Monday, February 25, 2008

Our Crazy World

From the National Affairs Desk
news in brief

We begin with the always exciting world of presidential betting lines where newly announced candidate Ralph Nader is shaking things up at the bottom of the list. Debuting at number 6 with 100-1 odds, this independent candidate is tied with cult phenomenon Ron Paul and has already jumped out way in front of Democratic hopeful Mike Gravel. His campaign is bound to take off and plow thru the competition like a Corvair with no brakes. Also worth note is Huckabee's drop to 50-1. These odds seem a bit generous to me, considering the fact that he's mathematically out of the delegate race. Huckabee's strong odds have less to do with his campaign or his showing in the upcoming primaries and everything to do with the fact that the only man standing between him and his party's nomination is 71 years old.

In Cuba, Reuters is reporting that the young people of Cuba are unhappy, but certainly not shocked, with the selection of Raul Castro, Fidel's brother, as the next president. Apparently, the youth of Cuba haven't learned anything from their fancy re-education schools and still want blue jeans, iPods and the freedom to buy them. The youth are particularly upset that fringe Cuban libertarian candidate Ron Pablo was totally overlooked - and later imprisoned.

In Germany, police dogs in the western city of Duesseldorf will now be wearing shoes, according to a police spokesperson. The shoes are necessary due to a high number paw injuries, especially injuries caused by broken glass. When asked how the dogs are taking to the shoes the police spokesperson said, "I'm not sure they like it, but they'll have to get used to it." Spoken like a true German. What happened to you Germany? I mean, c'mon, dog shoes? What happened to the scary Nazi dogs? How are you going to intimidate drunken soccer rioters when your dogs are wearing slippers?

In Sports

The Florida Marlins are assembling an all-male, plus-size cheerleading squad to be dubbed the Manatees. I know nobody goes to Marlins games as it is, but honestly, is this some kind of Major League situation where the owner's trying to sink the team on purpose? The only overweight men working for a baseball team should be knocking in homers or juiced up on the mound.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Red Carpet Baggers

The environmental documentary The Unforeseen, directed by Laura Dunn, examines the adverse effects housing developments have had on Austin's Barton Springs and has won much critical acclaim and several prestigious awards since its January release. However, some unforeseen opposition has recently arisen as some Austin residents have taken to protesting its release claiming the film will bring unwanted publicity and population growth to the city. Much of their resentment has targeted the documentary's executive producer, actor Robert Redford.

"We Austinites are sick and tired of carpet baggers from other parts of the country infesting our town and we are finally putting our foot down. Because of them, traffic is getting worse and worse, corporate businesses are running our beloved locally owned-establishments out, and the once pristine hiking trails are always packed with people and covered in litter. Indeed, Austin is a special place, but because of the massive influx of outsiders, it's becoming indistinguishable from any other large city," said Philip Ackerman, a real estate agent who relocated to Austin from Chicago in 2002.

"Now Mr. Hollywood himself Robert Redford parades in to make a movie about how housing developments pollute Barton Springs, which when it hits theaters, will bring in more people to live in those houses and pollute the Springs. I hold Robert Redford responsible for destroying this city."

Ackerman then added, "And for the record, I thought The Horse Whisperer was corny. I just kept thinking to myself, 'Hey Great Gatsby, who do you think you're fooling dressing up like a cowboy?' That movie was terrible."

Dunn responded to criticism such Ackerman's in the following press statement, "I am personally shocked and distraught over the negative reaction some people have had to the film, which we hoped would enlighten viewers about the pollution of Barton springs. It was never our intention for The Unforeseen (In theaters now! Available at local retailers on DVD April 15th! Packed with exciting bonus features including deleted scenes!) to cause problems for Austin or it's citizens. We only wanted to bring light to the struggle facing Barton Springs."

Not all local residents were satisfied by the director's explanation. "Hey, instead of a movie about a Texan trying to build homes in a region of Texas, why not make a movie about some pretentious Hollywood snob coming to the capitol of our great state to make a crappy movie?" asked Greg Yarborough, a corporate attorney originally from New York City, who has been living in Austin for nine years. "They can entitle it, What Robert Redford Did By Making This Crappy Movie. Or better yet, why doesn't Robert Redford just stay home and make another piece of garbage like The Horse Whisperer? Hey Redford, if you're going to insist on making a movie with no plot and terrible acting, at least have the common decency to cut it down to an hour and a half. You know, the ironic thing is, the more people who come here to be a part of 'Austin', the less 'Austin' this place becomes...damn, that was profound."

The protests are the latest event in the documentary's unusual production history. According to, The Unforeseen was originally conceived as a horror/thriller to be directed by Wes Craven and star Nicole Kidman as a woman who's ability to see the future is not always accurate. Through the script development process, however, the studio decided it was better suited to be a somber documentary about land development and environmental destruction. Dunn was hired on the strength of her documentaries Green and Become the Sky. She began researching Gary Bradley's development company and the resulting destruction of Austin's wildlife and completed the film in three years.

Not everyone is impressed with the result. "I know Laura Dunn and Robert Redford had good intentions, but I don't know if they considered the impacts the development of their film would have on Austin's cultural environment. Sure a big fancy expensive movie seems nice but at what cost to the creative habitat that was here before? Austin used to be a laid back, lazy river town that was so richly and proudly independent and local," said Sandra Turner, a marketing executive who moved to Austin from Miami in 2005.

"I worry people will see the glamor associated with Robert Redford as he goes on TV talk shows to promote the film and want to move out here. With more people comes more crowding, more commercialization, less peace. If Robert Redford really wanted to help Austin and the springs, he wouldn't have made this film. I liked him in The Horse Whisperer though, I thought it was a sweet story. But what was up with The Last Castle? It was just a shameless Shawshank Redemption rip-off. At least it looked that way from the preview; I didn't actually see it."

Gracie Carlyle, a spokesperson for Robert Redford sought to quell the public outcry. "Mr. Redford is obviously bewildered by people speaking out against the documentary and his involvement with the project. While he did spend much of his childhood in Austin and did learn to swim in Barton Springs, Mr. Redford has never claimed to be a native son, just a person who loves the Springs and loves Austin and wants to help. He donated his executive producer salary to the Barton Springs Preservation foundation and spent a lot time making sure the film was done well," She said at a press conference Tuesday.

"He understands locals are upset with him and out of respect for them and the community, he encourages them to come and speak with him about their concerns like they would any other neighbor. Austinites are welcome to stop by and visit him no matter where he is, be it his estate in Westlake Hills, his downtown penthouse on West Fifth Street, the luxury suite he maintains at the Driskell Hotel, his whimsical bungalow in Tarry Town, or his lakehouse on Lake Travis, just drop by and say hello. They should be aware that he usually just autumns in Austin as he finds July and August to be too sweaty so he summers in the South of France. Mr. Redford loves discussing environmental activism and would enjoy meeting anyone who is also interested in nature conservation efforts."

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Boom Goes the Satellite

Watch out Communist China and would-be space invaders, America owns space. Red China, who blew up one of their own satellites last year, is calling the move hypocritical and are questioning our motives. You want a space race, buddy? Go ask your boyfriend Russia how the last one turned out.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

GUILTY SOCIAL CONSCIENCE: "White guilt" ranks second in reasons voters support Obama

Some Democrats have seemingly confessed to being guilty by association with Barack Obama.

Following Obama's victory in the Wisconsin primary, a new poll found "white guilt" to be the second most common reason Caucasian voters gave for casting ballots on behalf of the Illinois senator. Only economic concerns ranked higher and his pledge to end the war in Iraq came in third.

"I do find it to be a little strange," said Brett Favre, a volunteer precinct captain representing Green Bay, in response to the report, "the Obama voters were mostly friendly and appeared to be in good spirits. Who knew they were harboring such guilt?"

"White guilt" is a social theory that states Caucasians may experience individual or collective guilt for racist treatment towards people of color by whites both historically and presently. Senator Obama, the most successful black presidential candidate the U.S. has ever had has enjoyed popular support among white Democrats in the previous primary elections throughout his campaign. The study was conducted by the Clark Group, a non-partisan Think Tank based in Washington, D.C. The research did not include voters outside the state of Wisconsin.

"Well, I didn't vote for Senator Obama out of any sort of guilt, I think he's an intelligent, courageous and capable leader who will make good choices in the oval office," said Ted Grice of Waukesha County, who then added with a chuckle, "but maybe now my co-worker Keisha will forgive me for calling out 'you go, girl' when it was announced that she was promoted to middle-management. Please don't print that last part in your article, by the way."

Pattie Matthews of Blooming Grove was more forthright about her voting motivation. "I certainly did vote for Barack to make amends for the actions of whites against African-Americans, including myself. Why just the other day, I told some African-American children who were being loud and running around at the grocery store to calm down and behave. I felt just terrible, I knew they saw me as the stereotypical mean old white hag. And a few months ago, I was eating lunch with one of my girlfriends from church and I told her that I found rap musical lyrics to be rather offensive. Then I turned around and saw two young African-American gentlemen at the table right behind us. I was so embarrassed. I hope my ballot serves as verifiable, undeniable proof that I am not racist what so ever. Besides, no man of any race could ever be as lax on the job as President You-Know-Who W. Bush."

Dr. Shelby Steele, a research fellow at the Hoover Institute of Stanford University and author of White Guilt: How Blacks and Whites Together Destroyed the Promise of the Civil Rights Era, believes that the findings in the study further his assertion that due to white guilt, black and whites together destroyed the promise of the civil rights era, "This study clearly supports my long-held view that, because of white guilt, black and whites together destroyed the promise of the civil rights era." he said in a statement on his website.

Senator Obama's campaign office responded to the poll results with reserved enthusiasm. "Obviously, we're not thrilled people are voting for Barack out of guilt," said Obama for America campaign manager David Plouffe in a phone interview. "However, as we are waging a challenging and historic campaign for change, we welcome voters supporting Barack for any reason. It will take Americans from all walks of life, and apparently with an array of motivations, to put an agent of change in the White House. So no matter if people feel inspired by our message of change, feel unsatisfied with the state of the nation, or feel fearful of what Senator Obama and his friends might do to their car if they don't vote for him, we are happy to have their support."

The Clark Group is currently conducting a study on whether or not the less-known phenomenon of "refreshing youth guilt" was a factor in Senator John McCain's recent victories or the 1,528 votes Representative Ron Paul has received since the primaries began.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


From the Caribbean Affairs Desk
special report

After months of failing health and speculation over his political future, Cuban president and Comandante en Jefe Fidel Castro has announced plans to end his 50 year reign in order to focus on the day-to-day operations of the island nation's state baseball team. In his 1,076-word "Message from the Commander in Chief" printed in Tuesday's Granma, the Communist Party newspaper, the 81 year old dictator stated that all of his attention must be turned to the 2009 World Baseball Classic. "To bring a championship home to Cuba will be the ultimate insult to the American Imperialists and the fascist stooges at Major League Baseball," said Castro. In 2006, Cuba lost to Japan in the final round of the inaugural World Baseball Classic.
"In the past five decades," the message continued, "I have stood up to ten American presidents, pointed a nuclear arsenal at the imperialists' homeland, and shook hands with Popes and Soviets Premiers; but all the while my heart and mind were never far from the great game of baseball." While members of Castro's inner circle believe he will continue to have a great influence on Cuban policy as long as he is alive, they also contend that their fearless leader has a keen mind for baseball and can put together a batting line-up like nobody's business.

Castro: A Look Back

[Time-line courtesy of the Communist Party of Cuba's Historical Society]

August 13, 1926: Castro is born, marking the first time a child was born in Cuba with a full beard.

1932: At age 6, Castro kills a wild puma that had been terrorizing his village.

1945: Castro enters law school at the University of Havana.

1947: While in school, Castro pitches a perfect game; his first of 24.

1953: Castro and the 26th of July Movement attack the Moncada Barracks in an attempt to overthrow the Batista government. Castro is sentenced to 15 years in prison for his role; he serves two years and moves to Mexico where he would meet Che Guevara and plot a violent communist take-over.

1956: Castro writes the Elvis standard, "Heartbreak Hotel."

1959: After 6 years of revolution, Castro's army takes Havana and Castro assumes power as Commander-in-Chief; Mojitos were served.

1961: After breaking off diplomatic ties earlier in the year, the U.S. government unsuccessfully attempts to depose Castro from power by supporting an armed force of Cuban exiles to retake the island - forever known as the Bay of Pigs Invasion.

1962: The Cuban Missile Crisis

1976: Castro releases an album of duets featuring several political heavyweights, including Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau.

1984: Castro gets executive producer credit for Academy Award winning film "Amadeus."

1991: Castro wins the Cuban National Lottery jackpot - for the 17th and final time.

1998: Castro and a team of Cuban scientists build the first working time machine

2,000 B.C.: Castro builds the Pyramids and leads a Marxist coup against Pharaoh Mentuhotep II.

2002 A.D.: Castro is inducted into the Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame

2008: Castro benevolently steps down.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Lifeless Body Boarding


Amnesty International is launching a public relations campaign this week to respond to misconceptions many Americans have concerning its denouncing of waterboarding. Its primary objective is to clarify to that waterboarding is a torture technique, not an aquatic sport.

“We’ve been extremely alarmed at some of the letters and phone calls we‘ve received since our organization has formally condemned waterboarding,” said Irene Khan, Secretary General of Amnesty International. “Apparently, a significant portion of the population believes we are against some sort of water surfing and not an inhumane interrogative method that simulates drowning. Why anyone with half a brain would believe one of the world’s foremost human rights groups is against surfing is beyond me. Some of my colleagues have described this situation as hilarious; I find it purely pathetic and horrifying.”

Kathy Garrington of Enid, Oklahoma is one of the many Americans who apparently do not understand what waterboarding is. “I don’t know who this Amnesty Interacial is or what they‘re trying to sell, but I think it‘s a bunch of crap that they are trying to make waterboarding a crime. Just a bunch of crap. My precious little Trudy spent her whole summer in the pool learning tricks on her waterboard, eight hours a day like it was a job. She didn't participate in any other summer activities, which I call ‘summertivities’, not even girl scout camp. She‘s been waiting all school year to show her talents off again, maybe even put on a neighborhood show or be invited to compete in the Chinese Olympics. Who‘s going to be the ones to tell her that her favorite summertivity is now illegal? Tell you what, it ain‘t going to be me.”

According to Encyclopedia Britannica, waterboarding is a form of torture that consists of immobilizing a person on his or her back, with the head inclined downward, and pouring water over the face and into the breathing passages which may cause brain damage or death. Bodyboarding is a form of wave riding that uses a foam “boogie board” invented by surfer Tom Morey in the 1970’s instead of a traditional surfboard.

With the press reporting Lt. Gen. Michael Hayden’s admittance in a Congressional hearing that the CIA has utilized waterboarding at least three times since 2005 and Congress voting to ban the practice, the confusion seems to have spread even farther.

Charlie Wilkins, an armchair political pundit and retired baked goods delivery driver, believes the ban on waterboarding is the latest instance of unconstitutional expansion of federal power. “How about this government of ours, huh? Everytime we turn around, there‘s something new we can‘t do. Congress said waterboarding stimulates drowning. Well drowning won’t be stimulated if a kid can get his got dang head out his butt and stay on his board. I‘ll tell you what, back when I was growing up, we did whatever we pleased; we called kids who stunk at sports fags, we shot tigers at the zoo with slingshots, and ate apple pie until it came out our butts. That‘s when this country was going places. Then the liberals crawled out of someone‘s butt and start legislating against fun. Those light-loafer-limousine-liberal losers always on our butts about enjoying our freedoms. They sure put the 'dumb' in freedom if you ask me. You know who‘ll put us back on track? R** P***. The media is censoring the silent majority who supports this great man. The libero-fascist media, like, don‘t want you to know who R** P*** is, but he's a hero and I‘m screaming his name from rooftops; R** P***! R** P***! R** P***!
(Editor's Note: It is the official policy of to report the news fairly and objectively. does not censor its contributors or its sources).

At least one individual is appreciative of Amnesty International’s efforts to educate the public. David “Wavey Davy” Burns, founder and CEO of "The Water Boarding School" in San Diego, CA, claims his business has suffered due to the negative attention associated with his establishment's name. “Well, needless to say, we couldn‘t get a Middle-Easterner to enroll if our lives depended on it,” Burns said. “And the hippies haven‘t been coming around as often. I suspect they‘ve been going over to my arch nemesis‘ Tsunami Tommy‘s shop, who had his own public relations disaster a few years ago. Or maybe they’re just staying home and getting stoned.”

If poor publicity persists, Burns is concerned about the future of his enterprise. “If this backlash keeps up, I guess we‘ll have to find a new name, which sucks because I think ours is so damn clever. Either that or hire new instructors and start teaching people how to torture terrorists. Our marketing guys are currently looking into which is a more financially-sound option.”

Mark Williams of The Sophisticated Sophomore Digest contributed to this report...but not all that much.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Allow me to reintroduce myself...

"It's not the SIZE of the dog in the FIGHT,
but the SIZE of the FIGHT in the dog that counts."
It is with this bold aphorism spoken previously by President Dwight D. Eisenhower, Governor Michael Huckabee, and belligerent 5'2 drunk asses stumbling through the shadows of West Sixth Street (with the term "bro" casually inserted every few syllables), that I proudly make my debut on
When my esteemed colleague, the world-renowned political scientist Hiro Kowabunga initially invited me to be a contributor to this website, after tucking a 5 spot into my waistband & inquiring about my VIP service rates, I must admit I was reluctant. Needless to say, as an overweight dwarf-American with a checkered past/present, I tend to be a tad self-conscious about sharing my opinion on anything other than undergarment fashion trends and formaldehyde concoctions.
However, I feel, and I hope the readers will agree, it is precisely my unorthodox role in the theater of existence that makes my perspective so important. Until now, few people have had the opportunity to see the world as I do (no, I do not mean at constant ass/crotch-level). For the benefit of those who desire to know the thought process of a person in my shoes, I vow to "go all in" with my chips of insight at the metaphysical poker table of universal being.
As a contributor to, I will be the telescopic lens through which our readers may see a new point of view on topics such as politics, popular culture, ancient culture (prepare to be lampooned, Tigranes the so-called Great), games of sport, the civilized arts, my ex-girlfriends, and our home base city of Austin, Texas.
To serve my readers to the best of my ability, I hereby pledge to adhere to the following code of journalistic and analytic honor by which I intend to conduct myself and my literature:

Fatticus Inch's Declaration of Principles

1) To tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, unless inebriants intervene.

2) To combat the exploitation and ostracization of individuals who suffer from Achondroplasia (the genetic condition commonly referred to as "dwarfism").

3) To promote the continued employment of midgets in the adult entertainment industry, particularly erotic cinema and arousal inducing interpretive dance expression.

4) To voice a politically liberal perspective currently grossly underrepresented in contemporary media.

All I ask in return from my readers is that they hold me accountable to these noble standards and see Martinez Bros. Taxidermy on South Lamar for all your fauna stuffing & mounting needs (tell them Fatticus sent you!).
So, friends, readers, and friendly readers, it with great excitement, and admittedly a touch of nervousness, that I present this to the public, the FIRST of what I anticipate to be at least 10 posts.

May truth and justice reign; $7.50 lapdances on Tuesdays!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

More from the Horse Race

From the National Affairs Desk
odds update

It seems the bookies have finally come along to my side and dropped Gore and Bloomberg from their presidential betting line. The two unannounced candidates never stood a chance by my estimation and I was shocked that their odds remained so good so deep into primary season. In any case, they're gone now and I have been vindicated. They've also seen the light about ranking McCain second - it makes no sense for a candidate who may not win their primary to be ranked higher than a candidate who has theirs all but locked up.
But I can admit when I'm wrong. It no longer seems like Clinton is the sure thing I pegged her to be. I always assumed the establishment candidate got their way, but the delegates, voters and bookies may no longer think so. She's far from out of it though, if she wins Texas and Ohio she could pull ahead. And there's always the chance of a brokered convention.
Don't count out the long shots either. Ron Paul may seem dead in the water, but I happen to know of a certain beagle that had worse odds (325-1) than him that managed to overcome adversity and win. Gravel, however, is dead in the water. Dead and sinking just like the rock in his freaky YouTube ad.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Life Aint Nothin' but Money & Bitches

From the Sports Desk
dog show analysis

With football season now gone and baseball season still over a month away we can turn our attention to the cream of the sporting world: the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. This year's crowd favorite is Uno the beagle. America loves an underdog, and this underdog just happens to be an actual dog; what's not to love? But the elitist, terrier-hugger judges have never allowed a beagle to win the second oldest event in sports. These ivory tower caninophiles continue to pick style over substance and deny a good, honest, American dog like the beagle top prize. Does not every dog deserve its day? Look at this dog people! You're telling me some French dog with a perm deserves the prize over this? Ridiculous.
Even though Uno has already won the hound division - the first beagle to do so since 1939 - the odds makers at the Wynn Las Vegas don't give him a chance to win Best in Show. Rather than give odds on individual dogs, the lazy bookies at the Wynn give odds based on breeds. Evidently, making a money line for 2,627 dogs is too much to ask of a billion dollar casino. The favored breed is the standard poodle at 25-1; the beagles don't even break the top 6. Unfortunately, the line is purely entertainment and they're not taking bets - apparently neither is my bookie, you should have seen the look on his face when I tried to lay down five large on that beautiful beagle.
I smell an upset, bigger than the Giants over the Patriots. History is being made in 2008. Ad agencies need to forget about the Mannings and jump on the Uno bandwagon; I much rather see this dog overexposed and in too many commercials. I bet he can even host Saturday Night Live and make it worth watching.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

The Great Horse Race (contd.)

From the National Affairs Desk
an analysis

Super Tuesday has come and gone and the presidential picture looks no clearer than it did two days ago. It's too early to judge the effect of the mega-primary on the odds line, but one thing worth noting is that just days before Tuesday, McCain moved into second in the odds with 2-1; exactly where I said his odds should be a week and a half ago. This illustrates once again the awesome influence and prediction powers of the intrepid OrGiveMeDeath.
It's too soon to make any legitimate predictions for the fall, but I see an interesting scenario playing out in which this election could parallel the last election without an incumbent or a Vice President in the race. With McCain widening his lead and Huckabee keeping Romney at bay, the potential for this de facto partnership to turn into a McCain/Huckabee ticket is plausible if not likely. McCain is not exactly the darling of the Religious Right or Southern base of the GOP, a Huckabee veep spot could potentially unite the party. Interestingly enough (barely enough and probably only to me), this ticket would resemble the Eisenhower/Nixon ticket of 1952. McCain arguably represents the return of the Northeastern Eisenhower/Rockefeller Republicans, as evidenced by his more moderate views, his support from Giuliani & Schwarzenegger and his strong showing in the Northeast. An even thinner parallel could be drawn between Eisenhower's disagreements with Robert A. Taft's isolationism and McCain's own feud with Ron Paul. The Huckabee/Nixon parallels are a little harder to draw, but running him as VP definitely makes political sense, plus they kinda look alike.
On the other side I still think we'll see a Clinton ticket. The parallels between her and two-time Eisenhower opponent Adlai Stevenson are so obvious to even the casual observer that they need not be stated here. She's clearly the standard bearer of the Liberal Democrat Party and an egghead technocrat that turns off middle America. If the ticket shapes out to be Clinton/Obama, experts will probably be less likely to draw parallels between Obama and Stevenson's running mate John Sparkman, a Southern Conservative Democrat from Alabama. However, if Obama's the nominee, him and Stevenson were both Illinois politicians so my theory remains intact.
In any event, this election continues to be very boring overall and I remain resolute in my disappointment in the field. My interest is purely sporting.