Monday, December 27, 2010

NFL to Fine Winter

Following two separate incidents over the last month, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has announced that the Season of Winter will be fined $25,000 for "unsportsmanlike" conduct.

"This is a serious matter for the League. Seasons cannot behave in a manner that jeopardizes the health and safety of players. We are a serious league. This is a serious matter.

A winter snow storm caused the collapse of the Metrodome on December 12, relocating the Minnesota Vikings to temporary venues and another storm required the delay of the Vikings-Eagles game this weekend. Mr. Goodell's office maintains that such flagrant actions will not stop unless appropriate penalties are meted out.

Critics have recently complained that the NFL has issued fines and suspensions in an inconsistent manner. The most recent fines against a season will probably not do much to quell such critiques.

League officials did not say how, exactly, they were planning on enforcing the fine, although it is expected that they withold the Superbowl from any places within its icy grasp. Some have suggested that either Santa Claus or Jack Frost be fined in Winter's stead; it has been pointed out, however, that these are fictional characters and fining them would be ludicrous.

Mr. Goodell, however, remains firm on his position.

"I'm serious here people. Stop laughing at me!"

Friday, December 10, 2010

Senator Bernie Sanders "Filibusters" Tax Plan

Faced with increased pressure coming from the President and his Democratic allies in the Senate, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) mounted a rare 8 1/2 hour filibuster of a proposed tax package crafted by the White House and Senate Republicans.

He began the marathon speech at 10:25 AM, railing against the proposed tax plan. In short order, however, it became clear as to what his true intent was.

"Now, I had some pretty good coaching last night," said the Senator, "and I find that if I yield only for a question or a point of order or a personal privilege, that I can hold this floor almost until doomsday. In other words, I've got a piece to speak, and blow hot or cold, I'm going to speak it."

Senate Sanders, who was not technically engaging in a filibuster as no legislation was being blocked, spoke for the next eight hours, railing against a plan which extends "unaffordable" Bush era tax cuts for the next two years.

By 7PM, his voice audibly hoarse, the speech reached its climax,

"You think I'm licked. You all think I'm licked. Well, I'm not licked. And I'm going to stay right here and fight for this lost cause. Even if the room gets filled with lies like these, and the FoxNewses and all their armies come marching into this place."

With that, the Senator collapsed in the Senate well.

Amidst the confusion, the Senior Senator from Vermont Joseph Harrison Paine rushed to the floor.

"I'm not fit to be a senator! I'm not fit to live! Expel me!" said Senator Paine, "This tax plan is a fraud! It's a crime against the people who sent me here - and I committed it! Every word that boy said is the truth! Every word about FoxNews and me and graft and the rotten political corruption of my state! Every word of it is true! I'm not fit for office! I'm not fit for any place of honor or trust! Expel me, not that boy!"

More as this story develops.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Pythons Lose to Aardvarks 57-40

The Pennsylvania Pythons were dealt a serious blow to their playoff hopes today when they lost to the Alabama Aardvarks 57-40. Despite having rung up 17 more points than the Aardvarks, archaic NFL rules stipulate that a winning team must score at least two thirds of the points on the board.

The Pythons were hampered by a fumble by center Jonah Cenim, allowing the Aardvarks to retain possession during a late 4th Quarter drive. Overthrown passes to Wide Receiver Sam Ilurowski and Welsh Tight End Otto Scrwbn also doomed the Pythons.

Despite a late, and some say "unnecessary," field goal by kicker Olli Suscanns, the Pythons saw another defeat in what appears to be a season of defeats for the team.

Many fans considered this a symbolically important game against their long time rivals. Many commentators saw a Python win as "inevitable."

"We went out there and gave it our best," said head coach Ryhard Eri, "if it weren't for these damned rules, we would have won this thing."

Many fan have blamed Eri this season, however, for not running a strong ground game, the historical strength of the Pythons franchise.

The Aardvarks maintained a strong defense throughout the game, barely giving ground despite the overwhelming crowd noise. Throughout the season, the team has shown an astonishing resilience, in the face of an inability to score points, continually lining up on the wrong side of the field, and instances of massive head trauma. Their best success, however, has come as the result of penalty flags based on arcane NFL rules.

The 2/3rds rule dates back to the founding of the AFC in the early part of the century, when the majority of players were acquired from college football teams. Originally, it was considered "ungentlemanly" to win by a close margin, and the 2/3rds rule was established to ensure that teams would be evenly matched and that individual players could be fully utilized. There has been talk that the NFL may consider changing the rule, as well as provide for instant replays.

As the Pythons close the 2009-2010 season with a better than .500 season, they face a loss of several players due to retirement and free agency.

"It's going to be a tough upcoming season," said Irish team President Mack A. O'bara, "This loss is disappointing, but fortunately, I'm also betting the spread."

Friday, December 03, 2010

People Called Dennis Roddy, They Go the Houses?

Looks like someone didn't have their knuckles wrapped hard enough by the nuns:

UNIONTOWN, Pa. -- Police are searching for a vandal who knows Latin -- or at least one famous phrase of the language -- after about a dozen cars were damaged at a Fayette County car dealership.

Uniontown police say nearly two dozen tires were slashed and about a dozen cars had their paint scratched with a key or another sharp object Monday at Five Corners Auto.

The scratching on one of the cars spelled out "Nemo me inpune lacessit." The phrase means "No one attacks me with impunity."
Actually, the phrase is ""Nemo me impune lacessit." "Nemo me inpune lacessit" would mean "I have a small computer animated fish that needs it's shoes tied." That doesn't make any sense.

The quotation, in fact, comes from Edgar Allan Poe's classic horror story "The Cask of Amontillado." It is the family crest of Fortunato, the unfortunate victim of revenge by his neighbor, Montressor. The narrator lures the drunken Fortunato to the basement of his Italian villa during carnival where he chains him to a wall that he then bricks shut, leaving the man to die in the darkness.
OR, if you're historically literate....

It's the the Latin motto of the Order of the Thistle and of three Scottish regiments of the British Army, and has been used by the British Monarch in Scotland since at least 1707, predating the use by Poe by about 150 +/- years. And who am I to question the Queen of England? The "me" in the phrase refers to the prickly thistle, the emblem of Scotland. No words if vandals' attack was on a Toyota Highlander.

Alternatively, and ironically for the vandals, the phrase can be translated into English as "No one can harm me unpunished."

My family Latin motto is slightly longer:
O Sibili, se ergo,
Fortebus es inero.
O Nobili, demis trux
Si vatsinum, causan dux.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Republicans to Sponsor "Grapes of Wrath" Reenactments

(Reuters) Hollywood - Standing next to some of his bitterest foes in Tinseltown, presumed future Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) announced that the Republican party had reached a deal with 20th Century Fox Productions to develop nationwide Grapes of Wrath reenactments.

"I'm a big John Ford fan," said Boehner, "I loved The Quiet Man and How Green Was My Valley, but nothing even comes close to his masterpiece with Henry Fonda. Let me assure you that the Republican Party will do everything it can to make sure that the American people can relive that movie."

Eric Cantor, current House Minority Whip, announced that when the GOP took control of the House in January they would be advancing bills which would defund anti-climate change initiatives to create agricultural wastelands in the Great Plains, allow mortgage companies to more easily seize family farms, encourage strike breaking by non-union farms and factories, and stem the flow of cheap illegal immigrant farm labor and encouraging more Americans to take those jobs.

"Can you imagine the fun kids are going to have playing Ma & Pa Joad while their parents hunt for work," said Cantor.

News Corp, who owns 20th Century Fox, pledged to do its best to help the Speaker-elect advance his dream.

Boehner described The Grapes of Wrath as an uplifting story about how a Christian, nuclear family comes together to explore the West and enjoy the fruits of unbridled capitalism, although he admitted that he regularly doses off during some of the more dialogue heavy bits.

Mr. Boehner also remarked that he was a fan of that Mr. Potter character in Frank Capra's It's a Wonderful Life and would be looking to recreate Pottervilles as well.

And... Drink Tax (Redux)

This spoiled my breakfast this morning:

Since their enactment in 2008, Allegheny County's taxes on alcoholic drinks and car rentals have done virtually nothing to ease the Port Authority's chronic financial problems.

Here's why: The new taxes were intended to help the county's budget, not the Port Authority's.

The taxes are generating less than $2 million per year in extra revenue for the authority while producing $30 million to $40 million windfalls that county government has used to avoid raising property taxes.
What? What? WHAT?
"That is very clearly a point of confusion," [Port Authority spokesman Jim Ritchie] said. "People to this day just don't understand that this was not new money."
Now, that's an understatement. Did I just miss this? Was I not paying attention? Were there squirrels outside my window going at it like... squirrels, I guess, in heat? Was I so hopped up on NyQuil and ground up Flintstone Vitamins that I was delusional?

Please, someone tell me that this was hidden somewhere in the fine print near the bottom, like where the credit card rate jumps from 3% to 4 Gillion % if you don't buy milk on Wednesdays!

I mean, *I* used the might and majesty of this blog to argue that the drink tax was a sensible way of funding mass transit. I severed friendships over this. I burned down an apartment building in a Sambuca fueled haze for the Drink tax. Now I find out that it was just another way to suck money out of Joe Six Pack so that Dan Onorato and the folks on County Council wouldn't have to raise property taxes?

I ruined my liver for the busses, Dan, not so that some estate in Fox Chapel could save a mill or two off their taxes.

I feel dirty now.

Dirty and sober.