Smell the Blog
Friday, February 07, 2003
U.S. Raises Terrorism Alert Level
Attorney General John Ashcroft made the announcement Friday that the nation's color-coded terror-alert system had been raised from yellow to orange, which is the second highest level on a five-point scale. The highest level is red.
Smell the Blog went out to the streets to find out what the average American will do diferently with this knowledge. Here are some responses:
Barry Carter, 25, Systems Analyst: "OK, we're at orange now? That's higher than yellow or lower? What does that mean exactly?"
Geena Bridgers, 40, Housewife: "The most important thing we can do is to think of the children. What would do if the children were harmed? WHAT WOULD WE DO???"
Howard Stanley, 67, Retired: "Please don't mug me."
Carrie Parker, 19, student: "That reminds me, I was supposed to meet my friends at Orange Julius at 3. Thanks!"
Derek Foghart, 27, unemployed: "I'm gonna git my guns, my dog, and sit in my backyard bomb shelter and wait for them towel heads to come and try and take me alive. I've got plenty of Slim Jims and JD to keep me going."
California opens own homeland security office, immediately goes over budget
California created its own homeland security department Friday to help coordinate the state's responses to potential terrorist threats, although the agency's focus will be on improving communications among law enforcement officials and not on gathering intelligence.
Gov. Gray Davis signed an executive order in Los Angeles putting his security adviser, former FBI agent George Vinson, in charge of an agency that will consist mainly of a handful of employees whose job will be to make sure that word of potential threats from Washington is passed down to local police agencies and fire departments as quickly as possible.
It was also revealed that 10 minutes after signing the executive order creating the homeland security office, the office immediately reported that it was $10 million over budget and would require more tax money from California residents. Gov. Davis blamed the shortfall on Texas energy companies.
28 Injured In Casino Bus Crash
An Atlantic City casino-bound tour bus that had been seen weaving erratically through traffic lost control and overturned Friday injuring 28 people, police said. Oddsmakers had put the odds on the bus crashing at 20 to 1, meaning a minimum $10 bet returned winnngs of $200 less fees.
Thursday, February 06, 2003
Three Detained For Suspicious Behavior On Flight
Three men were detained Thursday at the Baltimore-Washington International Airport after a report of suspicious behavior aboard a flight from Detroit, Michigan, a federal official said.
The men were "acting suspiciously. They were enjoying themselves and made numerous comments about the "generous legroom", pleasant demeanor of the flight attendants and the overall wonerful level of service they were receiving," according to an FBI source. "When crew members heard such bizzare comments coming from this group of passengers, they began to get suspicous. Nobody has a pleasant time on airline flights anymore, especially in coach."
A check of the aircraft did not turn up any weapons, instruments or materials that would constitute any credible threat, the FBI said.
The North American Aerospace Defense Command scrambled a pair of F-16 jets just before 8 a.m. EST from Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland to monitor the plane's progress.
Flight attendants reported the behavior aboard Northwest Airlines Flight 1134 about 30 minutes after takeoff, said Transportation Security Administration spokeswoman Heather Rosenker.
Authorities were interviewing the men and flight crew, Rosenker said. "We felt it necessary to take every precaution. When you hear something as insane as passengers openly discussing their enjoyment of the flying experience, you just know something isn't right."
Wednesday, February 05, 2003
U.N. Declares Itself Toothless, Useless
Responding to U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell's compelling presentation of evidence that Iraq is deceiving the U.N. and weapons inspectors, the international body declared itself a colassal waste of time today. French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin said:
Now that Secretary Powell has backed us into a corner, we are declaring ourselves and this body to be full of spineless, shifty jellyfish. We have no intention of ever going along with the U.S. and enforcing our own resolutions. We just want to maintain the staus quo and whine when it blows up in our faces. That's what France is good at.
Chinese Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan had the following to say:
We brutally repress our own people and aspire to dominate the world someday. Why should we blame Hussein for wanting to do the same? Or take action that will strengthen our chief rival in world influence in the U.S.? Don't be ridiculous. Inspections are silly and useless, therefore we support more of the same.
Joschka Fischer, German Foreign Minister, said:
Let's face it folks, we're never going to support any action. Why don't we just pack it up and go home. This old building smells anyway. I can't believe you haven't figured out yet that we're just stringing you along. Good God man, did you really think we were going to support any action? BWAHAHAHAHA.
Mandela Has Jaundice, Health at Risk
Former South African President Nelson Mandela is struggling with serious health problems related to jaundice. Mandela has not urinated in over a week. At a press conference to denounce the United States of America's stance on Iraq, Mandela said the following, "Nothing, and I mean nothing should be done in this world without the approval of the United Nations. The United Nations, and the United Nations alone has the authority to decide who should do what. I haven't taken a piss in over a week because the United Nations Security Council has not passed a resolution allowing me to do so. If I die from complications from not pissing, or I piss my pants, so be it. Who am I to defy the United Nations? We're talking about the international community here. What right have I to defy the whims of third world dictators and mass murderers?"
When asked if he would seek medical treatment should his condition worsen, Mandela said he hoped for a UN Resolution later this week permitting him to see a physician. When appraised of Mandela's comments and condition, Secretary of State Colin Powell's only comment was "What a fucking loony."
Monday, February 03, 2003
New York Mayor Bloomberg proposes nationwide "New York City" tax
With times tight and New York City's budget crunched for revenue, "Republican" New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg announced a bold new plan to help boost city revenues. "What we propose is that anyone who does business with anyone or any business that resides in the New York City pay a tax to the city. As a matter of fact, since we're the economic engine that drives this nation and the self-proclaimed 'Greatest City in the Universe', we propose that anyone who does business in America at all can trace their business back to our great city, and therefore owes us a tax on that revenue."
"Where would this great nation be without New York?" asked Bloomberg at yesterday's press conference. "This nation owes us a debt of gratitude, but more than that, you owe us a debt, period. It's time you all paid tribute to our greatness for allowing yourselves to ride our coattails and share this great nation with us."
The tax as proposed would be a flat 0.5% tax on sales of any and all goods and services in the nation. Only food would be exempt from the tax, as even the Mayor admits New York doesn't grow or supply any of the nation's food. The Mayor's aide noted that this tax would be assessed on top of the proposed commuter tax that is generating controvesy in the greater metropolitan area.