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Everything's Osama's Fault

Legislators and economists said North Carolina's massive budget problems aren't the fault of poor planning on their part, but rather are due to the terrorist attacks of September 11. In fact, 9/11 is apparently to blame for many current woes. Police Chief Stephens last week said the attacks in New York and Washington are partly to blame for the smaller than expected decrease in crime in Mecklenburg County during 2001, even though most of the year took place before the attacks. These revelations follow in the footsteps of the Bush administration's use of 9/11 as a springboard for an enormous increase in giveaways to their buddies in the defense industry - not to mention that 9/11 is the reason we just have to drill for oil in Alaska now. Others said to be considering placing the blame for their problems on 9/11 are the NBA, heroin addicts, pedophilic priests, and South Carolina peach farmers. Not only that, when I got up Saturday morning, I stubbed my toe on the corner of a dresser which I discovered had been moved during the night by Al-Qaida operatives.

Time Travel Week: Science fiction became reality last week, as time travel popped up, umm, time and again. First, many people around the country received e-mails from an unknown person looking for detailed information on how to perfect time travel ("do not answer if you are an evil alien"). Also last week, the daily paper revealed two apparently successful attempts at time travel: the first instance was in an article headlined "Rock Hill church observes crucifixion of Jesus," which we have to assume was a horrifying though life-changing event; and another article startled historians by noting that the horse on which George Washington rode into Charlotte had been given to him by the king of Belgium in 1791, meaning that Good King Frenchfry had also mastered time travel since Belgium wasn't established as a nation state until 1831.

Off to the Land of Rain and Light Rail: School Superintendent Eric Smith traveled to Portland, OR to interview for that Northwestern city's head school post. Since race isn't as big an issue there as in the South, Smith wouldn't be burdened by his inability to live up to pledges to budget for equity in schools.

Helping to Connect: Hornets fans, who are wondering whether the team will move to New Orleans, were angered by a promotion sponsored by the Observer which gave out Mardi Gras beads at Hornets games. The Big O says the promotion will continue no matter how many beads are thrown back in their faces at the games.

Suspension of Disbelief: It was announced that in an upcoming movie based on Doug Marlette's novel The Bridge, the character based on the rather unalluring Marlette will be played by Tom Cruise.

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