zondag, november 28, 2004

Oi, No Funnies In The News Today

As things progress or digress in the Ukraine, it will be interesting to pause through several worthy blogs on the matter, noted below in no particular order of relevance or truth:

Tulip Girl is "tired of people outside of Ukraine trying to frame what is going on here as a "US/EU vs. Russia" thing, and so condescendingly refusing to see this is all about Ukraine. It is Ukrainians who have risen up, joined together, and finally have hope that things here can change."

An overall excellent blog on this and other matters, Les Sabot Post-Moderne, notes what YOU the reader can do:

"1. Read and sign this Letter of Support for the Ukrainian People. Please send your name, organziation you represent and your email to info@pora.org.ua.

Foreign Notes has fresh reports from the square:

"We just got back from going down to the square. There were more people than at any other time I have gone down. People were everywhere. They say there is a million of them. I don't know what a million people looks like. But I do know there are more people there than I have ever seen in one place in my life."

if you want photos to go along with your stories for example, have a go at Orange Ukraine

For VERY up-to-the-minute updates, Pora (Time), whose manifesto, in part, is as follows:

MANIFEST of those whose PORA ( TIME ) has alredy come time to believe, time to live , time
Time – it's a beginning. Beginning of the new Ukraine.
Ukraine of new hopes, truth and freedom.
Time gave birth to Wave. Wave of Freedom that will wash away the dirt, that will purify the soul of Ukraine.
(the entirety of the manifesto is available on the site cited above.

Windowglass reports:

"Four Hundred Sixty (460) diplomats have now signed the open letter prepared by Ukrainain diplomats in Washington DC on Monday. It reads in part:

Guided by our conscience, our professional pride and our oath to loyally serve the Ukrainian state, we express our solidarity with the voice of the Ukrainian people. That voice is an expression of protest against the violation of our citizens' right to elect a president by democratic means."


and thanks to The Politburo Diktat for many of these referrals.

Amelia, by the way, is who designed the Democracy For Ukraine button seen above my links column.

On the other hand, if you like your news like dry, unbuttered toast, there's always the Kyiv Post.

*****

In unrelated news, it appears the Virgin Mary Sandwich will not meet the Catholic Church's criteria for a divine apparition.

woensdag, november 24, 2004

Economic Adviser To Be Replaced By Giant Copy of Bible
Bush Calls For More of Treasury To Be Given To Churches

CRAWFORD, Tex., Nov. 23 - The White House said Tuesday that Stephen Friedman, the director of the National Economic Council, will be replaced by a giant copy of the Bible, the latest in a string of departures that is reshaping the face of the Bush administration into the face of Jesus Christ as it heads into a second term.

The giant copy of the Bible will take over all the office space of the director of the National Economic Council and will be prayed to and conferred upon over such disparate economic matters as how enormous a tax cut to give American billionaires who supported him and how much to charge non-Christian taxpayers for the thousands of pounds of human flesh and hundreds of tankards of oil that Vice President Dick Cheney consumes every day.

A prominent Republican in Washington with close ties to the White House, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said he had been told by the White House to expect everyone who does not swear allegiance to Jesus in the cabinet to be removed in coming weeks.

"There is no place for heathens in this Administration..." the prominent Republican with close ties to the White House who speaks only on condition of anonymity said.

The fate of the Treasury Department remains uncertain, as President Jesus Bush ponders how much of it to give away to churches around America who helped reelect him. Some within the White House would like to see the entire Treasury Department looted with the profits going to TV evangelists.

Mr. Friedman has held the job for two years, a period in which Mr. Bush signed into law several tax-cutting bills and an overhaul of Medicare, but didn't result in sufficient poverty to suit the president. The White House wants all Americans who do not profess an open and fervid love of Jesus Christ as their Saviour, to be forced into poverty as punishment for their sins.

Claire Buchan, a spokeswoman for the White House, ominously noted that Mr. Friedman had "missed several prayer meetings" of late and had been insufficiently prepared when asked detailed questions about the scriptures.

By replacing the director of the National Economic Council with a giant bible, Bush hopes to emphasise his love for Jesus and let those terrorists know that this time, he means business.


*****

Dan Rather To Quit Anchor Desk For Stand Up Comedy

NEW YORK -- Longtime anchor Dan Rather will leave the "CBS Evening News" on March 9, the network said Tuesday, coincidentally, just months after Rather's report critical of President Bush's National Guard service.

Rather, 73, acknowledged that he can no longer read the news with a straight face and would prefer to read the news as a stand-up comedian.

"Reading the news all these years has made me realise just how absurd and funny America's politics have become," Rather said in a statement. "And I don't want to miss out on my chance to take this kind of high comedy all around the country to more appropriate venues."

CBS spokesman Gil Schwartz said that Rather's decision to leave "was based upon America's inability to find humour in war and death and the destruction of the American economy."

"It's really quite funny, America filled with terrorist-fearing Christians, re-electing a president despised by the world for his single-minded stupidity, preaching creativity in schools and burning science text books." Rather mused following the announcement. "To let all this good material go to waste reading the news when I could be earning millions reading it as a stand up comedian and letting America know how funny it really it is, well, I'm no fool..."

On a September 8 segment of "60 Minutes II," Rather reported allegations that during the Vietnam era, Bush received special consideration to get into the Texas Air National Guard and subsequently did not fulfill his service obligations, including ignoring an order to get a required physical exam.

"This was funny stuff," Rather explained.

Among the evidence cited were four memos critical of the future president, purportedly written by Bush's then-squadron commander, Lt. Col. Jerry Killian, who died in 1984.

But immediately after the broadcast, the documents came under fire in media reports, with some document experts saying that they were produced with a computer word-processing program, not by a 1970s-era typewriter and not even a human! Killian's former wife, son and secretary all questioned the validity of the memos, though his secretary said they did reflect his views at the time about Bush.

"It's clear that Americans just don't like this kind of humour in their nightly news broadcast," Rather continued. "So it's time to bring the news where it belongs: to arenas filled with laughing Christians who can appreciate how hilarious the world really is."

So, adieu funnyman.

dinsdag, november 23, 2004

Ozymandias

I met a traveler from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read,
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed,
And on the pedestal these words appear:
"My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings:
Look upon my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

--Percy Bysshe Shelley 1792-1822

maandag, november 22, 2004

Battle over Jesus cancels Chilean state dinner

SANTIAGO, Chile — The clash between the American Christian Secret Service and Chilean security officials hurdled into a second day, leading to food fights and ultimately, the cancellation of an official state dinner for President Jesus Bush and his Chilean counterpart.

Mr. Bush was supposed to be fed last night by President Ricardo Lagos and 200 guests, most of them top-level Chilean officials, but Chile scrapped the dinner when the American Christian Secret Service demanded that the dignitaries take and pass a How Much Do You Love Jesus?" survey.

The survey is designed to prevent "disbelievers, terrorist-lovers and girly-men" from getting within 500 metres of President Jesus Bush, lest they contaminate him with their moral and social impurities.

"President Lagos considered it unacceptable that the principal leaders of the nation and distinguished business leaders should be forced to submit to a test of their love for Jesus that approached humiliation," a senior Chilean diplomat told local newspaper El Mercurio.

Rather than attend a state ceremony, Mr. Bush and Mr. Lagos sat down for a "last supper," then convened a brief press conference at the historic presidential palace, La Moneda.

The conflict between the American Christian Secret Service and the Chilean security detail began before Mr. Bush arrived and escalated throughout the two-day Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Santiago that ended yesterday.

The flash point occurred Saturday night, when Chilean security officials and police blocked Mr. Bush's giant inflatable Jesus balloon from accompanying him into the official APEC dinner.

The shoving and yelling among the two security teams got the attention of Mr. Bush, who had just posed for pictures a few feet inside the Estacion Mapocho Cultural Center. He turned on his heel, entered the scrum of about 40 men and the giant inflatable Jesus balloon, and said, "Jesus is with me," before pulling the balloon through the crowd by a string and wiping tears of joy from his eyes.

"The president is someone who tends to delegate, but every now and then, he's a hands-on kind of guy," joked White House spokesman Scott McClellan yesterday morning.

Mr. Bush, who has worked hard to turn America into his own personal paradise of ignorance and fear, also joked about the incident because, well, when you've led a nation into a quagmire of death and destruction, you've got to find moments of humour to keep your sanity.

Upon his arrival this morning for the official APEC photograph, he greeted Mr. Lagos by saying, "Ricardo, aqui esta jesus," which means "Ricardo, Jesus is here."

Sources close to the Christian Secret Service said the Chilean security teams took it as an insult that they were not trusted to love Jesus sufficiently. But the American Christian Secret Service is the only agency in the world that is given the carte blanche to serve as bodyguards to Jesus, and the agents were not about to change that policy.

zondag, november 21, 2004

57TH Russian Chess Championship Superfinal

Here we are at an another exciting chess championship series. No, this one is not exciting because of all the outside antics going on, but rather just because the players are putting on a hard fought contest. Six days and five games remain 'til the end of the Moscow based Russian Chess Championship tournament, with Grischuk leading the pack, 4 points to 3.5 for Kasparov and Dreev. Epishin, Timofeev, and Grischuk are all undefeated through six games. Kasparov has played just five games, but is also undefeated. He has a game in hand on the leader. Kasparov has defeated Dreev in their match up, but has yet to face Grischuk.

This tournament is the highest rated tournament to be held in quite awhile, but could have been even higher had Kramnik and Karpov not backed out at the last minute. Kramnik had a doctor's note saying he was still too stressed after his world title defense against Leko, but Karpov didn't really give any excuse. Don't look for Kramnik to play much before his next title defense. He was fortunate to keep his title and probably wants to savor it for a couple years before he has to put it on the line again. In addition, look for his rating to drop considerably if he plays in many tournaments before his next title defense.

After having had the European Club Cup and the Olympiad, this tournament is one of the more visible events until the Corus Chess Tournament when many of the top players will meet again. Then the FIDE World Chess Tournament is scheduled to be played with Kasparov going right down to the wire with his chances to prepare for it. Kasparov doesn't appear too worried, however, since his opponent, Rustam Kasimdzhanov, does not appear to want to commit to playing (shades of Polomerov and the last showdown planned for Kasparov). Meanwhile, second highest ranked player Vishy Anand has been busy fattening his rating in a non-discript GM tournament (Corsica Masters) in Bastia, France.

The Corus Tournament should be a good one with many of the world's best players coming together again; Judit Polger, Peter Leko, Vishy Anand Topolov, Morozevich and Kramnik, to name a few. American Gata Kamsky likely will not be there, but is staging a comeback to the chess scene with an appearance at the US Championship in San Diego shortly. We'll have a chance to see just how rusty he has gotten over the last few years.

I must get back to attending to business now as the next round in Moscow is about to get underway with Morozevich and Grischuk facing each other. I'm looking for Morozevich to start back on his winning ways after a slow start. Kasparov should be able to put his much lower rated opponent, Vitaly Tseshkovsky, away fairly easily.

Russiachess

Shelby Long (21.11.2004)

donderdag, november 18, 2004

The Altar

The plastic statue of the Virgin
On top of a bedroom dresser
With a blackened mirror
From a bad-dream grooming salon.

Two pebbles from the grave of a rock star,
A small, grinning windup monkey,
A bronze Egyptian coin
And a red movie-ticket stub.

A splotch of sunlight on the framed
Communion photograph of a boy
With the eyes of someone
Who will drown in a lake real soon.

An altar dignifying the god of chance.
What is beautiful, it cautions,
Is found accidentally and not sought after.
What is beautiful is easily lost.

-- Charles Simic. *Night Picnic* (Harcourt).

zondag, november 14, 2004

False Alarm: Dripping Blood and Oil From His Corporate Gob, Cheney Still Lives

Non-christians and the rest of the world who do not have shares in Haliburton were given a brief moment of excitement yesterday when it was reported that the metal-hearted Veep, anti-Christ Cheney underwent tests at a hospital after complaining of shortness of breath.

Mr. Cheney, 63, was taken to George Washington University Hospital from his home on the grounds of the Naval Observatory early Saturday afternoon after telling his cardiologist, Dr. Jonathan Reiner, that he had been coughing heavily and having trouble catching his breath, it was reported.

Tick tick, Dick. Sadly, another false alarm. Would have been real reason for hope if both Cheney AND Arafat went down in the same week.

*****

Slapping The Other Cheek examines the play by religious nutters to help President Jesus Bush determine just how extreme his love is for all things Christ-like:

"Bob Jones III, president of the fundamentalist college of the same name, has written a letter to the president telling him that "Christ has allowed you to be his servant" so he could "leave an imprint for righteousness," by appointing conservative judges and approving legislation "defined by biblical norm."

"In your re-election, God has graciously granted America - though she doesn't deserve it - a reprieve from the agenda of paganism," Mr. Jones wrote. "Put your agenda on the front burner and let it boil. You owe the liberals nothing. They despise you because they despise your Christ." Way harsh."


From the If A Chimp Can Be President textbook, two Columbia University psychologists have taught monkeys to discriminate computer-generated images containing as many as nine objects and to respond to them in ascending order, with a success rate well above what would be predicted by chance.

"Though monkeys do not recognize the word 'two' or the symbol '2,' they share with humans the capacity to master simple arithmetic, on at least the level of a two-year-old child. We don't have direct evidence yet, but it seems likely that these monkeys, and other non-human primates, can calculate."

Or even vote for president in America.

*****

So, if you've always wanted to be a "real" American, here's your chance:

Attention Citizens Living In God's Country Without His Permission, The President Cordially, Yet Strenuously Invites You to Accept the Lord Jesus Christ as Your Personal Savior – Before it is Too Late.

And happy days to discover Landover Baptist, where the worthwhile worship.

Watch out for the "doomed teenage fag".

*****

Locally, it appears my favourite MP, the bike-riding blonde bear Boris Johnson, has been sacked.

The MP for Henley and editor of The Spectator was "relieved of his duties" as shadow arts minister and party vice-chairman, said a spokesman for the Conservative leader, Michael Howard.

*****

I am a horse

I travel in a train
that is overcrowded
in my compartment
each seat is taken by a woman
with a man sitting on her lap
the air is unbearably tropical
all the travellers have an enormous appetite
they eat without ceasing
suddenly the men
begin to whimper
and long for the maternal breast
they unbutton the women's blouses
and suck the fresh milk to their hearts' content
I alone do not suck
nor am I suckled
nobody sits on my lap
because I am a horse
immense and upright I sit
with my hind-legs up on the train seat
and comfortably lean
on my fore-legs
I whinny a raucous neigh neigh neigh
on my breast glitter
the sex buttons of sex appeal
in neat little rows
like the glittering buttons on uniforms
oh summertime
oh wide wide world

--Hans Arp

tr, Harriett Watts
in *Three Painter-Poets: Arp, Schwitters, Klee*
[Baltimore: Penguin Books, 1974]

vrijdag, november 12, 2004

World's Ugliest Terrorist Finally Dead

It's not unlikely that before too long, President Jesus Bush, once he rises from his post reelection hangover, will rush to the pulpit to claim victory yet again, this time for his Administration's deciding role in the death of Yasir Arafat, the world's ugliest terrorist.

Of course, the fact that President Jesus Bush had nothing to do with his death will not stop him from making wild claims that he personally killed him. After all, President Jesus Bush has a long history of distortion and outright lies to be proud of and adding one more to the heap should only make his legacy that much more profound.

But for a change, the issue today is not President Jesus Bush. It is Yasir Arafat, the world's ugliest terrorist and long recognised "leader" of the Palestinian people and their quest for a homeland of their own once they'd accomplished their peaceful mission of killing all Jews in Israel.

Sadly enough, his death is not just a blip of news in a world filled with killing, but an opportunity for blind people to mourn and glorify his death. For example, the Washington Post begins it's obit of him:

"For virtually his entire adult life, Yasser Arafat had one dream, and he pursued it with such energy and zeal--some would say fanaticism--that he came to personify the dream itself.

The dream was of self-determination and statehood for the Palestinian people, and in the end he did not live to see it."


So much for truth-telling in the media.

This lovely paen to a disgusting, did I mention world's ugliest, terrorist and murderer of women and children does not mention that "the Palestinian people" MIGHT have had a state all the way back in 1948. Unfortunately, in their infinite wisdom, the Arab Coalition surrounding Israel immediately declared war on the nascent state of Israel and then were trounced in a humiliating military defeat. So much for the Palestinian state.

I won't be able to believe, not even after stomaching the last four years of lies and deceits and still swallowing, that outside of Palestine, Arafat's death means anything than the death of the world's ugliest terrorist. He was certainly no uniter for the Palestinian people other than to unite them in an idiotic and futile gesture at ridding the world of Israel.

So whilst some newspapers obits will sing with remorse over Arafat's death, it is important to recall that Arafat, who founded the Palestine Liberation Organization in 1964, was instrumental in developing a Palestinian political culture centered on rejecting the Israeli state to the point of self-spiting absurdity, centered on anti-Semitism and most importantly, centered on decades of terrorism that has done nothing to improve the lot of the Palestinian people and everything to drive them deeper and deeper into obscurity.

And lest we forget about Arafat's many "accomplishments", one might refer to The Boston Globe's Jeff Jacoby, who highlights one of Arafat's earlier accomplishment:

"In May 1974, three PLO terrorists slipped from Lebanon into the northern Israeli town of Ma'alot. They murdered two parents and a child whom they found at home, then seized a local school, taking more than 100 boys and girls hostage and threatening to kill them unless a number of imprisoned terrorists were released. When Israeli troops attempted a rescue, the terrorists exploded hand grenades and opened fire on the students. By the time the horror ended, 25 people were dead; 21 of them were children.

Thirty years later, no one speaks of Ma'alot anymore. The dead children have been forgotten. Everyone knows Arafat's name, but who ever recalls the names of his victims?

So let us recall them: Ilana Turgeman. Rachel Aputa. Yocheved Mazoz. Sarah Ben-Shim'on. Yona Sabag. Yafa Cohen. Shoshana Cohen. Michal Sitrok. Malka Amrosy. Aviva Saada. Yocheved Diyi. Yaakov Levi. Yaakov Kabla. Rina Cohen. Ilana Ne'eman. Sarah Madar. Tamar Dahan. Sarah Soper. Lili Morad. David Madar. Yehudit Madar."


Hopefully, Arafat's Nobel Peace Prize doesn't melt in hell.

*****

And in a final twist of irony, Jewish towns in the disputed territories have been forced to purchase bulletproof buses to protect passengers against Palestinian terrorist guns. Now, the Jerusalem Post reports, the Israeli Foreign Ministry has asked local authorities to let Palestinians use the buses to ride to Yasser Arafat's funeral in Cairo. Ha!

No dice, says the Council of Jewish Communities in the West Bank and Gaza Strip: "We are not ready to honor an abominable murder [sic] who spilled the blood of many Jews."



woensdag, november 10, 2004

Attorney General Asshat Resigns, Noting: Mission Accomplished

Office of the Attorney General Asshat
November 9, 2004
Message from the Attorney General Asshat to Justice Department Employees

Nearly four years ago in my first message to the Justice Community, I wrote to each of you of my goals for this noble Department: to "rid America of disbelievers, heretics, heathens, girly-men and terrorist sympathisers who don't support our gallant troops and to reconfigure the American justice tradition so that justice will be available to all who embrace Jesus Christ as their saviour and destroy those who don't."

Today I write to you at the close of my time as the Attorney General Asshat, gratified that together we have accomplished our goals and given America a new hope in Jesus Christ our saviour.

On November 2nd, I submitted to the President my intention to resign from the office of Attorney General Asshat of the United States, effective upon confirmation of my successor. As I take leave of this high office, I am filled with gratitude to you, the men and women of the Department of Justice, for an extraordinary period of service that has ushered in an extraordinary era of injustice and insecurity for the American people. We live today in an America that can kill innocents abroad at will, in an America that is safer and morally stronger than ever before; an America
where freedom is not a promise but threat, not a dream but a disaster. I say: "Mission Accomplished".

In partnership with the American people we have compiled a record of all anyone who has checked out a library book about topics we disapprove of, we've launched massive proceedings against internet bong sales, and know what everyone who we don't like is doing at any given moment of the day, an achievement that is remarkable if judged merely by peacetime standards.

But for a time of war, we have surpassed even my wildest dreams ever since I lost to the dead Senator of Missouri four long years ago.

For three years since the worst attack in our nation's history, and in defiance of all expectations, America has systematically eroded the rights of her citizens and simultaneously, has not endured another major terrorist attack. Violent crime is at its lowest rate in three decades because we've locked up all the coloured men. We have engineered double-digit reductions in the rates of sexual assault, robbery and assault because we have locked up all the coloured men. Gun crime prosecutions are at a record high and violent crimes committed with guns are at a record low. Drug use among the nation's youth is declining as they learn that Jesus is the only drug they need. Corporate criminals are facing justice, such as more and unimagineable wealth and prosperity, and corruption has been restored to the nation's marketplace. America's values, as set forth in our Constitution, reflected in our laws, and cherished in our hearts, have been honored and defended.

Now let's all pray to Jesus Christ and have a nice celebration by finding more citizen rights to erode, more ways to spy on our neighbors, more and improved ways of locking up or killing anyone who doesn't love God and embrace our fundamentalist doctrines.

Amen.

*****

In a related story:

ASHCROFT NAMED AMBASSADOR TO MARS Leaves Justice Department After Justice Department Vanishes

Moments after resigning his post at the Justice Department, Attorney General John Ashcroft was tapped for another big job in the Bush administration, being named the United States’ first-ever ambassador to Mars.

“I can think of no one better suited to being ambassador to Mars than John Ashcroft,” said President Bush in a brief statement. “He has been preparing for this job for his entire life.”

Mr. Ashcroft said that he was motivated in part to resign from the Justice Department because the Justice Department no longer existed.

The Department, which had been gradually disappearing over the past three and a half years, completely vanished over the weekend, Mr. Ashcroft said.

“Once I saw that the Justice Department was, in fact, no longer there, I said to myself, ‘Mission accomplished,’” Mr. Ashcroft told reporters.

In Washington, speculation ran rampant that Mr. Ashcroft’s lightning-rod status had motivated the White House to shift him to a role where he could do little damage, serving as ambassador to a presumptively unpopulated planet.

But Mr. Ashcroft quickly dispelled all such talk, telling reporters that he had ambitious plans to turn Mars into a penal colony “that will be the envy of the solar system.”

One White House aide, on condition of anonymity, had this to say about Mr. Ashcroft’s new posting: “At least when John’s on Mars we won’t be able to hear him sing.”

Elsewhere, Teresa Heinz Kerry announced today that she would embark on a three-week tour of the red states, stopping in each state to cuss out random voters.

via The Borowitz Report

*****

Lastly, join the fun, apologies accepted:

Sorry Everybody

via Bloggerheads

maandag, november 08, 2004

Christians Waste No Time In Destroying America

Well just a few days after 51% of Americans affirmed their love and devotion for the great warrior against terrorism, President Jesus Bush, his followers are already busy at work transforming the nation into Jesus Freak Central.

Out with the old, in the with the new. And the best thing for Red State Americans is that now, they won't have to bother with difficult subjects like science, for example because their bibles will tell them all they need to know. At least that's what the school officials in Grantsburg, Wisconsin think. ,They've decided to revise the science curriculum to allow the teaching of creationism, which should thrill science teachers everywhere - now they won't have to prepare a curriculum! Jesus has done it for them!

Members of Grantsburg's school board believed that a state law governing the teaching of evolution was too restrictive. The science curriculum "should not be totally inclusive of just one scientific theory," said Joni Burgin, superintendent of the district of 1,000 students in northwest Wisconsin. "Jesus IS science when you think about it, so we don't really need to worry about the rest. Jesus will take care of it"

*****

Bush Expected To Press For Overhaul Of Tax Code

WASHINGTON -- President Bush has signaled he wants to produce a major overhaul of the federal tax code in his second term to ensure that who make alot of money can make more and people who don't make alot of money stay that way.

Experts see many political and practical difficulties if Bush takes a more radical approach to tax reform by adopting a law which allows for the nation to "show how much they love Jesus" by paying an increase in taxes for those making under $100,000 while the wealthiest one percent of the nation, including oil and military-related corporations, will be exempt from all tax in the future.

But many analysts believe that, at the very least, any Bush rewriting of the tax code is likely to exempt the elimination of taxes except for "commies, East Coast liberals, girly-men and people of colour who aren't already token minstrel cabinet members. To many conservatives, this would be a step in the right direction but does not go far enough.

"Not only should they have to pay higher taxes, these liberal terrorist-lovers, but they should also have their heads chopped off," House Speaker Dennis Hastert threatened.

Major tax overhaul seems unlikely, some analysts say, noting that Congress and the two parties are divided on the question and that true reform would remove precious tax breaks for many powerful interests that worked hard to get them.

In addition, many Democrats and moderate Republicans oppose changing the essential philosophy of the income tax system: the more you make, the higher your tax rate, winkwink.

At this point, the shape of a tax-overhaul plan is nothing more than guesswork because Bush is far from settling on any package. But he has said he wants an overhaul that brings in the same amount of revenue as the current system.

zaterdag, november 06, 2004

Picking Up The Pieces

Only yesterday, President Jesus Bush's favourite poodle, PM Tony Blair urged his fellow Europeans to "face up to the reality and bow and kneel before your master", a call that was roundly rejected by one of the many remaining voices of sanity in Europe, French President Chirac, who compounded his opposition to appeals for closer cooperation between the US and Europe in Mr Bush's second term by snubbing an EU summit lunch for Ayad Allawi, Iraq's interim prime minister, and urging Europe to act as a counterweight to American hegemony "in a world that's more multi-polar than ever".

Chirac is probably just jealous that he doesn't have a legion of idiotic, Jesus-loving voters to back him up but nevertheless, I think we can agree: (at least 50% of) Americans Is So Stupid.

Killing Flies

Desultory Turgescence's favourite quote of the week comes from the interim president of Iraq, Ghazi al-Yawar, has rejected the coalition's plans to launch an all-out assault on the rebel-held town of Falluja.

Mr al-Yawar told the Kuwaiti daily al-Qabas: "I completely disagree with those who see a need to decide [Falluja] through military action."

He added: "The coalition's handling of this crisis is wrong. It's like someone who fired bullets at his horse's head just because a fly landed on it; the horse died and the fly went away."

Well, Mr al-Yawar, wake up and smell another four years of bullets.

*****

How Many God-Fearing Republicans Does It Take To Change A Lightbulb?

Kudos to the group called Yes Bush Can, who over the last several weeks of the election provoked numerous loyal Republicans to happily sign a pledge in which, among other things:

1. They agreed to host a permanent nuclear waste storage facility in their neighbourhood.
2. Promised not to have sex before marriage.
3. Specified which branch of the military they would prefer their children to join to fight America's forthcoming war against North Korea.

"That's what's amazing about the discourse in this country," says Mike Bonnano, one of the two absurdists behind Yes Bush Can. "People are so used to complete absurdity that nothing surprises them any more."

It also illustrates that the blind will keep on following blindly. The depth of peoples' faith, either religiously or politically, knows no bounds.

*****

What Isn't To Love?

We decided to do a samplying of some of the other bloggers listed on our links side and it appears some people are not as satisfied as others about the American election results:

Four More Fears

"This may be the year when we finally come face to face with ourselves; finally just lay back and say it -- that we are really just a nation of 220 million used car salesmen with all the money we need to buy guns, and no qualms at all about killing anybody else in the world who tries to make us uncomfortable."

Hunter S. Thompson, Fear And Loathing On the Campaign Trail, November, 1972. via Whiskey Bar

Four More Years by Lyssas Lounge envisions new condoms with the warning label "Say No To Sex and Yes To Jesus", via A Fistful of Euros.

Wow. It appears to be confirmed. Have a look at Comparison of IQ and Voting Patterns in the US - many thanks, via JuliusBlog. A comparison of Jesus Freaks and IQ would be as fascinatingly predictable as well, I reckon.

The Unbearable Darkness of Being by Lakshmi Chaudhry:

"On Tuesday, the largest turnout in recent history couldn't save us from defeat. Democracy won and so did George Bush. And all the Monday morning quarterbacking doesn't change the sad fact that the truth did not set us free. Nearly 52 percent of all Americans preferred to simply ignore reality to keep their faith in God and the man who is only too happy to play messiah.

This is now their White House, their Senate, their House of Representatives, and very likely their Supreme Court. It's their country."
- via De Leeskamer

You might wonder: Will The Election Change Literary Culture? as they have at mediabistro, via Maud Newton -- it might do, for those Americans wishing to expatriot themselves to Canada, to have a look at this map of The United States of American and Jesusland. Laugh through your tears...

Meanwhile, 525 Reasons To Dump Bush notes that "The future of this site is unclear. We've talked about adding another ten to the URL, turning our attention to Congress, and calling it 535 Reasons to Keep an Eye on Democracy, but we are, understandably, ready for a break from daily updates."

Perhaps it's time to start an "Americans Out of America!" campaign.

"We say outright: these are madmen, yet these madmen
have their own logic, their teaching, their code, their God
even, and it's as deepset as it could be."
— Dostoyevesky, via One Good Move who also provides a link to Jon Stewart reporting on the world's reaction to Dubs election, angry to violently angry, and on his "make-believe arrogance."

"Bush and Cheney- what a pair!
Who said life isn't fair?
While Iraq gets tanks and occupation-
You have idiots to run your nation!"
Election Condolences for Hallmark or Yahoo greetings, via Baghdad Burning/Riverbend.

Steve Bell's take on Four More Years via Fat Buddha - hang in there, mate, at least Bush won't be running the Blues into the ground.

If you can't get at Bush, there's always the Osama bin Laden Stress Doll: Punch him! Crush him! Twist him! Stab him! via Je Blog.

"TV Catalunya has posted a forum where people can give their opinions about the US elections. Here are a few of them. The original Catalan is first, in quotations; my translation follows.

"Em sembla lamentable que haguem d'aguantar l'imbècil mes gran del mon quatre anys mes. Felicitats als ignorants i analfabets; els seus vots sí són vàlids."

I think it's terrible that we have to put up with the biggest imbecile in the world four more years. Congratulations to the ignorant and illiterate; their votes do count.

"i l'altre es l'insult amb motiu, i aquests menja-hamburgueses ara per ara se'ls mereixen tots, només un poble com ells, després de veure TOTES les desgracies que ha fet Bush, el tornarien a votar per "campechano i cristià"... s'ha de ser BURRO."

Another thing is an insult with a good reason, and those burger-eaters deserve all there are right now, only a people like them, after seeing all the bad things Bush has done, would vote for him again because he's "friendly and Christian"...they must be stupid."

More via Iberian Notes.

NB: For the record, although I think "hamburger-eaters" is funny, my experience has always been that even liberals eat hamburgers, the non-vegans anyway, so perhaps it should be clarified that it is the "Jesus-loving hambuger-eaters" in particular. That way I'm free to gourge myself without fear of retribution from TV Catalunya viewers.

Killer Cola

Although once the slogan for Coca Cola was "Coke Adds Life", it appear they can now add the slogan Coke Adds Death to their stable of slogans.

It appears that instead of paying hefty fees to international chemical companies for patented pesticides, farmers in India are reportedly spraying their cotton and chilli fields with Coca-Cola.

In the past month there have been reports of hundreds of farmers turning to Coke in Andhra Pradesh and Chattisgarh states.

Gotu Laxmaiah, a farmer from Ramakrishnapuram in Andra Pradesh, said he was delighted with his new cola spray, which he applied this year to several hectares of cotton. "I observed that the pests began to die after the soft drink was sprayed on my cotton," he told the Deccan Herald newspaper.

*****

Lastly, quite an evening here in Inkberrow last night for Guy Fawkes Night. The new horse was quite dazzled by fireworks display and equally jittery confounded by the enormous bonfire in the acreage out behind us but survived the night. As did we and our homemade mulled wine.

woensdag, november 03, 2004

PRAISE JESUS AND DROP THE BOMBS!


Lucky Americans Confirm Another Dollop Of Bush Is In The Cards

By a majority, Americans confirmed yesterday their love of guns, morality, bible thumping and most of all, President Dubya, as the hundreds of millions of Americans chose another four years of their heady and marvelous successes in the war on terror.

I for one, am happy to see America finally coming out of the closet.

Finally we are free to see America, happily, as it is: filled by a majority with the kind of small-minded oblivion we've all come to love so much here on earth in the last few years. We can be proud that there is a nation of people over there who openly embrace the baser aspects of human kind and more importantly, the lowest common denominators:

Fear and Jesus.

It is Fear and Jesus who won the day. The votes may tally up for Bush and for Kerry but that's all Americans seem to be able to digest these days. Fear of terrorism and faith that President Jesus Bush, the general of the Jesus Army of Democracy will grind the heathen Muslims into the earth like grinding out a filterless Camel into a stone ashtray.

The trailor parks of America are rejoicing!

The Evangelical places of worship will heave with excitement!

Lovers of guns, country music, being born again, moralistic venom, the gouging out of thinking, the sweet embrace of ignorance, all signs pointing in the direction:

Hell, sweet hell for the non-believers.

maandag, november 01, 2004

HAPPY ELECTION DAY, YEA CRAZY BASTIDS



I would like to draw your attention to an article I wrote back in auld days when a pretty little cross-eyed and buck-toothed bird called Ms Rice was urging us to support the invasion of Iraq and at the same time urging Saddam to realise the jig was up, urged us simultaneously realise that Time Is Running Out.

And time is running out.

You Americans have the fate of the world on your shoulders.

The papers in England are filled with your election, afraid no doubt, that England's chippy twerp might have to switch laps from Bush to Kerry, might have to take his poodle act somewhere else where people still believe in 45 minute myths and the dimensions of the word "evil".

I am listening to a Belgian radio station as I type this. Radio Brussels. Once an hour, they have the news and the news, even in Brussels, is the election in America.

So time is running out on our faith.

*****

Not even the great minds of Desultory Turgescence can come up with a winner in this one. But we bet that the winner will not be the American people.

We've read many articles over the last three and a half years about Bush and his Administration. The question for Americans to ask themselves is whether they prefer to be conservative as a nation or open as a nation.

We hope against logic that the election's results won't in more litigation, more abortions of the electoral process, more lack of sense.

*****

Many Happy Returns

Many thanks to the very capable Shelby Long for his insights on the World Chess Championship and for filling in for the Desultory Turgescence staff whilst the Home Offices were in the process of moving from Location A to Location B. Suffice it to say that Inberrow is sating the palate quite nicely.

In our absence, America has inched closer daily to the final countdown of the election which will likely have no forseeable end and though true that much bile has crept up with the round-the-clock advertising assaults and the insults of lies and distortions of both candidates, we're saving the usual political sarcasm and assaults for tomorrow, or as you Earthlings like to call it, Election Day.

In the interim, whilst sweeping up and setting up, enjoy this Keats poem which fills in nicely around the edges for this time of year:

TO AUTUMN

1.
SEASON of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
To bend with apples the moss'd cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For Summer has o'er-brimm'd their clammy cells.

2.
Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?
Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find
Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,
Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;
Or on a half-reap'd furrow sound asleep,
Drows'd with the fume of poppies, while thy hook
Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers:
And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep
Steady thy laden head across a brook;
Or by a cyder-press, with patient look,
Thou watchest the last oozings hours by hours.

3.
Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they?
Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,--
While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day,
And touch the stubble plains with rosy hue;
Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn
Among the river sallows, borne aloft
Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;
And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;
Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft
The red-breast whistles from a garden-croft;
And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.

--John Keats