Monday, December 27, 2004

TODAY'S TOP FIVE: The Day The Earth Wouldn't Stand Still.

Holy Fucking Shit The death toll in the earthquake/tsunami combo that devastated the Indian Ocean region over the weekend is now at 21,000, with more than 12,000 of those in Sri Lanka alone. The earthquake was so powerful that it moved the island of Sumatra 100 feet to the west; it was so powerful that it actually disturbed the rotation of the planet. The relevant governments are saying that they gave inadequate warnings of the tsunami...but what's an adequate warning for a 20 foot wall of water traveling 500 miles per hour?

Today, All the World Wants to be Ukrainian! So says president-elect Viktor Yushchenko, anyway, and who can blame him for being a little over-excited? He's just won the third round of presidential elections in his country, and it looks like he's the winner, although the pro-Russian candidate vows to challenge the results of the election in court. Still, in this brief period before the shit storm really kicks up, let's take a moment and enjoy the fact that, incredibly, the good guys managed to win one.

Night of the Living Muslim Dead Residents in Somerville, Tenn. have successfully blocked a Muslim group from building (installing? developing?) a cemetery on a plot of land it owns, in part because of fears that the cemetery would be used as a terrorist staging ground. "Ladies and gentlemen, you may think this is farfetched, but that is what the Jewish people thought when the Nazis started taking a small foothold, a little at a time, in their community," one opponent said at a public meeting. I would almost support this insane act of bigotry if the reason they opposed the cemetery was a fear it would attract goths.

The Nigerian Letter, Alex P. Keaton-Style The College Republicans - which, since 2002, is not a group affiliated with the Republican Party - is in trouble for soliciting millions of dollars in a direct-mail campaign that used front organizations to make people think they were sending money to the Republican Party. A large number of those who made donations apparently include that reliable demographic for fraud: elderly people with dementia. Hey, shouldn't these College Republican douchebags be fighting in Iraq or something?

Bringing You the Wars of Tomorrow, Today More than 1.7 million Iraqi Kurds have signed a petition calling on the United Nations to allow a referendum vote on independence for Iraqi Kurdistan. This is the largely-unnoticed powder keg simmering beneath all the other disasters in Iraq: A huge number of Kurds want independence, despite the weasel-words of the two main Kurdish parties in Iraq. However, Turkey, Iran, and Syria all vehemently oppose an independent Kurdistan, with Turkey boasting a decades-long war against its own Kurdish population as proof of how far it's willing to go to block the political aspirations of the Kurds. Thank God we have capable foreign officials like Condoleeza Rice, Donald Rumsfeld, and that nut who combs his hair with his own spit to sort these delicate situations out.

-Consider Arms