gino Torretta, supports this argument. Others say that the US military looks better by "running up the score" on opponents, particularly their tendency to call for "the bomb" even with victory well in hand.

Still, US leaders have refused to acknowledge the legitimacy of the BCS, calling the system's disparate results from the polls an "affront to democracy." When reached for comment, a military spokesman commented, "USA! USA!"

Jack Johnson Music Helps Fan Stay In Coma

After a relatively minor accident led to a miraculous two-week state of profound unconsciousness for Stan Samuelson, doctors are crediting the music of Jack Johnson for keeping the patient comatose.

"Normally, head trauma like Stan received from his surfing accident might lead to an overnight hospital stay, or at worst, a few days of unconsciousness," said neurologist Matthew Davidson. "But in this case, even though Stan shows no signs of brain stem damage or swelling, he has been in a relaxed, laid-back coma for nearly fourteen days. It is my professional opinion that 'Brushfire Fairytales' is responsible."

Friends and family flocked to Stan's bedside within hours of his concussion, suffered after a particularly gnarly wipeout. On the advice of coma recovery experts, Stan's support network played his favorite Jack Johnson CDs and independent surf videos around the clock, in hopes of inspiring him to wake up. Instead, the music seems to have had a negative effect. Twice, Stan has appeared to be coming out of his smiling, low-pressure coma, opening his eyes and speaking briefly. But both times he merely muttered the phrase, "Sweet, bra" and lapsed back into unconsciousness.

"If only Stan would make an effort, I believe he could still recover with very little lasting damage," commented head surgeon Rick Robertson. "Unfortunately, Stan's neurological functions have been slowing it down, and taking it progressively easier as the days pass and that 'Flake' song repeats over and over. Soon he will be too mellow to have any possibility of recovering his motor skills"

Hopes that Johnson's new EP might jolt Stan out of his coma were quickly deflated when doctors heard the first relaxed notes. Still, doctors have not given up on Stan. After all, remarked Matthewson, "We might as well relax, check his respirator, and just chill for a little while."

(creative credit also due to Allen Haim for this piece)

afghanistan complains of neglect

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In a tear-filled press conference earlier this week, Afghanistan complained of neglect from the United States Army. Whereas just a year ago, Afghanistan was the main priority for the US Army, now the nation seems like "an afterthought," the central Asian nation said.

"The Army doesn't care about me anymore," Afghanistan sniffed. "I used to be mentioned in the State of the Union address, angry UN resolutions, all kinds of stuff. Now I'm lucky if Tom Ridge even remembers my name. It's almost like the Army is ashamed of what we had."

There are still over a hundred thousand American troops in the country, but to Afghanistan, it's not just the military presence that counts. For months, it had begun to suspect that the Army's interest was waning, and that it was looking at other Muslim nations. When President Bush announced the imminent invasion of Iraq back in March, Afghanistan's worst fears were realized.

"It makes me sad to realize that, even in the midst of bombing Afghani civilians, the United States Army was thinking about Iraq. That's right, attacking me, while thinking of another country! I feel devastated. Emotionally devastated, not just devastated from all the bombs and rockets."

When the military action began, the United States talked about building democracy, repairing infrastructure, and catching the terrorists responsible for the World Trade Center disaster. When Afghanistan heard the same promises being made to Iraq, that broke its heart.

"I understand that Iraq is the United States Army's old enemy, and it's only natural that there's still a spark of aggression there," said Afghanistan. "Still, I hope they realize the US Army is all talk. Don't believe all those sweet words, Iraq."

Afghanistan claimed that Syria told it that the United States Army had been making military advances at its country during the fighting in Iraq. It added, "Everyone knows the US Army is using Iraq to try to get into Iran's panties anyway. But whatever, Iraq deserves it, that bitch."

Since the United States Army turned its attention elsewhere, Afghanistan has been moping around a lot, eating chocolate and watching "Sex and the City" episodes on DVD. For a while, Afghanistan considered trying to get Russia to invade, for old times' sake, in order make the US Army jealous. But when Russia sent a small platoon through Tajikistan last week, Afghanistan ran away crying, and later made a series of late-night drunken phone calls to Colin Powell.

"If the US Army would make an effort to show it cared, even just a little bit - strafing an outdoor market with machine gun fire, dropping explosives on a wedding party - at least that would be something."

"In my heart I just know the US Army will eventually come marching back", continued Afghanistan. "There's still a shitload of oil in Central Asia."

In response, the US Army released a statement that the United States does not display favoritism in its military efforts or intentionally lead on foreign nations. The United States Army is committed to fighting terrorism, building democracy, and playing the field, all around the globe. The Army added that it would probably come by Kandahar and pick up its Game Cube and its White Stripes CDs some time next week.

the hatch just blew, dammit


Here are some things I've read lately that have made me upset, but in a good way. The first one is a weblog entry by Ms. Kristina Almquist which was quite good and thought-provoking. She talks about how Saddam Hussein has joined the "Dead or Alive" Club, along with Bin Laden. After all this hype about how evil Saddam is, what a threat he is to world stability, the imperative to bring him to justice for his war crimes, suddenly it's no big deal that no one knows where he is. Or where anyone in his cabinet is. Maybe Saddam has been killed in a blast, maybe he's fled to Syria, maybe one of his doubles has been there all along. No one knows, because no one seems to care about what has happened to all the dangerous thugs in power, or gathering any evidence of war crimes and government torture that Iraq has been liberated from. No big deal.

Robert Fisk has an article about the war in Iraq which made me upset, but in a good way. I don't always like Mr. Fisk's work, particularly his article about being beaten by a mob in Afghanistan. Here, he raises the question of what exactly is happening in Iraq. It seems like it shouldn't be this rare to see someone asking questions about the war, actually following up on a story.

Here's what Mr. Fisk has to say, in the Independent, about lawlessness in Baghdad, a recent Hot Topic in Zembla. "Yesterday I found myself at the Ministry of Oil, assiduously guarded by US troops, some of whom were holding clothes over their mouths because of the clouds of smoke swirling down on them from the neighbouring Ministry of Agricultural Irrigation. Hard to believe, isn't it, that they were unaware that someone was setting fire to the next building?"

"Something is terribly wrong when US soldiers are ordered simply to watch vast ministries being burnt by mobs and do nothing about it."

Kristina makes a reference to Tupac Shakur also being dead/alive in her piece. Coincidentally, I had written the first sentence of a newsflash about how Saddam's mother was going to put out an album of Saddam's unreleased raps. I got about halfway through it, but I started to feel too serious and mad about it to makes jokes about "Ambitions as a Dictatah" or "Keep Yo Head Up (Underneath Yo Veil)". It is a sad day in Zembla when our principal export, sarcasm, feels useless.

Is it too much to ask that the government has some kind of accountability for its statements, its plans, its actions? Now, certainly, I do not buy the official line that neither the midterm elections or the availability of huge oil reserves were the reason for the invasion of Iraq. But, let's say one were to swallow the official line and justification for the invasion of Iraq - disarming Iraq, removing Saddam from power. Have any weapons of mass destruction been found? None. Saddam is out of power, but no one has any idea what happened to him, or anyone in the regime, really.

Here's an article on weapons inspections. The US military hasn't found anything, and they don't even appear to be looking very hard. Could they at least pretend to look? There's something a little respectable about a tenacious lie ("The hatch just blew"), but when liars don't even attempt to make their falsehoods believable, or consistent, it's insulting.

Remember how the invasion of Afghanistan was supposed to capture Bin Laden? No one caught him. Mullah Omar? No one caught him. Remember the guy sending all that anthrax through the mail? No one caught him.

From the above article:
"If no weapons of mass destruction are found, the war in Iraq will mark the second failed military mission since the Sept. 11 tragedy. The first was the invasion of Afghanistan, ostensibly to destroy the Al Qaeda network and capture Osama bin Laden and Mullah Omar. Al Qaeda is resurgent in southern Afghanistan, and Osama bin Laden and Mullah Omar remain at large."

If you call in sick at work so you can go snowboarding, don't come back to work the next morning with a sunburn. If you're cutting school with a fake illness, don't get on TV catching a foul ball barehanded. If you're pretending to volunteer at a radio station to cover up your extramarital affair, bring home some audio tapes occasionally. And if you're shooting missiles, dropping megaton bombs, and killing entire civilian families in the course of your illegal war, you better find some goddamn weapons of mass destruction.

bush delivers ultimatum to iraq


Bush Delivers Ultimatum to Iraq

In a nationally televised address from London, members of the alternative rock group Bush delivered a tough ultimatum to Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein. "For too long, Iraq has been subject to the tyranny of this madman," lead singer Gavin Rossdale announced. "Truly, there is no sex in Saddam's violence, both against his own people and those in neighboring countries. The time for negotiation has ended. The time has come to rock Baghdad."

The band presented a plan for a rock concert directly outside Hussein's presidential palace. If the embattled leader did not step down in 48 hours, the band was prepared to play a long set, featuring the entirety of the band's poorly received sophmore effort, "Razorblade Suitcase." At press time, band members had not ruled out the use of a second chord.

Rossdale continued, "People of Iraq, don't let the days go by. I couldn't change, though I wanted to, but you have the power to change the leadership of your country." He then stepped away from the podium and tongue kissed Gwen Stefani for nearly ten unbroken minutes.

US and Security Council Agree to Disagree

After frantic last-minute lobbying efforts failed to yield a consensus on a resolution authorizing the use of force against Iraq, the Security Council today passed a resolution agreeing to disagree with the actions of the United States. By a 15-0 vote, the council condemns the proposed military action as "unjustified" and "imperialistic," but also "strongly respects the opinion of the United States, and extends a firm fraternal handshake to its delegates."

French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin said, "Look, we'd been going around in circles for days about the rights of national sovereignty and the feasibility of Iraq's long-term weapons development plan. After a while, we just said, look, life's too short.*"

Colin Powell agreed. "We could go back and forth all day about whose war is unjustified by international law, or whose impending massive military onslaught is a totally illegitimate grab for oil. After a while you get confused about whether this whole thing is about weapons of mass destruction, or terror drones made out of duct tape and balsa wood, or a wholly fictional murder attempt against George Bush, Sr. from ten years ago. Your head starts to spin."

It is hoped that the US and the Security Council will forget all this who-blocked-whose-resolution and who-believes-which-Bible-is-literal-fact-and-Jesus-hates-Iraq nonsense and go out for root beer floats together.

"But no french fries," joked Powell.

congress declares thumb war


Congress Declares Thumb War

(Originally appeared in The Heuristic Squelch)

In a joint session of Congress this week, both houses moved to declare a "thumb war" on Iraq. Citing numerous violations of the Geneva Convention including "sorta moving up their arm to get better leverage," Senator Phil Gramm (R-Texas) said a thumb war with Iraq was "inevitable." "The Iraqi people have been under Saddam Hussein's oppressive thumb for too long," remarked Gramm, before joing fellow lawmakers in solemnly intoning, "1,2,3,4, I declare a thumb war."

Pundits are divided on the controversial thumb-military intervention. While some are confident that the conflict can be resolved swiftly, through hand-to-hand combat, others fear that the thumb war might escalate to Indian burns, or even Bloody Knuckles. Military officials declined to comment specifically, though they have not ruled out the use of Chinese finger cuffs

In a move that may have implications far beyond Shellmound Street, the Emeryville IKEA has declared itself an independent republic. Speaking from the newly established capital next to the lighting aisle, Assistant Customs Manager/President-Elect Sven Nielsen spoke at length about freedom from tyranny, the natural rights of retail employees, and the success of the recent Winter Sale.

UC Berkeley professor Wilber Chaffee was not surprised by the decision. "IKEA is almost as big as the rest of Emeryville combined. With abundant natural resources, plentiful strudel, and a small, hex-wrench-wielding militia, IKEA should find great success on its own." Chaffee then purchased a set of knives for $4.

The Emeryville government, still weakened from its efforts to put down the Best Buy revolt in November, is expected to offer only token resistance. Primary exports of the new nation are expected to be prefabricated bookshelves and traffic

more news about terror and candy


Americans To Vote On New Color For Terror Alerts, M&Ms

When Americans file their tax returns in April, or purchase a package of Peanut Butter M&Ms, they will have the chance to choose between cobalt, periwinkle twill, and electric lime. In a joint effort between M&M-Mars and the Department of Defense, voting will be held to determine the new color for M&Ms and terror alerts. Defense Sceretary Donald Rumsfeld indicated that the new terror color would indicate a slightly heightened alert level with warnings on international travel. "When this new warning/candy color is revealed, Americans are urged to stock up on duct tape as well as a variety of delicious milk chocolate confectionaries, available in Original, Peanut, and Crispy," Rumsfeld announced. He added, "American freedom melts in your mouth, not in your hands."

Snowball Implicated in Anthrax Mailings

The culprit responsible for deadly post-9/11 anthrax mailings has been identified by federal authorities. Snowball the pig was added to the FBI's Ten Most Wanted list, and arrest warrants were issued in four states. Director of Homeland Security Napoleon announced that findings have come to light that link the rebellious pig to letters mailed to Tom Daschle, NBC News, and Farmer Pilkington.

A break in the case came with the arrest of three hens with suspected Al Qaeda ties. When questioned by Napoleon, the hens broke down and confessed to being part of Snowball's conspiracy. This conspiracy is thought to extend past just the mailing of the anthrax letters, with Snowball also implicated in the recent terror bombing of the nearly-completed national windmill.

The current whereabouts of Snowball are unknown. Speaking from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, newly-arrived detainee Boxer the horse expressed hope that Snowball would be caught soon, and added, "I will work harder."

us sends troops to alaska


US Sends Troops to Arctic National Refuge

Citing the presence of Al Qaeda terror cells in the region, President Bush has ordered 200,000 US troops to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska. The troops are expected to safeguard the Canadian border, displace the provisional Aleut government, and engineer a series of "security wells" and pipelines.

White House spokesman Ari Fleischer read from a prepared statement: "The CIA has collected evidence of Eskimo financial aid to Afghanistan, as well as polar bear terrorist training camps near the Bering Strait. The US must respond to these threats to its security by responding with force." He added, "Either you're with us, or you're with the fundamentalist polar bear terrorists."

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