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Politics
The "I Can Has Happy" blog has posted a list of animal candidates. That is, animals (and one plant) who have been nominated as political candidates.

The list includes Tião, a "bad-tempered chimpanzee" who was a candidate for mayor of Rio de Janeiro in 1988; Junior Cochran, a black lab who is mayor of Rabbit Hash, Kentucky; Bosco, a black Labrador-Rottweiler who was mayor of Sunol, California for ten years; Molly the Dog, who is currently running for President of the United States; and Boston Curtis, the mule who was elected Republican precinct committeeman in Milton, Washington. (I've got an article about Boston Curtis in the hoaxipedia.)

But my favorite is the cat Katten Mickelin, who was leader of the Swedish Ezenhemmer Plastic Bags and Child Rearing Utensils Party. I just like the name of that party.

The one plant on the list is a potted ficus tree that Michael Moore tried to place on the ballot in the 2000 New Jersey congressional race.
Categories: Animals, Politics
Posted by Alex on Wed Mar 12, 2008
Comments (4)
I did my civic duty and voted today in the California Primary. (I'm an Obama supporter.) I noticed that at my polling station they had gotten rid of the electronic voting machines used in previous elections and had returned to paper ballots. This meant I had to color in the bubbles with a bic pen that was given to me by a polling worker. I didn't get a chance to use one of those fancy new "invisible ink" pens that were seen in Chicago. KSLA reports:

A Chicago Board of Elections spokesman says voters filling out paper ballots at one precinct today were given styluses used for touchscreen voting instead of ink pens.
The spokesman says when the voters indicated they couldn't mark their ballots with the pens, they were told -- incorrectly -- that the pens used invisible ink.
The spokesman says after 20 people experienced the same problem, somebody noticed that there were 20 ballots on which nobody had voted for anything.

Categories: Politics
Posted by Alex on Wed Feb 06, 2008
Comments (8)
Russian election draws eccentric candidates
Four empresses are running, as well as a tsar.

Fake tickets offer strange message
Police in Boulder are warning drivers to be on the lookout for fake parking tickets that bear this cryptic message: "The foregoing is falsely alleged upon personal initiative. This ticket hereby notes discredibility. Remember: Things could be worse. Get over yourself."

I'm Not Dead Yet
Polish resident Piotr Kucy is trying to convince officials that he isn't dead, but the bureaucrats are proving hard to convince.

Con Artist Poses as Heath Ledger's Dad
Soon after Heath Ledger died, a man claiming to be his father contacted Tom Cruise and John Travolta, seeking emotional support and free plane tickets. Why he contacted Cruise and Travolta, I don't know. Was Heath Ledger a scientologist?
Categories: Death, Identity/Imposters, Politics
Posted by Alex on Wed Jan 30, 2008
Comments (2)
A poster created by the German Green Party in Saxony and Hesse shows a cat that looks like Hitler with the tagline "you can't always recognize Nazis at first glance." The poster is meant to be a swipe at their extreme-right opponents.

But the poster has provoked criticism from an unlikely source. Catsthatlooklikehitler.com has given it a paws down, complaining that it shows a photoshopped Hitler-resembling cat, instead of a real one. They write:

the German Green Party have elected to use Kitlers in their latest electoral literature... It's a shame they had to use a Photoshopped Kitler - there are lots of resident furry Furhers on here who would have loved, I'm sure, to be a model for the Greens!

(via third party watch)
Categories: Animals, Politics
Posted by Alex on Tue Jan 29, 2008
Comments (3)
An email going around implies that there's some significance in the fact that, if you search hard enough, you can find numbers associated with Benazir Bhutto's life that add up to nine.

Benazir Bhutto:-
Born in 1953. 1+9+5+3 = 18 = 1+8 = 9
First suicidal attack on her on 18 Oct. 1+8 = 9
Second Suicidal attack in which she died. 27 Dec. 2+7 = 9
She died in the year 2007 2+0+0+7 = 9
And the Total Period from 1953 to 2007 is 54 years. 5+4 = 9
She got married on 18 Dec. 1+8 = 9 &
She went Out of pakistan for 9 years in 1998 1+9+9+8 = 27 = 2+7 = 9 &
Came back in 2007 2+0+0+7 = 9
Her Brother Shahnawaz bhutto has been murdered in 1980 1+9+8+0 =18 =1+8 =9
& if you write Benazir Bhutto in urdu langauge (urdu text) it contains 9 alphabets!

My name, Alex Boese, has nine letters in it. Surely this too has some significance! (via Funny Emails)
Categories: Politics
Posted by Alex on Mon Jan 28, 2008
Comments (6)
Hiding in plainview
A police officer agreed to escort a car containing a pregnant woman to the hospital only to find the car was stolen - and the woman wasn't pregnant.

An honest politician?
Ed Hamilton is running for the position of Kerr County treasurer. His campaign promise is that, if elected, he won't serve. He won't even take a paycheck. Sounds like the right man for the job.

More men opting for chest implants
At least, that's what the headline claims. The article itself gives the impression that the number of men who get pectoral implants is very small.
Categories: Body Manipulation, Law/Police/Crime, Politics
Posted by Alex on Wed Jan 23, 2008
Comments (0)
Some surgeons (particularly Robert White) believe that "total body replacement" might be a viable option for people suffering from incurable diseases such as cancer. Just cut off the patient's head and attach it to a healthy body.

In the meantime, photo editors have long been using "total body replacement" for a more mundane purpose: making their subjects look better. Recently, the campaign office of congressional candidate Dean Hrbacek admitted that their candidate had been a victim of this technique. The brochure they mailed out to voters showed Hrbacek posing in a suit. But in reality, only the head belonged to him. Not the body (which happened to be significantly slimmer than his own body).

The campaign office defended the use of the fake photo by claiming that Hrbacek didn't have time to pose for a real picture since he had been so busy meeting voters. (Yeah, right.)

I've got more about the photographic technique of total body replacement in the hoaxipedia.
Categories: Photos/Videos, Politics
Posted by Alex on Mon Jan 21, 2008
Comments (3)
As fires rage across southern California, FEMA has demonstrated that they're willing to step up to the plate and help everyone out. In fact, should reporters be unable to attend a press conference, FEMA is even willing to have its own staffers pose as reporters and lob softball questions at the FEMA deputy administrator.

The Washington Post reports that FEMA held a press conference on Thursday, but only gave the media 15 minutes advance notice. But from what was broadcast on TV, it looked like quite a few reporters had managed to show up:

Something didn't seem right. The reporters were lobbing too many softballs. No one asked about trailers with formaldehyde for those made homeless by the fires. And the media seemed to be giving Johnson all day to wax on and on about FEMA's greatness.
Of course, that could be because the questions were asked by FEMA staffers playing reporters. We're told the questions were asked by Cindy Taylor, FEMA's deputy director of external affairs, and by "Mike" Widomski, the deputy director of public affairs. Director of External Affairs John "Pat" Philbin asked a question, and another came, we understand, from someone who sounds like press aide Ali Kirin.
Asked about this, Widomski said: "We had been getting mobbed with phone calls from reporters, and this was thrown together at the last minute."
But the staff did not make up the questions, he said, and Johnson did not know what was going to be asked. "We pulled questions from those we had been getting from reporters earlier in the day." Despite the very short notice, "we were expecting the press to come," he said, but they didn't. So the staff played reporters for what on TV looked just like the real thing.
Categories: Politics
Posted by Alex on Fri Oct 26, 2007
Comments (9)
imageWhite House pranksters wrapped Karl Rove's car in plastic wrap, as a way to say goodbye to the guy. CBS News reports:
Rove, the top White House political strategist who recently announced his resignation, left his car on the driveway while visiting Texas and traveling with President Bush. He was due back in Washington Wednesday evening. Since the lot is heavily patrolled by the Secret Service, reports Maer, the joke looks like an inside job.

It would have been funnier if they shrink-wrapped Rove himself and shipped him away somewhere. And if they had done it seven years ago.
Categories: Politics, Pranks
Posted by Alex on Wed Aug 29, 2007
Comments (8)
This paragraph supposedly written by Ronald Reagan is currently circulating widely around the internet:
Direct quote from the just published REAGAN DIARIES.

The entry is dated May 17, 1986.

'A moment I've been dreading. George brought his ne're-do-well son around this morning and asked me to find the kid a job. Not the political one who lives in Florida. The one who hangs around here all the time looking shiftless. This so-called kid is already almost 40 and has never had a real job. Maybe I'll call Kinsley over at The New Republic and see if they'll hire him as a contributing editor or something. That looks like easy work.'

Did Reagan really write this? Nope, he didn't. The quotation is pulled from an article titled "My Lunch with Reagan" by Michael Kinsley in the New Republic (vol. 237, issue 1, 7/2/07). And, not surprisingly, the quotation is taken out of context. In its original context it's easy to tell that it's meant as a joke:
The literary editor of The New Republic, Leon Wieseltier, brought the joyous news. "Guess what, Mike. You're mentioned in Reagan's diaries." The diaries were published recently by HarperCollins and were generally well-received. Edited by America's historian-on-steroids, Douglas Brinkley, The Reagan Diaries apparently reveal Reagan to be more thoughtful than he is normally given credit for. Of course, our standards in the area of presidential thoughtfulness have plummeted in recent years. Still, the fact that Reagan was writing it all down was news, and an interesting departure from presidential tradition. Traditionally, presidents use a hidden tape recorder.

But I was more interested in the me angle, frankly. And it was a puzzle. What on earth could Reagan have written? I indulged my imagination, and my ego: "January 22, 1983. Mommie [Nancy] says that Kinsley's column this week in The New Republic undermines the entire philosophical basis of my administration. O dear O dear, I had better not read it."

Or: "October 6, 1987. Why does Kinsley keep picking on me? He is the only thing standing between me and the total destruction of the welfare state. But, ha: I will destroy him--destroy him utterly-- or my name's not … not … not … . Say, they had 'State Fair' on TV last night. What a wholesome, clean-cut young man that Pat Boone is."

Or: "May 17, 1986. A moment I've been dreading. George brought his ne'er-do-well son around this morning and asked me to find the kid a job. Not the political one who lives in Florida. The one who hangs around here all the time looking shiftless. This so-called kid is already almost 40 and has never had a real job. Maybe I'll call Kinsley over at The New Republic and see if they'll hire him as a contributing editor or something. That looks like easy work."
Categories: Politics
Posted by Alex on Mon Aug 20, 2007
Comments (28)
Taiwanese politics can get quite violent at times. According to a recent Reuters article:
In January, a brawl involving about 50 MPs who wanted to stop parliament speaker Wang Jin-pyng from accessing his podium lasted for four hours.
Shoes were thrown at the speaker, a microphone was ripped out and thrown across the chambers. MPs shoved and pulled one another's ties. Wang never made it to the podium.
Some of the brawling MPs turned to reporters and cameramen, yelling slogans to them and brandishing signs.
In 2005 one legislator needed stitches after he was struck by a mobile phone. Last year an MP used tear gas. Shouting exchanges occur almost every week on the parliament floor.
But according to the same article, these fights are all staged for the benefit of the media:
The brawling and histrionics in parliament that have put Taiwan politics on the world map for the past 20 years are staged acts, legislators and political observers say. They are planned in advance to generate media attention and garner favour with voters who like to see their representatives fight as hard as they can on tough issues. Lawmakers even call up allies to ask that they wear sports shoes ahead of the choreographed clashes. They have been known to meet up afterwards for drinks. "It's really a media event, staged for media coverage," said Nationalist Party (KMT) legislator Joanna Lei.
I guess this would be the Jerry-Springer-Show model of government.

Well, at least staged fights make political debates more interesting. It would certainly liven up American politics to put all the candidates in a ring and let them duke it out.

Of course, there have been some scuffles in Congress, such as when, in 1798, Roger Griswold attacked Matthew Lyon with a stick. And in 1856 Preston Brooks attacked Sen. Charles Sumner with a cane. But those fights weren't staged. (Thanks, Joe)
Categories: Politics
Posted by Alex on Wed May 23, 2007
Comments (2)

Fake Cyber Romance Leads to Death
22-year-old Brian Barrett was shot to death by his 47-year-old co-worker, Thomas Montgomery, who was jealous of his internet relationship with the young woman that Montgomery had been having a cyber fling with. What neither of them knew was that the woman involved was not 18, as she said, but a 40-something mother who was using her daughter’s identity.

CNN Debunks Obama Report
CNN have refuted Insight magazine’s claims that Democratic Sen. Barack Obama was raised in a radical Muslim school.

Protesters for Hire
For around €150 per person, a group of young Germans are offering themselves as demonstrators for whatever protest you happen to be running.

(Thanks, Firefly and Charybdis.)
Categories: Identity/Imposters, Miscellaneous, Politics, Sex/Romance
Posted by Flora on Wed Jan 24, 2007
Comments (15)
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