Welcome to the somewhat unbalanced mind of Orbson Rice.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Bush Presidential Library Steals Children’s Books from Local Schools

(satire) Librarians from public schools in Dallas, Texas have asked that the Bush Presidential Library return the tens of thousands of children’s books that were borrowed for last week’s opening. John Swift, head of the Library’s selection staff had the difficult task of filling the library’s shelves for a President who frankly “ doesn't read ‘wordy books’ too much.” President Bush and Swift visited local schools to find books that represented the man and the Presidency. “We examined books with a wide range of subject matter and reading levels. President Bush wanted to ensure that his library contained one of the greatest collections in the country”.

Librarians in neighboring schools tell a slightly different story. According to Erma Bell, “They brought the President in personally to pick out the books. He ignored the stack I pulled together of biographies, histories and scientific discovery and went straight for the kids’ books.” Librarian Mary Schultz agreed. “He seemed really interested in the pop-up books. Every time a tree or animal would pop up he would look startled and then begin giggling uncontrollably. Honestly, it was kind of weird.” Swift theorized that the President’s interest was likely due to his “ongoing dedication to children and education.”

A week has passed since the grand opening and librarians Bell, Schultz and others in the area are asking for their books back. “We were told it would be a temporary loan and the books would be returned immediately.” When questioned about the Presidential Library’s need to maintain a collection, Bell scoffed, “Do you really think anyone in this country will ever step foot in that library” No, we were told the books wouldn't be needed after the opening. It was just supposed to be for the show.”

Yesterday, Orbson Oracle reporters arrived in Dallas and confirmed that the Library was indeed closed to the public.  We did however find multiple Secret Service agents standing near the door. While we were not allowed to enter, we could hear the following commotion through a partially opened window:

Voice #1: “Please Mr. President, we need to return these books to the schools.”
Voice #2: “Tell em, al-Qaeda stole em. They’re mine now! Haha, did you see this one. Watch! The dinosaurs gonna eat ya! Hahahahaha!!!
Voice #1: “*sighs* Yes, Mr. President. You have shown me that one before.”

The Bush Presidential Library refused to return our calls, however they did issue the following statement: “The Bush Presidential Library is a tremendous effort and with the gracious help of the surrounding community, it has been filled with classic works of literature that truly represent all that President Bush accomplished while in office.” Unfortunately for Dallas schools, it does not appear they will be getting their books back anytime soon.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Washington State Seeks Constitutional Amendment Banning Straight Marriage

In a surprising and controversial move, the Washington state legislature is considering an amendment to its constitution defining marriage as only existing between couples of the same sex. The amendment will be voted on in the November election and is currently polling at a tight 51%-49% in favor of the change.

The New Marriage Amendment (N.M.A.) was first introduced by a non-profit organization called the Preservation of Marriage Coalition whose mission is to “preserve the sanctity of marriage”.  However, during the past few months they have decided to refocus their mission on a worthier group. According to the organization’s President Matilda Robinson, “When Washington legalized gay marriage in December of 2012 we thought our world was over. Then, nothing happened. People were shocked that it had little to no impact on the every day lives of heterosexual couples. We thought there would be some reaction. You know, locusts, rain of toads, all of our Pabst Blue Ribbon turning into Pinot Noir, but no, absolutely nothing bad came out legalizing gay marriage. It really made us reflect. Maybe the best way to protect the sanctity of marriage is to stop straight people from marrying. Maybe we are the problem.”

If the N.M.A. passes, there will undoubtedly be far-reaching implications for heterosexual couples. There is already concern that they will no longer be eligible for the same government benefits. John Berkin from Tacoma asks, “What if my wife is in the hospital? If we are not legally married anymore can I be denied access to see her? That’s crazy. How could anybody possibly say that’s okay?!” Robinson counters saying that heterosexual couples will be offered most of the same rights as homosexual couples. “They won’t be married any more but they may be able to form a civil union. Though it's meeting opposition, we believe we can pass a civil union bill within 3-5 years.”

There is also discussion on whether heterosexual couples should be allowed to adopt children. “We’ll need to study what possible harm there might be to the child” says Robinson, “It doesn’t seem that as a whole, heterosexual parents have done a very good job with children in the past so it may be prudent to limit their access.” As for straight couples having their own children, “well I don’t know who would want to have to explain to a child that their parents are both a male and a female. It would be a tough way to grow up.” Robinson suggests that in the best interest of the children, heterosexual couples should really consider giving their kids to nice gay couples.

Washington’s N.M.A. vote will certainly be the focus of Olympia’s political debates for the next six months. Already protests have been organized throughout the state. The opposition has been met by large groups of supporters with inflammatory signs such as “God hates straights” and “It’s Bert and Ernie not Bert and Ellie” A number of House bills have also been introduced limiting heterosexual rights should the amendment pass. As one observer noted, “We need to make sure that straights can never marry again. If we let them marry what’s next, we let giraffes marry unicycles. It’s a slippery slope.” Regardless of the outcome, one thing is certain. The stigma associated with straight marriage isn't going away anytime soon.

Unedited Photograph by ProComKelly

Friday, April 19, 2013

Carnival Cruise Lines Offers Free Cruises to People Who Know How to Fix their Ships

Sometimes, I am beaten to the punch line. I probably won’t submit this piece for publication as another Carnival article was already published. Sadly, their hook was also better than mine. Still, I think this is mildly amusing so I thought I would share it exclusively with my Orbsonites. 

Carnival Cruise Lines Offers Free Cruises to People Who Know How to Fix their Ships

Carnival Cruise Lines is currently offering an exciting new promotion in which people can take a cruise for free in exchange for fixing the ship's mechanical issues. The beleaguered cruise line is hoping its innovative promotion will revitalize its image and offer guests added security when booking their next cruise.

Over the past two months, Carnival has had multiple incidents with malfunctioning ships. One of the worst events was the Carnival Triumph which stranded thousands of passengers in abysmal conditions in the middle of the Caribbean Sea for days. Carnival hopes this new promotion will solve two problems with one solution. “Our customers need to trust that they will be on a seaworthy ship so they can have the great vacation they have come to expect from Carnival. We also need to find somebody, anybody, who can fix our ships because frankly we have no idea what we are doing.”

Not wanting to cut into profits, the free tickets will be good for the brand new “Innovative Inside Room” which has been newly created using pool towels and clothesline on the engineering deck. “We’ll need them to be close and on call; these ships could go at any time.”

Many analysts presume that Carnival’s future will sink or sail based on this latest promotion. However the cruise line appears to have a backup play. “We’ll market it like a true carnival” says CEO Gerry Cahill. “What do you get when you go to a carnival? Bad food, rickety rides that shake you like crazy before breaking down and you throw up everywhere. Really all of these recent incidents are just our way of living up to our name. Truth in advertising!” To take advantage of Carnival’s latest offer simply contact the reservation hotline at 1-888-227-6482 and ask for the “I can fix your ship special!”

Orbson’s Heroes of the Week: I have seen the videos of the Boston bombings often as the news agencies continue to sensationalize the horrors of the incident. The one thing that continues to stand out occurred as the smoke from the first bomb continued to expand outward. They took no time to react, no time to worry about their own safety. Police, EMTs, random citizens in the streets ran TOWARDS the blast mere milliseconds after the first explosion. They immediately removed debris and tried to stabilize the many injured people. I am in awe of their courage, their sensitivity and their willingness to face the threat of attack to help people they do not even know. That is what I want my America to look like.

Orbson’s Assholes of the Week: There are many reports coming out of Boston of people physically and verbally attacking those of Middle Eastern descent. After Oklahoma City or Atlanta were random white people attacked? Of course not. This is not acceptable and not something that should be tolerated in this country. I hope these idiots are thrown in jail for decades for these disgusting acts. They are no better than the bombers themselves, instilling terror into innocent people just because of their beliefs or the color of their skin. This is not what I want my America to look like.

Photograph by: Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Dylan McCord

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Senate Passes Historic Gun Reform Bill

(Satire) I for one would like to thank Congress for finally passing some common sense gun regulations. I had doubts, but they really came through this time… 

On April 17, 2013, the U.S. Senate passed the most comprehensive gun reform bill in history. Beginning immediately all buyers of both new and used water guns will have to undergo a comprehensive background check to ensure they have the mental stability to properly care for and use their weapons. Additionally, the ammo capacity for all purchased guns has been limited to 20 ounces of water. If someone is found with a gun that contains more than 20 ounces they can be charged with a felony and put into “Time Out”.

This long awaited gun reform bill has many believing that the streets will finally be a safer and drier place. Along with background checks and ammo limitations, all high powered weapons such as the Nerf Supersoaker Scatter Blast and the Nerf Thunderstorm will no longer be available to the general public. The Scatter Blast brags at being able to hit a target 25 feet away with a “pump-handle water blaster [that] delivers five streams of water at once to soak your target to the max!” The Thunderstorm boasts that it is fully automatic and you “can just pull the trigger and blast away”. Without question removing these guns from society should drastically decrease the number of mass soakings. Along with the regulations keeping them out of the hands of the mentally unbalanced we should all feel a little safer.

Now it is time to congratulate the U.S. Senate on a job well done. For a while it appeared as thought they were in the pockets of the water gun lobby and it is good to see that they finally took strong and decisive action to protect a constituency who overwhelmingly desired gun reform. So pick up your phones or send an email and thank your senators for not being the corrupt pricks we thought they were. You can locate your senator’s contact information at Open Congress.

Photo by: Makuahine Pa'i Ki'i

Friday, April 12, 2013

Virginia: Rape Victims Must Provide Video Proof of Attack to Prosecute.

In the land of the free, where a woman is raped every 24 seconds and only 3% of perpetrators ever face jail time, one state is finally fighting back. Virginia is hoping to aid rape victims by proposing a measure requiring that they provide video proof of the incident. The details of House Bill 7425 are as follows:

HB 7425: In order to facilitate prosecution, victims of a sexual assault are required to provide video evidence within 48-hours of the alleged attack. Prosecutors shall use this footage to determine:
1. If the act was consensual.
2. If the victim fought back in a reasonable and effective manner.
3. Whether the victim clearly informed the alleged attacker that the sexual act was not consensual.
4. Whether the victims’ clothing was excessively provocative.
5. Whether the alleged attacker reasonably believed the victim desired the encounter through the victims’ overly flirtatious manner or the amount of money spent on the victim over the course of the day.
6. Absent video evidence, it is assumed that the interaction was consensual.

This is not the first time Virginia Republicans have drawn criticism for their role in legislating women’s issues. In 2012, Republican Governor Bob McDonnell signed HB 462 forcing women to undergo an ultrasound prior to having an abortion. Many opponents viewed this as a form of “state sponsored rape”. In addition House Majority Leader Eric Cantor was vocal in his opposition to The Violence Against Women Act. Terry O’Neill, the president of the National Organization for Women, called Cantor's stance "completely outrageous" as it related to protecting Native American rape victims. "Who is Eric Cantor to say that it's okay for some women to get beaten and raped?"

When asked about the new bill McDonnell seemed optimistic that HB 7425 would help correct the misconception that conservatives do not care about victims of sexual assault:

“This bill protects the victim by ensuring that they’re not put through an embarrassing trial only to lose. Obviously there is a greater likelihood of justice being served with video evidence than without. Also, far too often, men’s lives are ruined by fraudulent rape accusations. This will weed out real victims from those who actually wanted to have intercourse. Plus, since everyone has a smart phone it doesn’t make any sense to me why these alleged real victims are not recording their attacks.”

Women all across the USA should feel a little safer knowing that Gov. McDonnell, Rep. Cantor and the state of Virginia are looking out for them. According to an intensive U.S. survey, an estimated 1 in 5 women have been victims of rape. It is further estimated that as many as 1.3 million American women are victims of rape each year. It is heartening to see members of the GOP finally taking this issue seriously.

This satiric article is dedicated to the victims of sexual violence all over the world.  NOBODY asks to be raped. It is a violent and horrific attack perpetrated by the sickest and most depraved human beings. Yesterday I read the story of Rehtaeh Parsons from Halifax, Nova Scotia. She was only 15 years old when she was gang raped by four boys. None of the rapists were prosecuted. Instead, they bragged by disseminating a picture of the attack. For the next 17-months Rehtaeh was propositioned, ridiculed and tormented by members of her own community. After more than a year and a half of psychological torture, Rehtaeh Parsons died following a suicide attempt on April 7. We must stand together to protect rape victims and force our governments to bring the perpetrators to justice.

Victims of Sexual Assault are:

3 times more likely to suffer from depression.
6 times more likely to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder.
13 times more likely to abuse alcohol.
26 times more likely to abuse drugs.
4 times more likely to contemplate suicide.

If you or someone you know has been the victim of a sexual assault please contact someone who can help. RAINN (Rape Abuse & Incest National Network) 1-800-656-HOPE. There are many people who care about you. You are not alone.

Photograph by: Lau_Lau Chan