Welcome to the somewhat unbalanced mind of Orbson Rice.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Last Undecided Voter Trampled to Death by Reporters

Myron Jones of Parma Heights, Ohio was trampled to death Tuesday evening as he made his way home from his job as a construction foreman. Myron, the father of three, has been in the news recently as the last remaining undecided voter in the United States. Unfortunately, he will never be able to make that elusive decision. As Myron walked up his driveway he was mobbed by over eighty national and regional reporters all asking for his thoughts on the third Presidential debate. The media was truly worked into a frenzy and did not realize that they had knocked the 55-year old man to the ground. By the time the chaos was cleared it was already too late, Myron Jones had been trampled to death.

Myron Jones was the son of Ethel and Bert Jones. He spent one year at Cuyahoga Community College before dropping out to enter the work force. After spending the next few years job hopping, he began working for Luther Construction and ultimately earned the coveted position of Foreman after a mere 25-years. Myron has voted in every election since he turned 18, though only for President and Governor. He had attributed his inability to make a decision to being “too busy just trying to get by to pay attention”. His election year strategy was to completely ignore all of the election coverage, watch the three debates and then make a final decision. He admits, “It’s not a perfect strategy, but it is all I have time for.” This means that Myron would have never accumulated the wealth of information bestowed upon American citizens. He would not know that Mitt Romney was opposed to women’s rights, equality, education, environmental and banking reform, teachers and unions. He would also not know that Romney believes that 47% of Americans (which by definition would have included Jones) are “dependent upon the government” and don’t take “personal responsibility” for their lives. Myron Jones also would have never learned that President Obama was in fact, born in Hawaii. Still, as a single father, he believed that spending quality time with his children was more important than watching the “political soap opera”.

Unfortunately, as family and friends prepare for Myron’s funeral, the media frenzy has found another potential victim. After reviewing footage of Myron’s demise, amidst the pleas for help they heard him mutter one final phrase, “There is anoth-er…unde-cided…vot-er….”  The news agencies have searched diligently and are narrowing in on their next target. Lola Sanders of Madison, Wisconsin woke up from a 7- year coma yesterday afternoon. Evidence shows that she voted for Reagan in 1984 and Clinton in 1992 and 1996. Without any knowledge of this election, she is truly an independent voter. As news agencies descend on Madison, Lola’s family has placed her into hiding until after the election. If Myron Jones were still alive, I am sure he would agree. Run Lola, run!

photo by: internets_dairy

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Lance Armstrong: “Oh, I thought they said ‘moping”

Cyclist Lance Armstrong has finally admitted to a complex doping scheme that helped him win the Tour de France seven times and turned him into a sports icon. The cancer survivor raised critics’ eyebrows on Monday by suggesting that he simply misunderstood the nature of the charges. “Honestly, I thought they said ‘moping’. That is why I fought so hard. I have never and will never mope and I’m insulted that anyone would think I would. As for doping, yes, I doped for races. But I want to make clear to all of my fans. I am not a moper. That is not who I am as a cyclist or as a man.”

Following the findings of the U.S. Anti Doping Agency (USADA), Armstrong has been stripped of all seven Tour victories, and has been banned from the tournament for life. Armstrong may also be forced to payback bonus and prize winnings. Over the past few months, Armstrong has resigned from his Chairman position at Livestrong, the cancer charity he founded. He has also given up the lengthy legal battle to prove his innocence. In the aftermath however, Armstrong only seems to be concerned about his legacy as a non-moping cyclist. When asked whether he felt guilty for over a decade of cheating he responded, “I would like to get back to the moping issue for a moment. I just want to make clear that even though I am not personally a moper, I do not judge others who choose to be mopers. In fact, I have some good friends who are mopers but that does not mean that I am one. Now what was your question again?”

As the full ramifications from the USADA findings develop, we bear witness to the fall of a sports icon. Whether or not you agree with the rules against athlete drug use, Armstrong appears to have knowingly cheated. The integrity and perseverance which he has been known for are now in question. Tonight, however, when you tuck your children in bed and tell them stories of the greatest cyclist the world has ever known, remember, Lance Armstrong may have doped but he never moped.

Photo by: Ben Sutherland 

Friday, October 12, 2012

Complaints Force Organizers to Completely Reformat Presidential Debates

Last week, millions of Americans tuned in to see their Presidential candidates eloquently explain specific remedies for the challenges that face our nation. Instead, we were treated to the ramblings of a compulsive liar and the emotionless, monotone responses of a thoroughly uninterested President. Disgusted viewers sent over 250,000 emails to the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) demanding immediate change. In response, the CPD has brought in producer Matt Kunitz to “liven up” the debates. Kunitz is the executive producer of the reality game show Wipeout and has also produced The Real World and Fear Factor. According to CPD Chairman Michael McCurry, “Kunitz will be able to implement the changes Americans want to see in the debates.”

Kunitz and the CPD say that the new debate format will cover three main areas. First, they want to ensure the veracity of the candidates’ statements. According to Pulitzer Prize winning fact checker Politifact, in the 25 examined statements from the first debate, 19 were deemed to be “Mostly false”, “False” or “Half true”. Mitt Romney seemed to find it particularly difficult to speak the truth. A debate full of lies has no inherent value to the American people. The new debate format will demand 100% honesty by punishing candidates after any dishonest statement. Fact checkers from Politifact and the Washington Post will be present to judge the candidates. The candidates themselves will also be hooked up to a polygraph machine. When a candidate is caught in a lie, a neon “LIAR!” sign will shine behind him and he will be punished by one of several “Poli-Tricks” including moderate to severe electric shocks, being dunked in a tub of ice water and having a bucket of slime dumped on their heads. The more blatant the lie, the more uncomfortable the punishment.

The second change in the debate format is the number of candidates. The CPD, a non-profit organization, was founded by Republicans and Democrats in 1987. Until now, its policies have greatly favored the two parties. To participate, candidates must show that opinion polls have them with at least 15% of the popular vote.  Of course, were they allowed to debate they might earn those numbers, however under CPD rules, candidates would never get the chance. The new format will open the debate to anyone who is both running for President and is on the ballot in at least 2 states. Current Presidential candidates, Gary Johnson (Libertarian), Jill Stein (Green), Virgil Goode (Constitution) and Rocky Anderson (Justice) will now be able to share their perspective with the American people. While this has been highly unpopular with both the Republicans and Democrats it seems unconscionable in a free and democratic society to not give an equal platform to every candidate.

The third and final change will be the way in which the debates are moderated. The CPD will be replacing all current moderators with a panel of professors, scientists and economists. Candidates will be given hypothetical scenarios in the areas of the economy, the environment, domestic issues, natural disasters, foreign relations, and military actions. They will be asked to make on the spot decisions on how they would handle those situations. The panel will then vote on the best answer, thus determining a debate “winner”. During any response, should a candidate go over his or her allotted time, a mechanized boxing glove will shoot from their podium and pop them in the nose.
The new format has already succeeded in doing the impossible. Republicans and Democrats have actually agreed, on something; they both completely despise the new format. However, both parties feel forced to comply since a Gallup poll showed that 89% of Americans love the new format. While the CPD was unable to arrange the new debate in time for the Vice Presidential debate, it will be unveiled at the next Presidential debate on Tuesday, October 16 at Hofstra University.

Unedited photograph by Eduardo Frei