Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Tales from the (Far) Right

Good evening and welcome to the nightly news for Friday June 13th, 2043!

  In New Jersey, the trial of star linebacker Lewis Ray of the Baltimore Ravens concluded with a guilty verdict and a life sentence when he was found in violation of the Firearm Gesture Act of 2042. As you may recall, Ray set a new sack record in last December’s game against the New York Jets and celebrated with his signature ‘AK-47’ dance in which he pretends to machine gun the opposing quarterback. The 36 year old all-pro didn’t know that he had run afoul of the new state law that prohibited any and all gestures that could be seen as promoting gun violence. The recommended sentence for a first offense is 3 years, but during the trial, the prosecution dropped the shocking revelation that 30 years ago Ray was suspended from a Maryland school for making a gun gesture when he was just six years old and attending kindergarten. This caused the court to find Ray as a habitual offender and allowed the imposition of a life sentence. It got even worse for Ray when his wife was arrested under the related Firearm Violence Glorification Prohibition Act when she told CNN that she ‘felt as if she’d been shot’ when the sentence was read.

  In Oak Brook, Illinois the Golden Arches have turned to ash as the McDonald’s corporate headquarters and all their restaurants closed their doors for the last time as their bankruptcy has become complete. McDonalds had been on the upswing since their 2033 gamble of switching to an all-vegan menu led to its return to fast food dominance after the 2035 flesh-eating virus contamination of the global meat supply. They initially paid little attention to a lawsuit filed on behalf of the inmates of Cook County Jail that claimed their lives of crime and subsequent incarcerations were caused in large part by the psychological and cultural shock of having their preferred Big Macs, Quarter Pounders, and McRib sandwiches rendered unavailable. The legal precedent for the court action was the successful billion dollar lawsuit by five Idaho inmates against beer and wine companies in 2013.

  The lawsuit was stalled in court until 2041 when the State of California joined the lawsuit in order to solve their most recent budget crisis. California successfully had the venue changed to Los Angeles and quickly won a court judgment of 2.85 trillion euros. McDonalds appealed to the Supreme Court on the grounds that the judge in California only ruled against the company because she hadn’t been paid in eight months (part of the ruling specified the court costs were to be paid immediately). When the Supreme Court refused to hear the appeal, McDonalds tried to settle out of court by reinstating their meat menu and offering free Big Macs to the Cook County Jail and State of California for one year but offer was refused. After paying out the settlement and going out of business, McDonalds laid off their three million employees, who are expected to file for unemployment benefits this week. Normally this would boost the unemployment rate 3 percent, but the federal government has announced that the McDonalds layoff would qualify as a ‘seasonal adjustment’. ‘Fed’ watchers are now predicting a record low unemployment this month even if benefits are claimed by all the ex-MickeyD employees since they will be permanently classified as not looking for employment.

  In foreign affairs, the United Nations imposed new sanctions on North Korea in light of the rogue nation’s stunning launch of a nuclear missile at Seattle last December. The launch came just hours after North Korea signed an agreement with the Western powers committing North Korea to dismantling their nuclear weapons program in return for 421 trillion euros in foreign aid from the West. Even though the warhead attached to the missile miraculously failed to detonate, the resultant crash of the missile into a populated office building has left the death toll at 256 with hundreds of non-fatal injuries. The North Korean government claimed the launch was a justified retaliation for the release of the 30th Anniversary digital down load of the 2012 movie Red Dawn, which showed the North Koreans invading the United States. When pressed for comment, a National Security Council spokesperson said “the United States is committed to the security of its allies that neighbor North Korea and will work with the international community to send the country the message that its actions have consequences”. When confronted with the news that the spokesperson’s speech was the exact same speech first given in 2012 and repeated verbatim in 2018, 2023, 2027, 2030, 2033, 2038, and 2041, the head of the National Security Council said in a statement that the spokesperson had been relieved of his duty and that the ‘protection of United States soil was a top priority of the National Security Council’.

  On the lighter side of the news, a missing post from the gone but not forgotten Broken Pawn blog was found in a flash drive under a coffee maker during the demolition phase of a new expansion project at the Salvation Army Building in Marshalltown Iowa. The Broken Pawn blog discussed chess, politics, and sports in an irreverent manner in the early part of the century and at its peak in the early 20's had a cult following of dozens. Some of the original word documents signed by the author that were used for the blog have fetched a pretty price on the collectors market. This reporter has learned that the missing post contained the author’s prediction of the National Football League’s divisional playoff round of 2013 and has received permission to reprint an excerpt.

  I started my playoff gambling exercise in fine fashion on Saturday, winning both games and getting $400 ahead. Unfortunately, on Sunday the Colts failed to make a dent in the Ravens defense witht heir offensve coordinator in the hospital instead of the sidelines and the Redskins squandered a 14 point lead when quarterback RGIII hurt his knee and lost to the Seahawks. This leaves me a mere $100 ahead heading into the Divisional Round. As I did last week, I’ll be betting the money line using the odds at from the Yahoo odds page. And as I also mentioned last week, this is all for fun and there is no real gambling taking place.

Ravens (+340) at Broncos (-410)
Every playoff team that wins at home tends to look like world beaters, but if they have to go on the road the next week their newfound confidence vanishes. The Ravens emotional lift from Ray Lwis’s final chicken dance in Baltimore will be old news and they will be picked apart by Peyton Manning and the Broncos. I’ll bet $410 on the Broncos to win at home and I’ll win $100 if I’m right.

Packers (+145) at 49ers (-165)
The Packers were hailed as some sort of super team after beating the Vikings last weekend in Green Bay, but I saw a team that scored only 24 points against a defense that was exhausted because their offense was run by a backup quarterback that couldn’t give them any break from defending. I’ll pick the 49ers to take care of business in San Francisco wagering $165 to win $100.

Seahawks (+110) at Falcons (-130)
The Seahawks looked out of sorts against the Redskins last week at the beginning of the game, but quickly gained their composure. If their secondary is allowed to be as physical against the Falcon receivers as they were against the Redskins, I can’t see the Falcons being able to win. I’ll bet $100 on the Seahawks to win on the road again and pocket $110 if I’m right.

Texans (+330) at Patriots (-400)
The Texans barely beat the Bengals at home in Houston last week in a rather unimpressive performance. A month ago these two teams matched up in Foxboro, Mass and the Patriots were ahead 28-0 before the Texans had their first sip of Gatorade. If the Texans were to play their best and the Patriots played their worst, I might still pick the Patriots. As it is, I’ll go for broke and wager $1600 on the Patriots and pocket $400 when they win (or take out a second mortgage if the upset happens).

And that’s the news for Friday June 13th, 2043. Be sure to tune in tomorrow to for our special report ‘Iran: Are Sanctions Working?