A BEST OF THE FICTIONAL TIMES EDITION, 2001 - 2004

UNFAIR & UNBALANCED JOURNALISM AT ITS FINEST!
An independent product of Gary Gordon Productions

Established April 17, 2001
** Special Edition * April 25, 2009 * Special Edition **



Hi, and welcome to this Special Edition of The Fictional Times. This webpaper was published every two or three days for the first three years of its publication, starting in April, 2001. After 2004 the frequency decreased. The last regular issue was published in Dec. 2007. This Special Edition is essentially a greatest hits or Best of The Fictional Times. The articles here are from 2001 - 2004. We hope you enjoy it.

Best of Quagmire Edition

Best of Photo Caption section

Best of Entertainment News

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Hollywood Goes To War

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(Editor's Note: Some of these editions do not have all the accompanying photographs. Please consider this archive a work in progress... or regress.

Last published edition, Dec. 15, 2007

October 11, 2003 edition

April 8, 2004 edition -- includes Bush-Fonda Romance exclusive!

October 6, 2003 edition

May 14, 2003 edition

Dec. 9, 2003 edition

July 31, 2002 edition

Sept. 24, 2002 edition

April, 30, 2001 edition

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CHINA DEMANDS U.S. ELECTION RECOUNT IN EXCHANGE FOR SPY PLANE
Beijing, China -(GIP)
- China announced today what it would take to get the spy plane back: a recount in the U.S. election.
     "It is clear President Bush does not want to be reasonable. It is also clear that there is a question of the legitimacy of his election. We would prefer a recount and the opportunity to negotiate with Gore, or Nader," Chinese diplomats told U.S. State Department officials.
     When asked why the Chinese believe Bush is being unreasonable, they responded, "The man is slashing funds for solar and renewable energy in the midst of your national energy crisis, he's rejected the Kyoto accords and launched a toxic attack on the world, and he wants to drill for oil in Alaska. Clearly he's insane and has no mandate for his actions."      When asked who the hell they thought they were to criticize us, they responded, "We're not perfect, or the best, but we never claimed to be."
     State Department officials tried to explain to the Chinese delegation that American elections don't work like many European elections, where a president or prime minister can be unseated in mid-term.      "That's not our problem," was the delegation's response.
     Sen. Joe Lieberman (D or R, Conn.) declared the Chinese were making a mistake to muddle in American politics.
     "Muddling in American politics is the job of the Democrats," he said. "Besides, the Chinese fail to understand that we may snipe at each other here at home, but when it comes to China, we're united... except for the differences of opinion about sweatshops and jailed Christians and Taiwan and potential for corporate markets and trade status-- besides that, we're united. We are."
     Bush spokesman Ari Wasperdoodle told the press, "This could mean the end of efforts for a U.S.-China baseball game."
     Dick Cheney could not be reached for comment.

MISSISSIPPI VOTES TO RESTORE SLAVERY
Natchez, MS - (GNI)
- Mississipians voted today to restore slavery and maintain the Confederate symbols in their official state flag. Voter turnout was heavy, and decisive.
     "Although we've only counted 1% of the vote, we can tell y'all that we won," declared Mississippi Secretary of State Robert "Stonewall" Beauregard. "After all, them Black voters make up only 36% of the vote, an' I'm not sure many of them voted, if you know what I mean," he said.
     Last year an organization called The Mississippi Heritage Preservation Club gathered enough signatures to put the question on the ballot.
     "Why settle for just the flag when we can restore slavery, too?" asked Edward "Stonewall" Persimmon, a leader in the Heritage Preservation movement.
     "We should take pride in the fact that our ancestors were wealthy enough to own slaves, and smart enough to have a value system that recognized racial differences," said Jimmy "Stonewall" Montgomery, chairman of the Fair Play for Slave-Owners Committee.
     "They had slaves in the Bible, didn't they?" Reverend Billy "Stonewall" Forrester said.
     "Let's quit pussyfootin' aroun'," said George "Stonewall" Wallace Jones, recording secretary of the We're Better'n Them Club. "Let the other states argue an' fuss about flags. Slavery's what's important," he said.
     Leaders and members of all the organizations behind the restore slavery effort denied that a return to slavery would mean a dehumanization of blacks and further mistreatment of blacks.
     "Hell, how could we mistreat 'em any worse'n we do now?" Jones said, grinning.
     Black leaders expressed concern that, if passed in Mississippi, the effort to restore slavery could spread.
     "We would like to argue that slavery is against the law, but given the make-up of the Federal Supreme Court and this administration's position on supporting States Right, if we press it, we may discover slavery is not against the law," observed Fred Douglass Mfume, a coordinator with the recently outlawed Mississippi Human Rights Coalition.
     Charges that the Federal Government would allow slavery are premature, according to Attorney General John Ashcroft. "My office would have to study the matter."
     Ashcroft did say that the Mississippi action could be studied, as an experiment, a pilot program, but, he said, that would fall under the Interior Department. "Slaves would be considered a natural resource," he said.
     Secretary of the Interior Gale Norton, who once argued a case by declaring much was lost in the states rights movement when the Confederacy was defeated, said she would be glad to monitor Mississippi's experiment.
     "We could save alot of money drilling for oil in Alaska if we use slave labor," she said. "And it would make us competitive with the Chinese, but that's the Commerce department."
     Secretary of Commerce Simon Legree agreed slave labor would make the U.S. competitive with the Chinese, but denied suggestions that the purpose of the current trade talks and the President's planned trip to China is to study Chinese slavery.
     "Oh come on, that's not it at all," he said with a wink. "We just want to get our busted up plane back. You know, the one the Chinese military has already completely studied and is really of no value to us, except for the symbolism."
     Secretary of Symbolism Colin Powell agreed. "The plane itself is useless, but the symbolism of getting it back, that's priceless."
     Conservative columnist William Kristol called the charges that the administration might be pursuing a pro-slavery course nonsense.
     "George W. Bush is turning out to be the most liberal president of our times. He's drifted so far to the left these last hundred days, I'm surprised he hasn't replaced the American flag with a hammer and sickle.
     "The big clue was when he didn't bomb China rightaway," Kristol declared, "and noboby but me picked up on it."
     In Mississippi, pro-slavery forces conceded there may be a fight about today's vote, but seemed to relish the thought.
     "If'n they don' like it, let 'em fight the damn war all over again," said "Stonewall" Jones, "'cause this time we'll win."

AMERICANS CLAMOR FOR HIGHER GAS PRICES
Government Responds Quickly To Public's Demand
Washington D.C. - (GIP) - Americans gathered at gas stations, houses of worship, ballfields and bars, rallying to support higher gasoline prices.
     And the Bush Administration declared they are working as hard as they can to ensure "prices that go through the roof," said Vice President & Energy Czar & Energy Corporation Stockholder Dick "Richard" Cheney.
     "High gas prices good," said President Bush, in his carefully-scripted four-word speech to the Veterans Of Oil Companies convention in Midland, Texas.
     "I'm so happy," gushed Martha Plodfungshway. "I've waited all my life to pay $2.50 a gallon, and I'm praying it goes up another dollar," she said.
     "What's good for the American-Arab Oil Interests is good for the U.S.A.," said Lyle Abner as he whipped his last few dollar bills out of his wallet to pay for gas.
     "I've heard stories of when gas was only twenty-five cents a gallon," said Timmy Glump, age 11. "But I've also heard stories about a time when America was actually commiting itself to alternative energy, solar power, conservation, and energy independence from foreign oil. I don't believe in fairy tales," he declared.
     Administration officials said it will be tough, but breaking out to $5 a gallon by July 4 is possible.

POWELL DISPATCHED TO MIDWEST
St. Louis, MO - (GPS)
- Secretary of State Colin Powell was dispatched to the Midwest earlier today to celebrate the longstanding peace in the region.
     "One hundred and fifty years ago, people were killing people in Missouri and Kansas, now they're not," said Powell.
     Powell said it's time someone recognized the large area where peace and prosperity have been enjoyed for over a century.
     "Too often we look at the troublespots. Let's look at the good news," he said.
     Powell said if a Missourian can sit down with a Kansan, if an Illini can sit down with a Oklahoman, then anything is possible.
     "There's a lesson here for all of us," he said.
     Earlier reports that Powell had been dispatched to the Mideast were erroneous.
     During the ceremony, Powell will present an award to fourteen-year-old Jemmy Herferman for his contest-winning essay, "Why People From Kansas and Those People From Missouri Should Get Along".

SOURCES CONFIRM SOURCES TELL SOURCES THAT SOURCES KNOW WHAT SOURCES SAID
Rampant Speculation Continues
Washington, D.C. - (GNS) - Hearsay is replacing speculation as several sources confirmed what was only surmised in the case of the missing evidence surrounding the disappearance of what was it that we were talking about?
     Newspersons and people who purport to be newspersons declared on a variety of Sunday talkshows that what they had was not just hearsay, but hard, irrefutable hearsay.
     "This hearsay is incontrovertible," said someone who seemed to know, after a clip of a police officer who did not confirm the hearsay was aired.
     An attorney who argued against the insistence that hearsay was fact was attacked and criticized for what some called "his obvious narrow-minded, biased attitudes."
     Cooler heads did not prevail, according to, uh, sources.

NIKE RECALLS ENFORCED CHILD LABOR MODEL RUNNING SHOE
Seattle, WA - (GNS) - Nike announced a recall of its Enforced Child Labor Running Shoe yesterday. Thousands of pairs of the shoe have already been shipped.
     "The shoe is morally defective," Nike CEO Harmon Blather explained at a press conference.
      "We discovered in tests that people wearing the shoe suddenly have concerns about the pain and suffering of the young children who are forced to make the shoe for low wages in harsh conditions. It makes it difficult for the wearer to compete, to race, to win, to have fun." Blather said the problem was located in the soul of the shoe.
     "If we re-do the soul, we'll be okay."
     Plans to adjust the soul and re-ship the shoes are underway, he said.

EVERYONE LAID OFF
Economy Could Falter
Washington D.C. - (GNS) - Everyone was laid off yesterday in what economists say could be a devastating blow for the economy and President Bush's political future.
     The news came at 2:32pm EST, shortly before the New York Stock Exchange rang its final bell for the day, but no one was there at 3pm to ring the bell, since they'd been laid off.
     "The downside is, everyone's out of work," said former Undersecretary of Stating The Obvious Max Wormhole. "The upside is, well, not apparent yet."
     Former presidential press secretary Ari Uh-oh said Bush would recover from the utterly failed economic situation.
     "Economic indicators are coming in all over," said Uh-oh. "And Bush is a fighter. He's tenacious. He's been down before, like when the Rangers weren't doing well, or one time when his Dad cut his allowance in half and he only got fifty thousand that month. And he's a leader. We'll get out of this," Uh-oh said while sitting in his boat in the Potomac River, searching for a paddle.
     "Don't even joke about this," said Tom Brokaw, author of the bestselling novel 'The Greatest Generation'. "Depression is a horrible thing."
     "Hey, just because everyone's laid off doesn't mean it's a depression," said former Secretary of Bunk Paul O'Neil.
     Boomer spokespersons Chris Matthews and Jeff Greenfield said their generation would respond to this depression by loading up on Prozac, Zoloft and Welbutrin.
     "We don't tough it out," said Greenfield.
     "We take drugs," said Matthews.
     "But you won't see us starting a war, either," said Greenfield.
     "I'd like to," said Matthews.
     President Bush was reported to be taking the news in stride.
     "This will slow up development on my missile shield program, but at least Jenna won't be able to go out and buy a drink," he reportedly said, with unusual philosophical insight.

SURPLUS MISSING, PRESUMED GONE
D.C. Police Lead Investigation
Washington, D.C. - (GNS) - A surplus in federal dollars that existed only months ago was determined to have vanished yesterday, and no one is sure where it went.
     Washington D.C. Police have been asked to investigate.
     "We know the surplus was here in the spring," said D.C. Police Chief Maxwell Smart, "but it's not here now."
     Smart suggested it slipped from everyone's notice when they were distracted by the Levy-Condit scandal.
     "We're combing the woods in Maryland," he said, noting that the woods in Maryland is the first place they look for anything missing. He conceded they have never found a surplus there before.
     "But there's plenty of condoms," he said.
     Democrats said the surplus was spent by the president; Republicans said it "went away because the economy slumped."
     "We know the president spent it and we know the economy is slumping, but that just gives us reasons for the disappearance, it doesn't tell us where it is," Smart said.
     Smart said the Bush Administration was prepared to offer a $300.00 reward to any American who finds the surplus.
     Descriptions of the surplus vary, which will make finding it more difficult, said Smart.
     "The Office of Management and Budget projected a fiscal 2001 surplus of $158 billion, only $1 billion above the tax receipts that flow to Social Security. The revision is $123 billion less than the last estimate in April but the surplus still will be the second-largest ever," Smart said.
     "The forecast envisions a similarly tiny non-Social Security surplus of $1 billion in fiscal 2002, which begins Oct. 1. That represents a $58 billion drop from the April estimate, for an overall surplus of $173 billion next year that is almost entirely Social Security." he explained.
     "I think that means we're looking for $58 billion, but I'm not sure, because the White House Budget Director, Mitch Daniels, says 'we're awash in money'."
     Smart said units of the D.C. police would be deployed to the Potomac river and other waterways, fire hydrants, laundromats and sewage plants.
     "If we're awash in money, then that's where the clues will be," he said.

U.S. DENIES ROLE IN U.S.-SPONSORED COUP ATTEMPT
CIA Chief Tenet Testifies At Congressional Hearing
Washington, D.C. - (GNS)
- Testifying at the House What The Hell Did We Do Now Committee hearings yesterday, CIA Director George "George" Tenet said the U.S. was not involved in the U.S.-sponsored coup attempt in Venezuela.
     "Just because we overthrew the popularly elected Mossadegah in Iran in the fifties when he tried to nationalize the oil industry, and just because we overthrew Arbenz in Guatemala in 1954 when he attempted to nationalize American industries and just because we mucked around in Chile in '73, organizing demonstrations and assassinations that lead to the overthrow of their popularly elected government does not mean that we were involved in trying to destablize the communist, socialist, dangerous albeit popularly elected Chavez regime when he tried to nationalize the Venezuelan oil industry," Tenet declared.
     House members bought the testimony.
     "Yup, yup, yup, yup, yup," said one.
     "Makes sense to me," said another.
     The hearing was adjourned during Tenet's testimony.

CATHOLIC CHURCH ATTACKS HERETICAL PROSECUTIONS
"Our Bumfucking Priests Should Be Protected By The Separation Of Church And State"
Boston, MA - (GNS)
- Calling on God to strike down the evildoers who attack the Catholic Church in the name of multi-cultural, sinful justice, a conclave of priests, bishops, knights, pawns, rooks, and a male secretary named Miss Scarlet met to draft a strategy to "fend off the attacks of the heretical state".
     "God is on our side," declared one attendee, "and you'd better not forget that."
     "Pedophilia is wrong," declared another, "but I'm sure there's a line in the Bible somewhere saying it's okay. After all, you can pretty much justify anything with some quote from the Bible."
     "What've we been telling you?" was the rhetorical question posed by a conclave of Irish Protestants meeting across the river. "I mean, we've got some sick fucks, too, but we don't let them hide behind their robes or require celibacy."
     Other equally religious groups meeting around the world in glass houses threw stones.
     A telegram from Osama Bin Laden urged the world not to condemn the Pope.
     "It ain't easy running a narrowminded religion with its roots in the 8th Century, or older," the telegram said in part.
     Producers of Bill Maher's show and National Public Radio producers and talk show hosts who have denied Michael Moore an opportunity to promote his new bestseller challenged all attacks on the Catholic Church and any parallels drawn between the primitive rituals of the Taliban and the primitive doctrines of Catholicism.
     "Just because they've known about this shit for years, decades, and just because they've been secretly paying off victims doesn't mean they're sick or evil or corrupt or dangerous," said NPR Bishop Bob Siegle.
     "Hey, look at the mideast. It's the Jews," said an ABC programming executive, hoping to draw attention away from his network's concentration on news about hockey dads and dog maulings and its failure to investigate stuff like this that's been going on for a long time.
     "My contention is the kids lured the priests," said John Stossel, reportedly preparing another one of his convoluted exposes.
     "Begosh and begorrah," declared Bill O'Reilly. "Maybe I'd better get off my ass and investigate something rather than just bloviating."
     Discussions about the pedophilia scandal and celibacy prompted reaction from the White House.
     "Celibacy, yes, that's good, the right way to go, but not for everyone, when you're, well, no, you shouldn't be celibate... Disagree with me? Over my dead body," said President Bush, in a carefully worded statement.

SHAKESPEARE IMPLICATED IN LINCOLN ASSASSINATION PROBE
Booth Got Idea For Regime Change From Bard's "Julius Ceasar"
Richmond, VA - (GNS)
- Scholars at several Virginia universities now believe Shakespeare was involved in the assassination of Abraham Lincoln.
     They say evidence also points to the idea of "regime change", possibly the first use of the phrase in relation to U.S. policy.
     "John Wilkes Booth's brothers were well-known Shakespearian actors, and J.W. was an actor, too. They performed many of Shakespeare's plays, including Julius Ceasar," said historian Busey Beauregard of the University of Virginia.
     According to Beauregard, John Wilkes Booth got the idea of killing Lincoln after acting out the scene in which Julius Ceasar is assassintated.
     "If Shakespeare was involved, we may want to question whether or not his works should continue to be taught," Beauregard said.
     "Surely royalties from the works should go to Lincoln's widow," he said.
     Professor Fermin Wulch of Richmond University said Booth's goal in the assassinatin was "regime change".
     "He was clearly hoping that with Lincoln out of the way, the people of the North would see themselves as liberated and would join the South in their slavocracy," Wulch said.
     Wulch said this analysis was based on the evidence, including Booth's shouted words when he shot the president, "Death to Tyrants".
     "A person who kills a tyrant sees himself as an avenger or liberator or both," Wulch said.
     Wulch said Booth's misread of the entire confrontation allowed him to deceive himself into believing the North would join the South upon Lincoln's death.
     "There are lessons here," Wulch said.
     "History is replete with lessons," Beauregard agreed.
     Both men called for additional funding, and England's cooperation in investigating the Booth-Shakespeare connection.

BLACKS URGED TO GET WHITE SKIN
"This Will Help US To Be Color-Blind"
Dixie, Confederacy - (GIN)
- A consortium of politicians, journalists, and arbiters of public morals issued a statement yesterday at the annual Anti-Affirmative Action Conference that urged Blacks in the United States to undergo skin treatments so their skin would become white.
     "The divisive issue of race has gone on long enough," the statement said in part. "If Blacks change their skin color, the playing field would achieve levelosity."
     "It would help all of us to be color-blind," said pundit George Will.
     "If Michael Jackson can do it, all of them can," declared keynote speaker Sen. Trent Lott in his speech entitled "We Gave 'Em A Bunch Of Stuff, What More Do They Want?"
     Morality Arbiter William "Calm-Bill" Bennett said diversity would be maintained along with this plan.
     "They'd still be able to rap and talk back to their preachers during church, and yell at actors during movies and play sports," Bennett said.
     "But they really should do something about their hair," he added.
     Martin Luther King, Jr. could not be reached for comment.

100% TAX CUT PROPOSED
"Cutting Taxes Creates Jobs; Let's Create All The Jobs We Can"
Cincinnati, OH - (GNS)
- President Bush took critics and his own supporters by surprise today as he called for a one hundred percent tax cut.
     "You heard me," he said.
     President Bush has been speaking around the country, drumming up support for his tax cut proposal, under attack from Democrats and some members of his own party.
     "They say they want jobs created. This tax cut'll create jobs. They want it to be an itty bitty cut. So how many jobs do they want? I say cutting taxes creates jobs, let's create all the jobs we can," Bush told an audience in Cincinnati.
     Bush then announced his new plan for a one hundred percent cut.
     "Nothin' itty bitty about that," he said.
     He challenged Democrats and "those misguided members of my own party" to join him in "making history that counts."
     "We just created history over in Iraq. Let's create some history here," he said.
     Immediate reaction to the proposal was not swift, as most opponents said they were stunned by the "breadth of the cluelessness", as one put it.
     Bush aides said privately that the president would probably settle for a ninety percent cut, but the only way to get that was to go "whole hog."

FAITH-BASED ENERGY PLAN ANNOUNCED BY WHITE HOUSE
Midland, TX - (GNO)
- President Bush, fresh from Easter worship services, took time off from the holiday to announce his new energy plan, yesterday.
     "It's a faith-based energy plan. It's based on faith. That's my plan. For energy. For lights. And cars," the President said.
     "When the Hebrews were wandering in the desert, they didn't look to government, they prayed for manna, and there was manna. I think that means food," Bush said. "Probably beef jerky or dried apricots."
     "And when the Puritans were persecuated in England and Great Britain, they didn't look to government. They prayed to live in a land where they wouldn't be depressed. And their prayers were answered," he continued.
     "When the men who found oil in this great state of Texas made their discoveries, they didn't ask the government for help. They didn't say 'Government, help me find oil.' No. They prayed to the One who made the oil," Bush said.
     "So my plan is, well, we need more energy. So I think everybody should pray. And it's not a Supreme Court thing. Pray anyhow you want to," Bush concluded.
     Aides said the President's remarks were spontaneous and the plan has yet to be reviewed by the cabinet.
     "It's a brilliant move," said long-time political analyst Morton Blingfellow. "Who in this Congress is going to oppose prayer? And if it doesn't work, Bush can always blame the people who didn't pray hard enough."

Fictional Times Exclusive Special Stem Cell Report


BRITNEY SPEARS, EMINEM, 'N SYNC, SHANIA TWAIN ORGANIZE STOCK AID CONCERTS
Bob Fontneau
& Gilbert Hurricane
Fictional Times Correspondents

New York, NY - (GNS) - The cream of American music announced yesterday they are teaming up to organize and headline a series of benefit concerts to aid the failing stock market.
     Dubbed "Stock Aid", the concerts will feature Britney Spears, 'N Sync, Eminem, and Shania Twain.
     "You know, the stock market is in trouble," Spears said at the press conference on Wall Street yesterday.
     "There comes a time when some people need a helping hand," said 'N Sync, together, simultaneously, in perfect harmony.
     "We're following in the footsteps of great American musicians like Pete Seeger, Neil Young, and Bob Roberts," Twain said. "And the rumors of my death are greatly exaggerated," she added.
     Eminem is reportedly working on a song for the event. The working title is, "Save The Stockholders From The Fuckin' Homo Conspiracy To Ruin The World."

Fictional Times Exclusive Special Investigative Report on Enron


BUSH BEGINS 2ND HUNDRED DAYS WITH CALL FOR
TAXES ON RELIEF

Midland, TX - (UGN) - President Bush, basking in the mixed success of his first hundred days getting to be president, added another idea to his tax program yesterday: a tax on relief.
     "People on Relief ought to be taxed," declared Bush, using an FDR-era word for welfare. "I say put those suckers in the 28% bracket, so they know how it feels to be an American," Bush said.
     Critics in both parties immediately questioned Bush's commitment to compassionate conservatism.
     "To give someone two hundred dollars in food stamps and then take fifty-six dollars back just seems mean," said one Senator, who wished to remain nameless.

     "How do you spell relief? Not B-u-s-h," said another.
     Bush called upon Congress to approve his idea, in the spirit of bipartisanship.
     "If you don't approve it, you're going to look pretty unbipartisan," he said.

COCKATOO SOUGHT IN BLAKE'S WIFE'S MURDER
Los Angeles, CA - (UGN) - Los Angeles police confirmed they are seeking a talking Cockatoo named Fred who may have witnessed the murder of Robert Blake's wife.
     Fred, known to millions as the star of the TV show 'Baretta', retired recently to Brentwood, but was a frequent visitor to Blake's home, and often accompanied him to dinner.
     According to police, the Cockatoo was last seen "looking disheveled and wanting a cracker" on Hollywood Boulevard.

BUSH URGES WAR ON POVERTY;
REDISTRIBUTES WEALTH TO RICH

Bumpkin, TX - (IGN) - In sweeping legislation designed to fight poverty, President Bush signed a tax bill and energy bill that will make it more difficult to remain poor.
     "This act will eventuality elimimimuate poverty," Bush declared.
     "It's a graduated, progressive tax system," Treasury Secretary and seasoned Yankee ballplayer Paul O'Neil explained. "The top one percent of income-earners and money-possessors get the biggest relief, followed by the top three percent, followed by the top five percent, and so on."
     "This tax bill will put between three hundred and six hundred dollars back into the pockets of the average American," Energy Secretary Spencer Hippocket said. "That's around twenty or thirty tanks of gas. Depending how much gas mileage you get, that might go a long way."
     "It's simple," said Vice President Dick "Richard" Cheney, "We figure if you give money to the rich, it'll help the poor."
     "You can't argue with logic like that," agreed ABC shills George Will and George Apocalypse.
     "We give all the money to the rich, we promote energy plans that benefit nuclear-power corporations, oil and gas corporations, and we say over and over and over again this helps the poor, that'll work," explained Press Secreatry Ali Oxenfree.
     "See, it works like this. I give you a fish, you don't learn anything. I give the nuclear industry beaucoups bucks and they pollute the rivers, lakes, streams and oceans and you get bad, dead fish, you learn something. It's an old proverb," said Senator Arlen "Single Bullet" Specter (R-Pa.).
     "Here's a better example," chimed in Congressman Dan Burton (R-Uthere), "We give tax breaks to the rich, they give us contributions, we get re-elected, we give them more tax breaks, they give us more money, we get re-elected again. It's win-win."
     Administration officials said the payoff from this legislation could happen as early as 2004, but stressed that concrete actions were more important than predictions and payoffs.
     "Judge us by what we do, not by what results," said Representative Tom DeLay.

McVEIGH EXECUTED; PEACE & PROSPERITY REIGN
Sun Comes Out, Global Self-Esteem Jumps To 100%
Terre Haute, IN - (GNS)
- "I feel great!" declared Merton Dunwiddie, an average citizen at an average breakfast diner this morning the moment Timothy McVeigh was executed. "It's almost like being in love," he said.
     "Our long national nightmare is over," said fellow diner Larry Crushbutton, quoting president Ford's remark about something no one could remember.
     "This execution, it's like, history or something," exclaimed busboy Ronnie Paddlestein.
     Polls around the nation and the world indicate these three average folks are not alone in their feelings of joy, relief, optimism and, according to historian Arty Grunch, "a dead-on accurate sense of history."
     "This is a day that with live in famy," Grunch proclaimed.
     "I've never seen anything like it," said pollster Harris Reuter. "It's as if skies have cleared up and everyone's put on a happy face."
     "Sunshine has certainly broken out all over," confirmed pollster U.I. Press.
     Financial observers said the stock market rose instantly, interest rates went down, Palestinians sat down and broke bread with the English government, the IRA and Israelis went to a soccer game together, the Taliban built a Buddhist statue, the Pope and the Dalai Lama traded gowns, and President Bush dropped his call for a Strategic Defense Initiative.
     Occurrances of acne also diminished to zero, epidermiologists reported.
     "And the weather is expected to be great for, well, forever," said CNN weatherman Flip Spiceland (not a made-up name).

ISRAELIS, PALESTINIANS, PAKISTANIS, INDIANS, AND IRISH ALL AGREE TO SWAP ENEMIES
Constantlynopal, Turkey - (GIN) - Leaders of several warring nations agreed to swap enemies today in what many hail as a step toward a realignment.
     Pakistanis and Israelis will begin disputes, Irish Catholics will face off against Palestinians, and Irish Protestants will challenge Indians.
     U.N. President Lewisi Karole congratulated the countries involved in the agreement and sought to stem criticism of the plan.
     "To some it may look as if these pairings make no sense, but that would suggest that the continuing centuries of strife currently occurring does make sense, you see?" he said, in the way non-western people do.
     "We have long wished to use anti-semitic rhetoric," said one faction of Pakistanis, "but it made no sense. Now, with Israel as our new enemy, we can, as you say, go for it."
     Palestinians were also happy.
     "You can only seek to wipe out people who don't eat potatoes for only so long," said Nosir Noseer. "Now, to have an enemy that speaks Latin and eats potatoes, praise Allah."
     Critics complained that this premise reminded them of a second-rate Monty Python sketch.
     Karole discounted that.
     "There will always be those naysayers who look at the world today and any solutions and automatically conclude that it is a Monty Python sketch," Korale lamented.
     "The trick is to see the glass as half full," he said.

BASTILLE DAY PASSES UNNOTICED
Marseilles, France - (GNS) - Bastille Day, the day that commemorates the French Revolution, went by unnoticed by most of the world.
    It was last Saturday.
    French Minister of Bastille Day Gerard de Gaulle Pierre Mon Dieu issued a brief statement.
    "Sacre bleu. Il brigitte bardot yves montcalm mitterand comte de monte cristo alex de toqueville alexander dumas. Tres magnifique arc du triumph champs elysee, pour quoi, n'est-ce pas? Certainment! Giscard d'estaing voulez vous yoplait yogurt trois mes amis enfants, mais oui? Marchand, marchand. Avec labeau. Vichy, mon amour. Fraternite, liberte, nescafe."

EVERYONE MOVES TO OLDUVAI GORGE
Massive Relocation Puts Everyone "Back Where They Came From"
Olduvai Gorge, Africa - (GIN) - In an effort to end warfare and terrorism over territorial disputes and historical claims of sovereignty, everyone moved back to Olduvai Gorge earlier today.
     Olduvai Gorge is where scientists believe human life originated.
     "By having everyone move back here, we've eliminated all the arguments about who settled where first," said anthropologist Peyton Sky.
     "At first we thought of having everyone move back to the Tigress and Euphrates, long thought to be the cradle of civilization," Sky explained, "but that's in Iran, and the last thing the Iranians would've wanted or allowed is the whole world trooping into their desert paradise."
     Sky said there were intermediate plans, like having all white people move to Europe and all black people move to Africa and all asian people move to Chinatown, "but that doesn't end up eliminating the dispute. After all, in the mideast you've got semite against semite, and in Ireland, well, I don't really know what that's about," he said.
     Ultimately, Sky said, the only way to solve the problem was to take the plunge and have everyone return to Olduvai.
     "Once here, no one can say, 'Go back to where you came from'," he said.
     Sky said at some point in the future, if the gorge becomes too crowded, people may migrate out of the area as their ancient ancestors did.
     "But it would be more like the Oklahoma Land Rush. Everybody'd get a fair shot at everywhere. It'd be a pretty interesting map," he said.

MIDEAST CRISIS MARS OTHERWISE ROSY OUTLOOK THROUGHOUT WORLD
Dunkirk, France - (GIN)
- Anger, discouragement and irritation swelled throughout the world as the Mideast Crisis dragged on, marring what many believe is an otherwise rosy time in the history of civilized and uncivilized nations and peoples on Earth.
     "Things are just so great everywhere, it's just a shame they're not great in the Mideast," said Darla Vamp, a typical Earthling from Conestoga Falls, Nebraska.
     The Academy Of Atomic Energy Scientists & Checkers Players moved their famous clock to seventeen hours til midnight, signifying how wonderful everything is.
     "It'd be a whole twenty-four hours til midnight if it wasn't for the Mideast," declared Dr. Nornia Numbersby, executive secretary of the academy. "What gives with those folks?"
     Opposing sides issued a joint telegram with a non-apology apology to the world.
     "Hey, we're dealin' with some heavy baggage here," the telegram read, in part.
     Observers interpreted the fact that the telegram was issued jointly as progress.
     "If they'd've sent separate telegrams, we might have had to move the clock an hour closer to midnight," Numbersby said.

SHARKS MASS OFF FLORIDA COAST
Demand Return Of Gulf To Marine Life... Or Else
Tampa, FL - (GNS) - Thousands of Sharks massed off Florida's west coast over the last week to buttress their demands that the Gulf be returned to marine life, or else.
     The Sharks, speaking through an attorney, said the intrusion, invasion, and incursions by mankind into the Gulf waters are a violation of historic laws or notions of historic laws which protect the original inhabitants from the arrival of subsequent settlers.
     "Sharks were here long before mankind. So was other marine life. So man should get out of the Gulf and go back to where he or she came from," the Shark's attorney read from a prepared statement.
     The Sharks were particularly concerned about sponge-fishing and oil-drilling, their attorney said.
     "The Sharks understand that sponge-diving is part of the Greek heritage and oil-drilling is part of what Americans conceive of as their manifest destiny, and they do not intend to offend either Greeks or Americans when they say 'get out or else'," the attorney said.
     Tuna, Dolphins, Stingrays, and itty, bitty pilot fish accompanied the Sharks in their protest.
     The Sharks said they were giving the human race sixty days to withdraw from the Guld and cease activities within the Gulf. "After that," the attorney read from the statement, "they will make what happened to the sailors on the USS Indianapolis look like a picnic."
     Historical scholars who convened in Tampa to study the statement concurred that sharks had indeed been in the Gulf longer than mankind.
     "But the real historical rule has not been based on who held the land or water first, but who can actually hold it," said professor Simon Turk of the University of Florida. "It has always been a question of will, and might."
     Turk and his colleagues did not speak on the record as to what would happen to the sharks if actual warfare began, but General Stanhope Mulray, Ret., US Coast Guard, said that even protracted guerilla war and terrorist acts on the part of the sharks would not discourage human activity in the Gulf, and predicted ultimate defeat for the sharks.
     "Let's face it," he said, "There's only been one war where the small, ragtag group beat the empire, and that was the American Revolution. And that's cause the colonists were fighting for democracy. I don't think the sharks care a blink about democracy."
     The attorney, who preferred to remain anonymous, denied it was redundant for him to represent the sharks.

CHURCH REPLACES DOCTRINE OF FORGIVENESS AND REDEMPTION WITH ZERO TOLERANCE
Says Jesus Could Have Been Wrong To Preach Forgiveness
Boston, MA - (GNS)
- Cardinal Richeleau announced yesterday that the age-old doctrines of forgiveness and redemption had clearly failed to address the "scourge of pedaphilia" and would be replaced by a doctrine of zero tolerance.
     "You fuck up, you're out," Richeleau said.
     Richeleau said the controversial decision was hotly debated, but was resolved when a 2nd Century manuscript found deep in the bowels of the Vatican indicated that during a discussion between Jesus and a peasant-woman near the Jordan River, Jesus apparently said "but I could be wrong about that".
     "His ability to admit his fallibility was the inspiration for this decision, and should be an inspiration to us all," Richeleau said.
     Richeleau said the FBI would be interrogating priests and former choirboys and altar boys throughout the country, "alphabetically."
     He concluded his press conference with an announcement that he would seek the presidency of France in their next election.

INDICTED WORLDCOM EXECS LAUNCH "PRISONCOM"
Exclusive Prison Will Be For Convicted CEOs
New Yawk, NY - (GNS)
- Worldcom executives Jack B. Nimble and Jack Bequik announced plans to build several exclusive prisons for convicted CEOs around the country.
     "There's a growing market for this," Nimble said.
     "Friends in the federal government have already assured us of the financing," Bequik said.
     Justice Department officials estimate that over one thousand corporate executives will be convicted of crimes against integrity over the next two to three years.
     "And you can't put all of them in one prison. It'd be like The Great Escape," Nimble said. "You gotta spread 'em out or you'll be faced with the greatest corporate criminal minds in history all working together on some gigantic Ponzie scheme."
     Attorney General John "Holy Roller" Ashcroft denied having any connection to the plan, but conceded Nimble had a point about bunching all the cons together.
     "You would think that a Bible lesson and one good thrashing would do the trick," he said. "I mean, they're not dope-dealers or traitors."
     Nimble said if his appeals proceed as expected, the first prison will be ready when it's time for him to serve.


MONTY PYTHON ARRESTED FOR SPAM
2-Year Investigation Of "Plague of the Internet" Centers On Cult Figure
Lundun, Ingland - (GIN)
- English cult figure and notorious recluse Monty Python was arrested yesterday at his house in New Hampshireshire for creation, possession and distribution of worldwide spam.
     "Mr. Python is the singular figure responsible, the kingpin, of Organized Spam in the world," said Inspector Right Jollyo of Scotland Yard.
     Spam is estimated to cost individuals and corporations billions of dollars a year, according the people who study that sort of thing.
     Jollyo said clues were numerous, beginning with a video message sent to his subordinates that featured Python saying the word Spam over and over again.
     The trick, according to Jollyo, was to catch the recluse with the goods.
     Although Jollyo is optimistic about the effect Python's capture will have on worldwide Spam, others are dubious.
     "There is no silver bullet," said Lisa Pollock, the senior director of messaging at Yahoo, the popular Web portal. "There will always be people who can find a way to get around whatever you have in place."
     In the United States, the U.S. Congress is seriously considering legislation to crack down on spam.
     "We beat Iraq, we can beat Spam. We've got the troops, the know-how, the can-do, the gung-ho-- hell, we've got all the hyphens and then some!" declared Sen. Bobble Graham (R.FL).
     Barristers for Mr. Python maintain there is nothing wrong with Spam.
     "It's a legitimate market tool," Terrance Idling declared, nudging those who stood near him.
     Python is somewhat of a cult figure in England, having known the Beatles. Python supporters gathered outside Scotland Yard waving signs that read "I'm a lumberjack and it's okay."
     Investigators said this is part of the Spam code used by Spamists throughout the world.
     This is not Python's first arrest. He was indicted for trafficking in dead parrots 35 years ago.

DR. GERM IN CUSTODY; LEX LUTHOR AND DR. MAGNETO STILL AT LARGE
Gotham, NY - (GNS)
- U.S. occupation authorities announced the capture of "Dr. Germ", one of the evil genuises behind Iraq's biological warfare program.
     Authorities said the hunt continues for Lex Luthor and Dr. Magneto.
     "The Shadow, who knows where evil lurks, is helping us," an official with the occupation authority confirmed.
     Iraq's dreaded biological warfare program was not unleashed on the invading occupation forces for reasons the authority would only describe as "dastardly".




COLUMN THREE: FICTIONAL TIMES
WAR ON TERROR NEWS


U.S. DRONE SPY-PLANE DOWNED BY IRAQ
Plane Is Trained For Desert Survival; Rescue Mission Planned
Washington, D.C. - (GNS) - The Pentagon announced Iraq successfully shot down an unpiloted U.S. spy-plane over the "no-fly" zone of Iraq, but said they expected the drone was "unhurt" and would follow its training to survive in the desert.
     "Each drone plane is trained at our secret base in the Mojave Desert to survive for weeks on berries, cactus and other "desert delights," said General Huckleberry Roddenberry, USAF.
     "Drones are put through a harsh, eight-week training," he said. "The final week they're actually dropped in the middle of the desert and told to survive."
     "If they don't survive, we don't use 'em," he said.
     Roddenberry said the drone plane was a hero and that rescue plans were underway.
     "We've told Iraq in no uncertain terms that if they mess with that drone, if they capture it and torture it, we'll be really mad," he said.
     "But we won't trade arms for hostages, probably," he said.
     The "no-fly" zone, established by the victors in the Gulf War, encompasses all of Iraq, and parts of The Evil But Recently Moderate Iran and Democratic Aristocracy Of Kuwait.
     Roddenberry denied reports that the drone was equipped with suicide pills.
     "That drone may be named 'Princess Lea', but she's tough. We'll get her out," he said.

Hollywood Goes To War

U.S. PLANS SURPRISE ATTACK ON IRAQ
Operation "Mum's The Word" In The Works
Washington, D.C. - (GNS)
- The Pentagon confirmed plans for a surprise attack against Iraq yesterday and continued not-so-secret preparations.
     "We will attack Iraq by surprise," General Shemp Stogie, commander of Operations Mum's The Word said.
     Stogie confirmed Iraq knew about the plans.
     "Yes, they know we're planning a surprise attack, but they don't know we know they know," he said.
     Air attacks will be launched from Turkey, he said.
     He said ground forces will be massed as they were during Operation Desert Stromthurmond, in Saudi Arabia.
     "That'll be the surprise part," he said. "Whether or not the Saudis let us use their land as a staging area."

U.S. DENIES ROLE IN U.S.-SPONSORED COUP ATTEMPT
CIA Chief Tenet Testifies At Congressional Hearing
Washington, D.C. - (GNS)
- Testifying at the House What The Hell Did We Do Now Committee hearings yesterday, CIA Director George "George" Tenet said the U.S. was not involved in the U.S.-sponsored coup attempt in Venezuela.
     "Just because we overthrew the popularly elected Mossadegah in Iran in the fifties when he tried to nationalize the oil industry, and just because we overthrew Arbenz in Guatemala in 1954 when he attempted to nationalize American industries and just because we mucked around in Chile in '73, organizing demonstrations and assassinations that lead to the overthrow of their popularly elected government does not mean that we were involved in trying to destablize the communist, socialist, dangerous albeit popularly elected Chavez regime when he tried to nationalize the Venezuelan oil industry," Tenet declared.
     House members bought the testimony.
     "Yup, yup, yup, yup, yup," said one.
     "Makes sense to me," said another.
     The hearing was adjourned during Tenet's testimony.

ASSASSINATION ATTEMPT ON KARZAI REASSURES WORLD COMMUNITY
“Assassins Don’t Strike Unless A Nation Is Well Developed And Progressing” Is Consensus
Tallulah Bunker, Afghanistan - (GIN)
- Telegrams congratulating Afghani President Heyiambad Karzai poured into Kabul following the recent assassination attempt on his life.
     "Welcome to the family of nations," read one.
     "Congrats on being shot at," read another.
     "I am so happy," Karzai said in a spontaneous speech to followers and well-wishers gathered around his headquarters.
     "A nation that has struggled as we have, this is a glorious moment," he said.
     "No nation worth its salt has ever not had an assassination attempt on its leader," according to Professor Ernst Dooblah-Negatif, of the Sorbonne Community College of Schenectaday, New York.
     "Assassins don't strike unless a nation is well developed and progressing," he said. "This is a clear indication that Afghanistan is making very healthy progress."
     "You must remember, no one took the United States seriously until Lincoln was shot," he said.
     A framed picture of Karzai was sent to the assassin's family, acknowledging their role in helping make Afghani history.

IRAQ CALLS FOR U.N. INSPECTION OF U.S.; "IT'S TIME TO FIND THE ANTHRAX!"
Baghdad, Iraq - (GIN)
- Iraqi Dictator Saddam Hussein called upon the U.N. to send weapons inspectors to the United States to search for Anthrax.
     "The anthrax that killed the Americans, sent with letters, that was American anthrax made in the U.S.A.," Hussein said.
     Hussein suggested the source of the anthrax and the perpetrator of the crimes had not been found either because it was all a C.I.A. plot, or because American authorities were "not looking hard enough".
     "Besides, why should we trust the Americans? The U.N. should do this," Hussein said.
     U.N. officials said they would have to consider the suggestion, although they thought the U.S. would veto the idea.
     "It does make you think, though," said one.

VIETNAM WAR DODGERS HOLD REUNION
Many Who Avoided Service Now Want War
Washington, D.C. - (GNS)
- Hundreds of men who avoided service in the U.S. Armed Forces during the Vietnam War held a reunion at the Washington Monument yesterday to call for war with Iraq "and maybe others".
     Most are in positions in government or the media to help make or influence the decision to go to war.
     Attendees included President George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, TV Commentator Brit Hume, Perenial Presidential Preacher Alan Keyes, Radio Commentator Rush Limbaugh, Radio Commentator Michael Reagan, Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham, Fiction Writer Ken Adelman, State Dept. official John Bolton, Presidential Advisor Andrew Card, and Commerce Secretary Don Evans.
     Also among the group were U.S. Bureaucrats Richard Perle and Harvey Pitt, former Economic Advisor and self-confessed Fabricator David Stockman, former Governor and Cabinet Officer Tommy Thompson, Drug Czar John Walters, War Dept. official Paul Wolfowitz, and Grand Inquisitor John Ashcroft.
     "We want the war and we want it... Now!" was one of the chants the group shouted.
     Also in attendance were Solicitor General Ted Olson, U.S. Justice Arthur Kennedy, Associate Justice Antonin Scalia, Prosecutor Ken Starr, Justice Clarence Thomas, former Governor Lamar Alexander, US House Representative Bob Bar (R-Ga.), US House Representative Roscoe Bartlett (R-Md.), Right-wing Fundamentalist Religious "Family Values" Organizer Gary Bauer, US House Representative Roy Blunt, Gov. Jeb Bush, US House Representative Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.), Sen. Larry Craig (R-Idaho), US House Representative Tom DeLay (R-Tx.) and Gov. John Engler.
     "Hey hey, Dubya Bush, let's go kick 'em in the tush!" was another chant the men without service records shouted.
     Additional attendees included former US House leader Newt Gingrich, former Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Senator Phil Gramm (R-Tx.), U.S. House leader Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.), Sen. Tim Hutchinson, Gov. Frank Keating, former US House Representative Jack Kemp, Sen. Joe Lieberman (R-Conn.), Senate Minority Leader Trent Lott (R-Miss.), Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Sen. Don Nickles (R-Okla.), former Vice President Dan Quayle, Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), US House Representative Mark Souder (R-Ind.), and GOP Strategist and TV Commentator Roger Ailes.
     "One, two, three, four, we all want your fuckin' war!" the crowd chanted, with the exception of Gary Bauer, who said "blessed" instead of "fuckin'".
     Other dodgers and avoiders attending included Right-Wing Conspiracy Fantacist and Christian Zealot Ann Coulter, Boilerplate Novelist Tom Clancy, News Mogul Steve Forbes, one-hit wonder Lee Greenwood, TV Commentator Sean Hannity, Syndicated Propagandists Charles Krauthammer and William Kristol, "Family Values" Movie Critic Michael Medved, TV Commentator Bill O'Reilly, Verbal Assassin P.J. O'Rourke, Hollywood Vietnam War Hero Sylvester Stallone, Monotonist Ben Stein, Propagandist George Will, Satirist Bill Bennett, NRA President Wayne LaPierre, Self-Righteous Derivative Guitarist & No Hit Wonder Ted Nugent, and Presidential Advisor Karl Rove.
     The opening prayer and the closing benediction were delivered by two men who avoided service during the Korean War, Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson.
     "War, what is it good for? Huh! All of our Careers! Good God, y'all, say it again now. War, what is it good for? Huh! All of our Careers!" the group chanted before they shared a moment of silence for WWII avoider John Wayne and Korean War avoider Roy Cohn.
     After the rally the group marched to the Capitol as The We're Not Veterans Of Foreign Wars and demanded that Congress "get this war going now."

EDWIN STARR ADDRESSES U.N.
Soul Singer Shares Thoughts About War
New York, NY - (GNS)
- Singer Edwin Starr spoke to the U.N. yesterday about war.
     "War, huh, good God ya'll, what is it good for? Absolutely nothin'! Say it again: War, huh, good God ya'll, what is it good for? Absolutely nothin'!"
     Delegates of the General Assembly said they would take Starr's comments under advisement.

BLITZER JOINS BUSH WAR EFFORT
Attacks Dr. Helen Caldicott For Having An Expert Opinion
Saxby-Chambliss, GA - (GNS)
- Wolf Blitzer discarded his role as an objective journalist and became a spokesperson for the Bush Administration earlier today when he chose to attack Dr. Helen Caldicott for using her knowledge and having expert opinions regarding uranium, nuclear war, radiation and radiation sickness.
     Caldicott appeared on CWSN (Cable War & Sniper Network) to discuss the use by the U.S. in the Gulf War of uranium-depleted shells, which, she said, contain plutonium, have a long half-life, and have already begun injuring Iraqi children poisoning them with radiation.
     After Caldicott eloquently described a tragic situation of young Iraqi girls getting breast cancer before becoming teenagers, and the inability for doctors around the world to aide these civilian victims because of U.S. sanctions against Iraq, Blitzer demanded to know why Caldicott was "defending Saddam Hussein".
     Caldicott had not defended Hussein, she had criticized the U.S. for using this kind of weaponry and had speculated that the U.S. was planning to use it again.
     Blitzer repeatedly interrupted Caldicott and repeatedly emphasized how the Bush Administration had responded in the past to the these charges.
     He posted on the screen an Amnesty International statement about Iraqi use of torture, as if Caldicott was defending Iraq.
     Caldicott condemned Iraq for its use of torture and its use of poison gas, much of which, she pointed out, was initially supplied by the U.S. when the U.S. backed Iraq in the Iraq-Iran War.
     Blitzer continued to suggest that to criticize or question the U.S. was to defend Hussein. Many of his sentences and questions began with the phrase "The Bush Administration says...", as his tone became more strident and more accusatory.
     Blitzer later defended the interview, saying "at least we had her on. Doesn't that show, even though I did my best to eviscerate her, that we're fair?"
     Sources close to the Fictional Times said the above Blitzer quote was indeed fictional, but stood behind the bulk of the article.
     Readers are urged to obtain a transcript or videotape of the "interview" to decide for themselves.
     Caldicott's new book, which she successfuly mentioned during the interview, is The New Nuclear Danger: George W. Bush's Military Industrial Complex, and can be found at Amazon at http://www.amazon.com.

CONNIE CHUNG JOINS BUSH PROPAGANDA EFFORT
CNN Correspondent Attacks Congressman For Critical Thinking
Atlanta, GA - (GNS)
- On her October 7 broadcast, CNN's Connie Chung took U.S. Mike Thompson (D.-CA) to task for doubting George W. Bush. After Thompson told Chung that there seemed to be no evidence that Iraq posed an immediate danger to U.S. citizens or its allies, the news anchor responded, "Well, let's listen to something that President Bush said tonight, and you tell me if this doesn't provide you with the evidence that you want."
     She then aired a clip from a speech Bush made in Cincinnati, during which Bush said: "Some al Qaeda leaders who fled Afghanistan went to Iraq. These include one very senior al Qaeda leader who received medical treatment in Baghdad this year and who has been associated with planning for chemical and biological attacks."
     The president continued, "We've learned that Iraq has trained al Qaeda members in bomb-making, in poisons and deadly gases. And we know that after September 11, Saddam Hussein's regime gleefully celebrated the terrorist attacks on America."
     After this soundbite, Chung asked, "Congressman, doesn't that tell you that an invasion of Iraq is justified?"
     Thompson began to respond: "Connie, we haven't seen any proof that any of this has happened. I have sat through all the classified briefings on the Armed Services--"
     Chung interrupted, demanding to know if Thomas didn't believe the president.
     "You mean you don't believe what President Bush just said?"
     Faced with Chung's obvious alarm that someone might not take Bush's word as definitive proof, Thompson tried in vain to reassure her.
     "No, no, that's not what I said," he said. "I said that there has been nothing in the committee hearing briefings that have substantiated this. If there is substantiation, we need to see that in Congress, not hear it over the television monitor."
     Although Thompson's point that statements in political speeches are not the same as evidence might have been considered thoughtful on the few news shows that really seek full discussion, Chung preferred to paint Thompson as one whose patriotism should be questioned.
     "Congressman Thompson, there are those who believe that you and your two colleagues who went to Iraq came back with the basic position of President Bush may be trying to tell you something that in his effort to get approval for an invasion in Iraq, that you shouldn't believe. So it sounds almost as if you're asking the American public, 'Believe Saddam Hussein, don't believe President Bush,'" she said, in what, for dull-witted news anchors who are live, approximates English.
     This was in contrast to the approach taken by two reporters for the Knight-Ridder newspaper chain, Warren Strobel and Jonathan Landay, who interviewed more than a dozen military, intelligence and diplomatic officials on October 8.
     They asked, "These officials charge that administration hawks have exaggerated evidence of the threat that Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein poses-- including distorting his links to the Al Qaeda terrorist network-- have overstated the amount of international support for attacking Iraq and have downplayed the potential repercussions of a new war in the Middle East. They charge that the administration squelches dissenting views and that intelligence analysts are under intense pressure to produce reports supporting the White House's argument that Saddam poses such an immediate threat to the United States that pre-emptive military action is necessary."
     According to Strobel and Landay, none of the officials they interviewed disagreed with this assessment.
      "The officials said there's no ironclad evidence that the Iraqi regime and the terrorist network are working together or that Saddam has ever contemplated giving chemical or biological weapons to Al Qaeda, with whom he has deep ideological differences," wrote Strobel and Landay.
     While Chung could have remained a journalist, but failed, Thompson could have been more aggressive, some critics argue.
     Thompson could have pointed out that many presidents have lied to the people about war and the reasons for war, they say.
     "Eisenhower assured the American people we were not flying spy planes over Russia after the Russians shot down the U-2 piloted by Gary Powers. Johnson lied about the Vietnam War and Nixon lied about expanding the war and the bombings. Reagan and Bush the Elder lied about Nicaragua and Iran-Contra and Grenada, and Clinton lied about getting blowjobs," said Don Emsberg of the Washington-based Presidents Lie Research Institute. "And don't get me started on Kissinger. That's a whole other research institute."
     Meanwhile, people protesting Chung's choice to continue working at CNN while working for the Bush Administration War Machine have posted an email address on the internet where people can protest: conniechungtonight@cnn.com.

C.I.A. WARNS U.S. ATTACK ON IRAQ MIGHT NOT BE SUCH A GOOD IDEA WHEN YOU STOP TO THINK ABOUT IT FOR A MINUTE
Warning Stuns Nation;
"We Already Had Our Blinders On!" Pres. Declares

Washington, D.C. - (GNS)
- CIA Director George Tenant warned Congress yesterday that a U.S. attack on Iraq might provoke "terrible horror and horrible terror" whereas "not attacking might just contain this terrible, horrible yet static situation."
     The comments stunned dozens in the Bush Administration who thought Tenant was a team player.
     "He better watch what he says," declared Ari Flyshirt, Bush's Underhimmler For Communications Control.
     "I'm shocked," said a shocked Vice President From An Undisclosed Location Dick "Dick" Cheney. "We thought he was a team player. We thought he was on board. We thought this was a done deal. We thought he was a Go. What the hell is this shit?" Cheney said.
     Tenant was adamant, which is not the same thing as Adam Ant.
     "Baghdad for now appears to be drawing a line short of conducting terrorist attacks with conventional or chemical or biological weapons against the United States," he said.
     "Should Saddam conclude that a U.S.-led attack could no longer be deterred, he probably would become much less constrained in adopting terrorist action," Tenant continued.
     He noted that Hussein could use either conventional terrorism or a weapon of mass destruction as "his last chance to exact vengeance by taking a large number of victims with him."
     Haliburton, makers of the official U.S.-approved Blinders distributed throughout the Administration, Armed Forces, and media, condemned Tenant's statements.
     "Bad for business," said former Vice President Dan Quayle, now a Vice President for the current Vice President's former company.
     "Not since the days when I didn't serve in Vietnam have I seen such, uh, potato," Quayle said.
     Supporters of the war condemned the use of a phony Quayle quote using the word potato as a cheap shot.
     "Shots should be expensive. Otherwise, how are we going to rebuild this economy?" said Secretary of War & War Equipment Manufacturing Donald "Jocular" Rumsfeld.

KISSINGER APPOINTED TO HEAD 9/11 COMMISSION
Oswald, Sirhan Sirhan Top Suspect List
New York, NY - (GNS)
- Henry Kissinger, master of deceit and public relations, accused by many of being a War Criminal, was appointed to lead the Federal Government's 9/11 Commission to investigate what really happened on 9/11. In New York City. At the World Trade Center. When U.S. intelligence failed and the Al Qaeda terrorists attacked.
     Kissinger asked Sen. Arlen Spectre and former President Gerald Ford to serve on the Commission. Both men were on the Warren Commission, which investigated John F. Kennedy's assassination. In Dallas. In 1963. When several gunmen shot Kennedy and Lee Harvey Oswald, firing a Mannlicher-Carcano from a window while eating several floors below in the snack room, killed the president.
     Kissinger announced Oswald was a suspect, but a stronger suspect was Sirhan Sirhan, the Arab tried and convicted of killing Robert Kennedy with a pistol that fired more than twice as many bullets as it held.
     Spectre, the inventor of the "single-bullet" theory in the JFK assassination, announced his "single-plane" theory in the strike on the towers on 9/11.
     "As improbable as it seems, there is less than compelling evidence, but none of it is circumstancial," he said.
     Ford, thought by some to be behind many of the assassinations and other events in the 60s and early 70s in his drive to become president during America's Bicentennial, has been a proponent of the Pardon Strategy and was reluctant to serve on the Commission.
     "It's time to put this behind us," he said in an interview with TV Guide earlier this year.
     President Bush denied the appointment of Kissinger was part of a cover-up, as many suggest about Warren and the Warren Commission.
     "Why should we cover up anything? People who practice cover-ups are afraid. Do we look like we're afraid?" Bush said.
     Kissinger said the "probe will lead where it goes", "no stone will be unturned," and "we will get near the bottom of this."
     Kissinger also announced "Peace is at hand."


BUSH SETS UP INSANITY DEFENSE
Nuclear Option Strategy Key To Plea
Homeland H.Q. (formerly Washington, D.C.) - (GNS)
- President George W. "Dubya" Bush fortified his insanity defense over the weekend when he confirmed the U.S. military had plans to exercise "a nuclear option" against Iraq.
     "We'll nuke those evildoers if we have to. I'm sick and tired of this," he said.
     News of Bush's precarious state and his implementation of a legal defense strategy leaked over the weekend after comments were made by Martin Milner, Undersecretary of Obscure References in the Stay The Course Agency of the Commerce Department to a reporter.
     "I think he's nuts," Milner told Washington Times reporter Fred McMurray.
     Milner's comment was in response to the public reaction to Bush's economic plan, showing a majority of American's rejecting the plan and questioning Bush's leadership.
     Details of the Insanity Defense were revealed yesterday in an interview given by White House aide Andrew Card to editorial cartoonist Garry Trudeau.
     "We produced new rules to speed up logging in national forests, rolled back protections of 58 million acres of roads and developments, eased pollution controls for power plants and factories, rejected new fuel-efficiency standards, sped up permit-granting for companies, lifted a ban on snowmobiles in parks, proposed 51,000 new natural gas wells, removed limits on coal producers for dumping mountaintop fill in streams, reduced EPA fines of pulluters by 64%, opened up Padre Island to drilling, halted funding for several Superfund sites, replaced scientists who don't support our view, rejected the Kyoto Global Warming Treaty, and more," Card said.
     "Clearly these are the actions of an insane man. No sane person would do this to our precious environment," Card said.
     "When you add to that focusing on war against Iraq, virtually abandoning the war on terror, the hunt for Osama Bin Laden and the rebuilding of Afghanistan so another anti-American faction doesn't take hold, and now considering using nuclear weapons in Iraq, well, insane is the only word for it," Card said.
     Supporters of the president disputed Card's conclusions.
     "He's just inconsistent, stupid, imperial, lazy, impatient, revengeful, greedy and loyal to his rich buddies," said Kenny Lay.
     "I've known the boy for years. If he's insane, I'm insane," said former Ubermenschenfuhrer Henry Kissinger.
     CNN Toad Wolf Blitzer endorsed the call for the use of nuclear weapons.
     "It'll make great television!" he exclaimed.

IRAQ ADMITS IT ORDERED ALUMINUM TUBES, NO FRIES
Suspicions Rise About Lack Of Interest In Fast Food
Atlana, GA - (GNS)
- Pentagon officials and officials at the Center For Disease Control (CDC) said Iraq admitted ordering aluminum tubes but did not order fries or any other high calorie side dishes.
     "We know what the aluminum tubes were for," said General Richard Gear, but the absence of fries or a shake raises questions.
     "Something sinister may be afoot," CIA Undersecretary of Mum's The Word Sherlock Yoda said.
     CDC Director George Armstrong Yellowfever said the center had been studying the Iraqi diet for some time.
     "They are a nation opposed to fast foods," he said. "This may be good for the heart, but not for world trade and American Industry. As long as we can't irradicate disease, our job is to see it applied equally. A nation without a high cholesterol diet rich in fried foods has a military advantage, and we can't allow that," he said.
     "This may be another reason to attack them, as if we need another reason," Gear said.
     "No fries? They're heathens," declared Pat Robertson. "Abraham ate fries. So did Moses and Jesus," he said, pointing to the new Burger King James version of the Bible.
     Pentagon sources confirmed Kurds eat fries.
     "They used to eat whey, but around they've come," said Yoda.


CANADIAN FORCES MASS AT U.S. BORDER
Demand For U.S. Regime Change Unanswered
Windsor, Ontario - (GIN)
- Canadian troops continued massing at the U.S. border from Maine to Washington as the demands for a regime change increased from Toronto.
     "The United States is endangering the entire planet. A man who stole the election and who has rigged the dilution of laws protecting free speech and free association is engaged in making a war that his people and the people of the world reject as unnecessary and dangerous," Prime Minister Sargent Preston declared.
     "There must be a regime change in America, and if the people won't rise up and do it, we are left with no choice but to invade and implement it ourselves," Preston said.
     Preston, joined at his press conference by his faithful companion, Yukon King, said his military advisors told him millions of Americans would join the Canadian forces to help overthrow the illegal American government.
     Although not renown for a huge or effective army, Canadian forces combined with British forces to defeat an American Colonial incursion in the late 1700s, and participated on the winning sides in World War I and World War II. Recently, Canadian forces assisted British forces in putting down the uprising in the Falkland Islands.
     Neil Young and Joni Mitchell are both from Canada.

TURKS RECONSIDER, MAY ALLOW U.S. TO USE COUNTRY AS BASE
Kurds Fucked
Stuffing, Turkey - (GIN)
- Turkish Administration sources said today Turkey may allow the use of land and air space by U.S. forces.
     "It's apparent the U.S. is going to invade. We want to be on the winning side. We can use the money the U.S. is offering, and we don't want the Kurds to be too liberated, if you know what I mean," said Turkish Foreign Minister Drek Coffee.
     Turkey has opposed Kurdish independence. So has Iraq. The U.S. has agreed to oppose Kurdish independence in exchange for Turkish support, according to U.S. State Department officials.
     "Anyway you look at it, the the Kurds are fucked," said one official, who asked to remain anonymous.
     Kurds, currently fleeing into the mountains to escape feared chemical attacks from Saddam Hussein and attacks from Turkish air and ground forces, could not be reached for comment.

SENATE VOTES TO CUT TAXES TO PAY FOR WAR
Less Taxes Means More Money For Military, Schools
Homeland HQ (formerly Washington D.C.) - (GNS)
- The U.S. Senate voted for the Bush tax cut in order to pay for the war yesterday.
     "This is a great day for America," said Senator Lipofuskin. "By cutting taxes, especially for the rich, we'll be able to pay for this war and for better schools."
     Senator Blimster echoed Lipofuskin. "This tax cut will allow us to achieve everything we've ever wanted. The era of permissiveness is over."
     According to tax cut supporter Senator Munchliver, it was important to repeat the idea over and over that the tax cut would pay for the war and for better education for everyone.
     "The more we say it, the more true it is," Munchliver said.
     Economist Murray Laffer of the Spitcurve Institute explained how the tax cut would work.
     "When you reduce the money people pay to the federal government for military defense and education, you give them more money. This improves the economy. Rich people will use the money to buy more real estate, caviar and luxury items. Middle class people will use it to buy more DVDs, and poor people will use it to buy more liquor and cigarettes. Suddenly, as if by natural law, the economy is stimulated and voila, we have an affordable strategic missile defense system and new schools for everyone," Laffer said.
     The Society for the Preservation of Rich People (SPRP) applauded the Senate.
     "It's good to see mere millionaires keeping us in mind," said SPRP Regent Thurston Third.
     Democrats were torn between behaving like Republicans and moderate Republicans.
     Eleanor Roosevelt could not be reached for comment.

U.S. PURCHASES TURKEY
Iraq Now On U.S. Border
Homeland HQ (formerly Washington D.C.) - (GNS)
- The United States concluded purchasing the country of Turkey yesterday for an undisclosed price, according to a State Department press release.
     A ceremony is scheduled for next week, before the war begins, the release said.
     Although details of the purchase are obscure, presidential spinmeister Ari Flyshirt did confirm the information in his press briefing.
     "Turkey is now ours. It's an official U.S. territory, like Kansas used to be. The implications of this are clear. Iraq is now on our border. So for all the nimnods who say Iraq is not a threat to us, well they're just wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong," Flyshirt said.
     According to one unnamed source, the sticking point in the purchase was not the money, it was whether or not everyone there would have to learn English and eat Turkey on Thanksgiving.
     Flyshirt denied that the U.S. is also considering buying Mexico.


Bulletin
Fictional Times Exclusive

DARYL GATES BROUGHT IN TO QUELL IRAQI LOOTING
Chief Sets Up CP At Florence & Normandie
Kuweight City - (GIN)
- Former LAPD Police Chief Daryl Gates was recruited by General Tummy Franksanbeans to stop the looting in Umm Qasr, Basra, and Baghdad, Centcom announced earlier today.
     Gates, who quelled the L.A. riots after the Rodney King cop-beaters' verdict in 1992 after three or four or maybe five days is thought of as the best riot queller and looter queller in the country, Franksanbeans said.
     Gates' specialty is letting riots and looting run rampant for "a couple of days" while dining with his men, then cracking down "like there's no tomorrow," Franksanbeans said.
     "We dropped leaflets saying 'Can't we all get along?' and it didn't work," Franksanbeans said, "so we had no choice."
     Gates will work from the safety of Kuwait City, with the rest of his Command Post stationed at Florence and Normandie in L.A., "just in case."
     "Iraqis are just another potential group of L.A. immigrants and residents," Gates said. "Teaching them not to loot here may help us stateside in the long run."
     Gates said his men, former LAPD cops, would "crack heads, use tear gas, and even chokeholds if necessary, to restore law and order."
     "I'm pretty sure we can use chokeholds here. After all, it's a war, these people have been liberated and they haven't even thanked us yet. Time for them to learn some manners," Gates said.
     British forces who have failed to control Basra welcomed Gates and his men.
     "Hip hip, jolly good, good hunting and all that," they said in unison.





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