Friday, February 27, 2004

Why I Love the Military
I’m Surprised I Beat the Sikh Geek to This
Here is a story about a Sikh who volunteered for Army, but was turned down because he would have had to cut his hair and shave his beard. Admittedly, I know little about the Army, but their reasoning sounds like bullshit to me. Can’t have a beard because it could lead to a gas mask leak? The army is concerned with “unity?” Courts tend to be very deferential towards military leadership and accept whatever reasoning they are given, no matter how far-fetched. I don’t buy this at all though. I do have one suggestion for Mr. Singh, if you are going to be interviewed by a newspaper and talk about constitutional law, do a little reading first. Mr. Singh said, “Forcing a Sikh to shave - then he's a Hindu or a Muslim or a Christian. Congress is supposed to pass no law promoting one religion; here they are promoting three." Um, not really. There are two different religion clauses in the first amendment. The Establishment Clause (which is what I think he is referring to) is not really at issue here. This would seem to be a violation of the Free Exercise Clause though. Hey, at least he can wear his turban to school.

Unprofessional Gender Related Behavior
This is a rather disturbing story about soldier on soldier rape in the U.S Armed Forces. It took them two years to produce a study about the issue. Nothing was actually done to solve the problem, there was just a study. You know, because they are so concerned with “unity” and all. As the story points out, only 16% of rapes, generally, are reported and the number is definitely much lower than that for the military. A general said that the fact that they had only six victim advocates for a 10,000 person division “may not be adequate.” No shit. Isn’t one of the new justifications for the Iraq Quagmire that we had to eliminate Saddam’s “rape rooms?” Maybe Bush will send the army to invade the army to stop the sexual assaults. I just confused myself, I’m going to shut up now.

-Lil' Antonin

Bad luck just to see a thing like that.

Newsflash: Rich Get Richer 2003 was a fabulous year to be a billionaire: World-wide, the number of billionaires increased from 476 to 587, with a total billionaire net worth of $1.9 trillion, up from $1.4 trillion a year ago. "In the United States, billionaires gained not only from a 20 percent rise in stocks, but also from reductions in taxes on dividends and capital gains, according to Mark Zandi, chief economist at" Meanwhile, Alan Greenspan is urging the government to slash Social Security and Medicare. Hurray!

The Familiar Stench of Failure Dennis Miller's talk show is so successful that MSNBC is taking it off the air for two weeks for major changes! Yes, "Good Luck Charm" Miller - who has previously presided over two failed talk shows and a stint on Monday Night Football during the worst ratings of its existence - is once again using his Midas touch. MSNBC execs swear this isn't because the show has been getting toxic reviews, and that Dennis planned this two-week vacation in advance. Yes. Of course.

That, Gentlemen, Most Certainly is Not Cricket If the Battle of Waterloo was won on the playing fields of Eton, where was the Iraq war disaster incubated? This week, former Blair cabinet secretary Clare Short revealed that the British spied on UN Secretary General Kofi Annan in the run-up to the Iraq war. Previously, we'd already learned that the Brits and the US spied on the UN delegations of other nations, but this is the first time anyone has accused one of the warmonger nations of illegally bugging the head of the UN. Tony Blair has refused to deny the allegation, but he has helpfully called Short "irresponsible" for making it public. That's what we call Leadership, chaps!

Bush: How Does He Get So Much Done I had been searching for a way to blame Bush for the mess in Haiti. Thank goodness this article comes along and helps me out with that. A bonus Haiti factoid: Since 2003, Attorney General Ashcroft has decreed that anyone seeking refuge from that country's bloodshed and poverty has to be jailed indefinitely upon arrival in the United States, because "Palestinian terrorists" are sneaking into the country from Port-au-Prince.

Mea Culpa, Mea Culpa, Mea Maxima Culpa The Naderites come around. Although it's tempting to say "too little, too late," at least they're 'fessing up to their mistake. How long do we have to wait for Repentant Bush Voter? Until the earth is an uninhabitable wasteland sailing tenantless through the cosmic ether?

- Consider Arms, Unrepentant LaRouche Voter
Can't Rosie O'Donnel Just Disappear Already?

"I feel a spirit telling me about the presence of the letters "p" or "s"... Does the phrase "put up or shut up" mean anything to you?" It soon will for TV paranormal personality John Edwards, whose show "Crossing Over" claims to be a forum for JE to speak with the dead. A sceptic and self-described "mind-illusionist" from Melbourne, Australia named Mark Mayer is hoping to use a complaint with Consumer Affairs to force John Edwards to either prove that he can communicate with the dead, or admit that he is a fraud on his tour of the continent-sized former prison. I wonder if an admission to "shamelessly exploiting greiving families for mediocre TV ratings" is an acceptable third option.

And Maybe Soon You Will Only Read About Hummers In Maxim... In a bit of automotive-themed good news, it looks like sales of the ridiculous bohemouth SUV, the Hummer, are plummeting while sale of Toyota's 50 mile per gallon hybrid car the Prius are taking off. While sales of both the Hummer and the Prius are on the margins, they signal a trend of consumers smartening up about their car choices and moving towards more fuel efficient cars. Apparently the consumers are still way ahead of the Bush administration which offered business owners a $100,000 tax deduction if they purchased a giant SUV weighing more than 6,000 pounds.

What Do Forest Creatures, Telepathic Dolphins And The Sikh Geek Have In Common? A gigantic love for Democratic candidate Dennis Kucinich. While he is laughed off by the media and "sensible" politicos, Dennis Kucinich has run a fantastic and inspiring campaign based more on being unafraid of being who you are or talking about the world you want, than appealing to an electorate or TV's talking heads. He's the man Nader couldn't be.

Miraculously, Now Is A Very Politically Convenient Time To Have A Conscience John Hogan, after firing Bubba "The Love Sponge" and dropping Howards Stern from his Clear Channel affiliates, told Congress Thursday that he was "ashamed" of the "Bubba" show and that "We (Clear Channel) were wrong to air that material." Funny, Hogan didn't have any problem airing Bubba three months ago when he was slaughtering a pig onair or giving away boob-jobs to female listeners for Christmas. Why the sudden change of heart? It wouldn't have anything to do with government pressure and the sudden realization that shock-shows might be more expense than profit? I wouldn't expect something so low from a media conglomerate that sponsored pro-war rallies to curry favor from the government. A boob gets flashed on TV and only weeks later there is a huge government spurned fall-out, but the 9-11 Commission can get cut short so it doesn't cockblock W's re-election bid and no one bats an eyelash? WTF?

-The Sikh Geek

Thursday, February 26, 2004

why is the world biting my steez??

that's so 10 years ago Africa moving on from the past conspiracy theory of the UN is giving us aids through vaccines, now in Nigeria, where there is currently a gigantic polio outbreak, the Muslim clerics refuse to accept the vaccine because they claim it is a western plot to make their women infertile. Although a sad situation, i have to fell a bit more unnerved by a whole country of people picking up on conspiracy theories that i read about 10 years ago. It's kind of awesome in a "deformed and crippled child" kind of way.

Haiti in trouble: zombie worker party shambles onward well, haiti is a mess. No just in a dirty, i left my clothes on the floor way though. More like a burning cities and mass looting kind of way. Hatian rebels have seized at least half of the country and the general discription is "sheer anarchy and chaos". As "president" bush drags his feet on the situation the country is up in flames and the people are fleeing by the boatload. Too bad Haiti, if only you had some oil or something, maybe then we'd pay attention.

and more from the sour grapes department "president" bush has strengthened restrictions on travel to cuba. Now, this totally makes sense because we are embroiled in the bitter cold war and we can't let the vicious Cuban Communism spread to the rest of the world..... oh wait, that's not true at all. Like most of bush's administration, this is a bizarre throwback to the cold war. Can't you guys just make up now? Come on, you'll support Pakistan but not ease trade restrictions with Cuba? what's the matter with you?

- HakujinJoe (the artist formerly known as Lil' Joey Murder, hey new spot new name....can you dig it suckas?)
I Cheered When They Came For The Love Sponge, I Stood By When They Came For The King Of All Media...

The Outsourcing Within Our Borders What might be a bigger threat to American jobs than NAFTA or China? Try prison. Federal Prison Industries is a government-run business that sells prison labor back to Uncle Sam at around $1.35 an hour and without all those pesty "safety" and "regulation" laws to get in the way. Many small business are calling the FPI a corrupt monopoly and are trying to take it on through a reform bill in the House.

Conservatives Outside Of Our Solar System Battlestar Galactica fanfiction and the GOP, what better combination is there?

-The Sikh Geek

Fo' shaganoff.

We Want the Truth Now, Or We Want it Eventually! In the kind of commitment to getting the facts out that we have all come to know and admire at the White House, Republican evil-doer Dennis Hastert is refusing to extend the time allowed to the 9/11 panel's investigation. This courageous decision to find the truth no matter where the search leads, by the way, is nakedly political: "A spokesman for Hastert said the speaker opposed postponing completion of the report partly out of concern that it would push the release of the commission's findings — and any damaging disclosures — into the heat of the presidential campaign."

Activist Groups in "Sensible Decision" Shocker! Prominent gay rights groups are giving John Kerry "an election year pass" on the issue of gay marriage. Kerry opposes it, but the groups aren't going to make that a big deal, since they realize a Kerry presidency is going to be a hell of a lot friendlier to them than another Bush term. Kudos all around.

Wants to Spend More Time With Those Little Demon Children from "The Passion" Satanic madman Richard Perle, co-author of "An End to Evil: How to Embroil the US in a Series of Unwinnable Wars Forever," is the first rat to desert the rapidly sinking Bush ship. Although he earlier resigned as chairman of the Defense Policy Board after Sy Hersh exposed his massive conflicts of interest, Perle is now leaving the agency altogether. Just as in the case with Denny Hastert, the motivation here seems to be political: "We are now approaching a long presidential election campaign, in the course of which issues on which I have strong views will be widely discussed and debated," Perle wrote in a letter to his master, the Devil. "I would not wish those views to be attributed to you or the president at any time, and especially not during a presidential campaign."

WWARD?: What Would Ayn Rand Do? Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, 170, emerged from his crypt yesterday to croak out a warning of desolation, saying that the country will slide into anarchy unless Social Security checks are reduced and Medicare spending is slashed. Distancing himself from the eldritch figure of doom, "President" Bush says he's not in favor of cutting Social Security but is in favor of a similiarly idiotic idea which would allow workers to flush their Social Security funds down a giant toilet - er, I mean, invest it in the market.

Actually, I Had Some Teachers I Would Happily Be Willing to Describe as Terrorists The fallout over Education Secretary Rod Paige's characterization of the nation's largest teachers' union as "a terrorist organization" continues. Paige, who once said that Christian schools are superior to public schools (keep in mind, this is the federal official in charge of public education) is facing pressure to resign, now from the New York Times. Let's hope we live in a world where such things can happen.

- Consider Arms
Did Howard Stern Actually Call For "A Regime Change" Against Our "Ratfink" President? Pinch Me.

We Are Romans Part II The LAPD shot and killed a man suspected of stealing $180 on live television Tuesday morning, after a ninety minute car chase. As the chase concluded, the suspect slowly backed his car up towards the officers, upon which the emptied eleven rounds into his back windshield and killed him. LAPD policy states that shooting "at or from a moving vehicle is generally prohibited," but the officers swore that they were "fearing for their lives." While the LAPD swore to investigate with "a fine-toothed comb" (cough cough), the real scum buckets seem to be the LATV and their giddy "drop anything for a live police chase" excitement. KTLA took the moving step of announcing that their cameras would now pan to a wide-angle shot if a chase is thought to be ending, and KABC's news director said the station "(tried) as best we can to handle this situation in a sensitive fashion. But it is live television." So Janet Jackson's right boob causes a national uproar and lighting-fast government action, but a live broadcast of a man being shot to death for $180 under questionable circumstances is allright? I guess the Harris poll was right; public execution makes us less squeamish than a woman's body.

Worst State Ever. Ever. Go Florida! Not only are you the home to a legion of scummy strip clubs and mini-mall tattoo parlors. Not only did you illegally push Bush into the White House. Not only are you the nation's dangling phallus. But you're still holding on to that weird little 19th century practice the rest of us tried to get rid of. Slavery.

But It Still Doesn't Take Away From The Tasteful Nail-Necklace Merchandising... Here's a quick list from Beliefnet of two dozen scenes from "The Passion of The Christ" that aren't in the Bible and have a sketchy basis. Nope, the Jewish high priest didn't actually taunt Jesus from the foot of the cross and neither were the Matrix-esque fight scenes in the Book of Books.

Army Of One, Rape Force Of Many The US military is facing a flurry of charges as 112 reports of sexual misconduct in the armed forces have come out in the last 18 months. Two dozen women at Sheppard Air Force base reported being sexually assaulted in 2002, and last year the Air Force Academy in Colorado disclosed that over 50 incidents of sexual assault occurred over the past decade.

The Smart Money's On Some Dude From A Freaky Secret Society Getting Elected

-The Sikh Geek
Nothing But Gay Marriage

GWB: Legal Genius
I still haven’t figured out whether Bush just doesn’t know how the legal system works or is purposely distorting his message to sway public opinion. There is a traditional way to challenge a law that you think is unconstitutional. You go to court (that’s that other branch of the government.) You see, gay people who want to marry and denied that right sue claiming the laws denying them the right to marry conflict with the Constitution. It is then the job of the courts to decide whether the law conflicts with the Constitution or not. This is what happened in Massachusetts. This is what has happened thousands of times in courts all over the country since Marbury v. Madison was decided in 1803. The judges are not being “activists,” they are simply doing their jobs. Any first year law student can grasp this concept. Obviously it eludes Bush.

“Unnamed San Franciscans” and the Campaign for California Families: Legal Geniuses
Another thing that is taught the first year in law school is that in order to bring a case you must be harmed in someway. You can’t just bring a case because you disagree with a law. To use the example above, you cannot sue to get rid of the gay marriage law unless you have been denied a license because you are gay. This concept hasn’t stopped “concerned citizens” from suing to keep the mayor of Frisco from issuing marriage licenses to gay couples. This brings up visions of the “unnamed San Franciscans” with their eyes literally burned from their sockets by the sight of a marriage license with two men's names on it. Also, note at the bottom of the story that the CCF is trying to get the judge recused. But not because he is gay. Of course not.

Alabamans: Uh, Never Mind
Alabama, on the other hand, always at the forefront of progress, is still debating whether an unconstitutional interracial marriage ban should be taken off the books. OK, I lied. This is an old news story. It happened way back in the previous century - you know, 1999.

-Lil' Antonin: Legal Genius

Wednesday, February 25, 2004

And By "renewed sense of urgency" They Mean, "before the election"
Regular MLWL will note the for some time we've been talking about another "October Surprise" in the form of a politically opportune bin Ladin capture. The news of new urgency in the hunt for bin Ladin comes on the heels of Pentagon announcements of a large, spring offensive in Afghanistan and continued Pakistani denials of any US military presence on their side of the boarder. Now if you will, please indulge MCNS in some conspiracy minded musings: Post 9-11 amnesia has erased all memory of Pakistani support for the Taliban from political discourse in the US, but not in Pakistan. Islamic fundamentalists made huge inroads during the last parliamentary elections and there have been several recent attempts on President Musharraf's life. Musharraf himself walks a very thin line, supporting the US "War On Terror" while ruling (Notice I didn't say "governing". Also forgotten is the fact that Musharraf came to power as the result of a military coup) a nuclear armed, Islamic country. Bin Ladin's capture at the hands of the US military, especially if it was in Pakistan, could dangerously inflame tensions among fundamentalists, possibly leading to Musharraf's ousting. Even scarier than bin Ladin on the loose is a Taliban-like state with the bomb, just ask India. So, could it be that the spring offensive has a two-fold purpose? It's direct mission being the capture of bin Ladin with a secondary effect of massing US troops along the Pakistani boarder in case the former sets off political turmoil in Pakistan. I wouldn't be surprised at all if somebody like Delta Force was being prepped to identify and secure Pakistan's nuclear capabilities. Anybody with me on this?

-MC No Shame

Let Me Check: Nope. Still Don't Care About Gay Marriage.

You Can't Stop the Kucinich Juggernaut; You Can Only Hope to Contain It This is the time for Dennis Kucinich (D-Vegan) to break out of the pack and assume his rightful role as Democratic front-runner. The only candidate who has been endorsed by both telepathic dolphins and the obscure author of an eccentric children's book managed to come in second in the Hawaiian primary with 26 percent of the vote. As Marcus-Marcus once pointed out, using Joe Lieberman's logic that a 5th place finish counts as a win, this essentially means that Dennis Kucinich is our new president. Hail!

Gay Marriage: One Blogger Struggles to Care Once again, it's worth noting that I totally support the rights of gays and lesbians to get married. It's just that on my list of things to be pissed off about, this comes somewhere below compact disc prices and the success of novelist Dan Brown. America is apparently split on the issue, 45-46 in favor vs. against, according to this story. If this becomes a big deal campaign issue, I will be enraged with boredom.

Urban Outfitters Must Be Destroyed Yeah, dudes, "voting is for old people"! Right on! That's why old people and their dumb bullshit agendas run this country, and hipsters with stupid trucker hats and ironic t-shirts (pictured) pound sand. We need another Vietnam to thin out their ranks.

Your Tax Dollars At Work This year, the Pentagon has set aside between $3 million and $4 million in payment for "information" from the Iraqi National Congress, the bozo outfit that recently admitted to fabricating evidence about Saddam's WMD in order to provoke a US invasion. That's right; we're continuing to give millions of dollars to people who lied to us so that they may continue to lie. Hey, if the Pentagon will just cut me a check for half that, I'll make up all kinds of stupid bullshit. Think of the savings!

Tony Blair: Loathed Hate-figure A new poll shows that 40 percent of Labour Party members want to see Tony Blair quit before the next General Election. That's 4 in 10 of his own party loyalists; imagine if 40 percent of Republicans wanted Bush to quit before November. Think of the seismic shitquake that would register as in American politics. Is Tony taking the hint? No. "The results come after Mr Blair made clear in a weekend newspaper interview that he intended to lead Labour into the next General Election." Instead of "the next General Election," though, that should have read "defeat."

- Consider Arms

Tuesday, February 24, 2004

Damn Right We're A Christian Nation! A recent Harris poll found that two-thirds of Americans support the idea of televised executions, and one out of five Americans said that they would pay to see Osama Bin Laden put to death. We are Romans.

-The Sikh Geek
For G-D's Sake, Take Off Your Trucker Hat You Hipster Schmuck! I know it's only February, but without a doubt this will be my favorite news story of 2004. The Williamsburg section of Brooklyn has become this decade's answer to grunge-era Seattle and the large population of Hassidic Jews is not too happy about being pushed out of their century-old neighborhood by gentrified real estate prices. On January 4th many Hassidim protested the advance of hipters into their neighborhood saying that the trendy bastards "pollute the eyes and the mind." They even composed a prayer with my favorite line being, "Master of the Universe, our Father, Father of mercy, have mercy upon us and upon the borders of our village and do not allow the prosecution to come inside our home, please remove from upon us the plague of the artists, that we shouldn't drown in evil waters, and that they shouldn't come to our residence to ruin it." Said one Hasidic rabbi, "Those selling real estate to the hipsters (will) never be able to leave hell.” Neither will the hipsters who maintain their constant orbits between Bedford Avenue, second hand stores with designer pricetags, and an ocean of bands with the article "The" in their names.

-The Sikh Geek

Just like starting over.

Live From New York: You're Fired! In a move that even critics have to concede is pretty awesome, Russian autocrat Vladimir Putin fired his entire governing cabinet during a live television broadcast. Donald Trump wishes he had that kind of cachet.

Is "Darth Nader" Better Than "Ralph Nadir"? Nader-hating continues to be one of my favorite trends, nicely exemplified by this article calling Ralph a delusional chronic masturbator. I don't know if that's all true, but he sure is a dick. Even NOAM CHOMSKY says he's voting for the Democrat this year; when you're to the left of Noam Chomsky, you're simply out of the frame. Hey Ralph, know what? Don't help anymore.

We're Sorry, Mr. Potatoe Head I'm glad Calvin Trillin wrote this column, because I've been thinking about this for a long time but had no way to articulate it: Dan Quayle got a raw deal. Now, don't get me wrong: I'm not a fan of the former veep. But remember the shitstorm of controversy he had to go through in 1988 because he was in the Indiana National Guard instead of the Army during Vietnam? As Trillin writes, "But in the current furor about George W. Bush's military record it seems to be taken for granted that Mr. Bush got into the so-called Champagne unit of the Texas Air National Guard through influence. The stories begin by saying he was jumped over a 500-man waiting list. Then they quickly go on to investigate the details of his sojourn in Alabama. Using influence to get into the guard and therefore out of Vietnam is no longer disqualifying for 'sons of the powerful'; it's assumed." Dear God, do you know what this means? It means we all owe Dan a heartfelt apology.

New Feature: October Surprise Watch Osama, if you fuck up this country twice in three years, they better kill you, because only then would you be safe from my insane wrath.

Roy Moore, Your Country Needs You Here's an interesting article on the possibility of a Republican Nader: Former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore. Moore, if you're interested, is the chap with the monument to the 10 Commandments who was railroaded out of the judiciary for his infelicitious display of said monuments. A hero the conservative true believers in the Constitution Party (which was on the ballot in 41 states in 2000), Moore is said to be mulling a run partly to show up George Bush as phony conservative and partly to strike back at the administration's decision to make William Pryor, the Alabama Attorney General who ran Moore out of town, a judge on the 11 Circuit Court of Appeals. Run, Roy, Run!

-Consider Arms