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Archive for March, 2009

(Originally posted Wednesday, January 21, 2009)

Washington, D.C. (API) George W. Bush, the 43rd president of the United States, began his third term of office Wednesday after President-elect Barack Obama flubbed the oath of office he was to repeat after Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts.

“My fellow Americans,” said Bush. “I believe things happen for a reason. And while I am not sure what the reasons were for this gaffe during inauguration day, I want to assure you that order and the rule of law will win the day.”

“I swear to execute … no to faithfully execute,” said Roberts as he administered the oath. A slightly confused Obama tried to reinsert the incorrect version, and Roberts followed with another hypercorrection that legal scholars now say has made the president’s swearing in almost completely invalid.

“If he didn’t say it, he ain’t it,” said Constitutional scholar Jeffrey Rhoades. “I can’t put it more simply than that.”

Roberts visited the Oval Office late Wednesday night hoping to re-administer the oath, but by that time, Bush had already settled in for his third term.

“Through this trying time I hope to lead the American people with steadfastness and resolve and strength of character. You spoke out strongly for voice of change. And even though, sadly, that change did not come, I hope you’ll join me as we continue four more years together seeking peace, prosperity and the conquest of our enemies as they stand over seas of sweet crude oil.”

Millions of attendees at the inauguration burst into tears.

“It’s just 35 words for crying out loud,” said Bill Clinton. “How did two grown men, both of them Constitutional lawyers manage to get us all into this colossal screw up?”

“It truly is sad,” said Bush. “I’ve been needled for some bad grammatical choices in the past. But none of my gaffes endangered the country or upended the poltical order.

“I don’t mean to get all parliamentarial here.”

“It truly is a cock up of huge proportions,” said noted wit and political critic Christopher Hitchens. “And by the way, nobody around here knows what the the true meaning of irony is but me.”

Bush plans to use his next four years in office, to attack Iran, embolden Israel to attack Syria, destroy the Antarctic ice shelf with bunker buster bombs, and continue the No Child Left Behind law.

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(Originally posted Wednesday, January 21, 2009)

What really out-of-date personal information have we left up on our abandoned Friendster profiles?

–*We’re not still single and looking for love.

–*We’re not happily married anymore, which means we probably weren’t happily married ever.

–*The Sopranos is no longer our favorite show after that suck-ass finale.

–*We’re not still looking forward to reading “The Secret.”

–*Our nanna is no longer the most inspiring person in the world to us given that she passed away in 2005.

–*We’re not still trying to sell you a time-share.

–*We’re not happy and optimistic anymore.

–*I’m no longer looking for a really hot guy; instead, a long time ago I settled on somebody who knows how to file my tax return.

–*It’s probably fair to mention that I’m a single mom now.

–*George Bush is no longer my president.

–*I, George Bush, am no longer president.

–*I no longer exist, because I was only a decoy 15-year-old hottie concocted by the producers of “To Catch a Predator” in the first place, and they simply forgot to take the fake profile page down.

–*My life has turned to shit, and I forgot to take the fake happy profile down.

–*I am no longer employed.

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(Originally posted Tuesday, January 20, 2009)

U.S. To Celebrate Peaceful Transition To Democracy Tuesday

Washington, D.C. (AP) Hundreds of thousands of spectators were expected to throng to the nation’s capital Tuesday as the United States celebrated a peaceful transition into a full-fledged democracy upon the inauguration of the new president, BarackObama.

“This is an historic occasion,” said 70-year-old Millicent Greenburg, who had bused into the capital from Vermont to see the inauguration. “This is a day of real hope. I mean, sometimes you get so used to having an iron boot on your neck that you forget it’s there, and maybe you even grow to love it in a perverse way.”

A younger generation also heralded the change.

“I grew up in a world where two plus two equals five,” said Sandy Jackson, a 17-year-old high schooler from Fort Wayne, Indiana. “A world where you went along with things that were patently untrue and repeated them-all because you were afraid of jackbooted thugs questioning your patriotism. It was truly scary to live here.”

The festivities kicked off earlier this week as Obama, the first U.S. leader freely elected without the taint of a fixed election and polling shenanigans in many years, heard rock star Bruce Springsteen play at the Lincoln Memorial on Sunday, joining hundreds of thousands of others who came out in the chill Potomac air to pay homage to the man who restored the rule of the people.

“We’re all coming out from a dream,” said D.C. policeman Ray Winograd. “It’s like really looking at your fellow man for the first time in years and asking, ‘What the f*** just happened to us?'”

Historians say that sometimes the transition from a pseudo-military-industrial plutocracy into democracy can be difficult, and that many people cling to the traditions of the past just because they know no other way.

“Can I use that bathroom over there,” asked 82-year-old retired carpet maker Seymore Titelbaum when he approached a U.S. Marine.

“Of course you can,” said Marine Sergeant David “Mole” Isherwood. “This is your country. You don’t have to be afraid anymore.”

Relieved, Titelbaum walked into the bathroom and smelled the crisp air.

“This doesn’t seem like the kind of bathroom that was built by Halliburton in a no-bid contract,” he said. “That’s kind of strange-not having that fear. You really do get to a place where you can’t live without it sometimes.”

Another spectator was less sanguine. Joe Miles, a lawyer and lobbyist from Hollywood, Florida, derided the new president.

“Big man. Big man Obama. What a punk,” he shouted.

Miles’ wife apologized for him.

“He’s really upset. You have to understand, we all kind of got used to this military-regency period. It gets into your heart and your soul and you can’t imagine any other way to live. You really do internalize the fear and act out in really bizarre ways. That’s why this transition to democracy is so scary for some people. The fascist autocracy is now in their hearts, too.”

Politicians reminded Americans that the country is not out of the woods yet.

“Our fledgling democracy is still just leaping out of the nest,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. “And we have everything against us. Strained resources. Enemies everywhere. Self-doubt. Wounded pride. The entire legacy left to us from the Cromwellian military protectorate. Coming out of these dark ages is going to be rough.”

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(Originally posted Monday, January 19, 2009)

What are schizophrenics saying to offer us comfort?

–*”Don’t worry, your soul dies last.”

–*”Heck, you might as well live a little cause in the future you’re already dead.”

–*”You gotta just throw caution to the wind when you’re surrounded by killer bats.”

–*”Home is where the bodies are.”

–*”The closer you can get to your own body, the happier you’ll be.”

–*”We’ve got to fight the terrorists over there to keep from fighting them over here.”

–*”Love through war. Peace through strength. Pull my finger.”

–*”Don’t worry. When I made love to the duck it was already dead.”

–*”I can’t shake your hand because I belong to a really backward sect of an old Abrahamic religion.”

–*”It’s OK. I’m John Lennon, not you.”

–*”There must be a God because you survived that Hudson River plane crash.”

–*”There must be a God. There must be. There must. There must.”

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(Originally posted Sunday, January 18, 2009)

Stephanie and I just posted “The Retributioners: Episode 12–Oklahoma Xmas Smackdown.” This one was a real family affair and guest stars my sister Lori Rasmussen, and her children Colin and Sophie Miller.

In this episode, Stephanie confronts her sister-in-law about proper gift-giving etiquette. Watch it here, and if you like it, please tell people to visit our site at http://www.theretributioners.tv. And also remember, you can nominate us for the Streamy Awards at http://www.streamys.org/*

[Editor’s note: the Streamys are now closed, but thanks for nominating us!]

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(Originally posted Sunday, January 18, 2009)

Chad the Dictator, Part V
by Eric Rasmussen

I was on the plane with Chad, a C-38 cargo plane with almost nothing in it except for two double agents of the Iraq Mahdi army and several crates of cigarettes. Nobody knew about us, Chad said; he’d hitched us a ride from somebody he knew in the State Department, and we weren’t on the plane’s manifest. Our presence here was classified.

“And if we go down over the ocean,” he said. “Nobody will know about us.”

“What about my parents? My mother?”

“Tough titty. You’ll be a smear on posterity. Like D.B.Cooper. People will write songs about you. ‘Hunsacker the Idiot,’ they’ll call it.”

We all did calisthenics together. Push-ups. Jumping jacks. Lunges.A reclining rope climb to work my glutes and hamstrings.

“I’ve got a joke,” said one of the double agents, Tor, to the other, Djoto. “A girl from Fresno with an enormous …”

“Not in front of my recruit,” yelled Chad.

So Tor wrote it down on a napkin and showed it to comrade,who snorted.

“It was funnier than the last one,” he said.

“Funnier how?”

“The other one was more ‘A dingo ate my baby’ funny.”

“You’re right. And this one?”

“This one is more ‘hypodermic needle in the eyeball’ funny.”

“Hey!” I said. “Tell me the joke.”

“Face in the ground, shit head,” said Chad. “You don’t pay attention to those guys. They’re not regular army. They don’t live by any code. They’re mercenaries. Freebooters. Filibusters.”

The two double agents looked back at him with moist hurt in their eyes. “Geez,” said Tor, “we’re just earning a living like anybody else.”

“Yeah. I gotta feed my baby girl and sometimes I like a vanilla chai latte in the morning. So what if I’ve got to kill a few people to get it. Who are you to judge?”

I was switching exercises constantly to keep up the cardio burn. I was out of shape, because I’d stopped working out since the end of mandatory high school P.E. and done nothing for the last two years for my stomach but eat chorizo and egg tacos at a little stand across the street from the Knucklers’ dormitory, the restaurant where I would also practice my rudimentary Spanish with a cook named Inez. Whenever I threw uneaten taco in the trash, Inez would curse at me and tell me I was sinning against God. Then she’d cross herself.

“Dios mio,” she said.

Now I needed God’s help and I wondered if maybe throwing away food was how I’d gotten into this sorry ass shape with the Lord. Sinning against God, that’s how I roll.

“What kind of sick fat fuck dogface are you?” screamed Chad,who had been my official “Knuckle Buddy” in the fraternity but who was now my military commander in chief as we flew back to Krazikistan to help him overthrow the junta that had ousted his father from the presidency. “Look how fat you are,” Chad said. “Is that what you get eating tacos every morning? Did you ever once appreciate your taco even for a fucking moment you fat fucking American pig? No! You just put in the garbage. Well I’ll teach you to love every last chick pea like you crawled over the desert on your knees for it.”

“I don’t like chick peas.”

“Good then. We’ll have them for every meal once we land in the capital.”

The sun came up while we were on the plane, and the horizon looked like the sediment on the bottom of a tomato juice glass. You couldn’t see sky or ocean anymore. It all melded together to form a beautiful image like an abstract …

“Are you daydreaming again, Hunsacker?” screeched Chad. He put his boot sole on my face.

“Lick.”

“No sir, I’m a bad ass Ghazi warrior, sir.”

“Lick my boot, Ghazi Hunsacker.”

I did.

“That’s good. Lick it up. Taste it! Tell me it tastes like wine.”

“It tastes like a fine Bandol Mourvedre, sir!”

“What year?”

“1995, sir. With a hint of Grenache and not too much tannin on the back end.”

“You piece of shit. Fifty crunches.”

I was so out of shape and he was giving me so little water that eventually I got dehydrated and blacked out.

Odd thing about physical trauma. I think it was playing havoc with my sight. The next thing I knew, it was dark.

“Holy Jesus, you worked me too hard and I’ve gone blind.”

“No you haven’t Hunsacker. I blindfolded you. I want you to disassemble this M16. And by the way, it’s loaded. Watch you don’t blow your head off.”

I gingerly felt around and started taking apart the weapon he’d handed me, feeling around what I’m pretty sure was an M16. There were several pins and coils and a magazine. While I fumbled about, sometimes crying out whenever I thought I’d made a dumb move, the two mercs laughed at me.

“OK,” said Chad. “While you take the gun apart, I want you to repeat the core values of the Ghazi warrior.”

“Um … did you ever tell me what those were?”

“Did you not read the book I left you?”

“Chad, that was 500 pages.”

He kicked me in the chin.

“What are the 12 core values, rat face?”

“You have 12? The U.S. Army only has seven!”

“You’re not just some grunt in the army,” he said. “You’re joining an ancient military tradition going back to Mongols, the Turks and Zoroastrians.

“OK. The 12 core values are courage, loyalty, service, respect, asceticism and banging your mother high and hard, sir.”

“Drop and give me 20 or I’ll jam this grappling hook into your ribs and pull one of them out.”

I was running in place with my M16 over my head pretty soon while the two mercenaries made bets on whether I’d make it and played around with a dummy claymore that I was going to have to learn how to rig.

“Tell me another joke,” said Tor, and when Djoto wrote another out for him, he said, “You kiss your mother with that mouth?”

They got bored writing jokes and when Chad went to sleep, they started asking me questions.

“Kid, what in the hell are you doing with this guy? You should be at school banging cheerleaders.”

“This here’s a Knuckler,” I said.

“What’s that?” asked Tor.

“Some fag-ass fraternity,” said Djoto.

“It’s not a fag-ass fraternity,” I said. “I took a vow to do anything for this man until we graduate. Either to be his wingman at a bar, help him cheat on a test … or even go help him reclaim his dynasty as president of Krazikistan.”

“Jesus, man, you can’t be that close.”

“A guy’s got to stand up for something. Loyalty to my fellow frat douche is as good a thing to live for as anything else. I’ve read a lot of existentialism see…”

Then they started booing me loudly until I shut up.

I knew what it sounded like. OK, here I am. Twenty-one years old. Gotta prove myself to some rich father who sits on the board of a Blue Chip S&P 500 company and who comes from a military family. I’d read too much Hemingway and Teddy Roosevelt and now I was putting myself in harm’s way for an ill-thought-out plan to wrest control of some Central Asian country just so I could hand it from one political cadre back to another. And for what? For glory? For power? Because it would make people’s lives better?

I sat looking at the picture of Chad’s sister, the one he’d given me in the dorm room back in New Haven. Two bright, pre-Raphaelite eyes as big as emu eggs and just as blue in the iris. A caramel, triangular face. Was I doing it for love? I didn’t even know the woman. But she just looked so perfect. Like a small diamond I could never buy.

“Your sister got a beau?” I asked Chad.

“You can think of her like your own sister,” he said. “But that’s all.”

“That doesn’t answer my question.”

He threw me back against the white painted brick of the hallway in Jester Hall (where I was going to be taking my last BC calculus exam before investing Krazikistan on my summer vacation). Threw me back against the wall and looked into my eyes.

“You’re coming to save her, not marry her.”

“What, I’m not good enough for her? I thought we were blood brothers.”

“Here in New Haven we’re brothers. But Krazikistan is different. I’ll get you a 100 different whories. But not that one. She’s untouchable to you.”

I was feeling kind of hurt, and thought of telling him to stick his father’s dictatorship and his ruling dynasty up his tight white ass. But after a while I forgave him. Because as much as it was about him, it was also about me. I kept his sister’s picture close, and decided that whatever she was, whatever she meant to me, whatever ideal she was to me, I’d live up to it somehow. I’d become worthy of it.

While I was sleeping, Tor and Djoto put my hand in a cup of warm water and I pissed myself. They were playing cards when one of them descried land out the window. We were just about to pass over the Levant. Chad took a big sniff.

“Chick peas,” he said. “Big aching mounds of chick peas to come falling into your mouth and out of your ass like love.”

Tor read another joke and shook his head.

“Funny … like testicles in a blender.”

Djoto shrugged.

“Funny like a dead American college student.”

He pointed at me and drew a bit “X” over me with his index finger.

You can read Part IV of this story here:

https://beautyisimperfection.wordpress.com/2009/02/22/chad-the-dictator-part-iv/

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(Originally posted Friday, January 16, 2009)

Why did we turn religious all of a sudden?

–*We realized we misread Ezekiel the first time, and as soon as we got a rabbi’s help, all those psychedelic pyrotechnic animal heads started to make sense.

–*We realized that being in a car wreck changed everything and that our career in porn was making us feel empty inside.

–*Seemed more convenient than telling the kids the truth about what happened to grandma.

–*Seemed more convenient than telling the kids why we lost the Holy Land.

–*Much of our most unreasonable thought processes about right and wrong work much easier if we think there’s a benevolent bearded patriarchal super-being on our side.

–*The white man with his Jesus messiah would not give us the vaccine otherwise.

–*Because sometimes good things happen to good people and we’re too lazy to realize that this is all mostly an accident.

–*Because I had a child. What? Are you going to attack my baby?

–*Duh! If you’re Hassidic it’s like being on welfare for life!

–*Because otherwise my marriage wouldn’t have been recognized by my husband’s goddamn Catholic church.

–*Duh! Because my motherf**kin’ plane landed in the motherf**kin’ Hudson River this afternoon.

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