Thursday, February 5, 2009

Hillary Clinton Detained in France During Official Secretary of State Travel

French police today detained Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during an official overseas visit. Appointed by President Obama not more than a week ago. Clinton was in the nation just days after trips to England and Germany on a brief honeymoon tour of Europe to kick off the Obama administration’s relationship with our trans-Atlantic allies. Police handcuffed and escorted Clinton away as she approached a podium flanked by French and American flags.

Police chief, Louis Monroque, held a short news conference after Clintons detention.

“Who do you Americans think we are,” said Monroque, “sending this obstinate, headstrong woman to charade as the Secretary of State to mock our proud nation. We will gladly accept your real Secretary with open arms but do not speak down to us by sending a known fool to clown around and insult us on our own soil.”

Journalists from the Associated Press attempted to explain to Monroque that Hillary Clinton had indeed been appointed the Secretary of State by President Obama and that she was in town to hold serious talks about the situation in Gaza. But Monroque was unmoved and only said that any talks involving that lady and Gaza could in no possible way be construed as serious.

“I read the American papers,” Monroque continued. “I can tell the difference between serious news and tabloid jokes. I saw her picture in that paper right next to one of your fat pop-stars. Don’t stand there and ridicule me! Don’t pretend that you Americans won’t take any chance you get to poke fun at our people and our culture. This may have been one of your better pranks but I will have none of it.”

Video crews captured Clinton’s reaction to being put in handcuffs. In the video Secretary Clinton can be seen shouting, “Let go! I am the Secretary of State! I was supposed to be President but now I am the Secretary of State! That one guy from Chicago said I could be! Let go! My husband cheated on me! I still have campaign debt! Help! Let go!”

Mrs. Clinton’s entourage seemed at a loss about how to handle the situation. Craig Masterson, head of the Secretary’s security detail, spoke with us shortly after the incident occurred. “Well, we all just kind of stood there. I mean, we think that she really is the Secretary, but I don’t know. Maybe this just was a big prank; that seems to make plausible sense too. We’ll have to await word from the higher-ups on how to proceed.”

When Obama’s Press Secretary, Robert Gibbs, was asked about the incident he replied, “Oh, that. Well, the first few weeks of this presidency were always going to be rough. Despite the Secretary of State position the President is confident he is capable of building a strong team to lead this nation into the future. We are working on extraditing Mrs. Clinton back to the States but we have some other stuff to see to as well.”

Former President Bill Clinton was unavailable for comment. He did not make the overseas trip with his wife but instead traveled to Atlantic City after seeing the Secretary off at the airport in D.C. Secretary Clinton is scheduled for an extended trip to Mongolia in March.

Op-Ed: About Bees

by Ravnhild

I have come to the firm conclusion that few, if any, things are as humiliatingly emasculating as a simple bee. A recent confrontation near San Diego left me with serious and unnerving doubts about everything I thought I knew about myself. Think back, gentlemen, to your most recent encounter as I unfold for you this depressing horror.

My wife and I stood in a relatively enclosed space waiting to board a monorail at the Wild Animal Park north of San Diego. Occupants of this enclosure included several trash receptacles with their attending bees. So from the start I am surrounded by bees with nowhere to run. My wife and I delicately attempt a conversation but our darting eyes leave us with little to say. Now comes the point where a bee actually approaches me. This is when dignity and masculinity quickly break down. I shall attempt a rough analysis of the sequence of events as they follow. Keep in mind I have nowhere to move or run out to.

The bee buzzes just in front of me moving from side to side as they do. The first step in the breakdown is to look menacingly down my nose at the bee as I keep my feet planted but lean backwards. The bee is hardly menaced and begins to move closer towards my stomach. At this point I attempt a feeble swat in the bee’s direction. The swat is feeble for two reasons: first of all, the bee is too close to me so the actual motion of the swat is quick and close to my body which looks extremely feminine and, secondly, I have no real intention of actually hitting the bee. Un-intimidated, the bee begins his ascent from my stomach to my chin and I give another feeble swat, this time in the direction of my face. This motion is much akin to the one a woman makes when brushing her long and beautiful hair away from her face. My hair is tucked safely under my hat. When this futile swat fails I resort to blowing at the bee. First I blow in the bee’s direction and then I lean back and blow even harder in the bee’s direction. This seemingly well-planned combination of maneuvers has yet to have any real effect on the bee that keeps buzzing around my chin. I now have two options: I can run away from the bee, pushing strangers down in the attempt or I can flail my arms wildly while squinting my eyes in a final attempt to scare off the bee. I choose the latter. At this point I have almost no consciousness of my masculinity and I begin flailing. During this episode I actually connect with the bee. Since I have touched a bee my mind transmits the signal to my body that I have been stung because of the unfailing logic found in the fact that I have touched a bee and bees sting. I then recoil that hand and fold it across my chest while the other hand continues to flail. Then I chance to open my eyes to see if the bee has gone or if he continues to stare me down. If the bee is still there then I have no choice but to run. To my joy, the bee has gone.

I did not scream during this episode and that is the only reason I can continue to believe that I still have some vestiges of manhood. Several days must pass before I can actually look my wife in the eye. We boarded the monorail to see the animals in the park but I admit I was too emotionally distraught to enjoy them. It is hard for me fathom any other situation whereby a man could be more emasculated. I understand that some terrible joke could befall a man, like being de-pantsed or something, but in this situation another acted upon the poor man. In the bee instance, I did these things of my own free will and choice. I have tried to reassure myself; I have tried to say, “Next time things will be different!” I think in my heart I am simply happy that winter is here.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

After Loan Default, IMF forecloses on Kenya

You and your neighbor are not the only ones feeling the brunt of the economic crisis. This morning the International Monetary Fund announced that the entire country of Kenya would be repossessed due to the country’s failure to make good on years worth of unpaid IMF loans. Rampant speculation has filled the halls of the IMF for weeks and though feelings were mixed about the foreclosure, the general mood was jubilant.

“Kenya presents a lot of work for us at the moment but I think we will all make out like bandits,” said IMF director, Igor Kimivic. “I have big plans for a Kenyan giraffe in my billiards room.”

Defaulting on the loan means Kenyans must stand aside as IMF officials reclaim any valuable assets from the country that will help the IMF reclaim money lost on the deal. The country is dirt poor but the IMF is sure it can recuperate its loses and then some if they make a thorough search of the country. In addition to taking over banks and other small Kenyan financial institutions, the IMF will confiscate wildlife, crops, and even several mountains.

“I own a lot of land in Belarus,” says Hollam Abernathy. “I think Mt. Kenya would be a valuable addition to the landscape there. If I ever plan to sell the land around the mountain I am sure my profits would be pretty substantial. It really is an investment for the future.”

Other African governments are confused about the terms of the loan offered to Kenya and starting to fear that perhaps their countries could be next. Tanzania, in particular, has received a loan from the IMF to build its infrastructure in order to appeal to its growing tourism industry. Lying just south of Kenya, the situation seems dire, but Kimivic says they do not have plans or the legal base to foreclose on Tanzania.

“Well, Tanzania has only taken out just the one loan and it was an FHA approved loan,” says Kimivic. “Those are pretty secure and you have to jump through some more hoops to get one. But we offer a variety of loans and sooner or later Tanzania will need one of those too.”

The history of loan repayments to the IMF is a brief one. It never happens. The spirit of liberal goodwill and pressure from myriad other international organizations are always able to secure debt relief through other sources. With a new line of loans, miles of fine print, and more enforceable loan terms the IMF has positioned itself for an unstable future.

“We hope to be around for a long time,” says Abernathy. “If that means we foreclose on and take over most of the world then so be it.”