Friday, May 07, 2004

TODAY'S TOP FIVE: Have You Forgotten?

He's Not Going Anywhere Despite calls, like this one, for the resignation of Donald Rumsfeld over the Abu Ghraib disaster, sources within the administration say his job is secure, because Bush is "loyal to a fault" (oil is thicker than blood, folks) and because he sees a "political benefit" in being perceived as a "stay-the-course leader." This kind of leadership reminds me of 19th century British naval Admiral Tryon, who insisted that his ship literally stay the course even though it was heading straight for another vessel. Both ships collided, and as Tryon's boat sank, he was heard by surviviors to say, "This is entirely my fault." Somehow, when we're all treading water, I don't think we're going to hear the same thing from Bush.

Florida: Our Troubled, Caribbean Banana Republic Is it an election year? Then it must be time for Florida to illegally disenfranchise thousands of black voters! Yes, that's right: Despite international outcry over the purging of black voters from registration rolls four years ago, Florida is once again gearing up to take the names of "felons" from its list of voters. As numerous investigations have shown, most of these "felons" tend to be black Democrats, and often times they only share a name with a convicted felon, occasionally a convicted felon who has never lived in Florida. There have been freer elections in Zimbabwe.

Plucky Britain Boasts "We Can Torture Too!" While we're all reeling from the military's homoerotic/murderous/S&M Abu Ghraib torture, let's take a moment to consider our feisty cousins across the pond, who are embroiled in a POW torture scandal of their own. The Daily Mirror has found three soldiers who will confirm reports that the British army routinely beats "10 kinds of crap" out of Iraqi detainees. So far, though, the country that did so much for weird homoeroticism has apparently resisted the urge to make the prisoners strip naked and simulate sex. That must be a Virginia thing.

More Bad News In one of the many brutal conflicts that doesn't get much attention in the US media, more than 10,000 people have been killed in violence between Nigerian Muslims and Christians since 1999. This week, fighting flared up again when Muslims in the Plateau State, with the backing of the military and police (the Mobile Police in Nigeria are nicknamed "Kill and Go" by the public), massacred a small, isolated group of Christians from the Yelwa ethnic group, killing more than 600 people.

Today's "Thank God It's Friday" Special What are we thankful for today? Well, we're thankful that there are still people in America who, despite war, recession, revelations of torture in the military, vote fraud, corruption, environmental devastation, and the threat of epidemic disease still find time to care about stupid bullshit. Case in point: PETA, an organization of people who have devoted their lives to trying to convince other people not to eat cheese. What has PETA done now, in the wake of campaigns that compared pigs to Christ and chickens to Holocaust survivors? They have rolled out "Veg Eye for the Fat Guy," an effort to get five fat celebrities to switch to a vegan diet in order to lose weight. In addition to sending "vegetarian makeover kits" the celebrities in question, they are also offering send such kits to people whose friends sign them up for being too fat. Rest assured, I have already signed up every single MLWL poster for this dubious honor, and I would also like to take this opportunity to announce my own PETA ("People who Eat a Ton of Animals") initiative: Every time this annoying group sends out a press release, I will personally shoot a cow.

-Consider Arms