Thursday, February 28, 2002


Another week, another country Bush is sending troops to, in this case the-former-soviet-republic-of-Georgia, and how tired they must be of that name. Beyond the fact that it is a barely existing country which, the London Times foreign editor writes, the US persists in seeing the best in, in spite of all the evidence. This war is now following the Chevron trail, that is its route seems mysteriously to be shadowing the planned oil pipeline between the Caspian and Turkey. I’m sure that’s a coincidence.

Some Berkeley frat members were just arrested for kidnapping a goat. (Is that a pun? It wasn’t intentional, unlike a letter Spike Milligan once wrote to the Telegraph, which had reported the escape of a snow leopard from a zoo and said it hadn’t been spotted yet. Spike pointed out that leopards are always spotted).

In the kettle calling the pot black stakes today, it’s a toss-up between the US criticizing the war crimes tribunals as too politicized (as opposed to Camp X-Rated), and Trent Lott calling Tom Daschle divisive.

White House spokesman Ari Fleischer, whose ability to enunciate clearly despite the large number of feet in his mouth at any given time is an example to us all, today both blamed Clinton for the violence in the Middle East, and said that Pakistan existed in 1931. He is the perfect spokesman, standing in exactly for Shrub’s stupidity.

Police in Britain have surprisingly enough decided not to prosecute Prince Harry for drug use.

Speaking of the royals, a DJ said of the Queen Mum, She smells of wee but we love her.

The Israelis go on a rampage through the world’s largest refugee camp, aka the Gaza strip, although this week it looks like small potatoes compared to the violence in India. I suppose it doesn’t matter who started this, but it’s rather suspicious that the BJP just lost state elections, look like losing the next national ones, and suddenly Hindu nationalists are trying again to build a temple at Ayodhya.

It seems that the Cuban Missile Crisis did not mark the first Soviet attempt to base missiles outside the USSR. 3 years earlier, rockets were sited in East Germany, aimed at Britain, France and, amazingly enough, Bonn.

Wednesday, February 27, 2002


Spike Milligan has died at 83, the last Goon. Ying tong iddle i po, laddy, ying tong iddle i po.

Rummy Rumsfeld admits there isn’t enough evidence to charge anyone held at Stalag X-Ray, but doesn’t see why that should stop him detaining them indefinitely.

It’s spring and the political commercials are in the air. Bill Jones, or is it Bill Simon, attacks Riordan for not being Republican enough (just about the only ad to mention political party, even though these are primary elections), and says his (Jones or Simons’) heroes are Reagan, Bush (he doesn’t say which one) and Guiliani--who has over the years also been attacked for not being Republican enough. Someone, I think running for Controller, talks about having experience in business, academia and government. Just can’t hold a job. Most interestingly, Riordan is attacking Simon for not having voted all that often. What’s interesting there is that Simon has never held a government job of any sort, but Riordan doesn’t call him unqualified for that, just for not voting.

I’ve talked about Charles Pickering, Bush’s awful nominee for the 5th Circuit. Incidentally, I did a quickie research job last week and failed to figure out what he testified to in that Klan trial in 1967. Well his son, Chip Pickering, a sitting Congresscritter for Mississippi, just had his district hand-tailored for him by an all-Republican panel of the 5th Circuit, and the appeal of his opponent, another incumbent, one Ronnie Snows, was turned down by Pickering’s friend, Fat Tony Scalia. This after the Justice Dept delayed issuing the legally mandated preclearance for the redistricting in order to hand the job over to the court. This one smells rather bad.

Tuesday, February 26, 2002

In China, Shrub called for freedom and religious tolerance. The official Chinese transcript edited those parts out. So that would be a no then.

Israeli settlers are taking to detering suicide bombers by defiling their bodies with pigskin and lard.

Monday, February 25, 2002

Evidently the Bush admin has just dumped a 1978 pledge not to use nuclear weapons on non-nuclear states. Didn’t know about this? I only did because a satire website had a link to the for god’s sake Washington Times story reporting this.

For a rather funny obituary of Robin Williams’s recent godawful career, see this.

The Christian Guide to Small Arms, I swear to god.

A site featuring the Kama Sutra as illustrated by Star Wars toys.

Sunday, February 24, 2002

Jonas Savimbi is dead. Ding dong, the motherfucker is dead.

Gary Condit says that the only way to ensure proper pressure on the police to solve the Chandra Levy disappearance is to re-elect Gary Condit.

Danny Pearl’s icky murder puts some interesting pressure on Pakistan, which is resisting extraditing those it now has in custody who are connected with it, because they can tell so much about Pakistani intelligence’s connections with that sort of thing. Pakistan, meanwhile, is trying to figure out how to blame India.

The Washington Post points out what I said a couple of months ago, that the US doesn’t now have enough missiles to go to war with Iraq, and won’t for many months. I’m going to make a wild guess that inventories will be back up by around, oh, one month before the November elections.

I’ll make another prediction: there will be a change in leadership in Venezuela by the end of the year. The US might actually invade, but more probably will buy itself a coup.

I know we’re a bit spoiled for choice of Darth Vaders at the moment, but someone might pay some attention to Libya, which has been becoming internationally active again, including in Colombia and in Zimbabwe, where Mugabe just pawned much of the public sector to it in exchange for military supplies so it can beat up opponents and election observers. Speaking of which, the South African election monitors (almost all that’s left after the Europeans were expelled) have refused to admit that it was the government’s stooges who attacked their people yesterday. South Africa wants regional influence, but it isn’t supporting democracy. Rather disappointing, really.

Friday, February 22, 2002

No wonder

There’s a phenomenon with George Bush, where I know that something he’s said is awful but it takes me a couple of days to figure out why. This week in South Korea he commented that in the peace museum in NK was exhibited an ax used to kill 2 American soldiers. “No wonder I think they’re evil,” he said.

I knew there was a problem with that “no wonder,” but wasn’t immediately sure what.

The thing about Bush that I’ve pointed out before is that his stated reasons for supporting a policy or belief are varied--tax cuts because the economy is good, because the economy is bad, because of the California energy crisis, etc etc--almost at random; they are there only to sell the policy. Bush believes what he believes and doesn’t care what he has to say in support of it. I think he’s actually a little contemptuous of people who have to have evidence and logic to support their beliefs; for real men, beliefs derive from their “character.” So the phrase “No wonder I think they’re evil” actually puts the evidence after the belief: I already think they’re evil, but I’ve just now heard why I think they’re that.

Speaking of putting the cart before the horse, enough already, Gray Davis, with the anti-Riordan commercials. We haven’t had the fucking primary yet. This is not about Davis, not having any real primary challenge, getting a jump on the general elections, this is Davis intervening in the Republican primary to weaken his strongest opponent there, in the hope of being able to run against Bill Simon. The man helped wreck the open primary on the grounds that political parties are private entities; so stay the hell out of the Republican primary. Also, with all those ads up here blaming Riordan for the electricity crisis (!), I must remember to ask my mother what he’s saying in LA.

Thursday, February 21, 2002

Two black-footed penguins in Coney Island have turned out to be gay (evidently it isn’t that easy to figure out the sex of penguins, so it took the aquarium keepers a while to catch on, and then they had to do blood tests). But then, their names are Wendell and Cass, so come on.

Good article in Wednesday Washington Post on those anti-abortion centers. Also, I knew that 4 states had “Choose Life” license plates, but I didn’t know that Louisiana’s had a picture of a stork carrying a baby.

Rummy Rumsfeld denies that the new Pentagon propaganda unit will actually lie, leaving unanswered (but also unasked, except by me) the question of what an organization aimed at influencing the opinions of foreigners is doing in the Department of Defense to begin with.

The chief justice of Alabama’s Supreme Court wrote in an opinion last week that homosexuality is “abhorrent, immoral, detestable, a crime against nature and a violation of the laws of nature and of nature’s God.” and homosexuals were presumptively unfit to have custody of children. Who new that a man elected because he posted the 10 Commandments illegally in his courtroom would turn out to be a jerk?

Shrub was in South Korea today, I believe to tell the North Koreans to tear down this wall. He gave a speech wearing a camoflage jacket over his suit. For once, it was actually a perfect disguise, because behind him was a solid wall of military people wearing camoflage jackets, so his actually blended in and you just saw his blue tie bobbing up and down. It was kind of hypnotic.

That British civil servant who put the naked picture on the internet evidently doesn’t really want him to marry her, it was some sort of practical joke.

Wednesday, February 20, 2002

Going to strip clubs for fun and class credit

The Bush administration plans to spend $100 million per year to promote marriage among the poor. Presumably this will come out of all the job training programs that have been axed. I trust no cynic out there is thinking that this exists solely in order to trick people into screwing up their eligibility for welfare.

One plan they could adopt was that put into practice by a British civil servant trying to get her boyfriend, another civil servant, to propose to her. She put his naked picture online and said it wouldn’t come off until he proposed. He doesn’t seem to have, but she did crash her server and got booted.

The war in Afghanistan just mysteriously expanded, with the US now bombing tribal forces opposed to the puppet government, but in no wise connected with the Taliban or Al Qaeda.

Attorney-and-Witchfinder General John Aschcroft, speaking to religious broadcasters, said that this is not a religious war, except for God being on our side. “Civilized people--Muslims, Christians and Jews--all undertand that the source of freedom and human dignity is the Creator.” Not being a civilized person, I can respond to that only in a series of grunts and bellows.

Following is from the Daily Cal. Comments seriatim, in brackets.
Male Sexuality Class Put on Hold Amid National Media Attention
Questionable Group Activities Cited as Cause
Tuesday, February 19, 2002

The UC Berkeley male sexuality class that came under fire last week has been suspended by administrators while an investigation into reports of illicit class activities is conducted.

The class’s female counterpart is also under review, but has not been suspended, officials said.

A meeting between the instructors of the student-run classes took place Friday, following an inquiry into the classes by The Daily Californian. But when instructors of the male sexuality class failed to show up, the class was pulled, said George Breslauer, dean of social sciences at UC Berkeley. [Unfortunately, the class rather got off on being pulled.]

Students and instructors of the class told the Daily Cal they took trips to strip clubs and “sex exchanges” and watched an instructor strip. Some also said a party at an instructor’s house included group sex and a “party game” that had students photographing their genitalia and then trying to match the pictures to the correct body. [Pin the tail on the donkey for the frat crowd. Isn’t it weird that the article doesn’t specify that these were gay strip clubs? And the instructor stripped at a strip club--and did rather more than that. Somebody has removed all the homosexual content from this article.]

Those activities came as a surprise to the professor charged with overseeing the course, Caren Kaplan, chair of the women’s studies department. She told the Daily Cal she does not “police the content.” [Although the students did keep asking her to dress up in a policewoman’s uniform.]

But now she is heading the investigation into the reports, which have attracted national media attention, said Breslauer.

Under the policies guiding the classes, dubbed “DE-Cals” for Democratic Education at Cal, the sponsoring professor must sign off on the curriculum and then is “responsible for the content” of the class.

A second system of checks is intended, requiring the head of the sponsoring department to agree “that the course is an appropriate one for his or her department.”

But since Kaplan is both the sponsoring professor and the chair of the department, no secondary approval was needed.

She could not be reached for comment over the weekend.

Breslauer, her immediate supervisor, said it was “too premature” to make a determination of wrongdoing on Kaplan’s part. [I know this is sadly pedantic of me, but I’m torn between making an obvious joke based on the word premature or pointing out that “too premature” is a faulty usage.]

He said DE-Cal classes are “run with very little faculty oversight,” and added, “That will probably change.” [As soon as they hear about the strip clubs.]

The DE-Cal program is currently offering more than 100 courses, the topics of which range from the history of Afghanistan to counting cards in blackjack. The classes are not funded by the university, but are provided use of campus facilities and count for between 1-2 units toward graduation.

The program is regarded as a triumph for liberal, democratic education. But some fear that the activities in the male sexuality class have endangered the entire program.

Aside from indicating more supervision may be on the horizon, administrators have not said there will be drastic changes to the program.

Instructors of the female sexuality class have already begun to
distance themselves from their male counterpart. [Which hasn’t noticed and is lying back smoking a cigarette.]

“The male and female sexuality classes are two separate classes and are in no way affiliated,” said Kim Brodsky, an instructor of a female sexuality class. “We support and defend the curriculum of our course as educational and empowering, and we are looking forward to teaching this class for years to come.” [Would a joke based on “to come” be too crude?]

Instructors of the 2-unit male sexuality class [although it likes to brag that it has 8 units] likewise defended their curriculum. Drew Navarro, one instructor, said the classes “provide a much-needed forum” for discussion “of how students really feel about themselves and their bodies and others.”

The course description on the DE-Cal Web site says the class is
“intended to provide a safe environment in which men may learn about their own bodies and male sexuality. This course aims to create a greater community of men and women who are empathetic, understanding and supportive of each other’s sexuality.”

Some students enrolled in the male sexuality class are now searching for other classes to get their course load above their colleges’ minimum unit requirement for full-time student designation--typically 11-13 units.

“Current students are paying the price for alleged wrongdoings last semester,” Breslauer said.

Tuesday, February 19, 2002

I trust everyone had a happy Displaced Apostrophe Weekend (aka Presidents’ Day, President’s Day, Presidents Day, Presiden’t’s’ Day...).

British Marines accidentally invaded Spain today. They thought it was Gibraltar.

Shrub is on walkabout in Japan. He praised the Japanese prime minister for having nice hair and accidentally sent the Japanese stock market into a tailspin by using the word devaluation in a speech instead of the word deflation. Oops.

There is a new policy whereby the US might intervene militarily any time an American is taken hostage anywhere in the world. Because there were still some countries left we hadn’t threatened to go to war with.

Sunday, February 17, 2002

Fake indicator of the week: greenhouse gas intensity, which is the number that the Bush environmental policy is meant to reduce. It means the amount of greenhouse gases divided by GDP. The upshot is that Bush is proposing to reduce greenhouse emissions less than would happen naturally, and without actually reducing them.

Spreading around the embarrassment, British paratroops open fire in Afghanistan on a cab taking a pregnant woman to the hospital. Take that, unborn terrorist!

Friday, February 15, 2002

2 F16s were sent to escort a plane with a couple of passengers behaving suspiciously by going to the bathroom too often. Mile-high club.

The British High Court rules that prostitutes employed in brothels do not have an obligation of confidentiality.

A guy is being tried for shooting his girlfriend for saying the words New Jersey. He is a nutter and certain words set him off, including Snickers and Wisconisin. At his trial, witnesses had to use flash cards for the dangerous words.

A Pentagon agency for surveillance, computer technology and general Big Brother-ry is to be headed by convicted Iran Contrateer John Poindexter. Takes you back, doesn’t it? And isn’t it amazing how the similarly undisgraced Eliot Abrams, the smuggest man in the Reagan administration, has managed to remain so quiet since rejoining government?

Tuesday, February 12, 2002

Princess Margaret died, and the nation went into a deep state of indifference. One letter to the paper asked "May I be the first to forget where I was when I heard the news. "

Favorite headline: Dinosaur Hunters Find Vomit. Evidently it’s the oldest fossilized vomit ever found, and they’re a little bit more excited by that than they probably should be.

A man in Ohio who called a cop a “pig” was ordered by a judge to stand in a public place with a sow for two hours while people jeered at him.

Heinz is going to bring out chocolate flavored french fries, which they describe as being for the kid with a sweet tooth who’s going to have his first coronary at 29. All right, they thought better about the 2nd half of that, just as they thought better of the idea of Froot Loops-flavored french fries.

Bush put his gubernatorial records in his father’s presidential library, and has since pretended that Texas’s surprisingly good Public Records Act no longer applies to them. I assume this story came out because reporters were looking for Enron connections and found that they’d get their info not in 10 days as the law requires, but whenever the library feels like it.

The county in which Dayton, Tennessee, the town of the Scopes Monkey Trial, has been ordered to stop holding bible classes in elementary schools, which they’ve evidently been doing for 52 years.

I keep reading that Charles Pickering testified against KKK leader Samuel Bowers in the 1960s, but the reporters are all too lazy to look up what he testified to. Does anyone know? A Google search didn’t help.

Speaking of lazy reporters, a story just broke--except in the sense of having been broadcast on radio 3 months ago--that Attorney Gen Ashcroft said that the difference between Islam and Christianity is that in the former fathers send their sons to their death while in the latter God sent his son to his death, or something like that.

Incidentally, when did George Bush start fund-raising again?

Speaking of hateful statements, I was flipping channels yesterday and watched some tv evangelist I’d never seen before. He said that California schools now require students to take 3 weeks of Islamic studies, or some such, in which they must pick a Muslim name and design their own jihad (the televangelist pronounced it jahid). Did you know that? He also commented on limitations of women in Islamic countries, and then made a 1950s type joke about how banning women drivers might not be that bad.

TV Guide description of a program next week: Glutton Bowl: The World’s Greatest Eating Competition. Qualifying rounds in speed and quantity include bowls of mayonaise, beef tongue and sticks of butter, with a surprise “delicacy” in the finals. 2 hours. Fox, if you needed to ask.

Friday, February 08, 2002

OK, fine, Kevin, O’Neil didn’t *literally* call Byrd a Klansman, but we all knew what he meant. Far be it for me to claim the moral high ground of living in a literalist’s ditch, or something.

The US military’s Oops List continues to grow. An attack by a drone Wednesday killed 6 nomads looking for metal to salvage in a long-abandoned and bombed Taliban hq. As Jon Stewart said about the last such screw-up, Operation Shoot First was a complete success, but Operation Ask Questions Later is still on-going.

Bush: “I’m deeply concerned about the plight of the average Palestinian, the moms and dads who are trying to raise their children, to educate their children.” Dubya’s deep understanding of the complexities of other cultures is an example to social anthropologists everywhere.

If you liked those commercials for whatever company that was featuring the image of Martin Luther King Jr (registered trade mark), you’ll love the upcoming marketing of Mohandas K. Gandhi (registered trade mark), whose great grandson just signed up with the same company responsible for marketing the name and image of James Dean and Marilyn Monroe.

I once mentioned Polygamy Porter. Thanks to the continuing quest of British reporters for alcohol in the Land of Osmond, I now know its motto: Why have just one?

The University of Georgia has switched its heating system from coal to chicken fat. There’s a good joke in there, but I can’t quite come up with it. Answers on a postcard, please.

Under the headline “Nice Humps,” the Daily Telegraph reports on a beauty contest for camels in the United Arab Emirates. Do you think they have to sleep with the judges? Anyway, the prize is £20,000.

NY Times columnist Nicholas Kristof says that the so-called terrorists which US “advisers” are in the Philippines to fight, or at least to patrol nowhere near them, are actually a rapidly declining tiny band of criminals in the kidnap-for-ransom business. But the Philippines government, by portraying them as Osama mini-me’s, has managed to acquire an extra $100 million in military aid. Which should buy someone a lot of shoeware.

Thursday, February 07, 2002

The queen marked her 50th anniversary as queen yesterday by opening a cancer ward, symbolic of her family being a cancer on the body politic, I’m assuming.

The EU establishes an arrest warrant across the EU covering 32 crimes, including some that are not crimes in every EU country, like racism and xenophobia, and after voting down habeas corpus & speedy trial safeguards.

The US admits that its most recent botched raid in Afghanistan was a botched raid and releases 27 prisoners, although it may have released them to the puppet regime....

The US has paid at least 35 Afghan warlords $200,000 each. I believe at the current exchange rate, that equals about 3 weeks of undying loyalty.

The justification of the US’s participation in the civil war in Colombia has officially been expanded from drugs to terrorism this week, without any debate or indeed notice in this country. Hell, the CIA director’s testimony to Congress yesterday was the first time he’d been seen in the 5 months since 9/11, which should give you some clue to the thoroughness of Congressional oversight, although they will haul every single Enron executive up to make them recite the 5th amendment.

Even that wasn’t as edifying as today’s re-enactment of the Monty Python 4 Yorkshiremen sketch, with Robert Byrd & Paul O’Neil bragging about their crappy childhoods. Said O’Neil: “I won’t cede to you the high moral ground of not knowing what life is like in a ditch.” Heaven forfend. He also called Byrd a Klansman.

Speaking of high moral ground, during WW II Chaim Weizmann offered the British use of Palestine as a site to develop mustard gas.

I hope the report in the Post is incomplete on the hearings into Bush nominee to the 5th Circuit Charles Pickering, since it seems they skipped over a good deal of his racist past (which you can look up yourself, I have a headache.)

Tuesday, February 05, 2002

Quote unquote

Lots of government types saying stupid things:

Antonin Scalia stands up to the Catholic church, says it is wrong on the death penalty, and any Catholic judge who doesn’t believe in the death penalty should resign. Doesn’t mention abortion. And doesn’t mention the difference between a principle derived from religion and one derived from any other form of morality.

The budget director Mitchell Daniels says NY’s fight for federal aid is “a little money-grubbing game.” And if there’s any justice, he just lost--his job. There is, of course, no justice. He says the comment was misconstrued. Bush promised NY $20 billion, and where is it in the budget? Nowhere. They’re even trying to count the money to families of victims, although that one is unlikely to fly.

Fritz Hollings attacks the administration’s dealings with Enron, saying its $3,500 to himself were so small as not to be a contribution but an insult. Right, like when the service in a restaurant is so bad that you only leave a $3,500 tip.
I should have made it clear that the policies I was talking about were associated with Israel’s current fascist minister of tourism, not just the assassinated fascist minister of tourism.

A British education authority has lost a court case and will have to pay a student whose dyslexia they failed to diagnose £52,500.

What, I should make a tasteless joke about that story, like you didn’t all think the same thing and you should be ashamed of yourselves.

During the Super Bowl--or so I’ve heard, if I want to watch people attempting to injure each other for no good cause I’ll watch CNN or the Cartoon Network--the government unveiled its new anti-drug ads, at the cost of $35 million that might have been spent on treatment, which evidently blame drug users for financing terrorism by their habits. One might think that since this will not convince a single addict to mend their ways, it was actually intended to make everyone else more contemptuous of drug users.

If you think the “axis of evil” didn’t play well in Europe--Germany for some reason is especially pissed--how about those images of a wounded POW at Camp X-Files being transported to his interrogation session shackled to a stretcher.

Sunday, February 03, 2002

New words for old / Dubya is Kenny Boy Law / Going out on a limb for Israel

Paris sets standards for garret apartments, which is the end of the romance of Paris as we have known it. Balzac, La Boheme, starving artists, gone gone gone. The regs will ban apartments with sloping ceilings and require a minimum size and height, heat and hot & cold running water (like any Parisian needs water for any purpose!).

The line “Let’s roll,” that Bush just used again, which I made fun of the first time he appropriated it as suggesting a 1970s cop show, the family of the hijackee who used it wants to trademark it.

The youngest survivor of the Titanic just had her 90th birthday. She says it didn’t really affect her, she prefers to look to the future...

Anti-abortionites want to use federal money to provide those anti-abortion clinics (see under “abortion alternatives” in your phone book--they are no longer allowed to fly under false flags) with ultrasound machines, not for health of course, but for emotional blackmail purposes.

Bush keeps a scorecard of Al Qaeda in his desk and crosses off the dead ones. Isn’t that special.

Remember the Israeli tourism minister who was assassinated? Ever wonder what sort of damage a right-wing loon can do in a job like that? Evidently they’re advertising suggesting that people go to (illegal) settlements on the Gaza strip--to work on their tans. Ads in this country (which I have not seen), say “Go out on a limb for Israel” next to a picture of a water skier. Of course environmental destinations or christian sites get nothing to promote themselves.

Spain gets its first gay priest. This should be fun to watch. A parishoner is quoted as saying that they wondered when he got the earring, but when he dyed his hair blonde, they knew something was up.
Hamas is now swamped by resumes. Since they decided to allow women to be bombers, it has been deluged by applications.

The woman bomber this week belonged to an organization that has been targeted by the Israeli military for some time: not Hamas, but the Red Crescent. She was an ambulance driver, and the army has managed to shoot a great many of those in recent months.

Afghan Interim Puppet in Chief Karzai has responded to the fight between 2 warlords by sending in a delegation of elders, who I presume will talk to both sides about how much tougher things were when they were young until they acquiesce or fall asleep, whichever comes first.

My sample ballot arrived. OK, a Decline to State Party member may vote in the primaries of other parties, but evidently won’t get to see what that ballot looks like until election day. I’m becoming so offended by this process that I may not vote.

A story you may have missed because the NY Times ran it in the business section with the Enron stories: while the Bushies are sensitive about releasing information about who they talked with, they quietly released to Congressional investigative committees run by loons like Dan Burton anything they wanted from the Clinton administration--without asking the Clintonites--including, yes, advice from outside advisers to the VP, and even a conversation between Clinton and Barak over Mark Rich.

Bush is asking Americans to donate two years of their lives to the country. Also he is pretty much eliminating job training for the unemployed, and youth job training programs, in his next budget. So that should free up some time.

I was right. The town where US forces were tricked into killing the wrong people in a faction fight, and the town where US forces tied people up, shot and then burned them, are one and the same.

Speaking of intelligence failures, those video-wills left by would-be martyrs, that the administration was claiming last week foreshadowed new terrorist attacks, turn out to be at least two years old.