'If it was a choice between the robber barons and the young, internet entrepreneurs, I'd take the robber barons every time'

COMMENTARY BY JUDGE RUFUS PECKHAM: This country is finished, there's nothing worth salvaging.

We used to have entrepreneurs who looked like they deserved to have a lot of money -- regardless of how shabbily they treated the minions who worked for them. Take this gentleman:


That's Andrew Carnegie, one of the wealthiest men in the history of the world. I don't know about you, but if I met the perfectly coiffed Mr. Carnegie on the street, I would reach in my pocket and hand him a 20 dollar bill, no questions asked. Sadly, Mr. Carnegie has been dead since 1919.

Fast forward to today. Now we have "entrepreneurs" who look like this specimen -- one Zach Klein, the CEO of DIY and co-founder and designer of Vimeo:

Treasury Secretary Jack Lew Has Plastic Surgery to Make Him Look Like Mr. Potter


NASA Mars Rovers Involved in Road Rage Incident

WASHINGTON, D.C. - NASA confirmed that two of its Mars rovers were involved in a road rage incident today, some 95 million miles from earth.

 Rover Curiosity had been tailgating rover Opportunity on Mars’ Aelos Palus for hundreds of kilometers until rover Opportunity stopped suddenly and intentionally caused a rear-end collision, according to NASA police. Both vehicles sustained extensive damage.

NASA director Noah Swayne denounced the misconduct in a sharply worded rebuke.

“Aggressive driving is never appropriate, be it on a crowded interstate or on a desolate Martian plain,” Swayne said.

“They have the whole planet to roam, yet they constantly end up on the same road together. It’s unfathomable.”

Turkey Pardoned by Obama: ‘No Secret Deal’


WASHINGTON – Popcorn, the turkey pardoned by President Obama in the White House’s annual Thanksgiving clemency ritual, thanked the President, then headed to his retirement compound in San Clemente, California. 

The newly freed fowl denied rumors that he made a “secret deal” for his pardon.

“Let’s get serious. What could I offer the President in a deal? I’m a turkey,” said Popcorn.

The turkey revealed that he and Obama hit if off. “We’re on the same wavelength,” he explained. But he chided the press for treating the annual turkey pardon in a lighthearted manner. “To them, this ceremony is a punchline; to me, it’s life or death.”

The turkey revealed that he intends to devote his retirement years to writing his memoirs and acting as an elder statesman on poultry matters.

Shocker: Lunar Rover Left on Moon in 1972 is Covered With Parking Tickets

CAPE CANAVERAL – NASA revealed that a satellite photo taken last week shows that the Lunar Rover, abandoned on the moon’s surface in 1972 by Apollo 17 astronauts, is covered with parking tickets. 

NASA Administrator Noah Swayne, Jr. said he is “very disappointed” that the astronauts apparently left the vehicle, nicknamed the “moon buggy,” in a “No Parking” zone before leaving the moon’s surface. 

“We need to get someone back to the moon to move that vehicle before it’s towed,” Swayne explained. 

“The United States of America will not be known throughout the universe as a parking scofflaw.”

FROM THE ARCHIVES OF THE CARBOLIC SMOKE BALL: July 8, 1926

MOHANDAS GANDHI BULLIED AT BEACH, LEADER OF INDIAN INDEPENDENCE MOVEMENT VOWS TO SIGN UP FOR CHARLES ATLAS COURSE

(Calcutta ) Mohandas Gandhi, spindly leader of the Indian independence movement, announced today that he is swearing off “non-violent resistance” after being bullied at the beach in front of his shapely girlfriend.
According to witnesses, the incident started when Lord Basil Schropshire called Mr. Gandhi “skinny” in an obnoxious tone of voice and advised him that his “ribs were showing.” Mr. Gandhi then approached his tormentor and tried to defuse the confrontational atmosphere by preaching the virtues of courage, love, and the inherent dignity of all mankind, but his words fell on deaf ears. “Shut up, you bag of bones,” said Lord Basil, before planting a solid left jab on Gandhi’s chin. Afterward, a furious Mr. Gandhi met with reporters.

"Darn it,” he said. “I’m tired of being a skinny scarecrow. Charles Atlas says he can make me a new man. I’ll gamble a stamp and get his free book.” Mr. Gandhi vowed that it would only be a matter of time before he would become the world's most perfectly developed Mahatma. “What was I thinking with all of that non-violent resistance stuff?” he asked, smacking his palm against his forehead. “It’s going to be a lot easier ending British rule in my country when I can slap the Viceroy around a little.” Mr. Gandhi then excused himself. “I’ve got to find a stamp so I can rush this coupon to Mr. Atlas right away.”

Ex-Pope Opens Up About Firing


VATICAN CITY - In his first interview about his firing earlier this year, ex-Pope Benedict recalled being summoned to a meeting of the College of Cardinals on a ruse.

“They told me they wanted me to see a new painting in the Sistine Chapel," he explained. "As soon as I walked in, I knew this was trouble. They were all sitting there, very solemn, and they had that look that they were about to fire the Pope. I tried to crack a joke -- something about how tough it is for me to pray in the chapel with all those naked people in the murals staring at me -- but not one of them smiled.

"They sat me down and said,‘Pope, we’ve decided to go in a different direction’ — no other explanation. I was dumbfounded. "'You mean, I'm out?' I asked. One of the cardinals said, "I'm sorry, the decision has been made."

"Then we got into this whole big thing about whether I have another week's vacation time coming to me. Then these two Swiss Guards came in and escorted me to the church. They stood there while I cleaned my stuff off the altar. Then some monsignor asked for my keys to the Papal Palace and the Popemobile and told me that HR would answer any questions I might have."

"That's the thanks I get."

The ex-Pontiff confided that he had a "golden parachute," but wouldn't reveal the dollar value of it. He said his one-year non-compete period -- standard for former popes -- will end soon, so he’s starting to "explore other opportunities" in other religions.

“I’m knocking on a few doors, let’s just leave it at that," he said.

Carbolic Flashback: Anthem for Civil Rights Movement Resulted From Error in Transcription

In 1962, singer-activist Joan Baez invited Dr. Martin Luther King and his wife to dinner. Dr. King telephoned Baez to accept her invitation and spoke with her secretary.
“Please tell Ms. Baez we shall come over,” Dr. King said.
But the secretary erroneously scribbled, “Please tell Ms. Baez we shall overcome,” and the rest is history.

Helen Thomas Dies at 92, Pioneering Reporter Snags Front Row Seat in Hell’s Briefing Room

Veteran anti-Semitic journalist will get last word at Devil’s press conferences: “Thank you, Mr. Satan.”

QUEENS RESIDENT AWAITS VISIT FROM BARACK OBAMA; CLAIMS DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE LEFT BRIEFCASE IN CAB

NEW YORK - Archie Bunker, archetypical blue-collar American, spent most of yesterday at home preparing for a visit from Senator Barack Obama. It is believed Senator Obama’s visit will mark the first time a Democratic Party candidate for President has crossed the threshold of the Bunker residence. Mr. Bunker said Senator Obama was dropping by his house to retrieve a briefcase Obama left in Mr. Bunker’s cab.

Mr. Bunker, who works a steady daylight shift at a loading dock, keeps a second job driving a cab to support the eating habits of his live-in hippie son-in law and daughter. “This is going to be the greatest day ever,” said Mr. Bunker, before excusing himself. “Edith here,"referring to a woman he identified as his dingbat wife, "says I ought to get a picture with him, you know, for posterior’s sake.”

A spokesman for the Obama campaign confirmed the Senator would be making “a brief stop” at 704 Hauser Street in Queens on his way to visit dry cleaning magnate – and longtime friend – George Jefferson. “Ironically,” said the spokesman, “Mr. Jefferson is a former next door neighbor to Mr. Bunker.” However, the spokesman explained, thanks to a combination of sound business practices and ruthless tactics, Mr. Jefferson was able to move on up to a more luxurious residence. Mr. Jefferson currently resides in a deluxe apartment on the East Side .

'By all outward apearances, Heath Ledger was not depressed -- he was smiling ear to ear on the set of his last film'

Commentary by psychiatrist Dr. Noah Swayne: Startling new evidence shows that late actor Heath Ledger, who died last January after overdosing on pills commonly prescribed for depression, anxiety and insomnia, was very happy on the set of his last film, The Dark Night, and thus was not depressed when he died. Specifically, Carbolic Smoke Ball has obtained stunning photographs that show Ledger smiling ear to ear, including this one.

Some might question whether Ledger's personal hygiene was all that it should have been -- the photos suggest he hadn't washed his green hair in quite some time and that his lipstick was not applied with care. But from a MENTAL HEALTH PERSPECTIVE, the smile shows he was one happy son-of-a-bitch.

Allow me to illustrate. Do you know who Nat King Cole was? He's dead now. He was a BLACK singer. Mr. King Cole was the first singer I ever got laid to, but that's the subject of another commentary. It turns out nobody knew more about PSYCHIATRY than Mr. Nat King Cole, and especially when he sang these immortal words: "Pretend you're happy when you're blue. It isn't very hard to do. And you'll find happiness without an end. Whenever you pretend." The point of those seemingly POINTLESS WORDS is that even when you're "blue" (from a mental health perspective, that means "depressed"), you will become happy just by pretending you are happy. That, even I admit, seems idiotic, for want of a more scientific term, but I didn't write the song. And what does this have to do with Mr. Ledger?

The lesson from all this, according to Mr. King Cole, is that even if Mr. Ledger was depressed, he would have "chased those blues away" (to paraphrase Caucasian singer Frank Sinatra) when he put that big red grin on his face -- that is, merely by PRETENDING he was happy.

My diagnosis: Mr. Ledger was not depressed when he took the pills. I suspect foul play, most likely perpetrated by a jilted MALE lover who thought Mr. Ledger was really ranch hand Ennis Del Mar, the character Mr. Ledger played in a movie. ("Ennis" is a name that takes its Latin root from the word "penis," so I suspect Ennis was gay.) This is all from a MENTAL HEALTH PERSPECTIVE. Don't thank me for this revelation, thank Mr. Nat King Cole, who is dead.

'Hmm, Chinese or Japanese . . . Chinese or Japanese?'

STUDY: BEGGARS ON CELL PHONES RECEIVE CONSIDERABLY LARGER HAND-OUTS

DONORS WANT TO BACK A WINNER, GIVE TO BUMS WHO "APPEAR TO BE SUCCESSFUL"


WASHINGTON - A Carbolic Institute study concludes that beggars on cell phones receive considerably larger hand-outs than beggars with only a sign and a cup.

"People are far more likely to contribute to beggars who appear to be successful," said Judge Rufus Peckham, Chairman of the Carbolic Institute. "Donors want to back a winner. So when they see a bum with a cell phone -- well, they just want to hop on his bandwagon."

The study found that some beggars using cell phones run extremely lucrative operations. Adam Kidd, for one, has been a beggar for less than a year but already owns the franchise rights to 16 New York City corners, including the three busiest in Times Square.

Kidd was a lawyer fresh out of law school working for a large corporation when he found that begging pays better. He is constantly on his cell phone, checking to make sure his employees -- or, as he calls them, "my bums" -- are manning their stations. Kidd personally operates the corner at the center of Times Square, near the George M. Cohan statue, and sometimes his line of donors extends around the block -- precisely because, he says, he never stops transacting business on his cell phone while he mooches.

"I hate to be rude to people when I'm asking them to give me money," Kidd said. "But sometimes I have to ask them to wait just a minute while I tend to a call."

And that's a price people gladly pay to back a winner.