Monday, March 29, 2004

Supporters of God’s wrath

From the Sunday Times: “Police stopped a driver in Huerth, Germany, and discovered that he was wearing only a dog collar. Asked his name, the motorist replied: "Woof!" He was later banned from driving.” How do they know that wasn’t his name? Sounds like a nice German name. And if they wanted to know his name, why didn’t they just check his tags?

Watched 60 Minutes again, to see Condi Rice squirm (you know what else looks like rice squirming? maggots). Never before has one person gone on so many news outlets to talk about why she can’t talk. Evidently it says somewhere in the Constitution that a sitting national security adviser can’t testify, or possibly can’t take an oath, or possibly can’t tell the truth, because, as I believe it says in Article 15, paragraph 6, “You can’t handle the truth!” The obvious way out of that little constitutional dilemma is for her ass to be fired.

I continued watching for the following piece, an, ahem, whitewash of Judge Charles Pickering, the theme of which is, Why are liberals attacking this nice man who isn’t even really a racist, but came to the defense of cross-burners for other reasons entirely. Reminded me of why I never watch 60 Minutes.

Ireland has banned smoking from all public places, including bars. Irishers who need to combine their vices are slipping over the border into traditionally tolerant, um, Northern Ireland.

Paul Bremer has closed down an Iraqi newspaper for publishing false news (which it did), and encouraging violence against the occupying army & puppet government (which it did not). Let’s stop for a moment to contemplate the awesome level of irony in Bremer, who would not now be in Baghdad if not for false reports issued by Bush, complaining about false news. Specifically, the false news is that a police barracks was blown up by a US helicopter. Of course if that were true, we know that the US would be lying about it, and that the US never talks about the Iraqis that it kills. Really, if you’re unwilling to give your own version of events, you can hardly complain if the press gets it wrong, now can you? Bremer also cites an article that criticized him as following the example of Saddam. By keeping the Iraqi people hungry, not by silencing the opposition--even Bremer doesn’t rise to that level of irony. I think. Although he does respond, “This report is false and the CPA is doing its best to provide food and medical help for the Iraqi people and to repair the infrastructure of the country and put the fundamentals of political, economic and individual freedoms in place.” OK, I won’t use the word irony again, but this is surely a matter of opinion, not true versus false. Robert Fisk notes that the paper was a weekly with a circulation of only 10,000, but that its closing has provoked great wrath, and you know how good the Iraqis are at great wrath.

Oh dear: immediately after writing that, I read an article that troops in Basra fired rubber bullets to disperse a crowd associated with a group called “God’s Wrath.” The Telegraph has a photo caption, “Supporters of "God's Wrath" clash with British troops in Basra.” I’m sorry, that phrase is just funny--supporters of God’s wrath.

A Guardian columnist says that gay marriage (Blair is considering civil unions) is off the table because it would lead inevitably to gay divorce, “and the upholders of "family values" would become irretrievably confused over whether these were destroying the very fabric of society. (Divorce: bad! Homosexual partnerships: unnatural! Divorcing homosexuals... emergency! Will not compute! Help, hair on fire!)”

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