Irregular Reporting of Societal IssuesSM

"Get your news weakly"SM 4 September 2006

Treasury Department Addresses Slow Pace Of Change

Officials in the US Department of Treasury announced Strategic Linking Of Treasury Hotbuttons (SLOTH), a key initiative to reduce time spent on projects within the agency. As part of the SLOTH initiative, department heads were invited to a two-day meeting that will occur a month from today. The 50+ department heads will travel to a remote location for the two-day meeting, to ensure proper focus, allowing the group to generate a framework that will allow them to begin discussions that will eventually result in a consensus that will be used to schedule a wider kick-off meeting with the proper stakeholders in six months time. The kickoff meeting will likely be empowered to draft a list of names that might be assigned to a task force. Government watch dog groups hailed the development and the "lightning speed used to arrive at such a schedule".

Toxic Spill Snarls Traffic

Early this morning, a toxic spill snarled traffic on Interstate 95 around Washington, DC, causing critical backups across the entire Eastern Seaboard. Officials with the EPA indicate that this was the worst spill in recent memory. "It's as if it just fell from the sky", said Jennifer Gull-Ebble, a suburban mother of six, caught in traffic for most of the morning. While US Department of Transportation officials are withholding information based on the fact that investigations are on-going, sources indicate that the substance bringing commerce and the morning rush hour to a halt is dihydrogen monoxide. Experts consulted about the substance report a correlation between dihydrogen monoxide and global warming, which may explain some of the concern at both the EPA and the DOT. Consultants to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) expressed concern at the cyclical nature of the dihydrogen monoxide threat, noting in an official statement that "the risk of spills seems to increase in Spring and Fall, causing us to consider involving the Department of Homeland Security. Of additional concern is the unsubstantiated relationship of liquid dihydrogen monoxide with crystallized forms that generally appear in Winter". A spokesman indicated that dihydrogen monoxide has also been detected behind security checkpoints in several airports, raising alarms in Congress. Some parties have even implied that dihydrogen monoxide can be linked to impaired mental abilities, when combined with traffic and, it would appear, the Transportation Safety Administration (TSA).


Increased Risk From Unseen Threats

According to the DOH Center's Institute for Political Onanism, the risk of unseen threats has increased 1000% in recent years, requiring greater public vigilance and acceptance of invasive national security measures, including temporarily waving the Bill of Rights. Experts agree that the three largest areas of concern are shadowy figures in urban areas, shadowy figures in rural areas, and shadowy figures in wooded areas. The administration has vowed to eliminate the threat of unseen threats (TUT) after the upcoming election. While specific plans remain unconfirmed, talk has centered around several approaches to the TUT problem. The first approach leverages the president's Healthy Forests initiative to eliminate all wooded areas proximate to the lower 48 states, ensuring that shadowy figures are left with no place to hide, springing out to steal small children playing in the sunny, perfectly manicured, and orderly back yards of suburbia. There has also been talk of a "War on Cities", with a goal of replacing all shadowy inner cities with golf courses and planned, gated communities, employing existing residents as caddies, grounds keepers, and other menial servants, where the residents are sufficiently qualified for these tasks.

Consulting Industry To Shift Focus

Industry analysts are creating buzz around a shift in focus for the software consulting industry; more and more companies are reportedly shifting away from a functional focus. Dr. Hugh Hehd-Payne at Harvard Business School is not surprised by the shift, saying, "In actuality, the change has happened already; software consulting, particularly for the government sector has reached a level of maturity that obviates a move away from functionality, to more non-functional approach". As evidence, Dr. Hehd-Payne pointed to the exciting growth in the SAIC contract with the FBI. "Non-functional contracts are an emerging market", agrees Holden Bilk with Bear Stearns, "it is win-win for the consulting company and its investors". Government contract officers also seem delighted with the shift. "With this paradigm shift, I think we will finally have our consultants emphasizing the things that are important to us in the government, and all those things can be labeled non-functional", said Colonel Mark O. Blivius, a contract officer with the Department of Homeland Security.

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© 2006 Lea Ann Mawler & Stuart Mawler