“I want, of course, peace, grace, and beauty. How do you do that? You work for it.” – Studs Terkel Issue #230
EXTRA! EXTRA! LAUGH ALL ABOUT IT! Formerly the Comic Press News
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Political Humor: For Those Who Are Paying Attention
Editor’s Rant Complain about Obama kowtowing to corporate America all you want, but it’s all about the money. Isn’t it always? Daddy Big Bucks (mega-corporations that rule) punished the Democrats in the last election by taking away their Big Bag of Green (and we ain’t talkin’ environmental anything here) and giving it to the GOP. Now the Dems, including the prez, are back, tail between their legs, begging for forgiveness (and $$) and promising to toe the line. Nothing will change unless and until we reform the electoral process. And that, my friends, is getting harder and harder to do, especially in the wake of the so-called “Citizens United” decision last year by the Corporate Supreme Five. It’s up to the “Citizens to Unite” and overcome this terrible ruling. The Supreme Court gave corporations carte blanche to spend unlimited sums to influence our elections, without so much as disclosing what they spent or who with. Our government is basically being held hostage. But as opposed to Obama’s plea for forgiveness for signing the extension of tax cuts for the richest of the rich, it’s not the Republicans holding the Democrats hostage. It’s Daddy Big Bucks holding the entire Congress hostage. So-called “people’s representatives” are actually serving the rich and powerful, because, if they don’t, they’re out of a job. Simple as that. How can we reform the electoral process? Well, the way I see it, it’s either revolution or revolution. Either the messy, violent kind (I hope not – they never work for long anyway), or the peaceful kind. The peaceful kind would take a massive effort to organize we, the people. Somehow hard-working activists and organizations would have to convince enough of the public to vote for candidates who are not funded by wealthy elites/corporations. Then we’d have to hold those representatives accountable and make sure they change the laws. Can it be done? Chances, obviously, are slim. However, in this day of mass electronic communication, if the citizenry is disgruntled enough, who knows? It’s worth a try. Either that, or it’s more of the same ol’, same ol’. – James Israel, Publisher/editor
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Humor Times (ISSN 1937 299X), Vol. 20, Issue 230, is published monthly by the Humor Times, 4208 Norton Way, Sacramento, CA 95820. Periodicals Postage Paid at Sacramento, CA and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Humor Times, P.O. Box 162429, Sacramento, CA 95816-2429. Printed by: Gold Country Printing, Auburn, CA 95604. Publisher/Editor: James Israel. Email: email@example.com. Phone: 916-455-1217. Contributors: Pat Bagley, Mike Baldwin, Nate Beeler, Ruben Bolling, Andy Borowitz, Daryl Cagle, Cam Cardow, Jon Carter, John Cole, Lloyd Dangle, John Darkow, Will Durst, Bob Englehart, David Fitzsimmons, Argus Hamilton, Jim Hightower, Mike Keefe, RJ Matson, Gary McCoy, Mike Lester, Jeff Parker, Dan Piraro, Rob Rogers, Steve Sack, Jay Schiller & Greg Cravens, Harley Schwadron, Monte Wolverton, Larry Wright, Adam Zyglis and others. Contributions: Send artwork/submissions to address above or by email. The Humor Times is available by subscription. It is printed on recycled paper, using 60% post-consumer fiber. All contents ©2011. No part may be reproduced without permission.
Guns + Crazy = Inevitable Tragedy It seemed like an attack on American democracy itself...
and it changed the political picture...
at least for a bit.
Republicans & Democrats alike were shaken...
and a feeling of unity washed over us...
as sorrow filled our hearts. (continued)
But it didnâ€™t take long, naturally...
for the debate to begin raging again.
The county sherriff pointed out the obvious...
which is that America is suffering from a lack of civility.
In Arizona, guns are easy to come by...
for any purpose. (continued)
Will Durst’s Predictions for the Year 2011 Yes, we did. Survived 2010. 365 tumultuous days of what my good friend Elizabeth (Betty) Windsor, is wont to call an annus horribilis. And our reward for enduring that annoying annum is this clean slate of a new year where potentially anything can happen. A position we find ourselves now; looking flush-front blunt at an empty, unscrawled calendar embodying hope and optimism and aspiration and promise. So now is the time for all good men to sweep away the debris of yesterday and build on the solid foundation of tomorrow. This sentiment guaranteed to last at least a week before we screw it up and all hell breaks loose. So with that thought in mind, here are… WILL DURST’S PREDICTIONS FOR THE YEAR 2011: • Incoming Speaker John Boehner opens his first joint session of Congress with, “Alright, who wants a piece of me?” • North Korean President Kim Jong Il keeps lobbing bombs into South Korea until someone on his team develops a formula to spin turkey pot pies out of grass. • Sarah Palin tapes a second season of her reality show and accidentally shoots a Mama Grizzly from a helicopter. • The women on “The View” walk out during an appearance by Keith Olbermann, just to balance the books. • Former BP CEO Tony Hayward gets his life back and is not that crazy about it. • Lady Gaga wears a tinfoil dress to an NBA playoff game and spontaneously combusts during the pre-game laser show. • Oprah buys Rhode Island and turns it into a gay theme park.
• Gov. Jerry Brown promises to focus less on the vast spaceship that is Earth and more on the long-term parking shuttle that is California. • The Airline Industry attempts to rid the skies of the most dangerous security threat known to man: passengers. • The 112th Congress resolves not to fall prey to the same mistakes the 111th Congress made by actually accomplishing anything. • Pope Benedict XVI undergoes Lasik surgery to repair the Catholic Church’s hindsight. • The state of South Dakota sells Mount Rushmore to Fox News, who re-carves the monument to resemble Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, Mike Huckabee and Bill O’Reilly. Brit Hume and Chris Wallace leave network in a huff. Carl Cameron chuckles. • Jimmy McMillan disbands “The Rent is Too Damn High” Party after subletting a rent stabilized co-op in TriBeCa. • Julian Assange demonstrates his total commitment to a “no secrets” philosophy by leaking the damning testimony that leads to his own conviction. • Jobs introduces the iPud for male Baby Boomer retirees. • Nancy Pelosi does not rest until she earns a colorful nickname like “Slappy.” • Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell does not rest until the hole in the back of his neck is enlarged to accommodate Grover Norquist’s hand. • Officials at the Tour de France throw up their arms and invite
cyclists to take whatever performance enhancing drugs they want. • N.Y. Sen. Chuck Schumer becomes go-to guy in the Democratic Caucus after it is discovered Harry Reid died years ago. The Top Ten Comedic News Stories of the First Decade of the 21st Century Believe it or not, an entire decade has passed since the turn of the Millennium. One hundred-twenty months. One-tenth of a century. More than 3600 days. How did that happen? It’s harder to comprehend than a faded Kazakhstani street sign tagged by Mongolian graffiti. As we are painfully aware, much ugly stuff occurred during the decade, but what with all the mayhem and turmoil, you might think nothing worth laughing about went down. You’d be wrong. I know. I know. I know. “Not another Top Ten List.” Yes. Another Top Ten List. Hey, how many ends of the decade does one get in a lifetime? Maybe seven, eight, fourteen if you’re lucky. So, deal with it, because thar she blows: a list of the Top Ten Comedic News Stories of the First Decade of the 21st Century. And not a Paris Hilton or Somali pirate sighting among them. Kerry-Edwards ‘04. Worst campaign ever. And that includes France in ‘39. Who would have thought Democrats would fondly reminisce about the charismatic Gore-Lieberman ticket? The Clintons. He got $12 million for his memoirs. She got $8 million for hers. Not bad for two people who testified under oath for eight years that they couldn’t remember a single thing. Economic Bubbles Bursting. Dot com. Energy. Housing. Summed up best by the Enron Ethics manual on eBay whose seller described it as being in “mint condition – never used.” That could have been the problem. Sold – $250. John McCain. Old warhorse finally gets his shot. Then couldn’t remember how many houses he owned. Turns out he had eight. Every time I get four houses I trade them in for a hotel. Political sex scandals. Vitter. Foley. Edwards. Ensign. Sanford. And Spitzer, the N.Y. governor who flew a hooker from New York to D.C., because God knows there aren’t enough hookers in D.C. Five hundred thirty-five that I can think of, offhand. Put her up at the Mayflower and gave her four grand. That’s a liberal. A conservative will try to get it for free in an airport men’s room stall. Demonstrating fiscal responsibility. Barack Obama. Half-black president demonstrates America ready to be Afro-curious. People still freaking out. “Born in Kenya.” No, he wasn’t. He was born in Honolulu. In a manger. Weapons of Mass Destruction. President Bush was misled into thinking Iraq had WMDs because he was provided with faulty intelligence. Yeah, DNA is a bummer. Turns out it wasn’t Iraq with the WMD, it wasn’t Iraq with ties to Al Qaeda: it was Iran. We were so close. Probably just a clerical error. Dick Cheney. Accidentally shot a guy in the face with a gun and got the victim to apologize. Then again, who among us hasn’t mistaken a 78-year-old lawyer wearing an orange vest for an immense quail? Sarah Palin. For those of us going cold turkey on George Bush, the former governor of Alaska is like a double dose of methadone. George W. Bush. If Reagan and Quayle had a kid. A Wheel of Fortune President in a Jeopardy world. For eight wonderful years, he was the Full Employment Act for political comedy. And we welcome him back. San Francisco-based political comic Will Durst, who writes sometimes (this being a creditable example), fully expects the next decade to be as fertile, material-wise.
Guns + Crazy = Inevitable Tragedy (conclusion) Gun rights defenders are ever vigilant...
and remain confident.
Obama sought to calm a nationâ€™s frayed nerves... but in D.C., no one knew how long the truce would last...
and politicians everywhere were nervous... as we all came to realize the terrible cost.
Politically Correct Literature It was decided that Mark Twain could be improved upon... and the “n” word had to come out...
to protect young people’s delicate sensibilities. So, here came the thought police...
to clean up great works of literature... and help them live up to their potential!
Oh, Do Tell In the end, McCain lost the final battle...
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What They’re Saying Quotes on Issues of the Day Every night, all around America, buttons are pushed that – like vampires draining blood from sleeping people – drain cash away from local communities, most of it never to be seen in town again. At McDonald’s, Wal-Mart, Chili’s, Home Depot, and a hundred other national and international chains, local branches spend the entire day selling products made or grown far away and shipped over land or sea. Local customers who earned money locally buy these products every day. Although the companies pay a small amount of their revenue back in local taxes and payroll and services, most of it is sucked up nightly into each company’s headquarters bank in Chicago or Little Rock or New York or wherever it may be. And most of that money never returns to the local community. This is how you destroy local communities; it’s the opposite of a healthy economy. Clearly, we need to reverse this trend and stop the corporate Godzillas from tearing up our local towns and local economies. First, let’s take away all the local, state, and federal government incentives and subsidies that these chain operations feed on and which are not usually available to local small businesses. Second, enact measures to stop multinationals from evading U.S. taxes by moving their operations and assets to low-tax countries, and break up the giant trusts that have come to dominate every aspect of our economy. Third, implement and promote policies—through federal agencies such as the Small Business Administration—that provide help and know-how as well as financial incentives to small, independent, local businesses... As a nation, we need to get our priorities right when it comes to providing incentives or disincentives for businesses: we need to support small, local businesses, which have created most new jobs historically; we also need to discourage or ban major corporations from their mergers-and-acquisitions mania, close the tax loopholes, and stop the tax subsidies for them. These steps, enforcing the Sherman Antitrust Act, and moving our personal banking to a local credit union—all are good starts toward keeping our towns from getting eaten up by large, predatory corporations. – Thom Hartmann, truthout.org, 11/29/10
The Hightower Lowdown Power from the Banks & to the People Populist banker. Now those are two words you rarely see linked together. But Thomas Hoenig, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, truly is a rarity. Firmly rooted in small town Iowa and Kansas, he has never aspired to be part of the Wall Street-Washington power elite, and he has no hesitancy to challenge their financial orthodoxy and obsequious kowtowing to the preening barons of big banking. In a recent New York Times op-ed piece, Hoenig laid into the claims by the political and financial establishment that the massive taxpayer bailout and subsequent regulatory “reforms” of Wall Street have fixed the banking system. Let me give it to you in his own words: “After this round of bailouts, the five largest financial institutions are 20 percent larger than they were before the crisis. They control $8.6 trillion in financial assets – the equivalent of nearly 60 percent of (America’s) gross domestic product. Like it or not, these firms remain too big to fail.” How big are they? So enor mous, says Hoenig, that “their chief executives cannot manage them, nor can their regulators provide adequate oversight.” And, countering the contrived contention of the Washington-Wall Street axis that only huge banks can compete globally, Hoenig points out that our banking system must be structured to serve our national interest, not the insatiable self-interests of multimillionaire bankers and billionaire speculators. Again, his own words:
“More financial firms – with none too big to fail – would mean less con cen trated fi nan cial power, less concentrated risk, and better access and service for American businesses and the public.” How about that? A big-time banker who wants to shrink the giants of Wall Street, believing that bankers should serve us, rather than vice versa. There’s an idea we can all get behind. And, it looks like we have another odd bedfellow in our corner. The teabag-infused Repub li can take over of the U.S. House has produced one big change that is distressing GOP leaders, dismaying the tea party’s corporate funders and discombobulating the elite bankers at the Federal Reserve. The change is this: Ron Paul. This 75-year-old ul tra-lib er tar ian from Texas has been in Congress for some 35 years, building a consistent record of contrarian views and votes, some of which are quite progressive. He’s been a vigorous opponent of U.S. military adventurism around the globe, for example, and an outspoken advocate of pulling all U.S. troops out of both Iraq and Afghanistan. This iconoclast has infuriated many in his own party, who have long dismissed him as an extremist nut. But now, Paul has gone from an irritating pest to holding real power. He’s the new chairman of the subcommittee that oversees the Fed, America’s central bank. He views this secretive, autocratic financial agency as a tool of the Wall Street giants, and he’s even written a book
JIM HIGHTOWER titled “End the Fed.” Last month, prior to assuming his chairmanship, Paul caused an epidemic of apoplexy among Fed officials and big bankers by announcing that he’ll be pushing for a full, annual audit of the agency’s financial dealings with the global elites. That seems sensible to me, not nutty. After all, the Federal Reserve is an outfit that furtively funnels trillions of our nation’s dollars to private profiteers around the world – yet its transactions are not audited or open to public scrutiny. Excuse me, but it’s the system that’s kooky, not Paul, and he’s about to shine a bright light into the dark temple of the Fed, exposing an institutional collusion with Wall Street that enriches the few at the expense of the common good. An unleashed Ron Paul not only scares the bejezus out of the bankers, but also the GOP political establishment, which is thoroughly marinated in Wall Street money. What fun! To keep up with the twists and turns, and to help Paul stand firm, go to www.ronpaul.org.
“I watched the Indy 500, and I was thinking that if they left earlier they wouldn't have to go so fast.” – Steven Wright
Hope has a cost. Hope is not comfortable or easy. Hope requires personal risk. Hope does not come with the right attitude. Hope is not about peace of mind. Hope is an action. Hope is doing something... Hope is what the corporate state, which saturates our airwaves with lies, seeks to obliterate. Hope is what our corporate overlords are determined to crush. Be afraid, they tell us. Surrender your liberties to us so we can make the world safe from terror. Don’t resist. – Chris Hedges, truthdig.com, 11/29/10 There does not exist an engine so corruptive of the government and so demoralizing of the nation as public debt. It will bring on us more ruin at home than all our enemies abroad. – Thomas Jefferson I think it’s important for all leaders... not just leaders of the Republican Party or the Democratic Party... to say, look, we can’t stand for this...we’re on Sarah Palin’s targeted list, but the thing is that the way that she has it depicted has the cross-hairs of a gun sight over our district. When people do that, they’ve got to realize there’s consequences to that action. – Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, March 25, 2010
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Weeper of the House Boehner has realized his dream...
and can finally implement his own unique philosophy.
He says he wants to fight for the minority...
and for the children...
who now have a role model.
Meanwhile, the GOP says environmentalists are all wet.
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“We Report, You Decry!” Fox News Warns That Without Angry Rhetoric It Will Have 24 Hours to Fill Would Create ‘Giant Hole’ in Program Schedule NEW YORK – Calls for a reduction in violent political rhetoric have plunged the Fox News Channel into chaos, with a Fox spokesperson warning today that such a move “would leave us with 24 hours to fill.” “Let’s not u n d e r e s t imate the giant hole this would create,” said s p o k e s p e rso n Caro l Bill O’Reilly in his element. Foyler. “Fox without violent rhetoric would be like The Weather Channel without maps.” Ms. Foyler said Fox was preparing for a “worst-case scenario” in which it had to air responsible statements in place of its current programming: “If it comes to that, God forbid, we’ll just air 24 hours of ‘24’.” In contrast with Ms. Foyler’s alarmed comments, Fox host Glenn Beck took the news of a possible programming change in stride: “If I’m kicked off the air, I’ll return to my first love: standing in the back of crowded theaters and yelling, ‘Fire.’” But Fox commentator Sarah Palin was less enthusiastic about the new call for tempered rhetoric: “For the first time in my life I don’t have anything to write on my hand.” In other cable news developments, CNN confirmed that it was considering dropping Kathleen Parker from its “Parker Spitzer” program, but said it had balked at Elliot Spitzer’s suggestion of “a different woman every night.” Andy Borowitz, Creators Syndicate
Julian Assange to Launch Social Network for Diplomats, Twofacebook WikiLeaks Founder Plans ‘Portal of Deceit’ LONDON – Moments after being released on bail, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was already making plans for his next venture, a social network for diplomats called Twofacebook. Mr. Assange said he came up with the idea for the new site while combing through thousands of pages of WikiLeaks documents: “I realized that diplomats didn’t have a way to reconnect with old colleagues so they could lie to them.” Saying that he hopes to build the site into a “portal of deceit,” Mr. Assange said, “This will be a must-visit destination on the Internet for sworn enemies to friend each other.” The WikiLeaks founder said that Twofacebook would also enable members of the diplomatic community to share information about music, movies and TV shows “that they say they like but actually detest.” Additionally, he said he had high hopes for the site’s first online game, Harmville, in which diplomats can kill or maim each other’s sheep. Andy Borowitz, Creators Syndicate
Headline News Section Aspiring to the High Standards Set by Cable News
Obama Agrees to Extend GOP’s Custody of His Balls Formalizes Existing Arrangement, President Says WASHINGTON – In an effort to end what he Pres i dent Joe Biden de fended the Pres i dent called “the bickering and rancor in Washington,” against critics from his own party: “I know he’s President Barack Obama agreed today to extend going to catch a lot of heat for this, but what he did Republicans’ custody of his balls for an additional took cojones.” two years. Emerging from the Oval Of“I know my critics are going fice after the deal was struck, to make a big deal out of this,” Republican leader John Boehner the President told reporters at the (R-Ohio) pronounced himself White House. “But all this does pleased with the outcome: “The is formalize an arrangement that President put what he had on the table, and we came away with was already in place.” Mr. Obama said that extendwhat we wanted.” ing Republican custody of his Sen ate Mi nor ity Leader Obama formalizes agreement. balls through 2012 “was like the Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) Holy Grail for them, but I’m keeping my eyes on said that the agreement on Mr. Obama’s nuts the North Star,” adding, “I have no idea what any would make upcoming budget negotiations go more smoothly: “This greatly reduces the size of of that means.” Moments after the two-year transfer of Mr. the President’s package.” Andy Borowitz, Creators Syndicate Obama’s family jewels was announced, Vice
Last Subscriber to Local Daily Print Edition Enters Hospice SACRAMENTO, CA – The end of an era has approached in Sacramento media, as the last subscriber to the Sacramento Bee print edition has entered hospice at age 104. Margaret Twyman began her subscription to the Bee in 1926, and has had the paper delivered to her home ever since. Mrs. Twyman’s granddaughter Ellisa says that Margaret enjoyed her status as the last subscriber for home delivery. “She would sometimes wake us kids up at 5 am so we could see the man throw that rolled up paper on the lawn from his car. We always thought it was a neighborhood prankster, but she said that lots of people used to get their papers that way, back in the day.” Though Margaret was the last Sacramentan to have the paper delivered to her home, the Bee is quick to point out that they still produce a print edition. “The print tradition of The Bee will not be going away,” said editor Melanie Sill. “Print editions can still be found for purchase at several locations, most notably at busy intersections
where traf fic easily backs up on Sun da y s . Now, if you’ll ex cuse me, I “Back in the day.” have to go leave my bottles out for the milkman.” Bee officials say they also plan to continue to deliver the paper as a courtesy to the Glass Turtle pub in Roseville, where the paper is hung on the wall in the men’s room above the urinals each day for patrons to read while relieving themselves. The paper will continue to be delivered to Margaret, as her account is paid in full until February 2012. Ellisa Twyman says she will never forget the memories home newspaper delivery brought to her family, “I can still picture her in her robe, going out to the lawn, picking up the paper, and tossing it in the recycling bin. Then she’d come back inside and read the news on her Kindle.” Reported by DerfMagazine.com
Wealthiest .0000001% Hail Tax Deal Billionaires Praise Obama Move as Step Back from Class Warfare GENEVA – President Obama’s deal to extend the Bush tax cuts for the rich drew rave reviews today from the wealthiest .0000001% of Americans, who pronounced the deal “a total home run.” “When we first heard about the deal, we were like, this is too good to be true,” said multibillionaire Thurston Howell IV, a spokesman for the richest .0000001%. “But when our butlers read the plan aloud to us during the cocktail hour, we were incredibly stoked.” The 29 plutocrats who make up the nation’s
wealthiest .0000001% were at their annual meeting at Mr. Howell’s villa in Geneva, Switzerland when news of the President’s deal was first released. “Bill Gates and Warren Buffett were the first to hear about it, and then the news just kind of trickled down, if I may use a favorite phrase of ours,” Mr. Howell said. “The President deserves credit for recognizing what the wealthiest .0000001% have known for years,” he added. “Our cost of living has soared astronomically, especially when you consider
Goldman’s Massive Bonuses ‘Totally Deserved,’ Says Satan Prince of Darkness Praises Wall Street Colleagues NEW YORK – The gargantuan year-end bonuses paid out to Goldman Sachs executives have received howls of protests from the banking giant’s legion of critics, but not from its most ardent defender: Satan. In a rare press c o n f e rence, the usually reclusive Prince of Darkness defended Goldman ’s bonuses toSatan pleased. d a y , welcoming reporters at his apartment in New York’s Trump Tower. “I don’t doubt for a minute that my friends at Goldman deserved those bonuses,” Satan said, adding that “buying their souls was the best investment I ever made.” “It really is the gift that keeps on giving,” he chuckled. The Evil One said that the bloated Goldman bonuses were “just the cherry on top” of what has been “one of my best years ever.” “From Mel Gibson to Tony Hayward to the gang at Goldman, 2010 has had more than its share of heroes,” he said. “I salute them all.” Satan added that his banner year was even going out with a bang: “Just when I thought this year couldn’t get any better, this weekend I saw Yogi Bear.” The Lord of Misrule said he was looking forward to the holiday season, a time when some of “the greatest evil against humanity” is perpetrated: “Every time someone puts on a Christmas sweater, I give myself a high five.” Andy Borowitz, Creators Syndicate
how expensive it’s got ten to control the outcome of elections.” In response to critics who have said that Mr. Obama’s decision to exBillionaires feeling good. tend the t ax cuts represents a change in his position, Mr. Howell said, “If I may coin a phrase, that’s change I can believe in.” Andy Borowitz, Creators Syndicate
Hugh Hefner & Fiancee Register for Wedding Gifts at Funeral Home LOS ANGELES, CA - Shortly after announcing their engagement, Hugh Hefner and his new fiancee Crystal Harris opened a wedding gift registry at Westwood Park funeral home. The registry is one of several they’ve opened along with L in en s an d Th in g s, Ta r ge t, a nd Pfiz e r pharmaceuticals, the maker of Viagra. The 84 year old Hefner and his 24 year old bride-to-be spent an entire afternoon perusing the funeral home for items to put on the registry. A
good deal of that time was reportedly passed by Mr. Hefner attempting to get up and down from sitting in chairs. Items on the registry include a casket, flower arrangements, and hearse rental. Gift givers can also buy half hour increments of time that would go toward a mortician and actual funeral services. In lieu of flowers, guests can also opt for a donation to one of Hefner’s favorite charities, Feed the Children’s Older Blonde Big Breasted Sisters.
“I want our wedding to be about both of us,” said the future Mrs. Hefner. “So we’re sharing duties. It was my idea to register for all the items he’ll need for his upcoming funeral, and it was his idea to listen to me and help pick stuff out.” Reported by DerfMagazine.com
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Argus Sez President Obama was surprised by the cheers from Arizona college students when he entered the arena for the Tuscon memorial. They went wild when he walked onstage. They either thought he was going to give away a car or they thought he was hiring. Auburn coach Gene Chizik caused an uproar after winning the national title for saying that God was with Auburn. He gets a six hundred thousand dollar bonus for winning the title. That had better go to his church if he wants to beat Alabama next fall. MGM announced it will film and release a new James Bond movie next year despite studio financial problems. The next Bond movie acknowledges the recession. It is called The Spy Who Loved Me – While He Was Waiting for a Second Interview at WalMart. The Weather Channel reported mid-January that it was snowing in forty-nine states for the first time in history, even including Mauna Kea mountain on Hawaii’s big island. Florida was the only state without fresh snow. They like to age the cocaine for flavor. Charlie Sheen attended a comedy show at the P a l m s H o t e l i n L a s Ve g a s w i t h t h r e e adult-movie actresses gracing his entourage. His new steady girlfriend is porno movie star Bree Olson. Ironically the name of her last film was Two and a Half Men. Oklahoma’s GOP governor Mary Fallin got a huge laugh while she took the oath of office. She had a verbal slip and vowed to offend the U.S. Constitution. After the ceremony Sarah Palin called her up and offered her two hundred dollars for the joke. Sarah Palin fired back at Democrats in the media who said the Tucson shootings were her
ARGUS HAMILTON fault. They also said the shootings were Rush Limbaugh’s fault. George W. Bush is sitting around the house in Dallas wondering if he’s lost his fastball or something. Sarah Palin angered Jews by accusing her critics of committing a blood libel. That’s a Middle Ages phrase charging Jews with using the blood of Gentile kids to make Matzos for Passover. Until now it was the only phrase offensive to Jews that was over Mel Gibson’s head. Pastor Ted Haggard emerged from his disgrace to open up a new evangelical church in Colorado Springs. He was busted smoking meth with a male hooker five years ago. He wound up with a papal knighthood for taking some of the heat off the Catholic Church. Tucson shooter Jared Loughner retained the Unabomber’s defense attorney, who’ll likely enter a plea of insanity for her client. There are no firm rules or laws as to who’s sane and who’s insane. The definition is made by the people with the key. The White House was reported to have lost eighty million dollars in real estate value since the crash. It’s worth a quarter billion dollars now. It’d be worth a billion but the neighborhood’s so bad the occupants have to send their children to private school. The American Bar Association reported that the recession has resulted in fifteen thousand fewer lawyers in the U.S. They haven’t disappeared. Yesterday at McDonald’s the cashier at the drive-thru window spilled coffee on my lap, then offered to represent me.
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Jerry Brown confiscates 48,000 cell phones SACRAMENTO – The Sacramento Bee reports that California Governor Jerry Brown, in his first executive order since taking office, has ordered the collection and return of 48,000 state government-paid cell phones – half of those now in use – by June 1. “It is difficult for me to believe that 40 percent of all state employees must be equipped with taxpayer-funded cell phones," says Brown in a written statement. “Some state employees… may need cell phones, but the current number of phones out there is astounding.” Brown’s cell phone order directs state agency and department heads to retrieve the cell phones and the governor says he plans to continue reducing cell phone usage in months ahead. “In the face of a multi-billion dollar budget deficit, a cell phone may not seem like a big expense,” adds Brown. “But spending $20 million, and perhaps far more than that, on cell phones can’t be justified."
ATMs dirtier than public toilets: Study BRITAIN – British scientists have found that public banking machines are actually dirtier than public washrooms, containing bacteria that can cause diarrhea and other unfortunate illnesses. “We were surprised by our results because the ATM machines were shown to be heavily contaminated with bacteria; to the same level as nearby public lavatories,” said Richard Hastings, a microbiologist for BioCote, which sponsored the study. “In addition, the bacteria we detected on ATMs were similar to those from the toilet, which are well-known as causes of common human illnesses.” The study came on the heels of a public opinion survey that asked people to list the dirtiest public places. The study compares those results with its findings from the swabs. Public washrooms topped the list of thought-to-be dirtiest places, according to the Telegraph, followed by public telephones, bus stops, subway stations and bus seats. “But it’s ironic that while people perceive chip and pin pads to be the least dirtiest, our swabbing experiments have actually shown them to be dirtier than public lavatories,” Hastings said.
Flying drunk proves fatal for bird flock BUCHAREST – There was nothing mysterious about the death of a flock of birds – in this case, at least. This Romanian flockwas simply drunk, veterinarians said. Residents of the Black Sea city of Constanta alerted authorities after they found dozens of dead starlings, fearing they may have been infected with bird flu, which triggered mass deaths in avian populations in 2004-2006. “Tests on five birds showed gizzards full of grape marc, which caused their death,” Romeu Lazar, head of the city’s veterinary authority told Reuters, referring to a pulpy residue which is a by-product of wine making. “This also applies to two dead crows we tested,” Lazar said. Birds are not used to alcohol but harsh winter and snow had prevented birds from finding food. Had they been able to eat some seeds, this would have diluted the poison.” The grape marc was presumed to have come from a winery, but the veterinary chief said he did not know where. There have been a series of unexplained mass bird deaths in several countries across the globe in the last few weeks, including in the United States and Sweden. Hundreds of dead birds were discovered in Louisiana this month and 5,000 in Arkansas at New Year. Swedish authorities have also been investigating the deaths of 100 jackdaws found in a street in Falkoping. Experts say storms, hail, lightning or collisions with airplanes or power lines are among the possible causes of bird deaths.
Police fine ‘no pants’ train passengers JOHANNESBURG – Dozens of men and women who tried to emulate New York’s “No pants Subway Ride” on South Africa’s first high-speed train were arrested and fined, the rail operator said. Gautrain said 34 people were detained after they dropped their trousers and skirts and took a pantless ride from Rhodesfield, east of Johannesburg to Sandton in the city’s north. “They were fined 700 rands ($102) which was reduced to 350 rands for taking off their clothes on the train,” Gautrain spokeswoman Kelebogile Machaka told AFP. The passengers were handcuffed and briefly arrested by police upon their return to Rhodesfield station, local media said. “People were openly staring and laughing at us,” Kuba Granicki, one of those who participated in the Facebook arranged prank, told South Africa’s Beeld newspaper. “They wanted to charge us with public indecency, but then realized there was no indecency,” she added. The trend of going pantless on trains has gained massive popularity and been copied in dozens of major cities and towns worldwide since it started in New York in 2002.
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