Tuesday, March 09, 2004

TODAY'S TOP FIVE: You and What Army? Oh. Right.

After Arnold: Governor Hilary Duff Four California lawmakers have proposed a constitutional amendment that would give 16-year-olds half a vote in state elections and 14-year-olds a quarter of a vote. The lawmakers seem to think that "the Internet, cellular phones, multichannel television and a diverse society makes today's teens better informed than their predecessors." Nice try, California, but I think Florida still has the edge as the nuttiest, most embarassing state in the union.

I Thought Stuff Like This Only Happened in America! Human Rights Watch, the largest US-based human rights organization, has issued a report critical of the American military's operations in Afghanistan, charging that troops have beaten detainees and killed civilians. The report also finds that such tactics are ineffective: Not only do they create resentment among civilians, but in many cases they are used against law-abiding Afghans who live in areas totally under the control of the occupying forces. The army, perhaps predictably, has fallen back on the Jedi Mind Trick as a defense: "We are in complete compliance with the laws of combat," says an army spokesman.

Once Again, Ladies and Gentlemen: Our Ally in the War on Terror Pakistan, the leading source of illegal nuclear proliferation in the world and one of the most important sponsors of Islamic terrorism, has tested a new long-range, nuclear-capable missile that can hit targets up to 2,500 kilometers away. A former Pakistani general enthusiastically notes that "It gives Pakistan the ability to fire missiles much deeper into India than before." Mmmkay, and why did we invade Iraq again? Something about weapons of mass destruction, terrorism, and a threat to neighboring countries?

It Was Inevitable: Election Monitors in Florida Pax Christi, a Catholic organization that has monitored elections throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, will be dispatching poll watchers to Florida for the presidential elections this year to ensure everything is above board. Gov. Jeb Bush, he of the crackhead daughter and bonehead brother, is not amused: "It sounds to me like they're playing politics," he says. "The election system in our state, run by the 67 supervisors of election, funded by a dramatic increase by the state and now hopefully federal money coming down, is not a Third World situation." See, California? You'll never be able to top that.

Ahmad Chalabi, Religious Fanatic Well, not really. As recently as June, 2003, Chalabi was still referring to Shi'ites as "they," but as this indispensable article shows, the all-knowing one has recently found religion. Chalabi was one of the Iraqis who refused to sign the interim constitution, at the behest of the Grand Ayatollah Al-Sistani, perhaps the most powerful man in Iraq. As the article makes clear, the only person Chalabi is interested in helping is Chalabi, but since he is by far the least popular Iraqi in the government, he needs someone with actual popular support to lean on.

-Consider Arms