Thursday, November 16, 2006

Shocking Break Up! Township Dumps Village

Forget Britney and K-Fed… this is the real matrimonial meltdown

After thirty five years of serious courting, the Broken Springs Village Council and the Onoyoko Township Board have decided to sever all ties. The divorce was finalized at Tuesday night’s Township Board meeting, but the rocky relationship fell into the sewer many years ago.

“It wasn’t an easy decision,” says Township Supervisor Ernie Hildecrust. “But I was getting tired the constant nagging and all of the arguments. Sure, the makeup sex was nice, but a healthy relationship needs love and respect as its foundation, not a box of Trojan XLs and a bottle of Viagra,” added the feisty old coot.

Sources close to the couple insist finances also played a factor in the split.

“Every relationship is a learning experience,” commented Township representative Bob Frugal. “This one taught me that the key to compatibility is separate bank accounts.”

Among the many disagreements between the two municipalities, the biggest was the amount of allowance to give the Commission’s often controversial and rebellious offspring, the Broken Springs Police Department. With the breakup, the Township will likely retain custody of the Department, but insiders say that ugly legal custody battles are expected.

“The Village Council believes money grows on trees, and I’m here to tell you if it did, I’d own a nursery,” said trustee Dorothy Hildecrust (no relation). “The Village never had to be the primary breadwinners of this family. Every time we turned around, they wanted more money for something else. Tasers, new cars, elevator shoes, Kevlar vests, even a new family drug dog. We always footed the bill. They (the Village Council) don’t know how to tighten their belt because they’ve never even had to wear a belt. We’ve been spoiling them with bigger pants and elastic waistbands.”

The final nail in the coffin for the three decade old union came last week when the Township tried to reschedule a date with the Village. The Village thought they were being stood up and got a little loose lipped after a few too many Coronas at Coyote’s Watering Hole Friday night. By the next morning, the local media ran the slanderous gossip as front page news. As the Township sipped its morning coffee and read the newspaper, it decided to end it once and for all.

The drastic news came as a shock to followers who thought the Township and Village would be together forever. The coupling was blissful in its early stages, even culminating at one point to mutual heart shaped tattoos. Passersby can still see the etching in the tree bark at Weather Park behind the Township Hall: OT Heart VC. But nothing is forever, and they couldn’t pass the test of time. But thirty five years together is still nothing to shake a stick at, insists those who believe that fate will bring them back together.

After the announcement Tuesday night, the Village’s Bestest Friend Forever, Gordo Davis begged and pleaded for the Board to give the Council one last chance to make things right. But the Township would hear none of it.

As of this publication, the rumor that the Township is wooing the Sheriff’s Department for its next long term commitment is unconfirmed.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Local Man Cleared by Police Chief

A local man accused of sexually molesting his toddler daughter was recently cleared by the local police after being thrown to the wolves on last week’s nationally syndicated Dr. Bill talk show. Jeremiah Narc was given full custody of not only his daughter, but his ex-girlfriend’s twelve other children in a ruling made by Judge Babs Ragginmore. The ruling came as a complete shock to the mother, her family and friends, and nearly 300 million other people nationwide. But one person who was not surprised was Broken Springs Police Chief Jim Kingston.

On last week's show, Dr. Bill assured Jeremiah that the polygraph test could be done in his hometown and thus be completely fair. And if there's any one name synonymous with fair, it's Jim Kingston.

“There are two sides to every story. I’m just happy I could assist in administering justice,” Kingston said before a crowded press conference held in front of the Village Hall. “Mr. Narc is a nice young man unfairly accused. I’m only relieved I helped clear his good name before Oprah got ahold of him.”

Jeremiah’s story was broadcast nation-wide last week after his daughter’s troublemaker grandmother sent the Dr. Bill show tapes of the girl saying he touched her “PP.” Narc, all along, claimed his innocence, insisting that the only PP he ever touched was his daughter’s Pink Panther stuffed toy. Furthermore he insists that Pink Panther enjoyed every minute of it.

“I don’t like to brag but,” said Jeremiah standing alongside Kingston, “I have quite a reputation with the ladies.”

“Ahem,” interrupted the protective Police Chief before Jeremiah could continue, “Mr. Narc was cleared of all possible wrongdoing when he passed a polygraph test administered by myself and other unbiased women haters in our department.”

When pressed by spectators and local media about the nature of the polygraph test, Kingston displayed photographs of Jeremiah and the machinery used to determine his innocence.

“But that looks like nothing more than a Bionic Ear,” yelled out Channel 22 News.

“And why does the suspect have a colander on his head?” inquired WNDU.

Kingston was adamant that the instrumentation used was all state of the art, modern technology. “We’re on the cutting edge of science here, folks. This ain’t no Mayberry. The headphones are used to pick up on the person’s heartbeat. The cylindrical disc is used to amplify those heart palpitations that occur when a person is lying. The binoculars are used to pinpoint any suspicious sweating. The cranial device is used to notice electrode activity in a person’s brain waves. In Jeremiah’s case, we couldn’t pick up any brain waves, let alone suspicious electrode activity. This machinery is about as up to snuff as you can get for our minimal police budget.”

“How can you be sure?” inquired a man in the back who was quickly beaten to the floor with his own cane.

Chief Kingston answered, “I’m absolutely positive because I had it tested on me first.”

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Voter Guide

Today is election day, and if you’re anything like me (let’s hope not) you’ll be whistling over your morning breakfast at the thought of taking part in the wonderful democratic practice. Election day is my Superbowl Sunday. Every first Tuesday in November I’m like a baby in a titty bar. And if you think about it, it’s a lot like legalized gambling. Only you can’t win money… just good policies. And you can’t really lose anything that you haven’t already lost. At least not immediately. I mean other than your soul... but who needs a soul?

Our very own Journalistic Error had a “Voter Guide” enclosed this week, assuring that those of us too stupid to make up out own minds could still take part in the democratic process. Because I know that a lot of people are guilted into voting, I’m here to offer my help as well. Here are some things to keep in mind when you cast your ballots today. And because this is a satirical publication, some of the following will fly in the face of truth and reality just for a giggle. For your benefit, those statements will be in red.

In the race for Governor of Michigan, we have ex-Hollywood starlot, incumbent Democrat Jennifer Granholm verses that anti-public school, beady eyed, filthy rich Amway Republican, Dick DeVos. A lot of people have criticized Granholm because Michigan’s economy is the worst in the nation, right behind Cuba. But Granholm defenders will argue that she inherited the biggest deficit in the history of civilization and four years with an obstructionist Republican legislature isn’t even enough time to air out the stench Engler left in the State Capitol’s bathroom, let alone balance the books. Some people insist Dick would be a good governor because he’s an effective businessman. He’d lead Michigan out of the red and into the black even if it meant outsourcing all of our jobs to China while Jennifer would just gripe about unfair trade agreements. Some people think Dick would just be another self serving politician and if there’s one thing we don’t need, it’s another dick in politics. Some people will vote against Granholm because of her strategically placed mole on her right cheek.

Dick’s views on women are suspect. In the debates he said he opposes a woman’s right to choose even in the case of rape and incest, not including cases of alien abduction. He’s also come out decidedly pro-disease, opposing embryonic stem cell research even if the embryos are to be discarded anyway. He also never recycles. Not even his hair spray cans.

Personally I’m voting for Granholm because she wants every college bound young adult to have four thousand dollars to begin their education. While that sort of plan has been attacked by Republicans as too expensive, it would pay for itself in the long run.

Rookie Senator Debbie Stabenow will face off against ex-Oakland Sheriff Michael Bouchard. Nobody knows anything about Bouchard other than he used to be in law enforcement. And as we clearly all know, Stabenow has red hair. The race has been, for the most part, clean and therefore boring. What I want to know is how can a Californian run for one of Michigan’s two Senate seats? I’m voting for Debbie because I know better than to vote against a redhead. Also because I want to break the Republican majority they have on the US Senate. It’s only fair since they’re going to take Tennessee because of this racist ad.

On a more local scene, US. Representative Fred Upton is defending his Republican seat for the 6th District against well mannered, well dressed Kim Clark. Word is once Fred found out he was running against Kim Clark, he said, “She doesn’t stand a chance.” He learned only days ago, after numerous misstatements on the campaign trail that Kim isn’t short for Kimberly. Kim Clark is actually a well respected and successful businessman, professor, and ordained minister. He’s also a fiscal conservative. Upton, meanwhile, is most known for raising the cost of vulgarities on television in a dangerous post Janet Jackson Nipple Slip world. To his credit, Upton supports modern medicine (aka stem cell research) but three quarters of the time he also supports the evolutionally challenged President. Even if Upton is no more than a rubber stamp Bush Yes Man, he’s unlikely to lose his warm seat in Washington, which is all the more reason to vote Kim Clark for Congress.

In a much closer race, Niles Democrat Judy Truesdell is trying to unseat Republican Barodian Neal Nitz. And trust me, it’s hard to unseat a Pork Lover like Nitz. It would be state history if she did. Judy (Judy! Judy!) is trying to become both the first woman and democrat to represent the 78th District in the state. Bill Ballenger, publisher of the Lansing-based biweekly newsletter "Inside Michigan Politics” has even gone so far as to label the race as a tossup. Why is Nitz suddenly on the hotseat? He can’t be accused of voting with Bush since he’s not in Washington. He hasn’t sent any provocative emails to political pages (that we know of). In fact, he poses no threat to anyone in the 78th district other than the those hooved residents named Porky and Babe who are currently unregistered to vote. The reason Judy is hot on Neal’s tail can be summed up with one word: trash. She opposes it. Nitz, a seasoned politician, realizes that trash is a big part of politics.

I’m always amazed at how politics makes such strange bedfellows. For example, the Republican Nitz beat in the primaries recently said, "Neal has the ability and experience to make changes in Michigan. Neal's agricultural background, business experience and his four years of legislative experience make him my choice.” Yet in February of this year, this same candidate said, “I want to go to Lansing to put Southwest Michigan first. Too many politicians today are more concerned with Lansing politics than serving the folks that elected them. The people of Southwest Michigan deserve a representative that will put the community’s interests ahead of special interests….” He also said, “We don't just need better representation, we need representation, and I'm not shy about saying that.” What a difference seven months make!

Well, I’m not shy about saying this: I’m proudly voting Judy Judy Judy for state representative. Join me and make history.

There are also five important proposals on Tuesday’s ballot. A very informational and unbiased resource for research on these proposals can be found here. I strongly encourage everyone to at least skim through the arguments for and against each proposal. But to assist in these time strapped days, I’ll simple copy and paste some of the passages I found enlightening… Click on any of them for further reading. Troublemaker Bob also has nice summaries on his blogsite here.

Proposal 2006-01: Constitutional Protection of DNR Funds

Moving these DNR funds into the Constitution would eliminate the chance of the accounts being raided to balance budgets in the future. It grants significant protection to these restricted funds and ensures that the user fees are spent on programs for which they were collected.

It seems straight forward enough to vote to protect funds collected for one thing from being used for something else. But like TB says, I tend to believe that the government needs some flexibility in their checkbook. For example, just last week I used all of my grad school money to fill my car up with gas. It just seemed a bigger priority at the moment.

Proposal 2006-02: Michigan Civil Rights Initiative

One of the few things I remember learning in college is that sometimes in the course of history, a group manipulates language to call themselves the opposite of what they truly are, such as the National Socialist German Workers' Party, more commonly known as the Nazis. There was nothing Socialist or Pro-Worker about them. This initiative is another such attempt at language manipulation, depending of course on whom you believe needs their civil rights better protected.

This proposal seeks to amend the Michigan Constitution by adding a Section 26 to Article 1 “to ban affirmative action programs that give preferential treatment to groups or individuals based on their race, gender, color, ethnicity or national origin for public employment, education or contracting purposes.”

If Proposal 2006-02 passes, it will not outlaw all affirmative action programs in the state. Only those that grant preferential treatment to individuals or groups on the basis of
minority status or gender would be invalidated by this amendment. However, determining what constitutes preferential treatment would be left to the Michigan
court system.

If passed this bill could hurt the University of Michigan. As an avid Notre Dame fan, I’m tempted to vote for it just for that reason. But that’s still not a good enough reason.

After the 2003 Supreme Court decisions, UM was forced to change its undergraduate admissions policy. It is still allowed to have a race-conscious admissions program, but the point system has been discarded and applicants are reviewed individually and holistically with race representing only one possible aspect of diversity. While academics continues to be the most important factor in admissions, non-academic factors considered in the admissions process include personal interests and achievements, alumni connections, race and ethnicity, family income, and family educational background. None of these factors has a fixed weight in the admissions process. Each application is evaluated by two people before going to a senior-level manager in OUA who makes the final decision. If Proposal 2006-02 passes, UM will no longer be able to consider race, ethnicity, or national origin as a plus factor in the admissions process as it now does in its undergraduate and graduate admissions programs.

And this passage is the one that seals the deal for me:

If any specific programs at the undergraduate or graduate level provide preferences in admissions based on gender (e.g., engineering programs preferring female applicants or nursing programs preferring male applicants), they will be impacted by passage of this proposal. Any programs at public universities that operate to provide any kind of preferential treatment (through admissions, outreach, scholarships, etc.) based on minority status or gender may be affected by passage of the proposed constitutional amendment, depending on its interpretation by the courts.

Got that? Not enough girls interested in math and science? Forget giving a state funded female based scholarship to encourage women in scientific professions. Want more women in Congress? Eighty-five percent of Washington politicians are white males. Tough titties, girls, say proponents of this initiative. We’re lucky we’re allowed to vote at all, I guess. Doesn’t sound very fair to me. Does it to you? I suspect Jim Kingston would vote yes on this proposal so I’m voting no.

Proposal 2006-03: A Referendum on Dove Hunting

Proposal three is a lot like proposal two, only this time it’s poor defenseless birds getting shafted.

A yes vote on this proposal would approve enactment of PA 160, allowing Mourning Dove hunting by reclassifying Mourning Doves as a game bird. A no vote would return Mourning Dove’s to the status of a nongame bird, as it was prior to enactment PA 160 of 2004, and continue the ban on Mourning Dove hunting in Michigan.

Michigan’s 2004 Mourning Dove season began on September 10 and ended October 30. It was intended to be the first of a three year trial period. The 2005 and 2006 seasons were suspended when opponents collected sufficient signatures to call a referendum
and place the issue on the 2006 ballot.

In 2004, 4,981 Mourning Dove stamps were purchased yielding $9,962 in stamp fees.

Those in opposition to the proposed ban argue that Mourning Dove hunting is a sport enjoyed by hunters in 80 percent of the states. They argue banning hunting of specific animals is a way for animal rights and anti-hunting organizations to chip away at the sport, species by species.

Supporters of the ban argue that Mourning Doves are popular backyard guests enjoyed by bird watchers. In 1998, the Mourning Dove was adopted as Michigan’s official Bird of Peace. In the Midwest, the Mourning Dove reproductive cycle begins with egg laying in late April/early May, and continues until fledging ends in early September. Both parents take part in incubation and brood-rearing activities. This breeding season would overlap with the hunting season in Michigan, as it does in other states. Those in support of the ban also argue Mourning Doves’ body weight varies throughout the year and is at its lowest point during the fall hunting season. Consequently, it is not a significant source of food. Some argue that they are being hunted for the thrill of the kill only and are not retrieved. The DNR estimates asmany as 4,000 were unable to be retrieved in the 2004 hunting season out of a total of an estimated 28,139 Mourning Doves. Federal and state regulations allow the use of lead shot when hunting Mourning Doves. Any Mourning Doves that are not retrieved or shots that miss their mark would leave lead in the environment. Michigan has banned lead shot in water fowl hunting to address environmental concerns.

So let me get this straight? We want to start shooting environmentally harmful lead at a bird of peace with approximately two bites of meat on them (that is, if they’re retrived) during their nesting season (make that one bite of meat) all for less than ten thousand dollars in stamp taxes? I figure Daniel Shame would probably vote for this. So I’m voting against it. If you’re that in need of live target practice, just become a Broken Springs Cop.

Proposal 2006-04: Eminent Domain

It would shift the burden of proof from the property owner to the condemning governmental unit to prove that the taking is for a public use or that proposed use for the eradication of blight is for a public use. It would eliminate the ability of governments to utilize eminent domain in
an area-wide approach to blight eradication.

More power to the property owner? Less power to the state to seize your land? And did someone mention blight? I figure since the BS Village Council would probably oppose this, I’ll support it.

Proposal 2006-05: Educational Funding Guarantee Law

The proposal would amend the State School Aid Act to guarantee a minimum amount of state funding for K-12 schools, community colleges, and universities in Fiscal Year 2007 (FY07). For all years after fiscal year 2007, the proposal would guarantee funding increases equal to the annual change in inflation.

This is a toughie. I’m usually for anything that will help education, but they say this one doesn’t help the students nearly as much as it helps the teachers. And while I’ve never met a teacher I didn’t like (except Mrs. Lee), I’m tempted to vote yes. But if I’m still so undecided at election time, I think I’ll flip a coin at the last minute.

I hope this guide has been informational or at the very least, entertaining. Don’t forget to haul your lazy butt off the sofa and vote. Dr. Phil doesn’t come on till three and it’s repeated at five on channel 2, so you have plenty of time to do your democratic duty.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Close to home

Attention all readers:
Please be sure to watch Friday's episode of Dr. Phil (5PM CBS). The story should hit close to home. From the Dr. Phil website:

Shocking Accusations
Bonii, a desperate grandmother sent Dr. Phil a video showing how her 3-year-old granddaughter, Kaylee, hysterically reacts when she leaves and returns from visits with her father, Jeremy. Bonii and her daughter Krista, Kaylee's mom, are accusing Jeremy of molesting Kaylee for the last year. Jeremy says he's innocent, and Bonii and Krista are coaching Kaylee to say bad things about him. Both sides bring video to prove their point. What does Dr. Phil think of the parents' actions? In a dramatic move, he calls a time out during the middle of the show to have one-on-one converstaions with each parent. Are Jeremy and Krista being honest with Dr. Phil? They agree to be put to the test. Dr. Phil vows to find out the truth, and make sure Kaylee has a safe home.

For more information, please visit:
To watch the preview of the show, click here,