RSSAuthor Archive for M. Toole

Rhino Redeployment in Africa Sheds Light on Hippo Time Bomb in Colombia

(Doradal, Colombia) Thanks to a late Colombian drug pin, feral hippos (Hippopotamus amphibious) continue to roam the waterways of this South American country. The often aggressive mammals were once part of an elaborate zoo created by the infamous Pablo Escobar. 

When a majority of the other animal residents were adopted by zoos these monsters proved to be too difficult to handle and were left to fend for themselves. Biologists thought the hippos would eventually die out, solving the problem.

Colombia will employ primitive tactics common to the successful relocation of the bothersome African Rhinoceros in its struggle to control the hippopotamus population in that South American country. Borrowing from well established removal campaigns, large mammals are trapped and exported (often smuggled) to remote locations or in extreme cases eradicated.

Now the government in Bogota is trying desperately to rid the country of the thriving beasts.  Although consistently aggressive toward humans, they are seen as victims, an anomaly of the first degree in a culture that appreciates anomalies. The “cocaine hippos”, as they are called, are an ecological disaster, yet most Colombians are against killing them.

An adult hippopotamus can weight in at 5 tons and live for up to 70 years in a climate like that of the Colombian river valleys. Their impact on fish and other wildlife is horrible according to sources here. It is believed that as many as 120 live in Colombia where no natural predators reside. Short of elimination, blueprints call for a severe culling of the non-native species.

“Hippo castrations are dangerous business,” said Pedro Valasquez, a veterinarian from Bolombolo. “That should be clear enough to anyone with a brain. We’ve tried chemicals, darts with Gonacon contraception and strategic hamlets. One missionary from Oklahoma even tried preaching abstention. So far we report chaos.

Another more cynical approach would be to smuggle the hippos to Miami where they could be processed, ground up, distributed and snorted by druggies, creating an overnight demand and more opportunity for struggling campesinos here.   

– Kashmir Horseshoe 

Starbucks Purchases Ethiopia

Starbucks Purchases Ethiopia

(Addis Ababa) The Starbucks Corporation has raised the ante in the ongoing coffee wars with the acqusition of the African country of Ethiopia. The buy, for an undisclosed sum, is expected to give the coffee giant a distinct advantage over competitors around the world since a majority of the company’s beans currently come from that region.

The acquisition of Ethiopia is expected to give Starbucks direct access to at least 30% of the world’s coffee resources without the middle man. Lower cost for commodities should translate into more choices for the consumer at cheaper prices. This is the first time an international corporation has legally purchased an entire country*

What all this means for Ethiopia is anyone’s guess.

“We expect to put everyone to work producing coffee for our customers which in turn should improve the economy here,” said Sarah Bin- Latte of Starbucks.

The actual takeover will come as early as next month and, despite no announcement to relocate corporate offices, the coffee maker is realigning priorities and will establish a strong presence in Northeast Africa.

Crowds massed in Haile Selassie Square shouted slogans and burned coffee beans in protest of what they call an invasion of their homeland and the decimation of their culture by the foreigners.

“With the short exception of the Italian occupation prior to World War II, we have never been on the selling block,” said Anwar Saladin, a professor at Addis Ababa University and leading critic of the buy-out. “We were not colonized by Rome or by Napoleon and we damn sure won’t stand for this takeover by a bunch of sun-deprived yuppie executives from Seattle. It’s one thing for Starbucks to embrace fair trade agreements in the light of day and quite another to swallow up our country in the shadows of late afternoon,” he rasped.

Bin-Latte concedes that the transfer will involve some getting used to but that Starbucks is dedicated to preserving the local culture and political infrastructure.

“We are not Crusaders! We are not the Knights Templar. We don’t want to run the country. We just want to export the coffee,” she said. “We are not colonizers, only businessmen. We fully expect that everyone in Ethiopia will benefit from this full, rich experience. Let’s face it: There aren’t a lot of people eating real well here now and our presence may help relieve these social and economic ills. The investment alone should jack up the economy and we will not allow the quality of our product to be compromised simply because we have been subsequently thrust into the political arena.” 

Latte would not comment when asked if Ethiopians would soon man the thousands of Starbucks outlets worldwide.

“I cannot comment on that possibility at this time but I will say we have no agenda for lay-offs in the industrialized sector.”

Ethiopia currently ranks right up there with Colombia, Brazil, Sumatra and Vietnam as growing the tastiest coffee on earth.

Radical elements here have threatened to either destroy Starbuck installations or wait a few years and nationalize the operation. Violence toward Starbuck personnel is not expected. 

Aging financier, Daddy Starbucks could not be reached for comment regarding moves by Ethiopian dairy cows to sabotage the deal by refusing to give milk until Starbucks bails out. This morning sugar cane workers have threatened a walk-out so as to show solidarity with Saladin’s group.  

In a related development, the much publicized seizure of neighboring Somalia by Bill Gates and friends has been put on the back burner until the actual landlords/owners (if any) can be located. Warlord second and third lien holders have been the bugaboo in that potential agreement. Coastal Somalia, known to be rich in high quality, bonanza soft chips, has been coveted by computer nerds since the early Nineties. They hope to extract the micro elements through a breakthrough laser mining process that can be conducted by satellite.

– Rex Montaleone

*clandestine control of domestic economies by corporate interests has been common in emerging countries, especially in Central America and Southeast Asia, since the dawn of the 19th Century.


Paper to Aid in DUI Crackdown

Paper to Aid in DUI Crackdown

The scene outside of Wimpton Billiard Hall clearly illustrates a crime in progress. The cars belong to Melvin Toole of Spring Creek and Gloria “Ruth” Lesse of Olathe. The photo staff of the paper hopes to catch drunks before they can get on the highway this summer.

(photo by Murial Armbruster)

(Montrose) The San Juan Horseshoe will join law enforcement officials in further DUI crackdowns this summer by photographing vehicles parked outside of local bars. The move, dubbed Operation Nab a Drunk, was kicked off Friday despite criticism from civil rights groups and without the approval of anyone in authority.

The scene outside of Excuses Billiard Hall in Manana clearly illustrates a crime in progress. The cars belong to Melvin Toole of Spring Creek and Gloria “Ruth” Lesse of Olathe. The photo staff of the paper hopes to catch drunks before they can get on the highway this summer.

“Why should local police have to hang out near bars and restaurants to arrest  drinkers?” asked publisher Kashmir Horseshoe from the men’s room at the paper. “Certainly they must have other more important duties to perform during their shifts.”

The paper will rely on anonymous tips, rumors and hearsay when determining which hot spots to pinpoint. After initial investigation a staff photographer will be dispatched to the location of impact and a series of shots will be taken as proof of infraction.

“This way the police are not responsible for proof of attendance/occupancy near the particular bucket shop or spirits dispensary,” continued Horseshoe.

The DUI crusade, embraced by the law enforcement estate in the early 90s, has not only been financially profitable but has ruined the lives of countless social drinkers who made the mistake of having one more. Little attempt has been made to distinguish between the chronic drunk and the person who has wine with dinner or stops for a beer on the way home from work.

Meanwhile jail construction continues at a record pace as the US attempts to catch China and Myanmar for the lead in inmate population .

The paper plans to publish the incriminating photos each month until everyone is incarcerated. Free-lance photos will be considered on an individual basis with by-lines rather than fees respected at all times.

– Small Mouth Bess


(Gunnison) Police guilty of over-aggressive tactics will be dealt with harshly if House Bill 49993 makes it through the Senate. If passed the bill calls for the suspension of TV viewing by police officers.

“We have a segment of law enforcement personnel who have lost the ability to distinguish between TV cop shows and the day to day reality of our small towns,” said one proponent of the bill. “They think they are fighting crime when what they’re doing is harassing innocent citizens. We need less macho and more serving and protecting. We don’t need a SWAT team to get a cat out of a tree.”

Law makers are concerned that extreme enforcement techniques will only continue to polarize an already shell-shocked populace in small towns. They say overreaction to a potentially explosive situation deprives people of their rights and causes deep resentment toward authority in general. Police should be taught to first attempt to defuse a situation, not just to control.

“Now we are aware that the urban areas are no Mayberrys and that the majority of police are hard-working, well-intentioned civil servants,” continued the source, “but we are convinced that a few bad apples populate cruisers, especially in “safer rural communities”.

While supporters say they have ample votes to write the bill into law, detractors at the state level say an eleventh hour filibuster could be necessary to kill the move. One fence-sitting element stops short of punitive measures suggesting rather that focal points in Constitution are foremost in the regular curriculum at the police academy. – Melvin O’Toole   

Supreme Quart to vote on Dunning vs Kruger this week

(Washington) Continuing analysis revolving around the controversial Dunning-Kruger Effect has pummeled this week’s Supreme Quart into action. The black-robed justices, standing as the highest court in the land are expected to either continue to adhere to stipulations herein or throw the whole mess out the window according to insiders here.

Particularly sensitive to criticism and gaping questions about security as illustrated by leaks on convoluted decisions on Roe vs Wade, the appointed judges will again break trail on the controversial and tenuous  status of Dunning-Kruger in the United States. 

The Dunning–Kruger effect is a highly dependent bias whereby people with low ability at a task overestimate their ability. In short they do not have the skills or intelligence to realize the low level of their thought falls short or nowhere. Some researchers also include in their definition the opposite effect for high  performers: their tendency to underestimate their skills.

The Supreme Quart is focused on this phenomenon due to stark data suggesting the Dunning-Kruger Effect itself is in run-away mode, threatening to sabotage logic, cooperation, restraint and balance in the daily life of the floundering republic that it serves.

“Is it all just a medley of sound bytes with no distinction between truth and lies?” asked a veteran capital vender who has no opinion on politics. “A populace who cannot distinguish between the two is destined to fail no matter who’s on the bench.”

– Tommy Middlefinger

Remember Magh Itha! – battle cry from ancient Ireland

Cigar Smoking Not Hobby

(Moline) The practice or habit of cigar smoking does not deserve hobby status according to the North American Diversion Consortium and marginal Entertainment here. The committee, manned by people with nothing else to do all day, reversed a previous decision made back in March and reported by this newspaper.

During an emotionally charged meeting several proponents of cigar smoking lit up and then stormed out of the hall.

The final vote of 5-0 refused to recognize cigar smoking as a legitimate hobby. In further action the group did a crisp about-face on the status of stamp collecting which was deemed immoral almost three months ago as well. Butterfly mounting was not discussed leading experts to conclude that that some hobbies remain sacred in the face of creeping political correctiveness.

“There is nothing obscene about placing stamps in a scrapbook and then forgetting about them,” said the group. “The problems begin with constant vigils over stamp books and the very way some collectors acquire their goods.”

As expected the announcement skirted comment on the use of airplane glue in close quarters and the raising of dangerous herbs. A harsh response on the part of cigar chompers and the National Brotherhood of Humidors is not expected.

-Pepper Salte