Monday, January 31, 2005

Truckdriver To The Sugar-Craving Minions Of Tim Allen

Generation of Vipers. Really Stupid Vipers. A study of high school students released today showed that in matters of personal liberty and Constitutional rights, the youth of America are united in an empassioned "Whatever." One in three students said that the First Amendment goes "too far" and three out of four said that burnign the flag is illegal, which it is not, well, not yet...

Gitmo Being Run By Vengeful Older Brother, Demanding "Why Are You Self-Harming Yourself?!" After reading this I want to perform a hanging gesture.

Perpetual Listmonger: Corruption/Corporation Edition
From Alternet comes the 10 worst corporations of 2004.

-The Sikh Geek

Friday, January 28, 2005

I've Got $5 On The Governor. He's Fighting With Something To Prove.

Ain't Irony A Bitch A college student who attacked seat-belt laws in the university's newspaper dies in a carwreck. He wasn't wearing a seatbelt. His two friends who survived were. Hey, at least he'll make the paper again. Under the Darwin Awards.

Who Isn't The Republican Alan Freed These Days? Do the matrimonial-payola! Fresh off the chuncky heels of Maggie Gallagher comes Mark McManus, yet another chump paid to push Bush's marriage agenda while passing himself off as a real columnist.

Why Dress Up? It's Only A Solemn Commemeration Of The Holocaust With All Of The Major European Heads Of State...

Dick Cheney, Snow-Shoveling Child.

Our Mental and Moral Superiors In The Red States "A state senator has a plan for saving Oklahoma's gamefowl industry now that cockfighters are legally prohibited from pitting birds fitted with razor-like spurs. State Sen. Frank Shurden, a longtime defender of cockfighting, is suggesting that roosters be given little boxing gloves so they can fight without bloodshed. The proposal is in a bill the Henryetta Democrat has introduced for the legislative session that begins Feb. 7. 'Who's going to object to chickens fighting like humans do? Everybody wins,' Sen. Frank Shurden said."

Less Like Adbusters and More Like Mark-Ass Bustas
It's a sport among tose at the MLWL to see how much time can pass before either PETA or Adbusters does something cringe-worthy. Fresh from their "Post-Apocalypse" issue (because even after collapse of industrial civilization, a lame Situationist-biting glossy will still make it out by deadline) Adbusters has decided to market a shoe known as Blackspot and advertize it with weird quick-cut ads. So the best way to protest advertising products is to advertise a product... Douchebags.

Worst Substitute Teacher Ever. EVER.
But hey, maybe she could get a job at Gitmo?!

-The Sikh Geek

Thursday, January 27, 2005

So THAT'S How They Felt When They Hoisted Up "Bring The War Home" Banners

CNN, Soon To Give Masthead Credit To "Pentagon Press Release"
The race to the bottom with Fox continues. This article was linked by a headline that read "Stop-The-Vote Violence Kills 5 In Iraq." How exactly is the "stop-the-vote" violence of today different than all of the violence of a few weeks or few months ago? Will CNN soon replace the word "insurgents" with "puppy-kicking goodness-hating monsters with fangs and scales"? Were there any supermodels hurt in the helicopter crash? Answers, please.

Big Ups To CNN, Part II

Daily Kos Addresses CT's Long Running Embarrassment Senator Joseph "Jomentum" Leiberman recently took a break from waging a war against sugar and video games to give his full-support behing the recent nomination of Frederick Chopin Rice, citing that lawmakers shouldn't look so much to her past resume of failure and deception as they should give American policy "the benefit of the doubt." Has anyone on a job interview ever had the balls to suggest that "what I've done in the past really has no bearing on what I will do"?

At Least David Rees Is Still Around...

Our Brave Heroes, Defending Freedom The interrogator left the room to ask a Muslim linguist how she could break the prisoner's reliance on God. The linguist told her to tell the detainee that she was menstruating, touch him, then make sure to turn off the water in his cell so he couldn't wash. Strict interpretation of Islamic law forbids physical contact with women other than a man's wife or family, and with any menstruating women, who are considered unclean. "The concept was to make the detainee feel that after talking to her he was unclean and was unable to go before his God in prayer and gain strength," says the draft, stamped "Secret." The interrogator used ink from a red pen to fool the detainee, Saar writes. "She then started to place her hands in her pants as she walked behind the detainee," he says. "As she circled around him he could see that she was taking her hand out of her pants. When it became visible the detainee saw what appeared to be red blood on her hand. She said, 'Who sent you to Arizona?' He then glared at her with a piercing look of hatred. "She then wiped the red ink on his face. He shouted at the top of his lungs, spat at her and lunged forward" - so fiercely that he broke loose from one ankle shackle. "He began to cry like a baby," the draft says, noting the interrogator left saying, "Have a fun night in your cell without any water to clean yourself."

-The Sikh Geek
TODAY'S TOP FIVE: It's Going to Get Worse Before It Gets Even Worse.

Caesar Threatens Senate With Plebiscite In the latest of what seems to be a never-ending series of stories detailing the buyer's remorse that California should feel over electing the drug-using son of a Nazi to the governor's mansion, Gov. Schwarzenegger has announced a brilliant new strategy to avoid having to deal with the Democrat-controlled legislature: eliminate them. Because of California's goofy-ass law on referendum votes, Arnold is going to use his celebrity to get enough signatures to put laws up for referendum that would never be passed by the legislature. Most importantly, he's going to put the entire budget up for referendum vote; the privatization of the state employees' pension plan; and a redistricting plan that will neuter the legislature. California, you're jingling all the way to dictatorship.

America's Newest Foe: Gay Cartoon Characters After Margaret Spellings was confirmed as federal Education Sec'y, people in Washington thought she would be a breath of fresh air after the controversial, journalist-bribing tenure of Rod Paige. Those hopeful souls were quickly disappointed, though, when Spellings' first act as Secretary turned out to be a bizarre attack on a PBS cartoon show in which a bunny rabbit named Buster travels to Vermont and encounters two lesbian couples, among others. PBS has now agreed not to air the episode, thus saving our children from a life of sin. Hot on the heels of James Dobson's war on Spongebob Squarepants, this signals a new front in the conservative culture war: the completely ridiculous front.

Waiting for the Man...the Man Named Hamid Karzai Afghan puppet ruler Hamid Karzai has managed to block a U.S. plan to spray crop-killing chemicals on the vast, productive opium fields of Afghanistan, thus frustrating a U.S. effort to control what is now the largest crop of heroin in the world. Currently, 5.1 million acres of land in Afghanistan is being used to grow poppies for opium cultivation. Now, before you say "Well, at least heroin is better than terrorism," you should note the reason for the belated U.S. alarm: the heroin trade is funding Islamist terrorists in the region.

I Predict Social Security Will Go Bankrupt, Exactly 17 Years Ago Much has been made in the sinister liberal media of the fact that the Social Security "crisis" George Bush is forecasting for 2018 and 2042 (depending on what mood he's in, apparently) is no such thing. But this is not the first time the son of privilege has gone all Chicken Little on the government's most effective entitlement: During his unsuccessful run for Congress in Texas in 1978, Bush made it a campaign point to stress that Social Security would be bankrupt by 1988, and that the government should allow private investment accounts. As we all know, Social Security did, in fact, go bankrupt in 1988, and now there is no longer any Social Security.

Conservative Opinions at Rock Bottom Prices First, there was the revelation that the Department of Education paid hack columnist Armstrong Williams $240,000 to hype the No Child Left Behind Act. Now, we have another example of the government bribing a journalist to promote opinions they would have pimped for free. Maggie Gallagher apparently received somewhere in the neighborhood of $40,000 in 2002 and 2003 from the Department of Health and Human Services to promote George Bush's wacko marriage policies, while simultaneously writing a syndicated column extolling the virtue of the selfsame wacko policies. Gallagher's excuse, which I am not making up? "I would have disclosed the payments if I had remembered them." Boy, the conservative racket has to be more lucrative than I thought, if you can just forget when someone lays 40 G's on you.

-Consider Arms

Wednesday, January 26, 2005


An Ode To Keeping It Real
Murder Inc. label head Irv "Gotti" Lorenzo and his brother Christopher surrendered to the FBI on money laundering charges today. They're charged with funneling hundreds of thousands of dollars in drug money, from Gotti friend and drug lord Kenneth "Supreme" McGriff, through the shitty rap label best known for cutie Ashanti and Mr. Scary Voice, Ja Rule. "Cocaine business controls America..."

--MC No Shame, are you happy now, Sikh Geek?
Like A Swift Kick To The Groin. Followed By Another.

Bedtime for Democracy Part One and Part Two
Attorney General Alberto "Inhuman and Cruel is Still Cool" Gonzales and Madame Secretary Rice.

It's More Disturbing When You're Old Enough To Recognize The Inherently Dangerous Race-Baiting Say hello to the latest pro-wrestling superstar, Muhammad Hassan! Muhammad is a rough around the edges Arab stereotype who will make you feel allright about booing bullshit like Arabs in our country. Finally, an Iron Sheik for our times.

The Force Is Apparently Not With The Nerdy And Untouched A Seattle man was given the boot after attempting to squat outside a Cinerama Theatre for ALMOST FIVE MONTHS to see the new Star Wars movie. The Jedi Knight/douchebag was not angry so much at the evicting officers as he was at the city of Seattle itself. Said he, "...I also challenge the idea that you're wasting your time if you're not stuck in a cubicle all day." Yeah, a self-imposed bivouac on a sidewalk for over a third of a year to see a shitty Lucas film isn't a waste of time.

How Dare The Sacramento Bee Tarnish The Image Of Our Country's Heroes???!!! Because before 9-11 hysteria, the NYPD were most known for shooting immigrants and sodomizing detainees while firefighters were mostly thought of as scumbags who could be banging someone's wife.

Million-Dollar Bullshit Is the Telegraph better than FrontPage? Disability activists and anti-euthanasia groups are coming together to protest the Warner Brothers film Million-Dollar Baby and it's veiled second half "Hooray for killing the disabled and worthless!" plot twist. A woman from the National Spinal Cord Injury Association said that Clint Eastwood was guilty of using the "power of fame and film to perpetuate his view that the lives of people with disabilities are not worth living." A researcher for the group Not Dead Yet said the film, "plays out killing as a romantic fantasy and gives emotional life to the `better dead than disabled' mindset." There's always the chance that Clint just hates the handicapped. He did spend over half-a-million dollars to fight a court order to make his Carmel, California hotel handicapped-accessible (one images it as a greater sum than that of the actual renovations).

-The Sikh Geek

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Man, Bob Guccione Looks Like A MESS.

That's Gonna Be One Wicked Awesome Embassy! Tucked into the ball-shattering request for another $80 billion for the Iraqi war is a pricetag of $1.5 billion for a new US embassy. Who designed it? Bob Guccione?

"Morning Shock Jocks" Becomes Slang For "Pair Of Douchebags In Front Of A Mic"
Because nothing could be funnier on your morning commute than making fun of the victims of the greatest natural disaster tragedy in recent memory.

Rich Little, Nowhere To Go But Down After Hawking Little Debbie Snackcakes Making the piano-playing douchebag on PBS look good, Rich Little entertained attendees at the Inauguration by honoring Ronald Reagan while simultaneously taking cheap shots at the poor. Little said he missed and adored the late President Ronald Reagan and "I wish he was here tonight, but as a matter of fact he is," and he proceeded to impersonate Reagan, saying, "You know, somebody asked me, 'Do you think the war on poverty is over?' I said, 'Yes, the poor lost.' " The crowd went wild.

Blast Form The Past: Divorcing Your Cancer-Stricken Wife As She Lays On A Hospital Bed Big ups Newt!

While I Never Thought I'd Be Rooting Intensely For Leo... I also never thought I'd be sourcing an article from FrontPage either. But movies that glorify killing off the sick and handicapped deserve little more than empty ticket lines. Big ups Hillary Swank! Hopefully the Academy will forget you and Clint like you forgot your husband while accepting your last (and hopefully last) Oscar!

Speaking Of The Oscars... Here are the nominees for the 2004 Razzies.

-The Sikh Geek

Monday, January 24, 2005

I Never Thought I Would Have So Much Respect For Someone Over At Vanity Fair

What Else Could One Expect On A Day That Brought Forth Edith Warton?
A scientist at Cardiff Univeristy has surmised that January 24th is the most depressing day of the year: a miserbale combination of "lousy weather, post-Christmas debt, time elapsed since yuletide indulgence, failed new year resolutions, motivation levels, and the desperate need to have something to look forward to." Killer.

In Case You're The "Compare Apples and Oranges" Type, That Means The Entire Cost Undergraduate Degress For At Least One-Million People Another $80 billion for the war in Iraq. Killer.

Don't Worry Norway, We're Terrified Too.

Can't They Just Keep On Keeping Their Promises? Good job, Mel Gibson. Not long after making hudreds of millions of dollars off the crucifixion, defending his Holocaust-denying father and suckering the public into believing his Pope-hating schismatic faith is "traditional Catholicism," Mel's film Braveheart is inspiring born-again douchebags to rediscover their inner warriors. Shouldn't this have been lefting to the Ultimate Warrior?

Another Drop In The Ocean Of Shitty Modern Art Two tenured art professors have resigned from UCLA after the school failed to suspend a graduate student for his performance art piece in which he apparantly used a gun in a possibly mock round of Russian Roulette. Ready for the turn from suck to massive suck? One of the protesting professors was the "artist" behind "Shoot," a performance art piece in which his assistant shot him in the arm with a .22 caliber rifle. The other professor declared the lack of disciplinary action as "sort of the last straw." Raze the entire fucking department and declare the unused rubble an instalation piece entitled "Department of Douchebag Studies."

-The Sikh Geek, appropriately listening to The Red House Painters today
TODAY'S TOP FIVE: I Survived the Blizzard of '05, But I Was Really Bored.

RIP Johnny Carson A lot will be written this week about Johnny Carson's cultural and sociological significance - as a last exemplar of the time when popular culture had a center, as the last link with the vaudeville era, as the comforting tonic for Vietnam-era Americans facing social disintegration, etc. But what should be remembered is that he was an individual, a performer, and most of all knew how to deliver material well. Even when he bombed, he got a laugh - "You didn't boo me when I smothered a grenade at Guadalcanal" being one of my favorite ripostes to an unenthusiastic crowd. This link takes you to another good example: the text of "What Democracy Means to Me," which he delivered in September 1991, after the final collapse of the Soviet Union. Read it, and remember that, despite all the talk about his Midwestern sensibility and his essential white guy-ness, how gutsy his stuff could be, especially in light of today's superpatriotism: "Democracy is buying a big house you can't afford with money you don't have to impress people you wish were dead...Yes, democracy means fighting every day for what you deserve, and fighting even harder to keep other, weaker people from getting what they deserve."

DIY, the Rumsfeld Way Here's a good example of good old fashioned Yankee ingenuity: When the existing national intelligence service refuses to cook the books to produce information that suits your distorted view of the world, get around the problem by simply creating your own intelligence service! That's what Donald Rumsfeld did: the Washington Post has exposed the existence of an organization called the Strategic Support Branch which has been spying in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other parts of the world for two years.

A Grateful Nation Says "Fuck Off" The presumptive future Prime Minister of Iraq, Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, has raised some eyebrows in Washington with comments this weekend relating the first item on his agenda: getting rid of the Americans. Al-Hakim, head of the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq, is also the leader of the United Iraqi Alliance, the coalition of the main Shi'ite parties formed on the instructions of our old pal the Ayatollah Al-Sistani. Al-Hakim denounced the Americans for "massacres and atrocities" against the Iraqi people and said he wants U.S. and British troops to be replaced by Iranians and Syrians. It will be interesting to see if there isn't some kind of "major surprise" with this week's elections that result in the election of a more pliable Iraqi.

Antonin Scalia, More Catholic Than the Pope Here's an interesting story about evil genius (and possible soon-to-be Chief Justice of the Supreme Court) Antonin Scalia telling a Louisiana Knights of Columbs group that Christians should "live fearlessly." Scalia exhorted the Knights to embrace "traditional Christianity," and held up for their edification the example of the martyr St. Thomas More, who died for opposing Henry VIII's break with Rome. "I find it hard to understand people who revere Thomas More but who themselves selectively oppose the teachings of the pope," Scalia told the crowd. One such dissident jumps immediately to mind: Antonin Scalia, who in 2002 announced that the Church's condemnation of capital punishment simply doesn't apply to him: "I read it, I considered it, and I decided that I disagree with it, so I am disregarding it," Scalia said then. He also said that any judge who agrees with the Church's teaching about the immorality of capital punishment should resign. "Here I stand, I can do no other," said a famous 16th century European religious figure, but not Thomas More.

Dial 'P' For Perjury Although Alberto Gonzales has not been confirmed as the Attorney General yet, if he does get approved he will begin office in an unusual way: having just committed a crime. Newsweek has dug up proof that Gonzales perjured himself when he testified in Congress about his role in helping GW Bush get excused from jury duty in 1996 - a chore that would have revealed Bush's own drunk-driving conviction from 20 years earlier (on his registration form, Bush cannily left blank the answer for whether he had ever been convicted of a crime - and thus did not perjure himself). Gonzales apparently requested an off-the-record interview with the judge in the DUI case, an interview that resulted in Bush being excused for jury duty. Under questioning from Sen. Pat Leahy, though, Gonzales said no such meeting ever took place. Hey, didn't the Republicans recently impeach a president, claiming that the issue was that he had lied under oath? Ah, never mind: That was seven years ago, and who can remember that far back?

-Consider Arms

Saturday, January 22, 2005

As Stephen Baldwin and Carfax Abbey Come Together For Tsunami Relief

"We've Got The Gay-Love Bomb!" The Pentagon was a bit emberrassed when it was discovered that they were working on a non-lethal super-aphrodisiac weapon that would incite enemy troops to thrwo down their guns are start humping each other. The military denied that gay-bomb plans were ever seriously considered, and recent discoveries prove that they never were... if $7.5 million and 6 years of consideration can qualify as "not serious."

What Is Sketchier, France's Xenophobic Headwear Policy Or The Reporting Done For Outlook India? Dude, you shouldn't contradict your headline in YOUR FIRST SENTENCE...

-The Sikh Geek

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Reunited And It Feels So Good

DC Gets Ready To Party! (Rest Of The Planet Trembles In Fear...) A poll of 21 countries that was published yesterday shows how terrified the rest of the world is at the prospects of another four years of Bush. 18 of the 21 countries feared that Bush would have a negative impact on the world. Thankfully Poland still has the balls to represent! In a two-to-one margin, those surveyed said that W would have a negative impact on peace and security.

More Than Ironic Metal Posturing Jumping The Shark...

One Inaguration To Feel Not-So-Morbid About
On Sunday, the Ukraine's president-elect Victor Yushchenko will be sworn in after a crooked first election and literally getting the gasface from the agents of the KGB.

When Defiance Melts With A Slow Pathos

Saying Thousands Of Words When The Rest Don't Say Anything
It's telling that the most damning journalism to come out of the Iraqi War hasn't had a single word attached to it. The scandal at Abu Ghraib came from photographs while newspapers and television softened stats and reread Pentagon press releases. This incredible series of photographs from a shooting in Tal Afar says alot more than a flat line about "a shooting at a checkpoint" ever could.

Sometimes You Just WANT The Urban Legends To Be True

-The Sikh Geek curtesy of the general wireless internet policy at the Los Feliz library
TODAY'S TOP FIVE: I Hereby Declare This An Inauguration-Free Zone.

Good News? For the first time ever, heart disease is no longer the number one killer of Americans: the number one killer of Americans is now circus accidents. No, just kidding, it's cancer. Although death rates from both diseases have been falling, the death rate from heart disease has plummeted, and actually cancer has been the number one killer since 2002 (there's evidently some kind of lag about making the announcement). If you'll study the chart, you'll see that the leading causes of death are almost all diseases, except for "injuries" and "suicide." Good morning.

How Low Can It Go? By "it," I mean the U.S. dollar. Warren Buffet, investor/businessman/evil capitalist extraordinaire, says there's no way to avoid a further devaluation of U.S. currency, barring a major change in trade policy. That's not going to make the Chinese central bank, which is currently keeping our debt-ridden economy afloat, any happier. Buffet, whose net worth is about $41 billion, also says he's having a hard trouble lately finding any stocks to invest in, "if that says anything about the state of the economy." It does, brah.

It's Time for the Cheap Shot of the Day In the wake of what they see as their major triumph, getting George W. Bush into the White House without a judicial coup, conservative Christian group Focus on the Family has a new agenda: fag-bashing a cartoon. That's right. The group is objecting to a video being distributed to elementary schools to encourage diversity, because the video features Spongebob Squarepants, who is apparently a "gay icon."

Jolly Bad Show Proving that it's not just Americans who are capable of bizarre, homoerotic torture of Iraqi civilians, the Brits are currently embroiled in an Abu Ghraib scandal of their own. The country that brought you the concentration camp is now facing military reports that the abuse of civilians was "widespread" under an operation code-named "Ali Baba."

War With East Asia Completed, Big Brother Looks to War With Eurasia Here's a great interview with Sy Hersh on what we're going to be in for in the next four years: war with Iran. As Hersh points out, one of the most interesting aspects of his big scoop was that the CIA has essentially been taken out of the intelligence-gathering process: All this stuff is being run out of the Pentagon now. The tentative plan, according to Hersh, is this: to coincide with the Sharon government's pullout from Gaza in the summer, the U.S. is going to strike three or four strategic targets in Iran and hope that this action foments a popular uprising against the government. So the good news is that the hawks don't foresee regime change by overwhelming force; the bad news is that these are the people who said the Iraqis would welcome our troops with flowers and candy.

-Consider Arms, Ask Not What Your Country Can Do For You If the Only Thing We Have to Fear Is Your Country Itself

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

TODAY'S TOP FIVE: Your Inauguration Spoilsport Headquarters.

Sikh Geek, This One's For You Could anything be more horrible than the concert for young people held prior to the inauguration? This year it was called "America's Future Rocks Today" (that's like something from The Simpsons) and it featured such stellar performers as Hillary Duff, Fuel (not the punk one), 3 Doors Down, Ruben Studdard, and JoJo. And, in a special treat for the Sikh Geek, we have this sentence, about the man the Geek nominated as Douchebag of the Year: "Also appearing...[was] actor Stephen Baldwin, who rode a skateboard onto the stage..."

Bill Thomas: Man of Confusing Action Everyone who hates Bush's plan to wreck Social Security is celebrating the remarks of Bill Thomas, the Republican chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee (and therefore one of the most powerful men in the country), to the effect that the Social Security privatization plan is "a dead horse." But as Josh Marshall points out, Bill has some pretty kooky ideas that he thinks should be tried in place of Bush's plan, like "gender-adusting Social Security," which would mean raising the retirement age for women since they live longer.

Irony: It's Not Just for Europe Anymore Remember all the hullabaloo about how presidential girl gone wild Jenna Bush was going to display some of the ole noblesse oblige and go amongst the downtrodden ghetto children as a schoolteacher? Well, apparently dear Jenna's efforts to shape young minds has stalled on a very unexpected obstacle: the No Child Left Behind Act, the centerpiece of her half-wit father's first term domestic agenda. It seems that under the terms of the act, Jenna does not have the proper qualifications to be hired as a teacher. Times like these were made for schadenfreude.

The Weapons Are In Narnia One key claim by the sort of guys who call in to talk radio shows and work at the Heritage Foundation is that the reason we didn't find any WMD in Iraq is that Saddam moved them all over the border with Syria before the war. This assertion seems counter-intuitive for two reasons: (1)the Ba'ath Party in Syria was the bitter enemy of the Ba'ath Party in Iraq; the two were always fighting, including actually going to war with one another (2)Why would the evil madman dictator Hitleresque Saddam Hussein divest himself of his most effective weapons before the war started? Is that generally how wars are fought? Well, now there's a third reason this theory doesn't hold up: U.S. inspectors who have left the country for good say there's no evidence whatsoever Saddam moved anything across the border.

The Gold Rush and Where It Got Us Every so often I like to check in on California and see what boneheaded plan their boneheaded governor is up to. Here's a nifty idea: Let's redraw the voting districts of a solidly Democratic state to illicitly favor Republicans! Of course, that's not what the woman-molesting son of a Nazi says, but that's what his plan would do: It would force districts to be "competitive" by ensuring that in every district there's never more than a 7 percent difference between the registration of Republicans and Democrats. This effectively means that the race goes to who can raise more money - the Republicans, in other words. Only one problem: Under Governor Jingle-all-the-way's own proposal, party registration can't be used as a factor in redrawing districts - while mandating the use of party registration in doing so, simultaneously and contradictorily. Maybe that kind of thing flies in Vienna, Fritz, but not here.

-Consider Arms

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

TODAY'S TOP FIVE: America: The Country That Soft-Pedals Torture.

Iran Invasion Watch: The Return In the wake of Sy Hersh's piece exposing US recon operations in Iran, George W. Bush has refused to rule out the use of force in the process of coercing the Muslim nation to abandon its nuclear program. The Iranian defense minister had this ominous rejoinder: "We can claim that we have rapidly produced equipment that has resulted in the greatest deterrent," then adding, "[cough]nuclearweapons[cough]."

Martin Luther King is Alive! By now, you've probably heard about the Nevada TV weatherman fired over the weekend for accidentally saying "Martin Luther Coon" on the air. But if you read down, you'll see a much bigger fuck-up happening around the same time from a competing local station: A TV reporter erroneously said that a teenager caught in an avalanche was found alive; in fact, he had been killed. A reporter for a third Nevada station, meanwhile, brought obloquy on himself by asking a police chief how the family of the dead boy took the news. All in all, a stellar week for local news in Nevada.

False Messiah Watch When the news of the Washington Post's $100,000 bribe to the Bush inauguration broke last week, one of my first thoughts was, "I wonder how Sun Myung Moon is involved in the inauguration." One of my next thoughts was, "I bet John Gorenfeld knows." Lo and behold: the fearless reporter who has locked his teeth around the ankle of the arms magnate/self-proclaimed messiah has, of course, delivered the goods. Moon has donated a hearty $250,000 to the inauguration through the shell company known as the World Television Center, an entity which Moon boasts will help end public education. Give Gorenfeld a Pulitzer!

The Irony of the Flip-Flop Label Will Never End On Sunday, the Washington Post published an interview with George W. Bush (for which they paid the low, low price of just $100,000) in which the president said he didn't foresee any action on the proposed amendment to the constitution outlawing gay marriage. "Nothing will happen," were his exact words. As you can imagine, this upset the social conservatives who probably put Bush over the top, particularly in Ohio. Now, the White House has once again flip-flopped, with Bush vowing fast action on the amendment. "I don't think one interview is a turning point in his presidency," said U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Dogfucker). So you see, kids, it's okay to lie, but only if your lie doesn't constitute a "turning point" of some kind. That's what we call moral values!

Every Cloud Has a Silver Lining When Ohio passed the most sweeping anti-civil union bill in America last November, it seemed like a defeat for gays and progressives. But it was a victory for at least one put-upon minority in society: dudes who beat up their girlfriends. The Cuyahoga County public defender's office has begun asking judges to dismiss domestic violence charges filed against accused batterers who aren't married to their alleged victims. Under the terms of the amendment, the lawyers have a case, because domestic violence laws illegally grant a marriage-like status to unmarried people who live together. Republicans: Hating Gays and Providing Loopholes for Batterers Since 2004.

-Consider Arms

Monday, January 17, 2005

TODAY'S TOP FIVE: First News Magazine to Use the Headline "Social INsecurity" in a Cover Story Gets a Bottle in the Face.

Iran Invasion Watch, Day 478 Things have been sleepy on the let's-invade-Iran front...or maybe they only appear sleepy. Ace reporter Seymour Hersh has dug up some interesting info: the U.S. military has been conducting recon missions inside Iran since last summer, undertaken with an eye toward identifying targets in the event of an invasion or "tactical strike." One former high-level intelligence official told Hersh, "This is a war against terrorism, and Iraq is just one campaign. The Bush administration is looking at this as a huge war zone. Next, we're going to have the Iranian campaign."

Let's Do the Dollar Limbo: How Low Can It Go? Already being battered by the euro, the dollar is now rapidly losing value against a currency it had been trouncing for years: the yen. The yen has now hit a five-year high against the dollar and looks likely to climb even higher after the upcoming G7 meeting, when China will likely allow greater currency flexibility. What this means in the short term is that the U.S. trade deficit shows no signs of closing, meaning that American bond ratings are still in peril. In layman's terms: We're still fucked.

Ex Post Facto Reasoning at Its Finest In an interview with the Washington Post published yesterday (an interview bought for the low, low price of $100,000 - see Friday's top five), Bush claimed that it doesn't matter that Saddam had no WMD, that the Iraqi people did not greet the US as liberators, and that the US is now mired in that country's affairs without hope of extrication. Why? Because he won the election. "We had an accountability moment, and that's called the 2004 elections," he said, introducing yet another neologism into the national lexicon. As for Osama Bin Laden's "accountability moment," scheduled since September 2001, Bush has this explanation for why it's been so hard to find the man: "Because he's hiding." Shit! You're right. I bet he has an unlisted phone number, too. Why didn't Saddam think of that?

The Sky Is Falling!...Or Is It? It looks like the rest of the big media is finally catching up to Paul Krugman and Kevin Drumm, as this excellent (and lengthy) NY Times Magazine article shows. To wit: There is no Social Security crisis, the only "crisis" for Republicans is that there's a government program that works the way it's supposed to and that stands in the way of turning America into a Latin American-style oligarchy. Speaking of Social Security, by the way, check out this unsettling story of how the Bush administration is using Social Security money to promote its plan to dismantle Social Security. Cue: vomiting in terror.

The Way Way Back Machine Presents: Scott Ritter Scott Ritter is the decorated former Marine who was one of the most gung-ho members of U.N. weapons inspections teams assigned to Iraq in the 1990s, in part because Ritter had fought Saddam's army in the first Gulf War. After those inspections, though, Ritter turned against the U.N.'s disastrous embargo of Iraq, arguing that the sanctions did more harm than good. During the run-up to war with Iraq in 2002, Ritter was a vocal opponent of the invasion, telling anyone who'd listen that Saddam no longer had any WMD. At the time, even I thought he was overstating the case: Surely Saddam had something, if only to act as a deterrent to Iran. Now, with the quiet news this month that the U.S. has officially abandoned the search for WMD, we all know that Ritter was 100 percent correct. Naturally, this modern-day Cassandra is being lavishly feted by the mainstream media, who are also apologizing for the scurrilous attacks on his character and patriotism they publicized in 2002 and 2003. Oh, you mean that's not the case? Ritter is the subject of a virtual press blackout while he works on his latest campaign, which is criticizing the proposed Star Wars missile shield? I guess the liberal media has one thing in common with the Lord: they both work in mysterious ways.

-Consider Arms

Friday, January 14, 2005

TODAY'S TOP FIVE: Remembering When "Royal Nazi" Was Only Something We Called Our Landlord.

Too Bad the Duke of Windsor Didn't Live to See This The British royals are battening down the hatches in the face of massive public criticism of Prince Harry's Nazi costume fuck-up. I guess we shouldn't really expect them to be upset - they are a bunch of Huns, after all.

The Only Growth Industry in Iraq When it became apparent, in the wake of the Anglo-American invasion of Iraq, that the Iraqis were not a docile people eager to welcome our troops as liberators, neoconservatives in this country proposed a new justification for the war: the Flypaper Theory. Under this dubious theory, the war would draw terrorists from around the country to Iraq, where they would then be killed until there were no more terrorists. This week, the CIA's think tank reported on how this has actually panned out: Iraq has now become the leading haven and training ground for terrorists in the world.

Bush: Man, Did I Say All That Shit? What a Douchebag In a forthcoming interview with Babwa Wawa, George W. Bush says he regrets using "undiplomatic language" in his first term, like his famous challenge to Iraqi insurgents to "bring it on" (regrettably, they did) and his vow to bring in Osama Bin Laden "dead or alive" (that worked wonders, didn't it?). "So I do have to be cautious about, you know, conveying thoughts in a way maybe that doesn't send wrong impressions about our country," he said. Hey, I have a better idea: Spout all the cowboy talk you want, just don't illegally invade countries for fraudulent reasons. That would be much better.

The Damn Liberal Media Is At It Again! Among the swells giving big-money donations to the president's inaugural committee (such upstanding citizens as oil companies, Wall Street firms licking their chops over Social Security, and the lobby that wants to build nuke plants have kicked in hundreds of thousands of dollars) is an interesting one: The Washington Post, that alleged outpost of the liberal media, which donated $100,000 to the inauguration. The Post says the donation is just to secure tickets to the balls for their advertisers, but they ran a story earlier in the week suggesting that the big lobbies giving donations to the inauguration were expecting a quid pro quo. Oh, and by the way: the Post also scored an exclusive interview with the president slated to run this weekend. Just a strange coincidence, I'm sure.

Avert Thine Eyes, Peasants! Here's a story about the elaborate security procedures in place for dickbag's inaugural parade (cop fetishists are droolingly calling it a "ring of steel"), but the real gem is in the 4th paragraph: "Parade performers will have security escorts to the bathroom, and they've been ordered not to look directly at President Bush..." THEY'VE BEEN ORDERED NOT TO LOOK DIRECTLY AT PRESIDENT BUSH??? I swear, it's not going to be long before we have to refer to him as the Unconquered Sun and genuflect before his picture.

-Consider Arms

Thursday, January 13, 2005

TODAY'S TOP FIVE: Stop Your Fooling Around.

The Pacification of Iraq, Armstrong Williams-Style Apparently, the government bribing reporters isn't just for the USA anymore: Iraqi leader Iyad Allawi's government has been giving an exciting new meaning to "hospitality" by handing out $100 bills to journalists while campaigning in the run-up to the elections at the end of the month. $100, incidentally, is the equivalent of about half the average monthly salary in Iraq. Think there'll be some hard-hitting coverage of the issues?

If Adolf Hitler Flew In Today... Prince Harry of Britain, the Goofus to his brother William's Gallant, has landed in what may be his biggest P.R. blunder to date: He was photographed at a "fancy dress party" in a Nazi costume. Although frankly, as the photograph included with this story shows, it's a pretty poor Nazi costume: the armband is all wrong, the shirt is untucked, and he's wearing baggy khakis. He looks less like a stormtrooper and more like one of those unemployed, shifty dudes who used to hang out with George Lincoln Rockwell.

All The Truth In the World Adds Up to One Big Lie Almost two years after the U.S. and Britain launched an illegal invasion to disarm Saddam Hussein of his chemical, nuclear, and biological weapons, the effort to prove that he had any such weapons has ended with a whimper. Last month, the final members of the Iraq Survey Group quietly left the country; there are no more Americans searching for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. In other words, the entire reasoning behind the war was based on demonstrably false premises. Compare it to your favorite phony justification - the Maine explosion, Gulf of Tonkin incident, Polish soldiers shooting Germans - and the end result is still: In seven days, George Bush will be sworn into a second term as president. Fuck.

How The Party of Small Government Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Big Brother Remember the halcyon days of the Clinton administration, when Republican whackos were also banging on about black helicopters, jackbooted federal thugs, and the unlawful encroachment on our privacy by the surveillance state? Man, those were the days! Today, Republicans have apparently learned that there are some benefits to being Big Brother, as witnessed by Tom Ridge's latest proposal: He wants all passports to include fingerprints in a digital chip that will also have other personal information about you.

A Newfound Respect for Mel Gibson As one of the approximately nine Americans who enjoyed both "The Passion of the Christ" and "Fahrenheith 9/11," I am pleased to note that our ranks have been swelled by the addition of a new member: Mel Gibson. I always suspected he wasn't on board with a lot of conservative stuff when he ridiculed the lack of WMD on the Hannity show, and now he's praised "Fahrenheit 9/11" and says he feels a kinship with Michael Moore. You have to follow the link to the Free Republic message board; the wingnuts there don't know what to make of it, and electronically cry tears of frustration and betrayal. Choice.

-Consider Arms, relieved that The Sikh Geek has made it to Hollyweird safe and sound

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

TODAY'S TOP FIVE: A Robot In Every Home.

Slip-Slidin' Away We often hear that the slippery slope argument is a logically flawed one; action A doesn't by necessity lead to result Z, and so forth. But the Dutch medical industry is going out of its way to prove that some slopes are more slippery than others. Long a pioneer of euthanasia (a pleasing, Greek euphemism for "doctor-assisted suicide"), Dutch doctors are now arguing for an expansion of their powers under the country's assisted suicide laws. First, they want the right to euthanize infants, despite the law's stipulation that patients who are being euthanized have to ask for such an end in writing; second, they want the right to euthanize people with no actual physical or mental illness, but who seem to be kind of, you know, bored. At this rate, by 2050, there will be no Dutch people left.

The Security President In another weird inauguration move (see last week's brouhaha over the cross being banned), the Bush administration is breaking with tradition and forcing the city of Washington, D.C. to pay the costs for the public services in use at Bush's inauguration, to the tune of about $12 million. About $40 million will be spent in funds raised from private donors, but past administrations have covered D.C.'s expenses in terms of police overtime, security checks, infrastructure, etc. The only way the city will be able to pay the bill, ironically, is by taking $12 million out of its homeland security fund. This is an administration with its priorities straight: When it comes down to a choice between protecting the nation's capital and protecting out-of-town douchebags in tuxedos and cowboy boots, there's just no question.

America: Banned in America Libraries in two southern Mississippi counties have banned the Daily Show's "America: The Book" from its shelves, while Wal-Mart continues to refuse to stock the book. The foes of the book contend that their objection is based on the page showing mock-up nude photos of the nine Supreme Court justices. While some may see this story as a chilling indication of the assault on civil liberties in America, I am much more frightened by the phrase "southern Mississippi libraries." What do you suppose they're like?

May You Never Get Sick in Tennessee, Friend The Democratic governor of Tennessee has announced a spiffy new move that will save the state roughly $1.7 billion a year: letting the poor die in their wretched garrets. Well, he didn't exactly use those terms, but here's how it works: 323,000 adults will be dropped from the state's Medicaid program. These unfortunates are people who work full-time jobs that pay them too much money to qualify for regular Medicaid, but don't provide healthcare for them. In a lavish gesture of noblesse oblige, though, the governor is permitting these folks' 100,000 or so children to continue to have access to medicine and doctors.

Doesn't Anyone Resign in Disgrace Anymore? Perhaps the hallmark of a shameless society is that things which would once mean ruin and scandal now pass before the glazed eyes of the public with nary a batted lash. Case in point: Armstrong Williams, conservative commentator and token black guy for the Right. Last week, it emerged that the federal Department of Education paid Williams $240,000 - of public money! - to hype the No Child Left Behind on his TV show, in his column, and to black journalists. In other words, the federal government bribed a prominent media personality to express approval for a controversial policy. At the very least, shouldn't Williams have to stab himself in the intestines before Ken Hamblin cuts his head off?

-Consider Arms

Please excuse our tardiness in posting this month. The Sikh Geek is currently relocating from one blue state to another, which has naturally put things in flux. But before long, we'll be back with more of the same freedom-hating, America-blaming that you've come to expect.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

TODAY'S TOP FIVE: I Hope I Haven't Overdone It.

California: Will You Ever Get Tired of Being Wrong? Hey, remember how much fun that Gray Davis recall was back in '03. Good times, man, good times. Hey, whatever happened to the Governator, anyway? Well, here's one totally awesome thing he's doing: He's proposing a law that will privatize Calpers, the state's public employee pension, which happens to be the largest pension fund in the country. This move will accomplish two things: First, it will screw people out of their life's savings by throwing them on the ineptitude of the free market; second, it will neuter one of the most politically progressive investment funds in America. In other words, it's a lose-lose situation for everyone who's not a powerful millionaire. But hey, that Gray Davis sure was boring!

The End of a Crappy Era Tucker Carlson, bow tie-wearing hostess of CNN's "Crossfire," is leaving the network, and it looks like the show won't survive his departure. CNN declined to renew Carlson's contract, and in what must be a real nut-puncher, a network executive said, "I guess I come down more in the Jon Stewart camp," referring to an incident last year where the "Daily Show" host called Carlson a "dick" to his face on the air. Well, but it's not all bleak for Carlson, who's hoping to land a primetime show on MSNBC, home of...oh shit. That's like the graveyard.

The Loneliest Whacko Rep. Mike Pence, R-Ind., is making waves by saying that he wants to roll back a number of disastrous Bush initiatives from the first term, such as the Medicare debacle and the No Child Left Behind Act. Pence says he wants to focus, rather, on balancing the budget and restoring control of education to states and cities. He says he realizes this makes him "the skunk at the garden party," but it also makes him, you know, genuinely conservative, instead of whatever mutant ideology is being birthed from the skull of Karl Rove right now. Too bad Pence doesn't realize there's no room for conservatives in the GOP anymore.

Our Christian President Says: "Tear Down the Cross"! In response to a planned demonstration by a Christian group at Bush's inauguration, the Secret Service has banned the display of crosses at the celebration. That's right; our "Christian President" has prohibited the display of the central symbol of his putative religion during his inaugural parade. Well, I expect all those "Save Merry Christmas" people to be up in arms over this, but then again, I'm a huge fucking moron.

Terrorism is So 2002 Porter Goss, like an angry monkey with a hammer in a glass shop, has made another big change at the CIA on the heels of his purge of the agency's top officers: he's canceled the daily meetings on terrorism held by the director since Sept. 11 (you remember Sept. 11: it was the day of all that terrorism). Unbelievably, this is because Goss believes the agency has been spending too much time fighting terrorism, and not enough time on "other issues"; like what, one wonders? MP3 piracy? Road rage? Tsunami detection?

-Consider Arms
What's The Matter With Kansas? Alot.

CNN, Your Source For News About Attractive White People
Estimates place the percentage of children killed in the Asian tsunami at roughly one-third of the total. That's 50,000 kids in addition to over 10,000 orphans. Fresh from it's hard hitting reports on the hot supermodel held up in the tree and other inconvenienced celebs, CNN puts the pic of cute, Aryan child Ragnar Ericsson to represent all of those lost and missing from Indonesia to East Africa. Awesome job, dudes from Atlanta. You're quickly making USA Today look good.

-The Sikh Geek, as impressed with wireless as that old guy on the commercials