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The Last Bastion of America's Liberal Media

24 Nov, 2003

Turd of the Week

Dick Cheney, your recent hunting expedition of ducks in a pen rendered moot the shooting fish in a barrel expression, while providing rich metaphorical fodder for many an editorial writer.

Blabbering Bush Head

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Iraq War Cost
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Civilian casualties update
This data is an accounting of civilian deaths in Iraq to date.
See Iraqbodycount.net for statistical methodologies


Growing fat off juicy Iraqi rebuildin' contracts. Did you know the bin Laden group is one of our top investors?

screw all the other stockholders, we're cashing out!

Hey, what do you know? We make money from American militarily screwed up countries in the Middle East!

We're already negotiating with the “new Iraqi democracy” for oil rights!

Selling weapons all over the globe to ensure civilian death and instability which in turn ensures a strong market for years and years...



Nuptials for All!
Just when you think the rightward lurch of America has sucked all semblance of social justice in its wake, good ol' Massachusetts comes through on gay marriage. The Supreme Judicial Court ruled that homosexuals should not be barred from ''the protections, benefits, and obligations of civil marriage."

The backlash is starting to churn and boil in an ugly cauldron of hatred. The GOP believes it can make this issue a big win. Just Photoshop up some picture of Howard Dean and Wesley Clark embracing, wearing leather chaps and you can consider the hate vote completely captive (although, in fairness, the GOP has sealed up the hate vote with Nixon and kept it ever since).

The main argument against gay marriage is that it erodes everybody else's marriages. So, if gay couples start crawling out from under their closet rocks, this will somehow cause my wife's and my relationship to change for the worse? Furthermore, even though my wife and I are now the ones with the dysfunctional marriage, it's up to gays to suffer for it.

Sadly, this issue might be a vote grabber for the GOP. But they'd better be careful to use a soft velvety stick when beating on the homo-loving Dems. After all, those guys on Queer Eye really are charming.

Professor Pissed - Disgust from Across the Pond

In the Shadow of the Cowboy
I was going to spend this week's column ridiculing Bush's grammatical errors (which are all being teased apart in the UK press), his embarrassing faux pas (that would be a French term, George), and his disgusting pandering to UK audiences about the heroic, patriotic American-British league of (two) nations out fighting global terrorism with terrorism. Well, I might say a few more things about that (and what's up with the Queen and her hideous lavender dress and matching hat -- which looked like a Martian had landed on her oh-so-carefully-coiffed head?); but first, some more sober commentary is called for.

The horrific bombings in Istanbul halt the sarcasm and streams of disgust at least briefly. The most disturbing aspect of this call to attention being the loss of life (27 and counting; 450+ wounded-- and most of these, of course, would be Turks); the second most disturbing aspect being the immediate response of the Bush-Blair cabal, which (we can't be surprised) construes such events as proof that the "war on terrorism" must continue. See? We told ya'!

But wouldn't basic cause/effect analysis suggest otherwise? As an elderly Northern Irish gentleman who was participating in the massive anti-Bush protests in London yesterday noted (tweed hat, brogue and all) on the BBC news -- in Northern Ireland (I'm paraphrasing here) "we know that attacking terrorism with violence is the surest way to beget more violence." Some advice that Bush and Blair and their administrations could bear paying attention to. Obviously, attacks taking place in Iraq must be seen as outraged responses to US/British violence and occupation. It is difficult to understand how one could make the point that they somehow prove that we must continue along the current path of "liberating" the Iraqis against their (violently displayed) collective will to get us out. Anyone remember Vietnam?

And when Bush pontificates about how market-led prosperity (aka Republican "trickle-down" economic voodoo, where rich people get massively richer as the poor and disenfranchised languish) ensures the "spread of freedom and ... hope" which will be "the surest way ... to combat despair and anger and resentment that feeds terror" one feels that Bush is missing the point (or, to be less euphemistic and more Northern England about it, "don't have a bloody f**g clue"). Yes, solving economic problems and eradicating the disparity between the rich and the poor will prevent the effusion of terroristic, desperate acts. But how is taking over Iraq lessening economic inequality? Last time I checked, it was Bush and his friends who were getting richer through the "safeguarding" of Middle-Eastern oil reserves. Oh, I mean, through the "freeing" of the Iraqis.

Anyway. Back to the Queen's hat. My favorite media image this week is the photograph of two Scotland Yard police officers watching multiple monitors surveying the streets and interior spaces of London, keeping England "safe" for democracy. The signifier of democracy would be, as confirmed in image of the central monitor, a heartwarming picture of the Queen (purple outfit and all) and her American royal ally, his right hand patriotically over his heart -- symbolically and propagandistically rendering for all to view the butt-kissing "friendship" of Elizabeth II and George W. Not sure whether this is more noxious than the images of Cherie and Laura smooching, but the fact that it is nestled among surveillance images (which portray empty streets evacuated by Bush's 700-strong security force) says it all.

Here's to the 100,000 to 200,000 protesters who gave them all hell in London yesterday, refilling the streets (thanks to the truly democratic insistence of London Mayor Ken Livingston), pulling down an enormous effigy of George W. (with a tiny Blair in his pocket).

Here's to Matt Groening's episode of the Simpsons depicting Homer visiting Blair (complete with Blair himself doing his own voice over) -- which apparently, at least in one version, had Homer announce "I'm going to act the way Americans act best -- unilaterally." (Didn't Blair get the joke?)

There's something to be said for the US after all -- the episode is being aired this Sunday on Fox, while the British are holding off in order to avoid embarrassing their allies, and not airing it until January. Almost worth flying back this weekend just to see Homer spill tea on Blair's carpet at Downing Street, and make pointed political commentary (in his doofish way) that Blair can't understand ..... Doh!

The good professor is in that dodgy month 5 of ex-pat culture shock

Smile, You're on the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Candid Camera
With the leaking of several important confidential internal FBI memos, it has been revealed that the counterterrorism unit of the FBI has been monitoring antiwar activists, demonstration organizers and crap-sickened pundits around the country, creating files on their activities. With the powers granted to the gubmint, it's not a stretch to assume they are monitoring phone conversations, email and other digital detritus of our oh-so-monitorable modern lives.

Gee, what could be cooler than to have George Tenet reading this scatology right now? Hi George! Better watch out, 'cause my crap is inspiring all sorts of evildoing!

I recognize that the actual impact of this weekly e-rag on the de-stabilization of America's noble war efforts are negligible to nonexistent. Thus, it is only a distant fantasy that we would register on anyone's threat radar. Still, it certainly explains the marked increase in fast food garbage thrown on the swale in front of my house; my dogs' racheting up their barking at shadowy figures in the woods and of course, the conspiracy that turns every stoplight red as I approach.

Some kidding aside, it is just disgusting that these fucking paranoid powers that usurp are actually spending time monitoring citizens who dare question their fucked up plan for global dominion when perhaps they could be expending just a little bit of energy to maybe, I don't know, perhaps CAPTURE OSAMA BIN LADEN AND DECOMMISSION AL QAEDA?!?!?!

Welfare for the Energy Industry
The GOP energy bill has many components to it. But relax, it's not that complicated. Everything in there is pretty much dedicated to the simple concept of burning stuff. Oil, gas, coal, hell, they've even figured a way to burn food and have the taxpayers subsidize private profit-seeking stuff burners.

They're even cranking up to build the first post Three Mile Island nuke plant so they can burn subatomic particles. The ballyhooed hydro car? a billion in funds, but of course, the master plan is to have the hydrogen generated from petrochemicals. Solar? Wind? You get some table scraps since that doesn't burn stuff.

The energy industry would also get to make all the calls for protecting the energy grid, with table scraps given to alternative energy sources.

Apparently, the party in power wants us wedded to air-fouling, finite, petrochemical sources for a loooong time. Isn't that what got us into this Iraq mess in the first place?

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