Monday, June 13, 2005

Nambia Pambia

The Senate is about to apologize for its predecessors having failed to make lynching a federal crime. I’m sure I won’t be the only one to say this today, but somewhere between lynching black men for looking the wrong way at white women, and Michael Jackson being acquitted, there must be a happy medium.

The Senate vote not be a roll call vote, because 12 senators still consider lynching too controversial, or possibly they support the practice of lynching, we’ll never know.

Today Iraq’s Special Tribunal released the first new footage of Saddam Hussein in over a year. It won’t say when it was taken, the audio was blocked (and not a single media outlet seems to have thought to find an Arabic-speaking lip-reader), and while he seemed to be calmly responding to questions, the tribunal also had control over editing. This is not the sort of thing an unbiased court does, and the court is itself being pressured to get the show trial on the road by an Iraqi regime anxious for seedy speedy justice.

The Italian referendum on in-vitro fertilization, stem-cell research and other such issues is a clear demonstration of why setting a quorum of voters (half of eligible voters had to cast ballots for the results to be valid) is a bad idea. Citizens shouldn’t have to check opinion polls to guess whether voting no or abstaining from voting is the best tactic. Indeed, ideally, voting is never tactical. When the Catholic Church ordered the faithful not to vote in this referendum, saying “Life Cannot Be Put to a Vote - Don’t Vote,” it effectively eliminated the secret ballot, allowing reprisals against anyone seen entering a polling station.

Bush met today with the presidents of 5 African countries he can’t locate on a map, including one country he called “Nambia,” which can’t be located on any map.

Bush could swear that the president of Niger was whispering “yellow cake” over and over.

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