Wednesday, June 30, 2004

TODAY'S TOP FIVE: Eighties Revivalism Has Gone Too Far: Joel Steinberg Has Been Paroled.

Reaping the Stupid Guy Whirlwind Note to Californians: When you vote for someone, you have to put up with them for the WHOLE TERM, not just the exciting afterglow period that follows the election of a ditzy celebrity to high office. This is a painful lesson being learned as the man who once starred in "Jingle All the Way" attempts to grapple with the challenges of leading the nation's largest state and the world's fifth-largest economy. Here's one way: Gov. Arnold "Tighten Your Belts" Schwarzenegger has increased the salaries of his staff by an average of 22 percent. "Everyone has to make sacrifices," Schwarzenegger said during budget negotations that led to slashing education funding and record, fiscally reckless borrowing. Everyone, that is, except this idiot's inner circle.

Ignominy, Thy Name is Makeover Show After his treacherous presidential campaign derailed when the Village Voice revealed it was being run and paid for by Republicans, the Rev. Al Sharpton is committing the closest thing possible to credibility hara-kiri: He's hosting a "career makeover" show on the Spike TV network. Shudder.

Destro Vows to Destroy New York Well, it could happen. The only good thing that came out of last night's painful Yankees drubbing of the Red Sox was the fact, buried at the bottom of the story, that VP Destro Cheney, who was there as a guest of George Steinbrenner, was booed by the fans at Yankee Stadium when they showed his picture on the videoboard during the 7th inning stretch.

Are You Better Off Now Than Before We Blew Your House Up? One of the conservative spin points on the war has been that, despite the disruptions and violence in the new Iraq (now 100% sovereign! Really!), the country at least is better off now than it was when Saddam ran things. Except that it isn't, according to a report by the non-partisan Congresssional General Accounting Office. In fact, in several key areas like utilities, security, and the judicial system, Iraq now is much worse off than it was before the war. Additionally, of the $58 billion in international loans pledged for the reconstruction of the country, only $10 billion has been spent, and the occupation government can't even account for some of the rest. So, um...why did we invade, again?

Damn the Liberal Media to Hell! If there's one thing I hate about the liberal media, it's how unbalanced they are: Always attacking our heroic president while simultaneously heaping fawning praise on the heads of America-haters like Michael Moore. Except when they don't. As this article shows, even Fox News was relatively restrained in its attacks on the most successful documentary filmmaker of all time while the "liberal media" like ABC and NBC were frothing at the mouth with inaccurate, sleazy attack pieces. Now a cynical man would point out that NBC is owned by General Electric, a major defense contractor and that ABC is owned by Disney, which originally refused to distribute Moore's film, but thank God I'm not a cynical man.

-Consider Arms

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Did He Actually Just Call Them "The Turkey-People"?

Call It Evolution At Work An American study on mice has linked high-protein diets with an inability of women to bear children, claiming that that ideal protein intake for women hoping to conceive in only 20% of their total diet. If the Wall Street Journal can write an article claiming that life-hating Democrats have effectively aborted away their voting blocs, I feel no problem being smug that the future drinkers of C2 soda will never exist.

Bush Re-Election Financed By Lucrative Online Investors From Nigeria Either drunk with hubris or mind-numbingly stupid, the White House told government agencies this month that if re-elected (or illegally put back in power through massive voter fraud. again.) huge budget cuts will be given to the same domestic services that Bush is claiming to support and bolster during the election campaign.

I'm Sure Jack Ryan Is Getting Ready Too...

-The Sikh Geek is still in possession of his "No Fat Chicks" mug, you bhand-chots
TODAY'S TOP FIVE: I Feel More Sovereign Than Ever Today.

The End of an Error 50 years after founding National Review to run traditional conservatives out of the public debate, William F. Buckley Jr. is relinquishing control of his magazine to a board of directors that he handpicked. National Review has been one of the most important organs of conservative thought over the last 5 decades, but consider the ironies: Posing as a traditional conservative publication, the magazine actually spent much of its first five years defending Joe McCarthy and heresy-hunting actual conservatives of the Robert Taft school. Although it has been an annoying, one-note cheerleader for the free market, the magazine has never made a profit: It's sustained by a network of wealthy conservative donors. Finally, take Buckley Jr. himself. Although his plummy New England accent and stuffy grammar have made him the living embodiment of old-line conservatism, he's actually the son of an arriviste Ohio oilman. Here's to 50 more years of phoniness!

Do You Have Something You'd Like to Share With the Rest of the Class, Miss Rice? This is almost too embarassing to even think about: George Bush was notified of the ceremony handing "sovereignty" over to the Iraqis in a hand-written note passed to him by Condoleeza Rice during a meeting of NATO leaders in riot-wracked Turkey. She handed the note to Rumsfeld, who then passed it on to the president. Unclear at this time is whether Rice also wrote "Do you like me? Check yes or no" or offered to sit next to the president during study hall. Bush did, however, scribble the phrase "let freedom reign!" on the note, apparently intending to write "let freedom ring."

Canada: Not as Smart as We Originally Believed Although I take pride in the fact that, like most Americans, I am totally ignorant of a federal election happening in the country that shares our northern border that happens to be our closest trading partner, I will reprint the entirety of this excellent article for the edification of all Americans who felt bad because people in Florida were too stupid to fill out their ballots correctly in 2000: "Canadians have gone to the polls in a federal election with a firm warning from election officials: Please do not eat your ballots.
'Eating a ballot, not returning it or otherwise destroying or defacing it constitutes a serious breach of the Canada Elections Act,'Elections Canada warns on its Internet site. The issue was of sufficient concern to warrant inclusion in the site's 'Frequency asked Questions' section, above answers to such inquiries as 'Why should I vote?' and 'Am I registered?' Three Alberta men were charged with eating their paper ballots during Canada's last federal election, in 2000. The members of the Edible Ballot Society were protesting against what they said was a lack of real choice among candidates."

The Party of Family Values Gets Ready to Pay for Sex This summer, when the Republicans are in New York City solemnly honoring the fallen of Sept. 11 and nominating George W. Bush for president, they'll also be giving a shot in the arm to the local economy. The local illegal sex economy, that is: Apparently hookers are being brought in from all over the world to meet the expected demand for paid sexual encounters coming from all those sweaty, patriotic delegates from the heartland. Sorry, ladies, but I think you're going to be disappointed. This is the party of Jack Ryan, after all. GOP delegates are likely to prefer sex the old-fashioned way: With their wives. In public. In an underground sex club. Surrounded by bondage gear.

God May Be a DJ, But He's No Damn Liberal The fifth century Syrian monk known as pseudo-Dionysus the Areopagite (to distinguish him from the Biblical figure whose conversion is recorded in Acts 17:34) argued that we can never attribute qualities to God if those qualities imply that the opposite cannot also be true. In other words, he argued that we cannot say that God is great if that means we have to say He isn't small; or that God is gentle if that excludes Him being wrathful. The reason, argued the philosopher, is that God's true nature is so far beyond human reason that any categories we apply to God will never amount to anything more than human-made attempts to explain our own perception of the deity. Well, it's too bad that Dionysus died in the sixth century, because if he were alive today he'd have egg all over his face! That's because Sean Hannity and Dennis Miller, those capering clowns of conservatism, have declared that, Dionysus and Nicholas of Cusa aside, God is most definitely a Republican, and not a damn Democrat! In fact, Miller even argues that Jesus "far prefers Bush to Kerry," a remarkable theological insight for a man who once said in an interview that he likes to have women put their fingers up his asshole.

-Consider Arms

Monday, June 28, 2004

TODAY'S TOP FIVE: Fully Sovereign Since 2003.

It's Like Christmas Came Two Days Early! You know how when there's a hot new CD coming out, and the record company releases it a couple of days before the street date to foil the bootleggers? Well, that's the kind of managerial skill we have at the White House these days. Take that insurgents: You were probably planning on blowing all kinds of shit up on Thursday, but we handed over "sovereignty" on Monday! Boo yeah! I bet this means the war is over.

Sovereign Like the Proud Native Americans Okay, so now that the war is over and peace and democracy are flowering throughout Iraq, and Paul Bremer has gone home (his greatest accomplishment, according to him, is cutting the tax rate and privatizing Iraqi industry), what's the first thing the new, sovereign Iraqi government is going to do? How about, "anything the U.S. tells them to fucking do"? Yes, that's because, despite getting their names on the letterhead, the Iraqis still "govern" a country occupied by 160,000 foreign troops, where the exact same administrators who worked for Paul Bremer will still work in the exact same office (one of Saddam's palaces), where the Green Zone controlled by US troops will still be there (only, now it's the "International Zone"! Like Epcot Center!), where John Negroponte instead of Paul Bremer will call the shots. Ever get the feeling you've been cheated?

A Little Yes and a Big No In what observers are calling a "mixed verdict," the Supreme Court has ruled that the US government has the right to indefinitely detain American citizens without charges or trial, but that detainees have the right to challenge this treatment in U.S. courts. In other words, we now have, enshrined in law, the basis for Franz Kafka's novel "The Trial." All together now: "Someone must have been telling lies about Joseph K., for without having done anything wrong he was arrested one fine morning..."

It's Not Easy Being Green Ooh! Denied! Darth Nader failed in his bid over the weekend to get the Green Party to endorse him for president; doing so would mean that Nader would already be on the ballot in many states, including "key battleground states" like Pennsylvania and Ohio. Instead, the Greens endorsed a guy who says he won't even compete with Kerry in the key battleground states. Hey Ralph: That's what's known as a "loyal opposition." Look into it, ya crumb.

It's Like "The Passion of the Christ" for Liberals Apparently all the right-wing efforts to stop people from seeing "Fahrenheit 911" worked.

-Consider Arms

Friday, June 25, 2004

If The Sikh Geek Doesn't Show Up Soon I'm Totally Taking His "No Fat Chicks" Coffee Mug

As Long As He Doesn't Put Out Anymore Records I Don't Care What He Does
Police arrested rapper DMX at New York's Kennedy airport for allegedly impersonating an FBI agent and attempting to carjack a man. While this article doesn't mention it, I've read that the car was a NISSAN SENTRA!!! Straight thuggin'.

--MC No Shame, fuck off
TODAY'S TOP FIVE: Go See "Fahrenheit 911" Tonight.

As Bug Hill, NC Goes, So Goes the Nation I have avoided writing anything about Bill Clinton's memoirs because I feel like the only way you can avoid hearing about them is to live in an abandoned carnival with no electricity, and also because Bill Clinton still kind of makes me queasy. But this article on Media Matters caught my eye, because it points out that Dorothy Drudge, who's so obsessed with book sales, went out of his way to try and show that - despite the fact that the book shattered sales records - it really wasn't that popular in "the heartland," wherever that is. If you read down to the Washington Times blurb, you will actually see the following: "City folk might have swooned over the much-ballyhooed arrival of 'My Life,' former President Bill Clinton's autobiography, but there's little hubbub in the American heartland, where the citizenry seems less impressed with hype and hyperbole." "City folk"?? What is this, an oatmeal commercial? I'll tell you one definite thing: The person who wrote that sentence, without a doubt, falls into the category of "city folk," and wouldn't be able to find "the heartland" with a map.

The Enemy of My Enemy is a Gay-Hating Libertarian Marcus-Marcus sent along this article, which adds more proof to the officially-recognized Consider Arms Conspiracy Theory: Ralph Nader is a paid Republican Party operative. In this case, two conservative organizations in Oregon - one "pro-family," the other "anti-tax" - are working to get Ralph Nader on that state's ballot. Polls in Oregon suggest Darth Nader could get enough votes to shift the state's seven electoral votes over to that noted progressive George W. Bush. But just so we're clear, Ralph's candidacy isn't about costing Kerry the election, right? It's a matter of principle. The principle is: Ralph Nader is a paid operative of the Republican Party.

Restoring Civility to Our Nation's Fucking Political Discourse During the annual group photo on the Senate floor, Vice-President Destro Cheney marked the traditional solemnity of the occasion by screeching "Go fuck yourself!" or "Fuck off!" to Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont. The spittle-flecked tirade was apparently triggered by Leahy making the disastrous and un-Senatorial faux pas of saying "hello" to the vice president. This apparently signalled to El Dick that he could rip into Leahy for raising questions about Halliburton's massive overcharging for services in Iraq. Boy, I absolutely agree with the conservatives here: Love them or hate them, you can't deny that the Bush administration has restored dignity and respect to our nation's highest fucking office.

Plamegate: The Slow Burn Continues Hey, so what did you do yesterday morning? I'll tell you what President Bush did: He got interviewed by a special prosecutor conducting a criminal investigation into the president's administration. Bush was interviewed for over an hour Thursday in connection with the ongoing investigation into who leaked the name of a deep cover CIA agent in order to punish her husband for proving that Saddam wasn't buying "yellowcake" uranium from Niger (who leaked the name? *cough*Dick Cheney!*cough*). I would think this was more damaging if I thought there was a snow-cone's chance in Hell that John Ashcroft's Justice Department will have this investigation concluded before November.

"Thank God It's Friday": The Charlotte Bobcats Edition Boy, how lucky is Bernie Bickerstaff? The new expansion team's coach's good fortune is matched only by the recklessness of the Orlando Magic, who had the first pick in this year's NBA draft. Instead of picking Emeka Okafor, collegiate player of the year from the national champion University of Connecticut Huskies (and, as named on this web log, Greatest Living American), they picked Bible-thumping high school student Dwight Howard. The 6'8" Howard attended prep school in Atlanta and often was guarded by opponents who were 10 inches shorter than him, while Okafor led the Huskies to their second national title in five years against the best college competition in the country. I have a feeling that the hopeless Orlando franchise is going to regret this pick - but then, I was positive the Pistons were going to rue the day they didn't pick Carmelo Anthony and look where they are. Still, kudos to the Bobcats, Okafor, and Ben Gordon, who went to the Chicago Bulls as the Number Three pick.

-Consider Arms

Thursday, June 24, 2004

TODAY'S TOP FIVE: This Is Too Depressing to Even Think About.

The Road to Freedom Has Never Looked More Open As we all know, one week from today Iraq's heroic democratic age will begin, and there will be no hunger or war or Islamic militancy. Until that glorious day arrives, though, there's still stuff like this: militants launched concerted attacks throughout the country today, killing 83 people.

There Is No Greater Threat to Freedom Than Commercials for Movies Boy, the Republicans must really be scared of Michael Moore. The Federal Election Commission is considering banning Moore from advertising his "Fahrenheit 911" movie on radio or TV because the commission's lawyer thinks it could violate a provision of the McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance Reform Act prohibiting corporations from interfering in elections. If the FEC follows through, this would prevent anyone with a political film or documentary from advertising on TV or the radio. Truly, that will be a glorious day for American freedom.

Avert Your Eyes! Only Saddam's Regime Did Bad Things! One of the central tenets of people who supported (and who still support) the Iraq war is that, even if there were no weapons of mass destruction, even if Saddam had nothing to do with either 9/11 or Al Qaeda, the invasion was still justified because he was a rat bastard who oppressed his people. No argument on the merits of rule by Saddam, but what this argument conveniently ignores is that the world is full of rat bastards who oppress their people. Even some of our buddies. Here's an example, chosen totally at random: China has geared up for some periodic persecution of Christians, arresting three Roman Catholic bishops, including an 84-year-old who hasn't been heard from in a month. I can't wait to see how Paul Wolfowitz handles this! My guess: total, bored silence.

From Now On, Less Beating and Raping The Justice Department is currently re-writing its legal guidelines on interrogation tactics for prisoners of war in what ABC News charitably describes as "much different circumstances" from when the first guidelines, which recommended dogs, submersion in water, beating, and rape, were produced. Is anyone interested in the odds that the torture will continue, but from now on there won't be any more damaging memos saying "Torture is Awesome!" that get leaked to the press.

Winning the War on Terror by Constantly Giving the Appearance of Losing As if to underscore how idiotic was the fraudulent State Department report that claimed terrorism was in decline, two bombs went off in Istanbul and Ankara today, just days ahead of a NATO summit at which President Goofball will be present. History buffs will be interested to note that the group claiming responsibility for the attacks, which killed at least three people, is not a jihadist organization, but rather something called the Marxist-Leninist Communist Party.

-Consider Arms

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

TODAY'S TOP FIVE: Now With 100% More Computer Trouble!

Celine Would Have Had to Flee the Country France, land where you can't a scarf on your head, is set to follow its ban on racist insults by making sexist or homophobic comments punishable by up to a year in prison. While I certainly carry no brief for racists, sexists, or homophobes, isn't this a little silly coming from a country that has the word "Liberty" stamped on its coinage?

No Leg to Stand On The US government has dropped its attempt to get a UN resolution extending the current exemption that prohibits American soldiers from being charged with international war crimes. The American argument was that so many countries hated us they would seek to prosecute our soldiers on petty political grounds, when no real crimes had been committed: apparently something called "Abu Ghraib" was a factor in the abandonment of this strategy.

Torture Memo #A Billion: What a Bunch of Assholes We Are Another day, another release of a damaging administration memo showing that high-level approval had been conferred on interrogation tactics that would get any cop in the country thrown in jail. The weirdest part about this is the epistemological discussion we've all been having since this happened about the definition of "torture": Orwell would be grimly satisfied. Did you ever in your life think you'd be seeing headlines on CNN that said "What is Torture?" and be forced to come up with a counter argument to people who claim that it's only torture when there's organ failure? We are doomed.

Thank You For Being a Friend Jody Watley once opined in song, "Friends! Won't be around. Friends! Will let you down. I'm talkin' 'bout your friends." Indeed, our friend Pakistan has let us down. In all the furious debate over the Bush administration's baffling insistence that Iraq had ties to Al Qaeda is a finding by the 9/11 commission that no one has challenged so far: Pakistan was strikingly close to both Al Qaeda and the Taliban in the years leading up to the 9/11 attacks, funding and training both groups and perhaps having knowledge about their upcoming operations. So, when does the bombing of Peshawar start?

Too Tired to Think of a "Moon" Pun The fallout over the crowning of self-proclaimed messiah Sun Myung Moon by a member of Congress at the Dirksen Senate building continues. Now everyone involved, including the coronator, U.S. Rep. Danny Davis (D-Illinois) is backpedaling, each giving a variation of (1) I wasn't there (2) I was only there for a little bit (3) It's not what it looks like. These defenses are perhaps hardest for Davis, who donned white gloves to put a bewjewelled crown on the head of convicted felon Moon, who then announced that the spirits of Hitler and Stalin had informed him he was the messiah. Davis' defense, so far, has been to insist that all this is perfectly normal: “I see people crowned. I go to parades quite a bit...[and see] the queen of the homecoming parade, queen of the festival," he said, although he felt it necessary to add "I'm not involved in any cult activity." Forcing congressmen to say stuff like that, and like "I don't support Rev. Moon's claim that he is the Messiah," (said by U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Maryland) is what makes this story so much fun. Next mystery: Which senator sponsored Moon's use of the Dirksen building?

-Consider Arms

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

TODAY'S TOP FIVE: Only Eight More Days 'Til Freedom!

Teddybear Terror! Boy, I bet the terror threat level will go up now for sure: The FBI is investigating online sales of a teddy bear that wears a t-shirt saying "Bush Kills Arabs Dead." The bear was sent as a gag gift to an Arab-American judge in Michigan by a friend, and now the majestic machinery of federal law enforcement is firing on all cylinders, boldly seeking to uncover whether Al Qaeda is using teddygrams as part of an insidious new terror tactic. Watch this space, etc.

Damn You to Hell, Guy From Jane's Addiction! Perry Farrell has announced that this year's Lollapalooza tour has been canceled due to poor ticket sales. This means that I probably won't get to see Morrissey this year. Farrell: This makes you and me enemies for life.

A Mere Counting Error Fresh on the heels of the humiliation of having to admit that their previous report on worldwide terrorism last year ommitted two months of 2003, the State Department now has to make another painful admission. Hey, as it turns out, the actual number of people killed in terrorist violence last year is more than double what the Bush Administration originally said. That's right: Take the number of people the Bush gang said were killed in "global terrorist" attacks last year, double it, and you're still off the mark.

Ah, What Do They Know? Oh, Right It's not like George Bush is counting on the egghead vote, but anyone who enjoys both science and Republicanism will surely be pained by the news that 48 Nobel Prize winners in medicine, chemistry, and physics have signed a letter endorsing John Kerry for president. The pressure is now on George Bush to find 48 famous dumbasses to say they're going to vote for him.

At Long Last: A Star Trek-Related Sex Scandal This is why Connecticut will always come second to other states in the corruption sweepstakes: Our big scandal reached its climax yesterday when Republican Gov. John G. Rowland resigned for taking free shirts and stuff from state contractors. Meanwhile, in Illinois they've got a political scandal involving sex clubs and people from Star Trek. Jack Ryan, a Republican running for the U.S. Senate there, is accused in divorce filings from 2001 of forcing his wife (Jeri Ryan, formerly of Star Trek and currently of Boston Public) to go to "bizarre sex clubs" in various cities and pressuring her to have sex with him in public. Now bigshot Illinois Republicans are pissed off because Ryan lied to them about the records, and one U.S. Rep. has even called on Ryan to drop out of the race. Ah, it's great to see the party of family values at work.

-Consider Arms

Monday, June 21, 2004

TODAY'S TOP FIVE: The World is Full of Crashing Bores.

Moon the Loon! Here's a First Amendment query for the ACLU: Does it tend to violate the separation of church and state for a US congressman to crown a man the new Messiah in a federal building? Because in March, U.S. Rep. Danny Davis (D-Illinois) did just that, literally putting a bejeweled crown on the head of sleazy lunatic Sun Myung Moon, who proclaimed himself "humanity's Savior, Messiah, Returning Lord, and True Parent" (technically, Moon said that the spirits of Adolf Hitler and Josef Stalin called him that). This bizarre ceremony, which was attended by at least 10 congressmen from both parties, has gone largely unnoticed until recently. Now, all the congressmen involved (except Davis) are backpedaling, not eager to be associated with a convicted felon who has called for murderous purges of homosexuals (who he calls "dirty, dung-eating dogs").

Kenny-Boy: The Denoument Federal prosecutors expect to have indictments ready for former Enron boss and George Bush pal Ken Lay ready within two weeks, according to sources close to the case. Granted, it's been nearly three years before the ponzi scheme that was Enron collapsed, but the slow grinding of the wheels will all be worth it if Lay does time.

Yeah, Because Who Wants a Judge That Gets All Hung Up on Boring Details? Thomas B. Griffith, George Bush's nominee for the federal appeals court in Washington, has been practicing law without a license in Utah for the last four years. In addition, he was practicing law in the District of Columbia without a license early in 2001. Despite this, a law professor at Georgetown says a "pattern of carelessness" shouldn't disqualify him from a life appointment to one of the highest judicial posts in the country. I don't know about you, but I'd be tickled pink to bring my case before an appeals judge with a "pattern of carelessness."

The Moron Chronicles Ray Bradbury, who wrote one good and half good books in his entire life, is threatening to sue Michael Moore over the title of his new documentary "Fahrenheit 9/11." See, back in 1953, Bradbury wrote a book called "Fahrenheit 451," and he claims that Moore's movie amounts to stealing his novel. Bradbury says he won't sue if Moore will "give me back my book and my title." Boy, that '90s punk band Farenheit 454 sure got away with murder, huh? Ray, it's been more than 50 years since you wrote "The October Country" and no one cares about your cranky bullshit, especially since you seem unable to distinguish between "stealing a novel" and rephrasing its title. Go away.

Johnny, We Knew Ye All Too Well This is how we break motherfucking news at the MLWL: Four minutes ago, the AP's state wire reported that Republican Gov. John G. Rowland will resign tonight at 6 p.m. due to the massive corruption scandals that have plagued his administration over the last couple of years. The guy who was always the exception to the rule that Waterbury pols are corrupt has been brought down by scandals that we all thought he was above. You read it here first (unless, you know, you work for the AP).

-Consider Arms

Friday, June 18, 2004

TODAY'S TOP FIVE: The Unpaid Overtime Edition.

Thanks for Nothing Vladimir Putin, former KGB officer and current Russian President/General Secretary/Czar, admits that after September 11, Russia gave information to the US on how Saddam Hussein was planning attacks in the US. Now he admits that information was sort of, you know, flawed. Question: Is there any intelligence agency on Earth that hasn't been playing us for suckers since 9/11?

New England's Rising Star, Indeed David Passaro, formerly a Tolland resident and an ex-Hartford police officer, has become the first civilian charged in the prison torture scandals in Iraq and Afghanistan. Passaro, a contractor hired by the CIA to conduct interrogations of prisoners in Afghanistan, is charged with beating a man to death. For people who have experience with the Hartford PD, this comes as an absolute shock, since no one who was trained by that august institution of peace officers could even concievably be involved in the mistreatment of a prisoner. Ahem.

"1-2-3-4? That's the Kind of Code an Idiot Would Have on His Luggage!" Fans of "Spaceballs" will be delighted to know that the US nuclear missile code, which during the Cold War was the only impediment that stood between the world and nuclear war, was more simple-minded than the secret code known only to King Roland. The code, according to a former US missile command official, was 00000000. Yes, that's right: eight zeroes. "The safeguard was non-functional," the official says, charitably. The codes, which were kept in the famous "nuclear football" that accompanied the president everywhere he went, were rendered at all zeroes because the military basically hated the idea that a secret code could prevent them from vaporizing Norway if the mood struck them. Rest assured, though, that such idiotic thinking has been discarded: I have it on good authority that the new missile code is "OU812," like the Van Halen album.

The South Will Rise Again, Just as Soon as They Unlock the Secret to Wearing Shoes I kid the south, but seriously, Southerners really do have a valuable and important purpose, such as serving as exotic pets for wealthy Asian families. No! I'm sorry, that's me kidding y'all again. But it's hard to resist poking fun at our shirtless, shoeless, Civil War-losing brethren when you read stories like this, about a big conference of "Confederate revivalists" happening in the South this weekend. The "heritage enthusiasts" that all they want to do is correct negative impressions of the Confederacy (like what? The impression that the Confederacy was based on slavery?), but most of the groups affiliated with the conference happen to be racist hate groups. So let me take this opportunity to say, categorically and for all time: We won, you lost, case closed, go to Hell.

Today's "Thank God It's Friday" Special Lots of people have commented that Dick Cheney seems to be a drag on the Bush ticket, since he's old and evil and no one likes him. Obviously, he's not going to run for president in 2008 (although that would be hilarious), so there's a succession problem as well. So: What Republican out there doesn't have Cheney's age problem and is popular enough to help the ticket? Easy: The undead, flesh-munching figure of Zombie Reagan! At last, this web site presents a Republican ticket I can support: The brainless George W. Bush and the brain-craving Zombie Reagan. Based on the recent adulation shown to Reagan's corpse, I think this is going to be one presidential combo that helps America boldly shamble into the future.

-Consider Arms

Thursday, June 17, 2004

TODAY'S TOP FIVE: Insert Catchphrase Here.

Just 13 Days Until a New Era of Enlightened Democracy Dawns in Iraq
Of course, before we get to that, there's the small matter of the car bombs: there were two today, killing at least 41 people.

Cheney: Saddam Had Nuclear Weapons and Used Them Against Us, Remember? Despite the fact that the 9/11 panel has ruled that there was no link between Saddam and Al Qaeda (and you know they have to be right, because they dropped that bombshell about Al Qaeda still hating us), Dick Cheney says he will still continue to claim otherwise. In fact, when asked if he would stop, you know, lying about this, a Cheney aid barked: "Hell, no!" What's it going to take? A telegram from God? "Attn: Dick. Stop. No connection between Qaeda and Saddam. Stop. Quit making shit up. Stop. Love, God."

This is Like Hugh Hefner Getting Worried About the Dangers of Pornography Ron Oxburgh, the British head of Shell Petroleum, one of the four largest oil companies in the world, shocked many in his industry this week by announcing that he's worried that global warming could lead to sudden climate change, with devastating results for the planet that not even Dennis Quaid could withstand. Umm, that's great and all, Ron, but I wonder if maybe there's something you could do about it besides worry. Think, Ron: Is there something, oh I don't know, maybe at your job that could have some bearing on global warming? This is a tough question, I know, so take a few minutes before you answer.

California Uber Alles The good news is that the state of California has become the first in the nation to insist that all electronic voting machines produce a voter-verified paper trail to help prevent voting fraud. The bad news is that California's county election authorities have until July, 2005 - or a full eight months after the presidential election - to do so. Frankly, if Bush wins, we're not going to have to do a lot of worrying about accurate vote counts. In fact, we won't have to worry about voting at all.

Congratulations, That $17 You Saved Is Enough to Keep You Eating Cat Food for a Week Okay, so there are some problems with the prescription drug discount cards that the government lamely substituted as a price-cutter for elderly people who purchase medication. The president admits as much. Part of the problem is that old people are too smart to fall for this sleazy gimmick: While the administration predicted that 7 million people would sign up for the card, so far only about 1 million have, and many of those were enrolled against their will by their HMO. But look: Some lady in Missouri saved seventeen bucks on her prescription, as Bush demonstrated in a photo op! So you see: the system works.

-Consider Arms

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

TODAY'S TOP FIVE: A Nation Mourns as Britney Cancels Her Tour.

Hey, Those Giant, Shifting Dunes Weren't There Yesterday According to a United Nations secretariat, one-third of the earth's surface is gradually being lost to "desertification": that is, once-arable lands are turning to dust. Since the mid-1990s, an area the size of Rhode Island has turned into deserts worldwide, while experts predict that by 2025 Africa could lose two-thirds of its arable land. Just so long as nothing happens to the driving range/mini-golf course near my apartment.

100 Million Baptists Can't Be Wrong The Southern Baptist Convention, the largest single Protestant denomination in the United States, voted to secede from the 100 million-member Baptist World Alliance, charging that the international body has grown too liberal on issues like gay marriage and the ordination of women. There's a joke here somewhere about emo kids breaking off from the group over differing views on the Ordination of Aaron, but I'm too hung up on how "Baptist World Alliance" sounds like a lame wrestling tag team to make it.

No One Was Happier About the Defeat of the Taliban Than the Dude From Stone Temple Pilots Buried in this story about Hamid Karzai's "everything's going grrreat!" visit to Washington yesterday is an interesting note: opium production in Afghanistan is now more than 20 times what it was under the Taliban and now accounts for more than half of the country's gross domestic product. Karzai suggested that perhaps some free trade agreement that would "create incentives" for "private interests" to invest in the Afghan economy would alleviate the problem. Dude, "private interests" already invest big-time in your economy, and their incentive is that they seek to control the world smack market.

You Can Keep the Parts That Say We Tried Our Best In a move that will shock absolutely no one, the CIA has determined that huge chunks of a Senate Intelligence Committee report that blasts the agency's recent performance is "too sensitive" to be made public, and hence must be classified. The Senate is fuming over the deletion of roughly 40 percent of the report, saying that the version approved for release by the CIA doesn't give anyone a clear picture of why the committee reached its conclusions. Boy, I'll be the Lakers wish they could do that with last night's game against the Pistons: All you'd see is the tip-off, that point in the 3rd quarter where they went up 31-30, and then the final score.

Emergency Bulletin From the 9/11 Commission: Them Pins Is Pointy! The commission investigating the 9/11 disaster released a report today called "An Overview of the Enemy" in which they revealed that (get ready, hold on to your hats) AL QAEDA MIGHT TRY ATTACKING THE UNITED STATES AGAIN! Well, thank goodness these folks are right on top of this, because until today I thought that, you know, Al Qaeda had pretty much did all they wanted to with September 11 and were now looking forward to a quiet retirement in Jalalabad. We're not paying any actual money for this commission, are we?

-Consider Arms

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

TODAY'S TOP FIVE: We Are Beautiful, No Matter What They Say.

Beware Our Starship Troopers The Army has announced that, starting in 2005, all combat uniforms will look like this:

Are the Dudley Boys going to get royalties on this?

War-Profiteering the Halliburton Way According to a Pentagon audit, Destro Cheney's "former" company has mismanaged more than $8 billion in taxpayers' money in Iraq, overcharging for such items as laundry (they charge $100 per load) and squandering expensive resources (apparently it was company policy to abandon $85,000 trucks when they got flat tires). This info was released by Democratic Henry Waxman, who also broke the story about the State Department's fraudulent report touting the success of the Bush administration's war on terror. Is Henry Waxman the only guy paying attention in Congress or what?

AShining Moment for TV Journalism Fox News, everybody's favorite arm of the Bush election campaign, has been censured by a UK regulatory agency for a tirade against the BBC, which Fox airhead John Gibson accused of "frothing-at-the-mouth-anti-Americanism." Apparently, Gibson's contention that the BBC had given journalists carte blanche to lie was not, in fact, true. Wait a minute. Fox News broadcasting something untrue? Now I believe in nothing!

Family Values, Rush-Style Pill-gobbling Rightist propaganda whale Rush Limbaugh has announced Divorce Number Three, always a milestone in the life of any exemplar of old-fashioned values. Normally, of course, I don't really care about the personal lives of public figures, but in the case of Limbaugh - who has already been revealed as a hypocrite for his illegal drug addiction - I make an exception. This is a guy who bloviated day in and day out for years about how Bill Clinton was unfit to be president because of his marital difficulties. Further hypocrite note: Limbaugh's third marriage was performed by none other than Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. Surely Justice Thomas, a Roman Catholic and alleged member of Opus Dei, realizes that, according to his church, Limbaugh's third marriage is totally invalid, and that what Thomas was doing was merely lending an official gloss to a non-binding union of fornicators. But what do you expect from a fan of Long Dong Silver?

The Passion of Michael Moore Can't people learn from even recent history these days? There's a conservative group out there consisting in part of the people who got the Reagan mini-series banned from network TV and in part of the people who brought you the California recall, and this group wants to stop you from watching Michael Moore's movie about George Bush, "Fahrenheit 911." If these people had paid any attention to the controversy over Mel Gibson's movie "The Passion," they would have seen how this is going to turn out. For their benefit, though, I'll lay it out. Step One: A maverick filmmaker embarks on a project unlikely to appeal to anyone beyond a small, niche audience. Step Two: Groups that are opposed to the message of the movie begin organizing against it, thus drawing tons of free publicity. Step Three: The maverick filmmaker portrays himself as a victim of censorship, pointing to his failure to get a distribution deal. Step Four: After rave reviews from carefully selected audiences bring even more publicity to the film, a distribution deal is secured. Step Five: Groups opposed to the movie redouble their efforts. The movie goes on to become a huge hit. Keep up the good work, ya crumbs.

-Consider Arms

Monday, June 14, 2004

Flash! Flash! Flash!

Just moments ago, the Supreme Court upheld the phrase "under God" in the pledge of allegiance, on a technicality. The court found 8-0 (Scalia recused himself to go duck-hunting) that the annoying atheist in the case, Michael Newdow, does not have the legal authority to speak on behalf of his daughter (he's embroiled in a nasty custody dispute with the girl's mother). Hopefully, now Mr. Newdow and his stupid non-issue will go away forever.

-Consider Arms
TODAY'S TOP FIVE: Half the Carbs of Yesterday's Top Five.

Tony Blair is To Be Spared No Indignity Two days after taking a severe beating in local elections (losing 477 seats rather than the 388 we reported...I was high on glue, give me a break), Tony Blair's Labour Party was again humiliated by British voters. This time, it was in the elections for the parliament of the European Union: Blair's party finished second, behind the Conservatives and ahead of the UK Independence Party, which had heretofore been thought of as a marginal fringe party. The UKIP advocates pulling out of the EU, whereas greater union with Europe has been a dream of Blair's for a long time.

Prole Art Threat An "art" exhibit intended for the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MassMoca to those in the know) has been impounded by the FBI, and now its creator faces a grand jury investigation on charges of terrorism. To be honest, the whole thing sounds more like a Mr. Wizard experiment than an art display: Basically, it was a lab setup where visitors could perform simple chemical tests on foods to see if they have been genetically modified. The FBI learned about the test tubes and bacteria from an EMS team that visited the guy's house after his wife had a heart attack, and swooped in. Hey, as long as they didn't touch that display of He-Man figures set up by Norman Rockwell's kid, I'm cool.

Some Are Safer Than Others Boy, isn't all that airport security stuff a real hassle? I mean, I just hate all the rigamarole involved in making sure that I'm not blown out of the sky by some lunatic with a bomb. Fortunately, for assholes like me with a lot of money, the Transporation Security Agency is proposing to allow people to pay a hefty fee that will allow them to be waved through airport security arrangements. Oh, but don't worry: There's an "extensive background check" involved, which I'm sure would be far too much for any terrorist to foil. Meanwhile, the number of airline passengers is up 12 percent this year, while the TSA has laid off thousands of security screeners because it's run out of money. Hey, I feel safer already.

Hot New Employment Field: Stool-Pigeonry A provision that was quietly included in a recent Senate bill allows the Department of Defense to spy on Americans and to recruit US citizens as informants. Since Watergate, the Pentagon has been barred from spying within the United States, but this bill makes them exempt from the Privacy Act, which now probably only applies to the EPA. At some point, every American is going to be either a spy or an informer for one government agency or another. I'm planning on joining this gravy train early, so I don't get stuck ratting for the Postal Service or something.

But Where Does Zartan Stay? Time Magazine has revealed the secret location of Dick "Destro" Cheney's famous "undisclosed location": In true Dr. Evil fashion, Mr. Halliburton stays in a secret, undergound lair. It's called Site R, it's under Raven Rock Mountain on the Maryland/Pennsylvania border, it's seven miles from Camp David, and it features "a secret world of five buildings, each three stories tall, computer filled caverns and a subterranean water reservoir." The number of ways in which the Vice President of the United States resembles a comic book supervillain continues to grow. At what point, I wonder, does Cheney hatch an ingenious plot to catch, once and for all, that infernal caped crusader and his bird-brain sidekick Robin? Tune in next week...Same Bat Time...Same Bat Channel!

-Consider Arms

Saturday, June 12, 2004

just something quick

To those fired for badmouthing Reagan, we salute you Apparently, in Alaska, home of the year round winter, a college DJ was fired for saying inflamatory things about Reagan and his greatest gift to mankind, his death. He, like the monster limo crew, had a party for the death of Reagan but did so on the air, which makes things just a bit more awkward when you have to face your bosses the next day. I tell you sir, if we had a radio station, we'd hire you.

just something quick

To those fired for badmouthing Reagan, we salute you Apparently, in Alaska, home of the year round winter, a college DJ was fired for saying inflamatory things about Reagan and his greatest gift to mankind, his death. He, like the monster limo crew, had a party for the death of Reagan but did so on the air, which makes things just a bit more awkward when you have to face your bosses the next day. I tell you sir, if we had a radio station, we'd hire you.


Friday, June 11, 2004

TODAY'S TOP FIVE: Working on My Night Moves. Also, on the Night Shift (Hence the Late Post).

Put the Boot In For the second straight year, British voters have given Tony Blair's Labour Party "a kicking" in local elections, with Iraq apparently the decisive factor in the party's unpopularity. For the first time in living memory, the governing party came in third in local elections, behind the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats. Labour lost 388 seats, and control of such northern strongholds as Newcastle and Leeds. Ken Livingstone's decisive win in today's London mayoral election doesn't really blunt the damage to Labour, since "Red Ken" has long been a thorn in Blair's side, and Labour kicked him out of the party four years ago and ran some tomato can against him in the last mayoral election (they have since come crawling back). The extremists, who did so well last year, failed to make significant gains, except for the surging popularity of the UK Independence Party, which advocates withdrawal from the European Union. We'll have to watch Sunday's European Parliament elections to see if the anti-Blair mood of the British public continues to make life difficult for George Bush's favorite lap dog.

That Depends on What the Meaning of "Torture" Is In a proud moment for American democracy, George W. Bush today categorically refused to condemn the use of torture by American troops, trying to dodge the question in a Bill Clinton-like fashion. When asked if torture could ever be justified, Bush replied, "Look, I'm going to say it one more time. ... The instructions went out to our people to adhere to law. That ought to comfort you." Jesus, did you ever think you'd live to see the day when the US president can't answer a question about whether torture is bad?

Isolated Incident! Isolated Incident! Goddamn You, Isolated Incident! The administration's line on Abu Ghraib - "It was a handful of hillbillies who had watched too much porno" - continues to evaporate. The Washington Post reported today that the use of dogs to torture prisoners was apparently official policy, as expressed in a memo. Does anyone know how many damaging memos we have that basically say, "Fuck the Geneva Convention - go ahead and torture people"? Isn't it like a million at this point? Note to US administration: Thank you for providing a paper trail when you broke the law. Keep it up, buddies.

Things Are Just Dandy in the New Athens 11 Chinese railroad workers were slaughtered in the heretofore-tranquil Afghan province of Kunduz this week, bringing voter registration efforts there to a halt and giving the lie to US claims that the age of Pericles has descended upon the blighted, war-torn nation. With elections planned for September, only a third of the eligible 10 million voters have registered, and Hamid Karzai is relying on warlords to get the vote out. Now let's all furrow our brows and try to remember what the point of invading was in the first place.

Today's "Thank God It's Friday" Special: Thank God There Will Be No More Reagan Tribute Stories Or, "Farewell to the Gipper, Friday Edition: I Have Come to Bury Caesar." It's been quite a week, both for the United States and for the Monster Limo Weblog. It seems that, while the mainstream press was busy sucking up to the expired tyrant, we here were busy getting our whacks in, desperately hoping to make that last chance to discuss El Mozote count. I think, in the words of after school specials, we had some fun, but we learned something to. True, we didn't post everything we wanted to: Reagan's crimes and foibles were so extensive it would take a separate web log operating for years to do justice to them all. But we hit on some important points, on our trip down memory lane: we remembered that Reagan brought us Osama, that he funded the Khmer Rouge, and that de-institutionalization was a terrible disaster. And so, while Reagan's funeral/day of mourning/grief porn extravaganza costs the taxpayers untold millions, perhaps it's appropriate to give the last word to Jimmy Breslin, the venerable Newsday reporter who once called Reagan so stupid that he "numbed an entire nation": "You are supposed to honor and respect the dead. But you also must respect the truth, and live for the living - and this funeral has gone on for almost a week."

-Consider Arms
Drown In My Own Tears

And By "Fighting Terrorism" We Mean "Letting Terrorism Increase" Good God, from levels of world terrorism to "Roses Are Red" Poems, this administration is able to lie about anything and everything. "The State Department acknowledged Thursday it was wrong in reporting terrorism declined worldwide last year, a finding used to boost one of President Bush's chief foreign policy claims -- success in countering terror. Instead, both the number of incidents and the toll in victims increased sharply, the department said."

Those New Ads For Monster.Com Did Seem Weird... Favorite nutcases WorldNetDaily are reporting that an Islamic website from Iran is offering an online job application for suicide bombers. Either these are the dumbest terrorists ever, or WorldNetDaily is currently investing in exciting financial possibilities in Nigeria. P.S. Ain't this a bitch Salman Rushdie?

The Butcher of My People Somehow, I don't think we'll hear Father Miguel D'Escoto deliver a eulogy for Reagan inbetween Bush and son-of-Bush. He's still uptight about Reagan supporting and funding "the moral equivilant of our founding fathers" in Nicaragua. "I was led to believe really, that Reagan was possessed by demons."

No Surprise Here, She's A HUGE PETA Supporter For the fourth time in seven years French actress Brigitte Bardot was convicted of inciting racial hatred, this time in her new book "A Cry in the Silence." In her book she calls homosexuals "cheap faggots or circus freaks," denigrates racial mixing, attacks the unemployed and warns about the "underground and dangerous infiltration of Islam." (Shocked the French would get upset about that last one.) At her trial, Bardot told the judge "Certainly, I’m not Balzac," to which the judge wryly responded, "The court had noticed."

-The Sikh Geek will be away at yoga camp for the next two weeks

Thursday, June 10, 2004

TODAY'S TOP FIVE: Belligerent Ghouls Run Manchester Schools.

Saudi Arabia Hates Grandma A horrible side effect of the skyrocketing price of gas, according to this Christian Science Monitor article, is that it's beginning to force volunteer drivers with Meals on Wheels to quit. The program supplies meals to more than 1 million homebound elderly people every day, and now because gas prices are shooting past $2 a gallon, volunteers who deliver the food (and, just as importantly, the only daily human contact some of these folks get) are dropping out because they can't afford to pay the price of gas. Once again, I note the astonishing incompetence of the Bush administration: Surely, if any administration in US history could successfully manage oil issues, it should be one composed almost entirely of oil company executives.

Don't Break Out the Top Hat and Cigars Just Yet, Capitalists! Conservative commentators have been snickering lately at John Kerry's insistence that the economy is in bad shape, largely because for the previous two months, jobless claims have fallen. However, last week they "unexpectedly" surged, leading to the highest level in months. Unnamed economists, though, assure us that the economy is still healthy. That makes me feel a whole better. Really.

Memo to Troops: Exterminate the Brutes Sigh. Another day, another embarassing memo from the administration that urges US forces to ignore international law when it comes to questioning prisoners of war. This time it's a memo from Donald Rumsfeld urging American soldiers to "take off the gloves" when interrogating American Taliban fighter John Walker Lindh. Things have gotten so bad that Attorney General John "Boob-fearer" Ashcroft was actually moved to reiterate that the administration opposes torture. "I don't think it's productive," he said. "Let alone justified." Let alone.

Making Loan Sharks Look Like St. Ambrose Already today we've seen how the Bush administration has fucked over housebound senior citizens and jobless workers. Now let's look at how they fuck over poor people with bank accounts: The sinister, quasi-public Federal Reserve has ruled that banks are allowed to continue charging hidden "bounce protection" fees on small depositors who overdraft their accounts. What happens is that when you take out more money from your bank account than you have, the bank automatically covers the transaction but then imposes high fees - incidentally, the bank does this without telling you. The fees amount to super-high interest loans - in fact, the interest rate at some banks is 520 percent, which not even the evilest loan shark would even think of charging. A consultant to banks who do this urges an interesting strategy: open branches "in supermarkets, particularly supermarkets with a middle to down market and a family target market." Poor people, you see, are a good source to hit with these fees, because they often have expenses that run over their account balance. This is part of a general trend toward encouraging irresponsible habits: in the past, banks used to refuse to honor overdrafts to encourage people to use their checking accounts responsibly. Now, high interest loans in the name of "credit extension" are a source of profit, and so banks are urging people to go into debt.

Farewell to the Gipper, Thursday Edition: We're Taking Your Land, Yokel Yesterday I discussed Reagan's compassionate policy of forcing the mentally ill to leave hospitals, which greatly increased the visibility of the homeless in the 1980s. Another jump in homelessness came during what's known as the Farm Crisis. Basically what happened is that Reagan's free market ideology demanded that he repeal 50 years of successful agricultural policy by slashing subsidies to farmers and erasing tariffs. Since small family farms basically depended on the subsidies to exist, this meant one thing: the end of family farming in America. At the height of the crisis, 180 family farms a day were shutting down, with farms being foreclosed on by banks or the federal Farm Credit System, which sold off 2 million acres of seized land, mostly to big commercial farms. In the states where farming was a way of life, the rates of murder, suicide, alcoholism, drug use, child abuse, and homelessness shot upwards. The bad press from this, coupled with a burgeoning farmers' movement in the midwest and plains states, forced Reagan to change course: after years of cutting subsidies, in 1984 Reagan began adding billions in farm subsidies, virtually in an effort to turn farming into a public utility. Here's the problem, though: Nearly 70 percent of all the subsidies went to large commercial farms, which didn't need the money. So, in the course of two terms, Reagan managed to essentially bring an end to the American family farm in the name of the free market and at the same time betray the free market in the name of political expediency (you'll note that the author of this article is a conservative, and he considers the farm policy of the Reagan administration a disastrous failure).

-Consider Arms
No Dakinis On Your Bikinis Harrods Department Store in London has apologized after selling underwear that featured the images of Hindu godesses. According to the article, another department store was in trouble last year for selling toilet seats with the image of a Hindu diety. My personal fave Hindu sacrilage of late is the casting of Tina Turner as the goddess Shakti in a new film by Ismail Merchant that makes Tina a post-facto Hindu diety according to a strict interpretation of Hindu theology. P.S. Are their no freelance photogs in the UK? What's up with the camera phone image in the article?

Too Bad They Left Out All The Wacky Shit About Space Aliens A popular drug-education program provided to San Francisco public schools free of charge is filled with "all the Scientology and Dianetics Handbook basics," without direct references to the "Church." Started in 1966 by L Rod Hubbard, Narconon is filled with the mad captain's pseudo-science. Students hear such gems as "When people take drugs, they affect the mental (image) pictures." and " that the body stores all kinds of toxins indefinitely in fat, where they wreak havoc on the mind until 'sweated' out." Maybe the Moonies can come in to teach a class on family living and marriage...

Alex Jones is Made Sane By Mainstream Iranian Media "The grand strategy of the plutocrats, who are neoliberal globalist Zionists, envisions hegemony through neocolonialist client states and puppets."

A Worthy Opponent To The Gay Penguin

You Steal No Thunder MCNS In another chapter of our ongoing "Worst Piece of Writing From the Left" saga, I humbly submit this article from AlterNet entitled "Kid Rock" about two hipster parents who, you know, don't want their 2-year old to listen to lame rock music, or something. You need a licence to fish, but anyone can have kids... "When Baldo was old enough to speak, he'd pipe, "Iron man!" in his little toddler falsetto. He'd sing the riff. I wept tears of joy and blogged furiously."

-The Sikh Geek

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Just Put Him In The Ground Already!!

Gentlemen, You Have Been Punk'd
Besides their usual reindeer games (read: playing "Abu Gharib"), the Sikh Geek and Consider Arms have recently been dueling eachother for the right to boast of the "dumbest piece of writing from the left" found on the web. While I hate to sneak in under the radar and steal anyone's thunder, I believe I have the gold metal winner. Naturally it comes from the Village Voice and it involves several...uh.."inches" of ruminations on the size of John Kerry's schlong. BOOM!!

--MC No Shame
TODAY'S TOP FIVE: The Long, Long Goodbye

Gearing Up for the Big "Kurd Sellout" The Kurds are threatening to pull out of the interim Iraqi government that won't exist for another three weeks. The UN resolution passed yesterday conferring the world body's blessing on the "transfer of sovereignty" that we are pretending to engineeer in Iraq contained no mention of the interim constitution, which happens to give Kurds a veto over some aspects of Iraqi government. The Grand Ayatollah Ali Al-Sistani doesn't like that provision, and apparently his objections were enough to nix mention of the document in the UN resolution. The Kurds now fear that their semi-autonomy will be swallowed up in a country that's 65 percent Shiite. Watching to see how Washington betrays the Kurds, its only real friends in Iraq, will be both compelling and terrible, like watching Celine Dion give birth.

President Batshit Crazypants Although this story relies on anonymous sources too much, it's fascinating reading. Apparently Bush, who aides say has become totally obsessed with John Kerry, is now subject to wild mood swings, veering from calm moments where he describes George Tenet's leaving as "the will of God" to crazed tantrums where he orders staffers to "fuck over" anyone he deems "enemies of the state." Staffers have begun referring to our demented leader and his cat-fearing sidekick, Attorney General John Ashcroft, as the Blues Brothers, "because they're on a mission from God."

Hot New Conspiracy Theory: You're All Traitors I have been saying for weeks, if not months, that Ralph Nader is a paid operative of the Republican Party. Apparently, this is the case in Arizona, where a top GOP fund-raiser is paying people to go out and get signatures needed to put Nader on the ballot. Along with the revelations that the Village Voice broke about the GOP running Al Sharpton's campaign, this makes me wonder exactly how many double agents there are on the left. Frankly, just between you and me, I have noticed The Sikh Geek accepting brown paper bags at a Ruth's Chris Steakhouse from a man who looked suspiciously like Karl Rove...

Not So Fast, Elbridge Gerry Big Supreme Court decision: the justices have declined to hear an appeal filed by the Colorado state GOP of a ruling by a state court that prevented the Republicans from redrawing the boundaries of voting districts. Redrawing districts normally takes place every 10 years, following a census, but the GOP in Colorado, Texas, and Ohio are trying to get it done now to give themselves a permanent, undemocratic majority in those states. By refusing to hear the appeal, the supremes have delivered a blow to the Republicans' sinister plot. Good one.

Farewell to the Gipper, Wednesday Edition: Thanks for All the Crazy People Hey, remember homeless people? I don't mean the working families too poor to afford housing that are now shunted, via school bus, from welfare hotel to welfare hotel that dominate the contemporary scene; I mean straight-up drunken, crazy, shouting-at-the-skies homeless people. Where did they all come from? And where did they all go? Well, in the spirit of Reagan Farewell Week, here's another piece to remind us exactly why the eight years Dutch spent in officer were so special. In his first term, under the guise of providing a humane alternative to forced institutionalization of the mentally ill, Reagan began a massive project which ultimately emptied most mental hospitals in the country. The move was part of the general cut in social services carried out to fund the Reagan tax cut, and the mentally ill got hit especially hard because, hey, who's going to stick up for a bunch of fucking nutcases? Plus, there were a lot of advocacy groups who argued that "community care centers" were better places for the mentally ill than hospitals. Maybe so, but there was one problem: the community care centers, originally started in the Kennedy administration, were totally unprepared to deal with the massive influx of new people, many of who were seriously ill and needed hospital care. The centers were even less prepared to deal with all the new clients when the Reagan administration cut their budget, too. The upshot of all this was that a huge number of people who should have been receiving some form of treatment were instead set loose to wander the streets. This served a double benefit: It saved the federal government money, and it provided an impetus for more "law and order" policies at the local level, since there were suddenly all these fucking lunatics running around (and, let's be honest, a number of these poor souls were dangerous to others). So, if that's where they came from, where did they go? Well, do the math. People who couldn't take care of themselves, who needed 24-hour care in order to do simple things like bathe, eat, and take medicine, are suddenly forced to fend for themselves, without so much as a roof over their heads. All through the 1980s and 1990s, the police found these people dead of overdoses in abandoned buildings, frozen to death under makeshift shelters, dead of exposure in public parks. Through all the tributes to Reagan this week, it's these memories that are perhaps the most eloquent indictment of a man who, though praised for his "old time values" and generous nature, ordered that sick people be turned out of hospitals to go find death in the streets.

-Consider Arms
A Bird of Truth Pooping in the Mouth of a Cyndi Lauper of Falsehood

Fear The Pain-Beam
"Between the bullet and the bullhorn" lie a whole legion of new non-lethal weapons being developed by the Defense Department. At the front is the "Active Denial System" which shoots a thin beam of energy at a person that leaves no mark, but makes them feel as if they were on fire. The Chicago PD are looking at their phone books and feeling like a bunch of chumps.

He DID Fall in the White House and Get That Mark on His Head...
A piece in the New Catholic Times describes the claims of freelance journalist Wayne Madsden that "in the eyes of many devout Catholic leaders, (George Bush) bear(s) all the hallmarks of the one warned about in the Book of Revelations--the anti-Christ." The only problem with that theory is according to Revelation the anti-Christ is supposed to be universally popular.

It's Bigger Than FLIP-FLOP, FLIP-FLOP! Nice little Boston Globe article on Bush doing the hokey-pokey with WMDs, assualt rifles, Chalabi, the Saddam-Osama nonconnection, the Department of Homeland Security and on and on. But, you know, at least he has conviction or something.

Kick the Corpse I'll stop kvetching about the Gipper when CNN only gives his death 20 hours of daily coverage. This Village Voice attck on Reagan is worth reading at the very least for this factoid towards the end: "I lived in Hollywood in the '80s, and back then, the legend was that Reagan's star needed the most upkeep on the Walk of Fame: It was constantly being defaced by vomit and urine."

And Proudly Display Your Diploma Printed On Mom's Desktop
The Southern Baptist Convention is moving ever closer towards supporting a resolution that would direct its memebers to pull their kids from public school and either send them to Christian schools or homeschool them. Activist Bruce Shortt likens sending a child to a public school to other serious problems like alcoholism or drug addiction. We can't support your efforts enough sir. May we introduce you to the Christian Exodus movement?

Now If They Only Made Camo Plastic Sheeting...

-The Sikh Geek

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

Damn That Liberal Media And It's Paeans To A Dead, Republican President! How Dare They Politicize This!

Um, NO Idea How I Missed This One
On Friday a disgruntled man in Granby, CO went on a "Tank" (remember that movie?) style rampage throughout town in his armored bulldozer... yes, I said "armored bulldozer". For an hour and a half Marvin Heemeyer selectively destroyed 13 homes and buildings, all related to his zoning dispute with the city, using a bulldozer outfitted with an impervious steel and concrete cage around the driver's seat. This little beauty also featured three cameras that Heemeyer used to steer with and rifles mounted to the front. When the vehicle became lodged in a building it was trying to trash, Heemeyer turned the gun on himself. It took the SWAT team two attempts with explosives to gain access before Heemeyer's body could be removed. Now that's what I call TCB.

--MC No Shame

Could I Have Two Fives, Please? With Reagan's body barely cold, his acolytes in Congress are moving to change the faces on US paper money, which have been in place since 1929 (more of that conservative respect for tradition we've come to expect from the GOP). The Senate bill would replace Alexander Hamilton on the $10, and the House bill would replace Andrew Jackson on the $20. A "compromise" would put Reagan's mug on one side of the dime and Franklin Roosevelt's on the other. The funniest thing about this, to me, is that the Republicans have zeroed in on the only Democrat to be featured on paper money (Jackson) and Hamilton, the hapless Treasury Secretary who was killed in a duel. I would have loved to have been present at the strategy meeting where they ultimately decided that Grant got to stay on the $50.

Meanwhile, In the Real World... Although I like a good game of kick-the-corpse as much as the next guy, there has been actual news happening since the death of the Gipper. The New York Times uncovered a March, 2003 memo from White House lawyers opining that neither the president nor any executive branch officials (including those in the military) are legally bound by an international treaty prohibiting torture or by a federal law banning it in interrogations. This leads one to wonder: If no one in the executive branch is bound by these, whom were they designed to keep in check? Those murderous thugs on the Supreme Court?

Wait, We Have Troops in Afghanistan? Oh, that's right! It was so long ago, I forgot. Apparently, the Taliban is still alive and kicking, and spurning Hamid Karzai's offer to participate in the new Afghan government. According to this report, fighting between the Taliban and US forces is now expanding beyond the areas where it was previously confined. Say, isn't Afghanistan routinely hailed as a success story by advocates of the "war on terror"? Doesn't President Bush routinely talk about how our efforts have destroyed the Taliban? Someone should tell them they've been destroyed. Maybe that will help.

The Grim Denoument Robert Mugabe, the pirate who runs Zimbabwe, has apparently scraped the bottom. In the past, whenever his popularity would take a dip, he would allow some thugs to "reclaim" a farm owned by white Africans (farms that were, for a variety of reasons that have nothing to do with skin color, the only successful ones in the country). Now he has announced that the state is seizing all farms, not just the ones owned by whites. Since Mugabe began seizing the farms in 2000, Zimbabwe has gone from exporting food to producing less than half of its own needs. This will not help. "In the end all land shall be state land and there shall be no such thing as private land," Land Reform Minister John Nkomo said. Yeah, because nothing says "productivity and efficiency" like "the Zimbabwean bureaucracy."

Okay, Okay, I Couldn't Resist I guess, after yesterday's Top Five inspired, that I'll be posting at least one "golden oldie" from the Reagan regime for as long as his death is front and center in the American news. Think of it as a useful corrective to all the bullshit about how he's the most popular president ever and so forth. Today's installment: the history of the massacre at El Mozote in El Salvador, carried out by the Atlacatl Battalion, a group of killers trained and equipped by the US military (in fact, US military "advisors" were along for the ride when the 800 or so villagers at Mozote were slaughtered). A month after the New York Times and Washington Post carried stories of the massacre, Reagan showed that decisive leadership that we've heard so much about lately: He signed a bill giving $55 million in military aid to El Salvador (over the course of the country's civil war, the US military aid ultimately amounted to more than $6 billion, more than El Salvador's GDP).

-Consider Arms
The Great Taxer But Reagan was the greatest man to walk the earth since Jesus Christ because he cut taxes and got government "off our backs," right? "But Ronald Reagan does hold a special place in the annals of tax policy... he was more pragmatic and responsible than that; he followed his huge 1981 tax cut with two large tax increases."

I Meet You At The Cemetery Gates Thousands of Irish fans attending a Morrisey concert cheered when the crooner announced the death of Ronald Reagan on stage. They cheered even louder when Morrisey announced that the death should have been George W Bush's.

CNN Readers Remember Reagan
Frankly, I am wondering who in heaven's name all these sentimental, laudatory remembrances are about. Isn't this the president who engineered a covert triangle of weapons exchange between my country, Iran and the Contra rebels? And when questioned about it ... denied remembering anything about it? ...

Ronald Reagan will be remembered as a man who brought more grief than good to the Africans. He supported people like [former Zaire dictator] Mobutu Sese Seko, did not do anything to help bring apartheid to an end in the republic of South Africa and killed children in Libya.

[His] administration squandered the country's resources while neglecting urgent matters such as health-care reform, leaving a host of intractable problems for his successors to resolve. His so-called wit and humor were nothing but smarmy sappiness.

The Axis of Logic: Making the MLWL Look Moderate

-The Sikh Geek

Monday, June 07, 2004

I Spit On Your Grave

Consider Arms and the Sikh Geek have already done an excellent job cataloging the laundry list of crimes against humanity, economics, class, the environment, and sound mental aptitude that occurred under the Gipper's watch. So let me just slip into seething-with-hate-liberal-mode here for a second and say that the B-rate actor who tried to be a president was never a friend of mine. Crack, AIDS, urban blight, deregulation, "trickle down economics", Star Wars, Iran-Contra, etc... I never imagined I'd live thru a worse time in American politics. Thanks for proving me wrong, George. When I heard that Reagan had finally kicked I hopped a bus to Philly to raise a glass and toast the death of one of the most vile figures in 20th century American politics. In honor of this great event I'd like to offer up some Reagan Youth lyrics in eulogy. Ronnie, where ever you are, suck it.

We are the sons of Reagan ...Heil!
Gonna kill us some pagans ...Heil!
The right's your sacred mission
Start an inquisition
Gonna purge the heathen minds!

We are Reagan Youth! ...Heil! Heil! Heil!
Reagan Youth ...Zeig Heil!

We are the sons of Reagan ...Heil!
We are the godforsaken ...Heil!
The right is our religion
We'll watch television
Tons of fun and brainwashed slime

We are the sons of Reagan ...Heil!
We are the unawakened ...Heil!
Want another war?
Forward to El Salvador!
Gonna kill some communists!

You are Reagan Youth! ...Heil! Heil! Heil!
Reagan Youth! ...Zeig Heil!

Don't be fooled!

--MC No Shame, we're gonna party like it's your birthday
Bedtime For Bonzo

Let's Call A Five-Minute Truce You Drunken, Fat Asshole Christopher Hitchens goes ape with animal metaphors in this scathing piece about Reagan, calling him at times "a cruel and stupid lizard" and "not even a hedgehog."

"Reaganism is shorthand for a particular culture of consumption, a reverie of militarism, of violence redeemed; of a manic, corrupted and malevolent idealism. The priorities of this culture at the directly political level were simple enough: the transfer of income from the poor to the rich, the expansion of war production and an 'activist' foreign policy, traditional in many ways but as Noam Chomsky has said, 'at an extreme end of the spectrum: intervention, subversion, aggression, international terrorism and general gangsterism and lawlessness, the essential content of the Reagan Doctrine.'"
-Alexander Cockburn

I'm Sorry Computer Monitor, Jerry Falwell Made Me Punch You I guess when you're an evangelical who ignores the 2,000 years of saint-making in the Christian faith, the best you can do is sanctify a man who sponsored death squads and showed little to no sympathy for the poor, hungry and sick.
P.S. Is it nerve or stupidity that is required to say of the first administration under a born-again Christian president, "Faith in the Oval Office had deteriorated under President Carter."?

"As forgetful and irresponsible as he was, he forgot to take his worst works to the grave. He, who never should have been born, has died."
-Cuban national radio

-The Sikh Geek, still pissed he missed out on the MLWL Reagan death party
"We Will Be Forever in His Debt" (ha! Get it?)

(Above: Reagan lays a wreath on the grave of fallen SS men at the cemetery in Bitburg, West Germany)

Okay, so there's a lot of news that should go in the Top Five today, but based on the tributes we've already had to stomach, and those that we will have to endure, I thought it might be nice to provide a little balance. Thus, today's posting is entirely devoted to the foibles and crimes of the Reagan administration.


Number One: The October Surprise In 1980, Reagan backers like sinister arch-conspirator William Casey cut a deal with the Iranian radicals who had seized American hostages at the U.S. embassy in Teheran: don't release those hostages until after the election, ensuring a victory for Reagan and a defeat for incumbent president Jimmy Carter. In exchange, Reagan's backers agreed to start secretly shipping military supplies to the Ayatollah's government. Private citizens making foreign policy decisions with sworn enemies of the United States: they used to call it "treason." However, these contacts would be helpful to Ronnie, because they led almost directly to...

Number Two: The Iran-Contra Scandal So confusing that few even today fully grasp it, here's basically what happened: Congress passed a law forbidding US aid to the Nicaraguan contras, a fascist terrorist organization then engaged in a guerrilla war against the Sandinista government (our younger readers won't be familiar with the background; basically, the Sandinistas wore red neckerchiefs and gave out free medical aid to poor people, and thus established themselves as Enemies of Freedom). So, Reagan and his gang of flunkies (Oliver North, McFarlane, Elliot Abrams, "Cap" Weinberger, etc.) returned to their Iranian benefactors for a deal. The U.S. sold heavy armaments, including missiles, to Iran (through a rogue general in the Israeli military) and used the money to fund the contras. Again: the president of the United States was illegally violating his own embargo to sell military equipment to a hostile foreign power so he could illegally fund a terrorist group in Latin America. And you thought Bush invented crazy skullduggery like this!

Number Three: Funding the Khmer Rouge Now, I know what you're going to say. "Wait a minute," you'll say. "Wasn't Reagan's entire foreign policy based on fighting against the red neckerchief-wearing forces of Communism? Why would he strike a deal with arguably the worst group of Communists in the history of the world?" The answer, bizarrely, is fear of Communism. You see, Pol Pot's psychotic, genocidal regime was driven out of power in Cambodia by the Vietnamese, who then occupied the country. The Vietnamese, in addition to being Communists themselves, were also our sworn enemies, having defeated us in the Vietnam War. On the dubious principle that the enemy of my enemy is my friend (even when that friend kills 2 million people and makes giant skull pyramids), the Reagan administration diverted funds and military equipment to the Khmer Rouge so they could continue the good fight against, er, Communism. Bear in mind that this aid came after the world knew the enormity of Pol Pot's crimes.

Number Four: Our Friend Bin Laden This is very similar to item three, except this time the "enemy of my enemy" stuff really came back to bite us on the ass. In 1979, the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan to shore up a faltering Communist government there. When Reagan came into office he cooked up - along with the governments of Saudi Arabia and Pakistan - an international effort to aid the Afghans fighting the Soviet occupation. This effort included funneling thousands of Muslim fighters from around the world who responded to the Afghan war the way that young leftists rallied to the defense of Republican Spain. Among these young idealists - who received still-unspecified training, aid, and military equipment from the US - were a Saudi named Osama Bin Laden and an Afghan mullah named Muhammad Omar. Al Qaeda, the international jihadist-salafist conspiracy that would eventually murder thousands of Americans, was born - on our dime - in the training camps of Peshawar.

Number Five: He Done Wrecked the Economy You didn't think all of Reagan's screw-ups were foreign policy-related, did you? No, indeed: Reagan also wreaked havoc on the domestic front. Here's what happened: When the Reagan gang came into power in 1981, they had a plan that would give wealthy people more money while simultaneously providing an excuse to slash the budgets of social programs that poor people depended on. The magic bullet solution was a tax cut. If the federal government had less money coming in, it would have to fund fewer programs, and Reagan did his best to demonize inexpensive, safety net programs like welfare and "stringless grants" to local government. The real expensive item was the defense budget, which went through the roof under Reagan, and caused the largest budget deficits in US history (until GW Bush, of course). The result is that "small business," far from reviving under Reagan, went down even faster: Family farms in America went bankrupt at the rate of 180 per day during 1985 and 1986. Meanwhile, the tax burden on Americans actually increased during the Reagan years, despite the pervasive mythology about his bold tax cuts. In fact, Reagan's handling of the economy was so disastrous that it took eight years of Clinton's presidency to get the country a surplus again, and then... well, and then Bush Jr. took office, and we're all back in the red and talking about killing Social Security.

Ronald Reagan, a grateful nation salutes you.

-Consider Arms
Rot In Hell Ronnie

The firing of the air traffic controllers, winnable nuclear war, recallable nuclear missiles, trees that cause pollution, Elliott Abrams lying to Congress, ketchup as a vegetable, colluding with Guatemalan thugs, pardons for F.B.I. lawbreakers, voodoo economics, budget deficits, toasts to Ferdinand Marcos, public housing cutbacks, redbaiting the nuclear freeze movement, James Watt. Getting cozy with Argentine fascist generals, tax credits for segregated schools, disinformation campaigns, "homeless by choice," Manuel Noriega, falling wages, the HUD scandal, air raids on Libya, "constructive engagement" with apartheid South Africa, United States Information Agency blacklists of liberal speakers, attacks on OSHA and workplace safety, the invasion of Grenada, assassination manuals, Nancy's astrologer. Drug tests, lie detector tests, Fawn Hall, female appointees (8 percent), mining harbors, the S&L scandal, 239 dead U.S. troops in Beirut, Al Haig "in control," silence on AIDS, food-stamp reductions, Debategate, White House shredding, Jonas Savimbi, tax cuts for the rich, "mistakes were made." Michael Deaver's conviction for influence peddling, Lyn Nofziger's conviction for influence peddling, Caspar Weinberger's five-count indictment, Ed Meese ("You don't have many suspects who are innocent of a crime"), Donald Regan (women don't "understand throw-weights"), education cuts, massacres in El Salvador. "The bombing begins in five minutes," $640 Pentagon toilet seats, African-American judicial appointees (1.9 percent), Reader's Digest, C.I.A.-sponsored car-bombing in Lebanon (more than eighty civilians killed), 200 officials accused of wrongdoing, William Casey, Iran/contra. "Facts are stupid things," three-by-five cards, the MX missile, Bitburg, S.D.I., Robert Bork, naps, Teflon.
(thanks AlterNet)

-The Sikh Geek, still remembering El Mazote

Saturday, June 05, 2004


Friday, June 04, 2004

TODAY'S TOP FIVE: Special "Fall On Your Sword" Edition!

Does "I'm a Total Fuck-up" Count as a "Personal Reason"? Farewell, then, George Tenet. The Clinton-appointed CIA director, who arguably presided over the worst series of failures in the agency's history, has jumped on the grenade for the Bush administration's disastrous handling of Iraq. But don't think for a second that his resignation, coming as it does when the president's poll numbers are at an all-time low, has anything to do with the catalogue of failures the agency has amassed under his tenure. No. Nor should you assume that his resignation was timed to coincide with the three harsh reports assessing the CIA's failures on September 11 and Iraq that are going to be released soon. No indeed. For, as George W. Bush says, Tenet is merely stepping down for "personal reasons." Yes, I'm sure that's it.

They're Dropping Like Flies My goodness, the CIA must be rife with untended "personal reasons"! A day after Tenet announces he'll resign, James Pavitt, the agency's deputy director for operations, is also quitting the spook biz. Just as before, the CIA insists that this resignation (1) has nothing to do with the three reports coming out blasting the agency's poor performance (2) is not connected in any way to Tenet's resignation and (3) was planned "weeks ago," anyway. Still, it's a little creepy when satirical headlines are actually writing the news in advance.

Just Wait Until the Election, Damn It! Hugo Chavez, the democratically-elected president of Venezuela, faces another anti-democratic attempt to remove him from office: a recall election. Opponents of Chavez have barely garnered enough signatures necessary to force a recall (it helps if you sign up dead people, as the anti-Chavistas did), although Chavez's term is up in 2006 anyway. Boy, you know, if they keep this up, eventually Venezuela's political system is going to have as poor a reputation as the one in the United States.

Fifteen Years Later Today is the fifteenth anniversary of the massacre of pro-democracy protesters in Beijing's Tiananmen Square. To commemorate this event, pro-democracy forces in Hong Kong, Taipei, and Washington gathered for marches, vigils, and hunger strikes, and Human Rights Watch released a list of people still imprisoned in China because of their activities during the demonstrations. Meanwhile, the Chinese government commemorated the event, which it still denies happened, by arresting 16 protesters who were marking the anniversary.

Today's "Thank God It's Friday" Special: Is Our Fabulous President Fabulously Gay?

Not that there's anything wrong with that.

-Consider Arms