Tuesday, December 30, 2003

The right to take nude photos of Barbie dolls being menaced with kitchen appliances

WaPo headline: “Almanacs May Be Tool For Terrorists, FBI Says.” Amish terrorists?

Israeli reality tv (shudder) has a show called Test of the Nation in which people from various walks of life take an IQ test. Surprisingly, lawyers and teachers come near the top, models and bodybuilders at the bottom. And the 6 members of the Knesset? Somewhere in the model. But, it turns out, they cheated.

The chicken hawk faction, led by Richard Perle (he has a book due out), has issued a manifesto with the modest title, An End to Evil: How to Win the War on Terror. Regime change in Syria and Iran, a military blockade of North Korea, treating Saudi Arabia and France as rivals or enemies.

Bits of the Patriot II bill were quietly snuck onto other legislation this month. The FBI can now get information without a warrant (but with a gag order) not only from banks, but stockbrokers, car dealerships, credit card companies, airlines, the post office, casinos, etc etc. In the Senate it passed with a voice vote, so no one will be blamed. The previous requirement for the FBI to report to Congress how often it uses warrantless “National Security Letters” is now gone.

From the Daily Telegraph: “A US court yesterday upheld an artist's right to take nude photos of Barbie dolls being menaced with kitchen appliances, despite objections from toymaker Mattel. ...The photo series included a picture of Barbie dolls wrapped in tortillas and covered in salsa in a casserole dish.” Damn, I’m proud to be an American.

When Mad Cow Disease first hit Britain, the Ag minister--still in a Mad Cow, what mad cow? mode--famously fed a hamburger to his kid on tv. Now the US Ag Sec, Ann Venemen, has promised to feed beef to her family over the holidays. Venemen was a lobbyist for the beef industry before taking her current job. So at least she gets to clean up the mess she helped cause. White House spokesmodel Scott McClellan says that Bush has “continued to eat beef,” but he may have been making a comment about Bush’s sexual practices rather than his eating practices.

No comments: