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Bering Straight Bridge Scrapped

(Basura de Blanco, AK — Murdoch’s Spill — May 2016)

One of the last legacies of former Governor Sarah Palin, for years relentlessly squashed by the Obama Administration, has mercifully been put to rest. The proposed toll bridge over the Bering Straight has been defunded.

The suspension structure was supposed to have connected the Chukchi Peninsula to the Seward Peninsula about 100 miles south of the Arctic Circle. The cost was estimated to be over $140 million and the construction was to employ most of Palin’s extended dysfunctional redneck family.

Progress studies soon proved that the amount of travel between the two spots would never recover the investment “in a million years”, factoring in a possible spike in population, dire global warming and the discovery of gold in both of these locales,” said one Treasury official on the scene.

Palin was recently in the headlines after a dinner with Donald Trump and her hands-on familiarity with domestic violence. She did not return our phone calls Thursday.

“We’d be far better off building a bridge between New York and Moscow and putting the entire Palin clan in jail,” said the official.

– Kashmir Horseshoe

“When she said “I hate your hair, not referring to the color or the style or even the texture but to each individual follicle, I knew the gig was up.”
– Melvin O’Toole, lamenting on lost romance.


Vice Squad Strikes Gold, Parrot City in Flames

Special from The Gladstone Gladiator (May 1, 1884)

(Parrot City) The dark side of the mining boom came to light tonight as contingents of local deputies, backed by Pinkerton agents and remnants of the Colorado State militia staged a midnight raid on brothels and opium dens here.

Their expenses paid by railroad interests the small but hallowed army was silent moments before the strike. They are one as the new abolitionists joined by a young reporter from this paper, a foul-smelling circuit judge and an anxious undertaker from Silverton. They move on the sweaty gulch under the eye of a band of Utes peering from the painted ponies of their last hurrah.

Not since the Civil War have such perverse conditions existed unchecked by civilized men. Upon entering the muddy hollow that has come to be named Parrot City it becomes apparent that one must keep a firm hold on anything of value.

Swaying residents, drunk from rapid fire fermentation, stand in the doorways of makeshift tar shacks watching for the slightest weakness, a blink, on the part of the regiment. A nickel for a beer. Four cents for a life.

The first order of business is to close down and torch the ramshackle Mule Billiards which doubles as a house of ill repute. Since January this dump has hosted several murders in its debauched halls. Miners, heavy with gold dust and momentarily rich in ore from surrounding claims are systematically fleeced here and then thrown out to the rutted streets to survive the frigid night in their skivvies.

Run by Polly Singleton, The Mule will be the first to go. Hallelujah. Watch it go up in flames. Watch the rats scurry to retrieve their lives as the flames creep higher into the frosty spring night. The sun seems to have stayed up in the sky just a wee bit longer to catch the finale. Ashes to ashes. Purification. On to the next den…

That same night there was gunplay out at the Shamrock Mine, some fourteen miles from the main from Sullivan’s Ditch where my father was last seen packing ore onto his bare-boned burro before the descent to the flats and on to the assay office over at Lake City. Some people here say he never made it down the mountain, that a slide got him and washed away his treasure. Others say he was bushwhacked by bandits that roamed the ragged heights. I believe they did him in and took his precious cargo of life. I’m certain his murderers sleep in Parrot City tonight.

When we reach Shamrock a loud explosion distracts us from our holy mission. Light in the sky. Handguns blaze. We return the fire. We can’t tell who is who. Now they’re all cold on the ground. We lost one of the Pinkertons to foot blisters but otherwise reported no casualties. After a meal of army rations we head back to town to continue sterile purge of the infested gambling halls.

The Chattanooga Saloon. Roulette wheels and keno. The devil’s picture book. Whiskey, soaked chips, courtesan champagne, tiny rooms of sin sag the ceiling above. Stains of the boom. Costumes of deplorable mirth!

One staggering poker face draws on a Pinkerton gun slinger. Dead-eye shot! He drops to the hard wood floor never again to shuffle a deck. Another thinks about it, fingering his leather holster but decides to exit through the back alley into the night.

We disarm the lot and detain wicked in the parlor awaiting further instructions from Rev. Chivington, who should be arriving from Capital City this very night.
But wait…they’re hanging the inmates of the Parrot City calaboose! They’ve had no trial! Shouldn’t we wait further…”The boys are just having a little fun,” says a former Union sergeant. “Let them be. We’ll cut ’em down after we’d scared them a bit,” slurs the judge.

Then it was on to the hash parlor, the China Belle opium den where men fancy the foggy dreams of demons and narcotic fantasy, wasting away until the dehydrated dawn comes looking for another handout. Unfortunately there is no one there. They have been warned of our coming and we set the block of leaning shanties ablaze in their absence. It makes a dandy roast on a cold morning. They called the district Parrot City’s Rec Center. The damned at play in the alpine meadows of the Lord!

The Pinkerton bullies are getting itchy for a fight. We’ve met little resistance in our attempts to muck out this hole. Several of the men are headed back down Corduroy Street in search of holdouts. Someone has set fire to the Chattanooga. I wonder did our prisoners get out or face hell’s own fire right here on earth? No report at mid-morning. Witches burned at the stake? The tools of their misdeeds the kindling of vengeance.

Out in the street it is clear that the victims of the necktie party are still in flight, dangling from the noose. Unclaimed souls stranded in space, scarecrows of the swift sword. Fodder of decorum.

Suddenly there is gunfire coming from the upstairs of the Henson Hotel. Somebody’s got a rifle up there. Three of our men are down bleeding in the dirt street. Another is hit.

“Take cover,” screams the sergeant himself holding his belly. “He’s up there,” points one of the deputies, close to tears at the scene. “I can see the rifle!”

The firing subsides and we began the tedious chore of closing in on the balcony assassin. Creeping slowly on all fours I slide along the cupola and into an empty hotel room. The exchange of fire continues, while in its lapses I can almost hear my target breathing through the thin walls of the 19th Century. I hug the hallway wall making my way through barricades as the shooting subsides. I force the door my revolver hip high. There’s no one there.

Surveying the room one more time. Then I pull my handkerchief as a flag of truce and carefully approach the open window. A flurry of bullets greets me there.

Waking up heavily bandaged in a hospital cart I scribble my story while the ghost of John Brown speaks to the righteous of our next engagement. They’ve got excitement in their eyes. A pretty nurse tells me I will likely survive my wounds.

Three weeks later Parrot City is up and running again, a new cast of characters roaming its seedy streets, the mines giving birth to mounds of the evil ore.

– Kashmir Horseshoe

Haliburton Sells North Dakota To Russian Energy Company

Western slope employer, oil field giant and fairly well-off defense contractor Haliburton recently sold North Dakota to the Russian state-owned energy company Gazprom. The move has left Canadian negotiators stunned, as they felt they had been close to a deal to acquire additional rolling prairies, not to mention future pipeline right of way. In a surprise move, Haliburton shut Canada out of the deal, choosing to work with Gazprom instead.
Sources say that Canadian negotiators are steaming mad, as the whole thing was their idea in the first place.

‘Ya, sure. We figured that since nobody over there in Washington was paying much attention to anything, why, Canada might just be able to pick up some of that great Canadian top soil that we’ve been losing down south for years,” remarked Gordie Flambeau, chief Canadian negotiator.

“So, we struck up some talks with those guys over there at Haliburton, cause, gee, we’ve known ’em for years over there and they’re really smart fellas, and anyway, we told ’em what we were thinking. And so then those Haliburton guys, they said, ‘Heck, we pretty much own North Dakota but we really don’t need it anymore. Why don’t you crazy Canucks take North Dakota off our hands?’ So we said sure! Then next thing we know, our old friends over there at Haliburton sold North Dakota right out from under us, to the Ruskies no less. You can imagine that we are pretty darn disappointed.”

Sources from the U.S. State Department expressed some surprise that Haliburton had sold North Dakota and immediately questioned the appropriateness of the transaction. Following our explanation that corporate giant Haliburton had in fact recently sold the state of North Dakota to Russian energy company Gazprom for a twelve figure sum, a spokesman for the State Department indicated off-the-record that they would likely be filing an strong objection to the sale in coming weeks.

Gazprom has refused comment but has initiated armored truck and supply convoys through Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska to North Dakota, aka West St. Petersburg, from Galveston, Texas.  There is reason to believe that Vladimir Putin has scheduled a visit to the newly renamed West St. Petersburg in coming months. Putin has reputedly remarked, “I like to be owning North Dakota. I will ride horse and shoot giant grizzly bear like Teddy Roosevelt and wrestle Buffalo with bare hands.”

It is unclear whether North Dakota will retain its U.S. Congressional delegation, and sources tell us that Congressional officials are scrambling to recall the phone numbers of the North Dakota congressmen so that discussions can begin.

An Bang kitchen

Linger a while in the shade and the tropical breeze. Somone is sure to make a scruptious noodle dish before long.

Cuba wants to use rum to repay debts

(Havana) The Cuban government has announced its aim to repay foreign debtors with it’s famous rums. (Name a few here) have been earmarked as the finest for export to countries who have helped the island nation weather he storm of economic embargo.

Russia and China are already on board with the Czech Republic, Vietnam and an assortment of South American countries showing interest in the plan. Other say “maybe…but what kind?”

A wide range of quality of rum exists in Cuba from gourmet to low-end. The rate of exchange and how the rum would be shipped were not clear however the architects of the exchange appear certain that the deal will go through, allowing everyone to enjoy the national nectar.

“Everyone knows about Havana cigars,” said one official here. “But many don’t realize we produce the finest rums in the world. Soon we might even sell the beverage in Western countries who have supported to embargo, she said.

Lobbyists with several Puerto Rican rum distillers have filed a complaint with the United Nations and the OAS but no one has responded from those organizations leading watchdogs to believe them naive in the ways of international business.

“The rum is easily the best and we don’t really want to export it at all,” said the source alluding to the thirsty residents of the Caribbean locale. “It’s either the rum or coconuts which are perishable or Fifties vintage Chevrolets that are cumbersome and somewhat impractical anywhere else but here.”

– Jolly Pena

“They think we’re old and useless. They forget that we too have earned he right to live! So I say if we are going to die, my friend, let us die trying, not sitting” – Sa to Ch’idzigyaak after the two old women were left behind by their starving nomadic tribe in the Arctic.
Two Old Women by Velma Wallis

Movies of note-A quick review

Ratings *****Worth the investment ****Better than TV
***Still waiting for the book**Great time to nod off *Utter crap

GIRL WITH THE DULL EARRING – Severe indictment of Dutch society, hair styles and ear piercing techniques in the 16th Century. Attempts at eroticism fall short due to extremely unattractive characters. Everyone appears constipated or just downright mean. Costumes are the only saving grace in this costume drama.**

DODGEBALL – A ribald documentary which presents US Mideast policy in a good light. Lots of graphic flag waving and mindless jingoism alone make the film worth the admission price. Warning: If you are offended by your own nudity this movie may not be for you.***

HARRY POTTER: PRISONER OF AZKABAN – Potter goes to Iraq, is captured by militants and forced to memorize the Koran. Co-stars Cat Stevens as Iran.

KILL BILL – Former President destroys any chance at literary posterity (cash up front) by this lousy best-selling autobiography. Soon-to-be-released film is on the level of The Terminal which is slightly worse than Girl With the Dull Earring and Raising Rummy. Did this guy really go to Oxford?*

GARFIELD – Cartoon version of the short administration of President James A. Garfield. High water marks, such as his marriage to Lucretia Rudolph computer generated. Splendid impersonations and voice overs of Chester A. Arthur by cat-like Bill Murray.***

THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW (The sequel) – Humans are urged to leave earth. “It’s too dangerous! We can no longer protect you!” say Shrek-like storm troopers. Examines frightening elements of a not too futuristic planet including North American bus travel and the depleted gene pool.****

THE STEPFORD DIVES – Diva robots sling oil drinks in dark, Kuwaiti daytime bar rooms while their control freak emir husbands lap it all up. Many humorous asides from Mr. Boston Bartender’s Guide. How many times will thus worn-out theme survive the cutting room morgue? Almost enough to make one want to go to work.**