Monday, June 14, 2004

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