I'm Not Proud Of Some Of The Things I've Done

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Goals Of The Paris Climate Talks

Over 150 world leaders are meeting in Paris this week to address the global effects of climate change in the hopes that a unified international effort can avert grave future consequences for the planet. Here are the major goals of the Paris climate talks

How Refugees Are Admitted Into The U.S.

The United States’ effort to accept Syrian refugees seeking asylum has been the subject of much controversy over security concerns and the rigor of the vetting process. Here are the steps involved in a refugee’s arrival in America

Strategies To Defeat ISIS

Following last week’s deadly Paris attacks and numerous other violent incidents perpetrated by the terror group ISIS, many governments and populations worldwide are wondering how we can eliminate this threat. Here are some strategies to defeat the Islamic State:

Obama Returns From Trade Summit With 5 Stout Ships Full Of Cardamom, Silk, And Indigo

WASHINGTON— Exhausted, berimed with salt, and haggard from his long sea journey, but nevertheless triumphant as he guided his fleet to port following the completion of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, President Barack Obama is said to have made harbor in Washington, D.C.’s anchorage Monday, his five sturdy galleons choked to the very gunwales with the finest silks, casks of redolent cardamom, and great cakes of vivid dye-of-indigo retrieved from the far Orient.

Goals Of The U.N. General Assembly

The 70th United Nations General Assembly takes place this week, with member countries focusing on plans to address global sustainability, economic growth, and the Syrian refugee crisis, among other major topics. Here are the main goals of this year’s assembly:

Pope Francis’ U.S. Itinerary

Pope Francis is making his first visit to the U.S. this week, with stops in Washington, D.C., New York City, and Philadelphia as he speaks to government officials and conducts large-scale masses. Here is a full itinerary of the pope’s visit

A Primer On Pope Francis’ Views

Pope Francis has garnered much international attention in the first two and a half years of his papacy, taking a more liberal approach to women’s issues, the family unit, and the environment than his predecessors. Here is a primer on prominent global issues and the pope’s views on them:

Shoddy Chinese-Made Stock Market Collapses

SHANGHAI—Proving to be just as flimsy and precarious as many observers had previously warned, the Chinese-made Shanghai Composite index completely collapsed Monday, sources confirmed.

Why Westerners Join ISIS

With more than 150 Americans accused of attempting to fight alongside ISIS in Syria and countless young Europeans allegedly joining or supporting the terrorist group, many are left wondering what a population of extremists has to offer Westerners a world away. Here are some reasons these people might want to ally with ISIS

Nicaraguan Diplomat Drops Deadly Spider Onto John Kerry’s Blanket

ISLA GRANDE DEL MAÍZ, NICARAGUA—Creeping stealthily into the bungalow where John Kerry lay sleeping after a trade summit Thursday, Nicaraguan Minister of Foreign Affairs Samuel Santos López, illuminated only by a sliver of moon, reportedly slid open the lid of a small pine box and released a deadly Brazilian wandering spider onto the blanket of his American counterpart.

What’s Next For U.S.-Cuban Relations

After 54 years of closure, the U.S. embassy in Havana and the Cuban embassy in Washington, D.C. each began flying their flags once more this week, a symbol of the restored diplomatic ties between the two nations. Here is what we can expect from the relationship going forward

U.S. Soothes Upset Netanyahu With Shipment Of Ballistic Missiles

WASHINGTON—Following Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s heated objections to the nuclear deal struck between the United States and Iran, American officials announced Tuesday that they were calming the upset head of government by treating him to a nice, big shipment of ballistic missiles.

World Begins Another Day At Mercy Of 19-Year-Old Estonian Hacker

TALLINN, ESTONIA—With the private data of national governments and entire global industries at his fingertips, sources confirmed this morning that yet another day had begun with the whole world helplessly at the mercy of 19-year-old Estonian computer hacker Jüri Pevkur.

FIFA Frantically Announces 2015 Summer World Cup In United States

Global Soccer Tournament To Kick Off In America Later This Afternoon

ZURICH—After the Justice Department indicted numerous executives from world soccer’s governing body on charges of corruption and bribery, frantic and visibly nervous officials from FIFA held an impromptu press conference Wednesday to announce that the United States has been selected to host this summer’s 2015 World Cup.

Items Found In Bin Laden’s Compound

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U.S. Worried About Living Up To Netanyahu Campaign Promises

WASHINGTON—Saying the Likud Party leader had set Israeli citizens’ expectations extremely high in the run up to his reelection Tuesday, top-level sources expressed their worry Wednesday about whether the United States would actually be able to...

A Timeline Of U.S.-Israel Relations

A congressional visit from Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu that has reportedly rankled President Obama is the latest issue in what have often been strained diplomatic ties between the two countries.

Mankind Tired Of Having To Remind Itself Of Good In World

PARIS—In the wake of this week’s terrorist attacks on French newspaper Charlie Hebdo and two ensuing armed standoffs that together left over a dozen innocent civilians dead, humankind admitted Friday that it is sick and tired of having ...

Schlubs From U.S., China Meet In Lowest-Level Talks

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA—In an effort to strengthen diplomatic ties between the global superpowers’ most oafish representatives, sources confirmed Thursday that schlubs from the United States and China met in Australia this week for a series of low...

Iranian Team Openly Working On Bomb In Negotiating Room

VIENNA—Asserting the Middle Eastern nation’s right to a safe, peaceful energy program, members of the Iranian diplomatic team attempted to seek more favorable terms of a deal with the P5+1 global powers while openly assembling a nuclear weapon...

Where Is Kim Jong-Un?

North Korean supreme leader Kim Jong-un has not been seen in public since September 3. Here is the latest speculation on his whereabouts

How China Stifles Dissent

Recent clashes with pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong have refocused international scrutiny on the Chinese government’s efforts to quell social unrest and silence demonstrators.

Nation Admits It Could Probably Be Talked Into Another War

WASHINGTON—While they acknowledged that getting behind such a plan might take a little convincing, the American populace admitted this week that they could, in all likelihood, be talked into another war. Citizens across the nation told reporters tha...

Ugly Custody Battle Over Ian McKellen Narrowly Avoided

EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND—Following Scotland’s referendum Thursday rejecting independence from the United Kingdom, sources confirmed that a protracted and ugly custody battle over celebrated actor Sir Ian McKellen had been narrowly avoided.
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I'm Not Proud Of Some Of The Things I've Done

Can it be true that my years in this world already number 12? Though mine is but a dog's life, I have always tried to live it well. Early on, I made it my mission to explore the neighborhood beyond my own yard, to appreciate nature and its many wonderful smells. I've thirsted for knowledge, learning in excess of 10 tricks and committing to memory the location of every rabbit hole within a quarter mile. I have minded to comport myself with dignity, keeping my coat shiny and clean through a daily regimen of rigorous licking.

But, alas, I am not proud of some of the things I have done. I have willfully disobeyed orders. I have, at times, been too quick to bark, and I have whimpered needlessly. I have gnawed upon things I never should have gnawed. Yes, I have even bitten others in anger. Not often, and only when I felt I had to, but now I see that turning to the tooth never solves anything.

I have been a bad boy.

What springs to mind now, though it pains me to recall, is the garbage-can incident. My owner had been gone for hours. I was restless. Perhaps I was even a little angry over being left alone. At any rate, I nudged the kitchen-cupboard door open and overturned the garbage can. I was drunk with the ecstasy of my ill-gotten power and, suddenly, there was garbage everywhere. As if some evil force had taken hold of me, I chewed apart an empty bacon package right on top of the good blue couch. When I heard the car pull into the garage, it was as if I had awakened from a dream. Oh, the shame! I retreated to the basement and cowered next to the dryer in the hopes of evading the vigorous shoe-whacking I knew I richly deserved.

This is not my only transgression. My lust for table food has driven me to commit many a gluttonous act. There was the time I ate two pounds of raw hamburger meat left to thaw on top of the basement deep freeze. That was wrong. Worse still was the time I chewed right through that wrapped box under the Christmas tree to get at the cheese-and-sausage party-pak that lay inside. At the time, I viewed it as a bold and wholly justified act of defiance—I was weary of Science Diet and felt deserving of more treats. But in my heart I knew. I knew.

It has always been a battle to suppress the demon urges welling up inside me. Even as I slid from my mother's womb into the cardboard box in the tool shed, I was already not without sin. Yea, I sucked greedily at my mother's teat, trampling my six brothers and sisters in my milklust. I burdened my master with my youthful exuberance, repeatedly scampering out of the box and forcing him to chase me down. I used my tender age as an excuse to live with abandon, jumping on anyone, nipping wantonly, licking those who did not want to be licked. I arrogantly believed I had no need to learn the word "down."

Greater still were the sins committed upon reaching adulthood, for they could not be dismissed as the indiscretions of youth. At nine months, I knew full well when to sit, when to stay, which chairs were off limits, and yet I still broke the House Rules. I drank from the toilet. I snatched the choicest-smelling items from the laundry basket. Oh, the things upon which I chewed! Belts, shoes, newspapers, telephone cords, chair legs, and, one terrible day, the video-game controller. These foul acts—all the work of this bewhiskered mouth!

I also regret my indolence. My purpose in life is to protect my master's home, yet all too often I let sloth chase this sense of duty from me. So many afternoons I spent stretched out on the sunlit floor, my eyes blinking heavily until I drifted off into dreams of giant rawhide strips and bouncing rubber balls. Then, the knock of the UPS man or the thud of the evening paper on the steps would jolt me awake, the harsh sound castigating me for my negligence.

If only it were true that my only sin was that of omission! No, the abuse of free will has led me to commit the most vulgar of deeds. Repeatedly, I have succumbed to temptations of the flesh. There was no spaniel, no beagle-lab mix I did not see as my rightful property, with which I was free to have my way. Last summer, in my most depraved moment of carnality, only the blast of water from a cold hose was sufficient to separate me from my shameful congress with Duchess, the West Highland terrier next door.

In these dozen years, I have experienced misery—the ear infection, my head getting slammed in the car door, the time I walked through that wet tar—but nothing equals the pain I feel when I think of the shameful disobedience I have shown my master.

O, Tyler Gregory, my benevolent keeper, my guide and my provider—you have been nothing but generous to me in spite of my hateful nature. You have loved me unconditionally, but without undue passion. You have corrected my errant ways, but with a gentle hand. You have been strong, but you have been fair.

It sickens me to look upon these four paws knowing they have committed such misdeeds in the face of your loving grace. I would gladly cut them off in penance—lay them across the very same railroad tracks that took the tail of the cat next door. But I know that such an act would only cause you pain, so true and selfless is your love for me.

My beloved master, great and giving one, my sole purpose on this Earth is but to follow at your heels, to come when you call. I beg not for a snack treat, but for something far sweeter and more satisfying: your forgiveness.

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