What If The United States Supreme Court Was Run By The New York Department Of Motor Vehicles?

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MR. MORAN: Mr. Chief Justice, and may it please the Court: Over the last 50 years, courts in virtually every American jurisdiction have suppressed evidence seized inside homes following knock-and-announce violations — including this Court, on two occasions. Those suppression orders reflect an understanding of two points key to this appeal. The first point is that the manner of entry — and, in particular, a knock-and-announce violation — is not somehow independent of the police activity that occurs inside the house. And, as this Court directly recognized in Wilson, the reasonableness of police activity inside a home is dependent on the manner of the police entry.

JUSTICE ALITO: Do you have form MV-302?

MR. MORAN: Uh, no.

CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS: Back to the beginning of the line. Next case.

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If We Laughed At Brilliance The Way We Laugh At Idiocy

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Franklin did the trick with his hands where his thumb appeared to separate at the joint.

“Pshaw pshaw pshaw pshaw pshaw pshaw!” laughed Jefferson, slapping his thigh and then wiping spittle from his grinning mouth. “That’s as funny a sight as a mule wearing slippers, Ben.”

As usual, the two philosophers were the center of attention at the Peacock and Hen.

Now it was Jefferson’s turn to crack wise. “Do you know, Ben, that I hold certain truths to be self-evident, namely life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness?”

“Har har har har har har har! Oh har har har-dy har har!” laughed Franklin, as ale shot ballistically from his nose. “What a poke at the Tories, Tom!”

*****

Lincoln picked up an apple from the table before him, removed a large knife from the table drawer, and in under a minute had peeled the skin from the apple in a continuous spiral.

“Ta ta ta ta ta ta tee tee tee tee ta ta ta tah!” laughed his somewhat demented wife Mary Todd, who never failed to be amused by this. “Oh Abe, you’re funnier than a bad haircut.”

“Now listen to this,” Lincoln told her. “Four score and seven years ago…”

“Ta ta ta ta ta ta ta ta ta tee tee tee ta tah!” Merriment filled Mrs. Lincoln’s crossed eyes with tears. “Four score? Criminy, Abe. Who’d you get that from, Artemus Ward?”

*****

Lighting a fresh Blackstone panatela in his Schenectady lab, Steinmetz displayed his latest invention to Edison. “This will alter civilization, Tom.” Reaching into a desk drawer, the German-born engineer pulled out a metal coil that he set at the top of some steps. He tipped it over, and an amazed Edison watched it cascade down the flight a step at a time.

“He he he he he woo woo woo woo ha ha ha!” laughed Edison, delighted by the toy.

“Here’s another,” said Steinmetz. Throwing a switch, he stunned and blinded his co-inventor with a flash of artificial lightning.

“Ho ho ho ho he he he he woo woo woo ha!” the reeling but tickled Edison burst out once more. “Lordy, Charles, I haven’t laughed so hard since my aunt Gertie scorched her hand on one of my white-hot tungsten filaments.”

*****

Fermi finished telling a joke to Oppenheimer at Los Alamos. “…and so the priest said to the rabbi, ‘How did I know pork had a half-life of ten years?'”

Oppie removed the cigarette from his mouth. “Haw haw haw haw ho ho ho he he he!” he snickered. “You slay me, Enrico.”

“And get this,” said Fermi. “Back at my Chicago lab, I’ve created the world’s first self-sustaining nuclear reactor.”

“Haw haw haw haw haw haw! Ah ah he he he hoo!” Oppie chuckled until he started coughing. “That one nearly did kill me,” he said, lighting another cigarette. “Listen, the other day I came across something really hilarious in the Bhagavadgita…”

*****

After the war FDR, Churchill, and Stalin swapped yarns at Yalta. “I have one!” said the Soviet Supreme Leader, who liked a joke as much as the next tyrant. “Guess what is this.” Pulling up his jacket and shirt, he placed his hands on either side of his deep navel and made it open and close rhythmically by squeezing and then releasing the surrounding plump flesh. To the stumped expressions of the two democratic world leaders he then cried out, “It’s a female hurdler seen from below, comrades!”

FDR cracked a smile, removed the cigarette holder from between his lips, and began laughing. “Tut tut tut tut tut tut tut tut tut!” He was so contorted by mirth that he almost stood up from his wheelchair.

Churchill, catching the mood, also laughed freely. “A-ha ha ha, a-ha ha ha, a-ha ha ha.” Then, it being the Prime Minister’s turn to amuse, he said with a serious expression, “Russia is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.”

Stalin’s face froze. FDR relit his cigarette. Had Churchill gone too far? But then the Man of Steel’s face split into a huge grin and he shook like a bear. “Wa wa ha ha wa wa ha ha wa wa ha ha wa wa ha! That’s good, Winston! Hey, vodka!”

*****

Plath sat on the arm of the sofa upon which Hughes reclined. When he looked up at her over the edge of his book, he saw that she had suspended a teaspoon from the end of her nose.

“Woo woo woo woo woo woo wah wah wah!” came Ted’s peculiar English laugh, his body shaking.

“Is there no way out of the mind?” Sylvia posed.

“Woo woo woo woo woo woo wha wha woo!” Ted helplessly sprayed saliva onto his book and began pounding the sofa cushions with his fist. For all her manic depression Sylvia sure had a socko delivery.

*****

“Who am I?” said John Watson to Francis Crick, putting on a fake nose and bushy eyebrows mask.

“La la la la la la la la la la la la la la la!” giggled Crick, dropping a test tube. “By the way,” he said, calming a bit, “have you seen Rosalind’s X-rays? It’s a double helix.” He burst anew into giggles.

“A double helix! A-ha ha ha ha ha ho ho ho ha ha ha ho!” Watson doubled over, laughing. “Oh Francis, working with you here at the Cavendish lab is like sharing the stage with Jack Benny.”

*****

Dewey, Garry, and Dan, having just formed the rock trio America, were in the studio composing songs.

Dewey, smiling, strummed his guitar and sang, “I’ve been through the desert on a horse with no mane…”

“A-ha ha ha ha ha ho ho ho hoo hoo hoo!” laughed Gerry. “A bald horse!”

His face straight, Dewey said, “A horse with no name?”

“A-ha ha ha ha ha ho ho ho hoo hoo hoo ha!” laughed Dan. “An anonymous horse! That’s even stupider!”

“A-ho ho ho ho ha ha ha ho ho ho haha ho ha! That’s a take!” said the producer, convulsed.

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Thank You!

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Dear Grandma and Grandpa,

I hope you both are well! I’m just writing to thank you for the $15 Gap gift certificate you sent me for graduation. I mean, I know I gave you that really long wish list a few months ago, but it was very bold of you to veer from the obvious path. Very imaginative. I was clearly joking when I wrote on the list that any gift worth less than $100 would be a waste of both your time and your money. The gift card is really very considerate, don’t get me wrong. It’s quite thought-provoking. I had no idea they could fit such a tiny amount of money into such a big card!! It’s astounding, really. After school starts, I’ll bring it in and we can examine it, since it’s obviously a scientific miracle!! Just kidding, guys. Thanks a lot.

My graduation was very nice. Our family had a small party to celebrate. Mom and I cooked a beautiful dinner, and Dad gave a huge toast. Almost as huge as the dissatisfaction I feel from my gift card!! I’m just being sarcastic, of course. I love the gift card, thanks so much. I’m getting really good at cooking, by the way. Mom says I get my culinary creativity from her side of the family. I’ve never doubted your creativity, Grandma and Grandpa. Most grandparents, when attempting to psychologically destroy their granddaughter, would take more traditional routes, such as wrecking a beloved stuffed animal or burning their granddaughter with cigarettes. You two, however, are much too clever for those methods. You decided to inflict irreversible emotional damage by giving me a $15 gift card for my high school graduation, and I commend you on your originality. Bravo.

With college approaching, I’ve started thinking a lot about summer jobs. Fortunately, I have a great nest egg to fall back on: a $15 gift card to the Gap! Seriously, though, thank you. It’s the thought that counts. Just keep that in mind in the future, when you both suffer massive strokes and I replace your medications with Jujubes because I think I’m showing you how much I love you!! It’s the thought that will count then, too, right?! I guess graduation doesn’t really merit a larger gift. I’d understand receiving $100 if the event was a big deal like, say, the first Thursday of the month or Garbage Day or something, but it was just my high school graduation. You know, the kind that only occurs once in a lifetime. So no biggie. Really, thanks! I totally appreciate it!

Summer vacation has been wonderful so far. I’ve been able to take a break from schoolwork and spend time doing things I enjoy, like shopping with my friends. Speaking of shopping, it must have taken you forever to pick out my gift card! I visited the Gap the other day so that I could spend your gift. I was obviously unable to purchase the $58 boot-cut jeans that I had wanted so badly, but I did buy a cheap headband. It goes great with both my tears of anguished disappointment and my capris! I don’t want to freak you out or anything, but I think your gift may have permanently altered my view of the world. If I can’t count on my very own Grandma and Grandpa to get me a simple gift off a very legible wish list, then what can I count on? But, hey, don’t feel bad or anything. God is dead. Whatever! Anyway, I’m very forgiving. I realize that wish lists are hard to remember when you’re 92 years old and can’t eat solid foods or cut your own corn off the cob and your favorite snack is Benefiber and your skin feels like Doc Martens and you smell like formaldehyde and poop and you’ve already outlived your life expectancy and could die at any moment. I’m sure you have much better things to worry about, like what time the Lawrence Welk reruns are on and why Mom never calls (here’s a hint: it’s because you suck!!). So don’t worry! I completely understand!!

By the way: my friend Jessica got the same gift card from her father. Who works the night shift at Taco Bell, and beats her. A lot.

Thanks again!

Jenny

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The Kurgan Tries Speed Dating

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Setting: an upscale bar.

Date #1

Jan: Hi, I’m Jan.

Kurgan: I am the Kurgan. I am the strongest. You will always be weaker than I.

Jan: Can you believe we’re doing this? It seems so tacky, doesn’t it? But it’s so hard to meet people these days.

Kurgan: I meet lots of people once.

Jan: I know what you mean. We rush, rush, rush through our lives, and as soon as we meet someone, they’re gone, gone, gone. There’s no time to get to know anyone anymore.

Kurgan: I have all the time in the world.

Jan: I wish I felt that way sometimes.

Kurgan: You never will. Your brief, mortal life will slip through your fingers like the smoke from a burning village, and nothing can stop it. It’s almost over already.

Jan: Stop! Stop!

(JAN bursts into tears and stumbles, half-blind, towards the washrooms.)

Date #2

Mindy: Hello, I’m Mindy.

Kurgan: I am the Kurgan. I am the strongest. You will always be weaker than I.

Mindy: You look like an animal lover. I love animals, too, especially dogs. I have three dogs at home.

Kurgan: I don’t like dogs. As a child, I was thrown into a pit to fight with hungry dogs for scraps of meat. It’s hard for me to look at a dog without wanting to punch it.

Mindy: That’s awful!

Kurgan: Or kick it, whatever.

Mindy: That’s even worse!

Kurgan: What was I supposed to do, go hungry?

(Suddenly, MINDY points behind KURGAN with one hand while reaching into her purse with the other.)

Mindy: Hey, what’s that?!

(When KURGAN turns to look, MINDY whips out a Taser, zaps him with it several times, and then disappears into the crowd.)

Date #3

Stephanie: Hi, I’m Stephanie.

Kurgan: I am the Kurgan. I am the strongest. You will always be weaker than I.

Stephanie: So, do you like music?

Kurgan: Sometimes. I’m partial to Queen. I have all their 8-tracks.

Stephanie: Ha-ha, that’s funny.

Kurgan: Seriously.

Stephanie: I love music. I couldn’t go out with a man who didn’t like music as much as I do. Music makes life worth living.

Kurgan: No, what makes life worth living is fishnet stockings. I have yet to meet a puny mortal woman who doesn’t look better in fishnet stockings. As it happens, I have some old fishnet stockings in my car. I could go get them and you could try them on. What do you say?

Stephanie: “What do I say? I say, Dig a hole and get in it, you pig.” That’s what I say.

(Fuming, STEPHANIE flings her drink in KURGAN’s face and storms off.)

Date #4

Liz: Hello, I’m Liz.

Kurgan: I am the Kurgan. I am — oh, never mind.

Liz: You’re the gimp, right?

Kurgan: The what?

Liz: The gimp. The guy hired by the organizer to be the biggest loser in the world so all the other guys look better by comparison. You’ve got to be the gimp. I mean, look at you.

Kurgan: I am no such thing, puny mortal.

Liz: It’s okay, you can tell me. I’m not really here for a date. I’m doing field research for my Ph.D. in anthropology. I know how these things work.

Kurgan: I am no gimp.

Liz: Oh.

(Long, uncomfortable silence.)

Liz: So, do you like cooking?

Kurgan: What’s wrong with the way I look?

Liz: Nothing, it’s just that…well, you might be a swell guy, but you don’t look like date material. I mean, your head looks like it was shaved with a piece of broken glass by a wino with the shakes. And your clothes? Leather, studs…and is that chain mail? I hate to be the one to break it to you, but punk is dead. And as for the Kurgan thing…okay, I know it’s hip to identify with ancient cultures these days — my old roommate was into the Maori thing, she even got one of those swirly tattoos — but you could do a lot better than the Kurgans.

Kurgan: What’s wrong with the Kurgans?

Liz: They weren’t nice people. Did you know they used to throw children into pits to fight with hungry dogs for scraps of meat?

Kurgan: Actually —

Liz: Trust me, if you want to score tonight — or any night — you’re going to have to reinvent yourself. Grow some hair, buy some new clothes, and for God’s sake lose the Kurgan thing. It wouldn’t hurt to take up some hobbies you can talk about, too. Women do love to talk, you know.

Kurgan: But —

Liz: Oh, and be a pal and don’t out me to the other daters, okay?

(LIZ shoots him a conspiratorial wink, then switches off her concealed tape recorder and heads for the bar to wait for her next date.)

Date #5

Jenny: Hi, I’m Jenny.

Kurgan: Hello, I’m, uh, Bob. Bob O’Kurgan.

Jenny. Tell me about yourself, Bob.

Kurgan: I, uh, like to take things slow. Also, I love animals, especially dogs. I love music, too, all kinds of music. But most of all, I love to talk. I could talk all day and night without the slightest prospect of crazy, bone-breaking sex in the offing. Talk, talk, talk, that’s me.

Jenny: Oh, God, not another new-age wimp!

Kurgan: Huh?

Jenny: What happened to all the real men? The kind of men who love ’em hard and leave ’em sore, who like their animals three inches thick and medium-rare, whose idea of music is drinking themselves blind and playing the drums until the cops show up? That’s the kind of man I’m looking for.

Kurgan: Well, actually —

Jenny: I knew this was a waste of time. Well, Bob, you can tell all the other tree-hugging softies that Jenny’s not interested. See ya, loser.

(Disgusted, JENNY heads for the exit and doesn’t look back.)

Kurgan: Crap.

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The Ice Age Cometh

By:
grampsoldster@hotmail.com

For a long time, scientists across the country have noticed that of all species, white rats are the most likely to end up behind bars; that white blood cells perform better on standardized tests than red ones; and that snow, also, has a certain blank, whitewashed quality not unlike Mel Gibson’s initial DUI arrest report. Coincidentally, they’ve also found there to be a strong statistical correlation between falling temperatures and the falling of snow, but up until now there has been no cause for alarm.

Only recently has the situation become ridiculous, with great sheets of ice grinding inexorably south, engulfing everything in their path, lowering real estate values and blocking traffic. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Events that could best be described as “unusual” have been reported year-round in every part of the country.

In Septic, Texas, temperatures approached 100 below zero, and the inhabitants of this small, rugged town found that pets and relatives froze solid if left outside for more than three minutes, and had to be thawed for hours before they could be eaten.

Vacationers at a southern California resort awoke one morning after a wild party to find that 20 feet of snow had fallen overnight. Wisely deciding to sleep it off, they rose the next day and discovered that not only had the snow not gone away, but that another 10 feet had fallen. Their stories from this point on are mostly unintelligible, but it seems that “huge woolly elephants” were seen roaming the area, sometimes being chased by “little Orientals in fur suits.” All the indications are that it was some party!

On the lighter side, a particularly large Midwestern blizzard completely buried Gary, Indiana. The city was declared a disaster area, but federal officials were embarrassed to discover that the same designation had been applied 20 years before on general principles and had never been rescinded. National Guard units immediately cordoned off the area, and would not let anyone in or out unless they could name the first 16 Presidents.

Everyone’s asking: Is this the beginning of a new ice age, or just a sudden cold snap? Professor Cyrus Cumulus, the noted meteorologist, believes that the advancing ice will blanket the world, causing massive crop failures but assuring plenty of good skiing for the next 10,000 years. Dr. Hugo P. Astrolabe, on the other hand, says we are merely experiencing “a little cool weather,” which he claims is caused by careless consumers leaving their refrigerator doors open too long.

The good doctor goes on to agree with his research partner — the world’s greatest climatologist, Al Gore — that the depletion of the ozone layer has already reversed the cooling trend and will soon melt the polar ice caps and make the oceans boil away. However, he parts ways with Mr. Gore on the notion that there will be an invasion of giant crabs that will try to conquer Earth, and will only be stopped when they can be “coaxed into large frying pans full of melted butter.”

Maybe the fifth ice age is on the way and maybe it isn’t (four, five — who’s counting?). Or maybe the Earth is melting to the core and the giant crabs are going to get us. I don’t really care, because in either case I’m not bothering to pack a lunch.

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