And the big news? (Good News Week 20/4/09: monologue)

He’s black & hairy, with a white chest & paws, and he’s been in obedience school to make sure he doesn’t wee on the carpet while in the White House. But enough about the president…

“Bo” is the Obama’s 6 month-old Portuguese water dog. Apparently the name “Bo” was chosen because Michelle Obama’s late father was nicknamed “Diddley”. It was either going to be “Bo” or “Fiddley”.

“Bo” is the Obama’s 6 month-old Portuguese water dog, so called because it stinks like sweat.

Unlike Dubya’s dog Barney, Bo isn’t going to be making any movies. Obama’s quite capable of operating the camera himself.

Bo has been to obedience school to make sure he doesn’t poo all over the White House. Because the US government is in quite enough shit already. / Because Obama already has to clean up enough of Dubya’s shit as it is. / Because Obama is already busy trying to clean up all of the shit Dubya left him with.

Bo’s six months old and has been in obedience school to prepare for life in the White House. They definitely don’t want him digging for bones in the back yard.

Having axed 1500 administration jobs last year, Qantas is slashing 1250 frontline staff and 500 senior managers. Because if there’s one thing sure to improve Qantas’ performance, it’s 3000 less employees.

The redundancies include baggage handlers, cabin staff and pilots. That’s bound to improve fuel efficiency.

Pah. Those pilots were a waste of space.

After all, why do you need pilots, when you’ve got autopilots? Madness!

Sure, they may be getting rid of their planes but they’re not out of the picture yet. In fact, rumour has it they’ve just bought up a whole fleet of rickshaws…

There’s been a massive drop off in the lucrative first-class and business-class markets. Looks like even top executives are choosing environmental sustainability over air-travel. The bastards.

Looks like the high rollers are choosing not to roll at all – and certainly aren’t going anywhere high.

There’s been a massive drop off in the lucrative first-class and business-class markets. Apparently top executives have discovered something called “the telephone”.

There’s been a massive drop off in the lucrative first-class and business-class markets, and an increase in recessed corporate executives slumming it in economy. And those seats aren’t made for fatcats. / Which means that the planes can’t put their nose down. / Which means the front of the plane isn’t heavy enough to land properly. Explains a lot.

Qantas is surprised that high rollers are choosing sustainable options over flying. After all, videoconferences offer you no peanuts – and what about lifejackets? Huh?

Maybe they could cut back on the safety demonstration – let’s face it, as your plane’s plummeting into the ocean, who remembers it anyway?

But if Qantas really wanted to cut back on staff, can’t they just rely on their free flights? / surely the secret is just to stick them on one of these new pilot-free flights.

They’re also going to be cutting back on in-flight entertainment. In fact they’re only going to be offering one movie: Qantas of Solace.

They’re also going to be cutting back on in-flight entertainment. In fact they’re only going to be offering one James Bond movie. But that’s no Solace for Qantas.

But flying is great. There’s a certain thrill that comes from knowing your one joy-flight is causing several polar bears to drop dead into the ocean. Or is that just me?

To head off an even greater loss, Qantas is pulling 5 percent of its planes out of the sky. Now this is crazy talk – since when did Qantas have planes that actually make it into the sky?

To head off an even greater loss, Qantas is pulling 5 percent of its planes out of the sky. And if there’s one thing Qantas is good at, it’s having planes fall out of the sky. / that aren’t in the sky.

Qantas says it just cannot afford to keep all its planes flying in the current economic climate – but you’re welcome to get out and push.

Management confirmed that the airline was losing money. They swear it was there at the start of the flight, but must have fallen out of that hole in the fuselage. / They think they lost it somewhere over the Pacific.

Management confirmed that the airline is losing money. But their fairly sure it’s down there somewhere between the fold-up tray and the vomit bag.

Qantas staff facing the sack reacted angrily, but chief executive Alan Joyce said they should go peacefully, unless they want to be put on one of Qantas’ new range of “mystery flights”…

They’re also offering a new range of mystery flights, where the mystery is whether there’ll be a plane left to take you home.

Unfortunately, it’s just not realistic to assume airlines are going to be able to weather the financial storms ahead. After all, Qantas finds it difficult to fly in a drizzle.

Qantas has just sent 10 of its aircraft to a plane-car-park in Arizona. And, seeing as they can’t afford to fly their planes, we just have to assume they sailed them there. / towed them there. / pulled them there with a fleet of elephants.

Qantas sent another 10 jets, worth over $200 million each when new, off to an “airpark” in the middle of the Arizona desert. They sent 10 other jets there in the past six months, but they keep forgetting where they parked them.

Unfortunately, it’s just not realistic to assume airlines are going to be able to remain viable when flying is so environmentally devastating. So get over it, Qantas. Not even Rainman can save you now.

And Fiji! … sorry, the rest of this joke is blank.

I don’t know about you, but I find it hard to take a military coup seriously when it’s all done by men in skirts.

The situation in Fiji has gone from dictatorship to tyranny as Frank BarneyBanana, told by the court that his rule was illegal, has torn up the constitution, cancelled news bulletins, and forced newspapers to print blank pages in place of news about the crisis. But at least there’s still kava.

Sure, it’s in the iron grip of a military dictatorship, but at least it’s a military dictatorship island paradise.

Australia has ruled out getting rid of Frank by invading Fiji. After all, Frank has ACTUAL weapons of mass destruction. / is an actual threat. / doesn’t have any oil.

Australia has ruled out an invasion. If our troops are going to be mobilised, they’re not going to be sent to a tropical paradise.

Australia has ruled out a military invasion. Though a fully-armed tourist invasion could be enough.

Fiji leader Frank Bainimarama has kicked out an Aussie journo as he imposes a brutal reign of censorship, cancelling TV news and leaving papers empty. Though he is still interested in dialogue with Kevin Rudd – he wants to know how that internet filter thing works. / he wants to buy our internet filter.

The TV news is cancelled, the papers are full of blank pages… living in Fiji is like surfing the web in Australia!

Many of the articles have disappeared. Along with the journos.

The yellow shirts are the “People’s Alliance For Democracy”, the red shirts are the “United Front For Democracy Against Dictatorship”. It’s pretty complicated, but I’ve worked out a way to explain it to Australian audiences: it’s kinda like Holden versus Ford.

The problem is, the government can’t be too brutal in dealing with the red shirts, because there’s more of them than yellow shirts. Kinda like Holden versus Ford.

The people in the red shirts, who support the last leader, are fighting with the people in the yellow shirts, who support the current bloke. But, as the violence escalates, will soon have red shirts too.

The yellow shirts are the “People’s Alliance For Democracy”; the red shirts are the “United Front For Democracy Against Dictatorship”. Then there’s the people in green shirts, who are the ‘People’s United Democratic Dictatorship’, the people in blue shirts, who are the ‘Democratic Alliance For United People Against Fronts’, and the people in multicoloured shirts, who just chucked up all over themselves after too many cocktails. / the people in Hawaiian shirts, who are the Aussies. / the tourists.

Thailand has erupted into violence, wrecking the ASEAN summit. Kevin Rudd’s plane was forced to turn around. It was unrelated, they were just out of chicken meals.

In Thailand, home to four Prime Ministers in the past 12 months, the red shirts and the yellow shirts continue in violent clashes. That’s one country where you have to be very careful on laundry day.

And sure, there’s a dictatorship in Fiji, riots in Thailand, terrorist training camps in Indonesia, a major recession in Japan, missile tests in North Korea, a new cold war between the U.S. & China – but what REALLY matters is that damn alcopop tax!

An Australian advisor on counter-insurgency to the White House says Pakistan is such a mess, al-Qaeda could take control of the entire country within months. Now, before you say, “But Paul, I don’t give a rat’s”, consider this: Pakistan has 100 nuclear weapons, an army bigger than America’s, an uncontrollable al-Qaeda sitting in two-thirds of the country, and some of the most deadly spin-bowlers the world has ever seen!

According to Dr. David Kilcullen, this could lead to what he calls “Talibanistan”. Sounds way cooler than “Pakiqaida”, that’s just cumbersome.

According to a leading White House advisor on counter-insurgency, al-Qaeda is poised to take control of Pakistan, leading what he calls “Talibanistan”. Though “Pakiban”, “al-Qaedastan” and “binLadenville” are also possibilities.

Because when the Taliban is renaming countries, they’ll be asking the opinion of White House military advisors.

I’m confused. Wouldn’t Talibanistan be the old Afghanistan?

Wow, this guy’s sharp. 8 years after Osama and the Taliban took refuge in the chaotic nuclear state, he thinks it might be time to start worrying.

Let’s just say that again. A nuclear-armed al-Qaeda. Within months. I wish I could think of a joke, but I’m afraid we’ll never laugh again.

It could leave al-Qaeda with 100 nuclear weapons. So next time they aim for the White House, there won’t be passengers to take the jet down.

Well, a nuclear weapon certainly does make for a spectacular suicide bombing. / roadside bomb.

Anyone who’s been watching the country knows there’s only one hope for Pakistan: IMRAN KHAN! Osama knows it. He’s terrified of his thunderbolt yorkers, late outswingers and clever changes of pace. / And we’ll ask him a question about how to prevent nuclear terrorism just as soon as we get his thoughts on that six-fer he took at the Gabba.

You know, everyone focuses on the balls-up in the War on Terror that was the invasion of Iraq. But driving the terrorists TOWARDS the nuclear weapons may not have been A-1 thinking either. / the sharpest plan either.

But a nuclear-armed al-Qaeda wouldn’t be so bad – after all, they’d just use the nukes to blow themselves up.

China has issued its first blueprint for human rights. Until now, they’d never thought of such a wacky concept.

The National Human Rights Action Plan of China promises improvements in living & income standards, better conditions for detainees, a closer watch on the death penalty, improved openness in the legal system, and less live organ harvesting of Falun Gong prisoners. Not that that ever happened, hahahaha, little Chinese joke there.

The plan promises better conditions for detainees. Which means the brutal interrogation will all be done by the politest torturers they can find.

The plan promises better conditions for detainees. They’re halving the amount of torture!

The govt. also promises to establish a state-level office to deal with citizens’ complaints, by lining them up and shooting them.

The document says that the Chinese government is pursuing “the realisation of human rights in the broadest sense”. Meaning that you have the right to be a human.

China admits it has “a long road ahead” in its efforts to improve human rights, but that they will travel that road more quickly if they ride most of the way on the backs of the downtrodden.

The document admits China has “a long road ahead” in its efforts to improve human rights, although they are very progressive in terms of tank rights.

The government also promises to establish a state-level office to deal with citizens’ complaints. Though any complaints about the competence of that office will result in the firing squad. / Just so they know who to kill.

A church in Sweden has unveiled a life-sized statue of Jesus, made out of Lego. And just like the Bible, it’s easy to pull apart. / And just like the story of a man who is his own father, it’s easy to pull apart.

Parishioners donated nearly 30,000 Lego bricks to build the 1.78m statue. And who said Christians are child-like?

A church in Sweden has unveiled a life-sized statue of Jesus, made out of Lego. And you should see their Bratz Angelz collection! / and you should see their Mecchano Moses! / their Playdough Nativity!

The Pastor of the church said, “It’s a fantastic installation and it will be there as long as we think it’s in a good spot.” It’s right next to the Mecchano Moses and the Playdough Nativity.

It’s the only Jesus that can come back as an awesome space station.

Lego is just made for religious sculpture. After all, every single piece is holey.

Building a life-size Jesus out of 30,000 Lego blocks is certainly one way of avoiding sin.

The pastor says the installation will remain at the church permanently, at least until a toddler pushes it over. / smashes it up.

But surely it’s inappropriate to make the Lord Almighty out of something that’s only for kids, and that a child can pull apart in seconds? Or maybe it’s perfect…

Under a new proposal being considered by the federal goverment, kids as young as 5 could be learning about racism & reconciliation. Instead of waiting until they get elected. / become Prime Minister. / enter Parliament.

The initiative is designed to make children socially responsible for a “future world”. Because there’s no hope for it in the present. / in the world as it stands today.

To teach the youngsters about a social & ethical issues, childcare workers will use puppets. Like the government does with Peter Garrett. / Puppets like Peter Garrett.

The aim of the “Early Years Learning Framework” is to help teachers deal with children under 5. Because not judging people because of race is actually something a 3 year-old can do. You hear me, Pauline?

Under a new proposal being considered by the federal govt., kids as young as 5 could soon be learning about racism & reconciliation. They’re setting up a touring puppet-show: Punch & Sambo.

As the funny little puppet Uncle Kev says, “It’s easy kids! Just say sorry!”

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