Nobel Economics Committee to Insist on MS Office Certificates

Stockholm, Sweden – Alarmed by the news that one of the most influential and widely cited economic papers of the past decade was based on an Excel spreadsheet error, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences announced today that all future candidates for the Nobel Prize in Economics would be required to produce certificates demonstrating competence in basic MS Office skills.

Disgraced Harvard economists Reinhart and Rogoff holding a fake MS Office certificate

Disgraced Harvard economists Reinhart and Rogoff holding a fake MS Office certificate

In a press conference today in the Swedish capital, spokesperson Claus Jorgensen said it was important the prestige of the Nobel Prize not be diminished by the dismal science of economics.

“The Nobel Prize is the culmination of a lifetime of brilliant achievement in science by physicists, chemists, and medical researchers,” said Mr. Jorgensen. “It acknowledges contributions to the human spirit through the bringing of peace and the creation of inspirational literature. We can’t have all that ruined by the wackos in the economics department.”

“I mean, have you ever visited an economics department?” asked Mr. Jorgensen. “It’s like the reject bin for people who were too weird to be in the maths department. Most universities just put them in the basement and hope no one notices they’re there.”

The 21st century has been particularly unkind to the discipline of economics, which not only spectacularly failed to predict the GFC in 2008 but also responded to the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression by advocating policies of austerity that have done more damage than the initial crash.

This is all the more damaging since the past eighty years of economics have been dedicated to not repeating the policy mistakes of the Great Depression, which have now been repeated thanks to the advice of economists.

Austerity economics 101

Austerity economics 101

“That’s completely untrue!” said conservative financial historian Niall Ferguson. “Austerity is essential, otherwise how would we pay for basic government services? We’d have to tax the rich.”

Mr. Ferguson looked flabbergasted when asked to explain why that would be such a bad thing. “That’s just basic economics, man! If you tax the rich and redistribute that money to the poor, then everyone has less money. You can’t grow a harvest by spreading seed evenly around a field; you need to put it all in one place to get a really giant beanstalk that anyone with the balls to do it can climb to raid the riches in the giant’s castle.”

“Honestly, some of the fairy tales you people believe about economics,” chuckled Mr. Ferguson, shaking his head in disbelief.

Despite such convincing arguments for austerity in theory, it has not escaped people’s attention that austerity economics are not working in practice. The final nail in the coffin, however, was the news that the renowned Reinhart-Rogoff austerity paper warning of a critical 90% debt-to-GDP threshold was based on faulty figures. Specifically, the two Harvard economists don’t know how to add a column of figures using Excel, a fact discovered not by a learned committee of fellow economists but by a graduate student at the University of Massachusetts.

“That’s just the final straw right there,” said Mr. Jorgensen emphatically. “I mean, we have people getting the physics prize who can calculate the gravitational force of a black hole and the economics people can’t even add some numbers using a computer programme specifically designed to do basic addition? And nobody else in the field even noticed?!”

Prof. von Mieses defended economics by giving Nobel Committee, self, the finger.

Prof. von Mieses defended economics by giving Nobel Committee, self, the finger.

The Nobel Committee, however, which established the economics prize in 1968, felt it would be an embarrassing retreat to simply abolish the prize less than fifty years later. Instead, it has decided that all future candidates must produce certificates demonstrating basic proficiency in MS Office, as well as sing their eleven times tables.

Opposition to the move came swiftly. “Those Scandinavian government-loving fascists can certify my liberty-loving ass,” said Prof. Friedrich von Mieses of the Ayn Rand Institute for Economic Freedom. “I don’t need no certificate. Let the free market decide whether or not my ideas are right.”

When told that the free market had completely crashed and burned on the back of his theories, Prof. von Mieses said: “Fucking Excel and its click-and-drag bullshit.”

The Nobel Committee remained unmoved, however. “If economics wants to be taken seriously as a science, then it’s simply going to have to learn how to use point-and-click technology,” said Mr. Jorgensen.

Merkel Rejects Cyprus President’s Request for Cuddle

Nicosia, Cyprus – As Cyprus enters increasingly desperate straits under the quadruple pressure of bust banks, excessive government expenditure, an inability to borrow on international markets, and a housing crash, German Chancellor Angela Merkel repeated today that though she sympathised with the people of Cyprus, she would continue to refuse Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades’ increasingly urgent requests for a cuddle.

Anastasiades is desperate for a hug, but Merkel continues to refuse.

Anastasiades is desperate for a hug, but Merkel continues to refuse.

Said Chancellor Merkel: “We are currently engaged in constructive dialogue with the Cypriot government and our EU partners to find a resolution to this situation that will restore a sense of common purpose to the European project and remind us once again that we are all in this together.

“However, that does not include giving Mr. Anastasiades’ a cuddle to reassure him that Mutti Merkel still loves him,” added die Kanzlerin sternly. “He made this mess, so he has to clean it up first.”

Mr. Anastasiades has been increasingly vocal in recent weeks that, given the dire state of Cyprus’ economy, he really, really, needs a hug. “Jesus, I said I was sorry already,” mumbled Mr. Anastasiades, dragging deeply on a cigarette. He paused to take a quick swig from a hip flask. “I won’t do it again! But she says I’m a grown-up now so I have to pay my own debts.”

“She can be such a bitch sometimes,” he added gloomily.

Mr. Anastasiades said he wasn't sure how much longer he or Cyprus could go on unless Merkel gave him a cuddle soon.

Mr. Anastasiades said he wasn’t sure how much longer he or Cyprus could go on unless Merkel gave him a cuddle soon.

The strident debate goes to the heart of the crisis afflicting the Eurozone. Germany, as the largest economy in Europe, is effectively responsible for supporting other nations in times of economic downturn in order for the Eurozone to recover and prosper. Knowing this, certain nations threw a huge party and trashed the house in a coke-fuelled bender of epic proportions. A furious Merkel is refusing to pay for the damage unless the guilty parties forfeit their pocket money for the next five years.

“This irresponsible behaviour cannot be tolerated,” declared Merkel. “If I just hug the president of Cyprus now and tell him everything is OK, next week I’ll come home to find him in crotchless spandex pants getting a lap dance from sixteen hairy Greek prostitutes, all paid for with my credit card. A line must be drawn.”

Cyprus, however, came out fighting. “If she hadn’t left the keys to the drinks cabinet, none of this would have happened!” insisted Mr. Anastasiades indignantly. “So, really, it’s her fault! She knows what I’m like and she can’t just make it that easy for me to access the vault.

“Also, I could totally go for sixteen hairy Greek lap dancers right now,” he added wistfully.

"Yeah, that's what I'm talking about," growled Mr. Anastasiades breathily.

“Yeah, that’s what I’m talking about,” growled Mr. Anastasiades breathily.

Opinion on the “Hug for Cyprus” has sharply divided Europe into those who favour an austere parental approach and those who believe in forgiveness, love, and free money.

“Nein!” said Augustus von Scheisskopf (35) when asked for his opinion on the streets of Frankfurt. “She’s our Mutti! It’s her job to look after us, not you.” He chomped stoutly on a chocolate bar, his jowls wobbling. “Mutti doesn’t love you,” he sneered before waddling away to beat some Turkish immigrants with his riding crop.

Cypriots, however, had radically different views. “Germans are hug Nazis,” said Kostas Fecklessaris (21) fervently. “You ask a German for a hug, and a billion euro, and all you get is a no. Tightwad cold fish Nazis.”

Leaders of fellow troubled nations like Spain and Portugal agreed with Mr. Anastasiades that Merkel needed to be more Latin and less Teutonic with her hugging. Greek PM Antonis Samaras said he agreed in spirit, but wasn’t talking to Mr. Anastasiades after his slanderous assertion that Greek women were hairy.

Perhaps the most sobering comments came from Irish Taoiseach Enda Kenny, however. “Oh, we’ve been nothing but good boys since the whole house party,” said Mr. Kenny. “We give her all our pocket money and she hugs us all the time. All the time…” he repeated with a thousand-yard stare. “It’s been years now since we’ve had our heads out of that ample German bosom. She’s got our Irish heads squashed between her giant Teutonic tits and now we can’t breathe!” Mr. Kenny gasped for air and dashed out of the room.

Local Man Disappointed by Taste of Real Beef

Castlebar – Shocked by the news that his long-time staple of Findus beef lasagne is actually 100% horse, local Castlebar man Pat Murphy (29) treated himself to a steak dinner at the 4-star Harlequin Hotel, only to discover to his chagrin that he doesn’t like beef.

Mr. Murphy tried to make the best of it, but knew beef was a poor substitute at best.

Mr. Murphy tried to make the best of it, but knew beef was a poor substitute at best.

“It tastes like a cow’s arse, to be honest,” sighed Mr. Murphy, as he looked miserably at his expensive rump steak. “I don’t know what I expected really. Just with all the fuss about it I thought I must have been missing out on something.”

“Maybe I should ask for a banjo so I can tenderise it a bit more,” he said gloomily.

In recent days, the nation has been shocked to learn that the popular rhetorical question “Where’s the beef?” is not actually rhetorical in Ireland. This has led to a great deal of soul-searching, and lasagne searching, as the public attempts to find the truth and the beef.

“It’s a complete and total surprise,” said Findus PR manager Art O’Hare. “Findus has been absolutely scrupulous in sourcing its quality products from only the most reputable firms in the Eurozone.

“We purchased the goods from a company dodging tax in Luxembourg which got its meat from a rural Romanian abbatoir.

“Actually,” said Mr. O’Hare with a frown, “when you put it like that I suppose it’s not a complete and total surprise that the beef was a load of old horse.”

The Romanian abbatoir claims the cows escaped in a small Lada.

The Romanian abbatoir claims the cows escaped in a small Lada.

Although it’s unclear how long this scam has been going on, Mr. Murphy reckons it must be well over a decade.

“I’ve lived on Findus lasagne since I was a student and I’d have noticed if there was a sudden change in the meat quality,” said Mr. Murphy. “But it’s always been of the highest standard – lean, tender, swift through the gut, you know?

“This beef stuff is just a lump of fat that sits there for days until you flush it out with Guinness.”

Mr. Murphy took us on a tour of his local supermarket and showed us the now-empty shelves where he used to purchase tainted products.

“There used to be hundreds here. Now they’re all gone,” he said with an air of profound melancholy. “I’d shut the stable door, but that horse has bolted.

“I should have kept a few in the deep freeze.”

The scandal has prompted a deep revision of many landmarks in Irish culture. The classic Kerrygold question, “Who’s taking the horse to France?” has now acquired sinister overtones, while the Rubber Bandits have released a new single, “Horse Inside,” which is currently storming the charts.

While many people profess to be disgusted, Mr. Murphy said that even in the week since the announcement there has been a growing underground trade in horsemeat from people like himself who have suddenly discovered they don’t like beef.

“Yeah, look, I mean, it’s a no brainer, right? You look at a horse standing next to a cow in the field. One of them’s a magnificent animal that’s nothing but ripe muscle and pride and the other’s a fat bitch sitting in her own shit. It’s like being asked to choose between Beyonce and Oprah – who you gonna pork?”

“Of course, Beyonce costs a bit more on the black market, if you know what I mean, but for a prime cut like that it’s totally worth it.”

"Horsemeat, cowmeat," said Mr. Murphy emphatically.

“Horsemeat, cowmeat,” said Mr. Murphy emphatically.

Although he refused to reveal the source of his contacts, Mr. Murphy said that it was relatively easy to import Pferdewurst from Germany and carne de caballo from Spain.

“It’s a disgrace, though,” he said bitterly as he revealed how costly it is to import meat from the continent. “All the good horses in this country are controlled by the rich – JP McManus, John Magnier, all those boys. I bet they sit there every night munching on fuckin’ Shergar while the rest of us have to make do with Bessie the cow.

“This country hasn’t changed since the 19th century. It’s like we’re still living under the Penal Laws. Even today, a poor man can’t afford a decent horse.

“Then we were made a present of it by Findus and the government took it away. It’s fuckin’ typical of Ireland that even when we do get a gift horse we don’t put in in our mouths because of how it might look.”

Tarantino Oscar Speech to Use ‘Nigger’ 108 Times

LA, California – Maverick filmmaker Quentin Tarantino, whose most recent movie Django Unchained has been nominated for five Academy Awards, said today that he was writing the greatest Oscar acceptance speech in history, one that will movingly honour the victims of slavery and calls for reconciliation and the final rehabilitation of the word ‘nigger’.

Tarantino is a passionate advocate of niggers, right to say 'nigger'.

Tarantino is a passionate advocate of niggers, right to say ‘nigger’.

“Niggers be hurtin’, man,” jabbered Tarantino in his characteristic ranting fashion. “My movie shows the nigger truth – people hurting niggers, niggers hurting niggers, niggers shooting back at nigger-haters. That’s all American history right there.”

“Niggers,” he added after realising that his last sentence might not have shocked anyone.

Django Unchained has been nominated for Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay, but many have criticised it for its frequent use of the ‘N_____’ word.

“I respect Quentin Tarantino as a vibrant and dynamic filmmaker,” said respected philosopher and critic Kwame Anthony Appiah. “And I understand the need for art to challenge conventions and expose society’s members to harsh truths. But I wonder if it was really necessary to use a word so charged with negative connotations of violence and oppression 108 times over the course of a three-hour movie.”

"I'm talking about ending racial hatred in this country, so you niggers better listen up."

“I’m talking about ending racial hatred in this country, so you niggers better listen up.”

Tarantino scoffed at Appiah’s concerns, however. “Three hours?! I’m planning to use the word ‘nigger’ 108 times in five minutes during my Best Picture acceptance speech, nigger! Compared to that, Django Unchained is a fucking political correctness conference run by lesbians and shit. Some nigger thinks I shouldn’t do it, well, he needs to face up to the reality of his niggerhood. People in America, they be using the word nigger. I’m an American and I say nigger. As an artist, I’ve got to be true to myself and my cultural heritage.”

“Niggers,” he added, again realising that his last sentence could be quoted out of context to make him seem considered and thoughtful.

Tarantino said his greatest challenge would be to trying to say everything he wanted to say within the strict time limits for acceptance speeches.

“Man, I am going to be talking fast up there, real fast, you know, just like ‘niggerniggerniggerniggerniggerniggerniggerniggerniggernigger’. I’m going to be like a fucking racist fire engine, man, I shit you not, if I’m going to make it to 108 before the music pisses all over my speech.”

“I hope Halle Berry gets to present the award, too, because then I can show everyone how much I love niggers at the same time,” hooted Tarantino, air-squeezing an imaginary set of breasts.

"That's right, present it to me just like that, you nigger bitch!" yelled Tarantino.

“That’s right, present it to me just like that, you nigger bitch!” yelled Tarantino.

As controversy raged, President Obama tried to calm the dispute by offering his characteristic absence of leadership. “Our great nation’s past was stained by the original sin of slavery. Quentin Tarantino is a great American artist dealing with that past, although I’m not sure he needs to use such inflammatory language. I guess it’s kind of a tough one.”

“Yup,” concluded the President thoughtfully.

Republicans were quick to fill the void left by the president. “I support freedom of speech,” declared House Leader John Boner. “No government regulation! Let the free market decide. Using nigger helped sell the movie and that’s all the validation it needs.

“Now that we know there’s a big market for it, I’m going to start using it myself,” continued Boner. “You know what’s wrong with America? Niggers! Particularly that nigger in the White House. We need to get all the niggers out, starting with him.”

Some filmgoers couldn’t see what all the controversy was about. When asked if he thought it offensive to label black people ‘niggers’, Scarlett O’Neck (43)of Alabama scratched her head in confusion and replied: “Well, what the heck would you call ‘em?”

The man at the centre of this controversy remains unrepentant, however. “Man, all this publicity, and I ain’t even made the speech yet! Ain’t no nigger got their finger on the pulse of America like old Quentin, baby.

“Maybe I should try and say nigger 109 times instead,” Tarantino mused.

Lance Armstrong Admits Winning Tour de France on Small Motorbike

LA, California – America and the world of cycling were in shock today as Lance Armstrong, the controversial cycling superstar, finally admitted that he had won his record seven Tour de France titles with the illegal aid of a small motorbike.

Lance Armstrong confesses under the hypnotic spell of Oprah's boobs.

Lance Armstrong confesses under the hypnotic spell of Oprah’s boobs.

Speaking on the Oprah Winfrey show, Armstrong said: “I think it’s wrong to benefit from unearned success. I shouldn’t be allowed to profit from endorsing products, when I don’t deserve my celebrity. I know this will come as a shock to everyone who’s supported me down through the years, to my family, to my friends, to my bike mechanic. But I’m afraid the rumours are true.” A single tear rolled down Armstrong’s rugged cheek. “I did win the Tour de France using a performance enhancing motorbike.”

“Actually, it was a Kawasaki Vulcan 2000,” said Armstrong, with a quick nod towards his sponsor. “A bike that can take you to the top of the world!”

Lance Armstrong became a national hero in America when he recovered from brain, lung, and testicular cancer to win the Tour de France seven times. However, his career has been plagued by accusations of drug cheating. Armstrong, though, flatly denied that this was the case.

“How on earth are drugs supposed to help anyone win the Tour de France?” asked Armstrong in exasperation. “Do you see anyone in the Tour de France who ain’t on drugs? I even put steroids in my gas tank, just to give me my bike a little more oomph.”

"And that was the guy who came last!"

“And that was the guy who came last!”

“The steroids of champions, by the way, ain’t made in France. They’re made right here in America by Roid Sally Roid, Inc. of Houston, Texas,” added Armstrong, with a wink at the camera. “Just sayin’ to all you future Olympians, is all.”

Armstrong revealed that he first began to use a motorbike after his return to cycling from cancer treatment. “At first, it was just a small engine designed to look like a water bottle, you know? It could give me a little boost when I needed it.

“But then, when no one said anything, I started getting more reckless. I mean, everyone could see what I was doing, but who’s going to say anything to a cancer patient? Soon, I was thinking about just riding my Harley from start to finish.

“Harley Davidson,” repeated Armstrong in a tough, masculine voice. “The motorbike that made America, and helped an American in yellow shit on France.”

Armstrong admitted that he had had a number of anxious moments when it seemed like his secret was going to be revealed. “Yup, I came home one day and my wife threw a plate at my head and called me a cheating, lying bastard,” said Armstrong.

“Fortunately, she was just talking about my affair with Sheryl Crow.”

Asked by Oprah if he felt any regret about leaving his wife for the singer, Armstrong said: “Hell no! If It Makes You Happy, it can’t be that bad. And Sheryl’s willing to do All I Wanna Do, and I ain’t talking ‘bout her hit record!”

Crow said all Armstrong wanted to do was look at his seven framed yellow jersies all day.

Crow said all Armstrong wanted to do was look at his seven framed yellow jersies all day.

“Oh, yeah,” chuckled Armstrong knowingly. “You heard me, France.”

Despite the secrecy, however, a few journalists began to suspect that something was wrong when Armstrong consistently won the Tour de France.

“Yeah, see that’s the real problem right there,” said Armstrong. “I wasn’t caught because I cheated; I was caught because everyone else cheated and I still beat them. Then people started asking how I did it. There was only one answer.

“Nike,” said Armstrong, looking meaningfully at the camera. “The sneaker of champions.”

Some fans refused to accept Armstrong’s heartfelt apology and discount offers on all Armstrong-endorsed products for the first 100 callers.

“I can’t forgive that man,” said Ellen Grant (32). “His confession just ruined my favourite film – Dodgeball. Now that scene where he persuades Vince Vaughn to return for the final just makes no sense.

“It’s a good thing Chuck Norris is still a pillar of integrity, otherwise the whole movie would be ruined.”

Chuck Norris - the last man standing for American values.

Chuck Norris – the last man standing for American values.

Others, however, said that Armstrong had more than proven himself in their eyes.

“He’s right, goddammit!” bellowed Hank Bowles (44), an executive with a sportswear company. “Nike is the sneaker of champions! Lance Armstrong, you’re all right!”

At the end of an emotional interview, Armstrong cried on Oprah’s shoulder and then received a standing ovation. “God bless America!” shouted Armstrong, visibly moved. “And fuck France!”

The nation cheered and then hurriedly dialled the hotline numbers running at the bottom of the screen for Lance Armstrong-endorsed products.

Apocalypse Industry Predicts Continuing Growth in 2013

Bugarch, France – After a bumper 2012, in which fears of an apocalypse were caused by a minor defect in the ancient Mayan calendar, the apocalypse industry announced at its annual convention today in the town of Bugarach, France, that it foresaw a bright future for 2013, followed by death.

Dame Nostra Ussi delivers her keynote address to the apocalypse industry.

Dame Nostra Ussi delivers her keynote address to the apocalypse industry.

Industry spokesperson Dame Nostra Ussi (42) said: “There are all kinds of economic doomsayers predicting that we will never have another year like 2012, but I believe the apocalypse industry has a rosy future ahead of it.”

“And I’m not just talking about the massive solar flare that will wipe out all life on this planet,” she quipped to general amusement.

Predicting the apocalypse has traditionally been a niche area of the global economy and is largely associated in the popular imagination with bearded cult leaders like Charles Manson, David Koresh, Karl Marx and Jesus Christ. In recent years, however, its reputation has been damaged by the intrusion of science.

“That Y2K nonsense single-handedly put back the industry by at least a dozen years,” declared Dame Ussi in ringing tones. “These scientists have brought our product into disrepute with their pathetic, irrational fears. Honestly, how people fell for that bullshit is beyond me.

“We’re lucky the Mayan apocalypse came along when it did.”

A Taiwanese apocalyptic cult about to be very disappointed.

A Taiwanese apocalyptic cult about to be very disappointed.

The long-awaited day of the Mayan ‘Fifth Sun’, predicted for 21/12/2012, sparked a renaissance of interest in the end of the world and prompted both Australian PM Julia Gillard and NASA to release public videos addressing the end of the world, although as a representative of the scientific community NASA obviously had no credibility.

“In the past few years we have sold documentaries, movies, books, music, and innumerable articles on the end of the world,” said Ussi. “We even propagated an internet hoax saying that Gangnam Style guy was one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Sales of New Age crystals have quintupled; tarot card sales are through the roof; there’s a shortage of trained homeopathists.

“Jesus, some people were so worried they even went to live in Australia, although I don’t think any responsible industry should promote such reckless disregard for its customers.

“There are worse things than the end of the world, after all.”

Ussi said the apocalypse industry had found its feet again by focusing on its core principles. “Natural disasters with vaguely religious overtones of judgment – that’s our meal ticket, people. Plague, zombies, mega-earthquakes, giant meteors, possibly Obamacare depending on your audience. The threat has to be large and vague enough to somehow be caused by either gay marriage or Wall Street.

Roomba Robots have failed to excite the imagination of apocalyptic cults anywhere.

Roomba Robots have failed to excite the imagination of apocalyptic cults anywhere.

“And don’t let the scientists distract you with talk of robots!” she thundered. “That’s just a dead end. The only robot anyone’s actually seen is a Roomba, and what’s that supposed to do, vacuum the world to death?

Science,” she sneered.

Ussi said that the apocalypse industry could replicate the success of 2012 by focusing on Asian bird flu and possibly the return of SARS. “Global warming is just too slow. We need to concentrate on the danger posed by fast-acting airborne diseases which, admittedly, have a less than 10% fatality rate but might through the sexual and financial deviancy of married gay stockbrokers become as lethal as Ebola.

“If we do that, then I believe we can post three quarters of solid growth in 2013 before the mass extinction of the human race makes a significant dent in our fourth quarter prospects.”

Ussi also announced an ambitious plan to lobby for government funding due to the mental health benefits of the apocalypse. “Obviously, there are a lot of unhappy people out there,” said Ussi. “And one of the things that makes them unhappy is the happiness of others. That’s the appeal of the end of the world – not only will your misery end, but you won’t have to die knowing the rest of the world doesn’t give a shit. When the plague hits, everyone’s going to give the diarrhoea of shits.

Apocalypticists promoting the peaceful, non-violent end of the human race.

Apocalypticists promoting the peaceful, non-violent end of the human race.

“However, certain enthusiasts have recently been taking matters into their own hands,” said Ussi disapprovingly. “And what can the scientists do about that? Nothing! That’s because psychology and sociology are complete bullshit. What you need is a publicly funded institution for the end of the world in every town.

“That way all the people liable to hurry Ragnarok along with a Kalashnikov and a Bowie knife will show up where we can show them the error of their ways. You can’t take God’s judgment into your own hands. You have to wait until next December when the sun goes nova.

“A federal programme establishing Centres of Human Extinction in each community could seriously reduce deaths from mass shootings.

“After all, these people are our target audience,” added Ussi. “Having them go on murder-suicide rampages is bad for our bottom line.”

“We need to make them wait until next year like everyone else.”

NRA Announces “Guns for Kids” Scheme to Prevent School Shootings

Connecticut – In the wake of the tragic mass killing of twenty children and six women at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, the National Rifle Association (NRA) has announced a new plan to prevent any more shootings at American schools by ensuring every American schoolchild exercises its right under the Second Amendment to bear arms.

Mars Krieglieber taking a stand against crazy lone gunmen.

Mars Krieglieber taking a stand against crazy lone gunmen.

A sorrowful Mars Krieglieber (42), the vice-president of the NRA, announced the new scheme at a ceremony to commemorate the victims. “The threats to our children from gun violence are increasing year on year,” warned Mr. Krieglieber. “Think of Columbine, Virginia Tech, and now Sandy Hook Elementary School. It is time we took bold and decisive action to make sure no more of our children are shot dead in our schools.”

“I call on Congress to make funds available to ensure every schoolchild in America has a gun and isn’t afraid to use it.”

The ‘Guns for Kids’ scheme will ensure that every child on its first day of school is given a pistol with a particularly sensitive trigger so they will have no difficulty squeezing it in the event of being attacked by a homicidal maniac.

The NRA says it has commissioned a study whose statistics prove this is the only sensible course of action. According to the report, a shocking 100% of child victims in school shootings are unarmed.

“See, that’s the only statistic that matters right there!” said Krieglieber passionately. “The problem isn’t that crazy people can buy guns. The problem is that our kids can’t shoot back.”

Noted Republican Jesus H. Christ supports 'Guns for Kids.'

Noted Republican Jesus H. Christ supports ‘Guns for Kids.’

“We need serious reform of America’s gun laws to remove destructive limitations on gun ownership. This tragedy has shown us that archaic laws and traditions from the 18th century saying five year-olds shouldn’t have firearms have no place in modern America.”

Reform of gun laws is a hot topic in the USA, which has a massively higher rate of violent homicide than any other advanced nation. Krieglieber, however, believes the problem lies not simply with gun laws but within the American education system.

“All these people who say that countries with stricter gun laws have fewer violent deaths just show what’s wrong with the education system in this country,” said Krieglieber impatiently. “If our kids could open fire at will then there wouldn’t be any violent deaths from school shootings so those numbers are all skewed to begin with.”

“This kind of faulty reasoning is what happens when you spend all your time teaching math instead of basic marksmanship.”

The executive director of Gun Owners of America, Larry Pratt, was quick to endorse the new scheme. Said Pratt:

Gun control supporters have the blood of little children on their hands… This tragedy underscores the urgency of getting rid of gun bans on school zones. The only thing accomplished by gun free zones is to ensure that mass murderers can slay more before they are finally confronted by someone with a gun.

Even moderate commentators suggested that the NRA’s plan was certainly worth thinking about. Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic wrote:

People should have the ability to defend themselves. Mass shootings take many lives in part because no one is firing back at the shooters. The shooters in recent massacres have had many minutes to complete their evil work, while their victims cower under desks or in closets… law-abiding, well-trained, non-criminal, wholly sane citizens have a role to play in their own self-defence.

Goldberg said Israel was a role model for dealing with violence in a humane manner.

Goldberg said Israel was a role model for dealing with violence in a humane manner.

Goldberg admitted there were some flaws in his scheme. “Well, as shooters can buy fully automatic machine guns over the Internet using a credit card, our schoolchildren will need superior firepower. Ultimately the government will have to give them access to military grade weaponry to make sure they’re safe. I would recommend training children in the use of grenades and even flamethrowers to flush out shooters hiding in supply closets.”

House Republicans were quick to hail the new initiative, saying it could solve many of the country’s problems at one stroke.

“The ‘Guns for Kids’ scheme is exactly what this country needs,” declared Rep. Magnum Winchester (Texas). “Not only will it keep our kids safe, it will help reduce the federal deficit. We can pay for it simply by transferring all healthcare funding to the arms industry. This will create strong American jobs making guns for our kids while the resulting drop in violent shootings will mean we won’t need so many hospitals anyway.”

“On top of that, by incorporating arms industry spending into education, we can massively increase our education budget. It’s the right thing to do for our children’s future.”

Some Tea Party activists said the solution lay in going back to the original meaning of the Second Amendment. “The Constitution of the United States,” said Mary-Lou Wesson (41) proudly, “gives every American the right to bear arms or arm bears. I think it’s time for Option 2.”

“Ain’t no crazy person going to attack no kids when they is protected by a grizzly bear packing an Uzi,” she added. “Yeah.”

A poster from the Tea Party's 'arm bears' campaign.

A poster from the Tea Party’s ‘arm bears’ campaign.

A nation divided other whether or not to provide schools with military grade weaponry or armed grizzly security bears or perhaps some as yet unknown other solution looked with diminishing hope to President Obama for leadership.

Faced with demands for tough new legislation, Obama showed characteristic boldness in ignoring those demands and opting for soothing rhetoric. “We are going to have to come together and take meaningful action,” declared the president, meaninglessly.

Perhaps the final word on this tragic debate belongs to Peggy Holmes (9), one of the brave survivors of the Sandy Hook tragedy. “I don’t think there’s really any help,” she whispered confidentially, looking in alarm at a teddy bear cradling a rocket launcher given to her by a Tea Party activist. “The problem isn’t the guns or the arms or the bears or the kids.”

“It’s that half the adults in this country are total dingbats.”

Budget Speech Announces Radical Austerity Cuts to Truth

Dublin – During his budget speech this week, Minister for Finance Michael Noonan said the time had come for hard choices to be made and announced swingeing cuts to the root cause of Ireland’s economic crisis – reality.

Noonan boldly gave two fingers to reality in his budget.

Noonan boldly gave two fingers to reality in his budget.

Said Noonan: “Since late 2008 this country has been reeling under the greatest crisis in our history. Under the guidance of our benevolent European overlords and the most holy mercy of the IMF, we have enacted vital austerity programmes in every area of public life, save the most crucial – the truth.

“It is time to recognise that the truth has gotten us into this mess and it won’t get us out of it. That’s why we desperately need to economise on the amount of truth in our public discourse.”

Mr. Noonan said that TDs needed to embrace the three D’s – deceit, dissimulation and duplicity – in order to stage a fightback against the crushing reality of Ireland’s situation. He used his budget speech to illustrate the many styles of deception available.

“There are manifest signs that the country is emerging from the worst of the crisis and that the efforts of the Irish people, despite the hardship, are leading to success,” declared Mr. Noonan, boldly opening up with outright bullshit.

“There are different measures of success however and in taking stock of where we are I would like to examine them,” he continued, injecting a healthy dose of ‘different perspectives on the truth’ to the mix.

Noonan later economised on his gestures, saying one finger to reality was enough.

Noonan later economised on his gestures, saying one finger to reality was enough.

“The first measure of success is whether the bail out programme is being fulfilled,” said Noonan, fighting reality by redefining ‘economic success’ so it had nothing to do with people having jobs. “If fulfilling the programme were the only measure of success then we are successful.”

Having bravely declared that Ireland was an economic success story, despite being bankrupt, Noonan then stepped up a gear by doing some audacious lying. “We will not dither or procrastinate but will drive forward to lead this country,” he exclaimed in a ringing voice that avoided mentioning that he, the Minister for Finance, was a geography teacher with a limited grasp of economics.

“We will continue to fulfil the conditions of the bail out programme, we will carefully plan full market return, we will build on the strong sectors of the economy and repair the weak sectors until they are strong again, we will grow the economy and create the jobs for which so many out of work and so many young people yearn,” he said, masterfully demonstrating how to acknowledge, and yet deny the existence of, reality.

Mr. Noonan had earlier claimed that there was no reason for the public to be anxious about the budget because “there’s lots of good thing in it.”

After the preamble, he then explained some of these good things:

  1. The economy was doing so well and the women of Ireland were so patriotic that maternity benefit would now be treated as a taxable income.
  2. Children were enjoying life without Playstations and iPads and shoes so much, and getting such good healthy doses of fresh air daily, that the government was cutting child benefit for the benefit of children.
  3. So much work will become available in the coming year that the duration of the jobseeker’s benefit could be cut by three months and hardly anyone would notice.
  4. Research had shown that people enjoyed wine more when it was more expensive, so the duty on wine would be raised to stimulate people’s enjoyment.
  5. Home carers found their vocations so personally rewarding and enriching that the government was dropping the whole sordid issue of money and pay altogether to encourage their spiritual brightness.

After detailing these and many other good things for Irish people in the greatest Budget ever heard anywhere in the universe ever, Mr. Noonan made some final remarks before he prepared to go outside to a victory parade in his honour, where comely maidens would shower him with their maternity benefits and kisses and somewhat more expensive wines.

Noonan explains exactly what he will do to the comely maidens.

Noonan explains exactly what he will do to the comely maidens.

“We have seen a total transformation in only twelve months!” bullshitted Noonan heroically. “Confidence is returning to Ireland! We are now well on the road to recovery so let’s look to the future with confidence.

“I commend this Budget to the House.”

And with that, the Confidence Fairy herself appeared and showered Ireland with riches and gifts and Michael Noonan’s hair grew back into long flowing locks and the rivers turned into fine wines which the people were allowed to drink in return for only a moderate government tax. And all was well in the Land of Confidence and Hope, once the stringent economies in reality had taken effect.

PETA Accuses Hobbit Producers of Mistreating Wargs

California – As The Hobbit prepares to open in theatres across the world, Hollywood was rocked today by accusations from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) that Oscar-winning director Peter Jackson allowed neglect and abuse of animals used in filming, including wargs.

Some poor wargs lament their mistreatment at the hands of Peter Jackson, forces of good.

PETA spokesperson Bunny Huggington said that unnamed sources who probably worked on the set for a while had hinted that conditions may have been less than ideal for some of the animals involved in shooting.

“Naturally, we at PETA were absolutely shocked when we heard this,” said Ms. Huggington. “Especially when we heard about the wargs. Do you know how many wargs exist in the wild today? They’re an endangered species! God certainly didn’t put them on Middle Earth so goblins could ride them into battle.”

Placing her adorable pet chihuahua in a designer handbag, Ms. Huggington then read out an online petition PETA hoped would initiate a global day of action against Peter Jackson’s tyrannical reign over the animal kingdom.

When The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey hits theatres this December, audiences will be presented with an adventure story set in a fantasy world. For the animals involved in the filming, however, the abuse and neglect they experienced were far too real. In all, 5 horses, 12 chickens, 1 pony, and several goats and sheep were allegedly maimed or killed.

Ms. Huggington admitted that even though some of her cosmetics were tested on animals she just couldn’t live without nail polish.

“Oh, my God!” sobbed Ms. Huggington, suddenly overcome with emotion. “Who would want to harm a poor defenceless chicken? I’m sure no one in the world would like to see anything bad happen to a chicken. That’s why we have to stand up to these evil movie producers.”

Asked to define the use of the word allegedly in the petition Ms. Huggington explained that she thought it meant the same as definitely and it couldn’t be that important anyway as the words immediately after it were in bold.

She then read out the rest of the petition:

What’s worse, this is a Peter Jackson – yes, the master of computer-generated imagery (CGI) – production. In a movie featuring CGI dragons, ogres, and hobbits, CGI animals would have fit in perfectly. He could have madeThe Hobbit without using a single animal – and he should have.

When it was pointed out to Ms. Huggington that hobbits weren’t CGI animals but real actors shot in ways that made them look small, she looked confused. “No, that can’t be right,” she said, scratching her head. “I mean, you can tell the real animals, like wargs, from the fake ones like Martin Freeman. They just look realer, you know?”

PETA wants CGI animals like Martin Freeman used in future productions.

“Anyway, the point is, what sense does it make to go to all the effort of buying a chicken and putting it in the background when you could simply pay a crack team of computer programmers to create CGI chickens at about a million dollars each?”

“I just can’t understand how these monsters think!” she cried, clutching her chihuahua in anguish.

Peter Jackson, upon being told of the petition, snarled into the camera and said: “I eat wargs for breakfast! Ahahahaha!” and then set his pet Rottweilers on some PETA protesters, which placed them in a rather tricky moral dilemma.

Animal lover Jamie Kingston (24) said that while she sympathised with PETA’s aims, she found the protest against The Hobbit rather confusing. “Yeah, like, it’s bad and all but if the number of animals abused is what counts, wouldn’t we be better off protesting outside a supermarket? You can find at least a dozen chickens being abused just on the rotisserie.”

A spokesperson for the film said Peter Jackson had enough trouble looking after himself, let alone the animals on set.

Hobbit fan Ritchie Frinkle (33), who has already started queuing for the premiere, looked aghast when handed the petition. “You want me to miss The Hobbit because there’s a rumour a warg died during production? Do I look like I give even an imaginary shit?”

The majority of filmgoers’ attitudes were summed up by Anne Naughton (35), a mother-of-two who intends to take her children to The Hobbit this Xmas despite the protests. “I kind of care,” she said, when asked on the street. “But I really don’t want to be associated with that Huggington douchebag.”

“And I’d gladly wring a dozen chickens’ necks myself if I thought it would get my kids to shut up and give me some peace for two hours.”

Obama Congratulates Celtic on Historic Victory

Washington – In the wake of last night’s historic victory, President Barack Obama today paid a moving and emotional tribute to an inspirational event that lifted the hopes and dreams of billions around the world – Celtic’s 2-1 win over Barcelona in the Champion’s League.

Obama celebrates Celtic’s win with youngest daughter specially dressed in green for the occasion.

In front of a giant audience of overjoyed soccer fans, Obama praised how Celtic’s courageous defiance of the odds had renewed his faith in the audacity of hope:

No matter what you do or where you go from here, you will carry the memory of the history we made together. (Cheers, applause.) And you will have the lifelong appreciation of a grateful president. Thank you for believing all the way – (cheers, applause) – to every hill, to every valley. (Cheers, applause.) You lifted me up the whole day, and I will always be grateful for everything that you’ve done and all the incredible work that you’ve put in. (Cheers, applause.)

Added Obama in a full-throated roar:

I can’t believe an 18 year-old came off the bench to score the winner! Tony Watt, you fucking beauty!!!!!!!!!

Barcelona are widely regarded as the greatest football team in the world and boast many of the world’s greatest players, including legends like Lionel Messi, Andres Iniesta, and Xavi Hernandez. However, these genii are all quite short, a fact Celtic exploited ruthlessly.

“Aye, we knew they were a bit on the wee side,” said manager Neil Lennon. “So we practised hoofin’ it long, right on top of their wee Spanish heads, ya know? Knockin’ it to back post, getting the big black fella’s nut on it, that sor’ of thing.”

“Take tha’, Messi, ya fuckin’ midget!” he bellowed triumphantly, giving the fist of victory to the cheering multitudes.

“My biggest dream is to be the big black fella nutting it in at the far post,” said a hopeful Obama.

Back in Washington, Obama admitted that Lennon’s forceful oratory had brought him to tears. In the wake of Celtic’s victory, he also acknowledged that a great event like that had the power to make politics just seem like a petty game:

Political campaigns can sometimes seem small, even silly. And that provides plenty of fodder for the cynics who tell us that politics is nothing more than a contest of egos or the domain of special interests.

After taking a hearty swig from a can of Irn-Bru, Obama tried to imitate the rhetorical flourishes of his Scottish heroes:

I’m glad I go’ tha’ election shite over in time to watch the match. Come on you Bhoys in green!

Getting drunker by the second on what is actually a Scottish soft drink, Obama went a bit over the top as he waxed lyrical on the promise of a new dawn held out by Celtic’s amazing victory, predicting that in the future everyone would be able to beat Barcelona:

If you’re willing to work hard, it doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from or what you look like or where you love. It doesn’t matter whether you’re black or white or Hispanic or Asian or Native American or young or old or rich or poor, abled, disabled, gay or straight. (Cheers, applause.)

Dejected Rangers and Barcelona fan Mitt Romney said this was the worst night of his life.

Pausing a little for effect, he said:

The only thing tha’ ma’ers is you’re no’ one o’ those Rangers-supporting Prod cunts! (Cheers, applause.) How ya doin’ down there in Sco’ish Turd Division, Rangers? (Cheers, hoots of derision, various sectarian abuse.) Maybe I should ask Mitt Romney to go have a word with ya, tell you all about what’s it like to be LOOOOO-SERRRRRRRS! (Huge cheers, shirts ripped off, gunshots.)

The global press reacted cautiously to Obama’s somewhat overblown victory speech but admitted that nothing much could really take the gloss off a special night in World History.

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