Friday, May 15, 2009

Scouts Train to Fight Terrorists, and More

Obviously this headline is satirical. Right? Truth is, it’s from a recebt New York Times article. The headline leads into an article that examines the Boy Scout-affiliated Explorer Program, which is “…training thousands of young people in skills used to confront terrorism, illegal immigration and escalating border violence.”

Boy Scouts fighting terrorists. Who ever thought we’d come to this? Well, I did. About three years ago I wrote a bit of satire for my blog That’s Going to Far! which ridiculed this disquieting possibility. Now it has come to pass.

The great Washington Post columnist Art Buchwald once said, “You can’t make up anything anymore. The world itself is a satire. All you’re doing is recording it.”

Northern exposure: Bush to call up the Scouts

WASHINGTON D.C. — Just days after announcing his intention to station National Guard troops along the U.S. border with Mexico, President Bush made an unexpected statement today concerning the Canadian border.

“It is true that our most immediate national security need is to secure our southern border. However, we cannot ignore the risks posed by a three thousand mile-long, largely unsecured border to our north. While our attention is diverted to the southern states, thousands of Al-Qaeda terrorists could be quietly slipping into America disguised in moose or squirrel costumes, forming sleeper cells in unsuspecting towns like International Falls or Fargo. The threat is real, and must be met.”

Today, I am calling up our brave young Americans in Boy Scout, Girl Scout and Cub Scout troops all along the northern tier of states, from Washington to Maine. Scout units will be stationed along the Canadian border at designated intervals for four-week rotations. The Scouts will be issued BB guns, slingshots and Swiss Army Knives with which they will secure our borders and allow Americans to sleep easy in their beds.”

Some of you may ask, ‘Is sending a nine-year old child out into the Northern woods with little more than Ritalin, a dull knife and a backpack full of Snickers bars a good idea?’” I say, give our children more credit. Sure they’ll miss their TVs and their mommies, but they know what it means to wear a uniform and that sacrifices are necessary in the war on terror. “

The first Scout units will be in position shortly after the end of school in June. Scout Masters will receive field promotions to full colonel and receive all respective benefits. All scouts will be given photocopies of known Al-Qaeda operatives, and they will be issued shoot-to-kill or really-really-hurt-bad orders.”

My fellow Americans, I know what it means to serve one’s country in uniform and the sacrifices that are required. I spent countless days away from home and family in strange nightclubs and at parties where I didn’t know a soul. It’s true. But America’s young people today understand that freedom isn’t free, and that everyone must do their part in the war on terror. All I can say is God bless them, and God bless you.”

Friday, May 08, 2009

Norm Coleman and the tragedy of hubris

The year was 1996, the early morning hours of a soul-deadening, frigid winter’s night. Mayor of St. Paul Norm Coleman, wearing his favorite smoking jacket and fez, sat brooding in an overstuffed chair near a dying fire, staring into a glass of bitterness. His one-time friends in the DFL had turned against him. Criticized him. Booed him at events.

Fools. Didn’t they know he had a destiny to fulfill? Couldn’t they visualize him delivering a speech on the floor of the Senate so powerful it would disrupt the time-space continuum? Didn’t they know that one day he would command generals and ambassadors and quivering foreign leaders to carry out his visionary policies as he paced to and fro in the Oval Office? “Apparently not,” he said aloud, startling a cat sleeping at his feet.

As he stirred the embers in his Meerschaum, a shadow emerged from the darkness sending icy chills down the mayor’s back. The cloaked figure spoke.

“Norm. I think you know why I am here,” it rattled.

“I know of no one who would present himself to me uninvited in the darkest hours of the morning, except….” Coleman shuddered.

“Yes. You do understand. Although I wouldn’t say I was ‘uninvited.’ You want to fulfill your destiny, and I want to help you do that by striking a bargain with you.”

“A bargain? What sort of bargain, Sir?”

“I can help you realize your dreams of political power…for a price.”

“And you are a fiend,” said Coleman, turning away from the specter in fear.

“Success. Power. All can be yours. The political winds are blowing strongly to the right, My Friend, and you must change allegiances to capitalize on this event. Switch parties, Norm. Give your soul to me, and you will achieve that which you so desire.”

“My soul? Now?”

“Not now. You have work to do. But there will come a day when we will consummate this bargain, and I will collect what you promise me.”

“When? When would that day be?”

“When the winds change again, Norm. If they ever do.”

Coleman stood and contemplated this vexing proposal. “The Democrats have rejected me, and they are weak and in disarray. Americans have always been conservative at heart, and I do not think that will change any time soon. Certainly not in my lifetime.”

“Then we have a deal?” hissed the shadow.

“We have a deal,” agreed Coleman. “I willingly put my future in the hands of the Republican Party. This cannot go wrong. But who, pray tell, are you?”

“I am known by many names, but you can call me, ‘Mr. Cheney.’ Until we meet again.” And with that, the phantom vanished back into the darkness beyond the last remnants of firelight.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Michelle Bachmann: Call of the Loon

The loon is our state bird. Don’t laugh. Nothing can moisten the eye of a Minnesotan quicker than hearing the eerie, tremulous call of a loon from the middle of a mist-covered lake.

We love loons so much we sent one to Congress. Yep. One of the bluer states in America elected a notorious right-wing evangelical ideologue to represent it in Washington D.C. Twice. Actually, calling sixth district Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann “right-wing” is kind of like calling Minnesota winters “brisk.” Bachmann is truly in a category all by herself.

During her tenure representing ‘the fighting sixth,” Bachmann has eagerly shared her bizarre spin on the issues during numerous television and radio appearances and with her colleagues in Congress. This woman is not afraid to speak her mind, and for that reason, Bachmann has carved out a noteworthy niche among her fellow representatives: Looniest gal in the room.

You may remember Bachmann’s YouTube splash after Bush’s 2007 State of the Union address when she put a death grip on the president’s shoulder and wouldn’t let go. The over-heated Bachmann was a millisecond away from being escorted out of the event by men who talk into the sleeves of their trenchcoats. Then, when Bush came to Minneapolis after a major bridge collapse, Bachmann claimed the president attempted to assuage her distress by examining her tonsils with his tongue (she euphemistically said “kiss”) during an inspection of the wreckage.

“Oh, John,” you non-Minnesotans argue, “Bachmann can’t be any worse than (fill in your congressperson).” Well, yes she can. But please don’t let me prattle on. Bachmann has no qualms about speaking for herself.

“I find it interesting that it was back in the 1970s that the swine flu broke out then under Democrat President Jimmy Carter. And I'm not blaming this on President Obama, I just think it is an interesting coincidence.”

“I wish the American media would take a great look at the views of the people in Congress and find out if they are pro-America or anti-America."

“I want people in Minnesota armed and dangerous on this issue of the energy tax because we need to fight back.”

"The big thing we are working on now is the global warming hoax. It’s all voodoo, nonsense, hokum, a hoax."

“We’re running out of rich people in this country."

We do love loons in Minnesota. Wait, I hear one calling now. Or is that another Bachmann press conference?