The author has been sent on the road to discover a lost country formerly known as America. He is reporting from a TSA screening checkpoint, proudly standing naked and asking for that puffing device again, on assignment for Or-Bust.com and The Source Weekly.
So your dad walks into the American embassy and narcs on you, saying you've fallen in with a bunch of n'er do wells and acting kind of extreme - What do you do? If you're Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab (already refused a visa into Britain for inventing a college he was going to attend) you strap on your special underwear with 80 grams of the explosive substance PETN sown into the crotch (you know he was determined, ouch!) then catch a Northwest flight to Detroit. Not to mock TSA screeners but this beloved reporter has a dog named Stu who is a registered service dog ("Important for emotional stability" reads the letter from my shrink) so I see the holes in the system; still the debate rages which database Umar was on - the one with 18,000 or 500,000 names of a-holes who shouldn't be flying, especially Nigerians with Al Qaeda connections in Yemen. Speaking of a-holes, Republican Peter King used a football analogy for the near catastrophic Christmas day bombing attempt of flight 253, saying, "He [Umar] got right to the 1-yard line." As Republicans personally blame Obama for all Muslims trying to bomb us (in addition to the economy, "As the World Turns" being cancelled, and why Miley Cyrus can't pose nude, yet) evidence is emerging that this single event may not be so singular, and a payback of sorts. In addition to waging war throughout the Middle East, we're also targeting "extreme" Yemenis, online scammers in Nigeria, turd farmers in Sudan, and Juan Valdez, the Columbian coffee picker, because his beans aren't offering the white-hot-rush that other Columbian exports offer on New Year's Eve.
Other Religious Acts
Pope Benedict is pissed - more so than when that young lady yanked him to the holy floor during his Midnight (actually 10pm) Mass on Christmas Eve - because the first gay marriage was held in Latin America, a stronghold of Catholic anti-condom campaigns and crucifixion re-enactments, with two men kissing long and lovingly in Argentina. Not to be outdone, Robert Park, an American Christian who told his family he would soon do something totally stupid, snuck into North Korea to spread the Good Word, only to be detained and is now praying for mercy from Our Dear Leader, King Jung Very-Il.
Holiday in Tehran
1,500 or so years ago, the Prophet Muhammad's grandson Husayn ibn Ali was martyred at the Battle of Karbala, with Muhammad fasting in remembrance. Ever since, Ashura has been a day of both hunger and heinous acts of violence. Untold Iranians have been killed and arrested as the government still tries to quell protests for reform, with leading lawmakers demanding "the harshest punishment" to those who disrupted Ashura. Rarely upstaged when it comes to violence, Pakistan saw at least 40 killed in a suicide bombing in Karachi on Ashura; survivors of the explosion then turned on police, attacking them with sticks and stones for not protecting them.
Other Big News
It's snowing in Buffalo; 11 inches in hours, which only makes the residents more angry at their Bills for losing again this week. China executed Akmal Shaikh, the first British citizen executed by China in 53 years, for smuggling nearly eight pounds of heroin; defenders of Akmal say he was "mentally ill" while others say the smack was for personal use and he was bragging about getting higher than Tibet. The decade was a bummer for Wall Street, yet showed some remarkable gains for gold (up 269%) and oil (up 230% - and 12% in the past two weeks) but my collection of Kennedy Pez dispensers is still holding strong.
Stuff We Shouldn't Care About
Congrats to retailers for freaking us all out on "Black Friday" and saying that if we don't buy the new leopard-print Snuggie and Obama Chia Pet our world will totally explode - Sales were "up" (whatever that means) from last year, online shopping jumped 51%, jewelry nearly 30%, tech sales over 5%, but scam gift cards plummeted. It's a good time to buy a car, so the TV keeps telling us. Meantime unemployment remains the only constant in a changing world as Oregon held steady at just over 11 percent unemployment for November.
Terms I Never Want to Hear Again
Jobs Saved, Octomom, Balloon Boy, Glenn Beck, Destination Resort, Government Option, Republican Unity, Dick Cheney, Pelosi Leads, Arab Allies, Author Sarah Palin, Tiger Wins, Celibacy Programs, Green Movement, Hope.
In Closing, An Awesome 911 Transcript
"Does he still have the knife?"
"Yeah he still has the knife... "
"What's your husband's name?"
"It's Charlie Sheen."