Thursday, March 28, 2013
Surprisingly, the strike was not the fault of a programming error. The DSS monitors more than 10,000 specific threat characteristics to determine if an immediate response is necessary. If the system deems that the threat is imminent and that immediate action is vital to protect the nation, it will preemptively launch a strike. “DSS worked the way it was supposed to”, states Chief Engineer Chip Boolean. “Fox hit over 90% of the key threat characteristics created by the Department of Defense.” Some of the threat characteristics picked up by the system included direct threats to the President of the United States, supporting hate groups, perpetuating racism and spreading untruthful propaganda to facilitate public disharmony. Concluded Boulean, “Once Fox hit 9,000 of the 10,000 threat characteristics, the system engaged. Fox News runs 24-hours a day so, DSS saw the threat as imminent and acted accordingly. I would like to clarify that contrary to speculation, one of the threat characteristics was not the canceling of Joss Whedon’s brilliant TV show Firefly in 2002.”
President Obama apologized for the mistake and ensured that the DSS will be modified to prevent this from occurring in the future. Reports also state that DSS had scheduled drone strikes at the estates of conservative pundits Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter over the course of the next few days. There has been no indication from the White House as to whether those attacks have been cancelled.
Thursday, March 14, 2013
In a surprise move, members of both the House and Senate have unanimously agreed to reduce their salaries by 50% if a new budget deal is not reached by April 1, 2013. The lower salary would remain in effect for one year. Together, from the steps of the Capitol Building, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Speaker of the House John Boehner announced the historic decision. According to historians, this is the largest self-instituted performance penalty in the history of the U.S. Congress and will save taxpayers approximately $46,545,000 in 2013. Senator Reid spoke of the necessity to institute this drastic measure:
"The effects of the sequester have in large part hurt the average American. However, even though we were responsible for the cuts, we in Congress have been immune to their effects. It is our gross mismanagement and utter failure as political leaders that have placed us in this position. It is therefore unconscionable that we continue to get paid large sums of money for doing such an inadequate job."Speaker Boehner agreed:
"In the NFL, eight of the thirty two head coaches, or 25% of the entire league’s head coaches were fired this off season because they did not do a good enough job. In one instance, a coach was fired for going 10-6, because it just wasn’t good enough. If your average American employee only showed up for work 126 times in a given year and got almost nothing accomplished, they would be fired immediately. Well, we’re not going to fire ourselves, but we are taking action."The agreement will reduce Congress salaries from $174,000 per year to a mere $87,000. This might cause some to be concerned whether the politicians will be able to afford necessities like food, housing and health care. Luckily they will still have their excellent benefit packages which cost taxpayers roughly $4.6 billion per year. Also noteworthy, though $87,000 per year barely seems like enough to live on, over 100 million Americans make less then $39,999 per year and over 72 million Americans earn less than $25,000 per year. So, while it will undoubtedly be difficult, it is possible to survive on so little. A larger concern is what members of Congress will do with their 229 free days each year. There will likely be unfortunate cuts to golfing trips to Pebble Beach, fuel for their yachts and private planes and $1500 per night hotel suites. Well, tough times requires tough sacrifices and we certain are living in troubled times.
Congress should be commended for taking this unprecedented and benevolent action. We should to take to our telephones and emails and thank them for finally getting it right. You can find the contact information for your State Senator and your district’s Representative at Open Congress.
Thursday, March 7, 2013
Tennessee Bans "Teaching" in Classrooms (satire)
Tennessee is taking a bold new approach to educating its young people- a ban on teaching. On Wednesday morning, the Tennessee Senate passed SB 904 which prohibits the use of “teaching” in public schools. According to Sen. Bob Corker (R), the term “teaching” is an “elitist liberal term that only allows for the education of children via facts and does not take into account other forms of education”. The new term, which will take affect starting June 1, will be “enlightening”. In 2012 the Tennessee Senate passed SB893 allowing teachers to use creationism as a scientific argument against evolution. However, SB 904 actually takes it a couple thousand steps further. “In order to provide students with a fair and unbiased education and to remove any possible confusion, enlighteners will only present morally sound concepts using approved enlightenment guidelines.” The Tennessee Department of Education released a sample of the new guidelines for the Science curriculum:
Former Lesson: Gravity is a force of attraction that exists between any two masses, any two bodies or any two particles.
Alternative Enlightened Theory: Gravity is God’s way on ensuring that we do not fly off into space. Should we displease God, gravity would be removed and we would simply float away. It is our belief in God that keeps us grounded.
Former Lesson: Dinosaurs are animals that lived approximately 230 million years ago and survived until an extinction event occurred 66 million years ago. Evidence suggests that birds may be descended from dinosaurs.
Alternative Enlightened Theory: When God cast Adam and Eve from the garden, he placed upon the Earth many challenges. Dinosaur bones were one of those challenges. Dinosaurs themselves did not exist; the bones were purposely placed there by God to test the faith of those who found them. The Earth itself is only 6,016 years old.
Former Lesson: Rain is liquid water in the form of droplets that have condensed from atmospheric water vapor and then become heavy enough to fall under gravity.
Alternative Enlightened Lesson: Rain is God showering his essence over his people. Moderate rain is desirable and means God loves you. Heavy rain implies that God believes you are drowning in your sins. God condemns liberals, thus it rains often in areas such as Seattle and Portland. A desert climate means that God has given up on you.
The new enlightenment guidelines have been celebrated as a “revolutionary step toward a superior education.” Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam, stated “We do a disservice to our children when we do not take a fair and balanced approach to their education. This bill will protect children from the radical ideas of the left while enlightening them with honest and moral educational principles.” Time will only tell whether Tennessee’s approach will succeed. In unrelated news, Tennessee has been ranked 47th out of the 50 states in Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index which measures overall quality of life.
Photograph by: Hans Hillewaert