Thursday, January 01, 2004

An ordinary witch with an original business idea

George Bush talked about compassion today, after spending the morning shooting birds. Here’s what he said: “What we're doing in Iran is we're showing the Iranian people the American people care, that we've got great compassion for human suffering. And I eased restrictions in order to be able to get humanitarian aid into the country. The Iranian government must listen to the voices of those who long for freedom, must turn over al Qaeda that are in their custody and must abandon their nuclear weapons program.” Now re-read the first sentence and see if you can figure out what’s wrong with it. Go ahead, I’ll be waiting in the next paragraph.

See it’s not actual compassion, in Bush’s formulation, it’s a visible, fundamentally political, DISPLAY of compassion, a performance of compassion. And then he started issuing orders about what the Iranians had to do, a temptation which someone with real understanding of the human emotion of compassion would have resisted.

And then he told the reporters that he’d eaten beef today. And everybody else should too.

Incidentally, the US is asking other countries to resume accepting beef from us, unlike what we did to, say, Canada, in the past. Do what we say, not as we do--I’m telling you, we should just print that on the money.

A British radio show asked its listeners to suggest a piece of legislation to improve life, and Stephen Pound, MP (Lab.), would then try to enact it. 26,000 listeners voted, and they chose a bill to let homeowners kill burglars, no questions asked. Pound, quoting Mo Udall, said, “The people have spoken...the bastards.”

Is it just me, or when you see the WaPo headline “Gay Community Gave Dean Early Boost,” do you wonder whether you’d want all those gay people with their hands on your ass?

Speaking of laughable WaPo headlines, how’s about this one about Ag Sec Ann Veneman: “Secretary Puts Experience to Work in Mad Cow Case.” Nowhere in the puff piece does the word lobbyist appear.

Under new national rules, Swiss doctors will be able to charge $10 to $15 every 5 minutes, like a taxi, “including the time taken for a greeting and a parting handshake.”

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