Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Benjamin Franklin’s Jumper Cables

Hammered Out by B F Koch
ITITY Historical Archivist

Philadelphia PA

For the past several weeks, scholars have been following a series of cryptic clues left behind by one of our most enigmatic founding fathers. It all began when a dentist in Morristown NJ, while perusing a copy of Poor Richard’s Almanack in his private collection, came across a peculiar parchment concealed within its pages.

Dated 1787, the extraordinary document contains illustrations of Independence Hall and its bell tower, a diagram of an unusually large Leyden jar and the obscure details of an intricate clockwork mechanism all under the title: “When the wheels of bureaucracy slow to the point that a spark of sufficient strength is required to set them spinning again.”

For many years the subject of contention among historians of America’s colonial past, some of the more curious correspondences between John Adams and Thomas Jefferson during the Constitutional impasse of that same year are now being seen as pieces of the same puzzle.

Adams initiated the exchange with this admonition: “What the devil was he thinking; his infernal lightning bolt has rendered the thing completely useless. It will now be necessary to procure another one from Mr.’s Pass and Stow.”

“In conjuring the assistance of the heavens, I agree that he has indeed proven himself to be a man with whom one’s association is to be accompanied by the most judicious caution,” Jefferson rejoined.

Adams continued, “I most strenuously object to being the unwitting subject of one of his perilous experiments. Were he ever again to embark on such a similar enterprise I would personally guarantee him a one way passage to Paris.”

The final words were Jefferson’s: “While one may certainly question his methods, it is arguable however that without Dr. Franklin’s unconventional intervention, we may never have reached a consensus.”

Researchers now believe the letters, together with the newly discovered drawing, have revealed a startling secret, hidden for over two hundred years, about the birth of our democracy.

In the course of his consternation with the Constitutional delegates and their unwillingness to come to a compromise, Franklin had a Philadelphia foundry cast a lightening rod of a special anodic alloy in the shape of a bell.

Installed in the tower of Independence Hall where the convention was being held, what would later be known as the Liberty Bell was stuck by lightening during a particularly violent thunder storm, forming its famous fissure.

The enormous electric charge was stored in a large capacitor until, at a time selected by him for an especially spectacular effect, Franklin switched on his clockwork distributor and sent a spark of high voltage current to each of the reluctant representatives.

At the close of the convention, as he left Independence Hall on the final day of deliberation, a woman asked him, “Well Doctor, what have we got; a Republic or a Monarchy?” Franklin smugly responded “A Republic, if you can stand the static.”

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Super Committee Spawns Super Party

Filed by S W Rebholz
ITITY Congressional Liaison

In one of the most innovative political creations since the debt ceiling negotiations generated Super Committee, political heavyweights across the United States have formulated one of the more promising medicines to cure the ills of a waning America. Citing the increasingly influential policies of the Green Party and Tea Party, the bi-partisan Super Committee outlined its plans for an entirely new political organization, the aptly named: Birthday Party. 

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said the premise was simple, unique, and powerful enough to change the landscape of American politics, "Once a year, a nominated representative is granted one wish in front of an elaborate baked confection. When the candles are blown out, the wish is granted by the political gods and Congress can resume its day-to-day operations." 

While the bi-partisan Birthday Party is promising, several issues are gridlocking a final vote, namely: the date of the birthday, July 4th or Flag Day, the designer of the specialty cake, Buddy Valastro or Duff Goldman, and of course the Party's first wish, Totalitarian Military Regime or Tax-Generated Welfare State. 

Speaker of the House John Boehner said, "If the debt ceiling agreement has taught us anything, it's that differences like this can be overcome and a mutual stalemate is within reach."

Friday, August 26, 2011

Further Downgrades Create Contention

Filed by E C Koch
ITITY Child Psychology Correspondent

In a report filed earlier this week by the Senate Committee on Financial Oversight, the United States has officially downgraded the Standard and Poor’s ratings agency from its previously perfect five stars to a less than stellar four stars following the S&P downgrade of US credit to AA+.

Due to the unprecedented downgrading of the S&P, many fear that subsequent downgrades are imminent, and that all future ratings will be met with a great deal of skepticism.

In what some consider to be a retaliatory measure, the S&P has already downgraded the Grand Canyon to the Decent Canyon, the Final Frontier to the Penultimate Frontier, and Washington DC to Washington DD+.

Though some have tried contacting Standard and Poor’s CEO Devan Sharma for comment, no one has, as yet, been able to reach him, as he was recently downgraded to janitor.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

FEC Blots Brawny

Filed by F Russell Grumman
ITITY 2012 Presidential Campaign Correspondent

Washington, D.C.

The Federal Election Commission today issued a letter to Georgia-Pacific, a subsidiary of Koch Industries, warning that it must remove the picture of Texas Governor Rick Perry from all Brawny Paper Towel advertising within sixty days or face legal action.

It has recently come to light that a package addressed to the FEC with a Minnesota postmark and a cover letter signed only "Michele, a Patriotic American" contained a correspondence from Charles and David Koch to then citizen Perry.

In the letter, the ultra-conservative billionaire brothers thank him for serving as the model for the Brawny Man, who has ironically become something of a gay comedic icon, and suggesting he use the royalties to fund a career in public life to promote their activist agenda, advice he apparently has taken to heart.

Initially reluctant to comment, Perry's presidential campaign spokesman finally countered, “If true, it puts the lie to Mitt Romney's allegation that the Governor has no private sector experience.”

The Koch Brother’s stated position that “the FEC is an example of governmental waste and interference in the free electoral process and should be defunded and abolished by Congress” has since received the "sounds like a good idea" nod from House Speaker John Boehner.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Backed Into Corner, Higgs Boson Gets Testy

Dispatched by B F Koch
ITITY Science Reporter

Geneva SZ

By cranking their proton accelerators up to eleven, physicists monitoring the Large Hadron Collider at CERN and Fermilab’s Tevatron are confident that they are finally closing in on the last holdout of the Standard Model gang, the Higgs Boson, AKA the God Particle.

“We have the fingerprints, we have the smoking gun; we just want to know where it was on the night of the Big Bang and what it knows about the missing mass,” stated CERN’s Dr. Carlo Agnetti, “It’s in a tight spot and it knows it.”

Believed to be hiding in the dangerous 140 to 145 gigaelectronvolt neighborhood, the elusive fugitive recently surprised scientists when it threw an unknown particle into the Tevatron detectors in a clever attempt to throw investigators off its track.

Researchers are now cautiously reconsidering Werner Heisenberg’s lesser known contribution to quantum mechanics thought to have been inspired by a futile search for Niels Bohr’s car keys, the seldom discussed Be Careful What You Look for Principle.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Cuban Curveball Creates Crisis

Filed by B D W
ITITY Weird Events Correspondent

Miami FL

LA Dodgers owner Frank McCourt, whose misdealings just last month shocked the sports world by bringing the franchise to bankruptcy court, ended his tenure this week when he quietly sold one of the worst teams in baseball to Cuba.

A strongly-worded editorial by Raul Castro, appearing in yesterday’s Havana Press, has the White House scrambling to reach a solution to the controversial issue of Cuba’s attempt to purchase the team.

Castro warned, “If you coolly weigh the situation which has developed, not giving way to passions, you will understand that Cuba cannot but reject the arbitrary demands of the United States whose pirate-like action will inevitably lead to war.”

After deploying the Navy, Barack Obama, baseball fan and Commander in Chief, stated during an emergency broadcast late last night, “The purity of America’s favorite pastime will not be tampered with and we will remain firm in our decision to blockade Cuba.”

As the clock runs out on this stalemate, reports suggest that while the President would prefer a diplomatic compromise to a military confrontation, he is not opposed to an invasion. At this time no one is sure whether Castro will back down.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

United States Suffers Setback

Jotted by E C Koch
ITITY Pecuniary Analyst

London UK

The United States, after protracted deficit negotiations, an unprecedented ratings downgrade, and continued profligate spending, has finally found herself in an insurmountable financial crisis, and is now unable to continue honoring her debts.

Though many critics believed that America sought independence before she was ready, she nevertheless blindly pursued her autonomy, and is now paying for her hubris.

With overwhelming debt and the inexperience necessary to properly balance one’s personal finances, America has been forced to move back in with her parents for, what is now, an indefinite period of time.

When asked how they felt about their daughter’s rather embarrassing public collapse, England responded, “She always was a willful child but it isn't that we’re angry with her exactly, just disappointed. It’s clear though that she still has a lot of growing up to do.”

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Craziness on Capitol Hill

Contributed by B F Koch
ITITY Political Commentator

Washington DC

We may not manufacture much in this country anymore, but we are still capable of cobbling together a catastrophic crisis out of nothing but thin, hot air and our irrefutable faith in free market fundamentalism.

Taking a break from rubber stamping regulatory legislation crafted by corporate lobbyists, Congress recently considered one of the most routine tasks it is responsible for performing, raising the debt ceiling.

When deficit reduction was unnecessarily included in the negotiation, the partisan confrontation over this simple accounting procedure quickly escalated to the unprecedented histrionics of a hostage situation.

The Republicans rested on their commitment to never raise taxes under any circumstances and their strategy that the resulting negative consequences could easily be blamed on the President.

The newly elected Tea Party, in just one stunning example of economic illiteracy, actually introduced a bill to lower the debt ceiling, reasoning that it would compel the government to reduce its spending.

The credit agencies threatened that our Treasury Bills would no longer retain the same treasured Triple-A rating they once bestowed on the junk mortgage backed securities that collapsed the economy in the first place.

While Democrats desperately did their dysfunctional best not to make things worse, a parade of pundits appeared on our perpetual propaganda programming to sell the scheme that we must all share in the sacrifice.

The President had said all along that he wanted a compromise and in the end what he got was yet another compromise, requiring yet another committee, its members yet to be selected, to consider yet more compromises. 

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Interest Rate Further Reduced

Scribbled by E C Koch
ITITY Economics Reporter

New York NY

In an effort to retard extreme fluctuations of stock prices on Wall Street, Ben Bernanke, chairman of the Federal Reserve, has reduced the federal funds rate to below zero in hopes of encouraging borrowing and investment in the US.

Critics from both sides are questioning Bernanke’s decision but have, as expected, offered nothing in the way of an alternative.

The new interest rate, which is now at an historic low, has yet to attract any increase in borrowing as banks are still cautious to lend, stagnating the already glacial flow of capital.

With regard to the efficacy of paying banks to borrow through the fed Bernanke stated, “Though some rather acerbic skeptics are lambasting the decision, and I don't want to get anyone's hopes up, we expect that this will benefit economic recovery by approximately ¼ % over the next ten years, and may even help unemployment, but who really knows.”

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Congress Seeks Celestial Solution

Reported by E C Koch
ITITY Financial Correspondent

Washington DC

Although the Democratic nominations to the newly formed Super Committee have not been formally conducted no one expects those nominations to in any way alter the eventual recommendations made by Republican members who have already produced a draft addressing the deficit crisis that would essentially wipe the economic slate clean.

Though there remains much partisan contention with regard to the most efficient way to restore fiscal sanity, this proposed alternative attempts to bypass party politics by including another stagnant government agency, and looking to the heavens.

Through what might have been science fiction several years ago, the Super Committee would direct NASA to cure the country’s financial woes by redirecting an asteroid toward Earth, in hopes of allowing our government’s policymakers the chance to start afresh; a final solution that leaves Congress simultaneously nervous and powerless to intervene.

Several eminent scientists outside of NASA have recently voiced their opinions with respect to this solution, mostly on the topic of unintended consequences; but have largely been discredited as followers of Maynard Keynes.