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“Spirits of Founding Fathers Declare Assault Weapons Legal for White Land-Owners”   Leave a comment

By Whit Coursen

Washington D.C. The Deceased Patriarchs of our Nation weighed in on the 1994 assault weapons ban Tuesday after the bill was presented to them via Federal Mediums for review. Following the landmark authorization by congress to allow government necropaths to summon the spirits of the Creators of our Nation to offer their wisdom on contemporary political issues, a long list of bills was drawn up for review, with issues regarding the second amendment just below those issues relating to free speech.

The mediums initiated the ritual, chanting in an arcane tongue that was audible seemingly deep within one’s soul. With a crackle of electricity and a puff of ectoplasm, the transparent silhouette of an anonymous statesmen with powdered wig and 18th century dress appeared. The mediums then proceeded to ask on behalf of the present congressmen what the spirit thought of civilian ownership of assault weapons. The wraith was silent for a moment before asking the medium if he was “soft in the head” going on to say that “it (was) a terrible redundancy to say of a weapon that it was meant for assault.” After a lengthy period of clarification in which the clairvoyants informed the astounded wraith that firearms were now not only capable of being fired multiple times before reloading, but multiple times in a dozen seconds, the spiritual incarnation of America’s Forefathers issued a statement regarding the matter.

With congressional scribes eagerly awaiting to take notation, the ghost declared in a booming voice which sent chills down the spines of all present that “these assault weapons should remain legal for all property owners, provided they are sound of mind and white of skin.” Before the apparition could be questioned further by the visibly embarrassed mediums, it vanished back into whence it came in a flash of light.

Following the supernatural representative’s suggestion, various figures in Washington have offered their explanations and comments. A senator present at the spirit’s visit, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that he was shocked and “felt a little awkward hearing a founding father say something like that,” adding “I think we were all expecting him to side one way or the other, you know, civilian ownership or militia ownership. That was a verdict that came out of left field for everyone involved I think.”

Contrary to this, several historians claimed that the partially visible entity’s statement was “pretty much to be expected.” A spokesperson for the Library of Congress noted that “The founders were all white male protestant land owners, and their definition of the governed and the government fell mostly within those lines. I’m not sure what would have happened if the mediums had told the phantom that slavery had been abolished and women could vote.”

Following the séance, the spirit’s declaration has not been instituted as law, though several senators have stated that it’s remarks would be “taken into consideration” before any attempt was made to reinstate the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban. As of press time, the Founding Fathers have not been reached again, though it is unlikely that they will be asked for further commentary on the debate of gun control, as many other issues remain on the list created for their review.

Author Commentary:

My initial concept for this piece was radically different, involving a similar “fake-news story” about congress passing a bill that would ban e-readers, as they were more dangerous than conventional books. I felt that this satire would function on multiple levels, allowing me to equate gun ownership to free speech and highlight how I believed that the Assault-Weapons ban was foolish in it’s presumption that the weapons it outlawed were somehow more dangerous than the weapons it found legitimate. I developed an extensive pre-write for the piece, but the longer I thought about it, the more the idea started to sit with me wrong. I started to see many logical fallacies in the way I was telling my story. I was depicting a slippery slope that seemed irrational and overly paranoid, and it cast my perspective (though I believed in it) in a rather negative light. Whether or not this was as big a deal as I made it out to be is open for debate, but I chose to create a new piece, after having been inspired by discussions in class and reminded of a “Weekend Update with Seth Meyers” joke, in which he proposed that the founding fathers, were they to arrive today and asked about the second amendment would instead focus on all the strange and fantastic things they saw in this new world, such as planes, cars and freed slaves. I felt as if I was taking his joke, but I took it in another direction. I wanted to criticize both sides in this piece by parodying the use of the founding fathers in a debate where their advice would have little bearing on the modern state of firearms. Furthermore, I used the spiritual summoning as both as source of jokes and a way to say “it’s not as if we can ask them. We need to interpret things for ourselves.” I found a way to add in my own pro-gun leanings through my redundancy comment, though that was the extent of my attacks against my opponents.

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Posted December 2, 2011 by whitcoursen in Uncategorized

For America, on Net Neutrality   Leave a comment

Hey! America! Over here! I SAID HEY!

Look, I’m an American. I’m a conservative. I believe that the government that governs best is that which governs least. So you can imagine my outrage when I found out we still had a government. Not only that, but that this government, made up of a random assortment of people from God knows where, was trying to lay its dirty government hands on a key element of daily life in this country: the Internets. With a bill called Network Neutrality, the fat cats up in Washington are trying, once again, to instill regulations on us. Worst of all? They’re not the Republican fat cats. It’s the liberals seeking policy implementation once again. The bill is aimed at preventing Internet Service Providers (ISPs) from filtering websites accessed on the base of content that it doesn’t agree with. Not only that, but also keeps ISPs from charging more to users who make use of data-heavy websites like Netflix or Hulu. These regulations are as detrimental to the American people as feces are to a front yard; they will only do us a disservice and further government control over our private lives. In other words, the left wants to come in and keep things “fair”.

Well, much like an actual fair, the bill’s introduction was met with screaming by the fine, upstanding members of the conservative media. Listening to Rush the other day, I managed to hear a great point: this is just part of the huge Democrat government takeover. The liberals are simply taking the nation under their control when we let our guard down. Like I just said, these people from God knows where are coming in and infiltrating government by changing the way things are run in this country. Things have been running perfectly for the past 250 years, why do we need to change anything?! With Net Neutrality, these people are making up a problem that doesn’t exist. I get on the Interwebs every day, and not once have I been prevented from going to my most frequented sites: Yahoo, Facebook, Pornhub. Which reminds me, I gotta erase my browser history before the kids come home. I can’t afford them getting Facebook accounts so young. My sites are there, so what are the libs complaining about? You know what? I know. Knowing them, they’re probably crafting a super liberal website full of superliberal propaganda that Net Neutrality regulations will protect from the just control of ISPs. It only makes sense. It’s a big conspiracy. Rush knows. He mentioned in his show that the White House is in bed with Google. And worst of all? They’re not married. I guess Obama must have been browsing the Internets looking for advice on how to be a good president and pressed the “I’m Feeling Lucky” button on Google’s home page one too many times. You’ve been caught sir, and if I was you I would abort the bastard lovechild that is Network Neutrality, you sick man!

We’ve got to be vigilant, America. The down side to having our glorious freedom of expression is that not everyone is right like we are. We’ve got to uphold our self-evident American values and constantly fight against that which we don’t agree with. It’s the American way. The left wants freedom and that sounds nice, until you figure out that their freedom is not freedom in the right way. What is the right way? Well, for starters, freedom that is not tarnished by government intervention. I can’t think of one instance where a decision to enforce freedom through government action has been a benefit to the community. Plus, is no one thinking of the corporations here? The poor, huge ISPs, the likes of Verizon and Time Warner Cable, can’t handle all that data usage! They’ll have to expand their networks and upgrade their services, and that costs money. Do you think those yachts pay for themselves, libs? Because they kinda do. It’s an added feature. Let’s be kind and save ISPs the trouble, save ourselves some embarrassment, and spend more for using more data while we let the private providers regulate what we can and can’t see. Free market! What could possibly go wrong?! Let’s ignore the liberals once again, because if we do nothing about Net Neutrality then it’s only logical that nothing will happen.

Posted December 2, 2011 by Jorge Corona in Uncategorized

McDonald’s as a Human– by Blake Matthys   Leave a comment

With the elections of 2012 approaching even closer super PACs have increased their roles in the election process by campaigning for candidates with commercials and other progandist methods.  Yet, what runs a super PAC?  I mean besides the people running PACs, who is actually running the PAC show?  The answer is corporations.  We all know corporations make all the dough in this country, just ask liberals.  All corporations want to do is use the money they make towards democracy and freedom.  That’s why corporations made PACs and petitioned the Supreme Court so they could participate in democracy.  And the Supreme Court answered with freedom by allowing corporations to form PACs and give limitless amounts of money to political candidates. Allyn K. Milojevich agrees with the court saying that PACs are just “groups excising their First Amendment right for free speech” (Milojevich).  Opponents of corporations claim that if corporations can have free speech they can also have a fair and speedy trial.  Unfortunately some people are arguing that having the right to free speech is not an exclusive right.  These same people argue that if a corporation were to be held to human standards, it would be tried for crimes against customers like murder or manslaughter.

This is ridiculous, the only rights corporations have are the rights to free speech, making money, and loving America.  But we need to analyze this claim of PAC opponents.  So I have decided to transform McDonalds into a human being up for trial.  I mean McDonalds is the golden arch, I mean golden boy of all corporations.  There is no way McDonalds would ever be convicted of any wrongdoing against humanity.  Most people want to charge McDonalds with manslaughter.  This is acceptable because eating a Big Mac might as well be manslaughter for most of the country.  The settings for these charges are the cities of Houston and Austin Texas.  McDonalds’ manslaughter trademark is a death caused by cardiac arrest. The Sudden Cardiac Arrest foundation reports that during the year of 2009 there were respectively 180 and 59 reported cardiac arrests in these two cities.  Now to be fair, I am going to say that McDonalds only caused 25 percent of these deaths.  I mean McDonalds is competing with Whataburger, Carl Jr’s, Wendy’s, Taco Bell and local restaurants to kill these people.  Also, McDonalds is not competing with Burger King; because no one eats Burger King.  Yet back to the trial, in 2009 McDonalds killed 45 people in Houston and 15 people in Austin.  McDonalds is charged with 60 counts of manslaughter in central Texas.  This translates to prison sentences between 2 to 20 years per manslaughter charge.  Also, McDonalds could be fined for up to 10,000 dollars for each manslaughter account.  So leads the verdict of half of the maximum sentence, or to be more specific, 9 years of prison time and $ 5,000 for each count of manslaughter.  So for the year of 2009 in the cities of Austin and Houston Texas McDonalds would be serving 540 years (if the sentences are concurring) in prison and would have to pay 300,000 dollars.  These totals are only for two cities in Texas when McDonalds website boasts the fact that it can serve 47 million people a day.  But to only have a kill rate that is less than one percent McDonalds is doing a great job.  Also, with the profits that McDonalds can garner from serving 47 million people in a day, it can afford to foot the bill and the prison time.  So there should not be any worries that McDonalds would be able to weather these prison charges.  But is being human worth it when McDonalds could escape all these charges by just being a corporation without rights?

I decided to approach my satire with a Stephen Colbert train of thought.  In other words, I wanted to parody conservative thinking but expand this type of thinking into a sense of lunacy that even conservatives would have trouble agreeing with.  Thus my approach about McDonalds having a right to free speech but free speech exclusively; I find it hard for people to argue that a person does not one right exclusively in this country.  But overall I wanted to critique the belief that corporations are given rights just as people are.  If corporations can participate so thoroughly in democracy as people, they must be held to all other conditions of being people.  I have not found a lot of people taking this issue as thoroughly as I did, most people are arguing campaign finance when it comes to PACs.  But I find it hard to accept Walmart as a person because of the absolute disrespect it gives to the elderly.  Instead of PACs being just about campaign finance we need to analyze the fact that corporations are beginning to be accepted as people and the future that this holds for our country.

Posted December 2, 2011 by blakematthys in Uncategorized

Souls for School!   Leave a comment

President Obama’s executive order on student loans is a terrible response to helping students pay for college in such disastrous economic conditions.

Firstly, as the president of the most powerful nation in the world, does he even have the authority to change the terms of loan arrangements enacted into law by Congress? How can a person who can’t even follow the rules be trusted to help students graduate? The answer is simple, irrationally taking steps to help make it easier for students to get and pay their loans.

These ‘steps’ in no way help the economy or the prime social concern of unemployment. How can one expect helping students graduate through easier ways of paying college be ever responsible enough to find employment? Moreover, it is also gross injustice to those who faced a lot more hardships in obtaining and paying back their loans. Providing more help for the next generation to get an education is an insult to those in the earlier generations who have who overcame impossible obstacles to graduate.

This is also an attack towards the proud American culture of capitalism. The basis of this culture, which involves laws and contracts, is specifically undermined by the government’s action of getting involved in private affairs. This has become clear through the government providing incentives for students to end their private student loans in favor of borrowing from it. The government cannot be getting involved in such matters of making student loans more accessible and payable when it hurts the private lenders. The only logical action now is for the government not getting involved in the matters of student finance as a means of protecting capitalism!

A solution to the situation is to find ways to help alleviate the problem as the government gets out of the student loan business. Dr. Mara the author of “Government should not involve itself in such torrid economic climates”, highlights one genius and rational way (unlike Obama) of helping students pay and letting the economy fix it self without the help of the government which does more harm. The proposed solution that many colleges have already started practicing is to sell their souls for school. The genius behind this is that no matter whom the person is, their soul adequate enough for an education which helps save a great amount of money! I would certainly say that giving up your soul is an extremely small price to pay for an education; at the same time saving not only the economy but also the fundamental ideal that America relies on, capitalism.

Ashok Galla

Posted December 2, 2011 by ashokgalla in Uncategorized

College, a Step-down From High School?   Leave a comment

18-year-old Katie Andrews just finished her first month of her freshman year at The University of Texas at Austin. After    learning nearly nothing at her high school in San Antonio, Texas, she said that she was ecstatic to start this new era in her life. Although her older sister had warned her about the challenging workload and busy lifestyle, she knew that the years of university-level learning are known to be part of the most important and self-defining time period that a person lives through. Because of this, Katie began college with very high-expectations, which were almost immediately met and exceeded.

Thus far, she gives the following account of her experience at school, “We started class in August, and it has been a really great first month of college. It has been a relief having absolutely no homework to do. I had to read for class every so often in high school, but it sure is nice to have virtually no outside-of-class work here at UT Austin. I am grateful that I have time to do more important things than study while I’m not in class, like watch Jersey Shore.”

In high school, Katie proved to be slightly above average among her classmates. She was admitted to the university without question, as she was the last person on the school’s “Top Ten Percent List”. Her high school GPA was about a 3.6 with the substantial AP curve that the school applied. She was worried that maintaining this high GPA would be difficult at the college level, but she has once again been proven wrong. “One of the best things about college is that fact that I can pull off getting perfect scores on all of my exams and homework without studying or consistently going to class. It’s a little early to tell, but as of now, my GPA is looking like it will be a 4.0 at the end of the semester,” Katie remarked.

The time that Katie has not been devoting to textbooks and homework out-of-class, she has been spending on weeknights downtown at Sixth Street or at the university’s local frat houses. The one, and maybe only, thing that Katie has become knowledgeable about at the university, is how to party. “I’m really glad that I was introduced to the part scene so quickly here at UT. I feel like everyone is part of it, and I was genuinely worried that I wasn’t going to find it with such ease. I did not want to become the girl who gets left behind and has nothing to do on weekends and weeknights but study.”

When asked about the professors at the university, Katy gave nothing but positive feedback. “They are wonderful, they have taught me so much about UT football. I love that we do not actually discuss anything about the real subject listed in the class title “

I approached my satire by creating a fake background news article. I addressed the fact that college institutions are being blamed for students not learning what they should be, without considering other factors. I believe that students are learning more from college institutions than what Herbert’s article implies.

Posted December 1, 2011 by hannahvoss in Uncategorized

Satirical Essay   Leave a comment

Case of Retardation from HPV Vaccine Found; Professors Pay Up

            A woman from Waterloo, Iowa has stepped forward as a parent whose child has suffered adverse side effects from the HPV vaccine. Jean Amble, a mother to nine children and step-children, has confessed that her eldest daughter has suffered from mental retardation following an HPV vaccination. This claim makes Amble and her family eligible to more than $10000 which two bioethics professors had put up as a reward for such a case.

“We didn’t believe it,” says Professor Art Caplan, “when the rumors first started circulating.” Caplan is currently the director of the University of Pennsylvania Center of Bioethics. “It just seemed improbable to us for such a well-tested and documented drug to cause such profound side effects,” as he shakes his head in disappointment, “boy, were we wrong.”

“This is truly a tragedy, and the scientists and doctors behind the vaccine are surely to blame,” says bioethics professor Steven Miles. “This small sum of money is not nearly enough to compensate for the hardships which Jean Amble and her daughter have gone through.”

“It’s the least we could do,” Caplan adds.

The severity of Amble’s daughter’s condition has not yet been formally documented. Amble admits that she actually did not tell her daughter about her disability while she was growing up. “She didn’t even know about her condition until just recently when I confessed it to her while we were visiting Florida”. However, “she never let her disability get in her way,” Amble beams about her daughter; “she has a successful career now and is married to a clinical therapist who has a Ph.D.” Amble’s daughter has high aspirations: “she wants to be president someday.”

Amble plans to use the reward money to help fund campaigns against government-mandated vaccinations. “Parents need to be aware of the risks they may be taking with these vaccinations,” Amble says, “the government has no right to meddle in a family’s private affairs.” Amble hopes that by raising awareness of the dangers of vaccination, future cases similar to her daughter’s can be avoided. “Nobody should ever have to go through what my daughter and I suffered.” However, despite the tragedy, Amble manages to see the positives.

“At least,” she somberly added, “my dear Michele won’t ever have to worry too much about cervical cancer.”

Summary Paragraph

            In this satire, I poke fun at Michele Bachmann’s anecdote of the woman who came up to her after the Republican Presidential Debates in Tampa, Florida. According to Bachmann, this woman had her daughter vaccinated with the HPV vaccine, only to have the child suffer “mental retardation as a result of that vaccine”. Earlier, during the debate, Bachmann had criticized Rick Perry’s attempt as governor to mandate the vaccine among all girls in Texas. Although HPV is directly linked to cervical cancer, Perry had attempted to circumvent the legislative process, and critics allege that the mandate would infringe on parent’s rights; Bachmann, it seems, is the only critic of Perry’s action who has found fault in the vaccine itself, accusing it of causing “mental retardation”. Despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary and the lack of supporting evidence (namely, the woman whose child has allegedly suffered serious side effects) on her end, Bachmann repeats this story at every opportunity. The two professors whom I fake-quoted actually offered the $11,000 reward ($1,000 from Miles, $10,000 from Caplan) should such a mother and child be found; however in reality this reward is still unclaimed.

The article’s humor is based on three ridiculous premises: first, that the HPV vaccine actually causes mental retardation, second, that Bachmann’s story of the woman in Tampa is true, and third, that Bachmann herself is a victim of the side effects. The joke here is that I have plugged in Bachmann’s mother, Jean Amble, into the place of the woman from Tampa; the implication following that Bachmann herself is the child who suffered “mental retardation”.

Riki Tsuji

Posted December 1, 2011 by helloeverything in Uncategorized

Texas A&M Train Wreck   Leave a comment

TUSCALOOSA, AL – Late last night a devastating train derailment took place just outside of Tuscaloosa.  Many area residents awoke in a panic upon hearing the crash and ensuing explosion but calmed down once they saw the Texas A&M logo on the side of one of the train cars.

“At first when I saw the wrecked train I thought maybe it was one of those trains that comes through here with produce from Florida; or worse, livestock from the county fair last weekend.”  Said Ashley Turner, a resident who was one of the first on the scene after the crash. “Once I saw that the train was just full of athletes from Texas A&M, and that it wasn’t that big a deal, I was able to relax more.  What were they doing in the southeast anyway? They surely don’t belong here.”

The student athletes were on a trip organized by the president of the University, R. Bowen Loftin, visiting major cities in the American southeast such as Gainesville, Baton Rouge, and Tuscaloosa.  Nobody reportedly knew about this trip except for those from Texas A&M, as they kind of surprised everyone with it.

“I was shocked to see the Texas A&M train when it passed through here last week.” Said Michael Robbins, a city official in Baton Rouge, “I won’t lie, I kind of saw this train wreck coming, those Texas A&M trains aren’t meant to handle the higher quality tracks here in the southeast.  It was inevitable.”

The death toll at this time is approximately 150 student athletes, including the entire football team, with around 30 more injured.  The injured have been transported to a hospital close by in Tuscaloosa, and hope to recover soon.

Here’s what R. Bowen Loftin had to say on the matter

“It is a very sad sad thing what happened today, and I can’t help but thinking it’s all my fault.  I thought our athletes would be ok on this trip, but it turns out I was horribly mistaken.  We thought it would be fun to bring our athletes around the southeastern United States for a while because they were getting pretty bored in Texas, I just didn’t know that our train wouldn’t be strong enough to hold up in Tuscaloosa.  Now that we’ve crashed, and we may be stuck here for a while, I’m worried a train from a different school like Auburn or Florida will run us over.”

When asked to give a parting statement to the media about this disaster, Loftin only had one thing to say.

“I brought our athletes to this part of the country because I thought they would enjoy it, and it seemed like they needed a change of pace, but it turned out to just be a big train wreck and now our program is in shambles.

Anthony Rizzolo

Posted November 28, 2011 by rizzwapow in Uncategorized