Monday, October 30, 2006

Halloween Movies

Traditionally, Hollywood likes to roll out its latest horror films just before Halloween. This year is no exception except that they all seem to have a decidedly political twist. Take a look at these upcoming scary offerings:

A Nightmare on Pennsylvania Avenue
When her best friend Tina loses her job, Nancy suspects that there is someone evil behind the deed. The trouble is that whenever she has a chance to democratically change her country and render the unknown creature impotent, she falls asleep at the switch and votes over and over again for a monster named Freddy W. Krueger. Every four years, W returns to cut taxes, social spending and military effectiveness in one of the scariest slasher films of all time.

Tuesday the 7th
This latest installment in the "Friday the 13th" series takes a novel twist on the triskaidekaphobia theme. Jason’s back and this time he plans to do his killing on the 7th, November the 7th that is. Jason plays a Republican operative sent to make sure the Democrats never get back in the House. With help from his creepy pals Rove and Cheney, Jason scares enough Democratic voters away to ensure a truly frightening Republican Congress for years to come.

The Kondo of Dr. K
Loosely based on the classic thriller "The Island of Dr. Moreau", this remake features an aging diplomat cum gunslinger named Dr. K who has created a menagerie of bizarre foreign policy creatures on a remote island in the middle of the Potomac River. Presidents and Secretaries of State alike can’t resist visiting Dr. K’s condo and feasting on such deadly diplomatic delights as "spreading democracy in the Middle East", "send more troops", "stay the main course" and "axis of evil."

Rummy’s Baby
Born in a secret Defense Department coven, Rummy’s baby is thought by some to be the reincarnation of the devil. However, the creature turns out to be something even worse: a misguided misfit of a war called Iraq. Conceived by a secret cabal of warlocks called neo-conservatives, Iraq becomes the baby that no one will admit fathering. As it grows in size and terror, Rummy’s baby engulfs not only the entire American budget but most incumbent Republican Congressmen as well.

The Grudge 3
"The Grudge 2" is out now for this Halloween season but "The Grudge 3" is already in production for a fall 2008 release. The cursed house that was featured in the first two movies is back except this time it’s a big white house in the middle of Washington. The tortured sounds coming from the building only hint at the unspeakable acts that have occurred there over the last six years. A trio of ghostbusters named Al, John and Hillary use every trick in the book to try to take back the house and cleanse it of its evil spirits.

Psycho Korea
In the tradition of the great Hitchcock thriller, "Psycho Korea" features an odd loner with a scary, scary secret to hide. Kim is an aging, leisure-suited male living out his days in a fortress-like institution somewhere near Pyongyang. When outsiders try to track Kim down, he threatens them with old communist slogans and new nuclear bombs. The R-rated version of the movie shown in American theaters is missing Kim’s shower scene which those who have seen it say is the scariest five minutes on film.

Campaign of the Living Dead
They once controlled the world but now they only haunt the night. Reanimated corpses called Republicans seek to control Washington by using everything from soft money to supersized lies. A small, brave band of Democrats tries to fight off the living dead but are eventually defeated by attack ads and their own missing platform. They try to take refuge in a nearby place called the Senate only to be driven back to anonymity.

Texas Chainsaw Massacre Redux
When their car breaks down outside a desolate ranch near Crawford, Texas, a group of young Americans goes looking for help. Instead of a friendly face, however, they run into a chainsaw-wielding madman who’s bent on destruction. Not only does he clear brush, he also savagely cuts everything from education to social services to taxes for the rich thereby ensuring a bleak future for his victims.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Trick or Treat

With every passing year, Halloween is becoming more and more of a holiday not just for kids but for grownups as well. Look for these adult "trick or treaters" out and about on Tuesday night:

Stephen Harper
As with every aspect of his government, Stephen Harper has decided to do all the trick or treating himself. The Prime Minister has ordered his entire Cabinet to stay home while he gathers the goodies. Insiders report that Mr. Harper has not yet decided whether he’ll dress up this Halloween as Peter MacKay, Jim Flaherty or Rona Ambrose.

Michael Ignatieff
By now, the frontrunner in the Liberal leadership race had hoped to be trick or treating all by himself. But thanks, in part, to his surprising ability to continue speaking even with both feet in his mouth, it appears that he will have lots of company this coming Tuesday night. As things now stand, it looks like Mr. Ignatieff will still be making the rounds with his fellow candidates dressed as Iggy and the Seven Dwarfs.

Ralph Klein
For the first time in years, Ralph Klein will not be going door to door on Halloween. The Alberta premier apparently wanted to go trick or treating but the contenders for his job asked him to keep a low profile until the leadership race is over. Rumor has it that Mr. Klein will simply stay home this year and hand out more $400 treats to every Albertan who comes to his door.

Jean Charest
In keeping with his past history, Jean Charest will once again be sporting a multi-purpose costume for Halloween. As always, the Quebec premier will be wearing a red shirt with blue pants and will be carrying both a Canadian and a Quebec flag. Mr. Charest reportedly will be dressed this year as that scariest of creatures: a Canadian federalist who’s a Quebec nationalist.

Dalton McGuinty
Once again, Dalton McGuinty has been asked by Ontario parents to refrain from trick or treating. Apparently the premier’s uncanny resemblance to Anthony Perkins’s character Norman Bates from the movie "Psycho" has scared too many of the province’s children. Instead, Mr. McGuinty will stay home, turn out the lights and practise his very scary threat to correct the federal fiscal imbalance.

Danny Williams
As on past Halloweens, Danny Williams will be looking for handouts from everyone. Among other things, the Newfoundland premier will be seeking more hydro revenue from Quebec and more oil and gas money from Ottawa. Mr. Williams’s trick will be to gather all those treats while still keeping his equalization payments.

George W. Bush
In advance of next week’s mid-term elections, George W. Bush will be out on the hustings looking to scare up some votes for his fellow Republicans. However, given Mr. Bush’s current approval ratings, instead of Halloween treats, he may instead find a lot of darkened doors. In fact, given his six-year record, the trick may be to find anyone who’ll even admit that they voted for him.

Kimi Jong-il
The North Korean leader jumped the gun on this year’s Halloween celebrations. He has already identified the treats he wants in the form of oil, trade and financial assistance. Apparently his "trick" involves leaving a flaming bag of fissionable material on a certain southern neighbor’s doorstep.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

George Passes His Midterms

With the mid-term elections only days away, President George W. Bush has wasted no time in using his new powers under the recently signed detainee legislation.

"As I’ve noted all along," said the President. "These new powers will be used to protect the American people from the terrorist threat."

When asked to elaborate on what he considered the terrorist threat, Mr. Bush indicated that anyone who stood in the way of his Administration carrying out its mandate could be considered an enemy combatant.

"The American people trust me to use these new powers for good and not for evil," said President Bush. "They know that I would not abuse these powers for partisan aims."

President Bush declined to indicate who qualifies as an enemy combatant. He also reiterated his position that the U. S. government does not engage in torture so long as torture remains undefined.

"I’m not going to give anything away to our enemies," said Mr. Bush. "Unlike some of those cut-and-run Democrats, I intend to do whatever it takes to protect America."

Protecting America seems to have taken on a broader scope in light of the President’s new powers. Asked to comment on rumors about recent interrogations of select Democratic Congressional candidates, Mr. Bush was not entirely forthcoming.

"That’s classified information," said the President. "But let me just say that if certain naysaying Democratic candidates are polling above 50% in their states or Congressional districts, that’s definitely cause for concern."

The President denied that Senator John Kerry had been called in for questioning.

"As far as I know, his term isn’t up until 2008," said Mr. Bush. "I see no reason to detain Mr. Kerry at this time."

Mr. Bush, however, refused to comment on the recent disappearances of Senators Ted Kennedy and Hillary Clinton.

"Even if I did know where they are, for national security reasons, I couldn’t tell you," said Mr. Bush. "Let’s just say that if they were to drop out of their respective Senate races, the population of Guantanamo Bay might drop by two, if you know what I mean."

When asked how far he was prepared to go in applying the new detainee provisions, Mr. Bush smiled and said: "As far as I need to go in order to protect each American citizen’s inalienable right to be governed by the Republican of his choice."

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Thanks George

Thanks, George Steinbrenner. Thank you for deciding to keep Alex Rodriguez and to not fire Joe Torre.

It’s not that I’m a grateful Yankee fan. Far from it. In fact, I hate the Yankees.

From as early as I can remember, I detested the Bronx Bombers. As a young kid growing up in northern New York almost fifty years ago, I preferred to strain to hear a weak radio signal from Baltimore with Chuck Thompson reporting the exploits of my favored Orioles than to dial into any one of a dozen nearby stations carrying the hated Yanks.

It seemed then, as now, that the world was divided into two camps: those who loved the Yankees and those who loathed them. I was a card-carrying member of that latter camp.

Like most Yankee haters, I suffered year after year with the only relief being the occasional season that the pinstriped crew failed to make it to the World Series. So it came as a surprise to me when I felt a sense of relief when Mr. Steinbrenner didn’t lower the ax on Messrs. Rodriguez and Torre. Strange as it seemed, I was glad to see the Yankee team left intact.

‘What’s happening here’ I thought. ‘Why would I wish good things on the evilest franchise in the universe?’

Then it struck me. How could I hate the Yankees if they stunk? What good would it do me to watch them become a second-rate team? I needed the Yankees to be successful almost as much as I needed to hate them. Just not too successful.

Don’t get me wrong. It was great fun to watch the underdog Tigers whip the Yankees in four games. Watching the modern Murderer’s Row flailing away at Detroit pitchers was a delicious treat.

But somehow it lacked the satisfaction of a Yankees loss in the League Championship Series or, better yet, a defeat in the World Series. The higher they soared before being shot down, the greater my pleasure.

That’s why I want to see this year’s Yankee lineup retained. No doubt, they’re great. But so far, thankfully, they’re not great enough to win it all.

When I look back, the last five years has been one of the most satisfying periods in baseball for me. The hated Yankees have made it into the World Series twice and both times they lost. And even when they didn’t make it into the Series, they provided exquisite delights such as their complete collapse against the Red Sox two years ago.

What would appear to be incredible success to any other franchise is currently viewed as a crisis by Yankee fans. Any other team with 26 championships, four in the last ten years and perennial division winners would rejoice in such accomplishments.

But for the followers of the pin-striped ones, those achievements are nothing. There has been no World Series victory since 2000. In Yankeeland, that’s not just a drought, it’s a true catastrophe.

I suspect that Yankee fans would sooner suffer another ten-year period of mediocrity than to go on like this. Coming close every year and then losing must be pure agony for these folks. At least that’s what I dearly hope.

So when George Steinbrenner says "Let’s stay the course", I couldn’t be happier. Here’s hoping he continues to achieve that fine balance that leads the Yankees on to another divisional title, dare I say it, another League Championship. For my sweetest dream is to see the hated ones make it into the World Series next year. I wouldn’t even mind that much if they won a game or two or even three. So long as they lose it all on a wild pitch in the bottom of the thirteenth inning in Game seven. Or am I asking for too much?

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

New Improved Democracy Spread

"And the second way to defeat the terrorists is to spread freedom. You see, the best way to defeat a society that is -- doesn't have hope, a society where people become so angry they're willing to become suiciders, is to spread freedom, is to spread democracy."
--George W. Bush, June 8, 2005


Some critics have suggested that the Bush Administration has no plan for implementing democracy in the Middle East. However, the following secret White House memo from 2003 outlining a clear time line suggests otherwise:

2003
- Invade Iraq and topple Saddam Hussein
- Support the Iraqi people in their immediate attempts to form a coalition government
- Plan for future free elections

2004
- Help to thwart the inevitable intrusions in the nascent democratic process
- Facilitate interrogation of captured prisoners by transporting them to perfectly legal, extrajudicial sites like Guantanamo Bay
- Re-visit and rethink the Geneva Conventions
- Celebrate first tentative steps toward Iraqi democracy

2005
- Assist the people of Iraq in their rebuilding efforts
- Neutralize the handful of troublemakers by sending them to CIA prisons in various secret locations
- Commemorate first partially successful democratic elections in most Iraqi provinces

2006
- Discourage American citizens from using incautious criticism to undermine the war effort
- Suspend habeas corpus for non-citizens to ensure the possibility of full, fruitful interrogations
- Re-define "Iraqi democracy"

2007
- Restrict all uses of the term "civil war" as an inaccurate and unpatriotic description of the rapidly evolving democracy in Iraq
- Extend the suspension of habeas corpus to also cover American citizens, particularly journalists
- Limit democratic Iraqi governmental options to non-theocratic forms regardless of popular will

2008
- Suspend trial by jury for non-Republicans
- Repeal 22nd Amendment to allow our great leader George W. Bush to seek a third term
- Temporarily detain individuals with surname Clinton, Gore or Kerry for national security reasons
- As a temporary measure, suspend free elections in Iraq until civil order can be restored
- As a temporary measure, suspend free elections in the United States until the War on Terror completed
- Presidential election deferred until 2009 and electorate restricted to Republican campaign donors

2009
- Our great leader George W. Bush is sworn in for a third term after winning the election with a 99% margin of the 150,000 votes cast
- Iraq renamed Democratic Peoples Republic of Iraq
- Victory declared
- American troop strength in Iraq doubled

2010
- The Democratic Peoples Republic of the United States declares Richard Cheney its first Dear Leader
- FOX becomes the official government televison network
- Plans initiated to spread democracy to Canada

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Dear Joe Heartland

Dear Joe Heartland,

As a concerned Canadian, I’ve got an important message for you. It’s something your own politicians won’t tell you because they want your vote and are afraid to insult you with the truth.

In a few weeks, by casting your vote for a Democrat, you’ll have a chance to make a real difference in your country. Please, please, please don’t screw it up this time.

For six years, we’ve heard political commentators whine about how George W. Bush and his cronies stole the 2000 Presidential election from Al Gore. We’ve had to endure endless analyses of how the Republicans rigged the vote in Florida and stickhandled the issue through the Supreme Court.

But none of this would even have mattered if dummies like you hadn’t voted for Bush in the first place. The most surprising thing about the 2000 election is not that Bush stole Florida or that the Supreme Court highjacked the result. The most surprising thing is that it was close at all.

The country was on an economic roll. Inflation had been brought under control, unemployment was at record lows and the country’s books were in surplus for the first time in decades.

Al Gore was part of that success story and George W. Bush was a former part-time Governor of Texas with a mediocre track record and no plan for America beyond meaningless platitudes like "compassionate conservative." Yet you and your kind voted for him.

When asked "why?", you tended to say that you liked Bush. You thought he was a regular guy, someone you could sit down and have a beer with.

How stupid is that? I don’t know about you but when I’m charged with choosing a new leader, I’m not looking for some friendly, gum-chewing, back-slapping good ole boy to vote for. I want a candidate with an intellect and lots of political experience. Please try to remember that for this year’s election.

I’m not asking you to do this as some noble, selfless act. If you had thought about the issues for more than two seconds back in 2000, you would have realized that a vote for Al Gore was a vote for your own self-interest.

By voting for Bush, you helped hand out the largest tax cut in history to the rich while you received next to nothing. You also voted to start dismantling the nation’s social safety net that ensures not-so-bright people like you don’t fall through the cracks. And you also voted for the most ill-advised, least diplomatic, most egregious misuse of American military power in decades.

All this might have been forgivable if you hadn’t pulled the same ignorant stunt in 2004. As your hero George W. Bush has so eloquently put it: "Fool me once, shame on.....shame on you. It fool me, can’t get fooled again."

You had already experienced four years of some of the worst presidential governance your country has ever seen. And you had a bright, articulate, experienced Democratic candidate to vote for. Better yet, you even had a decorated war hero you could choose instead of a silver-spooned service evader.

And what did you do? You voted for Bush a second time! Unbelievable! Are you really that stupid that you would fall for the same old lines all over again?

"But he’s just like me," you said. "He’s one of us, a regular guy, not like that Kerry fellow."
Stop for one minute and think about it. Do you really want someone like you running the country? How do you think someone like you would do at such an important, complicated job? That’s right; you’d screw it up big time.

And that’s exactly what your pal "W" has done. Maybe this time you should think about letting the smart guy have a chance. You don’t have to like him; you just have to vote for him.

You can’t undo the damage you’ve done by repeatedly exercising your right to be ignorant and voting for George W. Bush. But you can start helping to clean up the mess by voting for Democrats in 2006. You can help give control of Congress (that’s the body made up of the Senate and the House of Representatives) back to a party that might be able to start turning things around.

For once in your life, Joe, think before you vote. Who knows? You might even like it.

Yours truly,

A concerned Canadian

Thursday, October 12, 2006

A Value Investment

Dave Martin rebounded today after learning that his annual earnings will increase next year by 2.5%. Mired in a five-year decline, the value of the long term government employee may be seeing an unexpected turnaround.

Not surprisingly, Dave Martin did not realize the explosive growth experienced by many of his contemporaries during the boom years of the 1990s. Given his employment inertia, Mr. Martin remained in the same position throughout that bullish decade.

Once touted as a long term "value" investment, Mr. Martin even failed to meet that limited expectation. Due to government salary freezes throughout part of the nineties and Mr. Martin’s insistence on owning a house and driving a vehicle, annualized returns were well below the rate of inflation.

Those looking to Mr. Martin as a safe, secure investment were disappointed. Chief among those investors were his wife and daughter who were forced to suffer through the last ten years with used cars, discount Barbies and an outdated, avocado-green stove.

But all that may now be changing. Trading at an historically low P/E multiple, analysts see nothing but upside in Martin futures.

The recent salary increase of 2.5% sparkles in comparison to many other issues. And Mr. Martin’s limited lifestyle expenditures ensure that he will experience real growth in the near term.

Despite Mr. Martin’s propensity for investing excess cash in underperforming mutual funds, analysts claim there is real value underlying his position. Although they discount Mr. Martin’s core competencies, they do give full marks for his longevity. Apparently if Mr. Martin can maintain his current minimal performance level for another ten years, he will realize significant indexed pension earnings.

Thus, while the market is not yet bullish on Dave Martin, it is clear that there is money to be made there. If Mr. Martin were wound up today, insurance, pension and severance payments would yield a tidy return to anyone who had hung tough over the last twenty years. In the words of Mr. Martin’s wife, "I’ve always said that he was worth more liquidated than as a going concern."

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Who Voted For Bush?

"Research Project for Ms. Anne Thrope’s Grade 9 American History Class" by Diana "Di" Ogenes

This is my research project for my American History class. It is a project which required research about history. It was assigned by Ms. Thorpe and she said it had to be 500 words long! That’s a lot of words but I counted them all and I think I even have a few extra.

I chose for my research project "Who voted for George W. Bush and why?" In a democracy like the one that we have, I think it is important for people to vote. And I thought it would be interesting to find out why people voted for Mr. Bush.

My dad says that anyone who voted for Bush is an idiot. But I don’t think that’s fair. After all, almost half of the voters voted for him and they can’t all be dummies, can they?

For my research project, I chose the personal interview method. Since Mr. Bush won in our Congressional district, I figured it would be easy to choose some names from the phone book and ask them if they voted for Mr. Bush and how come. I’m not sure why, but that method didn’t seem to work very well.

First I spoke to our mayor, Mr. Blo Harde. Since he’s a registered Republican, I was pretty sure that he voted for Mr. Bush. But Mr. Harde said he couldn’t remember who he voted for. He said that 2004 was a long time ago and he was pretty busy on election day and he’s just not sure which lever he pulled. In fact, the more he thought about it, the more he said he was pretty sure he didn’t vote for Mr. Bush.

Next up, I tried Mr. Manny Baggs who runs the local bank. My dad told me that Mr. Baggs definitely would have voted for Bush just to get a tax cut. But when I called Mr. Baggs, he said that he thinks he voted for John Kerry in 2004. When I asked him about the 2000 election, he said he might have voted for Bush but that was six years ago and he couldn’t really remember.

I also called Mr. Baggs’s wife, Sadd L. Baggs. She’s the president of the local Women’s League of Republican Voters so I’m almost positive that she voted for the President. I asked her if she voted for Mr. Bush and, not surprisingly, she said yes. But when I asked if she voted for him in 2000, too, she said: "Oh, you mean George W. Bush. I meant that I voted for George H. W. Bush in 1988 and in 1992. I don’t think I ever voted for his son."

I must have called a dozen different people who are registered Republicans but not one of them said that they voted for our President. The sports editor of our local paper said he voted for a Bush recently but it turns out he voted for Reggie Bush for the Heisman Trophy last year. But after the scandal broke about Reggie Bush taking money from marketing agents while in college, the editor called me back and denied even voting for that Bush.

Like I said, I hoped to find out why people voted for George W. Bush but I haven’t had much luck. On the other hand, I think I may have discovered something even more interesting. From my research, it might be possible that nobody voted for Mr. Bush. Isn’t that funny?

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

United Statesians

Unbeknownst to most Americans, the rest of the Western Hemisphere is not happy with their appropriation of the term "American." After all, aren’t all residents of this half of the globe Americans?

It matters little to Americans, of course, since they’re not confused by the word. But other Western Hemispherians find this unilateral name-claiming symptomatic of the arrogance and ignorance of the U. S.

In these fractious times, it might be a good idea for the United States to amend this longstanding practise. Giving back the term "American" would be a nice gesture of reconciliation to the rest of the world. It would show that the world’s most powerful nation is at least sometimes willing to compromise and change.

The decision to forego the name "American" is the easy part. The tough part, of course, is coming up with a suitable alternative.

At one time, it was suggested that U. S. residents go by the name "United Statesian." This seemed to make sense. It follows the form of other nationalities and is the literal translation of the term used by Spanish Americans namely, "estadounidense" or resident of los Estados Unidos.

But United Statesian just doesn’t seem right. It’s clunky and awkward and doesn’t fit the one-word template used by other nationalities (except maybe for New Zealanders, South Africans and Sierra Leoneans).

Other attempts have been made in the past. For example, "USAnian" and "Usian" have both been offered up as synonyms for "American." Again, neither of these candidates really fits the bill. In addition to being difficult to pronounce, they could easily get confused with "Asian" or "Eurasian."

The on-line encyclopedia Wikpedia lists more than two dozen alternatives but none has caught on. With choices like Fredonian, Colonican, Pindosian and Appalacian, that’s hardly surprising.

Some Spanish Americans use the term "norteamericano" to refer to gringos. Although an improvement on American, it still lacks the required specificity and risks offending the continent’s other inhabitants, primarily the Mexicans and Canadians.

So what’s left? Unlike other nationalities, it seems impossible to derive something suitable from the country’s name.

The term "yankee" seems to have almost universal recognition. But for those living south of the Mason-Dixon line, it likely won’t pass muster.

The American flag is the ultimate national symbol. So how about calling its country’s residents "Oldglorians" or "Starsnstripesians?" Well, maybe not.

Some have suggested that U. S. history and current foreign policy could inspire names like "Imperials" or Unilats" or "USers." But that seems churlish and a tad unfair.

When it comes right down to it, there just doesn’t seem to be a suitable alternative. So maybe the rest of the world will just have to accept Americans as Americans and leave it at that. Either that or you’re always welcome to start calling yourself Canadians, eh?

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Laura Bush's Xmas Letter

Here's another excerpt from my book "My Friend W" published by Arriviste Press and available at selected Chapters stores and on-line at Amazon:

The White House
December 19, 2003

Dear Friends,

Well it’s that time of year again. The frost is on the windowpane, a chill is in the air and the Democrats are in disarray. That means, of course, that it’s almost Christmas.

George, Jenna, Barbara and I want to wish you and yours the best of the holiday season. For most of you, that means a Merry, Merry Christmas. For Colin and Condi, I believe the appropriate greeting is Happy Kwanzaa. And for our dear patient friend Paul Wolfowitz, Happy, Happy Hanaka (pardon my spelling).

Once again, it’s been a very good year for the Bush family. Ever since that "surprise" victory in Florida three years ago, everything’s just been coming up roses for us. Who would have thought that coming in second would pay such dividends?

Living here in The White House is indeed an honor for George and me. As George says, it’s the ultimate work at home location. I just hope we can stay a few more years. Since Al Gore’s not running again, let’s just all cross our fingers and hope the Democrats choose Howard Dean.

We’ve all been very busy this year. George, as you probably know, landed on an aircraft carrier, won the war in Iraq and nabbed that nasty Saddam Hussein. I, on the other hand, have been working hard at being a good role model for stay at home moms everywhere. As for the twins, well, girls will be girls.

As you probably know, we summered again at our ranch near Crawford, Texas. It’s not my first choice for a summer vacation or even my third choice if the truth be known. But as George says, it drives the media crazy covering him in 110ยบ heat and that alone makes the whole trip worthwhile.

This year, we also spent Thanksgiving at the ranch with the girls. Well, at least I did. I’m sure you all heard about George’s brave trip to be with our troops. Unfortunately, that meant I had to share turkey with George’s folks. Poppy kept muttering something about how he would never have invaded Iraq but once we got his medication adjusted things were OK.

The only fly in the ointment this year was some uncalled for criticism of George about all those nasty corporate scandals. Some people said George was just as guilty when he was a businessman back in the 1980's. I think that’s really unfair because the last time I looked we here in America still have something called the statute of limitations.

I hope all of you enjoyed this year’s installment on George’s ten-year tax cut. Just consider it our little Christmas present to you. And if you didn’t see much difference in your net income, maybe you’re just not trying hard enough.

Well, I must sign off for now. I think I hear John Ashcroft at the door asking us to join him in prayer again. Boy are my knees getting sore! Just kidding. John always let’s us sit down.
Merry Christmas to all and have a happy and prosperous new year. If George’s repeal of the estate tax stands up, I’m sure all of us can look forward to many, many more.

Yours truly,

Laura Bush

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Back In Black

" Conrad Black wants to be a Canadian once more and he is working on regaining his citizenship."
- The Globe and Mail, September 26, 2006

CITIZENSHIP AND IMMIGRATION CANADA

Mr. Conrad Black October 1, 2006
Baron of Crossharbour
London, England

Dear Mr. Black:

Receipt is acknowledged of your request for reinstatement of Canadian citizenship. Before proceeding further with your request, it will be necessary to complete the enclosed form CITIZN-REINST-004 in triplicate and return it to the address noted on the reverse.

Yours truly,

A. Bureaucrat


APPLICATION FOR REINSTATEMENT OF CANADIAN CITIZENSHIP

Name_____________________ Mr.____ Ms.____ Lord ____

Address _____________________________________

Did you previously hold Canadian citizenship? Yes__ No __

When did you lose Canadian citizenship? __ /__ /____ (dd/mm/yyyy)

How did you lose Canadian citizenship? (please check each appropriate selection)
__criminal conviction
__deportation
__pompous renunciation
__temporarily misplaced
__pointless pursuit of peerage
__engaged in frivolous litigation

In order to qualify for reinstatement will you undertake to

1) Visit Canada no more than twice a year Yes__ No__
2) Keep your wife in England Yes__ No__
3) Lose 30 pounds Yes__ No__
4) Leave any titles at the border Yes__ No__
5) Not purchase any Canadian media outlets Yes__ No__
6) Learn one or both of Canada’s official languages at a
level comprehensible to ordinary Canadians Yes__ No__

The application must be accompanied by a petition signed by at least two resident Canadian citizens who agree to the requested reinstatement, one of whom must be a former Prime Minister who has served between 1993 and 2003.

Take notice that your application will be processed within 180 days. If your application is refused, you have the right to appeal that refusal to the Canadian Reinstatement of Citizenship Appeal Board who will hear your case when the skating rink in Hades is opened.

__________________
(applicant signs)

Monday, October 02, 2006

Say It Ain't So, Steve

These recently leaked memos from Health Canada officials in charge of the medical marijuana program may explain some of the recent spending cuts implemented by the Conservatives:

June 14, 2001

TO: Dr. David Turnbull
Chief Medical Officer
MUM (Medical Use of Marijuana)

FROM: Fred Starland
Assistant Deputy Minister
MUM

Congratulations to you and your staff for all the work you have done to make this program a reality. With today’s passage of the Marijuana Medical Access Regulations, I’m sure we will soon achieve great success in our upcoming research on the medical use of marijuana.

July 23, 2003

TO: All Staff, MUM

FROM: Dr. Dave Turnbull
Chief Medical Officer, MUM

I’d like to congratulate everyone on a job well done in implementing the new regulations. Some people have criticized us for taking (an inordinate?) (an excessive?) a long time to get the job done. I’m not sure what they mean by a long time. After all, what is time but a relative marker on the road to accomplishment? In any event, hang in there gang and let’s get working. By the way, due to the unexpected (diminution?) (diminishment?) drop in the cookie and muffin supply, everyone is required to chip in to the new Snack Replenishment Fund.

August 3, 2005

TO: Dave "Doobie" Turnbull

FROM: The Reefer Man

Wassup Doobie? Did you try that new shipment from Manitoba yet? Wow! All I can say is "Far out, man!" Who’d a thunk that they could grow weed like that in an abandoned mine? I dunno about you but that’s some badass dope. Even if you don’t have glaucoma or aren’t taking chemotherapy, this stuff has got to make you feel a whole lot better.

September 25, 2006

TO: Dr. David Turnbull
Chief Medical Officer, MUM

FROM: Fred Starland
Assistant Deputy Minister, MUM

It is with deep regret that I must inform you and your staff that the government has decided to cut further funding for our research into the medical use of marijuana. I take great pride in acknowledging the fine work that all of you have done including the three employees who I believe are due for early parole in October. Please be assured that we will make every effort to find suitable positions for all of you elsewhere in the public service.

September 28, 2006

TO: All Staff

FROM: Dave

Hey, dudes and dudettes. My bad. Like I got this memo from the big guy a while ago but I forgot where I put it. And like this morning I was doing some extra "testing" in the lab and I looked down on the counter and there it was. And then I read it again and I remembered what it said, sort of. Something about cuts, man. Cuts can’t be good, you dig? But like we keep coming in every day and nobody says go home, right? So maybe I’ll just pretend I never got this memo. Or maybe we can organize a protest or something. Heh-heh. Just kidding. But let’s not sweat it too much, man. The Reefer Man says there’s going to be an election soon and, if we’re lucky, we can get back to doing what we do best. Researching, right? Peace.