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."

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