Americans Ready To Ignore World Cup

Teenagers-watching-TV-001ASSOCIATED PRESS Citizens across the United States are eagerly gearing up to once again completely disregard the World Cup, in which players from around the world will compete in some kind of soccer tournament.

“Booooooooooooring,” said graphic designer Dale Murphy, 28, when asked if he planned to watch any of the matches.

He then proceeded to put his palms over his mouth and make a noise that sounded like farting.

At press time, ratings remained steady for the coverage of the NCAAW softball game on ESPN2.

Does The Economy Need Your Participation?

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 Start with a set of variables.

 x = poverty-wage earners

 y = the short-term unemployed

z = the long-term unemployed

Add them up, and one of the many possible titles for the resulting summation could be “People Who Can’t Participate In The Economy.” The denizens of this XYZ group can’t buy homes or cars or flat-screen TVs, they can’t purchase apps indiscriminately from the iTunes store, they can’t eat out regularly at TGIFriday’s or check out the new spring line at Banana Republic. Not only do they not have savings or contribute to investment vehicles, many of them don’t even have bank accounts.

For all intents and purposes, this group of people, approximately 30,195,500, representing nearly 18% of the total possible American civilian workforce,* are sitting on the sidelines of consumer culture, unable to meaningfully participate in the economy.

The good news, at least for now, is that the XYZ group is shrinking. Wages are going up, and a portion of the sub-group z has moved back into sub-group y.

But the bad news, long-term, couldn’t be much worse. There is little doubt that wealth distribution in the United States has become increasingly unbalanced, and the slope is only getting more slippery. Without a comprehensive change to the status quo, it is at least plausible, if not indeed highly likely, that over time the XYZ group will continue to increase. The economy will shrink under the downward pressure exerted by an ever-growing portion of the population that has little or no purchasing power.

When that happens, nobody wins.

Unhelpfully, to date the public reaction to income inequality tends to be highly polarized, as evidenced by groups like Occupy Wall Street, or the bizarre instances of billionaires comparing liberals to Nazis.

What is needed is a sober, transparent and highly public discussion about our economic future, one that is as pragmatic as it is innovative.

The first step is for all concerned parties to admit that (1) we are facing a grave problem with potentially catastrophic consequences that requires action to solve, and (2) at present we do not yet have the tools to solve it.

As is often the case, this first step has so far been the hardest to take.

And as long as that remains true, then we really only have to ask ourselves one question: how many active participants does it take to sustain our economy? Or, perhaps more ominously, how long do we have until we reach that macabre tipping point?

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*Numbers calculated from 2010 census date:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Personal_income_in_the_United_States

http://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2011/ted_20110301.htm

approximately 14,895,500 American civilian workers made less than $11,139 in 2010 (the poverty line for that year). 8.9M such workers were recognized as “short-term unemployed” and another 6.4M such workers were labeled “long-term unemployed” in December of 2010. The total civilian workforce recognized by the census in December of 2010 was 153,950,000.

The NRA’s Campaign To Make America The Wild West Is Working

imagesA man carrying a perfectly legal concealed weapon is walking across a parking lot towards a grocery store when he sees another man. He recognizes the second man as being a staunch opponent of the Second Amendment.

The first man begins to experience severe anxiety. After all, he lives in a country where there are nine guns for every ten people. If he doesn’t have his gun, he and his family could become vulnerable to the many people who do have guns. His life could be in jeopardy. The second man represents a clear and present danger to him and his family.

Panic rising, he pulls out his sidearm and shoots the second man. Two shots to the torso, one to the head. The second man falls dead.

When the police arrive on the scene, the armed man, clearly shaken, explains that the second man was trying to put him and his entire family at grave risk. The armed man was afraid for his life. The police let him go, and that’s the end of the story.

Do you think this is far-fetched?

The last eight months have rendered what should be terrifying court verdicts in cases involving clearly over-aggressive gun owners.

George Zimmerman pursuing, beginning an altercation with, and then shooting unarmed Trayvon Martin dead.

Curtis Reeves picking a fight with Chad Oulsen at a movie theater over a cell phone, and then shooting him dead.

Michael Dunn starting an argument with Jordan Davis over a car stereo, and then shooting him dead.

This is a trend that is already on its frightening way down the slippery slope.

Handguns, like assault rifles, have only one purpose. They were designed to kill people as efficiently as possible. They’re not tools. They’re not hunting aides.

For a long time, the ultra-right gun lobbies of the United States have worked hard — and successfully — to win maximum possible access to these single-purpose weapons.

But that was just the first step in a larger struggle. Because, and this is the sticking point, what’s the point of owning a gun if you can’t use it for it’s intended purpose?

We will never know the “other side of the story” in the three cases cited earlier because there is no “other side.” All that remains is a dead person, and the word of the gun owner as to why that person deserved to be dead.

We’re turning into the Wild West.

I Took Zimbio’s Flesh-Eating Bacteria Quiz And I’m Necrotizing Fasciitis! Which One Are You?

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It’s time to strap on those lab coats, open wide, and say “aaah!” There are all kinds of different flesh-eating bacterium, from the merely annoying to the kind that can eat through an entire city’s population in just a few days! Take this quiz to find out where you rate on the grand scale of microscopic carnivores!

Nation With 20 Aircraft Carriers Thinking Twice About Oppressing Man Who Owns Assault Rifle

“We need to be really cautious here,” says Admiral James Winnefeld, Vice Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff

redneck_gun_20100526_1984409262WASHINGTON, D.C. Today the Pentagon released an advisory to all United States armed forces warning them against any act that “might be construed as being in any way tyrannical” against West Virginia resident and automatic rifle owner and outspoken Second Amendment enthusiast Jesse Bart Bucephelus, to quote the memo.

The military response was immediate.

“We have re-routed the 4th Battalion, 17th Infantry Regiment, the 2nd Battalion, 5th Infantry Regiment, the 2nd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, and the entire Combat Aviation Brigade to maintain a respectful distance of the private citizen and assault rifle owner,” explained Major General Sean B. MacFarland of the 1st Armored Division in a press conference, referencing more than 10,000 troops, 250 M1 armored cars, 75 humvees, twenty-four M22 light airborne tanks and eighteen M1A1HA Abrams tanks, as well as various ancillary Howitzer artillery pieces, RPG launchers, armor-piercing autocannons, mortars, flamethrowers, sniper rifles and hand grenades.

“Mr. Bucephelus sent us a clear message with the purchase of his assault rifle, and we are responding immediately and appropriately,” stated Rear Admiral Michael Smith of Carrier Strike Group Three from the flag bridge of the USS John C. Stennis (CVN-74), as he ordered the supercarrier and its escort of two guided missile cruisers, four stealth destroyers, one carrier airwing, and an unknown number of Los Angeles-class nuclear fast-attack submarines to “back away from and keep out of” the area of the Atlantic ocean that is within 100 nautical miles of the assault rifle owner’s landlocked home.

Additionally, Lt. Gen. Tod D. Wolters of the Twelfth Air Force confirmed that flight plans were altered for twenty F-15 Eagle fighters, twelve AC-130 Spectre Gunships, seven A-10 Thunderbolts, six B-2 Spirit stealth bombers, and the entire operational wing of seventy-six B-52 Stratofortress superbombers so as not to interfere with the airspace over or around the home of Mr. Bucephelus.

Taking no chances, the United States further ordered the immediate disarmament of all 5,113 of the nation’s nuclear warheads, as well as the discontinuation of its spy satellite and predator drone programs.

At press time, the U.S. House of Representatives was quickly and efficiently killing every single bill that could possibly be interpreted as a threat to the Second Amendment.

Steiner Sports To Sell Derek Jeter’s Retirement

djNEW YORK, NY Following closely on the heels of the future first-ballot Hall-of-Famer’s intention to retire following the 2014 season, sports memorabilia empire Steiner Sports quickly announced that it will sell Derek Jeter’s retirement to the highest bidder.

“This is literally a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for some very lucky, very wealthy fan to own something totally unique,” said Steiner president David O. Smith. “Imagine inviting friends over to your house, casually pointing up to your mantle, and being able to show off Derek Jeter’s retirement.”

When pressed for details about what exactly a hypothetical collector might tangibly receive by buying the retirement, an incredulous Smith said, “the collector will be getting the golden years of one of baseball’s greatest stars.”

Of all time,” added Smith.

The monetization of a retirement is tricky to calculate, but early estimates from Forbes predict that Derek Jeter’s post-baseball life could have a valuation anywhere from the low nine figures to the low ten figures, depending on unpredictable factors such as overall market strength and how long the athlete ends up living after he is no longer playing baseball.

Report: Nobody Mistaking Shirley Temple for Laurence Fishburne

Temple-FishburneATLANTA, GA The Center for United States Studies on Race Relations released the findings of a groundbreaking survey today revealing that not one single person in the entire country mistakenly thought that former child mega movie star Shirley Temple, who has just died at the age of 85, was actually popular living actor and Super Bowl commercial veteran Laurence Fishburne.

“Modern Americans found that [Shirley] Temple, best remembered as a small white girl with red hair and an infectiously rosy personality, is fairly easy to distinguish from [Laurence] Fishburne, who is a physically large African-American gentleman with a deep voice and often plays mysterious, slightly threatening characters,” explained head researcher Dale von Whiten.

“We see this is as a big step forward in the national dialogue about race,” continued von Whiten.

The study was prompted after KTLA entertainment reporter Sam Rubin accidentally mistook actor Samuel L. Jackson for Fishburne in a live on-air interview.

At press time, the Center was preparing the findings of another important report in which it will be revealed that almost 27% of suburban white Americans can successfully delineate “most of the time” between photographs of President Barack Obama and photographs of popular Vaudeville performer Al Jolson in his signature blackface makeup, up from 25.5% three years ago.

Curt Schilling Already Tired of Sports-Themed Cancer Fighting Mantras

“Holy crap, you guys, just knock it off,” begs exhausted athlete.

24646856_SAPROVIDENCE, RI Three-time World Series hero Curt Schilling, who just announced yesterday that he is now battling cancer, is already experiencing fatigue over the number of athletically-inspired aphorisms friends, family, and fans have begun sending him by way of encouragement.

“If I hear one more person tell me to ‘strike out cancer,’ I think I’m gonna scream,” said a clearly distressed Schilling. “Ditto for ‘deal the Big C a Big K,'” continued the 1993 NLCS MVP.

The veteran of 19 MLB season with five different clubs will also “completely and totally lose it” if he hears anything about “one more big game.”

At press time, Schilling’s oncologist was rumored to be preparing for an upcoming appointment by creating an explanation of treatment chart that contains familiar baseball phrases like “spring training,” “attack the strike zone,” and “day/night double-header.”

Squalid Conditions Cause Terrorists To Cancel Planned Sochi Attacks

“What a shithole,” says al-Quaeda operative

n-SOCHI-GAMES-largeSOCHI, RUSSIA Responding to toxic water supplies, scarce electricity, and tens of thousands of stray dogs roaming the Olympic village, major terrorist organizations have called off operations to disrupt the Winter Games.

“Half of the hotels look like they’ve already been bombed,” explained a press representative for the Chechnyan Liberation Army. “And the other half are little more than diseased, vermin-infested bordellos with no clean water.”

“We were going to detonate a biological weapon and blame it on the Iranians,” said Syrian president Bashar al-Assad. “But look – there are huge piles of dog turds everywhere.”

“I mean, everywhere,” continued al-Assad.

“I heard that the pestilential Western infidel reporters are having to sleep in the cum-soaked beds of prostitutes with no internet, no electricity, no towels, no clean water, and not even a decent cup of coffee,” said al-Quaeda top lieutenant Nasser al-Wuhayshi. “The best way to make the unbelievers suffer is to force them to endure every interminable second of this torturous Russian hospitality. The attacks are canceled.”

At press time, several terrorist organizations were seriously considering sending aid to the Sochi area.

Biggest Loser in Bill Nye Debate

BillNyeDebatePETERSBURG, KY More than three hundred million Americans were big fat losers last night following a live debate between Bill Nye “The Science Guy” and the controversial founder of Answers in Genesis and The Creation Museum, Ken Ham.

“You weren’t there so you don’t really know,” explained Ham as concrete irrefutable support of creationism, trumping, in his mind anyway, pretty much the entire history of scientific observation, testing, and reasoned thought.

Early reports indicate that the “debate” substantially reduced the nation’s aggregate intelligence.

At press time, the United States continued to rank 29th in student mathematical performance as measured against all other industrialized nations.