Ghosts Organize in Alton, Illinois

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Alton, Illinois — Spirits of the dead in the river city of Alton, Illinois, voted last night to organize as a union affiliated with the Service Employees International Union (SEIU).

Everett Johnson, a lawyer representing the ghosts, says he will begin negotiations with the town’s haunted house tour guides, spirit shops, and even owners of haunted properties.

“The living have been exploiting these tortured souls for decades,” Johnson told Hennessy’s View. “The exploitation has gotten significantly more pronounced in recent years, though.”

More than 20 Alton companies capitalize on the town’s reputation for hauntings. Some of the small firms generate hundreds of thousands of dollars in the weeks surrounding Halloween alone.

Mavis Carter, proprietor of Mavis’s Haunted Alton Tours and Spirit Fest, says she may be forced to shut down as a result of the ghost’s action.

“Look, we’re a tiny business. We employ a couple of people year round and few more during Halloween season. I barely make a profit on this as it is. If I have to pay the ghosts, too, I’d be better off taking it easy.”

Mike Edwards of SEIU Local 67 in Alton says tour operators like Carter deserve to go under.

“These tour operators are modern-day slave traders. They exploit the dead for profits, invade their private residences, and give nothing back.”

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s office would not respond to requests for information on the legal standing of ghosts in Illinois, but an employee in the AG’s office spoke with Hennessy’s View on condition of anonymity.

“I’ve been an attorney for twenty years, and I think it’s long past the time for something like this,” the anonymous source told us. “Human rights of privacy, property, and a living wage don’t end when you die.”

According to Edwards of the SEIU, there are about nine thousand known and exploited ghosts living in and around Alton. While his union represents only a half-dozen of the more prominent hauntings, he hopes to organize all the ghosts in the river town by end the 2015. But Edwards admits the task won’t be easy.

“A lot of these ghosts died before the labor movement really got underway in the late nineteenth century,” he said. “There’s a lot of Confederate Civil War dead in Alton. When they hear ‘union,’ they think ‘Yankee invaders’ not organized labor.”

“For me, it’s a matter of posthumous social justice,” Edwards said.

Elizabeth Warren Performs “Indian Rain Dance” To Quell Dispute

Reading Time: 1

Cambridge, MA—Massachusetts Democratic Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren donned a pink headdress and performed, what she called, an “authentic Indian rain dance” during a press conference today.  Ms Warren was hoping to convince skeptics of her claims of Native American heritage. She also hinted that her preference for bison meat to beef indicates her heritage.

“My pepaw taught me this dance when I was a little girl,” Warren said during a short session with reporters at a high school gymnasium in Cambridge, MA. “It was during that huge draught back in the late fifties in Oklahoma.”

“And I was eating bison burgers when most white men considered it poison,” she said. “I actually prefer bison to beef, in fact.”

Last week, the Boston Herald reported that Warren once listed herself as Native American on Harvard’s faculty information form.  Later, the woman who hopes to unseat Republican Senator Scott Brown, stopped claiming minority status.

Since the story broke, each of Warren’s attempts to explain her 1990s claims of minority status have raised more questions than they answered.

“I’d be offended, but I think she’s embarrassing herself far more than she’s embarrassing native peoples,” said Ben Silverhawk, president of Native People’s Defense Fund.  “After this, no one will try to exploit Natives for political or professional gain, I’m pretty sure.”

Warren hopes to end the controversy later this week when she holds a free screening of Dances With Wolves at AMC Loews Harvard Square Theatre.  Show times and ticket availability have not been announced.

Coincidentally, the National Weather Service calls for a chance of showers today but clearing skies tomorrow with highs in the upper 50s.


U.S. Holds Auditions for New Terrorist Mastermind

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Washington, DC–Reeling from the backlash over a campaign ad that paints President Barack Obama as Osama bin Laden’s sole assassin, the White House today announced open auditions for a new global terrorist mastermind.

Last year's White House auditions for press secretary

White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters “the world needs a dangerous, evil character to worry about . . . and, frankly, so does the President.  Reagan had the Evil Empire; Bush had the Axis of Evil.  The Tea Party just isn’t frightening enough to serve as Obama’s nemesis.”

Irving Crowder, professor of political science at University of Delaware, said that arch-enemies help incumbent presidents. “They give us all a common enemy to rally against. At election time, the president can simply announce a new threat posed by this person or this country, what have you, and get a quick bump in the polls.”

The auditions are open to men and women capable of playing a character over 40 who has killed at least one thousand people. Middle Eastern or Eastern European features a plus.  Auditions will be held May 8 through 10 at the Georgetown University Hotel and Conference Center in Washington, DC, with call backs the following week.

“We’re looking for someone who’s menacing, sure, but human. Audiences won’t buy a ‘total evil’ villain,” said Carney.  “Sophisticated audiences in the US expect their bad guys to have a softer side, too.”

James Carville, Contessa Brewer, and Snoop Dogg will be the celebrity judges. The White House may release audition videos through the Obama campaign’s YouTube channel.  “It depends on the quality of the auditions,” said Carney. “Whether they have any political or comedic value–or if they just scare the crap out of people.”

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in a statement, “I look forward to bringing to bear the full power and ingenuity of the State Department against any enemy of the United States developed through this innovative process.”

Auditioners should prepare a one to two minute monologue and dress in clothes comfortable for movement.  Singing will not be required, but you may be asked to demonstrate movement with simple choreography. Bring your resume and four 8×10 black and white portraits with your name, address, phone number, email, age, and weight on the back of each one.  Actors Equity or SAG membership required if cast, but not to audition.

White House Unveils Unemployment Strategy

Reading Time: 1

WASHINGTON, DC:  The White House unveiled a new strategy to lower the nation’s unemployment rate, currently standing at 10 percent. 

In his weekly radio address Saturday, the President announced that he will use remaining funds from the failed Stimulus bill to take advantage of little known variable in the unemployment rate factor:  “discouraged workers.”

Pointing out that “discouraged” workers are excluded from the unemployment calculation, the President explained that the government will encourage the unemployed to simply give up hopes for finding work. 

“Discouraged workers are those who’ve essentially given up trying to find a job,” the President explained from the Oval Office.  “These people are able-bodied and working age, but they have lost hope of finding a job.” 

“Discourage workers can do more to help our economic statistics than Green Jobs,” Obama explained.  “For every 100,000 unemployed workers who simply give up,” he said, “the unemployment rate drops about one-tenth of one percent.”

“In December, for example, over six hundred thousands patriotic Americans lost hope of ever finding a job. Without their sacrifice, our unemployment rate would stand at 10.4—the highest rate since the Great Depression.”

In the next two weeks, the Labor Department will send millions of brochures entitled “Yes You Can Give Up” to homeless shelters and those receiving unemployment benefits.



Obama Accepts Reid’s Apology

Reading Time: 1

WASHINGTON, DC — Saying, “The Senate relies on dingy-skinned white men, especially ones without a cracker dialect,” President Barack Obama accepted Senator Harry Reid’s (D-NV) apology for words Reid used in private in 2008. 

According to the forthcoming book, “Game Changing,” Reid described Obama a “light-skinned” black man “with no Negro dialect . . . unless he wanted to have one” during the 2008 presidential election. 

In his apology, Reid said, “I deeply regret using such a poor choice of words, but it’s mighty white of the President to accept my sincere apology.”