woensdag, juni 25, 2003

Your Flag Decal Won't Get You Into Heaven Anymore
John Prine

While digesting Reader's Digest
In the back of a dirty book store,
A plastic flag, with gum on the back,
Fell out on the floor.
Well, I picked it up and I ran outside
Slapped it on my window shield,
And if I could see old Betsy Ross
I'd tell her how good I feel.

But your flag decal won't get you
Into Heaven any more.
They're already overcrowded
From your dirty little war.
Now Jesus don't like killin'
No matter what the reason's for,
And your flag decal won't get you
Into Heaven any more.

Well, I went to the bank this morning
And the cashier he said to me,
"If you join the Christmas club
We'll give you ten of them flags for free."
Well, I didn't mess around a bit
I took him up on what he said.
And I stuck them stickers all over my car
And one on my wife's forehead.

Repeat Chorus:

Well, I got my window shield so filled
With flags I couldn't see.
So, I ran the car upside a curb
And right into a tree.
By the time they got a doctor down
I was already dead.
And I'll never understand why the man
Standing in the Pearly Gates said...

"But your flag decal won't get you
Into Heaven any more.
We're already overcrowded
From your dirty little war.
Now Jesus don't like killin'
No matter what the reason's for,
And your flag decal won't get you
Into Heaven any more."

dinsdag, juni 24, 2003

State Department Clothing

For Americans traveling overseas this summer, what might be an invaluable article of clothing is the American Apology Shirt which says "I'm sorry my president's an idiot. I didn't vote for him." in the six official UN languages. (via Bloggerheads)

Speaking of the Idiot-In-Chief, he was in town yesterday to "compassionately and conservatively" exploit the tragedy of 9/11 to stuff his campaign coffers in a fund-raiser that raked in $4 million. No surprise to note that the crowd who came to see him was predominantly white, and predominantly corporate Wall Street whores like Richard S. Fuld of Lehman Brothers and Joseph J. Grano Jr. of USB-PaineWebber and their squealing squadron of CEOs, lobbyists and other wealthy Republican sycophants who stand to benefit most from another four years of economic rape the Bush Administration lusts after. Ironically, while Bush raises money to fund his campaign, the federal government has still failed to deliver on $20 billion in promised aid after the World Trade Center bombing, even as the financially strapped city is closing firehouses.

As Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry noted recently, "We shouldn't be opening firehouses in Baghdad and closing them in New York City." Duh. We "shouldn't" be doing alot of things, like slaughtering innocent Iraqi civilians and sending witless American troops to die in an Iraqi quagmire just so the Bush Administration can further enrich itself with the blood of humanity. But hey, there's reality and then there's Bush Reality.

Bush opened his address yesterday by saying that "We have captured or killed many key leaders of al-Qaida, and the rest of them know we're hot on their trail."

Hot on their trail? It's been almost two years since Bush said he wanted Osama Dead or Alive and still no sign of Osama. How is this "hot on the trail"? In the same way they are hot on the trail of Saddam Hussein? Whew. What an astounding track record of success. Combined with his failure to find any of those WMDs in Iraq that were supposed to vaporize America any minute, Bush Is Oh For Three on his big promises. With that kind of success, I'm sure America is safer from terror because of George Bush. Hey! Let's give him all the money he wants! Whoooeeee! God Bless America!

maandag, juni 23, 2003

Howard Dean Off And Running

Howard Dean will formally announce his candidacy for the Democratic nomination today in his home town of Burlington.

Just one week on the heels of Wesley Clark's promising performance, Howard Dean appeared for a full hour yesterday on Meet the Press for Americans to get a look at another potential Democratic candidate.

After seeing yesterday's performance, it wasn't difficult to ascertain that one of Dean's biggest problems in running for president is going to be his cantankerous bite that emerges when he's feeling disagreeable. Although he's clearly running as outside-the-Beltway candidate (a point he hammered home over and over again to try and distance himself from the other Democratic front-runners to the point of boorishness), and claims to be a "straight-talker", he seemed to backpedal with the best of them when cornered on certain inconsistencies and inaccuracies.

Asked whether he would support a constitutional amendment to balance the budget, he said, "I go back and forth on that." Asked whether a same-sex couple that got married in Canada could be considered legally married in the United States, he said, "I can't answer that question because it's a legal question."

When pressed by moderator Tim Russert, following Dean's assertions that we needed more troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, on the fact he didn't even know how many troops were on active duty in the United States military, Dean snidely replied "For me to have to know right now to participate in the Democratic Party primary how many troops are actively on duty in the United States military, when that is actually a number that is composed both of people on duty today and people who are National Guards people who are on duty today, is "silly",".

More annoying, when watching the self-proclaimed "straight-talker" in action, was watching him sidestep. He rightly disparaged the candidate who claimed to have voted for supporting the Iraq resolution last fall only in the belief that such a vote would force Bush to go through the UN when one had nothing to do with the other, but then repeatedly refused to name the candidate. While this is likely because of the recent firestorms and subsequent apologies Dean created in criticizing his fellow Democrat presidential aspirants, he wouldn't even acknowledge apologizing to three rivals for his criticism of them, noting instead that he'd only apologized to one of them. Apparently, in the other two instances, he only apologized for making the comments, not the comments themselves. Americans have already traveled down that road of double-speak enough, haven't they?

He also said the Social Security Trust Fund will be "in fine shape until, I don't know, 2040 or something like that" -- then changed the date to 2020 when his rosy projection was challenged. He said the program is ''in fine shape'' until about 2040. Russert said that was not the case, and Dean corrected himself to say problems would begin in the mid-2020s. He said he would consider raising the retirement age to 68 and letting more salary above $80,000 fall under the payroll tax.

The maximum annual earnings subject to Social Security taxes this year is $87,000. Also, 65 years and two months is the retirement age for receiving full benefits. The retirement age for full benefits will gradually rise to 67 over the next two decades.

About the only things Dean seemed clear about was his contention that he is an outside-the-Beltway candidate and the easy questioning of Bush's credibility. Hardly refreshing, hardly new.

On the other hand, he made clear he believes it is good that Saddam is out of power, but added astutely that ''We don't know whether in the long run the Iraqi people are better off. And the most important thing is, we don't know whether we're better off.''

Dean said he was worried that if the United States ''can't get our act together in Iraq and if we can't build Iraq into a democracy, then the alternative is chaos or a fundamentalist regime.''

He also accused Bush of misleading the country about Iraq's possession of unconventional weapons.

"We were misled. The question is, did the president do that on purpose or was he misled by his own intelligence people ... Or did he in fact know what the truth was and tell us something different."We essentially went to war ... based on facts that turned out not to be accurate. I think that's pretty serious, and I think the American people are entitled to know why that was," he said.

"This president told us that we were going into Iraq because they might have atomic weapons and that turned out not to be so," Dean said, adding that "The secretary of defense told us that he knew where there were weapons of mass destruction around Tikrit and around Baghdad. We've been in control of Iraq for 50 days and we haven't been able to find any such thing."

Also to his credit, Dean was the only one, among the main contenders, to have criticized the invasion of Iraq from the beginning.

Unfortunately, while he liberally passes out the criticisms of Bush and his fellow Democratic contenders, he doesn't seem to handle criticism himself very well.

Without refinement of this public peevishness at being questioned on his stances and statements however, this candidate isn't going to go very far.

vrijdag, juni 20, 2003

The Seven Wonders Of The World

"Although prepared for martyrdom,
I preferred that it be postponed."

-- Sir Winston Churchill

I wonder what clothes to wear.
Prison sentences and summary executions
are in style this year,
but it's nothing to wear
to a wedding or coronation,
whose dividends and pursed lips make the pages
of the newspaper society regales itself within
when they moan that rags are the riches.

I wonder what the weather will be like
when I die. Snakes, vultures,
and locusts are in great supply,
crowding out the sun and rain with
occasional blustery winds, they prey
on me and my wheelbarrow of sins.

I wonder if I've updated my address book;
the deals that were struck by a stroke of luck,
the girls and gargoyles and guttermouth'd cadres
of dates and missed appointments,
flummoxed opportunities and secretaries.

I wonder what the atmosphere will bring.
Sure, the dying breeds will rattle them off:
nitrogen, oxygen, a mixture of argon,
carbon dioxide, and tiny amounts
of neon, helium, krypton, and xenon.
But I want to know how many piercings
to puncture the sliver of the exosphere?

I wonder who is starving at this very moment
as I'm emptying remains into a trash bin,
flesh hangs like draperies on bones,
a vow of silence and a ban on moans,
dropping appelpannekoeken and scones
dripping with jam
into well-intentioned garbage cans.

I wonder how many more atoms I need
before I finish my Eve,
how many neutrons and protons left
to splash upon the canvas
and how many electrons to attract
her, before I really matter.

I wonder how to pack for the afterlife,
what possessions I can do without
when the soul decides to wither out.
And once I’ve lost the torpid mascot
to the fickle cells of souls
the infamy of ending
will finally shed its hollow foil.

Jaap Stijl

donderdag, juni 19, 2003

34th International Poetry Festival

The Schouwburg in Rotterdam is hosting the 34th International Poetry Festival through the 20th of this month. Highlights today will include an homage to K.P. Cavafy and a reading of the poems of C.O. Jellema, the Dutch poet who died this past March. His poem entitled Elegie can be found here.

Also reading today is the Mexican poet Malva Flores. An example of her poetry found below:

La ilusión entra por los ojos

La ilusión entra por los ojos. Mirar es perder
la brújula, el oriente.
Ojos de mosca
para mirarlo todo.
Para saberlo todo, piedra.
Inagotable piedra en el mutismo,
en la ceguera. Inmóvil y cierta. Aquí.
Que la ilusión va en otra vía.

Tomorrow marks the presentation of an intriguing project called ‘Doorfluisteringen’ (Chinese Whispers), named after the children’s party game. This year a poem by the prominent Flemish poet Leonard Nolens will be translated from the original Dutch through a string of languages by poets at the festival and back into Dutch on the final day.

More interesting links and information of international poets featured can be found at Poetry International Web.

Lastly, one poem another from the Language Man, Dutch poet Ruben Van Gogh:


Ik hou zo van machines zegt ze
Van die grote bouwmachines
Maar het mooist vind ik de klokken
waarop de schafttijd aangegeven staat
Dat al die mannen dan op opgelegde tijden
hun werk terzijde schuiven
naar koffie en hun boterhammen grijpen
en in volle gelukzaligheid
gaan zitten wachten tot zij verder mogen,
na nog een laatste shagje.

woensdag, juni 18, 2003

Americans Will Believe Anything

A recent poll conducted by the University of Maryland showed that one third of the American public believes U.S. forces have found weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Realizing that it might have gotten just too darned confusing for some Americans since George Bush has been running around with the half-baked claims that he already found all the WMDs you could possibly need in the form of a couple of mobile labs, Desultory Turgescence is prepared to give Americans the benefits of the doubt, even if these "deadly" mobile labs are for the production of hydrogen to fill artillery balloons, not astounding discoveries of WMDs, as the Disinformation Campaign out of the White House gathers speed.

After all, if you can't trust your own fraudulently elected official, who can you trust, right?

But when the same poll indicates that "Twenty-two percent said Iraq actually used chemical or biological weapons", I begin to wonder where some of these Americans are getting their information; the little voices in their heads? The bible? Reality TV shows? Not even a histrionically partisan monkey house like Fox News makes such outrageous claims. Hell, not even Monkey-In-Chief Bush, fabulist extraordinaire, made such a suggestion. Here again however, if you happen to inform yourself of the world's events during bouts of somnambulism or during commercial breaks of the Jerry Springer show, it might have gotten confusing watching milliseconds of war coverage showing all those American GIs in chemical weapons gear during the invasion. These are probably the same people advertisers aim at when they equivocate automobiles or cola products or beer with swarms of half-naked women knowing there will be a percentage of half-wits thinking to themselves: "Gee, if I buy Miller Light beer, I'll have bikini clad women pouncing on me in wading pools all day long."

If you recall, before the war, half of those polled in a survey said Iraqis were among the 19 hijackers on Sept. 11, 2001.

Either the war marketing wizards in the White House are geniuses or there are simply too many stupid people in America.

Pollsters and political analysts offer several reasons for the gaps between facts and beliefs: the public's short attention span on foreign news, fragmentary or conflicting media reports that lacked depth or skepticism, and Bush administration efforts to sell a war by oversimplifying the threat.

"Most people get little whiffs and fragments of news, not in any organized way," said Thomas Mann, a scholar at the Brookings Institution, a centrist-liberal think tank. "And there have been a lot of conflicting reports on the weapons."

Oh. Conflicting reports, or just too many lies?

Too hard to decide, so Desultory Turgescence did its own poll of Americans over the weekend and here are the highlights of the results:

45% believe that Adolf Hitler and Saddam Hussein are the same person.

32% believe that President Bush is the second coming of Jesus Christ.

23% believe that all the weapons of mass destruction have been moved to Belgium.

41% believe that the Tooth Fairy left WMDs under their pillows.

18% believe that Iraqi guerillas are actors in the latest Planet of the Apes movies.

59% believe that the world is flat.

In honor of these polling results, Desultory Turgescence prepared a revision of the lyrics of the David Bowie song Young Americans:

David Bowie Lyrics
" Dumb Americans "

They pulled in just behind the bridge
He lays her down, he frowns
"Gee my life's a funny thing, am I
still too dumb?"
He kissed her then and there
She took his ring, took his babies
It took him minutes, took her nowhere
Heaven knows, she'd have taken anything, but

[CHORUS (She)]
All night
She wants the dumb American
Dumb American, dumb American, she wants the dumb American
All right
She wants the dumb American

Scanning life through the picture
She finds the slinky vagabond
He coughs as he passes her Ford
Mustang, but
Heaven forbid, she'll take anything
But the freak, and his type, all for
He misses a step and cuts his hand, but
Showing nothing, he swoops like a song
She cries "Where have all Papa's heroes gone?"

[CHORUS (She)]
All the way from Washington
Her bread-winner begs off the bathroom floor
We live for just these twenty years
Do we have to die for the fifty more?"

All night
He wants the dumb American
Dumb American, dumb American,
he wants the dumb American
All right
He wants the dumb American

Do you remember, your President Nixon?
Do you remember, the bills you have to pay?
Or even yesterday?
Have been the un-American?
Just you and your idol sing falsetto
'bout Leather, leather everywhere, and
Not a myth left from the ghetto
Well, well, well, would you carry a razor
In case, just in case of depression?
Sit on your hands on a bus of survivors
Blushing at all the afro-Sheeners
Ain't that close to love?
Well, ain't that poster love?
Well, it ain't that Barbie doll
Her hearts have been broken just like you

All night
You want the dumb American
Dumb American, dumb American, you want the dumb American
All right
You want the dumb American

You ain't a pimp and you ain't a hustler
A pimp's got a Cadi and a lady got a Chrysler
Black's got respect, and white's got his soul train
Mama's got cramps, and look at your hands ache
(I heard the news today, oh boy)
I got a suite and you got defeat
Ain't there a man who can say no more?
And, ain't there a woman I can
sock on the jaw?
And, ain't there a child I can hold without judging?
Ain't there a pen that will write before they die?
Ain't you proud that you've still got faces?
Ain't there one damn song that can make me
break down and cry?

[CHORUS (I) (repeat 3 times ad lib)]
All night
I want the dumb American
Dumb American, dumb American, I want the dumb American
All right
I want the dumb American

dinsdag, juni 17, 2003

Advice to a Prophet
Richard Wilbur

When you come, as you soon must, to the streets of our city,
Mad-eyed from stating the obvious,
Not proclaiming our fall but begging us
In God's name to have self-pity,

Spare us all word of the weapons, their force and range,
The long numbers that rocket the mind;
Our slow, unreckoning hearts will be left behind,
Unable to fear what is too strange.

Nor shall you scare us with talk of the death of the race.
How should we dream of this place without us?--
The sun mere fire, the leaves untroubled about us,
A stone look on the stone's face?

Speak of the world's own change. Though we cannot conceive
Of an undreamt thing, we know to our cost
How the dreamt cloud crumbles, the vines are blackened by frost,
How the view alters. We could believe,

If you told us so, that the white-tailed deer will slip
Into perfect shade, grown perfectly shy,
The lark avoid the reaches of our eye,
The jack-pine lose its knuckled grip

On the cold ledge, and every torrent burn
As Xanthus once, its gliding trout
Stunned in a twinkling. What should we be without
The dolphin's arc, the dove's return,

These things in which we have seen ourselves and spoken?
Ask us, prophet, how we shall call
Our natures forth when that live tongue is all
Dispelled, that glass obscured or broken

In which we have said the rose of our love and the clean
Horse of our courage, in which beheld
The singing locust of the soul unshelled,
And all we mean or wish to mean.

Ask us, ask us whether with the worldless rose
Our hearts shall fail us; come demanding
Whether there shall be lofty or long standing
When the bronze annals of the oak-tree close.

(From Advice to a Prophet and Other Poems by Richard Wilbur, published by Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.)

maandag, juni 16, 2003

Weekend Fun

"General Wesley Clark: Vietnam combat veteran, Rhodes scholar, four-star general, business leader, and with your support—the next president of the United States. Paid for by DraftWesleyClark.com."

The full transcript of Wesley K. Clark's appearance on Meet the Press yesterday.


Pat Buchanon on whether or not the Neocon Movement Is Over:

"If we have hit the tar baby in Baghdad, the president may be seeking to extricate us before we go to the polls 17 months from now. And should the fruits of victory start to rot, Americans will begin to ask questions of the principal propagandists for war.

It was, after all, the neocons who sold the country on the notion that Iraq had a huge arsenal of weapons of mass destruction, that Iraq was behind 9/11, that Saddam had ties to al-Qaeda, that the war would be a “cakewalk,” that we would be welcomed as liberators, that victory would bring democratic revolution in the Middle East. Should the cream go sour, the neocons will face the charge that they “lied us into war.”

Moreover, for a movement that is small in number and utterly dependent on its proximity to power, the neocons have made major mistakes. They have insulted too many U.S. allies, boasted too much of their connections and influence, attracted too much attention to themselves, and antagonized too many adversaries. In this snake pit of a city, their over-developed penchant for self-promotion is not necessarily an asset."


Robert Fisk is fresh out of Iraq:

"One of the problems with the Americans I think is that the top people in the Pentagon always knew that this wasn't going to be "human rights abuses ended," flowers and music for the soldiers, and everyone lives happily every after and loves America. You may remember when Rumsfeld first came to Baghdad, something your president didn't dare to do in the end, he wanted to fly over in an airplane.

He made a speech which I thought was very interesting, rather sinister in the big hanger at Baghdad airport. He said we still have to fight the remnants of Saddam and the terrorists in Iraq, and I thought, hang on a minute, who are these people? And it took me a few minutes to realize I think what he was doing, he was laying the future narrative of the opposition to the Americans. That is, when the Americans get attacked, it could be first of all laid down to remnants of Saddam, as in remnants of the Taliban who seem to be moving around in Afghanistan now in battalion strength, but never mind. It could be blamed on Al Qaeda, so America was back fighting its old enemies again. This was familiar territory..."

"One of the big problems at the moment is the Americans and, to some extent the British, particularly the Americans in Baghdad. They're all ensconced in this chic gleaming marble palace, largest, most expensive palace. There they sit with their laptops trying to work out with Washington how they're going to bring about this new democracy in Iraq. They rely upon for the most part former Iraqi exiles who never endured Saddam Hussein, who are hovering around making sure that they get the biggest part of the pie if possible. When they leave the palace, when they go into the streets of Baghdad, the dangerous streets of Baghdad, they leave in these armored black Mercedes with gunmen in the front and back, soldiers, plain clothes guys with weapons and sunglasses.

One Iraqi said to me the other day, "Who did you think was the last person we saw driving through town like [this]?" I said, "Saddam Hussein?" They all burst out laughing, of course, they said, exactly the same."

zaterdag, juni 14, 2003

All Your Base Are Belong To Us

The new Republican presidential campaign.
Congratulations Roger

On 300 and 4,000. Now all you have to do for an encore is find some weapons of mass destruction.

donderdag, juni 12, 2003

Need Money? Ask Uncle Saddam

The US-led administration in Iraq is printing hundreds of thousands of new Iraqi banknotes bearing Saddam Hussein's portrait in defiance of its own ban on the public display of images of the ousted leader.

"Since I issued the instrument telling people to do away with images of Saddam Hussein, I guess you could say it's not a joy anyway," The administration's head Paul Bremer told a news conference.

He said his administration had come under enormous pressure from Iraqis to remedy the shortage of 250 dinar notes, as the 10,000 dinar bill, the only other one in circulation, trades at a sharply reduced rate against the dollar.

"It does give Baathist remnants an opportunity to make the argument that he is alive and will come back. It gives people a reason not to support the coalition, not because they don't want to support us, but because they are afraid."

Bremer also unveiled a 100-million-dollar fund for public works projects to tackle chronic joblessness which he put at more than 50 percent even before the war.

There are no job statistics in the confusion of postwar Iraq. But Iraqi and foreign experts alike estimate that at least one-third of the work force is either unemployed or underemployed.

"We're facing an unemployment problem that is certainly without precedent in my life," said Bremer, noting that it "creates a real hardship for Iraq men and women out there."

Meanwhile in America, The number of people collecting unemployment benefits in the last week of May increased to the highest in two decades as companies wait for the economy to accelerate before hiring or spending more.

While they've already tried to stimulate the economy by changing the color of $20 bills, and the $2 bill may be making a comeback, there is no word yet on when the Federal Reserve will begin printing George Bush money, but if these new Saddam bills work magic on the Iraqi economy, who knows, maybe some day we'll see of these.

dinsdag, juni 10, 2003

FBI Drains Pond In Search of WMDs, Osama and Saddam

The FBI is draining a pond in Frederick, Maryland Monday in search of the missing WMDs which the evil regime of Saddam Hussein was alleged to have possessed in Iraq, as well as Saddam himself and Osama bin Laden, drawing work crews with heavy equipment to a municipal forest to begin the work.

The FBI's Washington field office issued a statement saying that its agents and Postal Service agents were conducting "searches related to the investigation of the existence of WMDs in Iraq, al-Qaeda operatives and the former dictator of Iraq.

"The purpose of these searches is to locate Iraqi WMDs hidden by Saddam as well as the hidden lairs of Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein," the statement said. "To facilitate the search activity, one pond will be drained."

The FBI said it was coordinating the work with city and state agencies. The city said the FBI had hired an engineering firm to drain the one-acre pond, which holds about 50,000 gallons of water, in the municipal forest that is part of the city's water supply system. It said the work was expected to take three to four weeks.

FBI officials were believed to be acting on tips from highly reliable intelligence sources such as CIA Director George Tenet and top Pentagon officials. "There were Iraqi weapons of mass destruction in Maryland. It isn't a figment of anyone's imagination," Secretary of State Colin Powell said, citing the fact that the pond "smelled funny" and that there were "alot of suspicious-looking people" in the area of late. "Our conservative estimate is that there is not only a stockpile of between 100 and 500 tons of chemical weapons agent in that pond, but quite possibly, we have solid evidence that Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein themselves are hiding in the pond" Powell told reporters outside of Fantasyland.

According to several unnamed intelligence officials who divined clues by listening to Dixie Chicks CDs played backwards, coded messages to both Saddam and Osama were thought to have been revealed, particularly in the song Truth No. 2.

"It's no secret that the Dixie Chicks are a front for some of the worst terrorist elements and terrible dictators in the world" an anonymous top Pentagon official warned.

Meanwhile, President Bush affirmed the hopes of the Administration that draining this particular pond would reveal the whereabouts of the WMDs, Osama and of course, Saddam.

"Intelligence throughout the week showed the pond is filled with deadly weapons of mass destruction," Bush said at the end of a Cabinet meeting at the White House. "History will show," he said, "history and time, a little imagination and an incessant propaganda campaign will prove that the United States made the absolute right decision on freeing the people of Iraq from the clutches of Saddam Hussein."

It is rumored that the bottom of the pond harbors an "underwater world" of criminals, despots, and weapons of mass destruction. Bush also vowed that "FBI officials, drainage experts and plumbers will hunt down terrorists and "drain the water out of their holes" in a long, unrelenting response to critics who have been quick to wonder why no WMDs have been uncovered in Iraq. "This is an underwater world of the world's worst despots, terrorists and criminals. We will not allow the world's worst leaders to threaten us with the world's worst weapons, nor will we allow them to hide in our worst ponds or worst water estuaries, no matter how bad they are or how much we threaten them"

For the first time, Bush identified Osama bin Laden as a resident of the pond. "If he thinks he can hide and run from the United States in our ponds and mud puddles, he will be sorely mistaken," the president said.

Attorney General John Ashcroft said the investigation has made progress. "We believe that with every drop of water being siphoned from that pond, the picture is developing a kind of clarity." He also proudly announced the illegal detention and investigation of "well over" 234, 567 people in the continued hunt for terrorists, many of whom may have had drug paraphernalia in their possession at some time in their lives. " We make no apologies,” Ashcroft added. "Nearly one-third of the organizations on the State Department's list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations are also known to smoke pot and sleep in elaborate underwater criminal lairs." He noted.

A roadblock kept nonresidents out of the wooded area in Frederick, which contains hiking trails. From the air, about a dozen workers could be seen around the pond, a backhoe appeared to be digging a channel for water and a bright klieg light producing an intense light of holograms depicting the faces of Saddam and Osama as well as home movies of them laughing around an unidentified pond counting their weapons of mass destruction.

More unnamed intelligence sources also indicated that should the effort to drain this pond prove fruitless, they were investigating the possibility of hiring Leonard Nimoy to bring back the television documentary series In Search Of... in order to find the weapons of mass destruction and the world's worst despots and terrorists.

maandag, juni 09, 2003

Pray For The President

The morality martinets over at the American Family Association think that due to the possibility of one or two upcoming U.S. Supreme Court vacancies, if there was ever a time for prayer, it is now. Apparently God, fresh off his victory in saving Americans from the WMDs of Iraq, now has a personal stake in Supreme Court nominations. A busy calendar indeed!

They ask us to let President Bush know that we are praying for him at this pivotal moment in history and even provide us with a "personalized" message we can send Our Fearless Leader, along with a red rose symbolizing life for a mere $10!

Just this past Memorial Day, Our Fearless Leader himself, in his infinite sense of comedic irony, asked for a day of prayer for permanent peace and frankly, although I'm a little prayed-out already, I thought, using the AFA's suggested format, I would offer this Prayer For The President:

Dear Mr. President:

Please be encouraged that I share your "goal that says the unborn ought to be protected in law and welcomed to life." (I especially approve of the unstated doctrine you hold on protecting the unborn of America while simultaneously killing children in Iraq who have the unfortunate burden of already being born and thus, unprotected by the doctrines of our life-loving bible so long as they are living out their childhoods in Godless nations like Iraq.) "And you, in accordance with the wisdom of your God, which you claim to possess, appoint judges to administer a Christian brand of justice to all the people whether they believe in the bible or not...who know the laws of your God." --Ezra 7:25

Thank you for helping turn America into an intolerant and arrogant Wasteland of Neo-Christian moralists, oil whores, murderers, corporate thieves and hypocrites that we can all appreciate and learn to love as much as Dick Cheney loves his lesbian daughter, as much as John Ashcroft loves kiddie porn and as much as you love the Iraqi peoples of the world who haven't been bombed into blood and bone mass yet. You're doing a smashing job filling in for Satan while he is away on holiday. Don't listen to those gutless whining, cowards and communists on the Left. Thank you for your strong stands on hegemony and destruction. I am continuing to pray for you and the critical decisions ahead.

Yours truly,

Desultory Turgescence

P.S. Please let me know if you received this message of support. It is important that I be able to keep track of the governmental surveillance agencies in charge of monitoring my thoughts, words and actions for any sign of terrorist sympathies. Please have a scoop of Star Spangled Ice Cream on me.

zaterdag, juni 07, 2003

War Profiteers Card Deck

The long-awaited war profiteers playing cards is now made available by Ruckus.

A few of my favorites:

Lord John Browne of Madingley CEO BP, Director Goldman Sachs. BP made $41 million a day from price hikes and consumer fears due to the Iraq war.

Donald Rumsfeld making a very chimpish sort of grimace in his photo.

Rupert Murdoch, whom Ruckus defines as "The owner of Fox "News" which used the invasion of Iraq to propel shock-jock programming to new heights."

John Ashcroft looking like a pedophile in a flasher's raincoat.

and of course, The Joker.

When will this house of cards finally fall?

vrijdag, juni 06, 2003

Friday Links

It's Friday, it's sunny so why not save water drink beer?

525 Reasons To Dump Bush via The Dust Congress

The New Republican Party, a flash cartoon via Bully Magazine.

Spam and lots of it via The Booge, which reminds me of the Monty Python Spam Song.

Watch out for the new diet craze across America: Fast For Bush via Tripytch Cryptic.

Perhaps it is a certain double bock beer that's driving the White House. via JSimon.

If you are suffering from a war jones now that the invasion of Iraq is over, try the icon war via left blank.

donderdag, juni 05, 2003

Letters from minor loves

Perhaps we thought their authors incomplete:
dimwitted, slightly dull, undignified.
They might have laughed too loud, appeared too sweet;
it’s harder to be loved than vilified.

Whatever words became love’s epitaph,
their lines still call to us from musty drawers.
The wounded stumble through each paragraph,
spilling flowers and wine and metaphors.

Their high-pitched voices squeal love’s declarations,
singing praises that we’ve never earned,
and yet we keep these feeble accusations,
too beautiful, too clumsy to be burned.

—Chelsea Rathburn via The New Criterion

woensdag, juni 04, 2003

Norwegians: "salmon-eating busybodies."

The verdict is in. Despite the best efforts of the Harald Hårfagres, the King Olav Tryggvasons, King Magnuses and writers like Knut Hamsun and Henrik Ibsen, it seems Norwegians are nothing more for their collective effort than a nation of "salmon-eaters" who have become "international busybodies". At least according to the wit and wisdom of Chandrika Kumaratunga, the president of Sri Lanka who bristles of late at Norwegian Prime Minister Kjell Magne Bondevik's suggestion that certain Sri Lankan politicians could be more flexible in dealing with Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels.

Of course, this isn't just Chandrika's opinion. Norway seems to be pissing everyone off lately. Take it from Ayman al-Zawahri, a senior al-Qaeda operative who named Norway one of the Fantastic Four of their hit list:

"strike at the embassies of America, England, Australia and Norway, their interests, their companies and their employees.", he urged.

Welcome, salmon-eating busybodies, to the Coalition of the Willing, even though you explicitly denounced the U.S. invasion:

"Our prime minister has told our Parliament that we do not support this war," said Jon-Age Oyslebo, spokesman for the Embassy of Norway. "There is no legal basis for it."

C'mon Jon-Age Oyslebo and you other salmon-eaters. Just put on these wireless 3D glasses and you'll see enough weapons of mass destruction to send you running for the nearest imminent threat exits, screaming through the streets of Oslo for salvation with salmon recipes falling from your pockets.


For those of you who missed the last birthday party for Uday, here is the juicy gossip:

"One of the most memorable tapes is of a birthday celebration. When the drunken Uday becomes bored with sullen dancing girls, he pulls out a machine gun and starts shooting in the air in time with the beat from the band. When that palls, he fires at champagne bottles with his pistol and orders one of his flunkies to throw beer bottles in the air for him to shoot at with an assault rifle. For fun, he aims a few rounds over the heads of his guests, some of whom throw themselves on the ground in terror, only to arise laughing and clapping at the prank, and, no doubt, in relief at still being alive. Uday then finishes off the party by shooting directly over the heads of the band members, who amazingly, keep playing. The keyboard player crouches behind his instrument, still pounding the keys, as Uday shoots up the HAPPY BIRTHDAY sign hung at head level across the stage. When he runs out of bullets, Uday shakes hands with the frightened singer, and just to show he’s a good sport, tells the keyboard
player: “See all those holes? All those bullets could be in your belly.” Then he laughs.

In all of the birthday party tapes, the only person who seems to enjoy himself is Uday. Everyone else, including the band, seems petrified with fear. Most of his guests are women, who dance together listlessly as everyone keeps an eye on the guest of honor. In the video showcasing his 32nd birthday in 1996, he hands an AK-47 to a young boy, and helps him fire shots in the air. The highlight of that event: when the fireworks set the brush and lawn next to his house on fire."

And you thought the "Meeting Places art party in Flagstaff this Thursday was going to be a hot ticket:

"It's bigger than a regular party," proclaimed Debbie Leavitt, head of publicity for the coalition. "We're doing it Euro-style. It's stylish, trendy, crazy. We're going to have some Vespas, costumed mannequins, an outside cafe, wandering musicians and a tail gate art mart."

Yeah, right. Give me a call when you get a Heinzgerdkurtklaus.

dinsdag, juni 03, 2003

The Unknown Citizen
W. H. Auden

(To JS/07 M 378This Marble MonumentIs Erected by the State)

He was found by the Bureau of Statistics to be
One against whom there was no official complaint,
And all the reports on his conduct agree
That, in the modern sense of an old-fashioned word, he was a
For in everything he did he served the Greater Community.
Except for the War till the day he retired
He worked in a factory and never got fired,
But satisfied his employers, Fudge Motors Inc.
Yet he wasn't a scab or odd in his views,
For his Union reports that he paid his dues,
(Our report on his Union shows it was sound)
And our Social Psychology workers found
That he was popular with his mates and liked a drink.
The Press are convinced that he bought a paper every day
And that his reactions to advertisements were normal in every way.
Policies taken out in his name prove that he was fully insured,
And his Health-card shows he was once in a hospital but left it cured.
Both Producers Research and High-Grade Living declare
He was fully sensible to the advantages of the Instalment Plan
And had everything necessary to the Modern Man,
A phonograph, a radio, a car and a frigidaire.
Our researchers into Public Opinion are content
That he held the proper opinions for the time of year;
When there was peace, he was for peace: when there was war, he went.
He was married and added five children to the population,
Which our Eugenist says was the right number for a parent of his
And our teachers report that he never interfered with their
Was he free? Was he happy? The question is absurd:
Had anything been wrong, we should certainly have heard.

From Another Time by W. H. Auden

maandag, juni 02, 2003

Tattoos, Bad Idea

"I was not lying. I said things that later on seemed to be untrue."
Richard Nixon, discussing Watergate

While reading through a poll conducted at the Scripps Survey Research Center on American thoughts on the recent war against Iraq, I noticed a bunch of questions that closed out the poll, having nothing to do with American opinions on the war or chemical weapons or George Bush. Questions delving into peoples' opinions about things like cloning, scientists and ethics, the editorial pages of newspapers, the use of firecrackers on the 4th of July and most importantly, Do you think it is a good idea or bad idea for people to get permanent tattoos?

The answer of the vox populi was: Tattoos Bad Idea: 59%. However, while 22% thought it was a good idea, only 15% of the respondants actually had a permanent tattoo somewhere on their body. That means somewhere out there, 7% of America, almost 2 million Americans, think it's a good idea but haven't actually gotten one yet.

Hard News Cafe reports that "The last decade has resulted in tattooing becoming one of the fastest growing retail businesses. There are about 15,000 tattoo parlors currently in business.". Hard News cafe also noted that: "with the growth of Christianity, many European countries forbade tattoos in 2200 B.C."

So, what have the Christians got against tattoos? Aren't they busy enough with finding out whether or not there are terrorists among them?

Apprently, God told them tattoos were a Bad Idea:

"Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I am the LORD."
Leviticus 19:28


The point of even reading the poll to begin with was its finding that slightly less than a third of people asked said they are "absolutely certain" that the official reason for U.S. military involvement was true. Forty-one percent of the people in the poll said they are "absolutely certain" the United States did the right thing in sending "troops into Iraq to force it to disarm its weapons of mass destruction." Another 25 percent were "pretty certain" while 31 percent were "not certain."

This came on the heels of reading the Vanity Fair interview with Paul Wolfowitz wherein he notes famously that:

"The truth is that for reasons that have a lot to do with the U.S. government bureaucracy we settled on the one issue that everyone could agree on which was weapons of mass destruction as the core reason, but there have always been three fundamental concerns. One is weapons of mass destruction, the second is support for terrorism, the third is the criminal treatment of the Iraqi people."

This should be pointed out as another fine example of the useless inaccuracy of these kind of polls to gauge the feelings of the John Q. American. Weapons of Mass Destruction and Saddam Hussein's intent to use them on Americans was not only the justification for the invasion itself, but for the urgency with which the Bush Administration shoved it down the world's collective gullet.

For a refresher course on the Bush Administration's hysterical claims to justify an immediate, preemptive invasion of Iraq, Tom Stevens of Counterpunch provides us with a neat summary of the lies told in the push for the invasion of Iraq:

Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction.

Dick Cheney August 26, 2002

Right now, Iraq is expanding and improving facilities that were used for the production of biological weapons.

George W. Bush September 12, 2002

If he declares he has none, then we will know that Saddam Hussein is once again misleading the world.

Ari Fleischer December 2, 2002

We know for a fact that there are weapons there.

Ari Fleischer January 9, 2003

Our intelligence officials estimate that Saddam Hussein had the materials to produce as much as 500 tons of sarin, mustard and VX nerve agent.

George W. Bush January 28, 2003

We know that Saddam Hussein is determined to keep his weapons of mass destruction, is determined to make more.

Colin Powell February 5, 2003

We have sources that tell us that Saddam Hussein recently authorized Iraqi field commanders to use chemical weapons -- the very weapons the dictator tells us he does not have.

George Bush February 8, 2003

So has the strategic decision been made to disarm Iraq of its weapons of mass destruction by the leadership in Baghdad? I think our judgment has to be clearly not.

Colin Powell March 8, 2003

Intelligence gathered by this and other governments leaves no doubt that the Iraq regime continues to possess and conceal some of the most lethal weapons ever devised.

George Bush March 17, 2003

Well, there is no question that we have evidence and information that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction, biological and chemical particularly . . . all this will be made clear in the course of the operation, for whatever duration it takes.

Ari Fleisher March 21, 2003

There is no doubt that the regime of Saddam Hussein possesses weapons of mass destruction. As this operation continues, those weapons will be identified, found, along with the people who have produced them and who guard them.

Gen. Tommy Franks March 22, 2003

I have no doubt we're going to find big stores of weapons of mass destruction.

Kenneth Adelman, Defense Policy Board , March 23, 2003

One of our top objectives is to find and destroy the WMD. There are a number of sites.

Pentagon Spokeswoman Victoria Clark March 22, 2003

We know where they are. They are in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad.

Donald Rumsfeld March 30, 2003

Obviously the administration intends to publicize all the weapons of mass destruction U.S. forces find -- and there will be plenty.

Neocon scholar Robert Kagan April 9, 2003

I think you have always heard, and you continue to hear from officials, a measure of high confidence that, indeed, the weapons of mass destruction will be found.

Ari Fleischer April 10, 2003

We are learning more as we interrogate or have discussions with Iraqi scientists and people within the Iraqi structure, that perhaps he destroyed some, perhaps he dispersed some. And so we will find them.

George Bush April 24, 2003

There are people who in large measure have information that we need . . . so that we can track down the weapons of mass destruction in that country.

Donald Rumsfeld April 25, 2003

We'll find them. It'll be a matter of time to do so.

George Bush May 3, 2003

I am confident that we will find evidence that makes it clear he had weapons of mass destruction.

Colin Powell May 4, 2003

I never believed that we'd just tumble over weapons of mass destruction in that country.

Donald Rumsfeld May 4, 2003

I'm not surprised if we begin to uncover the weapons program of Saddam Hussein -- because he had a weapons program.

George W. Bush May 6, 2003

U.S. officials never expected that "we were going to open garages and find" weapons of mass destruction.

Condoleeza Rice May 12, 2003

I just don't know whether it was all destroyed years ago -- I mean, there's no question that there were chemical weapons years ago -- whether they were destroyed right before the war, (or) whether they're still hidden.

Maj. Gen. David Petraeus,
Commander 101st Airborne May 13, 2003

Before the war, there's no doubt in my mind that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, biological and chemical. I expected them to be found. I still expect them to be found.

Gen. Michael Hagee,
Commandant of the Marine Corps May 21, 2003

Given time, given the number of prisoners now that we're interrogating, I'm confident that we're going to find weapons of mass destruction.

Gen. Richard Myers,
Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff May 26, 2003

They may have had time to destroy them, and I don't know the answer.

Donald Rumsfeld May 27, 2003


The certainty of these declarations of doom and death if Saddam wasn't immediately removed from power seems to wane as reality sets in. Perhaps we should name it something like Progressive Truth: Lie outright in the beginning to spread the most outrageous justifications for invasion and once the invasion is accomplished, gradually allow the layers of the lie to peel away until finally, Wolfowitz allows that the deception had to do with "government bureaucracy".

But that's why you've got to admire a man like President Bush. He doesn't believe in Progressive Truth. Instead, he feels compelled to confirm to us his theory of Static Oblivion which holds that no matter how inaccurate, illogical or dangerous your beliefs, hold to true to them for dear life lest you have to actually examine the accuracy of them, as in his continued insistence that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction before the US-led invasion.

"We discovered weapons manufacturing facilities that were condemned by the United Nations," Bush preached to reporters in a special interview prior to leaving on a tour of Europe and the Middle East.

Psst, George: No one believed it from the beginning. Give it a rest. Leave the lying to those who understand when it's safe to tell the truth again. Like Richard Nixon or Paul Wolfowitz.