Tuesday, April 29, 1997

"Bob Dole is lending Newt Gingrich the $300,000 to pay off his ethics fine. You know, most Republicans talk about taking money from the sick and old -- but only Newt actually does something about it."
-Bill Maher on "Politically Incorrect"

Happy 60th Saddam. What the wacky dictator really wants, though, is a clone. Evidently he got really excited by the sheep thing.

Does anyone know anything about Pat Robertson's finances? There was a story that a few years ago his tax-exempt organization sent planes to Zaire allegedly for humanitarian aid but actually to work in his diamond mines there. Diamond mines?

Japan finally sent compensation for the Indonesian "comfort women," but the Indonesian government decided to keep it instead of handing it out. They say they'll use it for old folks' homes and the like.

A Chinese amusement park called Flying Dragon World Park, tried to set the world record for locking people in a room with thousands of poisonous snakes. 100 days. The Guiness World Book of Records says it no longer keeps those sorts of records (marathons). Boy, if you were to imagine what a Chinese amusement park would be like, that's about what you'd come up with, right? Now what would North Korea's be like?

Montana passes a law to allow chemical castration of rapists and incestists (or whatever the noun is). Yeah, there just aren't enough pissed-off guys in Montana, are there?

Speaking of which, there was a segment on the Daily Show today about a group called NORM (Norm!) which stands for something something Regaining Manhood. These are people who don't like the fact that they were circumcised, and are determined to recreate their foreskin. It involves a lot of pulling and stuff I don't think any of us wish to know about. Sorry I brought it...up.

Sunday, April 27, 1997

Stupid virtual pet tricks

Silliest Web idea of the week: a site in which a virtual monkey typing on a virtual keyboard to try to reproduce Hamlet's solloloquy.

Wednesday, April 23, 1997

Evidence of the existence of God: the vacation home of the president of RJ Reynolds was burned down due to a discarded cigarette.

Two items from the with-Democrats-like-Clinton-who-needs-a-Republican-Party-anyway file:

1) Some Cuban jazz musician who's evidently famous is turned down for citizenship under the existing Cold War rules of the INS because he joined the Communist party in order to effectuate his defection.

2) Social Security Admin ordered its administrative judges to ignore all Federal court precedents (below the level of the Supreme Court) and enforce only agency policies.

Saturday, April 19, 1997

A judge in San Diego reduced a murder conviction to manslaughter, saying that the deceased, a neighborhood bully, was a "jerk" who got what was coming to him. Boy, that judge! What a jerk, huh?

A man in Merced tried to rob two banks by pointing his finger at the teller, you know, in the shape of a gun.

Friday, April 18, 1997

Also: a British Royal Marine survives his court martial. He was on a stakeout of a car-smuggling operation in Hong Kong, and shot at a rat.

Russia's press is now experiencing Western style freedoms, where censorship is by corporations linked to the state, rather than by the state. Izvestia, which accused PM Chernomyrdin of making billions off his connection with the gas industry, which he used to run, found itself bought up by an oil company, which plans to make a few changes...

Saturday, April 12, 1997


Responding to the German court decision that Iranian officials ordered assassinations of Kurdish leaders in Berlin, demonstrators in Teheran have been chanting, "Death to Zionist Germany".

Friday, April 04, 1997

Gladstone & Disraeli revisited

Ok, background: you will remember the man in the chicken suit who followed Bush around when he was stalling on debates. The Tories have stolen the idea. As it turns out, the guy hired for the job isn't even a Tory himself. Read this one to the end, it just keeps getting weirder.

UK News Electronic Telegraph Friday 4 April 1997
Cries of foul over headless chicken
By Robert Shrimsley, Jon Hibbs and Rachel Sylvester

THE Tory chicken had the stuffing knocked out of it yesterday when a teenage girl tore off its head in Scotland.

Tories said the young woman who decapitated their creature was a "Labour thug" who "set upon our brave chicken to stop him asking difficult questions".

The chicken was waiting in Port Street, Stirling, to tackle Tony Blair on devolution and his refusal to join a television debate with John Major. A Tory activist said Labour supporters surrounded the bird, shouting abuse at it. Suddenly, the girl burst out of the crowd, grabbed its head and ran off down the street to loud cheers.

Fortunately for Noel Flanagan, the man in the chicken suit, the head was recovered in one piece by Scottish police. In the words of one Tory press spokesman: "The chicken goes on."

Police refused to comment on the incident but it is understood that the offender was released with only a telling off. Labour denied that any of its workers was responsible for the incident.

A spokesman for Mr Blair said the chicken had been invited to dinner but had flown back to London.

Mr Flanagan, hired to highlight Tory claims that Mr Blair was running away from a television debate, had flown to Stirling. He shared the shuttle with George Robertson, the shadow Scottish secretary.

The chicken was to follow the Labour leader, who was campaigning in the marginal Tory seat held by Michael Forsyth, the Scottish Secretary. However, his efforts to henpeck Mr Blair were hampered by a man from the Scottish Daily Mirror dressed as Freddy the Fox, who blocked his path during a 15-minute walkabout.

As Mr Blair approached, the chicken was seen to stumble and was pushed to the back of the crowd surrounding the Labour leader, where it waved a placard before skulking off. A jubilant Freddy observed: "I had him for dinner. I stopped him getting anywhere near Tony. Tony shook my hand and thanked me for it."

However, Mr Blair's guardian refused to identify himself, saying: "The whole thing is embarrassing enough as it is." The incident came at the end of a traumatic day for the Tory chicken. Earlier, he got into a nasty fight with a rival chicken with a detachable head, sent by the Mirror newspaper, as he strutted across College Green in Westminster.

He was also pursued across London by another fox, two teddy bears and a plastic rhinoceros.

The scuffle with the Mirror chicken, carrying its head under its wing, came as he returned to Conservative Central Office. The two birds war-danced around Smith Square "pecking at each other very aggressively", according to one witness. As the confrontation turned nasty one of the Tory media minders crossed the road to separate the two.

Alex Aiken, the Conservative head of regional press, wrestled the Mirror's chicken to the ground and told his own bird to return to the Central Office coop.

But the Mirror chicken was furious. "He threw me against a wall and took my head off," he said. The Tory minder had "mad eyes" and was "quite burly", he added.

The bespectacled Mr Aiken, who is actually far from burly, denied excessive violence, saying: "It was a Labour stooge chicken."

John Major defended the stunt, saying: "We are just attempting to egg Mr Blair into a debate."

After the fracas, Mr Flanagan flew straight to Scotland, disappointing two men in teddy bear suits who said they were the Teddy Bears' Alliance. They camped outside the Labour launch to challenge the Tory chicken to a debate.

The chicken also missed the man in a huge grey plastic rhino outfit who greeted Mr Blair outside a west London shopping centre.

Rhino man refused to give his identity but said he wanted to protest at the way "the level of debate in the political campaign seems to have become ludicrously cheap with a lot of people dressing up as animals".