Thursday, September 29, 2005

Fredo Makes a Mistake

SCENE: The White House. Mike Brown sits on the couch. The President sits in the chair opposite Brown.

BROWN: (after a pause) I don't have a lot to say, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT: We have time. (Brown gets up, walks to the window overlooking the Rose Garden.)

BROWN: I didn't know he was from the National Enquirer. I swear to you I didn't know. The guy contacted me and said he wanted to talk. He said he was writing a favorable story about our hurricane response and there was a place for me in it if I could help him out. He said you were too busy to talk and if he had a little bit of help about your drinking problem he could write it fast and it would be good for you.

THE PRESIDENT: And you believed that story?

BROWN: He said there was something good in it for me ... me on my own.

THE PRESIDENT: I've always taken care of you Brownie.

BROWN: Taken care of me? Mr. President, I’m the FEMA director, and you take care of me? Did you ever think of that. Ever once? Send Brownie off to do this, send Brownie to take care of that ... take care of some little unimportant tropical storm here, and there; pick somebody up at the airport. Mr. President I was stepped over!

THE PRESIDENT: It's the way Dick Cheney wanted it.

BROWN: It wasn't the way I wanted it! I can handle things. I'm not dumb. Christ, not like everyone says. I'm smart; and I want respect.

THE PRESIDENT: There's nothing more you can tell me about this drinking story?

BROWN: I also told them that when you choked on the pretzel, they found you lying In your own vomit with a beer bong on your head.

THE PRESIDENT: You're nothing to me now, Brownie. Not a FEMA director, not a friend, I don't want to know you, or what happens to you. I don't want to see you in New Orleans, or near the White House. When you visit Joe Albaugh, I want to know a day in advance, so I won't be there. Do you understand?

(The President turns, and starts to leave. A frightened voicebehind him:)

BROWN: W?

(The President doesn't stop, doesn't turn back. He continues out the door of the office. Karl Rove stops by him.)

THE PRESIDENT: I don't want anything to happen to him while Joe Albaugh's alive.

(The President leaves.)

Monday, September 26, 2005

Weekend at Bernie's: The Presidency

Scene: Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado Springs, Colorado. Two men are present; they are political fixer Karl Rove and Presidential Press Secretary Scott McClellan. Also present is a moldy, decaying corpse, stiffened by rigor mortis.

Rove: McClellan, get Bernie and prop him up here by these map displays.

McClellan: We’re gonna get caught this time Karl. They're going to notice he’s dead.

Rove: Stop being a pussy Scott, we’re never going to get caught. Laura hasn’t noticed yet. Now take off Bernie’s pants and get him into this flight suit.

McClellan: But Karl, I don’t understand why he’d be wearing a flight suit to view hurricane preparations…

Rove: Number one, douche bag, you don’t get paid to think, that’s my job. Number two we’re on an Air Force base so the flight suit is perfectly appropriate. We need to remind the American public that he’s a war president. Did you bring the “Mission Accomplished” banner like I told you to?

McClellan: Oh shit, Karl, I forgot …

Rove: You overpriced male escort, must I do everything myself? O.K., did you at least bring the denim work shirt with the sweat stain on the back?

McClellan: Yeah, I’ve got it right here.

Rove: Alright, put him in that and then let Fox News in.

(A third man enters the room. He is Sean Hannity, semi-retarded pretend journalist and administration shill.)

Hannity: Mr. President it’s an honor to speak with you again. (Hannity shakes Bernie’s hand. The hand falls off. Confused, but undeterred, Hannity continues shaking the disembodied hand.)

Hannity: Mr. President, how offended are you by the despicable use of these recent tragedies by those who want to play the “blame game” during a time of national emergency? (Bernie’s head falls off. Hannity doesn’t seem to notice.)

McClellan: I’m afraid that’s all we have time for today Sean…

Hannity: But I’m supposed to ask him about 9/11 and Michael Moore …

Rove: Get the fuck out ape man. (Hannity leaves.) See, McClellan, I told you he wouldn’t notice; now stick Bernie’s head back on. We have to fly back to Crawford for a few more weeks of brush cutting. Uh oh, don’t tell me you didn’t bring his brush cutting outfit?

McClellan: But Karl, he just came back from six weeks of vacation, nobody’s going to believe …

Rove: They’ll believe what I tell them to believe. Alright, new plan, take that flag pole over there and stick it up Bernie’s ass …

Fade to black…

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Bush: U.S. Must Work to Join Third World

Speaking to a crowd of enthusiastic supporters, President George Bush stated today that while he’s pleased with the work his administration has done so far, the United States still has “a long way to go” to be a true third world country. “We’re not all the way there yet but I can report that the finish line is finally in sight.”

In the main body of his remarks, the president stated:

We still have a decent health care system which is accessible to almost half the population. Obviously we need to get that down to around ten percent. Also, child labor is still technically illegal in most states which hurts us in competition with countries like Bangladesh and Indonesia. The minimum wage needs to be brought down to about $0.25 per hour. Education is also a key. Too much time is being wasted on science and math putting our kids at a serious disadvantage to those in Afghanistan and the Sudan where four to five hours a day are spent in religious training. I’m also concerned about water and air quality. I’m proud of what we’ve done on water quality in Louisiana and I want to credit Mike Brown for doing a heck of job with that. Brownie, stand up and take a bow. But we’ve got 52 more states where people just turn on the tap and drink freely regardless of their economic station. That needs to change.

The President said he was “heartened” by the remarks of Archbishop Paul Cordes, the Vatican Emissary to the United States sent to bring aid to the victims of Hurricane Katrina. After touring Louisiana and Mississippi last week the Archibishop called poverty levels there “shameful.” In thanking Cordes for his kind remarks, President Bush noted that the Archbishop has “seen some of the poorest and most blighted parts of the earth” and that “it really means something for Cordie to be impressed by our poverty levels.”

In closing, the president asked for the country to be patient. “I think most people understand that I can’t undo eight years of the Clinton administration overnight. Paraphrasing Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the President concluded: "I may not get there with you, but my brother Jeb probably will.”

Friday, September 09, 2005

Gilligan's Island: An Empirical Study

Seemingly for the first time since the Harlem Globetrotters departed, Gilligan’s Island is newsworthy due the recent death of Bob Denver. Denver played the eponymous “Gilligan” on television during the show’s three year run in the mid-sixties and then actually became Gilligan in real life after the form-fitting red shirt and floppy white hat became permanently attached as the result of continuous reruns of the show over the last forty years. Presumably, Denver is now buried in that outfit three feet above the late Alan Hale still clad as the Skipper

People who attempt to summarize this show tend to focus on two of the more surreal aspects of it: (1) Gilligan repeatedly sabotaged the castaways’ chances of getting off the island through sheer stupidity (without the others smashing his skull to pulp while he slept), and (2) a surprisingly large number of guests were able to drop in on one of the world’s remotest locations while the island’s permanent inhabitants remained trapped there like Patrick McGoohan in the Village.

The question in my mind is to what extent is the conventional wisdom supported by the numbers? Since there were only ninety-eight episodes, I decided to review all the plot summaries to study these trends empirically. What I found was that Gilligan was not as big an albatross as he’s made out to be. In only 10 out of 98 episodes (or 10.2% of the time) did Gilligan’s stupidity, incompetence, or bad luck foil rescue attempts – and many of these escapes were far from a sure thing. For example in episode 4 when Gilligan fixes the transmitter by hitting it and then breaks it again by stupidly showing everyone how he fixed it, the castaways would have had little time to contact somebody with it before the batteries went dead. Far from a sure thing. The same is true, in Episode 20, when Gilligan destroys a weather balloon erroneously thinking it’s a monster. The chances of rescue by weather balloon (even unpunctured) seem remote to me.

As for the second issue, the remote island truly did have a surprisingly active revolving door for visitors. By my count 28 different people (not including native tribesman) visited the island. This means that on average there were 7.29 people on the island at all times (the seven castaways plus on average .29 visitors.) Two of these people, Wrongway Feldman and the unnamed mad scientist from episodes 65 and 77 actually visited the island twice! Perhaps more interesting, 3 of these 28 visitors (or 10.8%) were actually exact doubles of castaways. These included a con-man impersonating Thurston Howell III, a Soviet spy impersonating Gilligan (though not nearly as stupid) and an initially unattractive woman named Eva Grubb who looks just like Ginger when cleaned up. What are the odds of being stranded on a desert island, being visited by your exact double, and still not being rescued? On this show it happened three separate times.

The other thing that people remember about this show but which I haven’t had a chance to check out is the Professor’s ability to do amazing things with bamboo (such as construct a Geiger counter in episode 71.) This might be a fruitful avenue of investigation for someone wishing to build on this research.

Rehnquist's Legacy: Bush v. Gore

The recent death of Chief Justice William Rehnquist from complications associated with worshipping Satan have prompted legal scholars and commentators to frame his legacy. The emerging consensus is that Rehnquist was something of a trailblazer because he was widely considered a conservative wing-nut when appointed but a centrist at the end. While true, it should be recognized that this movement was due entirely to the subsequent appointment to the court of two raving psychotics, Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas, who made Rehnquist appear moderate by comparison. So beyond simply continuing to take his Haldol, Rehnquist doesn’t deserve much credit for this.

The real legacy of the Rehnquist Court is the December, 2000 decision in Bush v. Gore which metaphorically speaking handed the keys to the national school bus to a sixteen year old glue sniffer. Total deaths resulting from this decision are now approaching 50,000 based on the 9/11 intelligence failures, the pointless war in Iraq, and the Hurricane Katrina debacle. While these results will long be suffered, the bizarro world reasoning of Bush v. Gore was almost immediately forgotten except by those who savor the delicious irony of disenfranchising thousands of poor African Americans and aged holocaust survivors in Florida using the Equal Protection Clause. The court demonstrated its own view of the opinion’s specious logic in two ways: (1) nobody signed it and (2) it has no precedential value outside of that case.

Rehnquist’s legacy is alongside Chief Justice Roger Taney whose twenty-eight years on the court can be summed up in two words: Dred Scott. That disastrous 1857 decision, which held that slaves were more akin to property than to human beings, pretty much necessitated the civil war. Only legal scholars remember the hundreds of other decisions by Taney Court which were important in expanding the power of the federal government and shaping the federal system. And perhaps that is as it should be.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

How to Understand Intelligent Design

Intelligent design theory is quickly gaining acceptance with school boards from Kansas to Pennsylvania. For those desiring to educate themselves on the basics of intelligent design theory I recommend the following simple self-education procedure:
1) Pick up a copy of "The Design Revolution" by William A. Dembski, one of the leading scholars on intelligent design theory.
2) Tear out the pages of the book, crumple them up, and force them up the anus until the rectum is completely full. This will cauterize any bleeding caused by step 4 below. Make sure you don't accidentally read any of Dembski's book in the process.
3) Remove the radio antenna from a car, boat, boombox, or recreational vehicle. Insert the antenna up the left nostril and rotate the tip in a circular motion until the entire left hemisphere (including the cerebral cortex) is eviscerated. Be sure not to sever the corpus colosum.
4) Find an unoccupied restroom with an unpadded wooden toilet seat and place the head between the seat and porcelain rim. (Note: it is important to make sure that the seat is not padded or this just won't work.) Slam the toilet seat downward onto the side of the head repeatedly. This step is complete when you can nod silently through an entire two hour episode of the 700 club.
That's all there is to it. You now understand the other side of the evolution debate. Good luck and god bless scientific discovery.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How come I can't find a conditioner specifically formulated for ass hair?
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A: I believe it's called "Pert."

Q: If blow pops are such a great idea, how come nobody has stuck a wad of gum into the middle of a steak or piece of chicken?
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A: It's only a matter of time.

Q: I wouldn't watch that show "Sex In the City" even if all the other channels had infomercials. I'd rather watch Ron Popeil squirt his juice into a chicken.
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A: That's not a question.

Q: If Michael Jackson were president do you think he would have invaded iraq?
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A: No. I also think that Vice President Culkin would have done a better job than that fat load Dick Cheney.

Q: What's the difference between scientology and complete horseshit?
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A: Complete horseshit has higher admission standards for new members.

Q: Is it possible to get a sticker which enables you to park in handicapped spots if you're not really handicapped but just extremely lazy?
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A: I wouldn't be surprised.

Q: Is there some secret, compelling reason why architects still refuse to put urinals in parking garage staircases?
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A: The answer can be found in the Da Vinci Code.

Q: You know that song "Oh Come Let Us Adore Him?" It makes me uncomfortable.
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A: Me too.

Q: If you're in an elevator with only one other person, and you accidentally pass gas, is it pointless to try to blame it on them?
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A: I don't know, but it's certainly a good metaphor for the Bush Presidency.

Q: Do fat people subscribe to magazines like roast beef illustrated?
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A: No, that magazine folded in 2002.

Q: What's up with people who spell feces "FAECES?" Do they think the "AE" gives them an extra little touch of class?
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A: Precisely.

Q: Is there some big division that all these subdivisions are part of or have we been lied to?
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A: Yeah.

Q: The most underrated artists of the twentieth century are Hall and Oates. Did I say underrated? I meant insipid.
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A: Once again, please state your opinions in the form of a question.

Q: What is the real reason dogs lick their balls?
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A: Because they're disgusting. Just kidding. The real reason is because I squirted chocolate syrup on them.

Q: What's up with this plaster of paris? I mean is there a plaster of brussels or something?
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A: No, but there is a seldom used substance known as plaster of Liechtenstein.

Q: I checked my own prostate this morning. The good news is there's no cancer. The bad news is I need a new ballpoint pen.
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A: Motherfucker, I've warned you twice already about not formulating proper questions --- next time you get a time out.

Q: How many faeces encrusted wino's does it take to wake the president?
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A: Only one, if she's married to him.

Q: On the Dukes of Hazard, exactly whose uncle was uncle jesse and why did Boss Hogg always wear that white suit and remember that great episode where ned beatty gets raped?
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A: I think that was an episode of Gomer Pyle.

Q: How can mustard gas be so dangerous when mustard is so delicious?
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A: You ever try inhaling Gulden's?

Q: I've always felt that what two consenting adults choose to do in the privacy of their own home is completely disgusting and should be illegal.
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A: You would.

Q: I saw on CNN that doctors impregnated a woman with 21 year old sperm. Does that mean the fetus can legally drink?
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A: You'd think.

Q: I think it's great that French Fries are now called Freedom Fries, but what about freedom ticklers?
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A: I believe that name is actually used on the vending machine in the capitol men's room.

Q: Which industry is most in need of government regulation?
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A: The comic strip industry. Specifically, that guy who draws the family circus should be executed by lethal injection. Then little 8 year old billy could do a lameass depiction of it.

Q: Why aren't more Americans outraged by the Patriot Act.
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A: Actually, I read in the Washington Post that 40% of Americans believe that the patriot act represents a more dangerous restriction of individual liberties than the discredited alien and seditiion act of the 18th century. I'm obviously kidding. The truth is that most americans wouldn't dispute it if you said that bazooka joe was the 23rd president.