Thursday, March 25, 2004

TODAY'S TOP FIVE: I Saw Laura Bush Yesterday.

"I Failed You" How come Reagan appointee Richard Clarke is the only government official to say that so far? How come George Tenet still has his job? How come nobody before yesterday stepped forward and said of 9/11, "your government failed you"? Just wondering.

Calling all Thetans! A fascinating court case is going on in Los Angeles right now that could once and for all end the tax-exempt status for the phoney-baloney "religion" of Scientology. At issue is the fact that, under the terms of a secret 1993 agreement with the IRS, the Scientologists are allowed to get tax deductions for their "auditing" (you know, the process that allows them to ascend to..."the level above human"). Currently, Scientologists are the only "religious group" allowed to deduct the cost of religious education from their taxes. A Jewish couple is suing to have the cost of their kids' yeshiva studies deducted from their taxes, claiming that the L. Ron Hubbard cult is getting unconstitutional preferential treatment. This should be a hoot.

Chronology: Foe of Tyranny One of the interesting revelations to come out of the 9/11 panel's public hearings has been this one: the Bush administration approved a plan to overthrow the Taliban on September 10, 2001. Hey, but I thought we only went to Afghanistan because of the attacks on September 11? Surely this won't add more evidence to the argument that the US planned to topple the Taliban to make Unocal's gas pipeline in Central Asia a reality?

Lousy Mooching Wounded Veterans After allegedly being settled, Donald Rumsfeld's Department of Defense is once again charging wounded soldiers for the meals they eat while recuperating in the hospital. The Pentagon says this is because it's too hard to distinguish between wounded soldiers in the hospital and regular sick soldiers in the hospital. Personally, I would feel a lot more confident about our chances of vanquishing evil if we could get our hospital meal billing system worked out.

Santo Cielo! Here's a bizarre story for you: A group of British soldiers training in a vast underground cave complex in Mexico has become trapped by rising waters, but are refusing help from the Mexican government, preferring to wait until the British government sends somebody to help. The wrinkle: Mexico has no idea why there are British soldiers training within its borders. Mexico does not permit foreign military exercises on its soil, and had no knowledge that the British were there. The British response? The soldiers' mission was "purely scientific." Oh, OK then.

-Consider Arms