The Lighter Side
What the hell is ethics?
By Tony Zurlo
Online Journal Contributing Writer

Nov 7, 2005, 00:25

Recently I intercepted a top secret memo that was circulated to White House staff members about attending classes on ethics. So that readers can draw their own conclusions, the memo appears in its entirety.

FROM: Wanna-be White House Counsel Anon Y. Mous

TO: White House Staff Members

DATE: Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday Evenings

SUBJECT: What the Hell Is Ethics?

The President and Supreme Commander of the United States and assorted territories (including Iraq) Mr. George W. Bush requests the honor of your presence at three evening forums this upcoming week.

All White House staff members and their significant others (only one per staff and over twenty-one), are required to participate. The topic to be analyzed, explored, dissected, and deconstructed at this forum is �What the hell is ethics?�

The forum will commence each evening, Tuesday through Thursday, after the Washington press corps has retreated to their favorite watering holes�Fox News broadcasters excepted.

All attendees shall gather together in the Blue Room of the White House around 7:30 p.m. each evening for a welcoming speech from former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer. During cocktails (BYOB), former Attorney General John Ashcroft will circulate to verify Republican Party credentials. At eight o�clock sharp, former FEMA Director Michael Brown will lead the congregation in an orderly manner to a special assembly hall in the basement that has been designed by Republican technicians to prevent leaks.

I repeat: Attendance is mandatory for all staff members.

Only the most senior White House advisors and staff members are excused. They are attending a job fair at an unannounced location.


8:15�9:15: The forum kicks off with 20-minute workshops (Select any three)

A.  �Budget Fudging,� led by Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist

B.  �Circumventing Ethics,� led by Congressman Tom Delay

C.  �Maneuvering Without the Facts,� led by Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove

D.  �Make Believe Morality,� led by Former Christian Coalition Chief Ralph Reed

E.  �Privatizing War,� led by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld

F.  �Offshore Outsourcing,� led by * [TBA]

9:3010:30: Everyone will gather in the basement assembly hall for the feature lectures:

A.  �Prison Conversions: True or False?� presented by Charles Colson

B.  �To Torture or Not to Torture? A Slam-Dunk,� presented by G. Gordon Liddy

C.  �Avoiding the Pokey: The �Just Obeying Orders Plea,�� presented by Oliver North

10: 4511:45: Creative Writing Workshops (Select one)

A.  �Spice-up Your Spy Novel with Porn,� Scooter Libby

B.  �The Bisexual Point of View and the Frontier Novel,� Lynne Cheney


As the whole world knows, our luminous leader President George W. Bush is busy touring other parts of the globe, accompanied by many of our Republican role models.

We will present a short, videotaped welcome from our illustrious leader.

Our valiant president has asked that his mentor, Vice President Dick Cheney, deliver the Keynote Address. Mr. Cheney will speak on the issue of Constitutional Amendments One, Two, Four, Five, Six, and Eight and the Future of the Republican Party. **

*  All persons considered qualified to lead this workshop are either out of the country at this time or do not speak English. If you know of any Republicans currently in country who could lead this workshop, please contact me immediately.

** Anyone knowing of Mr. Cheney�s whereabouts please notify Republican National Committee Chairman Ken Mehlman immediately.

Tony Zurlo is a writer/educator living in Arlington, Texas. Currently, he teaches writing and African/Asian culture at Tarrant County College. He has also taught in schools in Nigeria, China, and many parts of the U.S. His op-eds, essays, and reviews have appeared in Online Journal, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Democrats.US, OpEdNews, Peace Corps Writers, Writers Against War, and other journals and newspapers. He also has published nonfiction books on Vietnam, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Japanese Americans, West Africa, Algeria, and soon Syria. His poetry and short fiction have appeared in more than 65 journals, magazines, and anthologies.

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