Tuesday, October 31, 2006
The above words are paraphrased from Hugo Chavez’s speech at the UN, where he suggested President Bush was El Diablo. Bush had been in the building a day earlier, and Chavez claimed he could still smell the sulfur. He even crossed himself.
The silly thing is, Chavez was probably being serious.
A Bush fan I am not, but he’s no Satan. No, the Prince of Darkness listens to cool heavy metal music and has orgies. He rocks!
I know it’s not right to stereotype, but in my experience, Latin people are extremely superstitious. And I mean Latin in the broad sense of Italian, Hispanic, etc.
For instance, why is it images of the Blessed Virgin always appear in those countries?
I’ve known some Latinos who, religious or not, viewed Halloween as an evil holiday, and refused to participate in any way. On October 31st their porch lights are out and they don't answer the door for anyone.
And I thought it was just about kids dressing up as Power Rangers and soliciting free candy!
Like many holidays (holy days, get it?), Halloween was a Pagan festival turned Christian. Doesn’t the holiday’s ultimate acceptance of Christ as its personal savior make it now as acceptable as “Jolly Old Fat Bastard Day” or “Candy From An Anthropomorphic Bunny Day?”
Get over it, you silly, cheap bastards, and make with the goodies. Otherwise, I’ve got a whole can of Barbisol here with your hard-to-pronounce name on it. (That’s what I’d be thinking if I were still a kid.)
Monday, October 30, 2006
I had assignments off and on throughout the 90s. When 2000 arrived, Democrats were desperate to retain the White House, and Democratic operatives like myself undertook our most crucial assignments ever.
“Kid,” Soros said to me by phone from his limo, “I’m sending you home to Florida. We’re expecting some funny business from the GOP in the state and we want you down there to ensure things go our way.”
Well, everyone knows what happened.
What most people don’t know is that prior to the election I scoured the streets, halfway houses and YMCAs of Dade County enlisting vagrants who, for a pack of cigarettes or a couple dollars, would say they had been “disenfranchised.”
“Operation Beggar’s Banquet” (aka “Democratic Dregs”) was my responsibility. Getting our participants cleaned up and “ready for primetime” (looking like actual voters) was a massive undertaking in itself.
With my prompting, those people claimed they had been turned away at the polls; this was true, as they were not registered to vote. Many had never voted in their lives. But their claims stirred up enough controversy to create doubt about the true winner of the election and delay any concession from Al Gore for weeks.
To further the uncertainty, I slipped a number of hanging or pregnant chad voting forms into the boxes at various voting precincts. These made the count much closer than it would have been under honest circumstances.
We almost got away with stealing an election. The Supreme Court, the highest legal authority in the land, ultimately saw that the truth prevailed.
Soros was said to be so angry he shot his own dog.The next time I spoke to him he told me to stay in Florida. They had “something else for me” there.
Friday, October 27, 2006
At issue is that, while programs that read the text content of online links, which the sight impaired can access with a keyboard, are available, graphic-intensive sites don’t accommodate them.
Target has countered that ADA rules apply only to physical places of business, not virtual ones. They’re probably right.
I’m not generally the type to side with Corporate America, but I can understand the blind were not foremost in the minds of Target’s web designers.
I’m also sure a more text-intensive Internet is not what we all want (it's not a book). Imagine the impact on porn sites alone! (I kid.)
I was in a stadium seating theatre once, and before the movie started, a physically disabled man came in, looked around at the auditorium, then called for the manager.
I couldn’t hear their conversation clearly, but I could tell it was about the fact that the patron could not really partake of the stadium seating experience, because it involved climbing stairs. The manager seemed contrite and understanding, but the patron ended up leaving.
Devil’s advocate question here, and it’s going to make me sound like an insensitive bastard, but here goes: If you can’t participate in something, does that mean the other 99% of people who can shouldn’t be allowed to?
I believe in doing everything possible to simplify and improve the lives of the less-able. Any of us could become one of them any day. But that doesn’t mean sighted people, for example, should feel bad about nor be prevented from making full use of their gift.
Incidentally, I have been in at least one stadium seating theatre that did accommodate the handicapped. The entrance hall to the auditorium was essentially an up-ramp, so when you entered you were at mid-level, not ground level. The handicapped section was right there – the best seats in the house.
I distinguish between willful discrimination and discrimination by ignorance. So should the law. Handicapped groups should have a dialogue with companies that are not meeting their needs (there is no mention of this in the linked article) before heading to court.
I’d hate to be blind, crippled or otherwise impaired. (Well, some kinds of impairment don’t suck). And I sincerely hope all businesses will work to accommodate the handicapped to the greatest extent possible.
Thursday, October 26, 2006
The now embattled cleric quickly backtracked and apologized for his comments, but the damage has seemingly already been done.
Well, some of it. Certainly to his reputation. He's already been asked by some to resign.
But that's small potatoes. Women may wish to show clerics such as these, in a more dramatic manner, that their offensive, sexist comments will not be tolerated.
Based on recent world events, it seems it would be appropriate for Aussie women to overturn cars, smash shop windows, torch embassies and maybe even take a few lives in response to these insensitive remarks.
Women from other countries could certainly join in with sympathy riots in their own localities. They should stand united against this kind of ignorance, no?
Come to think of it, men were insulted in these comments, too. “Animals” are we? I’m disgusted by the suggestion, and may well register my anger at the nearest mosque.
Yes, two can play at the “deeply offended and therefore justified in violence” game.
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
In 1993 I was introduced to President Bill Clinton. I was told he needed my assistance on a matter of national security. What could he need from a Democratic operative such as myself? With Democrats in control of the White House and Congress, our mission was accomplished, right?
Visiting Clinton in the Oval Office was like meeting Scarface. A huge mound of cocaine was poured out on his desk. He did a few lines off an “assistant’s” (hooker’s) breasts, then offered me some (coke, not hooker breasts). I politely refused.
After the usual niceties, Clinton told me his friend, “Vance Fender,” had become “a liability” for him, and he wanted me to “remove the problem.” He had heard I was good at that sort of thing.
Clinton went on to explain that he wanted me to make Fender’s demise appear like a suicide. I was stunned; I was being asked to kill a fellow Democrat.
In the years since Emily I had on occasion had to terminate, with extreme prejudice, a subject. But the target was always a Republicant.
I refused the job.
Clinton was polite at first, but his demeanor changed with frightening velocity. One minute he was all smiles, the next he pulled a .44 from his desk drawer and pressed it to my temple. He insisted I take the job, and added that I would be well compensated for my efforts.
What choice did I have? I accepted. At least what they say is true – it gets easier after the first kill.
Clinton’s demeanor changed quickly again. He withdrew the “Hillanator,” as he called his .44, and put it away.
“I knew you’d see it my way,” he said without irony, then he bit his bottom lip and shook his closed fist at me, thumb knuckle facing upward. It was not a hostile gesture, but his way of saying, “Attaboy.”On my way out the door Clinton told me that if things came off the way they were supposed to, this could be my last mission as a Democratic operative. After more than a dozen years, I would be out for good. But with the ’94 turnover of Congress, I got dragged right back in.
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
I hope she was either kidding, or lying so as not to scare off moderate voters. No man in the US deserves to lose his job right now more than George Bush. (OK, Rummy runs a close second. OK, and that cashier at Hess last week who took his own sweet time with customers even when the line was out the door.)
If Bush were to be impeached, it would be his own damn fault. But it would also be the fault of his party. Republicants, you see, set the bar for impeachment very low with Bill Clinton.
They and their Democratic counterparts sat impassively as President Reagan faked his way through the Iran-Contra Affair. Though giving weapons and other support to terrorist countries (Iran) and terrorist groups (Contras) was explicitly forbidden by Congress, making doing so a crime, Reagan was given a free pass with his “I do not recall” nonsense.
Still, Republicants could not stomach the affair Clinton had with Monica Lewinsky. They had loathed the man long before he made it to DC, and were looking for any excuse to get rid of him. So they used their control of Congress to try and force him out. Hmm.
Bush II, well, he’s guilty of any number of criminal acts, not the least of which is trying to turn a democracy into a dictatorship. That’s as anti-American as it gets. And his party has helped him along the way with virtually everything he’s asked for, no matter how illegal or just plain wrong.
Add to Bush’s legal transgressions his extreme mismanagement of the country and issues that have impacted (or will impact) it – Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Katrina, etc., etc. – and the reasons for impeachment become too compelling to ignore. Even bosses get fired when they screw up.
Bush should not be relieved of his duties for the sake of political retribution. That tradition is old and tired and would make our government even more unproductive than it has been in recent sessions.
True, the impeachment process would put a strain on the government. It’s a painful process that I do not relish witnessing again. But we can’t allow a task’s difficulty to stop us doing it. And, in light of their severity, we can't allow Bush’s offenses to go unpunished.
I go back to that low bar set for impeachment – if we don’t punish Bush for what he did, what’s to stop a future president of any party from doing worse? There certainly isn’t any deterrent, if we're afraid to use it.
There is perhaps a more palatable alternative to impeachment – a recall election, a la Gray Davis. That's what happened when voters became disenchanted with his performance as the governor of California. American voters are pretty damn disenchanted with Bush right now. Let's give them another chance to rethink their previous lapses of reason.
Monday, October 23, 2006
Homeless advocates are, of course, up in arms over a new sidewalk sleeping ban there.
Personally, I'm just astounded to find out Skid Row is a real place. I had always attributed the phrase to "father folklore." You know, things your father said when he was upset that your room was messy.
According to Dadspeak, depending on the day, your room could resemble "Skid Row," "a flophouse" or "a pigsty."
Just what the hell are those things? I don't think anyone who was born in the second half of the 20th century and/or raised in a suburban setting really knows.
No matter how many times some of us may have heard those expressions, they never had any tangible meaning to us. Mainly because they were extremely ridiculous exaggerations.
As for the real Skid Row, the now-criminal homeless of the area will just find someplace else to go. You can tell someone to "Beat it," but they don't just disappear; they set up box in another part of town. You know, like the Flophouse Quarter, or the Pigsty District.
Perhaps the police can threaten to ground for two weeks anyone caught violating the new ordinance? I'm not messing around, mister.
Friday, October 20, 2006
Emily’s death was attributed to a serial killer who had murdered a number of other coeds in the area around that time, so I was in the clear. Still, Soros thought it was a good idea for me to lay low for a bit. Everyone at UNC was understanding that, in grief over my loss, I needed to get away from things for a while. So, I was able to leave town without raising suspicion.
“What the fuck did you think you were doing?” Soros bellowed as he knocked me to the ground. “That was sloppy and stupid, kid. Very stupid! What if you never knew she’d found out? Do you know what that could do to this entire operation?”
Still fuming, but not without pity, Soros sent me to St. Kitts for a couple weeks of R & R. But the holiday didn’t last long, as soon I got a call about a high-ranking Republican lawmaker, Senator “Smith,” who was staying at a resort there with his wife.
Allegedly, their trip had been illegally funded by a high-powered DC lobbyist, whom the senator would also presumably be talking “business” with during their stay. I was to get whatever info I could on the senator’s activities, paying special attention to anything that could be used to later bribe or discredit him.
I was given very little information about the man, other than a rumor that his marriage was on the rocks, and he’d allegedly “treated” his wife to the trip as an attempt to stabilize the union – at least for the rest of his term in office.
I’d also been told Mrs. Smith was an alcoholic. That weak link in the chain, so to speak, seemed like a good entry point for me.
A snapshot of Mrs. Smith was faxed to me at the hotel. Before long I spotted the Smiths and some other people (the lobbyists, I assumed) together in the hotel. Later I passed right by the couple in the hall, and they even said hello to me.
I knew that the senator would occasionally be busy with his lobbyist contacts, and during that time his wife would be on her own. I made an educated guess on how she might keep herself occupied, and one evening found her at the hotel bar, martini in hand.
Mrs. Smith was a fairly attractive woman who looked younger than she probably was. I think she had had some "work" done.
I sat down at the bar, leaving one empty seat between us. She glanced over a few times between sips. It seems almost obligatory that strangers alone at a bar, male or female, will break the ice sooner or later and start chatting. She made the first move.
It was the usual stuff: Are you enjoying your stay? Are you here alone? Me? Yes. You? Yes. I mean no. I mean, my husband is here but he’s not here. He’s off doing some dull thing or other. I commented that it was unfortunate she was alone, adding that “such a beautiful woman” never should be.
She demurred, but thanked me.
I ordered her another martini. Then another. She seemed to get cold feet about the conversation after a while, lest her husband or someone else get the wrong idea. I said I understood, but that I enjoyed talking to her, and that her husband was a lucky man.
She thanked me again, as she almost fell off the barstool while trying to get to her feet. I insisted she at least let me walk her back to her room, offering her a steady arm. With some hesitation, she accepted.
At her door, while she fumbled for the key with her back to me, I took the opportunity to run my hand up the back of her thigh (she was wearing a short skirt or a skort). Her hand froze, the rest of her shuddered, and I could hear her exhale softly.
I was invited in, and though her husband could return at any moment, I accepted. The invitation was what I had intended; I might not have another opportunity to gain access to the senator’s room and any potentially damaging materials therein. The Democratic Party was counting on me.
“I won’t be a minute” Mrs. Smith said as she slipped into an adjoining room. I nodded, and quickly went about snooping. Drawers, luggage – I rifled through it all. Suddenly, BINGO! Some photos of Senator Smith, his wife and their lobbyist friends enjoying a boat cruise together. I hastily stuffed two of them into my sock as the light in the next room went out.
Mrs. Smith returned to the room wearing a sheer black robe and not a stitch else (think the “life drawing” scene in Titanic, just before Kate Winslet dropped her robe). She sat on the edge of the bed and beckoned me over.
The previously modest and cautious Mrs. Smith, wife of a respected GOP Congressman, had somehow disappeared.
“I want to see your cock,” she brazenly commanded. I gladly complied, taking off everything except my socks, all the while keeping an eye on the time.
"Come closer," she said, letting the robe slip from her shoulders. "I want you to touch me… here." She guided my hand.
Just then came the sound of muffled voices and other commotion at the door. Impulsively, I headed out the open window and onto the ledge. The third story ledge. I had left my gear in the room, and as I peeked back in I saw Mrs. Smith cramming it under the bed.
I stepped away from the window. I could hear Mr. Smith enter the room. Mrs. Smith said she was glad he was back, and couldn’t wait for him to return, hence her state of undress.
I looked around, desperate for a way out of this, angry at my own hasty exit. I was just a college student, not James Fucking Bond. What did I know? I spotted a tree near the corner of the building that I could probably reach and climb down, and gingerly made my way over to it.
No sooner had I reached the ground, relieved, when a hotel clerk who'd just gotten off work came round the corner and spotted me in my sans attire condition.
After an awkward pause I said, “Umm, which way to the nude beach?”
“Sir,” he replied incredulously, “it is one o’clock in the morning.”
At least I had gotten the photos. And I’d begun to earn my keep as a Democratic operative.To be continued…
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
There he goes again. With the stroke of pen, George Bush has usurped more power for himself.
The Military Commissions Act of 2006, aka the “Unlimited Detention And Torture Bill,” will allow Bush to hold prisoners at his pleasure (“King George,” anyone?), extract information from them and try them with that questionable information, but with few legal rights.
We need to incarcerate terrorists; it’s hard to disagree with that. But we should also decide within a reasonable amount of time if we are going to try them, and on what charges. I’m not sure how not doing that protects us. Maybe, if we don’t find any damning evidence, it will give us time to make some shit up?
Now that those harsh interrogations are specifically permitted by our law, we will not have any grounds to complain when a US citizen is arrested overseas and is mistreated because it is that country’s law. Don’t tell me the State Department and the American Embassy wouldn’t object to an American citizen undergoing some of the same things that we put our war prisoners through.
A glaring problem with this law is, while we are maintaining the talking point that we do not torture, if we do not define what is permissible in an interrogation, then anything is.
Defining would mean having a “yes” and “no” list with specific acts/techniques named. Oh, and making that list public. Otherwise, you see, it seems like you’re trying to get away with something you shouldn’t.
As for trial, I think that on principle we should extend some basic legal rights to other human beings. That’s what I’d expect from a progressive nation that thinks so highly of itself. It doesn’t mean "baby" the accused. Try them with valid evidence, and if the fuckers are guilty, punish them.
It’s like beating a dead horse (not torture, because it's dead) to say that myself and others who oppose torture don’t love terrorists. I think they are misguided murderers. But I understand that torture and hypocrisy should never be considered American values. It’s ironic that we’re violating those in an alleged attempt to protect them.I don’t know what that one bill that pushes Bush over into the absolute ruler column will be called, but I already have a suggestion: The “We Are All Bloody Fools” Bill.
Monday, October 16, 2006
I was in college when I got a call from a stranger, a man with a Greek-sounding name I had never heard before. He said he’d seen some of the articles I’d written for my college newspaper and wanted to meet me and talk about a job offer. Ecstatic, I assumed he was a headhunter from a recruiting agency who wanted to hook me up with a killer job in print. I didn’t know at the time that I would be meeting a billionaire.
“Kid,” George Soros said to me as he puffed a cigar in a booth at Kelsey’s Pub, “I want you to go undercover for the Democratic Party.”
I thought he was joking, but he was not.
“Sure, we've got a Democratic Congress," Soros explained, "but the GOP has a stranglehold on the Executive branch, and the only way we’re going to change that is to bring them down from within. Can we count on you?”
From reading my liberal-leaning columns Soros had correctly surmised that I was no fan of the current administration (after eight years of a Ronald Reagan presidency, the United States was now under George H.W. Bush, a remnant of the Reagan administration). He was looking for young, single people who could commit to “the cause.”
Joining up for the cause meant dropping out of school and relocating to UNC Charlotte, where no one knew me. Soros would finance the whole thing, including some phony transcripts that were worked up to facilitate my admission.
My family and friends couldn't understand why I suddenly had to pick up and leave home in the middle of my degree. They seemed dubious when I explained that I had found out about some good opportunities in North Carolina, but I had to ignore their enquiries and go ahead with the move.
On the odd chance anyone at UNC had seen my column, which once a week featured a small black and white photo of me, I felt it necessary to change my appearance. Before long my normally blonde, curly locks were replaced with straight, jet black ones. (The dye I used would later cause all of my hair to fall out.)
I also became "Sean McGuinness" (yes, I picked the name) for the benefit of those I would soon know.
My first “assignment” was pretty straightforward: Join and infiltrate the College Republicans, the first step for many a budding young GOP hopeful. I was familiar with the organization, as they had been active at my previous school. I’d even written about them in my column.
Soros explained that there were thousands of Democratic operatives out there, and that each had started with a simple, menial assignment. I admired the forethought and discipline that went into the massive operative plan, which had people infiltrating the Republican Party at all levels. I also thought it was a little bit crazy, but I went ahead with my assignment nonetheless.
So, for the first time in my life, I bought a jacket and a tie. I started attending College Republican meetings and rallies, where I vocally railed against the “tax and spend Democrats” and the “liberal media” right alongside them. Living that lie sometimes made me physically ill, but I did it. It was all part of a greater plan.
What was not part of the plan was meeting “Emily.”
Emily was the local co-chair of the College Republicans. An charismatic young auburn-haired woman, Emily was at the tail end of a relationship when I joined. Within a few weeks she and I were meeting outside the group.
A few months later during the Christmas break, against the wishes of her parents, and with some hesitation from Emily, we got an apartment together. Though we couldn’t keep our relationship a secret – indeed, there was no reason to – we decided it was best to keep our cohabitation to ourselves.
Emily was as firm in her beliefs about relationships as she was about politics. During the first few months we dated we never had sex. I’m not saying nothing physical happened, but we never took it all the way. That changed a short time after we moved in together.
I kept up the façade of an ardent young Republican for almost the entire first year of school. But toward the end of the second semester I blew my cover. Yeah, I fucked up.
I had kept regular contact with some of Soros’ subordinates to let them know what was going on. I usually called them from a payphone (this was pre-cell phone, mind you), but I became careless and would sometimes call them from the apartment.
One evening while Emily showered I called in from the living room. After hanging up, I turned out the lights and went into our bedroom. Emily was standing by the bed in tears. The shower was still running in the bathroom, but she’d apparently never gotten in it. She’d been listening to my phone conversation on the extension.
“Sean, is this true?” she said. “Or should I call you 'Pete?' Is this all a lie? Have you been lying to me the whole time? You’re... a Democrat?”
The normally modest Emily didn’t even seem to realize her robe had fallen open as, dazed, she fell back against the dresser.
I didn’t bother to try and deny the conversation to Emily; she had heard what she had heard. I shook my head and apologized. I went to hug her but she pulled away. I reached for her a little more forcefully and embraced her.
“So I guess when you said you loved me, that was just a big lie, too?” she asked, her face resting against my arm.
“No,” I said as I stroked her hair. “That part’s true.”
With that, she let up her resistance a little, and I pulled her tighter to me. Seconds later a long, slender needle plunged through the back of her neck and into her spine. She fell limp in my arms. The most she’d felt was a small pinch, like a vaccination, when I put the needle in. Beyond that, she quickly met with whatever follows this life.
I didn’t feel good about having to kill Emily. But protecting the operation was what was expected of a Democratic operative. And I was just getting started. It was a killer job indeed.
To be continued...
Friday, October 13, 2006
That Crist might be gay – I don’t know if he is – has been talked about in Florida for a while. Maybe it’s the perpetual tan (no one is calling George Hamilton gay) or the fact that he’s a lifelong bachelor (if that’s proof positive, then someone may as well slap a rainbow sticker on my car). Crist has denied it on at least one occasion.
I certainly don’t have a problem with Crist’s purported sexual orientation, though he’s definitely not my choice for governor. Neither is his Democratic opponent, Jim Davis, who’s way behind in the polls and is not likely to win.
Hell, Crist’s orientation may be a positive thing for the state. Perhaps there’s a, um, closeted liberal somewhere inside him.
Even if doesn’t change a single vote in this or in any election, I support the outing of gay Republicant politicians. I don’t know how one can be part of a party that actively campaigns against one’s own “lifestyle.”
I’m generally for allowing people (and other creatures) to reveal their orientation if and when they’re ready; not so in this instance. No quarter for hypocrites!
We’ve all heard of an “Uncle Tom;” the Log Cabin Republicants and their ilk are “Uncle Bruces” as far as I’m concerned. They’re the GOP’s bastard child that the party has to accept (a registered voter is a registered voter), but are often embarrassed to acknowledge.
There’s some talk of a mass outing of gay politicians on the way. I don’t know if this is just paranoid talk or what. But if it’s true, I’m looking forward to seeing the expressions on the faces of those ultra-consternatives who’ve been unwittingly supporting a “sodomite” with a “deviant” lifestyle "choice" that is an “abomination before God.”
Thursday, October 12, 2006
It’s just as well, as three separate (and probably expensive) investigations found no wrongdoing by the couple. (I still want my tax money back from Ken Starr’s investigation, by the way.)
Now Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) is being accused of failing to disclose something or other in a Las Vegas land deal. This cannot be right; nothing untoward ever happens in that fine city!
I can’t get excited enough about land deal controversies to take the time to understand them. Not even Denny Hastert’s.
Still, if Reid has genuinely done something wrong, let him face the consequences as anyone else would, and should. I won’t support members of my own party when they do wrong.
If only others were willing to say the same.
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
Obviously, someone arranged for North Korea to explode a bomb now to benefit Republicants at the polls. It’s this election’s version of the Osama bin Laden tape, designed to make voters lose their nerve about pursuing political change.
At least one talking head agrees with me.
Clearly, if this development benefits Republicants, they must behind it. Right? Right?
For example, if you drop a plate of food and your dog comes running over to gobble it up off the floor, he must have caused that food to fall. What other explanation could there be?
It could never be, say, your own clumsy handling of the plate that caused the accident. Perhaps if you put your dog under oath you could be convinced of his innocence; otherwise, he’s just plain guilty.
That’s sound reasoning. Or, what passes for it lately.
PS: Some officials are now saying that wasn't a nuclear blast at all. It will be interesting to see if Republicants go with the "that was no nuclear blast, so don't worry" angle, or the "that was a nuclear blast, so don't let the 'weak' Democrats win" angle. Stay tuned.
Monday, October 09, 2006
Meanwhile, down at Gitmo, prisoners are having a different reaction to the food; they’re getting fat. Apparently the meals there are very high in calories. Mmm, detention camp food.
This must be some new kind of stealth-torture. Don’t want me putting women’s underwear on your head? Then I will give you diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease instead! Hahaha!
I think the food shipments for the Gitmo detainees and the Iraqi police must have gotten mixed up. Don’t you?
Meanwhile, out in California some lettuce has been recalled over concerns of E. coli contamination. This comes on the heels of a recent E. coli outbreak blamed on California spinach.
I think the new face of biological weapons in the war on terror will be E. coli. Forget cluster bombs, send Al Qaeda some California produce!
Sunday, October 08, 2006
Most of us spend far too much time inching along streets and highways waiting to see what turns out to be a car with a dented fender, or a speeder that’s been pulled over. Of course, traffic delays are often caused by serious accidents.
But sometimes those serious accidents are either in the median or even on the opposite side of the highway. Meaning they are not an obstruction, but merely a source of curiosity.
For this I'm late to work?
I’m talking about the “visual delay” here, people; the most unnecessary waste of time ever borne of man. And I’ve got a plan on how to deal with this nuisance: Visual Delay Citations (aka VDCs).
What I’m suggesting is having police at accident sites slapping these “tickets” (of nominal value – maybe $5 a pop) onto the cars of everyone who is delaying the progress of the world because the darker side of their nature compels them to gawk at the wreckage and/or carnage.
The catch is the VDCs are some kind of magnetic capsule that can’t be removed by the car’s owner. They can only be removed by an authorized official – the one who you’ll first have to give $5.
After 30 days on the car the capsules explode and permanently ruin the paint job. Like those exploding ink packs identify bank robbers, these will identify the non-payers.
I’ll get VDCs. You’ll get them. Everyone will get them – no exceptions. We’ll hate it, but hopefully we’ll all grow tired of getting them and get the idea that it’s time to get our asses moving!
Thursday, October 05, 2006
Myself and some of my fellow Florida Democrats knew about this a while back, yet we did nothing. Instead, we waited until an advantageous moment – election time – to deliver the proverbial “October surprise.”
In waiting for the sake of our own political advantage, we allowed victims to continue to be victimized, and for a disturbed public official to continue his illicit activities unabated. For this, I am truly sorry.
Though my fellow Democrats are equally culpable in this matter, I can no longer deny or avoid my personal responsibility.
I now realize that I have a problem with alcohol, and am actively seeking counseling for my addiction. Those profile pictures of me you’ve seen have been a very public cry for help. Pity the man you never see without a drink in his hand.
I would like to apologize to my family, the victims and their families and to the American people for letting them down. I cannot expect anyone to forgive me quickly (or ever), but I make this confession knowing that above all we have a loving, forgiving God watching over us.
Through rehabilitation that man can provide, and guidance only He can provide, I will be made whole again.
In His love,
PS: I just remembered that this issue involves a Republicant whose tendencies were known to other Republicants for years but kept from their Democratic counterparts, and were actually revealed to the press by a Republicant. So forget all that I just said. It’s a GOP (guard our pedophiles) problem through and through, so just – in a phrase – suck it up.
PSS: Like Sanford B. Hines, Hastert has apparently lost it. He’s conjuring all kinds of bogeymen, from “Democratic operatives” to favorite Republicant villain Bill Clinton, to explain the emergence of this scandal (he stopped just short of blaming "a tall black or Hispanic man with a scar on his forearm"). He certainly knows his audience; his blind flock are eating it up and spreading the seeds of dishonesty and paranoia around through their own feculence. If he's smart, Hastert will find a way to tie this into 9/11.
Wednesday, October 04, 2006
Disgraced Florida Rep. Mark Foley has made it known through his lawyer that he’s seeking treatment for alcohol abuse. The announcement came just days after he resigned over inappropriate communications he had with a teenaged former Congressional page.
Well, this is typical.
You see, booze is the source of all our negative personality traits. At least, it’s a safe, convenient scapegoat. It’s a way of explaining away our own deplorable behavior. Of taking away responsibility from ourselves and putting it on a potent – yet legal – drug.
In other words: That wasn’t me, that was the booze talking. And booze is legal, so I'm not so bad.
Rehab, therefore, is apparently the remedy not only for alcoholism, but for myriad other tendencies. (Note: Foley has added a secondary explanation for his behavior.)
Foley is as full of shit as Mel Gibson, who let loose a tirade of anti-Semitic and sexist remarks after he was arrested for drunk driving. Of course, Mel went right into rehab, and made sure everyone knew about it.
Entertainment reporter Pat O’Brien, whose obscene and unwelcome voicemail messages to a female coworker have made the rounds of the Internet for some time, claims a drinking problem was the cause of his bad behavior.
Maybe booze does loosen up your inhibitions and make you more likely to make an inappropriate overture to another person, but does it make you talk about getting “some coke” and letting “the kids” watch your illicit acts? If we believe O'Brien it does.
My favorite “blame booze” story has a tangentially personal connection to me. Norman Balthazar, former monsignor of the Catholic parish I attended as a child, was arrested for soliciting a male prostitute who was actually an undercover cop (I was in college by the time of this incident). He later held a press conference where he explained that he had had “too much to drink” and “wound up in the wrong place.”
That’s a carefully worded statement that surely made your lawyer proud, Norm, but you were already gay and desiring male companionship before you took the first sip. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
There is something wrong with a priest or anyone getting drunk and getting behind the wheel – which he did. And while I feel prostitution is a “victimless crime,” it is a crime nonetheless. Such impious behavior from my old monsignor!
Booze loosens your tongue, but it doesn’t make you anti-Semitic or gay or anything else you aren’t already at heart. We all know this. If you have a drinking problem, do go into rehab. But don’t insult us by suggesting that booze is behind any and all embarrassing behavior you may exhibit. COPOUT.
En vino veritas – Latin proverb
Monday, October 02, 2006
Last week Republicants gave President Bush powers that no American should have. They agreed to allow the president to listen to whomever he wants under whatever circumstances he wants and to detain anyone he wants for however long he wants, as well as interrogate and try them however he wants.
It will be no surprise when, in the run-up to the November elections, the Republicant Party tries to use these votes to paint Democrats, who for the most part voted “nay” on the bills, as soft on terrorism. (Florida Democratic Senator Bill Nelson voted with Republicants on the detainee bill; like Lieberman, Nelson is Republicant-lite and has been a disappointment for some time.)
How can Republicants’ position on terrorism be "strong" if they are supporting efforts that began as lies and misinformation, have been grossly mismanaged from the start and have actually made terrorism worse in the world? It doesn't survive scrutiny.
They seem to be strong on cluster-fuck.
It seems they are also quite strong on helping turn the US into a dictatorship, and with an unsophisticated, unprincipled dolt in the prized position. I mean, if I am to be ruled over by an autocrat – and I’d rather not – at least let’s have someone with a clue.
A million dictators throughout history have used the rationale and techniques Bush has been using – exploiting the fears of the populace, beating down and mocking dissenters and stirring up fervent, unquestioning supporters – to consolidate their power. But some of our elected officials have apparently learned nothing, and are handing Bush absolute rule on a silver platter. “Yes sir. No sir. Whatever you want, sir. 9/11, blah blah blah...”
It’s starting to look like Republicants also handed now-resigned Florida Rep. Mark Foley handsome, young Congressional pages on a silver platter. Yummy. How else to explain that as far back as 2001 some pages were warned not to get too “friendly” with Foley? (The phrases “blue dress” and “October surprise” now come to mind for some reason.)
Before some explicit electronic communications were made public, Foley’s people had the balls to call the disclosure of strange correspondence between Foley and a teen a political attack from a Democratic rival. Initially, a few emails had shown Foley requested a picture of his correspondent. Creepy, but not criminal.
But then the IMs came out and the creepiness of the initial emails proved the worst: Foley had pedophilic proclivities. And this was a guy who had in the past sponsored tough legislation to protect children from sexual predators.
Say it with me: Fucking amazing.
By the way, fuck you, Foley, and DeLay and all your buddies who do wrong and then blame your troubles on your political opponents. Sit and spin to the elbow, all of you.
House Speaker Dennis Hastert has requested a Justice Department investigation of the Foley affair. Thankfully this is not an internal investigation, since, with people like Pat Roberts to stifle it or Arlen Specter to express outrage and then do nothing about it, any Congressional investigation into Foley’s folly would undoubtedly go nowhere.
At least, not until after the November elections. We know where our Congress’ priorities are: Above all else, self-preservation.