Happy dysfunctional Thanksgiving

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Clinton the Librarian

Hats off to Arafat

Donkeys defeat Elephants in political football

Mispronouncing a lie
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Gazette 'endorses' Bush for president

President's intelligence decision lacks intelligence

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Homeland Security horoscope

Homeland Security guru Tom Ridge, shown here consulting his imaginary crystal terror ball, has resigned. But not before issuing this Homeland Security horoscope.

Memo: U.S. Department of Homeland Security

Secretary Tom Ridge, in consultation with the nation's top astrological experts, today issued the following Risk Assessment Horoscope:

ARIES (March 21-April 19) Use common sense when dealing with a grave and gathering menace. Consensual physical affection with a loved one can temporarily numb the haunting specter of imminent mayhem. The future is guardedly bright.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20) Good day to assess your surroundings for vulnerabilities and take protective measures to mitigate them. Don't let emotion cloud your judgment on severing ties with a relative who may be a security risk. Be wary of unfamiliar smiles.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20) Monitor your transportation systems to insure readiness in the event of an evening terrorist incursion. Making an obscene gesture in traffic could lead to an unwanted gunshot wound. Vary your daily routine.

CANCER (June 21-July 22) Be patient if a loved one's fear of nuclear annihilation causes him or her to question your preparedness. Biweekly drills help you familiarize family personnel with your emergency response plan. Stock up on duct tape.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22) A breathtaking sunrise reminds you the end could come before dusk. Coordinate your personal security efforts with local emergency personnel and law enforcement agencies. Do not let your identity fall into enemy hands.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22) Seek creative new ways to disguise your attractiveness as a potential terrorist target. Be sure to exercise appropriate precautions in the event of an unexpected romantic encounter. Avoid naked aggression.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22) Redirect your personal resources to give priority to critical emergency needs. Treating yourself to a canister of pepper spray can add zest to your paranoia. Turn your stress about man's inherent capacity for evil into positive energy.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21) The threat of media chatter is heightened today. Follow established protocols when dealing with the rhetoric of swarthy political extremists. News reports of possible terrorist activity may be inaccurate or exaggerated.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21) Think twice before utilizing free speech to criticize the government. Sacrificing a few civil liberties will help the shadowy forces protect you. Limit your contact with those who exhibit an unkempt appearance or beady eyes.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19) A moment of serenity will likely be dashed by a sudden heightening of tension. Promptly report any suspicious individuals or activity to the Department of Homeland Security. Vigilance is next to godliness.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18) Going somewhere you've never been could be asking for trouble. Restrict access to your home and work environments to essential personnel only. Don't succumb to a panic attack: Today's threat level for apocalyptic doom is LOW.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20) Undertake further refinement of household protective measures within the context of current threat information. Unnecessary friendliness could cause unforeseen complications. Fortify your perimeter.

Let phony horoscopes guide you

Newspaper horoscopes are stupid, right? The savvy reader knows they're just pithy snippets of random advice whose actual relevance to our lives is either purely coincidental or completely nonexistent. But they can be fun if not taken too seriously. In that spirit, the planets have aligned to cast an irreverent aura over my karma. The result may seem somewhat astro-illogical.

Common Sense horoscope

Gangsta horoscope

(Free delivery of fresh satire every M/W/F, no Spam, strict privacy policy)

Bush relative holds slim lead
in Iraq pre-election polls

By John Breneman

Polls show the early leader in the race for president of Iraq is a little-known second cousin of President George W. Bush.

Ahmad W. Bush, described as a fervent born-again Shiite who favors tax cuts for oil industry warlords, holds a slim lead over Jihad Party nominee Mohammed al-Mohamma-Lama-Dingdong.

Other contenders include Occupation Party leader Akbar Q. Halliburton and Moral Values Party nominee Allah Bama-Slamma, who supports beheading for adultery and pre-marital sex.

A White House spokesman said that, despite widespread violence and complete disorganization, it is vitally important to stage an Iraq election on the scheduled date of Jan. 30 because "otherwise we'll look like incompetent morons again."

Geopolitical pundits believe securing the Iraqi presidency would strengthen the Bush family's growing stranglehold on the fate of the world.

President Bush's brother, Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, is considered by many to be the front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination in 2008, and Jeb's telegenic, Hispanic-blooded son George P. Bush is said to be eying the presidency of Mexico.

Countries already under Bush control include oil-rich Saudi Arabia, whose leader, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, is affectionately known as Bandar Bush.

There are unconfirmed reports that former President George H.W. Bush, an ex-military hero and CIA chief whose international business connections enable him to profit from war, might be sent into North Korea to "take out" President Kim Jong-Il.

Media insiders say former first lady Barbara Bush provides the "muscle," using fear, intimidation and threats of military action against anyone who criticizes her family dynasty.

This just in: Fox News is reporting that the president's impressive Nov. 2 victory validated the Bush family's "mandate" for world domination.

A pair of Thanksgiving blessings

See more artwork by Spratz

Grilled cheese profiteer offers more items

Economists say religious food products and other "moral values" edibles are poised
for a banner year in 2005.

By Chris Elliott

The woman who sold a grilled cheese sandwich that supposedly bore the likeness of the Virgin Mary for $28,000 has found more items to auction on eBay. After stepping in dog shit one day, the woman was about to scrape it off when she noticed that a profile of Saint John the Baptist was etched in relief on an otherwise smooth swath of shit.

She has an electric garage door that bears a rust pattern clearly depicting Jesus on a donkey. Participants in the garage door auction are for pickup only, as UPS will not ship a garage door. Smaller auction items include a Tootsie Roll that came off the manufacturing line in the shape of a crucifix, a Mounds Bar with three almonds in each bar, symbolizing the execution at Gethsemane, and a grilled delmonico steak which when viewed in a mirror is the Ten Commandments in Portuguese.

The most expensive item among the new postings is a dozen eggs, each of which has the image of one apostle. Ironically, the Judas egg was rotten on the day of purchase. Bidding for the dozen apostle eggs begins at $30,000. Of questionable legality is the auctioning off of a four-year-old nephew in whose scrotum can apparently be seen the visage of Saint Peter.

Related story:
Jesus Christ box-office superstar
Bush received faulty intelligence from God

A dysfunctional family Thanksgiving

By John Breneman

If you're scrapping around for something to be thankful for this Thursday, count your blessings that you'll never have to spend Thanksgiving at Uncle Ma and Aunt Pa's house down off'm Greenleaf Parsons Road in York, Maine.

There's a lot of yelling, a little scuffling and some right poor manners. But at least ain't nobody lost a finger since '82 -- knock wood -- when we had to shut off Uncle Ma from carving the turkey for good.

Last year things started to get out of hand early when an argument flared up between Aunt Pa (short for Pauline) and Grandma Weezie over where the Pilgrims had the first Thanksgiving dinner back in 1621.

Pa insisted that the feast took place at the Plymouth Colony down in Massachusetts. But Weezie, who still has most of her wits about her at 110, swore that the Mayflower gang drove a bunch of wagons to the top of Mount Agamenticus for a meal consisting primarily of lobster and sauteed kelp.

"Don't get my dandruff up," yelled Weezie, as Baby Cyrus spewed niblets onto his Speed Racer bib. "It's well-known that Miles Standish used to haul his traps out of York Harbor from a skiff named the Mayflower Marie. Hmmph, Massachusetts indeed."

"Yeah, whatever," said Pa, who went back to shellacking her 53-pound turkey with a pungent concoction of parsnip brandy and pumpkin-flavored cough syrup that she borrowed from the neighbor lady.

But it was too late. Weezie was on a tear. "Don't you be bad-mouthing them Pilgrims, especially that one that wrote the Decoration of Indy-Pendants. They's heroes. Heroes! Ain't that right, Mr. Bojingly?"

Now, Mr. Bojingly didn't answer right off, mostly because he was a chimp and didn't speak English too well. Uncle Ma (short for Maurice) had gotten him for Weezie to help out with chores around her shack. Mr. Bojingly instead just flicked a dollop of corn-pone batter at Aunt Pa.

Weezie went on to say she'd seen a float in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade where Regis Philbin and a bunch of shameless fake Pilgrims were gyrating to the beat of "Who Let the Dogs Out?" under the shadow of a 90-foot-tall "Hillary for President" balloon.

Fortunately it was almost time to eat. Spread out on the table before us was a cornucopia of traditional family favorites, some of them you may recall from the writeup I done a couple years ago around this time.

Oh, there was Kung Pow chipmunk and scallion Jello. Spam pot pie and Weezie's five-alarm fruit salad. Baked stuffed chinchilla and a new recipe that Aunt Pa called "bowl weevil surprise."

"I hope everybody's hungry," said Pa, as she opened the stove and began to pull out the bird.
Ma's two pit bulls, Patches and Carnivorous Rex, edged closer to the oven as Pa struggled with the majestic 53-pound specimen. Just then the turkey crashed to the floor and the dogs attacked, devouring the helpless bird like a pair of mad, furry piranhas.

When the snarling canines finally finished their job, a horrified silence fell over the kitchen. Then Carnivorous Rex burped up the wishbone. Fortunately Pa just reached further back in the oven and pulled out another turkey, slightly bigger than the first.

"I always like to cook a backup bird," explained Pa. "You never know when them pit bulls is gonna act up."

When we took our places around the table, the usual dispute erupted over whether to simply thank the Good Lord for the bounty before us or, as Weezie suggested, to pray for an end to the hostilities in South Berwick and a speedy recovery for Idiot Third Cousin Twice Removed Jimmy, who was suffering from a neurological disorder that Weezie called "polio of the mind."

Jimmy just grinned and started jabbering. But Weezie cut him off before he could advance his repugnant theories about the superiority of white meat over dark.

Auntie Tums wanted to petition the Lord for U.S. sanctions against North Korea and a benevolent, omniscient solution to the troubles facing Social Security and Medicare.

Ma proposed an amendment under which we would box up our leftovers and mail them to the starving people of the Sudan. But Pa countered that a taste of his special 43-bean salad might make a real difference to the folks in East Timor.


The next 45 minutes were a surreal, audiovisual blur of knives and forks gnashing, glasses clinking, tangled arms and murmurs of "Please pass the ferret."

We were all pretty stuffed and exhausted when it came time for dessert. But that didn't stop any of us from gorging ourselves on Auntie Tums' Deep-Dish Mincemeat Meringue Pie, winner of a brown ribbon at the Cape Neddick Fair. Or from laughing like hyenas when Mr. Bojingly spilled some banana souffle on his crisp white Armani shirt.

Y'all are welcome to come by on Thursday. But if you do, make sure to tell Aunt Pa that hers is the best dang roasted salamander gizzard you've ever tasted.

Humor Gazette editor John Breneman swears that any resemblance to actual Breneman family members in the above story is purely coincidental.

Four American presidents join forces
in Arkansas to fight for truth, justice
and the American way.
Clinton the Librarian

By John Breneman

It was raining presidents at the president-filled grand opening of a library honoring the reign of President William Jefferson Clinton.

The star-studded stage outside the glistening William J. Clinton Presidential Center was flooded with presidential testosterone as the War President, the Wimp President and the Peanut President all paid tribute to the Penis President.

Hoping to project unity to the divided and hopelessly confused nation, the two Democratic and two Republican presidents were all hugs and kisses for the cameras, except when President Bush Sr. said how much he "hated" Clinton for beating his ass in a debate and for being 10 times more charismatic and visionary.

The current President Bush had kind words for Clinton, saying that in the soft focus of history he is "not such a scumbag after all."

Red and blue TV viewers in now-quiet battleground states sat on the edge of their seats as media pundits gushed about Clinton the "rock star" and how his legacy will be forever semen-stained by sex with a groupie.

Two of Clinton's rock star buddies, Bono and the Edge of U2, were the headline performers for a crowd that included noted standup comics Robin Williams and Karl Rove. Noted non-president John Kerry was also on hand, sporting a $27,000 L.L. Bean Rain-Buster kevlar umbrella.

The $165 million glass-and-steel Clinton center is the most expensive library ever erected, partly because extra square footage was needed to house the former president's expansive collection of pornography and sex scandal member-abilia.

The structure features a dimly lit "porn alcove" with rare XXX titles like "Midnight Filibuster" and "Hillary Does Congress," and an interactive exhibit where visitors can experience the heady sensation of taking a puff of marijuana without actually inhaling.

Related story:
Clinton memoir penned with company ink

Armchair pundits offer electric chair analysis

Speculation now shifts to whether the heartless, Viagra-popping Peterson's complete lack of a human soul will hurt him during death penalty deliberations.

By John Breneman

Now that a jury has found California psycho Scott Peterson guilty of killing his wife and unborn son, the sensational round-the-clock media coverage shifts to whether Peterson will get the death penalty.

Public opinion is divided on whether Peterson should live or die, but polls show there is near universal agreement on one thing - the Scott Peterson "story" must be put to death as soon as possible.

"Death penalty, life in prison ... doesn't matter to me. That murdering scum deserves whatever they give him," said a man on the street. "But I'll tell you, I'm sick of how the media has been beating this case to death. I swear if they don't let up I may go on a spree myself."

Though several legal analysts pointed out they had predicted a verdict might be reached on Friday, none had a clue how inane their commentary sounded when woven together with other similarly obvious and repetitive soundbites.

When word came late Friday that the verdict was first-degree murder, the same legal analysts were reintroduced as armchair electric chair experts to speculate about whether the clone-faced Peterson will live or die ... or use the appeals court process to haunt us eternally from some media overkill netherworld.

A tip of the hat to Arafat

By John Breneman

Yasser Arafat is dead, but his legacy as a world leader in stylish headgear lives on.

As his followers mourn by firing bullets into the air and hoping they don't pierce too many skulls on the way down, geopolitical haberdashery analysts agree that Arafat's monumental contributions to hatwear will be remembered long after the pesky Israeli-Palestinian conflict is resolved.

"Not since Abe Lincoln and his legendary stovepipe tophat has one man had such a profound impact on the history of headgear," said Richard "Cappy" Stetson, chairman of the prestigious Fedora Institute. "Castro, Bush, Hamid Karzai over in Afghanistan... These guys all wear hats from time to time, but nobody can touch Arafat. I once saw him craft an exquisite, Allah-approved turban out of a discarded Wal-Mart bag."

Now that Arafat, a 12-time winner of the United Nations' coveted "Best Hat" award, no longer sports a living head on which to display his famous checkered tablecloth, it is believed that other world leaders are eager to fill the void.

A spokesman for Pope John Paul said the pontiff has privately admitted he would love to cap his distinguished career with the U.N. hat prize but understands the competition is intense, with Fidel Castro reportedly working on a drab olive green number that his valet says "combines the flair of the Blues Brothers with the timeless barbarism of Idi Amin."

Chinese President Jiang Zemin has been spotted in a tri-cornered Colonial-era number that is said to be black with gold trim. he C.I.A. has picked up some "chatter" indicating that Osama bin Laden has been experimenting with a jaunty straw hat. And the Iranians are said to be developing a baseball cap composed entirely of enriched uranium.

President Bush, meanwhile, has publicly downplayed the post-Arafat hat scenario. Aides say they are urging Bush to stick with cowboy hats and fighter pilot helmets, but Bush is said to prefer a red, white and blue dunce cap with a nifty propeller on top.

A word from your president

"My fellow Americans..."

By Chris Elliott

President Bush 'out,' media 'in' as
biggest thing to complain about in '05

By John Breneman

Following through on his pledge to heal the bitterly divided nation, President Bush joined Sen. John Kerry today to introduce a bipartisan national dialogue about the sorry state of "the Media."

Republicans hold contempt for the elite liberal media as exemplified by the New York Times, while Democrats blast organizations like Fox News for brainwashing gullible viewers with right-wing propaganda.

And polls show growing disgust over the Media's failure to provide the citizenry with the complete, unbiased information it needs to make decisions vital to our democracy.

In fact, many are now blaming the Media for failing to prevent the war in Iraq by more vigorously questioning the president and his men about the phony weapons of mass destruction and the dishonest effort to link Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden.

The Media could not be reached for comment, but an anonymous source close to the media said Howard Fineman will be covering the story in this week's Newsweek, then pontificating about it on Crossfire, Hardball, The O'Reilly Factor and Imus in the Morning.

Pakistan-based pundit Osama bin Laden
calls Ohio in favor of President Bush during election night coverage on Al Jazeera.

Bin Laden tips his turban to Bush

By John Breneman

Osama bin Laden claimed victory in the U.S. presidential race today, telling supporters that his recent video appearance successfully swayed the election to President Bush.

Bin Laden said his unwavering message of pervasive fear closely paralleled that of President Bush. Offering post-election analysis from his anchor desk at Al Jazeera, bin Laden said Democratic challenger John Kerry wisely used Social Security woes and the threat of a military draft to scare people, but cost himself the election by straying from a fear-based campaign with outdated concepts like "hope" and "common sense."

Bin Laden also extended an olive branch to President Bush, saying, "I'd like to thank Mr. Bush for focusing on Iraq during those frightening days after 9/11 when I thought I actually might be captured, and for his help in our terrorist recruitment efforts."

The lanky death-monger, who said he had been up all night watching the returns, noted that his team of Muslim extremist election strategists correctly predicted that Bush would capture the battleground states of Ohio and Florida by convincing voters they needed him to win the battleground country of Iraq.

Plunging the nation into an unnecessary war was a brilliant strategy, according to bin Laden, because of America's long tradition of not changing commanders during wartime, even if the commander is a blundering incompetent who got the job because of his name rather than his talents or accomplishments.

The bearded terror kingpin said he understands why Americans would feel safer led by a man who is so confident that, when confronted with the pre-9/11 warning: "Bin Laden determined to strike in U.S.," he simply went ahead with his Texas vacation plans.

Bin Laden also praised Bush's ability to turn his own shameful military career into an asset by using Swift Boat propaganda guns to maim his war hero opponent. He also credited Bush with making sure no law-abiding terrorist sympathizer is denied access to an assault weapon.

Bin Laden, who has repeatedly denied rumors of a homosexual relationship with Saddam Hussein, said Bush also benefited from his stance gay people should be constitutionally blocked from participating in what he has called "the most fundamental institution of civilization" -- marriage.

Bin Laden closed his remarks by thanking America for its strong support of him during Afghanistan's war against the Soviets in the 1980s.

A recent Humor Gazette tracking poll reveals that 83% of all GOP voters say they support President George W. Bush's strong leadership in waging the war on truth.

Poll reveals Bush favored by
mushroom cloud enthusiasts

Below are the results of the latest Humor Gazette tracking poll:

52% of registered voters say they feel safer despite living in a "battleground state."

42% of Republican voters say they believe Arnold Schwarzenegger will help President Bush defeat the "terrorist girly men."

84% of feel safer under Bush because he was so effective in preventing the 9/11 attacks and capturing Osama bin Laden.

70% of brainwashed Republicans believe President Bush's campaign pledge that John Kerry will take all their money and let terrorists kill them.

92% of oil industry executives say they feel safer under President Bush because he is not afraid to wage war on the environment.

21% of conservative doomsday enthusiasts say they support Bush because they are curious to see what a mushroom cloud looks like.

86% of FOX News viewers say Kerry is unfit for command because ... "flip-flop," "global test," and "gay daughter."

79% of FOX News viewers believe the president is a stronger military leader than the war hero Kerry, even though Bush ducked Vietnam then went AWOL from the cushy National Guard post his daddy got him.

61% of all Worldwide Wrestling Federation fans believe Teresa Heinz Kerry would shred Laura Bush if a steel-cage First Lady catfight death-match were held today.

74% of conservative pundits believe Bush grimaced Kerry into submission in the first debate.

54% of Republicans support Bush because they believe he is pro-Christ.

49% of Democrats oppose Bush because they believe he is the anti-Christ.

81% of all southern Republicans believe the words "Massachusetts liberal" mean "flip-flopping baby-killer."

73% of young Republicans say Bush has the edge due to his experience as a fraternity president at the electoral college.

92% of all Americans believed Bush when he promised to capture bin Laden "dead or alive."

62% believed Bush when he said bin Laden's best friend Saddam Hussein definitely had weapons of mass destruction.

41% of GOP propaganda enthusiasts believed President Bush when he dressed up in a military flightsuit and said "Mission Accomplished."

63% of Democrats think stem-cell research offers hope for a cure to President Bush's rare form of cerebral dysfunction.

87% of registered voters aren't sure if they live in a red state or a blue state.

Finally, approximately 50 percent of all voters appear to have been hoodwinked by the most dangerous American president of all time.

Fan writes moving letter to embattled media icon

Today's Media Horoscope

Bill O'Reilly


VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22) -- Your image as a bombastic crusader for morality may be harmed by an underling who rejects your crude romantic advances. Don't let sexual misconduct and blatant hypocrisy dissuade you from spouting phony platitudes about family values. A substantial cash payoff should convince her to shut up.

Dear Mr. Bill O'Reilly:

I'm sorry to hear about your recent troubles, but I think they will only serve to deepen your already profound understanding of the human condition and to continue your unparalleled commitment to guys like me, "Joe Six-Pack."

Anyway, as to why I'm writing. I know you've been looking out for me, Bill. And I've been sticking with you, too. I've been helping the cause for the little guy like me by buying all your Factor gear, all the stuff you sell online, and it certainly gives me comfort to look at all my Factor mugs and tee shirts and other stuff that I have in my little room here. I buy your books, too, although I have to admit I haven't read them.

At any rate, Bill, I did something at work a little while back. You see, I followed your advice about not making excuses for myself, about admitting when I'm wrong, about taking it like a man. When I admitted to my faults, Bill, I did it because you gave me such good advice, over and over again, and because I knew that you, too, would admit to anything if you were also ever caught in a jam.

Well, I liked this girl at work, see, and you can relate to that, Bill, and she liked me, or so I thought. I'd call her up at home and tell her some things I thought would make her feel good, things like taking her on vacation, or how to make love like a porn star (I bought Ms. Jameson's book because it seemed you liked Jenna, too, Bill), or what we could do together in the shower.

Well, get this, Bill. She was no friend. She actually TAPED our conversations and she went to management and guess what? They asked me about it, and I thought to myself, well, what would Bill do? I said he wouldn't spin it. He'd take responsibility for it, if he ever did such a thing - which he would never do, but anyway. Besides, I'm no idiot Democrat. I don't find fault or blame for my actions. I'm no VICTIM. I admitted to it, and guess what, Bill?

They fired me.

I don't really have any money for high-priced lawyers, or even a low-priced lawyer for that matter, Bill. So now I'm out after 17 years at the plant.

And worse.

I don't need to tell you that things aren't going so well right now, Bill. While I sure am happy I can still watch you every night - luckily we have TV time at 8 o'clock - and know you're still looking out for me. Because when I look at you, Bill, I feel comfort and happiness knowing the system works exactly as it always has, and you, with your tireless efforts of late, are continuing to make sure of that.

Yes, sir. I sure am proud of you. And I know that you are proud of me for owning up to my mistakes and admitting my flaws, no matter what the cost. I may be out of a job and in jail, but I have my integrity intact.

I just want to let you know that when I get back on my feet I'll buy a whole new bunch of Factor stuff, because I know if I do that they'll keep you on the air, and it'll give you the energy and support you'll need to keep looking out for the little guy - me. I'll do that, just as soon as I finish up my sentence and get back into the workplace.

And, rest assured, Bill, even though I'm in prison here I'll keep taking it like a man. Just as you would, I'm sure.

Thanks for the great advice over the years, Bill.
You're the best,

Tad Toesucker
Poughkeepsie Correctional Facility

Kerry takes aim at gun-toter voters

By John Breneman

Eager to prove he's a macho regular guy, John Kerry went hunting over the weekend and bagged a terrorist.

Clad in a $1.4 million L.L. Bean flak jacket and brandishing a borrowed 12-gauge shotgun, Kerry emerged from an Ohio cornfield flashing a bloody thumbs-up and reporting, "Everybody got one."

An aide said Kerry planned to have his terrorist stuffed and mounted in his den on Boston's Beacon Hill.

President Bush chided Kerry for posing as a phony terrorist hunter and announced plans for a pre-election safari in Iraq, during which he planned to blast at least five or six "freedom haters."

Several pundits drew comparisons between Kerry's high-profile hunting expedition and President Bush's decision to dress up in a nifty Navy flightsuit for his infamous "Mission Accomplished" moment, though some argued that Bush's phony photo-op was at least 10 times phonier and more distasteful than Kerry's.

In related news, the news media is trumpeting a possible celebrity death match between Bill Clinton and Arnold Schwarzenegger as both camps fire up their attack machines for a final week of pounding each other's integrity in the battleground states.

Today's Presidential Horoscopes

John Kerry
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21) -- Excessive wordiness may distract people from fully understanding your mixed messages. Future job prospects may hinge on your ability to expose a well-liked adversary's pathological dishonesty. Be decisive.

George W. Bush
CANCER (June 21-July 22) -- Refuse to let facts and common sense intrude on your vision of what is right. Affecting a tough persona helps you compensate for feelings of intellectual inadequacy. Don't be distracted by rising death tolls. Stay the course.

See more Horoscopes

Two soldiers write about the depravity of war

One of the burning questions of this political season is whether John Kerry participated in or was witness to acts of depravity while a navy officer during Vietnam. The question has opened up old wounds -- wounds not quite yet healed -- from 30 years ago. Kerry testified before Congress in the early 1970s and repeated what some of his fellow soldiers had told him about atrocities committed during battle.


But the very nature of the debate underscores, as it should, the insanity of war. War creates an atmosphere where decent people are thrown into a cauldron of madness, where the rules of engagement change overnight, and where opportunities for inhuman behavior present themselves when they otherwise, in a less violent world, would not.

It is easy for us, on the sidelines, to condemn what happened at Abu Ghraib prison, or at Buchenwald, for that matter -- because we were not there. Would all of us have acted just as inhumanly, as we would like to believe we never would? That's the scary thing. Or would we have risen above the actions of the mob to be the voice of sanity? We don't know.

But while we consider the question of whether John Kerry is telling the truth or not, we can listen to two different accounts from two different wars, both of which unveil the sense of anger and chaos that war can cause. One, from the Civil War, is told by an unnamed Connecticut soldier who recounts a disgusting episode of casual bigotry. And the other is from World War II veteran Lenny Bruce, who unleashes a torrent of lingering resentment during a drug-besotted concert in 1962.

Did John Kerry witness acts of depravity during Vietnam? Maybe, maybe not. But he had many brothers in arms who, unfortunately, had.

This is from an issue of the Connecticut War Record, published in 1864:

The 21st (Conn. Volunteers) were ordered on board the Transport "John Farren," but were subsequently disembarked and returned to their position in the 'Rifle Pits.' We were again ordered to embark, and returned to the boat for that purpose. Arriving at the wharf we found that through some misunderstanding of the Quartermaster, the 'John Farren,' which was laden with all our baggage, had been completely loaded down with negroes and their baggage. The way those darkies and effects were transferred from the boat to the shore 'was a caution' to the 'poor emancipated Africans.' After the negroes were all disembarked our men were ordered on board to unload the baggage, and mounting the hurricane deck, where it had been packed away, they charged upon the confused mass of African possessions and commenced transferring them in a very unceremonious manner to the wharf. The scene which followed baffles description - and I doubt if the history of the whole war can present a like scene, or the Emancipation Proclamation of Father Abraham ever called forth another such sight. Feather beds fell like snow flakes, only rather more forcibly, upon the heads of frantic searchers for 'their own' household goods. Bedding, clothing, all manner of domestic goods, filled the air and fell like rain in one confused and inextricable mass. Wenches displaying the pluck and muscle of a Hercules in giving punishment to some luckless darkey, who in her fruitless search for her undiscovered property had invaded the rights of another.

Hooped skirts were hurled gracefully from the deck to come down enveloping some corpulent wench, and adding to her wrath, already rampant. Some were crying, some laughing, some fighting, and all wrangled amid the shower of 'bag and baggage,' which 'mingling fell.' And thus we left them, to be subsequently conveyed to Newbern, but if they ever live to sort that baggage they will exceed the average length of African longevity.

Yes, well. And this is a report from the liberators.

On Dec. 4, 1964, Lenny Bruce performed at the Gate of Horn nightclub. "Let the buyer beware," the emcee intones, probably for two reasons. Bruce was known not just for his comedy, but for his well-known use of obscenities. At this concert, he also seems to be quite stoned.

Nonetheless, even under the influence, Bruce could be funny and devastating. Here, he is slashing, as he asks the question "Why are Americans hated everywhere?" He answers it by recounting what he says happened between American soldiers and the Europeans who were needing some of the things the Americans carried. It isn't a happy tale, nor was it meant to be.

"I think I did a little more traveling than anyone in this audience. I think I've been on more invasions than anyone in this audience. I was on six. I made some real daddies. I was on a cruiser called the USS Brooklyn. I was a 2nd class gunners mate. I was [unintelligible] from '42 to '45 July -- that's when Germany fell, in July. Doing it's dirty. They hate Americans everywhere, do you know why? Because they fucked all their mothers for chocolate bars and don't you forget that, jim. You don't think those kids have heard that since 1942? 'You know what those Americans did to your poor mother?' They lined her up those bastards -- your father had to throw up his poor guts in the kitchen while he waited out there and that master sergeant schtupped your poor mother for their stinkin' coffee and their eggs and their friggin' cigarettes. Those Americans. That's it, jim. That's all they've heard, those kids. Those kids are now 23, 25 years old. The Americans. There's the guy that did it to my mother. Would you assume that they would say 'There's the guy who fucked my mother. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Thank you for that and for giving us candy?"

Lenny Bruce was arrested later in that performance and today it's easy to ask: Was Bruce arrested for swearing, or for saying things like the above which you could imagine were the things no one, ever, wanted to hear?

War makes people do things and say things they'd rather never have done in the first place and it certainly makes them do things they'd just as soon forget.

One way, of course, to avoid this heartache is to not put people in this terrible and unfair situation in the first place.

Gazette endorses Bush

Now more than ever, as we wage the war against terror in Washington and Iraq, America needs a brash, uncompromising president who is not afraid to take action in the face of questionable intelligence -- a man capable of making profound, far-reaching decisions undistracted by knowledge, logic and reason.

Winning the White House's war in Iraq will require a cocky, shoot-from-the-lip leader who doesn't give a Texas damn what other nations think of us -- an aggressive, unapologetic war president determined to ignore and discredit nagging voices of dissent during these difficult times.

Now more than ever America needs George W. Bush, shrewd son of a rich Republican dynasty who understands it is more imperative to talk about moral values than to actually embody them -- a folksy, faux gun-slinger skilled in shrugging off seemingly damaging developments with a soundbite and a smirk.

When the Good Lord informed President Bush that Saddam Hussein must go, he did not waver or fret about international opposition. He wisely heeded God's instructions, smoked the WMD-packing madman into a hole and took him out.

The world is surely a safer place now that the al Qaeda-loving dictator is no longer in power. Who could deny that we become more secure with each terrorist who is killed or stacked up naked in a pile?

Indeed, we know we are safer because -- though the wrath of Allah may rain down upon us at any moment -- President Bush keeps repeating that he is making us safer.

Quibbling over past statements about weapons of mass destruction and links between Iraq and al Qaeda does not do America any good now. This anti-Bush rhetoric is the stuff of simpering Saddam sympathizers who think they can have their uranium yellow cake and eat it too.

Sometimes we are moved to ask: What part of "you're with us or you're with the terrorists" don't these people understand?

Also hurting the cause are those who would question why 1,000 young Americans must make the ultimate sacrifice to take over a country where no weapons have yet been found. To this we say, simply: Freedom-hating thug. Hated America. Madman. World a safer place.

Critics may seize upon some of the president's words to paint him as a thick-headed, born-again slacker who is intellectually and morally unfit for his job as leader of the free world. Some even mock his alternative pronunciation of the explosively symbolic word "nuclear."

But when the president said recently, "Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we," he meant to trumpet his vigilance against evildoers, not re-ignite charges that his administration's actions have put us at greater risk. We must understand that this is a man so composed in the face of an unspeakable tragedy that he continued to read "My Pet Goat" to schoolchildren upon learning of the Sept. 11 attacks.

Yes, do not misunderestimate George W. Bush. Family jewels and fancy schools do not guarantee a facility with fancy words like "malfeasance" and "subliminible." So what if he has five ways to say "Abu Ghraib" or seems to have forgotten about bin Laden?

The important thing is he believes he has the ability to communicate with the Lord, and thus will not be constrained by the separation of church and state as he protects the God-given right of each fetus to own a gun.

We must not let some decorated military "hero" cut short the divine mission of a man who whose own stealthy service during the Vietnam War helped keep the homefront safe for debauchery.

See, the president has told us in no uncertain terms that his bleeding Purple Heart liberal opponent plans to raise taxes by $8 trillion, decimate the U.S. military and stamp out family values.

Yes, America should be wary of John Kerry. What kind of flip-flopper fights bravely for his country then turns around and talks about the horrors of war?

President Bush not only supported the war in Vietnam, he completed his Air National Guard service so masterfully that there are no eye-witness accounts of it to be found, and certainly no embarrassing politically motivated Bronze Star incidents.

Now, as commander-in-chief, he battles enemies old and new while protecting our way of life from threats posed by stem-cell research, gun control and the ultimate menace to our society, gay marriage.

And so, as the most important election of our time draws near, do not be fooled by partisan Democratic claims or valid independent research that President Bush has harmed the economy with his tax cuts for the rich, damaged our nation's stature in the eyes of the world and needlessly sacrificed thousands of American and Iraqi lives.

As the president might say, now is not the time to not stay the course. Make no mistake, that would be a victory for the terrorists as they keep trying to weaken our resolve.

So if you want a president who would never exercise sensitivity in bludgeoning Iraq into democracy, a president who understands that a rising death toll means lower unemployment, a president whose men will do whatever it takes to get him back into the White House, vote for George W. Bush on November 2.

John Breneman
Editor, Humor Gazette

Satire newspaper flip-flops, already endorsed John Kerry

The N-U-C-L-E-A-R litmus test

By Chris Elliott

The Democratic National Convention is behind us, and the case has been stated for change. There have been niceties and tributes, and there has been rancor and vitriol. Surely though, the event's highlight was John Kerry's acceptance speech. Kerry touched upon on all relevant points that will determine the election's outcome, and he did so with all of the grace that could have been expected. One particularly high point for me was his pronunciation of the word "nuclear." The "c" was pronounced immediately before the "l" and there was no insertion between the two letters of an arbitrary letter "y." To appropriate a well-worn phrase, John Kerry hit the pronunciation of the word "nuclear" out of the park.

It was awesome. For the first time since Al Gore's campaign four years ago, I was observing a man in the pursuit of our highest office who could pronounce a word that most of us grew up with.     MORE

Chris Elliott can be reached at CDElliott009@aol.com

Grain Expectations

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