Monday, December 31, 2012

Narrowly Surviving the Mayan Apocalypse, Millions of Americans Fear 2013 Won't Come without Dick Clark

SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- Dick Clark, the iconic personality behind "American Bandstand," died April 18 at the age of 82. Throughout his career, Clark remained an influential force in popular music. He introduced generations of Americans to megastars from Buddy Holly to Michael Jackson to Madonna. He translated his success into the creation of a pop culture media empire. But Clark truly solidified his presence as a cultural touchstone after becoming the host of the eponymous New Year's Eve specials that ran on ABC for four decades. To viewers around the globe, Dick Clark owned New Year's Eve. Investors agreed. But as millions mourned the passing of "the world's oldest teenager" last spring, millions more flooded government offices and churches Monday in sheer terror, demanding to know if 2013 would come without Clark. Authorities have refused to comment for fear of setting off a chain of riots and suicides.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Angry Letters Flood North Pole from Children Who Received Video Games Instead of Front Teeth

SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- Postal workers at the Anchorage, Alaska, distribution center -- which processes mail to the North Pole -- were inundated Wednesday by millions of letters from children who received video game systems, smart phones, tablets and other popular electronic items instead of the two front teeth they requested. "I've been good all year," ten-year-old Barrett Nostrom of Sweden lisped. "Why didn't Santa bring me my teeth? We have no use for this Xbox 360 machine on the farm. I opened it, and there were no Xs inside the box. I tried to use it as a doorstop for the goat pen, but the animals ate it right away. Cheap and worthless thing. But the equally misleading Apple device we got last year, which contained no fruit, did hold out much longer. Mother says it's the smoothest ironing board she's ever used."

Monday, December 24, 2012

Santa Claus Admits Questioning the Existence of Children

But does Santa believe in you?
SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript)-- With just hours remaining until his annual goodwill mission, Santa Claus admitted Monday that for almost two hundred years he's harbored growing doubts about the existence of children. St. Nick opened this morning's global press briefing on a surprisingly somber note, offering reporters a rare glimpse into the philosophical and spiritual conflicts that have troubled his soul since the end of the 1950s, when he first recognized his budding crisis of faith. Kris Kringle said: "I've been reluctant to talk about this, but I feel the time is right. A lot of dubious claims have been made, creating myths that just can't be justified in my mind. I've tried to rationalize them for years, but I can't continue living in a delusion." He then revealed that, among other things, no postal agency has ever delivered a single piece of mail to the North Pole.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Google and NORAD Say Competing Apple Maps Santa Tracker Will Ruin Christmas for Kids

SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) has been tracking St. Nick's seemingly impossible, one-night trek across the globe for over 57 years. The holiday tradition began with a misprint in a Sears advertisement that allowed children to phone Santa Claus. The typo, however, routed the calls to NORAD, which at the time was known as the Continental Air Defense Command. Instead of reaching the North Pole, callers were directed to the agency's chairman, the secretary of defense, and even the president. Colonel Harry Shoup decided to instruct his team to give the excited children details about Santa's trip. Today, families gather around computers, smartphones, and tablets to follow Santa's flight through NORAD's ubiquitous app. But Google, which partnered with NORAD in 2004 to offer geo-location services for Kris Kringle's journey via Google Earth, is now unveiling a competing app built around more accurate route algorithms. On Thursday, Apple surprised the industry when it informed users that the Google and NORAD apps would not be available for download in the iTunes store. Instead, Apple evangelists will be forced to use the dubious and often erroneous Apple Maps feature, which has made many consumers nervous. Google and NORAD worry that the erratic and confusing directions will ruin the holiday fun for millions of kids.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Elementary School Responds to Sandy Hook Massacre by Replacing P.E. with Counter-Terrorism Curriculum

SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- Residents of Bennington Vale, a conservative bedroom community situated in the staunchly right-wing county of San Narciso, Calif., have spent the last week honoring the victims of the horrific Sandy Hook Elementary shootings and taking precautions against similar tragedies locally. But in a town predominantly populated by Tea Party supporters, the one topic of discussion that will not be entertained is a ban on weapons of any kind. "Deaths from incidents of vehicular homicide outpace gun-related fatalities by 56 percent. But we're not talking about banning cars and making people ride horses to work," said Mayor Manny DiPresso. "Besides, horses are dangerous too. Think of Catherine the Great, Scarlett O'Hara, Christopher Reeve, or that weird guy in 'Equus.'" Borrowing heavily from a December 17 editorial by Megan McArdle in The Daily Beast, DiPresso urged citizens to focus on the reality that "there's little we can do to prevent another massacre," and instead make more reasonable efforts to mitigate the unavoidable deaths to come.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Iranian Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Facebook, Now Friends with the Great Satan's Number One Social Network

SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- Iran banned the use of social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter around 2009, due to their use by activists to foster support for government opposition and to spread news of the protests that took place during the contentious re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. On Monday, however, Facebook boasted its newest -- and most unlikely -- member: Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. The infamous cleric's "" page includes photos, excerpts from speeches and other anti-Semitic and anti-Western pronouncements. The content is largely directed at denigrating the United States, its allies and Jewish nations, which experts had anticipated. But security agencies throughout North America and Europe found more to worry about with Khamenei liking the Great Satan's leading social network. "If a 73-year-old religious zealot who shuns progress can develop a solid grasp of the Internet and applications like Instagram, we're relatively sure Iran can manufacture a pretty devastating nuclear weapon," said a representative from the State Department. "My 60-year-old mother can't even understand a smartphone. 'Phones are for calling people, not taking pictures and playing video games,' she says. It's frightening that an Islamic cleric gets technology more than a Boston homemaker."

Saturday, December 15, 2012

America's Gun Related Deaths: Are We Asking the Right Question?

EDITORIAL: I have spent the last two days, for the legitimate press, covering the massacre that took place at an elementary school in Connecticut. As a parent, an American, a global citizen, a humanist, it has been exhausting. But, not surprisingly, more exhausting is how this has inevitably turned into a soapbox for conflicting ideologies. Yes, the letters and requests have flooded my inbox. "End gun violence," they urge through visceral and impassioned appeals. But it's interesting, don't you think, how specific they are? End gun violence. Not "end violence." Then there come the bizarre and misspelled screeds from the extremities of the evangelical God Squad (and I'm not singling out Christians). They seek to persuade me that the Prince of Peace wants Middle Americans to carry guns everywhere to thwart gun-related violence. These are the same folks who boast to me of their desires to shoot up Family Planning centers and gays and non-Caucasians and insolent women and various other infidels in the name of Christ the Lamb or Allah or Yahweh or Jehovah. This is the same lot that shuns certain scientific truths and technological innovations because no mention of them exists in all the disparate scriptures. But God, in whatever its incarnation to them, wants these enlightened humans equipped with firearms. Which I also cannot find in the pages of their Holy Books.

Friday, December 14, 2012

A Day of Silence and Remembrance for Nation's Shooting Victims

EDITORIAL: The toll in the Connecticut shooting stands at 28 dead, including 20 children and the gunman, Connecticut State Police said Friday. This year alone there had already been six mass shootings and a record number of casualties, with 110 people injured and killed prior to today's incident. In fact, a very dear friend of this publication lost his cousin, Amanda Ghossein, in the Northridge shootings that took place at the beginning of December. Amanda had a one-year-old daughter and was about to celebrate her 25th birthday. She had dreams of becoming a fashion designer. The Baby Luna Donation Fund has been created to assist Amanda's daughter at Wells Fargo Bank's main office at 27702 Crown Valley Parkway in Ladera Ranch, 92694.

For the victims and their families, who have been forced to endure unimaginable tragedy, we are silent today in the spirit of remembrance. Our thoughts to everyone affected.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

John Travolta Uses Scientology 'Assist' to Heal Injured Man, Faces New Charges of Sexual Misconduct

Photo courtesy AP
SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- Emerging from the long shadow cast by countless accusations of sexual misconduct in recent months, John Travolta made positive news this week for using Scientology techniques to heal a man who was injured in a traffic accident. Travolta told the Church of Scientology's Celebrity Magazine that he performed a procedure called an "assist" to help the man find relief from the chronic pain he had been suffering since breaking his ankle in a car crash. The Scientology handbook defines an "assist" as the process of helping "the individual to heal himself or be healed by another agency by removing his reasons for precipitating and prolonging his condition and lessening his predisposition to further injure himself or remain in an intolerable condition." Spiritual leaders from various faiths -- long opponents of Scientology, which they label a cult -- responded to Travolta's story as "a bunch of voodoo and hogwash." But eyewitnesses at the encounter, many of whom discount Scientology as a serious religion, said the assist did produce noticeable results, with the injured party telling Travolta, "I feel better," before pulling his pants back on, scurrying away in tears and demanding to speak with security.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Disgraced Homemaker Confesses Fruitcake Not World Famous

SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- To Bennington Vale locals, homemaker Emmeline Kuchenkoch needs no introduction. Chances are, if you've dined at Piers Addleson's Pea House and ordered a cake, the heady Linzer Torte or the bemusing marzipan characters inspired by the Passion of Christ, then you've sampled Kuchenkoch's wares. The Addleson family has been reselling her delicacies for over 40 years in their restaurant. But scandal rocked San Narciso County Tuesday when rivals at the struggling Hearth Attack bakery discovered damaging information that pressured Emmeline Kuchenkoch to confess, "My Christmas fruitcake is not actually world famous."

Monday, December 10, 2012

Tea Party Lawmakers Propose Travel Restrictions to Saint Nicholas' Tomb in Turkey for U.S. Citizens

SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- Conservative Tea Party lawmakers, attempting a definitive victory in their crusade to stave off the damage from the decades-old War on Christmas, are appealing to federal agencies and embassies abroad to restrict travel visas for pilgrims hoping to visit the resting place of Saint Nicholas. Eager to celebrate the traditional festival of Saint Nicholas Day -- a largely European holiday that falls on December 6 -- groups of Santa Claus enthusiasts regularly travel to the saint's birthplace in Turkey, seeking a deeply personal connection with the holiday. However, workers at the historic preservation site told authorities that several American visitors have collapsed over the last two years and gone into immediate shock at the conclusion of the tour. Doctors claim some pilgrims have remained under medical supervision for post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) from journeys dating back to 2009.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

With Executive Bonuses Threatened, Citigroup Cuts 11,000 Workers to Save Leadership Jobs

SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- Amid the economic showdown between congressional Republicans and the White House, in which President Obama has taken a more hardline stance against negotiating than in times past, most Americans are preparing to tighten their belts should the government fail to prevent a dive off the fiscal cliff. Businesses too are taking precautions. Citigroup, which never fully recovered from the financial crisis, announced Wednesday that it would cut 11,000 jobs -- about four percent of the 262,000 employees in its global workforce. Former CEO Vikram Pandit had hired thousands of workers and invested billions to boost the company's revenues when the economy soured in 2008. New CEO Michael Corbat, who succeeded Pandit after his October 16 ouster, seems to have a much different plan. Corbat expects the deep cuts to save Citigroup $900 million next year, and more in subsequent years. "Because of Pandit's prodigal spending and misguided decision making, Citigroup now faces the prospect of having to withhold over $100 million in executive bonuses," said Len Waybill, head economist for the conservative Peter Pinguid Society. "In order to keep the company running, it can't afford to lose its leadership. So sacking thousands of low-level peons makes sound business sense. I don't see Corbat having any other choice."

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Letters to Santa Reveal Heartbreaking Hardships, Mostly from Disillusioned Conservatives

SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- The mountains of "Dear Santa" letters overtaking the back offices of postal facilities across the nation are still graced with adorably childish penmanship and misspellings, but this year's heartfelt scribbles tell the lachrymose tales of Americans in peril who are dealing with economic hardships, disillusionment and loss. But according to postal workers, most of these letters have been authored by adults -- conservative politicians and business leaders now facing the end of their decade-old free ride at the edge of a fiscal cliff, รก la "Thelma and Louise." Ephrem Kalthor, postmaster for San Narciso County, said he's finding that for every one letter by a child, at least seven are penned by conservative adults. "A lot of the children's letters have asked Santa to provide clothing and assistance for the victims of Hurricane Sandy," Kalthor told reporters. "It's very touching. And for those with displaced relatives back east, there's a palpable amount of worry in the writing. But nothing to rival the unbridled 'End of Times' dread we're seeing from Tea Party supporters who have actually bargained with Santa to kill the president, lobotomize women and help effect a gay genocide policy."

Friday, November 30, 2012

Congress Admits Gambling Millions on Powerball Jackpot, Fiscal Cliff Now Inevitable

SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- As the U.S. economy teeters on the precipice of the fiscal cliff, two lottery ticket holders -- one in Arizona and one in Missouri -- successfully matched all six numbers to win the largest Powerball jackpot in history. On Wednesday, the prize was estimated at $550 million, after the multi-state contest failed to produce a winner since October. A day later, when the drawing was held, last minute surges in ticket purchases inflated the jackpot to a record $587.5 million. The unprecedented stakes enticed many people who rarely play the lottery to buy into a chance at the second-largest payout in U.S. history, behind the Mega Millions in March 2012 -- among them, a coalition of House Republicans who had worked on a secretive financial rescue deal called "Project Magic Beans."

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Medical Experts Support Jenny Johnson's Assessment of Chris Brown's Premature Aging

Lindsay Lohan, 26, prematurely aging
SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- Comedienne Jenny Johnson not only caused Chris Brown to delete his Twitter account this weekend, she also embroiled herself in a war of flared tempers and deep passions, which has culminated in death threats. Brown -- "Breezy" to his fans -- has a public history of abuse, uncontrollable rage, and rash, provocative outbursts. Yet through it all, the R and B singer's devotees seem willing to forgive his every transgression and defend his dysfunctional behavior against all rational criticism. The latest target of Breezy's zealous admirers is Jenny Johnson, who propelled herself to social networking infamy Sunday when she bashed Brown in a sardonic reply to his Twitter post about premature aging. Brown's original post declared, "I look old as f***. I'm only 23..." Johnson quickly retweeted his message and added, "I know! Being a worthless piece of s*** can really age a person." Since the exchange this weekend, Johnson has received threats ranging from stabbing to raping and killing. Some Team Breezy adherents posted on other prominent sites that they would carry out the deed if given the chance. Less homicidal supporters accused Johnson of libel, which is essentially at the crux of the debate. However, despite the outpouring of hate, Johnson has found allies in the medical community and, more unlikely, in Lindsay Lohan, who admitted that she knows firsthand how "being a worthless piece of s*** can really age a person."

Friday, November 23, 2012

Walmart Begins Black Friday on Thursday, Over 20 Trampled to Death as Employees Rushed to Make Their Shifts

SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- The peaceful Southern California hamlet of Bennington Vale was again rocked by multiple deaths and countless injuries during Black Friday sales events. Last year, five members of a small and sometimes militant African American rights group in San Narciso County were trampled to death outside the Gottsgeld department store in Santa Calcetines' Buffum Plaza Mall. According to Lionel Tyrone Lincoln Green -- head of San Narciso's Angry Black Revolutionaries Against Caucasian Aristocracy, Despotism and Black Repression Association (ABRA CADABRA) -- Thanksgiving and Black Friday represent some of the worst examples of white oppression and entitlement in America next to the existence of San Narciso County itself. "The slaughter we saw last night in front of Walmart proves it," Green declared. But in a strange twist, police attributed the 23 trampling related deaths that occurred just after 7:00 p.m. Thursday evening to the store employees themselves.

Historians Discover Thanksgiving Day Also Origin of 'Last Meal' Penal Tradition

"The first feast, so to speak, may also have been the nation's first Last Meal." -- Abel Wharfinger

SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- Although the modern Thanksgiving holiday tradition in America traces its roots to the seventeenth century, historians believe earlier celebrations existed on the continent as far back as 1598, when Spanish explorers in Texas gave a feast of thanks at San Elizario. Similar events were also documented in the Virginia Colony. Abel Wharfinger, the dean of History at San Narciso College, said the Pilgrims "likely witnessed a type of Thanksgiving feast prior to their journey overseas while they were staying in Leiden. There, annual services were held to observe the end of the 1574 siege. This event probably served as the influence for the holiday we now celebrate. Although our Thanksgiving is not entirely original, we've recently discovered something about it that is."

Thursday, November 15, 2012

United Blames Flight Delays on Computer Issues after Upgrading to Windows 8 and Apple Maps

SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- Shares in United Continental Holdings fell during morning trading Thursday after the air carrier reported delays in many of its flights, which it attributed to a computer problem. Denver International Airport, a hub for United, showed nearly 30 flights stalled. Similar issues were cited with United flights at Houston Intercontinental Airport and Newark Liberty Airport -- also hubs for the airline. Just three months earlier, network outages crippled United's website and affected airport automation systems, causing delays and cancellations. Prior to that, in March, Continental's reservation system triggered glitches that led to delays, malfunctioning ticket kiosks, and downed phone lines; United purchased Continental for $3.17 billion in 2010, and had experienced difficulties with the integration between systems. Representatives for the company reluctantly admitted that Thursday's disruption stemmed from upgrading two critical applications used for in-flight navigational and operational support to Windows 8 and Apple Maps.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Petraeus Affair: Why Do the Powerful Cheat and Why Does Anybody Give a Crap?

SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- Findings from CERN's Large Hadron Collider made waves in the scientific community recently by calling into question a popular physics theory known as Supersymmetry, which has been used to explain away discrepancies in the Standard Model for years. The observation of bizarre meson decay forced physicists back to formula this week to reevaluate established principles. While science has a lot more explaining to do, its attempts to unlock the secrets of creation have failed to rival the mysteries of the human heart that are puzzling psychologists attempting to dissect Gen. David Petraeus' sordid affair and discover why powerful people cheat. But in the course of their investigations, they found that even the mediocre and banal are cheating too, and that Petraeus' affair would have had no measurable impact on government or the election. "We really thought we'd be able to delve into this matter using a rather straightforward approach, but we've become mired in new and unforeseen perplexities," remarked Dr. Hilarus Lustig, chief psychologist for San Narciso County’s Office of Health and Human Services (OHHS). "The biggest challenge facing us at present is attempting to answer the question: Why does anybody give a crap?"

Friday, November 9, 2012

CIA Director Petraeus Uncovers Own Affair after Finding Incriminating Emails He Sent to Woman

SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- CIA Director David Petraeus, a retired four-star General, resigned his post Friday after admitting to having an extramarital affair. The shocking revelation brought an abrupt close to his brief stint at the CIA and marred a highly lauded national security career. At one time, because of his pristine record, military decorations and exemplary conduct, Petraeus was considered a prospective presidential candidate. White House representatives said he met with President Obama on Thursday to tender his resignation over the infidelity. He had been married 37 years, although military officials said they suspected Petraeus of adultery for some time. The person most rocked by the discovery, however, was General Petraeus himself, who uncovered the scandal after coming across a series of incriminating emails that described an affair he was having with a former military officer named Paula Broadwell.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Campus Fire Result of Students Celebrating Guy Fawkes on Wrong Night, Not Staging Violent Obama Protest

SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- Hundreds of students from San Narciso College were arrested Tuesday night after violent, politically charged protests erupted across the campus in response to the announcement of President Obama's reelection. Police say the incident started with an argument shortly after 9:00 p.m., which escalated in an exchange of racial epithets. Eventually, around midnight, a fire started as outraged students burned campaign posters depicting support for Barack Obama. "It was the fire alarm that alerted police to the mayhem," said SNPD spokesman Ren Williams. Some nearby residents criticized police for their three-hour response time. Williams attributed the delay to the students themselves. "This is one of the most staunchly Republican towns in the nation. Certainly the most conservative in California. Therefore, none of the students could locate a Barack Obama poster or yard sign within county limits. So they made their own. Some even constructed elaborate effigies. That process took them a few hours. And that's when the blaze finally began." But school officials painted a much different picture, describing the demonstration as a misguided attempt to celebrate Bonfire Night -- a British holiday also known as Guy Fawkes Day -- on the wrong date.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Voting Rights

This is serious. Several districts throughout the nation have reported incidents of voter suppression, obstruction, and irregularities with electronic voting machines. If you are turned away at the polling place for any reason, ask to file a provisional ballot, demand the name of the person who turned you away, and call 866-MYVOTE1.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Why Every Real American Should Vote for Write-in Presidential Candidate F. Chester Greene

SPECIAL GUEST EDITORIAL (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- To those of you outside San Narciso County, Calif., who may not be familiar with my campaign, I'd first like to introduce myself. My name is F. Chester Greene. I'm a socially, fiscally, racially, philosophically, and religiously conservative Republican; and I'm running for the office of President of the United States of what used to be America. Sure, you haven't seen me mincing and preening across your TVs during those ridiculous debates, and that's because I respect you enough to not waste your valuable time dickering about policies I'll only flip-flop on as soon as I'm nominated. Campaigns are terribly painful ordeals -- mostly for the voters forced to endure them. And if you were to vote for me based on whatever tactics I employed to attack my opponents, I'd only let you down once in office.

My quote-unquote peers, on the other hand, clearly have nothing better to do with their time, your vote, or all that PAC money they've raised. They don't care about you. In fact, one could argue that they really hate your guts. But I understand that dignity is precious; that your intelligence has done nothing to warrant insult; and I've saved my money to beat the spineless, vacuous waste of outside air who hopes to earn his coveted seat in the Oval Office. See, I've bided my time to go against that moron, who will probably be an elitist with a history of questionable spiritual convictions, wishy-washy policies, and serial marriages. Or, it'll be the Mormon. I'm banking on the write-in vote, which gives you more power over your ballot by transforming it into a mandate -- not a glorified Scantron. Plus, as a write-in candidate, I've got a better chance of earning your vote since you've no doubt realized what festering idiots -- of heroically vile proportions -- these candidates really are. If you're mad as hell and don't want to take it anymore, then write my name on your ballot for president. If you're not sure why, here's a list of my positions -- of the things we all should stand for.

Friday, November 2, 2012

SAT Tests Receive Massive Overhaul to Better Assess College Readiness

SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- Last week, Microsoft announced the official release of Windows 8, which promised the most dramatic redesign of a familiar American institution in decades. As if to follow suit Friday, representatives from the SAT program unveiled an unprecedented overhaul to one of the nation's most entrenched, and dreaded, educational rites of passage. Nearly all four-year universities today require entrance exams such as the SAT prior to enrollment. The purpose of these tests, according to their creators and proponents, is to measure a prospective student's preparedness for college. "Right now, the best gauge of a student's ability to complete college is financial readiness," said Prudence Lehrer, a representative from the College Board. "Kids and their parents must demonstrate their commitment to giving away a small fortune with no promise of anything in return as a result of the degree. So, we've updated our tests to accommodate the educational demands of this dynamic time."

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Politically Theme Haunted House Attraction Closed for Being Too Scary

SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- This year, the San Narciso County Chamber of Commerce was forced to shutter the community’s second annual Haunted House Spooktacular, scheduled to open Wednesday at 6:00 p.m. in the Lake Inverarity Social Hall. Unfortunately, the event drew more police and paramedics than Halloween thrillseekers in its three short hours of operation. Signs posted around the county by event organizer Francis Baldhamer warned: "If you can't afford to have the pants scared off you, don't wear any!" While only a few inappropriate teens took the message at its word, the problems arose when parents failed to exercise caution by bringing along children under the age of 12. "I don't know how things went so wrong," a flustered Baldhamer told reporters. "Because of some creepy thematic elements and frightening scenes, we were worried that younger kids could become very upset by a few of the images. But we had no idea how upset the kids -- and their parents -- would actually get. This is truly a tragedy." The theme for this year's event was "American Nightmares," a politically charged horrorshow that envisioned a chilling apocalypse of socialism unleashed by a mysterious Kenyan reelected to the office of president. Bennington Vale is one of the nation's most conservative cities, and Baldhamer expected some watery eyes and unsettled nerves. He didn't expect soiled clothes, seizures, heart attacks and three suicide attempts.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Romney Issued Storm Preparedness Tips, Criticized President for Abandoning Duties During Sandy

SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- Millions of Americans along the eastern seaboard are facing long days ahead without power or public transit in the devastating wake of superstorm Sandy. Worse still, the death toll has now risen to 39. Sandy has interrupted all facets of life for over eight million residents, but its effects can be felt by a much broader swath of the country. With just a week left before people head to the polls, the election has also been hobbled by the megastorm. President Barack Obama suspended his campaign to take charge of disaster relief efforts, putting the welfare of the nation before political ambitions. His challenger, however, sees things differently. Romney attacked his opponent for several failures in leadership during the disaster. "President Obama abandoned the campaign -- the American people -- to hole up in his big house. Former FEMA chief Mike Brown criticized him for reacting too quickly to the storm, and the president failed to provide those in Sandy's path with meaningful advice for preparations," Romney told an audience in Ohio. "I didn't do any of those things. I stayed on the campaign trail instead of worrying about the weather, I didn't react to the storm, and my campaign issued a list of useful tips for dealing with Sandy. That's why I should be elected in November."

TV Networks Capitalize on Sandy, Forcing Captive Audiences to Watch Failing Shows in Desperate Ratings Boost Attempt

SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- Megastorm Sandy pummeled the Northeast Monday night, battering the New Jersey coastline with 80 mph winds while sending 13-foot surges of seawater into New York's subway stations, tunnels, and power grids. According to current estimates, Sandy has claimed the lives of ten people. Other cities along the Northeast corridor -- including Washington, Baltimore, Philadelphia, and Boston -- also reported violent rainfall and gales in excess of 85 mph. The threat of continuing rain and further flooding across several states has forced over five million Americans to remain sealed up in their homes. For those without power, Sandy accorded them an opportunity to spend quality time with family members over candlelight, introducing modern youth to board games such as Scrabble -- or "offline Words with Friends." But for those homes with electricity or generators, the terrible storm allowed television networks to make a desperate last-ditch effort to bolster the ratings of failing shows before a truly captive audience.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Outraged Evangelicals Call Mourdock's Apology for 'Divine Rape' Comments an Attack on God

SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- Senate candidate Richard Mourdock (R-Ind.) struggled to defend his controversial comments about rape and abortion Wednesday, telling the press his statements had been "twisted." Women's rights advocates across the country agreed: nothing, possibly not even Todd Akin's proclamation of "legitimate rape," could have been more twisted than presuming God's divine scheme for creation includes an endorsement of rape. The Senate hopeful has since taken pains to clarify his comments, though his attempts to back out of the startling assertions have ruffled the feathers of evangelical Christians who support the idea of "divine rape." They accused the Hoosier of arrogantly reinterpreting God's will. "Of course God pre-ordains rape," opined Nehemiah Goodman, a theological scientist employed by San Narciso-based defense contractor Yoyodyne. "Some women fight destiny and nature. Sometimes the government interfers with the Lord. Consider President Obama's mandatory contraception laws. And when obstinate politicians and selfish women defy God, He must intervene. Sometimes, those efforts are more intrusive or penetrating than others. Who are we to question Him? Who is Richard Mourdock to presume or apologize on God's behalf?"

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Reporters Find Romney and Obama's Debate Notes in Lynn University Dumpsters

SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- Tuesday night's restrained but still contentious presidential debate was the last opportunity for voters to see President Obama and GOP challenger Mitt Romney together until after the election results in two weeks. The stated focus of the final debate was foreign policy, even though both candidates took opportunities to circle back to discussions of the economy. But for all the gaffes, zingers and borderline brawls seen during the three encounters, one mystery remains unanswered: what were the candidates pensively, sometimes furiously, scribbling on their notepads? The Bennington Vale Evening Transcript rescued the discarded messages while digging through the dumpsters behind Lynn University, where our reporters were ordered by campus security to stay until the end of the event. The published transcripts follow.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Italian Court Convicts Scientists for Failing to Predict Earthquakes, Cure Colds or Send Spaceships to Heaven

SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- During the Roman Inquisition of 1615, a high court acting under orders from Pope Urban VIII found Galileo Galilei guilty of heresy for promoting his theory of heliocentrism -- the controversial notion that the earth revolves around the sun, which conflicted with the prevailing religious thinking of the time. Galileo was subsequently convicted, forced to recant his blasphemous scientific offenses, and spent the rest of his life under house arrest. Years later, an increasingly vocal and influential community of astronomers and physicists would bear out the truth of Galileo's observations. The Italian government has made every concession since that time to give science its due, but science failed miserably in 2009 when an earthquake struck the central region of the country and killed over 300 people. No one knew it was coming. Nobody was warned in advance to evacuate the area. "For its vanity and braggadocio, science fell asleep trying to keep God's watch," a Vatican spokesperson said. On Monday, an Italian court convicted seven geological experts of manslaughter for failing to predict the impending natural disaster.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Romney's Coded Mormon Reference to 'Binders Full of Women' Freaks Out Polygamous Elders

Additional Reporting by Michael Livingston

SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- Former President George W. Bush, to knowing observers, was gifted with an uncanny knack for discreetly slathering his speeches with coded religious phrases, which provided targeted messaging to the evangelical base he rallied. Bush became a born-again Christian in 1988 while serving as liaison to the religious right for his father's administration. It was there he learned the art of broadcasting subliminal cues to evangelicals. Some of his favorite expressions included "hills to climb," "the valley below," "a time for rebuilding" and his go-to from Isaiah: "They will have no mercy on helpless babies and will show no compassion for the children." In large part, Bush's tactic managed to fly under most folks' radar while energizing born-agains who shared his belief that God wanted war waged on brown people worldwide. But when Mitt Romney unwittingly employed a similar strategy during Tuesday's second presidential debate, polygamous Mormon elders flew into fits of panic as their candidate revealed the church's still-present cache of "binders full of women" and other secrets more damning than magic underwear and the Planet Kolob.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Female Tea Party Leaders Say Women are Evil, Filthy Demons Who Shouldn't be Allowed to Vote

SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- Janis Lane, leader of the Central Mississippi Tea Party, has helped a brave faction of conservative women emerge from the shadows to voice their support for the party's misogynistic doctrine. Lane came forward this week with a courageous admission of self-hatred that reinforces the Biblical principles on which the Tea Party's platform is founded. "There is nothing worse than a bunch of mean, hateful women," she said. "They are diabolical in how they can skewer a person. I do not see that in men." Lane is encouraging like-minded followers to convince others that women shouldn't be allowed to vote in this, or any, election. And to the relief of conservative men who have patiently but tirelessly struggled to restore the grace of God on America's morally bankrupt political system, Tea Party females across the country are carrying Lane's vital message of self-loathing to the public, possibly explaining Mitt Romney's four-point surge in swing states from a push in the polls by female voters -- even though they will not actually be casting ballots now.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Romney Defends Conflicting Abortion Views and Investment in Medical-Waste Firm as Consistent with Economic and Pro-Life Recovery Plans

SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- As GOP presidential challenger Mitt Romney prepares to confront incumbent Barack Obama in the second round of debates Tuesday, social conservatives are pressing the former Massachusetts governor to honor his pledge to pass legislation outlawing abortion. Last Wednesday, Romney downplayed his campaign commitment to do "everything in my power to cultivate, promote and support a culture of life in America," which further rankled Republicans who are concerned about the candidate's past pro-choice stance and constant flip-flopping on the issue. Even more distressing for unconvinced conservatives was the revelation that Romney had invested millions in a medical-waste company called Stericycle, which was tasked with the disposal of aborted fetuses from family planning clinics. Romney, however, surprised voters by unflinchingly defending his record on abortion as consistent with his plan to save the economy -- and end abortion.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Romney Seeks Tough U.S. Policy on China, Encourages Outsourcing to Eastern Europe and Mexico Instead

SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- Republican presidential challenger Mitt Romney pledged to restore American jobs and economic prosperity by getting tough on China. In a statement Thursday -- setting the tone for his running mate's debate with Vice President Joe Biden -- Romney vowed to designate China a "currency manipulator" the first day after his inauguration, something no administration has done in nearly two decades. During his tenure at Bain Capital, Romney outsourced a staggering number of U.S. jobs to economically depressed countries, with China taking the lion's share of the work. In 1992, Bain closed down the Holson Burnes plant in South Carolina and offshored more than 75 percent of its manufacturing. Ten years later, Romney helped implement an internal IT system for state offices in Massachusetts by ditching pricey New England contractors for resources in China. But Romney now believes China has gotten greedy, enabled by the current administration's leniency. "What we have seen from the Obama administration has been acquiescence to China," Romney said of the president's "pivot" to Asia. To show voters his commitment to U.S. interests, Romney will fight to prevent companies from offshoring labor to China by encouraging them to consider outsourcing to India, Eastern Europe and Mexico instead.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Annual Southern California Columbus Day Event Canceled Over Controversies

SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- Today, many U.S. citizens observe the arrival of Christopher Columbus to American shores, a voyage that concluded on October 12, 1492. The holiday has been celebrated unofficially since the late 18th century, and officially in various areas since the early 20th century. In San Narciso County, the annual Columbus Day reenactment ceremonies have bolstered the local economy with an influx of Southern Californians who gather at Kinneret's Battersea Field to enjoy a variety of beverages, delicacies and the Integration of the Indigenous Peoples commemoration. This year, however, Mayor Manny DiPresso has increased security after receiving word that a group of demonstrators plans to protest the ceremony. Write-in GOP presidential candidate F. Chester Greene, surprisingly, also urged the mayor's office to call off the event, which now seems likely to happen.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Russian PM Medvedev Meets with Zuckerberg to Discuss Facebook's Role in New Soviet Information Retrieval Agency

SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev hosted an historic meeting Monday with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg in an effort to entice the tech-savvy entrepreneur to invest in the country's IT industry, and perhaps lend an endorsement that would resonate with the world community. "You probably know that here in Russia we have not only oil, gas, gold, and diamonds - there is also an IT industry," a beaming Medvedev told Zuckerberg as photographers gathered in front of the Gorki residence outside Moscow where the meeting took place. Any company that's ever been crippled by a nasty virus can certainly attest. By reputation, Russia is home to the world's most talented hackers. "In a recent poll on a hacker-oriented Web site," ABC News reported, "82 percent said Russia had the world’s best hackers; only 5 percent said Americans were better." But Russia's hackers lack the subtlety of Facebook, as well as Zuckerberg's masterfully persuasive way of manipulating users into giving up all their information...voluntarily. "Unlike the United States and much of Europe, Russia takes pride in learning about our citizens to maintain order," Medvedev noted. "And the government makes no pretense in saying we need Facebook to help us 'improve' our own social networks for the good of the people."

Thursday, October 4, 2012

First 2012 Presidential Debate: Least Exciting 90 Minutes of TV Since Helen Keller's 'What's My Line' Appearance

SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- The first of three crucial debates between President Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney concluded Wednesday night, with Romney emerging as the clear winner in terms of style and confidence, while the president scored points with analysts for substance. At times, Romney appeared so giddy over his perceived victory that many suspected he would push Mr. Obama to the ground and begin shearing his hair. But the overlong tete-a-tete left most viewers underwhelmed. Romney seemed simultaneously uncomfortable and needlessly aggressive, which provided the only real drama in the event. Obama's demeanor was collected but his passive, unenthusiastic presentation of facts failed to win over supporters who held high expectations for his performance. Overall, the debate was widely considered the least exciting 90 minutes of television since Helen Keller's ill-advised appearance on "What's My Line?"

Friday, September 28, 2012

Romney Drops in Polls as Voters Misunderstand Obama's Summons to Reject Extremism

Photo courtesy AP (c) 2012
SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- President Barack Obama on Tuesday admonished the U.N. General Assembly to take a firm stance against violence and extremism, arguing that religious rights and free speech must be upheld as global responsibilities and not merely U.S. obligations. In an effort to stress the urgency of suppressing deadly protests that have erupted over perceived anti-Islamic sentiment, the president said "the impulse towards intolerance and violence" will not be contained if allowed to flourish over time. Mr. Obama underscored his message with examples of ongoing racial inequalities, abuses of women's rights, theocratic discrimination against religious diversity, despots who neglect or massacre their people to protect cronies and regime-friendly elites, and the inevitable cycles of sectarian violence likely to rise in the wake. Although the president's speech was delivered to world leaders, and was meant to address specific crises in the Arab world, tentative Republican voters confused Obama's descriptions of Syria, Egypt and Libya with Mitt Romney's campaign platform. The GOP challenger's polling numbers plummeted significantly as a result, according to reports Friday.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Britain in Crisis as Pork Shortage Looms

"Millions will perish if we can't produce enough bacon to mask the disgusting flavor and rubbery texture of the common British diet." -- PM David Cameron

SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- With a global drought driving up feed costs, U.K. pig farmers are struggling to stave off the sharp decline in sow herds, which is threatening a worldwide pork shortage in the coming year. Insufficient rainfall across the United States and Eastern Europe has led to severely arid conditions with international repercussions. As a result, global food prices are soaring to record levels, forcing farmers to reduce the size of their herds. In Poland, the swine population has already dwindled by 9.6 percent. In Germany, by 1.3 percent. The National Pig Association in Britain called the looming shortage "unavoidable," with the drought continuing to blaze through corn, wheat and soybean crops. And the trend, the association says, is being mirrored across the world. While the news for pork-loving foodies is bleak, to millions of Britons it's dire. "Without bacon, at least two-thirds of England's population will die of starvation within the next three years," a statement from Britain's Department of Health warned.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

FEC Filings Show Obama with Double the Campaign Staff at Same Cost -- Romney Announces Plans to Outsource

SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- Mitt Romney continues to face challenges on his uphill battle toward the 2012 presidency. His staggering unlikability and open disdain for nearly half of America's citizens have made it difficult to entice the tax-dodging volunteers he desperately needs to run ground support for the campaign. Although he eventually clinched the GOP nomination, Romney's own party presented him with resistance and obstacles to overcome throughout the process. He's spent over five months ramping up his staff to match the colossal operation President Obama organized across the nation. Now, the GOP challenger seems to have caught up, but only by monetary standards. Romney spent $4.04 million on payroll, closely approaching Obama's $4.37 million, according to statements filed with the Federal Election Commission last week. But while Obama's cash bought him 901 workers, Romney managed only 403. The figures would seem to lend credence to Obama's claims of creating jobs, which in this case doubled the number of positions filled by Romney. Demonstrating the strategic business thinking for which he is famed, Romney one-upped the president Tuesday by announcing his intentions to outsource a number of his campaign's call center and mass mailing positions to lower-cost contractors in India and China.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Man Mauled by Tiger in Bronx Zoo after Apple Maps Mistakes Cage for Restroom

SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- Despite the long lines, celebratory mood and overall contentment greeting the arrival of Apple's new iPhone 5, critics and even diehard users found themselves grumbling at certain features. The most notable complaint stemmed from the bumbling and error-prone Apple Maps application, a homegrown replacement for the once ubiquitous and reliable Google Maps. Not only does the new app lack the popular features of its predecessor, including public transit directions, traffic data and street view images, the Apple version is plagued by geographical errors and missing information. For example, a farm is listed as an airport, roads simply end in the middle of no man's land, an entire city has been replaced with an ocean, and literary buffs seeking out Shakespeare's birthplace will find instead a hospital. But none of these glitches rival the peril one zoogoer in New York faced Friday as a result of Apple Maps, which confused a tiger cage for a public restroom.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Monty Python Actor Denies Allegations of Religious Hate Crimes

Terry Jones in "Life of Brian" 1979
SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- Responding to the outrage ignited by the anti-Islamic film "Innocence of Muslims," Egyptian authorities on Tuesday ordered the arrests of Terry Jones and seven Coptic Christians for their alleged involvement in the video's production. The movie's offensive portrayal of the Prophet Muhammad has led to protests across the Middle East and North Africa. At the U.S. Consulate in Libya, the ambassador and several other staff members were killed by well-equipped gunmen during the rioting. Prosecutors in Egypt demanded the suspects be extradited to the Egyptian government for trial. Their statement also indicated that convictions could be punishable by death. Officials in the United States have not responded to the request but seem unlikely to comply. In the United Kingdom, however, British authorities refused to hand over Terry Jones, whom they described as a "national treasure" for his work with the storied comedy team, Monty Python.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Chick-fil-A Stops Funding Anti-Gay Groups, Chooses Almighty Dollar over The Almighty

SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- On July 18, Chick-fil-A COO Dan Cathy sparked an uproar when he confirmed the company's support of an undeniable anti-LGBT philosophy, writing in a blog post: "I think we are inviting God's judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at him and say, 'We know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage.' And I pray God's mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think that we have the audacity to define what marriage is about." In response, Christian conservatives urged their supporters to frequent Chick-fil-A restaurants while gay rights protesters staged demonstrations at chains across the nation. On Wednesday, however, the company formally announced plans to retreat from the debate and cease funding groups with anti-gay agendas. "We had a tough decision to make," Cathy said in a press statement. "Do we support The Almighty or the Almighty Dollar? At the end of the day, after much introspection and prayer, it seemed obvious that God Himself would've chosen the dollar. How else do you explain tithes, collection plates, fundraisers, church tax shelters, retail-based holidays and Bain Capital? God created money, so He must want us to embrace it as with all His creations."

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

British School Officials Defend Video Cameras in Bathrooms

SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- On Wednesday of last week, privacy activists in the United Kingdom identified more than 200 high schools across Great Britain that have installed video surveillance cameras in toilets and locker rooms. Much of the evidence collected for the scathing report was obtained through freedom-of-information requests. One school featured prominently in the study, King Ecgbert School in Sheffield, was discovered to have cameras mounted in all 12 bathrooms on the grounds. Representatives from Big Brother Watch, the organization responsible for the research, urged the British government to consider implementing greater regulations over the use of surveillance systems or creating a watchdog group to assure the protection of students' privacy. "Schools need to come clean about why they are using these cameras and what is happening to the footage," a spokesperson for Big Brother Watch said. But education officials have vigorously defended the cameras, which were instituted in a joint effort with the Catholic Church, to prevent toilet-related injuries -- a leading cause of death in England.

Friday, September 14, 2012

U.S. Braces for More Religious Violence as 'The Master' Hits Theaters

Scientologists Could Declare Jihad and Attack Theaters over Offensive Film

SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- The organized effort and ferocity of the September 11 attacks against the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, caught the Obama administration by surprise. Well-armed extremists stormed the compound Tuesday killing two former Navy SEALS, an information management officer, and respected Ambassador Christopher Stevens. The violence arose during protests against the anti-Islamic film "Innocence of Muslims," which depicts the Prophet Muhammad in an insulting light. Several Libyan security guards were also slain in the hours-long assault. After trailers for "Innocence of Muslims" went viral throughout Islamic countries via YouTube, violent demonstrations occurred in Egypt and Yemen. The United States put all of its diplomatic missions abroad on high alert, bracing for the eruption of more fighting. However, as another religiously offensive film debuted Friday, security agencies began implementing similar precautions inside the country to protect citizens from potential rioting or military style attacks launched by well-equipped, well-funded Scientologist gunmen.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Write-in Presidential Candidate F. Chester Greene Knows What War is Good For: America

SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- With the 2012 presidential election just weeks away, and with Mitt Romney's popularity waning among Republican voters, conservative write-in candidate F. Chester Greene has shifted his campaign into high gear. The Bennington Vale Evening Transcript recently acquired documents illustrating Greene's plans for economic stimulus should he win the presidency. The document starts with a missive from Greene stating, "The current president thinks legalizing marijuana can help to build the economy. We all know this because he keeps courting potheads like that Kumar fellow, who's also a terrorist. Well, I've got a better plan." Simply put, Greene's plan is for America to declare war on China.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

A Day of Silence and Reflection to Honor Those Lost

Monday, September 10, 2012

Surrounded by FBI Officials, BlueToad CEO Admits Apple IDs Stolen from His Company

ORLANDO, Fla. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- During the first week of September, AntiSec -- an offshoot of the Anonymous hacker collective -- published over one million stolen Apple user IDs on the open web. Having one's personal information released publicly across the Internet would be frightening enough, but initial reports citing an FBI agent's laptop as the source of the compromised data elevated the concerns to legitimate panic. Security expert Peter Kruse validated the authenticity of the personal information in a tweet dated September 4: "Apple UDID leak is real. I have confirmed three of my devices in the leaked data." What remained unclear at the time were AntiSec's claims that the IDs had been discovered and subsequently pilfered from a federal agency. Why the FBI would have an extensive collection of device identifiers lingers as the most disturbing question in the investigation. On Monday, however, a software company based in Florida admitted the stolen profiles had come from its databases. Surrounded by a cadre of armed FBI agents in a show of support and contrition, BlueToad Inc. CEO Paul DeHart said, "We want to apologize, announce what happened and set the record straight."

Friday, September 7, 2012

Lars von Trier Promises Even More Disturbing Unsimulated Sex Scenes in Next Film 'Oedipus Wrecks'

SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- Danish director Lars von Trier is once again courting controversy with his forthcoming film "Nymphomaniac," a sexually explicit tale of eroticism. But in response to complaints, von Trier coyly suggested that "Nymphomaniac" would be a "Disney movie" compared to his next release -- a graphically rendered retelling of Oedipus featuring real-life mother and son actors.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Republicans Mock Obama's Planned 'Empty Chair' Routines at DNC

SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- As Paul Ryan made the campaign rounds Tuesday in Ohio, a battleground state where GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney continues to trail an empty chair in polls, he focused his attacks on the Democratic National Convention rather than the current administration's handling of the economy. Ryan's first target was former President Jimmy Carter, for whom President Obama has planned a tribute. Ryan reminded his base of Carter's abysmal record in office, which included the creation of wasteful and needless agencies such as the Department of Education, Carter's role in destroying Three Mile Island to protect his ties to greedy oil interests, Carter's well-documented atheism and anti-human rights stances, Carter's work with OPEC to bring about a crippling energy crisis, and Carter's involvement in causing the eruption of Mount St. Helens. But the majority of Ryan's speech chided the "ridiculous stunts" Obama aides have planned in response to Clint Eastwood's improvisational empty chair skit.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Arizona Prosecutes Woman for Self-Administered Abortion Under 'Pregnancy Begins Two Weeks Before Conception' Law

SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- According to a new law signed by Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer on April 12, women in the state are now deemed legally pregnant two weeks before conception. HB 2036, which bears the less official but decidedly Orwellian name "Women's Health and Safety Act," states its purpose is to address "a number of key issues that present a clear risk to maternal health and allow for a woman to be coerced into having an abortion." Critics have attacked the bill's language as misleading and unclear: the law never attempts to clarify how women are being coerced into terminating their pregnancies, who precisely is responsible for the coercion, or how it's medically and scientifically possible for impregnation to occur prior to sexual activity. But on Thursday, as if to fan the conservative flames rising from the culmination of the Republican National Convention, state officials announced they would be prosecuting a woman for performing an unlicensed home abortion, citing provisions of the Women's Health and Safety Act.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

GOP Convention's Mystery Guest Revealed: Ronald Reagan

SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- Rumors of a mystery speaker at the 2012 Republican National Convention sparked curiosity and speculation among attendees after being confirmed by one Romney aide. Tight-lipped members of the Romney camp hope the allure of the secret guest will entice more people to attend the event, which is suffering disappointing turnout figures because of Hurricane Isaac, women voters with self respect and Romney's astounding unlikability factor. When the RNC released the convention schedule Monday, it included the notation "To Be Announced" for a prime-time slot Thursday, which signals the finale of the conference. Russ Schreifer, the aide in charge of convention planning for the Romney campaign, admitted that an unnamed guest would be slated to address the crowd, but he refused to reveal any further details. However, insiders at Hollywood effects house Digital Domain -- the Oscar-winning CGI company responsible for the holographic resurrection of Tupac Shakur at this year's Coachella Music Festival -- leaked details of the big surprise, which they claim has been in the works for several months. "In a nutshell, we're using our technology to bring the Republican Party hero, Ronald Reagan, back from the dead to wow tentative voters," the source divulged.

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