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NY forms its own DHS
Dept. of Hotel Security to profile foreign bankers
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said today he is forming a new municipal law enforcement agency, the Department of Hotel Security (DHS).
The new organization is comprised of current officers in the NYPD Special Victims Unit, Dept. of Business Licensing and Conde Nast Traveler. Creating the DHS became necessary following an arrest in a second reported incident of an assault on a New York hotel maid, Bloomberg said.
Mahmoud Abdel-Salam Omar, 74, is former head of Egypt's Bank of Alexandria and currently chairman of a state-owned salt company. Police were called to the Pierre Hotel on Sunday evening, where a maid reported she had been assaulted while delivering a box of tissues Omar had requested.
The 44 year old woman said that Omar locked her in the room and briefly groped and rubbed himself against her before she was able to flee and summon authorities.
Bloomberg said the incident establishes a clear, rising threat. "What we've got here is a profile of foreign bankers who think our city's hospitality workers are on the room service menu," said Bloomberg. The new DHS agency is tasked with checking the guest registrations of "every hotel, motel, hostel, pensione, guest house, flop house, and dog house in the tri-state area," the mayor said.
"Their mission is to identify male foreign hotel guests and ask a simple question -- Are you a banker?" Bloomberg said.
A spokesman for the Eqyptian consulate cast doubt on the maid's assault claim, saying Omar is just an elderly salt salesman. "He offered to show her 'a salt' sample, and was misunderstood," said Hosni Mufrandle, the charge d'affaires.
Mufrandle said he hopes Omar is granted bail immediately, instead of being forced to wait several days at Riker's Island like Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the now-former IMF chief who was the first foreign banker arrested for sexual assault two weeks ago. "We're glad that in the American justice system, bankers accused of notorious crimes get bailed out by the U.S. Treasury," Mufrandle said.
Undecided Palin interested in Junior Presidency
"Some kind of warm-up... just to see if I like it"
Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin took another Manolo-shod step toward a 2012 run for the White House today, telling Fox News that she is interested in running, but needs more time to find out about all the world's most important job entails.
"I want to get a taste first of what the job of president is like, before I commit," Palin, an occasional Fox commentator, said to Huckabee host Mike Huckabee in the break room of the network's New York studios.
"What I'm hoping for is a some kind of warm-up, you know, just to see if I like it," she said, adding: "God, couldn't you just kill people who take the last cup of coffee and without making another pot?"
"Maybe a month of job shadowing, or maybe they'll let me run for president of just three or four states. A Junior Presidency! That's what I need. What do you think, Mike?" Palin inquired.
Palin's remarks were recorded by a refrigerator-mounted video camera, installed by Fox Security in response to a May 23 theft report filed by Bill O'Reilly. The O'Reilly Factor host complained that someone had stolen his lunch, a falafel.
Boehner's call key to canceling Rapture
"Better to bring about the end of days by passing the Ryan plan"
House Speaker John Boehner disclosed today that he interceded with Family Radio's Harold Camping to stop the May 21 Rapture.
"I had him call it off, anyone angry about it should blame me," said Boehner, about public reactions ranging from relief to outrage that the end of days failed to arrive on Saturday.
Boehner said he told Camping by phone on the afternoon of May 20 that, while House Republicans support the ultimate goal of the end of the world, the Rapture is redundant of their proposals aimed at reducing the size of the federal government.
"I told Mr. Camping no one wants him to succeed more than I do, but it would be better to bring about the end of days by passing the Ryan plan," said the GOP leader, referring to the Roadmap for America's Future budget plan, created by GOP budget writer Paul Ryan, that would slash spending on Medicare and Social Security.
Boehner said he was able to convince Camping to get God to cancel the Rapture by pointing out the Ryan plan would bring about more benefits.
"If you just follow the Bible, you go straight from the Rapture to Judgment Day and the end of the world," he explained. "But what do you get out of that? The only gains are spiritual."
"With the Ryan plan, we would still achieve the end of days, but in the process cut taxes, reduce environmental regulations, and place control of health care and pensions where it rightfully belongs: with the people -- the people of the insurance companies and Wall Street," Boehner said.
God was in seclusion Monday, but issued a brief statement through a representative, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama: "Look, you guys do what you want -- it's all the same to me."
In a related story, in the official Tea Party radio response to Boehner, Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (R-MN) voiced disappointment at her leader's role in halting the Rapture: "It would have created a lot of job vacancies here in America, at least in the short time remaining."
Last days of sale on Rapture modesty tattoos
The nation's leading trade association of fundamentalist Christian tattoo parlors is reminding customers it is now the end times for the special promotion of deep discounts on full-body tattoos for the May 21 Rapture.
The National Evangelical Epidermis Dye League (NEEDL) is offering 50 percent off inkers' normal hourly rates, and a 66.6 percent discount if customers supply their own design.
Since April, NEEDL members have seen an increase in requests for the so-called modesty tattoos from people fearing the prospect of flying through the air nude on their way to heaven.
NEEDL spokesman Hacksaw Frandle says popular stock designs include astronauts, anything with wings, and Sue Sylvester tracksuits.
Frandle said modesty concerns are understandable coming from Christians. "The Bible says Adam and Eve were ashamed when they realized they were naked," he pointed out.
"We're here to make sure that when our customers are Raptured out of their clothes, modesty tattoos will ensure they will still appear to be fully dressed. At least from a distance," Frandle said.
But Frandle was quick to add that it is now the last days of the promotion: "Everyone should have their tattoos finished by Thursday, because it takes a couple of days for the swelling to go down."
"Nobody needs to see that, least of all Jesus."
Walker establishes Wisconsin Convention & Protest Center
(Madison) Gov. Scott Walker announced an austerity plan for constitutional rights today, designating the Monona Terrace Community & Convention Center as the state capital's Free Speech Zone.
The new policy moves all protests against state government from the capitol campus to the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed facility, which Walker has renamed the Monona Terrace Community, Protest & Convention Center.
The change comes as state public employees, students and supporters continue to pack the capitol to protest the governor's austerity plans. His recent request to the attorney general to stop defending against legal challenges to a 2009 law that gave gay couples hospital visitation rights is expected to further swell the ranks of protesters.
Gov. Walker -- known affectionately by demonstrators as Hosni and Imperial -- denied the Free Speech Zone is a ploy to keep protestors away from the GOP-controlled legislature. He explained his reasons during a brief ceremony on the steps of Monona Terrace, where he used a Milwaukee Tools brand cordless drill to attach "^Protest" to the Monona Terrace Community & Convention Center sign.
"Free speech is a cherished right, but too much free speech is hard on the capitol building, grounds and maintenance staff -- as well as expensive for taxpayers," stated Walker.
"Monona Terrace will be a place where unions and students can pay a reasonable hourly rate to protest, where they won't have to worry about availability of food and restrooms, and where the fire doors can be chained from the outside," he said.
"This means freedom of speech and assembly will finally be able to pay for itself. And that's what freedom is all about."
Fitness sector surges on approach of Rapture
The Christian 'Rapture' predicted for May 21 is having an unexpected benefit for the U.S. economy, an economist said today.
As calculated by religious broadcaster Harold Camping, May 21 is to see god Rapture Christian true believers, or take them up to heaven. But this means leaving behind material possessions -- including the clothing being worn at the moment of Rapture.
So concerned are Christians at the prospect of soaring through the air in the nude for all to see that hundreds of thousands are turning to gyms and fitness centers to prepare for the great day.
"Christians are no more immune from vanity than heathens," explained Prof. Holli R. Thanthow, an economist at Regent University. "The difference is knowing that resistance to price can be overcome by appealing to Believers' shame," she said.
Thanthow pointed to current ad campaigns by L.A. Fitness (using the theme "Gluttony Is a Sin") and Gold's Gym ("the Whole World Will Be Watching") as examples of fitness chains enjoying Rapture-driven upticks in memberships.
M.F. and Shirley A. Nutt of Westmost, NC are Christians who decided to hit the health club when they heard of the possible Rapture.
"The thought that anybody with an iPhone could make a video of us during the Rapture and put it on YouTube? Sure, that was a big motivation," said M.F. Nutt, during a workout at the YMCA in Westmost.
"We never worked out before," said Shirley Nutt, a political activist. "But then we found out the C in YMCA stands for Christian, so we figured hey, what the h-e-double hockey sticks."
However, as is the case with many aspects of faith, the desire to look good while Rapturing contains a paradox.
"Many members of my congregation are spending more time in the gym, and less time in church," said the Extremely Rev. Roy Fang of Westmost's 4th Megachurch Of Christ Nonscientist
"Of course, this decreases their chances of ascending," said Fang. In addition, he reports church collections in the 2nd quarter are down 85% compared to the same period last year.
Fang says things are so bad, the church board plans to file bankruptcy papers next week. "You know. Just in case we're still here," Fang said.
In a related story, when polled about whether they'd rather work out or attend megachurch services, 97% of L.A. Fitness customers said they were looking forward to a world without fundamentalist Christians.
Atlantic Southeast in deal to become official airline of Dove World Outreach Center
Pastor Terry Jones took a step today toward broadening the brand of his anti-Muslim church, reaching an agreement in principle that will see Atlantic Southeast Airlines become the official carrier of Dove World Outreach Center.
The Gainesville, Florida pastor has helped make Dove the infidel market leader in Afghanistan, but enjoyed only intermittent infamy in the US.
But the recent incident at the Memphis airport, in which two Muslim clerics en route to a conference on religious intolerance were kicked off an Atlantic Southeast flight simply because the pilot didn't like them, presented Jones with a unique cross-promotional opportunity.
"We're going to be able to put the Dove name in the air all over the south -- kind of like the Rapture, but with clothes and an in-flight movie," said Jones.
Although precise details of the Dove-Atlantic Southeast deal are still being worked out, Jones was able to confirm several items. Atlantic Southeast mileage points will be good for forgiveness of sins at Dove services, and any water landings will count as baptisms.
"Atlantic Southeast is also going to put smoking sections in its planes, in which passengers will be able to burn Korans, or any heathen writings of their choice," Jones added.
Texas tweaking mandatory sonogram law
Volunteer observers would verify OB/GYNs are complying
The Texas legislature is considering a pair of bills that clarify ambiguities in the bill requiring doctors administer a sonogram before performing an abortion, recently passed by both houses and now headed to the desk of Gov. Rick Perry.
Both proposals address questions about how the sonogram law can be enforced behind the closed door of the gynecologist's examination room.
The House bill, the Law on Education for Compulsory Health (LECH), creates a corps of volunteer compliance observers who will watch all doctor appointments involving women who might be seeking abortions, and report the outcomes to the state.
"All OB/GYN offices and women's health centers will be required to have observation rooms with windows looking into the examination rooms," said LECH's main sponsor, Rep. Rein Coates (R-Rio Douches).
Coates said LECH addresses any concerns the sonogram law is an infringement on women's privacy. "The windows will be made of one-way glass. Women won't be able to see if anyone is watching, which is practically the same thing as privacy," he said.
The Senate version, the Program for Education and Enforcement of Pregnancy (PEEP) Act, is identical to LECH except for a provision designed to make the sonogram law self-supporting. PEEP would require covering the one-way glass with a sliding partition, which would be raised when observers insert coins or bills. "It will more than pay for itself," said the bill's author, Sen. Wolf K. Whistle (R-Thosereal).
LECH and PEEP are expected to win easy approval, but the difference over the revenue element will have to be settled by the House-Senate conference committee. "We expect the compromise will involve the length of time the partition stays up after money is put in," Coates said.
Peter King urges Medal of Honor for bucket of water
"For enhancing interrogation beyond the call of duty"
Congressman Peter King of New York took to the House floor today to call on the Pentagon to recognize what the Republican lawmaker called an unsung hero of the operation that killed Osama Bin Laden.
"Beginning Sunday night the world has been told of the actions SEAL Team 6 carried out in Pakistan, but nothing of the role played by the green, military issue plastic bucket of water which was used to waterboard Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, and get the location of Osama Bin Laden's hideout," said King, the Chairman of the Homeland Security Committee.
In the last 48 hours King has made the bucket of water's cause his personal crusade, ever since the Obama Administration stated intelligence used in the operation was obtained from Khalid Sheikh Mohammed under standard interrogation methods.
This outraged King. "Waterboarding had to have had the pivotal role in finding Bin Laden, yet for political reasons the White House is trying to deny this heroic bucket of water the recognition it has earned," he told the House chamber.
"I will not rest until this injustice, this slap in the face to a brave bucket of water, is corrected and the entire world learns the story of its heroism, which is deserving of the highest honor this body can bestow. I urge the Department of Defense to remedy this oversight by recommending this bucket of water for the Medal of Honor, for enhancing interrogation beyond the call of duty," King said.
A brief debate ensued with Democratic Congressman Anthony Weiner, who questioned King as to why the bucket is included in the request. "From what I understand, in torture the water does all the work. After all, it's called waterboarding," Weiner observed.
But King was firm, saying: "The bucket and the water work together, in a team approach. Without the bucket, water just lies there evaporating. No, they trained together and they enhance interrogations together, they are both equally deserving of the honor."
Bush missed Osama due to DADT
Gay translators discharged before finishing 2005 Bin Laden House segment of "Lifestyles Of Pakistan's Rich & Famous"
Shocking information contained in a newly released document reveals the Bush Administration came tantalizingly close to discovering Osama Bin Laden's Pakistan hideout in 2005.
However, the vital clues to the location of the 50,000 sq. ft. property, site of Sunday's dramatic U.S. raid that killed the mastermind of the September 11 terror attacks, were contained in an Urdu-language TV program, "Lifestyles Of Pakistan's Rich & Famous." It appears the Bush national security team never learned of the information because before the translation could be finished the Pentagon discharged its 23 Urdu translators under the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy against homosexuals serving openly in the armed forces.
The document in question came to light in a Freedom of Information Act request by Lyndley K. Amarcord, 6, of Annapolis, as part of a school project titled "Why Won't The Theocrats Let My Mommies Get Married?"
"This is just one more piece of evidence of how DADT has hurt our national security, and should let people live the way they want to live," Amarcord told reporters through the window of her kindergarten classroom.
However, Adam N. Stievz III, military affairs editor at "Wholly Holy" magazine ("the news magazine for fundamentalist Christians who haven't come out yet"), maintains DADT has never had a significant impact. "No one can reasonably conclude the cost of not finding Bin Laden in 2005 outweighs the benefit of our troops being able to shower in the presence of others, lathering up those superbly conditioned bodies, without having to worry that they are being ogled by a gay," Stievz said.
THIS DOCUMENT IS CLASSIFIED SECRET
Next up on "Lifestyles Of Pakistan's Rich & Famous," we take you north to quiet Abbottabad.
Known as the Rochester of Pakistan for its many colleges and hospitals, there's something here you'd not expect to find: the Osama Bin Laden family compound.
Just look at this palatial hideaway truly fit for a leader of a holy war, god be praised.
The sprawling half-hectare estate was completed earlier this year at a staggering cost -- undisclosed but rumored to be eight times the cost of nearby homes.
It is close to schools, shopping, transit, golf, a Presbyterian church, and the Pakistan Military Academy -- perfect for the man with a growing polygamous family.
This Xanadu will please the man who hates everything. It has luxuries sure to make infidels ache with covetous desire!
A swimming pool.
The grounds feature a high wall topped by barbed wire, barracks, obstacle course, and a carriage house remodeled into a home recording studio. It's time to get your band back together!
Unfortunately there is no phone or internet. But why would you want to look at decadent media when you can look out your window at this commanding view of Mount Miranjani? Certainly not me.
Thank you for watching Lifestyles Of Pakistan's Rich & Famous. I'm Frandle Rashid, wishing you chai tea wishes and biriyani dreams.
Stay tuned for Talibantubbies, next on PTV.
Tea Party Version 0.9 arrives
"Afternoon Tea Party" says it's "going colonial"
Congress and the White House are no doubt quaking in their boots today, following news that the Tea Party movement has spawned the Afternoon Tea Party, a new, more conservative organization. Tea Party organizer Judson Phillips said he bore no ill will to the new group, and gave it his blessing.
The Afternoon Tea Party made its debut Sunday afternoon, with supporters rallying at a park in Westmost, North Carolina. Estimated crowd size was somewhere between several dozen and 3 million, according to Ken In The Morning, a talk host on Westmost radio station The Deuce788.
"The Afternoon Tea Party is like Version 0.9 of the Tea Party, we're going to go even farther backward than Tea Party Version One," declared newly appointed chairwoman Shirley A. Nutt, a longtime Tea Party organizer in Westmost. Nutt addressed the crowd from the back of a replica of Sen. Scott Brown's (R-MA) pickup truck.
"The best time for liberty was when we were colonies, getting ready to declare independence from England. Well, today will be remembered as the day it all began, the day real, native-born Americans decided to recapture the spirit of the early 1770s," said Nutt.
"Today, May 1st, 2011 will forever be remembered for one thing: the day Americans started going colonial, the day the Afternoon Tea Party was born," she said, to sustained applause. A spontaneous chant of "birthers" began in the audience when they realized they were present at the moment of the group's birth.
"Birthers are we, born to be free, just like the fish in the sea," they chanted. People in the crowd had come ready for Nutt's colonial theme, waving Union Jacks.
Later at the Afternoon Tea Party Faire many dressed as British soldiers, Hessian mercenaries, and Stamp Tax collectors. One man dressed in Hessian regalia showed off what he said was an authentic musket from the period; he hoped, he said, one day to use it to shoot Osama Bin Laden.
Possible 2012 Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump was the only well known figure to visit the faire. He was fully into the spirit of the day, dressed as a wealthy merchant and with his iconic hair restyled to resemble a powdered wig. "I'm a classy representative of the British East India Company, which was the biggest company in the world, huge," Trump said.
Nutt has much to do to get the Afternoon Tea Party ready to play a role in the 2012 presidential campaign, not least of which is getting out the group's message to an American public preoccupied with the economy. Although busy setting up a makeshift headquarters in the basement of the First Westmost Bible Christian Sharia-Free Methodist Original Sin Megachurch & Taproom, Nutt paused to speak with reporters about the need for the Afternoon Tea Party.
"We chose North Carolina as our base because it meets the number one qualification of being one of the original 13 colonies," said Nutt, "but also too the First Westmost Bible Christian Sharia-Free Methodist Original Sin Megachurch & Taproom is giving us the first three months rent free. Also too because I live right down the street."
Nutt continued: "We will always admire the original Tea Party, but we believe it is too liberal on many issues, including Medicare, Social Security, and questions surrounding President Obama's academic record."
"Therefore we want to return to the days just prior to the birth of the nation, which pretty much means the east coast seceding from America and rejoining the British Empire. The whole 235 year cycle of America will start over again, which if you think about it is very Battlestar," she said.
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