Monday, May 31, 2004

Fuck the French Dauphin. America Is Led By A Child King.

In Memorial To Our Heroes, Shot To Death In The Back By More Of Our Heroes According to an Army investigation, Pat Tillman, former football star/Army Ranger/real-life GI Joe, was killed by "friendly fire" (by a memeber of his own army) in Afghanistan. Republican Rep. Trent Franks of Arizona was quick to point out that "This does not take away one iota from the heroic nature and courage of the man. The source of that fire is of little consequence in terms of heroism." Idiot Stephen Walt of Harvard was quick to point out that "...warfare is a inherently unpredictable activity. Friendly-fire accidents are a part of modern warfare and probably existed as far back as the Stone Age." When were soldiers in an organized army firing guns at members of their own army during the Stone Age dude?

This November, A Vote For LaRoche Is A Vote For Miller Beer This link is dedicated to the asshole Green Party dude in Vermont this weekend who stoicly held up a "A Vote For Kerry Is A Vote For Bush" sign. According to John Ashcroft, a vote for John Kerry is a vote for Osama bin Laden. Readng through the thin veil of this part of the Chicken Little speech ("The Madrid railway bombings were perceived by Osama bin Laden and Al Qaida to have advanced their cause. Al Qaida may perceive that a large-scale attack in the United States this summer or fall would lead to similar consequences.") and it's clear that the government is laying the groundwork to smear any future terrorist action as a plan by "evil doers" to get Bush out of office and therefore legitimize the ultimate campaign strategy/dirty math equation "Your Vote + John Kerry = Happy Osama High-Fiving Saddam In A Cave."

Finally, A Third Party Candidate We Can Get Behind! Michael A. Peroutka is running for president on the Constitution Party's ticket on primarily an "end all abortion on the first day I enter office" platform. We at the MLWL can only hope that he joins forces with the Christian Exodus movement to speed up the Rapture Ready Nation's plan to walk off the reservation.

You Wouldn't Be So Fat If You Got Wasted or Fucked Somebody So says Richard Goldstein of the Village Voice, which is rapidly turning into a NewsMax of New York. According to the CDC, youth rates of obesity are up, while rates for "risky social and sexual behaviors" (i.e. alcohol, smoking, drugs and sex) are up. Despite any correlations between the two, the brave Goldstein declares that, "This suggests that the best cure for obesity is a combination of diet, exercise, and nookie. But just imagine the stew in the pews if the CDC found lower obesity rates among young fuck bunnies." I guess our uptight and Puritanical Christian-controlled government is just too tight-assed to recommend the dangerous truth that 15 year-olds should party down and sleep around so at the very least they won't be pudgy. Consider Arms, the gauntlet of "find the dumbest work of writing from the Left" has now been thrown down at your feet.

And By "Your Art" We Mean "Utter Bullshit" Last week a fire in an East London warehouse destroyed the artwork of several contemporary modern artists. One of those artists whose work was lost, Tracey Emin, is upset at the public who has "sniggered" at the loss of contemporary art. "The majority of the British public have no regard or no respect to what me and my peers do, to the point that they laugh at a disaster like a fire. We really don't need to laugh at the culture in our own country." What exactly is the "irreplacable" art of Tracey Emin? A tent embroidered with numerous names entitled "Everyone I have ever slept with 1963-95."

-The Sikh Geek

Friday, May 28, 2004

TODAY'S TOP FIVE: Our Chief Weapon is Surprise.

Ruckus at the Incident Data Mart A glimpse into the chilling Orwellian future that's already here: The next time you're going to purchase that WWE Divas Swimsuit magazine with your Visa card, bear in mind that there are 52 federal agencies currently using 133 data mining operations looking over your shoulder. With 199 more in the works, and with government employees already swapping your medical, financial, employment, and student records like so many baseball cards, perhaps it's time to reconsider our concept of "privacy."

Terrorists: We Will Fight Them on the Cheap A May 19 memo leaked by Democrats shows that Bush is demanding cuts in the Departments of Homeland Security and Education in his 2006 budget, despite touting them as two of his most important programs on the campaign trail. Bush wants to cut $1.5 billion from homeland security, $1 billion from education, and $900 million from veterans' affairs. The message here: If you see any terrorists out there in America, notify the authorities immediately but please - no collect calls.

Good News fro m Sudan Scenes of jubilation greeted the announcement that the Muslim north and Christian/animist south in Sudan have signed a peace agreement after 21 years of bloodshed that could pave the way for southern independence. But (and there's always a "but" in these things) the north continues its policy of "ethnic cleansing" in the western province of Darfur which casts doubt on whether any of the peace agreement will actually be implemented. Well, hey, it's a start.

Fallujah? That Was Somewhere Far Away, In Iraq... It's funny how things just drop out of the news. For weeks, and even months, Fallujah was a constant news story. As the center of Sunni insurgency, it was the most dangerous address in Iraq for Americans. Then the siege began, and in the Arab press Fallujah became like the Warsaw ghetto uprising. Then, instead of the grisly denoument we were all expecting, the US turned Fallujah over the insurgents. Since then, there's nothing out of Fallujah. So, what's it like over there, anyway? "With U.S. marines gone and central government authority virtually nonexistent, Fallujah resembles an Islamic mini-state - anyone caught selling alcohol is flogged and paraded in the city. Men are encouraged to grow beards and barbers are warned against giving 'western' hair cuts," writes Hamza Hendawi. Here's looking at your future, Iraq.

Today's "Thank God It's Friday" Special All week, I have been tirelessly scouring the Internet for evidence that a few hardy souls exist who are still willing to take the side of Ahmad Chalabi, who now occupies the same shadowy mid-fall-from-grace netherworld that Michael Jackson does. Additionally, one of my post-9/11 hobbies has been tracking the repulsive, pupa-like transformation of Christopher Hitchens from fat, drunken Trotskyite to fat, drunken Neoconservative. Today, I have combined my chocolate and my peanut butter, so to speak. Yes, the latest addition to the Chalabi Lobby, that model institution of rectitude, is the same man who once wrote a book demanding that Henry Kissinger be indicted for war crimes. At this point, Hitchens' gradual drift toward bellicose American imperialism is as grimly fascinating as the transformation of Jeff Goldblum's character in "The Fly." This column is, I believe, Hitchens' way of asking us to blow his brains out with a shotgun.

-Consider Arms
Seriously, Steven Baldwin, What The Fuck?!

1 Of Every 75 Men In The US Are In Prison America now has almost 2.1 million inmates in prison, about a 3% increase from last year according to the Justice Department. The United States has the highest incarceration rate of any country in the world. Cat-fearer john Ashcroft sees this as a good sign, "It is no accident that violent crime is at a 30-year low while prison population is up. Violent and recidivist criminals are getting tough sentences while law-abiding Americans are enjoying unprecedented safety." I tend to think that if a society needs to keep millions of people in prison and on probation, something is critically wrong with it.

The RIAA Strikes Another Blow For Freedom
After making its point with the elderly and pre-teen girls, the RIAA is now suing a struggling single mother and threatening her with penalties that top $500,000. What was the crime committed by this poor mill worker? Her daughter downloaded music. According to Stanley Pierre-Louis, senior vice president for legal affairs for the RIAA, if a defendant is found to have committed a violation (downloaded an MC Hammer song) "in a willful manner," he or she can be fined $150,000 per song.

We Won't Stop You. Secede. According to World Net Daily, the Christian secessionist movement Christian Exodus has been swamped with feedback after their plan to form their own country and leave the United States was publicized. Hundreds of sympathizers have contacted the group's president Cory Burnell, and those of us at the MLWL continue to pledge our support. If you need anything Cory, just holla.

No, Really. Secede. Dr. Gene Howard is a Baptist preacher who impersonates John Wayne when preaching about patriotism and Christ. He even speaks with a big ring rifle to show the connection between "the parts of the rifle and the qualities of a good soldier of the Lord." "After hearing this message every time one sees a rifle he is reminded that there is no Honorable Discharge from God’s Army, and as Dr. Howard does his poem “'Remember the Alamo'” we are challenged to stand fast as the defenders stood on the walls of the Alamo, till the Lord comes for us."

-The Sikh Geek

Thursday, May 27, 2004

TODAY'S TOP FIVE: Toby Keith Still Sucks.

The Fix is In It looks like we won't be getting the chunky-but-spunky Shi'ite cleric Muqtada Al-Sadr "dead or alive" after all. Al-Sadr's Mahdi Army will stand down in Najaf and Kufa, US troops will pull out, and the arrest warrant for Al-Sadr will be squashed. Remember where you were, folks: This is the first sensible decision the US has made in the occupation so far.

Our Greatest President Just like RCA releases previously unheard Elvis music every year, the National Archives releases new Nixon tapes and transcripts annually. These records provide a fascinating insight into one of the most intriguingly bizarre men ever to occupy the White House. Last year's highlight was the off-the-wall conversation between Nixon and Art Linkletter about the hippie drug culture and how marijuana differs from drinking. This year's highlight (from about 20,000 pages transcribed from Henry Kissinger's phone calls) looks to be the revelation that during the Arab-Israeli War, Nixon was too drunk to talk to the British Prime Minister about the crisis. "When I talked to the president, he was loaded," Kissinger said. That's the kind of leadership we need today.

Ouch! Ouch! Hot Potato! Boy, can you believe that nobody wants to be in charge of the interim Iraqi government? The latest choice, a former nuclear scientist who was imprisoned by Saddam, says no thanks, and now the UN is having a hard time finding enough names to fill out that list President Bush told us so much about this week. Say, you don't think it has anything to do with the brutal murder in a car bombing of the last guy who was slated for the job, do you?

Birds of a Feather Just as disgraced former Pentagon official Richard Perle has rushed to defend Ahmad Chalabi, disgraced former New York Times executive editor Howell Raines has rushed to defend Judith Miller. Criticizing his old newspaper for correcting its incredibly flawed reporting on the run-up to the Iraq War, Raines (the man who brought you Jayson Blair and Rick Bragg) insists that the stories were accurate as far as he knew and that Miller isn't at fault. "I can tell you positively that in 25 years on the Times and in 21 months as executive editor, I never put anything into the paper before I thought it was ready," he told the LA Times. So, Howell, how did those meetings go? "Do we have only one source for this story? Is it the same source we've been using on the other stories? Isn't it true that the source isn't even in a position to know about these weapons programs? Okay, it's ready, run that baby!"

Apparently, Someone Else is Nostalgic for the Cold War Vladimir Putin, the former KGB officer who as president of Russia has shut down TV channels and newspapers, jailed opponents, and won re-election this year in a manner reminiscent of the old Soviet "elections," is not surprisingly dismissing Western criticism of his authoritarian style. Putin, who has recently begun unveiling new monuments to noted liberal Joseph Stalin, says that Russia is becoming a "mature democracy" because it is now moving toward "political stability." He also pledged to increase Russia's nuclear arsenal and denounced human rights groups as pawns of Western elites. Oh, just go ahead and put up the old hammer and sickle banners, ya big lug.

-Consider Arms
Watching West Wing Re-Runs Like A Lonely Housewife Reads Danielle Steele

When Dittoheads Go Bad A 20-year old Illinois man faces federal explosives charges after police searching his apartment found an arsenal of firearms, knives, bomb-making materials, ammunition, threatening personal writings and a "hit list" of prominent Leftists that were "marked to die" including former Attorney General Janet Reno, Michael Moore, Sarah Brady, Rosie O'Donnell, and U.S. Sen. Tom Daschle.

Clear and Present Danger Hawkish author Tom Clancy's latest book "Battle Ready" finds him siding against the war in Iraq, and the research for the book almost found him scrapping with neo-con Richard Perle.
Clancy recalled a prewar encounter in Washington during which he "almost came to blows" with Richard Perle, a Pentagon adviser at the time and a longtime advocate of the invasion. "He was saying how (Secretary of State) Colin Powell was being a wuss because he was overly concerned with the lives of the troops," Clancy said. "And I said, 'Look ..., he's supposed to think that way!' And Perle didn't agree with me on that. People like that worry me."

And By "Terror Threat" We Mean "The Woman We Arrested Last Year"
It seems that one of the "high profile targets" mentioned in yesterday's Chicken Little speech, Aafia Siddiqui, was arrested over a year ago in Pakistan and placed into custody. Check out the FBI statements from this article and try to sync them with the other two. WTF.

Your Commander in Chief, Alfred E. Numan Despite approval ratings at their record low, a quagmire in Iraq and a spill on his big-wheel, Bush is still worry-free and looking on the sunny side of life according to USA Today. You would too if you knew e-voting fraud was going to keep your job.

And By "Liberals" We Mean "Republicans"
The latest Bush ad charges that John Kerry is trying to repeal the Patriot Act due to pressure "by fellow liberals." Who are soem of these "fellow liberals" who have co-sponsored a bill with Kerry to refine the Patriot Act? Republican Senators Larry Craig of Idaho, Michael Crapo of Idaho, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania and John Sununu of New Hampshire. Oh yeah, and Kerry's old buddy Osama Fucking bin Laden.

The Date-Rape of Rhetoric
After the NY Times admitted to using Ahmad Chalabi as a source for pre-war stories, a man who by his own admission lied to the press to bolster an invasion of Iraq on false pretenses, how does NewsMax spin the Grey Lady's correction? "NY Times: Sorry We Weren't More Anti-war" Well, I guess it's true if you follow their logic. Lying about WMDs and creating a phantom threat in Iraq WAS pretty pro-war.

And by "Isolated Incident" We Mean "Widespread Pattern of Abuse" "An Army summary of deaths and mistreatment involving prisoners in American custody in Iraq and Afghanistan shows a widespread pattern of abuse involving more military units than previously known."

-The Sikh Geek

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

TODAY'S TOP FIVE: Your Viewpoints Are Stupid.

Blinking in the Glare of the "Bright Light of Hindsight" I can't fucking believe it! The New York Times actually published a correction about their incredibly shoddy Iraq reporting. Well, sort of. As Jack Shafer predicted in Slate yesterday, the correction (published today) basically lets everyone off the hook because the Times blames editors along with reporters for the egregious series of fuck-ups. No one is mentioned by name; the Times only admits that "Some critics of our coverage during that time have focused blame on individual reporters." No, actually, all critics of the coverage focus blame on Judith Miller, a neoconservative reporter whose disgraceful behavior as an embed and whose dedicated shilling for Ahmad Chalabi brought the paper nearly as much shame as the Jayson Blair episode last year. Until the Times fires Miller or at least reassigns her to the dog show beat, this story isn't over.

They Also Served (Poorly) As much fun as it is to beat up on the New York Times, they weren't the only ones who got suckered by Ahmad Chalabi and the Iranian intelligence service (the US government also got taken in, for example). Here's a list from a Knight-Ridder investigation into phoney stories planed by Chalabi and Co. from late 2001 to the middle of 2002. Note that the list ends 10 months before the war began; if it were updated to include stories through, say, December 2003, it would be much, much longer.

New Appointments to Homeland Security: Chicken Little and the Boy Who Cried Wolf It's summer, and with two political conventions, the dedication of the World War II monument, and a major economic summit coming up, it's time once again to have Tom Ridge try to scare us with his color-coded Terrorometer. You know, one day there's really going to be a terrorist attack, and no one will be prepared for it because we're all so used to ignoring the hyperbolic, overstated warnings of Duct Tape Ridge and the rest of the gang.

Wait! Who Is This Sinister "Al Qaeda" You Speak Of? In all the excitement over prison torture and staying the course, you can be forgiven for forgetting about the ostensible purpose of the war in Iraq (no, not the WMD or freeing Iraq people...the other ostensible purpose): to score a decisive victory in the war on terrorism. At least, the government probably hopes you forgot about it, because, as a pro-war defense think tank in London points out today, the war has actually been a huge boon for Al Qaeda. The report finds that, among other ill effects, the war has split the Western alliance by isolating the US and Britain, galvanized and rejuvenated Al Qaeda, and led to an impossible occupation in Iraq that the International Institute of Strategic Studies says will require 500,000 coalition troops to be effective (there are 145,000 now). The report estimates that there are now about 18,000 fighters affiliated with Al Qaeda in 60 countries. Hey, but at least we got that "Sadan" guy...

We Will Not Negotiate With Militias and Criminals...Except This Guy Despite saying that it wants portly Shi'ite leader Muqtada Al-Sadr "dead or alive," the US occupation is reportedly in negotations to allow Al-Sadr and his militia to begin participating in the governing of Iraq. The idea is to make a deal similar to the one that has left Fallujah, previously the center of Sunni resistance, relatively quiescent (quiescent because American troops have evacuated the city and left the insurgents in charge). My point here is not criticize the deal; I actually think it's smart. The point is that doing stupid bullshit like announcing we want Al-Sadr "dead or alive" unnecessarily complicates things like this. We should leave the cowboy language in the movies.

-Consider Arms
And 18,000 Angels Can Dance on the Head of a Pin

But Those Laws Would Only Be Used Against Terrorists... Right? A University of Wisconsin grad student was sentenced to an 8-year jail term as a domestic terrorist for interrupting police radios for three hours on Halloween night and less than two weeks later broadcasting audio porn clips on the police radio system. Assistant U.S. Attorney Tim O'Shea said that the 25 year-old's actions stemmed more from "immaturity than ideology."

Keeping the Peace. Keeping the 13-Year Old Prostitutes Busy. Loyal MLWL readers will remember a few weeks back when we posted an article about UN peacekeepers in Bosnia who were responsible for a booming child sex trade there. Now according to the UK's Independent "Teenage rape victims fleeing war in the Democratic Republic of Congo are being sexually exploited by the United Nations peace-keeping troops sent to the stop their suffering."

The Few, The Proud, The Guards Too Fucked-Up to Work in a Santa Fe Prison "If you're an American ex-prison official whose tenure was tainted by federal investigations, state hearings, inmate deaths, allegations of torture, civil rights lawsuits, even an outcry from Amnesty International, despair not. There's a job for you in Iraq. In what appears to be an emerging pattern of ill-advised hires, the Justice Department has sent a virtual who's-who of prison tough guys to Iraq over the past year, their collective track record on human rights essentially one enormous red flag, and paid them to reconstitute that country's detention system."

Apocalypse Watch While Al Gore, Matt Drudge and other intellectual titans battle amongst themselves about the veracity of "The Day After Tomorrow" (dudes, it's a fucking MOVIE), here's a little note from the head of an eight-nation group studying climate change. “There is dramatic climate change happening in the Arctic right now ... about 2-3 times the pace of the whole globe. If you want to know what the rest of the planet is going to see in the next generation, watch out for the Arctic in the next 5-10 years." Have a nice day.

Free Richard Simmons! The assault charges against Richard Simmons have been dropped by the 6'2" 250lbs cage-fighter who was slapped by the effeminate exercise guru after making a sarcastic comment to him in a Phoenix airport. You can't make this shit up.

Check out the MLWL Fotolog and the Florida, The Phallus of a Nation weblog!

-The Sikh Geek

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

TODAY'S TOP FIVE: A Bicyle of Truth confounding a President of Lies.

He Knows Geographic Terms and Everything! So, who saw Bush's speech last night? I missed it because I was working, but I did catch the sad aftermath, where the press corps trots out phonies like Bob Woodward to clean up after the president, much like circus workers who follow elephants around with shovels. Woodward assured us that the speech was important because it "showed the president is thinking very seriously about this issue" (really? The president is thinking very seriously about a war he started? Well, that's quite an improvement over FDR, who forgot about World War II on Dec. 8, 1941 and only followed it by listening to Spike Jones songs!) and that another indication of the president's competence was that in his speech, he "knew the names of various geographic locations." That's correct: the president was praised for being able to read a map.

Who's Going to Be the Patsy? Forget the seven hapless rednecks whose wrists will be slapped for torturing prisoners at Abu Ghraib: the real question is, will any high-level officials have to fall on their sword? So far, Rumsfeld has weathered the storm, meaning that attention now falls to the Army itself. Brigadier General Janis Karpinski now seems like she won't jump on the grenade, saying she was "set up" by the Army to take the fall for what happened at Abu Ghraib.

History, My Friends, is Bunk Crazy Henry Ford said it decades ago, and stupid George Bush keeps acting it out again and again. Here's a good deconstruction, by Slate's William Saletan, of the near-pathological flaws in Bush's speech last night.

Hey, At Least Khatami Was Actually Elected President If the fears of US intelligence serives are true, then the people we should protest the war to are the fools in the Bush administration, but rather the shadowy spooks in the Iranian intelligence service. An investigation is now being frantically carried out to discern whether Iran spent five years pumping Western intelligence agencies with bogus info through Ahmad Chalabi's Iraqi National Congress in order to depose the hated Saddam and establish a Shi'ite theocracy in Iraq. Larry Johnson, a former senior counter-terrorist official at the state department, says: "When the story ultimately comes out we'll see that Iran has run one of the most masterful intelligence operations in history. They persuaded the US and Britain to dispose of its greatest enemy." This article also reveals that the Chalabi Lobby, which yesterday doubled in size, has now expanded again: Laurie Mylroie, a lunatic "journalist" and neocon flack who believes that Iraq carried out the Oklahoma City bombing, is still firmly in the corner of Citizen Chalabi.

Here's Your Hat, What's Your Hurry? Iraq's "defense minister" said today that he expects all foreign troops will be out of the country within a year after the "transfer of power." The Iraqi army will be up and running within a matter of months he said, making the presence of foreign soldiers unneccessary by the scheduled national elections in January 2005. It was not revealed at press time whether the defense minister is a drug addict, mentally ill, or simply an idiot. More on this as it develops.

-Consider Arms
MLWL is Ready To Post Through The Seven-Year Tribulation

The Thin Line Between Patriotism and Nihilism When the Iraqi prisoner abuse scandal hit, many of the small hometowns of the accused American soldiers were thrown into the spotlight. In a bizarre and horrible twist, one of these communities is celebrating the torturer and reviling the whistle-blower. "In Hyndman, 200 people turned out — almost 20 per cent of the population — to back (Spc. Jeremy)Sivits (who was convicted and sentenced to a year in jail for his role in the Abu Ghraib prison abuse), waving U.S. flags, wearing yellow ribbons, pledging allegiance to the flag with the local Boy Scout troop and singing 'American Gives Me Liberty, But Jesus Gives Me Love.'" There is no hero-worship for Spc. Joe Darby, the whistle-blower who drew attention to the abuse. Said one resident of Darby's town, "He should have kept his mouth shut. Ask him if he thinks it's cruel to have them dragging the bodies of our people up and down the street. Ask him if he thinks it's cruel hanging our people off the bridges. We should just blow the place up and get the hell out of there." God bless America.

Mercy for the Poor, the Hungry and the Superstores Wal-Mart has received over $1 billion dollars in government hand-outs in the form of free or reduced-priced land, job training funds, sales tax rebates, tax credits, infrastructure assistance, investment in roads, subsidies, and low-cost financing. Said a spokeswoman for the behemoth, ""We think the report in fact shows that the subsidies are a great thing for us. Do the math and you will see that every dollar invested with Wal-Mart has returned more than $30 for the community. We expect to see lots of other local governments will be asking for that $30 deal." That 30-1 ratio must explain the living wage of $6/hour that Wal-Mart employees receive and live so regally on.

I'm convinced that the right-wing is filled with massive pot-smokers. What else could explain their insane levels of paranoiaia? Witness this preview for an article in WhistleBlower about Democrats AKA "The Party of Treason.Apparentlyly Dems support gang-bangers, back fascists and terrorists, "steal elections" (God, THAT one took balls) and lost the Vietnam War. And Pat Boone, back from his astoundingly successful metal career, has just written a letter to WorldNetDaily in which he claims that CBS is worse than Benedict Arnold for reporting on the abuses at Abu Ghraib. "The next time America or Americans suffer at the hands of terrorists, thank CBS."

From the Same Folks Who Referred to A 12 Year-Old Chelsea Clinton As "The Other Dog in the White House"... The White House is asking the press to "show respect" for the Bush twins as they emergege from their protective bubbles and out into the real world. Those of us at the MLWL are glad to do our part.

-The Sikh Geek

Monday, May 24, 2004

Reality Trumps Satire, Again

Loyal MLWL readers may remember a few months back when I made the snarky comment that "Hipster" would soon appear as a new ethnic category for the New York City census. Just call me Nastradamus (scroll down to the listings for Williamsburg).

--MC No Shame
TODAY'S TOP FIVE: Go, South Carolina, Go!

Like a Hot Air Balloon Good news, Americans! The inflation rate is expected to jump 2.5 percent this month, the largest increase since the recession began in 2000. This means that gas and food prices are likely to increase. Now, normally an incumbent president would worry about rising inflation, because inflation is an economic phenomenon that can be positive at the "macro" level but always seems like an ass-fucking at the "micro" level (that's the level where the voters are). Still, the White House tells us that "inflation is not a threat," reasoning that, in their words, "Um, it's like...the farmers, and um, there's the trade (garbled), and so, like, there's not really a...(trails off)."

I Would Be Cool With This If They Were Booing Because "Ragtime" Sucked So Much Well, if it's spring, it must be time for another round of stories about knuckle-dragging yahoos shouting down commencement speakers critical of the "president," George Bush. Last year it was NY Times reporter Chris Hedges, and this year it's author E.L. Doctorow, who was "nearly booed off the stage" at Hofstra University for criticizing Bush. Interesting note: While the yokels in the stands booed, the students and professors gave Doctorow a standing ovation. It seems like they learned something after all.

Yes Nukes James Lovelock, the scientist and author of the celebrated "Gaia hypothesis," has shocked his comrades in the Green movement by saying that nuclear power is the only realistic solution to replacing the fossil fuel industries that are largely responsible for global warming. warming or nuclear power. Boy, isn't there a new reality TV show or something to get my mind off this horrifying dilemma?

Another Triumph of American Journalism Okay, it's pretty obvious even for first-time viewers of the site that I don't care for former Texas Governor George W. Bush. In fact, I wouldn't protest too much if you said that I obviously loathe him with every fiber of my being. However, I think that when this moron decides to make a speech about the ongoing quagmire he got us into, the major networks should at least broadcast it. But what are they showing tonight instead? "NBC, Fox and ABC will proceed with their scheduled programing for the 8-9 p.m. hour -- an episode of 'Fear Factor,' the finale of 'The Swan' and the broadcast premiere of Oscar-winning 'A Beautiful Mind,' respectively." Hey, we wouldn't want all that gross torture and death and stuff to interfere with an evening of "The Swan," would we?

The Chalabi Lobby Doubles In Size! Yes, that's right: there are now two defenders of Ahmad Chalabi. Neocon freak Michael Ledeen, in one of the strangest columns I have ever read in my life, has joined disgraced former Pentagon official Richard Perle in an enthusiastic defense of the Man of Cats. In response to stories this weekend that indicate the US government now believes that the Iraqi National Congress was basically an Iranian front organization, Ledeen "channels" the soul of late CIA head James Jesus Angleton (note: James Jesus Angleton believed that John Kennedy was a KGB agent) to critcize the contemporary CIA. I don't know where to begin with what's wrong with this approach. Basically, you have a an avowed "American patriot" invoking the ghost of a paranoid murderer to vindicate the reputation of a foreign spy which has been besmirched by the US government. Truly, we are through the looking glass.

-Consider Arms
Taunting Our Troops Since January 2003

The Grown-Ups Are Still Nowhere In Sight I don't know where to begin. House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco made comments last week calling Bush incompetent and claiming that "the emperor has no clothes." The Republican response is beyond belief. House leader Tom DeLay said, "She apparently is so caught up in the partisan hatred for President Bush that her words are putting American lives at risk. This nation cannot afford the luxury of her dangerous rhetoric." And by "dangerous rhetoric" he means "criticism of elected (well, not so elected) officials." House Speaker Dennis Hastert (the man who told 5-year POW John McCain that he needed to learn about troops making sacrifices for their country), "But her comments questioning the president's competence cross the line... Was it incompetence that put Saddam Hussein in jail? Was it incompetence that disbanded the Taliban?" Actually, the Taliban is still together. We recently appealed to them to join the Afghan government so it can maintain a modicum of stability (and it makes me feel nervous that I, underemployed dude with an internet connection knows that and the House speaker doesn't). The chair of the House Republicans re-election committee, Tom Reynolds, said ""If Nancy Pelosi has nothing to offer our troops, who are living and dying thousands of miles away, besides taunting them by saying they are dying needlessly and are risking their lives on a shallow mission, then she should go back to her pastel-colored condo in San Francisco and keep her views to herself.'' Luckily the SF Gate clarified that "Pelosi lives in a red brick home in Pacific Heights." With all of their smears of "San Fran liberalism" I'm sure many in the GOP had to restrain themselves before they shouted out "YOU LIVE IN GAY-TOWN! YOU LIVE IN GAY-TOWN!"

An Isolated Incident Across Several Countries "A military intelligence unit that oversaw interrogations at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq was also in charge of questioning at a detention center in Afghanistan where two prisoners died in December 2002 in incidents that are being investigated as homicides."

Pushing My Love Over the Borderline Madonna cancelled her plans to perform in Israel after terrorists threatened to kill her and her children. "She thought she was being targeted because of her Jewish Kabbalah religion. But this group were threatening her because she represents many things they hate about the West.” I'm assuming the video for "American Life" was one of those hated things. She'll just have to weep in front of pictures of starving children somewhere else...

John Kerry Has a Snack at C.O. Jones
After learning that Bush fell off a bike over the weekend, John Kerry was reported as asking memebers of the press, "Did the training wheels fall off?" Then again, the quote was reported by Matt Drudge, so it could be complete bullshit like half of his EXCLUSIVE SCOOPS!!!

Hey, Like "The Handmaid's Tale!"
A Christian group is so pissed off about gay marriage that they want to take over a Southern state and make it secede from the United States. As the head of Christian Exodus says, "Our Christian republic has declined into a pagan democracy... There are some issues people just can't take anymore, and [same-sex marriage] might finally wake up the complacent Christians."

-The Sikh Geek
feeling froggy? Jump.

Is banning the KKK a real hotbed issue? In Kentucky they are moving to ban the KKK from the state college campus and to get them classified as a terrorist organization. How awesome would it be if the KKK was labeled a terrorist organization? You could finally make cheeramids with people who would probably have no complaints! Although lynching hasn't happened for a long time, it is a strictly American phenomena. Another point for us! Go 'merica!!!

Remember all those shady deals we made with you? now you have to help ME out. In a totally not shocking or surprising move, former governor Bush's playmates and close friends, the Saudis have decided to up oil production despite the rest of OPEC not doing so. Shows you what being good friends with a brutal dictatorship can do for you in an election year. Now if only you could have pulled that card pre-9/11 and stopped all those Saudi Nationals from crashing into NYC....

It's like animal farm but with a shaved, smirking monkey. In a complete "everyone is equal but some people are more equal than others" moment. The US, in a December memo, claimed that not all iraqi prisoners were entitled to the full protections of the Geneva Convention laws on prisoners of war. Everyone is equal here unless we think you know more, then we'll sodomize you and beat you to death!! woooooooooo!!!!

Go ahead boys! rape and pillage all you want, Just don't take pictures this time!!!! After the probably not going to happen turn over of power in Iraq, the new "full sovereignty" state will not be able to arrest or try any of the soldiers there. How good of an idea does diplomatic immunity for 130,000 people sound to you? Cheeramid buildingly good?


Sunday, May 23, 2004

"“The Christian in me says it'’s wrong, but the corrections officer in me says, '’I love to make a grown man piss himself.'"”

And Will Those Who Raise $1,000,000 Become "Power Rangers?" The Bush money machine has used the honorary titles of Pioneers (for raising $100,000) and Rangers (for raising $200,000) to whip their fundraisers into a competitive, sycophantic frenzy and add more bank to their Godzilla of a warchest. Now, "those Rangers able to generate another $250,000 could become Super Rangers, the cream of the cream of Republican cash cows." SUPER-RANGERS?! When the fuck did all of the grown-ups leave the government?

Consider It Foreplay To The Gigantic E-Fucking We'll Get In November

Pictures of Starving Children Sell Records Move over Chumbawamba! Madonna is out to take your sarcastic parody seriously. For her new "Re-Invention" tour Madonna plans to cover the song "Imagine" and "during her cover of the John Lennon classic, she will break down in tears in front of pictures of starving children. Fans will see the star being "frazzled" in an electric chair, and images of people killed in Iraq will be shown on a huge video screen." All for $300 a seat.

Fuck Off. They Were Terrorist Kangaroos. The Israeli military won't let the Palestinians in Gaza even have a children's zoo. Extra points for the Israeli "Jedi-Mind Fuck" style of PR. On CNN last week I heard an Israeli minister deny that the corpses of Palestinians killed by a rocket were real; "They could have been planted by Hamas..."
Amid the rubble of dozens of homes that the Israeli army continued yesterday to deny demolishing, the wrecking of the tiny, but only, zoo in the Gaza Strip took on potent symbolism for many of the newly homeless. The butchered ostrich, the petrified kangaroo cowering in a basement corner, the tortoises crushed under the tank treads - all were held up as evidence of the pitiless nature of the Israeli occupation. The military says the houses were wrecked by Palestinian bombs planted to attack Israeli forces, or accidentally by tanks turning in the street.

Well, What Do You Expect From People That Hate Freedom So Much Michael Moore's new film "Fahrenheit 9-11" has won the illustrious Palme d'Or award at the Cannes film festival, the first documentary to do so since 1956. This NY Times piece details Moore's new film, filmed with rare and unseen footage of American casualties in Iraq and Bush reading "My Pet Goat" for seven minutes after learning about the attack on the WTC.

The GOP vs. The G-String Divas
"Fearful that conservatives might turn off the colored lights for good, a trade organization for adult nightclubs is asking owners to register customers and employees and then encourage them to cast their ballots against the president. Micheal Ocello, president of the Association of Club Executives, said the group believes the president's brand of conservatism is bad for business."

-The Sikh Geek

Friday, May 21, 2004

I'm So Ashamed To Be An American Right Now

Drudge, Coulter, Hannity, Novak, Safire, and every other conservative lapdog and apparatchik listen up, cause I've got a question for you., no honestly and with a straight face riddle me this: What's worse? This? Or this?

Still holding on to that perverse belief in Bush's "leadership" and "moral character"? Ok, maybe this will help.

I've got to say it. You spent $40 million of taxpayer dollars and four years trying to crucify Clinton, brayed about changing the "tone in Washington" and returning "morality" to the White House, and this, THIS is what we get? Get fucked.

--MC Fucking Ashamed
"He Died In His Sleep"

-The Sikh Geek
From the White House to the Dog House: The Saga of Ahmad Chalabi

This week, the US finally got tired of paying Ahmad Chalabi, the Iraqi National Congress leader known as the Man of Cats to Baghdad graffiti artists, to lie to it. A double bitch-slap ensued in which the US stopped giving Chalabi his $340,000 monthly allowance and raided his home and offices, seizing documents and computers.

Chalabi, a portly mathematician who didn't so much as set foot in Iraq between 1958 and 2003, immediately denounced the US as evil occupiers and began trying to cozy up to Shi'a militants.

But the Grand Ayatollah isn't going to pay you to hang out in posh hotel lobbies, Chalabi. We know that somewhere in Baghdad, Ahmad Chalabi is sitting in the dark, wiping away tears, and gently singing the Beatles' "Yesterday" to himself.

However, it wouldn't be a Massive Failure of US Policy if there weren't an attendant gleeful round of finger-pointing and recriminations. Chalabi was, until Wednesday, the favorite son of not only neoconservative "intellectuals" but also of the New York Times, which now bears the moniker "paper of record" like a bitterly ironic millstone about its neck.

As a public service, and to "facilitate the healing process," we have climbed into our most fantastic contraption, the Way, Way Back Machine, and brought back from those strange eons of 2002 and 2003 (and even all the way back to 1999!) these reports, detailing the faith that supposedly intelligent, well-informed people once had in this pathetic phoney. Enjoy.

In 1999, a Senate initiative spearheaded by Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz. and Joe Lieberman, D-Conn. recommended replacing Saddam Hussein's government with a state run by Ahmad Chalabi. At the time, Lieberman referred to Chalabi as "a person of strength, principal, and real national commitment." But the Congressional Chalabi Lobby didn't consist only of McCain and Lieberman: before this year, Chalabi's most enthusiastic backers including Sens. Joe Biden, Sam Brownback, John Kyl, and Rick Santorum, who famously opposed the Supreme Court decision striking down sodomy laws by saying it would lead to dog-fucking. If only he had as much foresight when it came to Chalabi!

On December 5, 2001, the House Republican leadership was trumpeting its upcoming meeting with Chalabi, a man it respectfully referred to as "Dr. Chalabi," calling the Man of Cats "a defender of human rights" and the leader of "Iraq's legislature in exile."

On Cctober 2, 2002, Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan., held a joint press conference with Chalabi at which they urged the President to go to war with Iraq as soon as possible. "A newly democratic Iraq will need strong, fair and conciliatory leaders," Brownback said then, beaming at Chalabi. "And this gentleman has dedicated his life toward seeing that dream become reality." If by "that dream" you mean a "theocratic Iranian puppet state with Chalabi as a hellish Shi'ite Quisling figure," you're absolutely correct, Senator!

In March 2003, David Frum, the former White House speechwriter who coined the boneheaded phrase "Axis of Evil," was praising Chalabi as "democratic, market-oriented, and pro-Western," and blasting his critics in the US government. What kind of awful things were those awful people in the CIA and State Department saying about our beloved Ahmad? "Chalabi, it's said, is corrupt, ineffective, and an Iranian spy," Frum reported. Can you imagine the very nerve!

In early April 2003, the Man of Cats was being praised by his friends in the Senate, including Norm Coleman, R-Minn., who won his election by slandering Paul Wellstone after the latter had died in a plane crash. Coleman, a former socialist who became a rabid right-winger when that seemed more popular, introduced a bill in Congress in the first week of April that would have given $100 million in aid to Chalabi.

April 5, 2003 was a big day for Chalabi, and the beginning of a very big month. On that day, he was airlifted into Iraq along with 700 INC "fighters" at the orders of Pentagon neocon Douglas Feith. It was just like De Gaulle returning to France, except the moment wouldn't last...

On April 9, 2003, Slate Magazine wondered if the reason that so many in the US government opposed any dealing with Chalabi whatsoever wasn't because he was an indicted embezzler, a Europeanized phoney with no support in Iraq, and a "military leader" whose principal campaign had led to the crushing of his party and the execution of hundreds of its members. "A more worrisome possibility is that some people inside the United States government don't like Chalabi because he's serious about trying to create an Iraqi democracy," the author wrote. You think?

On April 17, 2003, the editors of the National Review were saying that Chalabi was the man to set up a democratic, pro-Israel government in Iraq. Actually, this article is pretty hilarious from start to finish in its hubristic account of the then-box fresh US "victory" in Iraq. "Our coalition has suffered only 154 casualties," the editors wrote. "Dictators from Damascus to Pyongyang are newly fearful of American power and resolve. And we are confident that the dead regime’s weapons of mass destruction will soon be found and destroyed." Hey, and you know what? It all came true!

On May 26, 2003, the world learned that Chalabi's fans weren't merely Canadian speechwriters and Republican Senators. Chalabi's peanut gallery also included the New York Times, whose top reporter in Iraq, Judith Miller, was forced to reveal that her sole source for many of the "scoops" she reported on weapons of mass destruction came from Chalabi, who later admitted that he lied about it all, calling himself a "hero in error." To date, the Times has not printed a single correction about the fraudulent pieces.

Of course, not everybody is jumping on the Hater Bandwagon when it comes to Ahmad. Although the Chalabi Lobby has shrunk considerably since Wednesday, there's still room for neocon fanatic Richard Perle, who has been around the block a few times when it comes to resigning in disgrace himself.

"He has devoted his life to freeing his country," Perle told the Boston Globe. "He is a man of enormous intelligence, and I believe the effort to marginalize him will fail. They will end up looking ridiculous."

Well, at least Richard Perle still likes him. Chalabi to be spared no indignity?

-Consider Arms

TODAY'S TOP FIVE: Farewell, Man of Cats.

Fairweather Friends The raid on erstwhile US puppet boy Ahmad Chalabi has put pressure on the New York Times, according to this article in Editor and Publisher. Today, if you read the two front-page articles and the editorial about Chalabi in the Times, you would think that "the paper of record" has never done anything except hammer the Man of Cats, spotting him for the fraud he is from Day One. For those intrepid travelers willing to climb aboard the MLWL's patented Way, Way Back Machine, though, the story is much different. Chalabi was the favored source of Judith Miller, the neoconservative reporter who slashed and burned the Times' credibility on Iraq throughout 2002 and 2003 by credulously reporting everything Chalabi said. Today, the Times sneers at Chalabi as a fraud. Last summer, Miller wrote this in an email to her bosses: "I've been covering Chalabi for about 10 years, and have done most of the stories about him for our paper. ... He has provided most of the front page exclusives on WMD to our paper." Any chance we're going to get a correction, Keller?

Ho and, Indeed, Hum President Bush will give a primetime speech on Monday about Iraq, bracing Americans for more violence and explaining in whatever detail he is capable of understanding our plans for that country. News junkies who would like an advance look at the president's speech should send me an email: Although I don't have a copy, I know exactly what he is going to say. Good people of the Internet, the president will tell us that we are fighting against deadly enemies with a destructive agenda, that those enemies are on the verge of defeat, that they will not be allowed to disrupt the peaceful transition to democratic rule, that the torture chambers and mass graves of Saddam Hussein are a thing of the past, and that, indeed, we will stay the course. There. Now you can watch MTV instead.

Are You STILL Talking About September 11? I know, I know: How retrograde of me. But here's an interesting story: The Bush administration is refusing, point-blank, to answer questions from the 9/11 commission about who authorized the panicked flight of the Bin Laden family from the US during the week of September 11. Right now, fingers are pointing at an authorization from Bush himself. That would make a nice campaign TV advertisement, John Kerry...

Support the Strike For the next four days, 102,000 communications workers will be on strike against SBC, the phone company that I hate so much it makes my teeth itch. If you happen to see anyone walking a picket line, as I'm sure I will, make sure you let them know you support them against their evil corporate masters.

Today's Thank God It's Friday Special From comes these possible sticker designs for liberals who are tired of pretending to be moderates:

Some other suggestions:
We Can Have Your Guns When We Pry Them from Your Cold, Dead Fingers.
My President is Bobby Seale.
All Heterosexual Sex is Rape.
Divided We Fall.
Flag-burning is a Right, Not a Privilege.
So Glad I Voted for Zerzan.
I Brake for Black Bloc'ers.
I'm a Blob of Insentient Tissue, Not a Choice.
Tax the Churches.
Everything You Do Reminds Me of Hitler.

-Consider Arms
Time Has Come Today

Why, Yes. Yes It CAN Get A Lot Fucking Worse. New details have emerged from the Iraqi prisoner abuse scandal as many former prisoners are being released. In hundreds of recently unreleased photos held by the Washington Post, prisoners are seen being menaced by dogs, paraded down hallways covered in shit and getting beaten by Captain Moustache (the Ken to Captain Thumbs-Up's Barbie). In sworn statements given by former prisoners "detainees said they were beaten, sexually humiliated and force-fed pork and alcohol." According to this article from the Denver Post, the number of abuses being investigated is over twice what was previously thought and occurred in at least five US controlled prisons in Iraq. Finally, this Yahoo article details how the 16-year old son of an Iraqi detainee was abused and shown to his father in order to break him down for interrogation.

This Is What It Sounds Like When Elephants Fight According to demonic furry slug Robert Novak, Bush's GOP base is starting to crumble from the Iraqi quagmire and the administration's "Brewster's Millions" economic policy. The craziest piece of Republican infighting is the recent trash-talking of House Speaker Dennis Hastert who pissed off at John McCain's display of fiscal sanity, told the press that McCain, a POW in Vietnam for half a decade, didn't know the meaning of sacrifice and "ought to visit our young men and women at Walter Reed and Bethesda (two Washington area military hospitals)."

-The Sikh Geek

Thursday, May 20, 2004

TODAY'S TOP FIVE: Faster Than a Speeding Bullet. Able to Leap Tall Buildings in a Single Bound. More Powerful Than a Racing Locomotive.

Go Muqtada! Go Muqtada! It's Your Birthday! It's Your Birthday! A new poll to be released next week shows that Muqtada Al-Sadr, the Baby Huey of Shi'ite militancy, has surged in popularity among Iraqis, coming second only to the Big Cheese himself, Grand Ayatollah Al-Sistani. No doubt Muqtada will also be happy with another finding in the poll: 90 percent of Iraqis now view US troops as "occupiers" rather than "liberators," and more than half of them want us to leave. And, even worse for the U.S., the poll was taken before the Abu Ghraib scandal broke.

Worst. Wedding. Ever. At least 40 people were killed in an air strike in Western Iraq yesterday. After initially refusing to confirm the strike, the US military now admits it, but says it was aiming for a safe house for foreign fighters coming across the border from Syria, not the wedding party that apparently got caught between the missile and the mujahadeen.

Time's Up, Puppet Boy Is this the end of Judith Miller's favorite (only) source? Just as Megatron eventually tired of Starscream, so too has the US tired of our crooked, slimy Man in Baghdad, Ahmad Chalabi. As the Sikh Geek reported below, the Pentagon has stopped funding the Iraqi National Congress, and now they've raided the group's offices and the home of the Man of Cats himself. According to Chalabi, US troops trashed his home and put guns to his head while seizing computers and documents. His nephew, the head of the war crimes tribunal in Iraq (for now, anyway), guessed that "they must be afraid of his political movement." Yeah, dude. I'm sure that's it.

What the Hell's Happening In Israel? Redux Frankly, we could all write this story by now. In three days of their latest crazy-ass Gaza raid, the Israeli military has killed 39 Palestinians, 10 of whom died during a peaceful demonstration. The US, in an unprecedented step, allowed the UN Security Council to condemn Israel and demand that it end the Gaza raid. So, is the raid over? No. Sharon's government says it will continue until the "terrorists are smashed." So...that would be never, then.

Your Crazy, Law-Breaking Government at Work When it isn't busy listening to the advice of Pentecostals beset by witches and ghosts (see yesterday's top five), the Bush administration is energetically breaking all kinds of laws. Here's one: Congress' General Accounting Office ruled this week that commercials the administration made to promote changes to Medicare were illegal. The commercials, which were made to look like actual newscasts and which did not identify the federal government as their source, were made with about $12.6 million in taxpayers' dollars. One of the companies that made the ads is also making ads for George Bush's re-election campaign. All of this, the GAO reports, is totally illegal. Still despite violating federal law, absolutely nothing will happen to anyone involved in the crime. Just like in your life, when you steal things and the police let you get away with it, or when you murder people and don't get arrested despite confessing. Oh, wait. That doesn't happen at all.

-Consider Arms
"Left Behind" is the "Harry Potter" for Christian Fundamentalists

The Wrath of the Troop Math
Between frayed nerves and lack of gear, up to one-third of the US Army in Iraq is unprepared to fight.
It is an irony of war, especially the kind being waged in Iraq, that fighting does not necessarily make you stronger. Units like the 101st train for years to attain peak form — every soldier a strong marksman, every chopper ready to fly — then watch skills fall victim to long hours of waiting and watching for the enemy's next move, living in dust and sand, feeling the triggers of their guns jam and their truck tires wear thin.

But All the Sikh Geeks Love It Just to See One of Us Make It Two decades after hideous pan-India rioting brutally killed over 3,000 Sikhs, Manmohan Singh is set to take over as India's first Sikh prime minister. Manmohan had functioned as economic minster since 1991 and jump-started India's economy while earning a reputation an honest politician in a climate of corruption. Even more bewildering than a Sikh PM in India is the fact that he took the title after an Italian-born Roman Catholic turned it down.

From the "It's About Fucking Time!" Dept. We've finally stopped giving $340,000 a month to the hated man of cats, Ahmad Chalabi. What was the tipping point? When Chalabi, the man convicted of bank fraud, boasted to the press that we were "useful idiots" who bought false information from him and used it to invade Iraq under misguided pretenses?

Willing Slaves
A Wired interview with Jeffrey Rosen about his new book "The Naked Crowd" which "explores the willingness of Americans to abandon privacy for perceived security."

Who Knew A Presidential Campaign Had Need of Drunken Chicks Dancing on Tables?

-The Sikh Geek

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

TODAY'S TOP FIVE: Land of $1,000 Omelets.

Do the Wrist-Slap! It's America's hottest new dance craze. The latest incarnation of the Wrist-Slap is the sentence handed down to Army Spc. Jeremy Sivits, who took the photos in the Abu Ghraib prison that have caused such a brouhaha. His sentence: One year in military prison and a bad-conduct discharge. I wonder what they'll give to the guy who beat someone to death: 18 months and the loss of his Blockbuster Video privileges?

An "Exit Strategy" Worthy of Bush Ariel Sharon, as we all know, has this goofy plan to leave the Gaza Strip in exchange for a big chunk of the West Bank. Although that plan was rejected by his own party, he is still going forward with it. Part of the plan is to have a "show of force" in Gaza before pulling out so it won't look like the terrorists have won a military victory. Today, we see what that "show of force" entails: At least 10 Palestinian demonstrators, some of them children, shot dead by Israeli troops. So much for leaving Gaza.

Purple Rain, Purple Rain Tony Blair, the hugely unpopular Prime Minister of Great Britain, was pelted by protesters with some kind of projectile that contained a purple powder that stained Blair's suit and splattered onto some other Labour hacks. Wonderfully, this took place during Prime Minister's questions in the House of Commons. Even more wonderfully, the "assailants" were guests of a member of the House of Lords. An angry Liberal Democrat MP said: "No one should believe they will win any friends in any party by doing something like this." Hey, they've already won some friends at the MLWL.

At Last: The Harry Potter-Hamas Connection Exposed! If you read only one article about the nutty Protestant influence in George Bush's administration today, make it this one. The Village Voice obtained a bunch of secret memos detailing White House meetings with members of the Apostolic Congress, a Pentecostal sect that opposes any "two-state" solution in Israel. There are many jaw-dropping revelations in this story. The most damaging is the revelation that Elliott Abrams, the sinister Iran-Contra figure who is now in charge of formulating Middle East policy for the government, regularly consults with this whacko group to make sure the administration's policy conforms with their doomsday fantasies (in fact, the administration sought their approval before endorsing Sharon's plan to leave Gaza). The most hilarious is the account of the Apostolic Congress' top staffer in Israel, who believes that when she moved into a sublet that had a Harry Potter book, it sent a "hair-raising spirit of fear" to attack her. "At this time I am associating it with witchcraft," she notes soberly. Yes. It is 2004, and the people who run the United States are asking for policy advice from a woman who believes that a witch put a book in her house so that a ghost could attack her.

You Weren't Using that Right to Vote, Were You? The run-up to the Biggest Election Fraud in US History continues apace, as a key Ohio county is preparing to give Republican-run Diebold a no-bid contract to supply them with touchscreen voting machines, despite objections from Democratic politicians that the machines are unreliable and do not produce a paper trail. Also, in the state where I live, no-bid contracts are illegal and the governor could actually go to jail because of them. Watch for Bush to win big in this county.

-Consider Arms
Simon is dead. Piggy is dead. Ralph is being hunted.

The Blurry Line Between Bill Cooper and Bill O'Rilley A list of the top-ten conspiracy theories of 2003-2004 from AlterNet. I got into a discussion on somebody's LiveJournal recently about the bizarre crossover between conspiracy theory and reported news since we all collectively went through the looking glass after September 11th.
Loyal MLWL reader will take not that most of the "conspiracies" noted in the list are actual news stories, based on fact and public record, not the imagined theories and speculations of a paranoid nut. The neo-cons manifesto for shuffling the Middle East according to our interests is public knowledge. Apocalyptic Tim laHaye-types openly brag about their influence on Bush. It is now a matter of public record that Bush was briefed in August on al-Qaeda's plans to attack America, Pentagon employees cancelled their flights on September 10th citing "security concerns" and binLaden's family was quickly ushered out of the US.
Moreover, the list ignores the completely absurd stories reported by the mainstream media that no self-respecting conspiracy nut would touch. Mohammad Atta's passport found in the WTC rubble? I heard that one on NBC. Al-Zarqawi is quickly ID'ed underneath a hood on a grainy video by the CIA and is identified as Nick Berg's killer, while months earlier Khalid Shaikh Mohammed is claimed to have killed Daniel Pearle in Pakistan? Senior al-Qaeda travel the globe to personally behead American captives? I read about those in the NY Times. Iraq's stockpile of WMD? Where DIDN'T I hear that from.
I long for a time when books like "Behold a Pale Horse" had less of a grip on reality than the newspaper.

Why is it Ironic? Because They're Worried About Feeding Their Children.
About a year ago Bush visited the Timken's world headquarters tout his tax cut and job creation plan. Now the Timken plant in Ohio is cutting a quarter of its workforce and laying off 1,300 people.

New Weblog! I'm proud to announce the launch of my new weblog Florida, the Phallus of a Nation, dedicated solely to detailing the horrors of the worst state ever. God, we need to give that wasteland back to the Spanish...

-The Sikh Geek

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Too Late To Be Witty

"Taste Great, Less Filling" Debate Hampers 9/11 Rescue Efforts
The 9/11 Commission, who are now conducting hearings in NYC, spanked the FDNY & NYPD today for a lack of cooperation on that fateful day, characterizing it as "not worthy of the Boy Scouts." The Commission concluded that long standing rivalries between Police and Fire hampered rescue efforts, which I imagine translated to lives lost. I never did understand the post-9/11 canonization of NY Police and Fire, especially in the wake of stories like this. Also, my co-worker, a life-long resident of the city, has some nice stories about back in the day when members of the FDNY & NYPD would fist fight for who had jurisdiction over a crime scene. Heroes? I'm not convinced.

Freedom Of The Press To Be Forced Into Gay Pyramids
Now Reuters and NBC journalists are claiming abuse at the hands of the great liberators. All the familiar elements are there; beatings, sexual humiliation, and photos, photos, photos. "Two of the three Reuters staff said they had been forced to insert a finger into their anus and then lick it, and were forced to put shoes in their mouths, particularly humiliating in Arab culture." Who says the US military doesn't understand Muslim culture?

The Breakfast That's More Than I Make In 2 Weeks

--MC No Shame, loving the new Ghostface. Well, almost all of it.

Just Wait 'Til We Get YOU in a Naked Cheeramid, Sistani! Iraq's top Shi'ite cleric, Ayatollah Al-Sistani, is demanding that U.S. troops leave the holy cities of Najaf and Karbala, where militiamen loyal to radical, pudgy cleric Muqtada Al-Sadr have been installed since an uprising in April. This could be a sign that we're forcing the formerly moderate Shi'ites to the side of extremists like Sadr. Or, as White House spokesman Scott McClellan would put it, "Everything is awesome! We need a tax cut!"

The Decline and Fall of Western Civilization, Part 3537 Remember the old movie "Network," where a savvy executive uses a charismatic but nutty anchorman to turn a staid, respectable television network into a vapid, infotainment-based parody of its former self? Remember the shows devoted to crystal ball-reading swamis and real-life SLA-style terrorists? Well, as it turns out, the real problem with Paddy Chayefsky's masterpiece is that it vastly overestimated the quality of television. Just ask ABC, which plans to launch a new reality show called "Wife Swap" this fall. Again, further demonstration that satire can no longer lay a glove on real life.

New Search Terms: "Those Assholes" AND "Who Run the Website" Fans of free speech may note that Google is now blocking ads for a deck of playing cards critical of George Bush while allowing ads for playing cards critical of John Kerry (note: by 2008, the dominant form of human interaction and America will be the manufacture and exchange of themed playing cards), despite claiming that "Google policy does not permit the advertisement of websites that contain language that advocates against an individual, group, or organization." Unless, apparently, that indvidiual, group, or organization is Democratic.

This Sad Burlesque It's time, once again, to play the American media's favorite Iraq game: "WE FOUND WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION!!!/(no we didn't)." In play this time is a single artillery shell dating from the Hussein era (which is a dumb designation, because basically everything in the country dates from the "Hussein era," which only ended last year) that contained sarin gas. Conservatives are trumpeting this single artillery shell as proof that all the administration's elaborate claims about WMD were correct. Once again, we are here to pour cold water on this ridiculous fable: (1) No one knows where the Sarin came from, and there's speculation it could have been smuggled in from another country or manufactured in Iraq since the fall of Saddam (2) In any event, this artillery shell was likely tagged and marked for destruction by the UN inspection team that was in Iraq before the war (3) I don't recall any speech by any administration official saying something like, "We must not allow Saddam Hussein to stay in power any longer. He possesses a single artillery shell with some nerve toxin in the top" (4) Most importantly, even if all of Bush's claims were correct, that still wouldn't have justified a unilateral war of pre-emptive aggression. Okay, back to your corners.

War is a Force that Gives Us Meaning Here is a truly chilling interview with a Marine who was just honorably discharged after serving in Iraq. He's repented of what he did in Iraq, but the tales of massacring civilians who were urged by US propaganda to flee the cities are harrowing. The orders to kill civilians, according to this Marine, came from up the chain of command: "I talked with my commanding officer after the incident," he says, talking about how he and some other Marines shot up a car full of civilians at a checkpoint. "He came up to me and says: 'Are you OK?' I said: 'No, today is not a good day. We killed a bunch of civilians.' He goes: 'No, today was a good day.'"

-Consider Arms
No, Seriously. WHAT THE FUCK.

50 Problems With the Death of Michael Berg's Son Hit me! A calm and well-researched article about the legion of anomalies surrounding Nicholas Berg and his death in Iraq. While not all of the 50 points will pan out over time, it is clear that things are definitely not what they seem.

There Are Really No Words For This

Born to Suck, Despite the Carbs Avril Lavigne is blaming carbs from her earlier "angry" lyrics (you know, like "He was a skater boy. She said see ya later boy.") and told an interviewer from the London Mirror, "I have always known I was going to be a star. I knew this was my destiny so things have fallen into place."” Not since Romeo and Juliette has destiny been so cruel. Born to Suck, With the Aliens
Hole bassist Melissa Auf Der Maur told MTV that "When I was 19, I dreamed aliens came down and told me to make music my life. These random individuals had been put into a pyramid to experience three-dimensional sound and then were put on a mission of passing it on. And in this dream, they said to me, 'Music has this power, and you'd better go and be a dutiful soldier to it.'" And we all thought Courtney was the wackjob of the outfit.

Still Fearing The Vagina Bomb Loyal MLWL readers will remember that this is not the first time we've reported on a vagina bomb.

The World Can Try, But Nobody Can Cockblock the Sikh Geek's Steez In another bizarre and insulting wrinkle in France's headgear fiasco, French Education Minister Francois Fillon said Monday that Sikh schoolchildren will be trading in their turbans for hair nets. "We've come up with an arrangement," Fillon said. "They accept wearing a hair net. It's less aggressive, less showy," he told The Associated Press. Apparently nobody in France's small Sikh community ever heard of this weird compromise, in fact they were told in a May 10th letter from a counselor to Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin of "conditional assurance" that Sikh boys could wear turbans in class. And Sara Kinnarney from MSNBC has written this article on like, how totally unattractive facial hair is on guys. "No facial hair at all, yuck!" said one woman interviewed.

-The Sikh Geek is scared of the news and is retreating intirrelevancece

Monday, May 17, 2004

TODAY'S TOP FIVE: Will You Gay-Marry Me?

Iraqi Car Bomb Kills Head of Governing Council Izzadine Saleem, the Shiite activist who was to be the guy we were going to hand "control" of Iraq to, was killed by a suicide bomber today. To say this is a "disaster" is to greatly understate the case.

Graciously Handing the President a Wedge Issue Massachusetts became the first state in the country to legally recognize homosexual marriages today (Vermont recognizes "civil unions"...a special prize to the person who can explain the difference to me) in a move that is sure to further endear the most liberal state in America to the rest of the country. Before you begin sending in hate mail accusing me of scoffing at a bold leap forward in human rights, let me just say that I think at the very least it would be better to have this discussion in 2005, after Kerry wins the election. There are at least four swing states I can think of where the Republicans will now gleefully portray Kerry as the "Senator from that Gay Marriage state." I certainly hope marriages that are not legally invalid in the other 49 states (and which could soon be invalid in Massachusetts) are worth four more years of George Bush.

I'm a Rocker, Baby. Rockers Don't Care for Rules While conservatives are busy blaming Quentin Tarantino, Ivy League colleges, and porno for the Abu Ghraib scandal, Newsweek has fingered a different culprit for creating the climate where such abuses could take place: the White House. The magazine has unearthed a memo written by White House lawyer Alberto Gonzalez after September 11 advising the president on his exciting new options regarding the Geneva Convention's strict regulations: "In my judgment, this new paradigm renders obsolete Geneva's strict limitations on questioning of enemy prisoners and renders quaint some of its provisions," Gonzalez wrote. Now members of Congress are demanding a full investigation, and not just liberal Democrats either. "We need to take this up as far as it goes, and we need to do it quickly," conservative hero Sen. John McCain said Sunday.

While We're Assigning Blame... Don't think we forgot about you, Rumsfeld! In the issue of the New Yorker hitting newsstands this week, Seymour Hersh exposes a covert operation ordered by Rumsfeld in the wake of 9/11 to step up the coercive tactics used in interrogating "terrorist" prisoners in Iraq, including using physical abuse and sexual humiliation. The operation, code-named Copper Green, was apparently a power play by Rumsfeld to wrest control of intelligence-gathering from the CIA. Good one, Donald.

We Prefer to Think of It as "Faith-Based Governing" In a significant policy shift, the Bush administration is now signalling its willingness to install a Shiite theocracy in Iraq if no other options are available. Until now, the Bush gang has said that they will not tolerate a government in power based on Islamic law. Whereas late last year, Rumsfeld was deriding the Shiite politicians as a mere "vocal minority," this is what Colin Powell had to say about Iraq over the weekend: "Surely, everybody understands it is a nation that rests on the faith of Islam." The chaos and violence since April seems to have convinced them that any order, even theocratic order, is preferable. That'll be super news for the region: TWO theocratic Shiite states! I can't wait.

-Consider Arms
Lupus Est Homo Homini

Ted Rall, Fucking Prick

I am now convinced that along with Al Sharpton, Ted Rall is a secret Republican operative. If he isn't, the GOP should snatch him up and put him on payroll. I can't imagine anyone doing more damage to the Left or providing more fuel to their detractors than the cartoonist who can still see his sketch pad with his head completely up his own ass. Besides being shrill and self-righteous (When I saw this cartoon I immediately thought of Sinead O'Conner ripping up a picture of the Pope on SNL calling on its viewers to "Fight the real enemy!"), Ted Rall can't even get his fucking metaphors straight. If the war had "an architect" or "a chef" it would be Bush or his cabal of war-mongering neo-con fuckfaces. The troops in Iraq did not decide to invade Iraq, nor did they push a false rationale for war through Congress and the UN. Most troops joined the Army because they couldn't afford college, or they didn't have any other opportunities. They are young (try 18-20) and just want to get back home unharmed to be with their families and loved ones. What the fuck does Ted want? Nader installed as enlightened despot and a permanent moratorium placed on all that constitutes reality for most Americans? There's reason America now cringes at the memory of hippies screaming "Baby-Killer!" at returning Vietnam vets. Because it was wrong.

Sir, I See Your SF Gate Article on "The Passion," and I Raise You Consider Arms and myself have been competing with one another to find the worst example of writing that has come from the Left recently. This might take the championship belt. As Joerg from the weblog Conscientious said when he emailed me the link, "whenever you think it can't get any more ridiculous she pulls it off." The author (a "sex therapist" who at one point uses the phrase "Ayatollah Asscraft" to refer to the Attorney General) tries to make the point that the photos of abused Iraqi prisoners gave Bush an erection, and like exalted moron at the Village Voice said earlier, the cheeramid pics are kinda hot.

Drudge Takes The High Road Again by linking to this article from the paragon of class, the UK's Sun as a 24pt headline with picture. I can only imagine the howls that would come from the right if Girls Gone Wild photos of the Bush twins were published, which, if you look at their track record is kinda probable. Extra points to Matt Drudge for punning on the word "Canne."

-The Sikh Geek

Saturday, May 15, 2004

Fat-Bottomed Girls, You Make The Rocking World Go Round

Spring Break 2004! Abu Ghraib! WOOOOO! In addition to murdering prisoners, torturing them and putting them into gay pyramids, our brave soldiers at Abu Ghraib somehow found the time to make drunken licentious messes of themselves. The New York Post, in its standard dry and somber tone, describes the ocean of sex and alcohol that US soldiers drowned in at Abu Ghraib. "One of the female soldiers supposedly had sex in a gang bang," said Terry Stowe, an MP from California. "From time to time, things like this would happen." "There were lots of affairs. There was all kinds of adultery and alcoholism and all kinds of crap going on," said Dave Bischel, a National Guardsman with the 870th Military Police unit, who returned home from Abu Ghraib last month.

Now I'm Going to Download Music I Hate, Just to Spite the RIAA The RIAA's insane Red Scare over filesharing and other harmless technology from the past five years is still going strong. Where they once merely tried to sue children, now they are trying to win over their hearts and minds. Witness this summary from Disney's show "The Proud Family"...
The teenager Penny gets addicted to filesharing after she is shown the wonders of a Napster-like program called EZJackster.Crazed, she starts downloading all the music she ever wanted. Soon after, chaos erupts. Her favorite singer doesn't get his royalty check, her local record store goes out of business, the police come to her house and threaten to take her jail, and worst of all, her mom takes away her computer. Penny practically single-handedly destroys the U.S. economy before she finally sees that filesharing is wrong.
A recent report from the Harvard Business School shows that the music industry isn't getting hurt by downloading, and as this article from Kensai reports, a lot of the RIAA claims of "lost sales" are bullshit constructed from falsified figures and cooked books. Oh, and people aren't so quick to buy $20 cds of shitty, mediocre music.

Americans Still Scared of Big Words, Want Pictures to Look At This discussion between Greg Mitchell and Charles J. Hanley asks a great question that has gone unanswered over the past few weeks; "Where the hell was the press when details of abuse at Abu Ghraib first surfaced back in the fall?"

It Just Keeps Getting More Strange Years ago while on a bus in Oklahoma, recently beheaded contractor Nicholas Berg unknowingly lent his laptop to an acquaintance of Zacarias Moussaoui -- the only person publicly charged in the United States in connection with the September 11, 2001, terror attacks. Berg's email password was later used by Moussaoui. Bizarre. As Consider Arms said last night, it's like God ran out of cameo players and is staring to reuse them.

I Guess All The Nazi Comparisons Were Used Up While speaking to Vanderbilt's graduating class, Condi Rice compared Iraqi "terrorists" to the KKK. "Those terrorists failed because of the poverty of their visions — a vision of hate, inequality. ... And they failed because of the courage and sacrifice of all who suffered and struggled for civil rights." Perhaps Condi can take a hint from Consider Arms' friend Geroge, and just insinuate that the Iraqis are the Devil.

This Can't Be Good... American forces slightly damages the shrine of Ali, one of the holiest sites in Islam, and while Iraqi forces chanted "America is the enemy of God," the fighting spilled out into Najaf's vast cemetery adding a nice cinematic background of apocalyptic destruction to the whole fiasco.

Weekend Funnies Break With Beetle Ghraib:

-The Sikh Geek will be back on Tuesday

Friday, May 14, 2004

How's Your Interface?

I've Always Wanted To Do That!!
So I guess I'm not the only one who's been pissed off at Verizon. 22-year-old Jason Perala entered a Fargo Verizon Wireless store only intending to yell at the employees, however once inside he decided to get creative. Taking off his shirt and (this is my favorite part) donning safety glasses, Perala went ape and started chucking phones and computers around the store. "I just started grabbing computers and phones and throwing them. I just destroyed the place. ... I kind of regret that I did it, but I hope my message got across," said Perala. Grand total in damage was $2,000, but Mr. Perala's newfound place in my heart is priceless.

Ready To Chill The Bottle Of Bubbly
For the first time since he took office more people disapprove of Bush than approve, as his approval rating dropped from 49 to 46 percent while is disapproval rating climbed from 47 to 49 percent. Support for Kerry also grew to 51 percent of voters, while Shrub's dropped to 46 percent. Even throwing that megalomaniac troll into the mix doesn't cockblock Kerry, as he stays 5 percentage points ahead of Bush. I can almost taste it.

All Killah, No Fillah
I've thought that the Wu-Tang should have held high school basketball style "cuts", with the "A"-team being GZA, Raekwon, and Ghostface.

--MC No Shame
TODAY'S TOP FIVE: Okay, Let's Try This Again.

All You Had to Do Was Ask Politely, Muqtada Al-Sadr Marc Grossman, a State Department official, told Congress this week that if the interim Iraqi government that "takes power" on June 30 asks, the US will pull all its troops out of Iraq. He said, rather ominously, that he doesn't expect such a request, though.

I Win the Race to the Bottom! Among friends of mine, there has been an informal, unspoken competition to find the lowest, vilest, most cynical and awful response in the mass media to the Abu Ghraib torture scandal. From John Derbyshire's National Review Online blog:

My mental state these past few days:
1. The Abu Ghraib "scandal": Good. Kick one for me. But bad discipline in the military (taking the pictures, I mean). Let's have a couple of courts martial for appearance's sake. Maximum sentence: 30 days CB.
2. The US press blowing up the Abu Ghraib business: Fury at these lefty jounalists doing down America. They just want to re-live the glory days of Vietnam, when they brought down a president they hated. (PS: They hated him because he was an anticommunist, while they themselves tought communism was just fine.)
3. GWB apologizing to some barbarian chieftain for Abu Ghraib: Disgust. Correct approach: "Mind if we film some footage in YOUR jails?"
4. Revelations about sexual hanky panky in US armed forces: Outrage. I want to see someone cashiered -- a general, at least. This is no way for soldiers to behave when on active service. Gross, unpardonable violation of military ethics. Whose damn fool idea was it to mix men and women in the same units?

Beat that, ladies and gentlemen. I have looked into the abyss, and it self-consciously uses prissy, anachronistic British expressions.

In Your Face, Vajpayee! The global wave of Leftist victories continues, with the Congress Party of India winning a stunning, sweeping victory over the right-wing Hindu Nationalist BJP in elections yesterday. It looks like Italian-born Sonia Gandhi will be the new prime minister in a coalition government that relies heavily on Communist support. I have to say to the Indian voters: thank you. In addition to the victories in Taiwan, South Korea, Malaysia, and Spain, this is a positive sign that the worldwide flirtation with rightism and intolerance is at last coming to an end. Next up: November elections in the US.

The Cost of Living I don't make very much money. I live in a small apartment in a bad part of town. When I had to put a few hundred dollars' worth of repairs into my car last week, it wiped out what little savings I had. However, last night, I paid $2.10 per gallon for regular gasoline, and I couldn't have been happier. That's because I know every cent above two dollars is another dagger aimed at the heart of George Bush's re-election campaign. Let's keep that demand high, people!

Today's "Thank God It's Friday" Special Here's a possible candidate for inclusion on the long-planned Mix Tape of Death: a San Francisco duo has taken the text of seven Donald Rumsfeld press conferences and set them to music, with a woman's soprano singing the words over a chamber music accompaniment. Act surprised at Christmas, MLWL staffers.

-Consider Arms