Tuesday, December 03, 2002

Weirdly, he was clad in pinstripes at the same time as being naked

The Tom Toles cartoon for 12/3/02 is a lovely illustration of the cell phone thing I mentioned in my last email.

For the ultimate in tackiness, www.vivalasvegasweddings.com

Joe Conason says that one of Kenry Kissinger’s clients was Unocal, which hired him to get the Taliban recognized as Afghanistan’s legal government, part of the oil pipeline deal. Of course, connections with oil companies should be enough to suggest a huge conflict of interest. But then the whole point of his being chosen was to whitewash Saudi involvement in terrorism in the run-up to Operation Desert Whatever. Incidentally, the Bush argument that he didn’t have to name his clients was in part based on the fact that investigating the worst intelligence fuckup in US history is evidently only a part-time job.

Slate on what it turned out to mean when Bush declared war on terrorists with “global reach.”

Stupidest technology of the week is a tie:
1) the Pentagon’s efforts to microwave people.
2) a robot tattooing machine (there’s a picture).

The British Tory party, which is not doing well, has appointed a “Commission for Democracy” to “rejuvenate politics and restore the credibility of politicians.” So they appointed the producer of the “reality” show Big Brother to it. Suddenly Kissinger looks like a good choice.

The coveted Bad Sex in Literature award has been handed this year to Wendy Perriam’s Tread Softly. Key sentence: “She closed her eyes, saw his dark-as- treacle-toffee eyes gazing down at her. Weirdly, he was clad in pinstripes at the same time as being naked.”

Yesterday the UN inspectors went to a gin factory, today they went to one of Saddam’s palaces. They do know they’re supposed to be looking for weapons, and not the gift shop, don’t they?

The Israelis, having already shot dead a 5-year old terrorist this week, have today, in some sort of Guinness Book of World Atrocities thing, killed a 95-year old terrorist. They also destroyed a World Food Program warehouse holding 537 metric tonnes of food in Gaza. They also killed a 68-year old deaf man, I guess by blowing up his house. Incidentally, they did that in retaliation for the guy’s son, an Islamic Jihad member, allegedly ordering a suicide bombing...in 1996. The Israelis are running out of targets. And yet I suspect it won’t stop them.

Russia is finally joining the modern age. 3 of the hostages in the Moscow theater siege, and relatives of 5 of the dead ones, are suing the city of Moscow. The Cold War is finally over, and the lawyers have won. The government has hitherto offered nearly $3,000 to the hostages it killed, and half that to the ones it only almost killed. Speaking of the theater siege, have you noticed we never heard another update on how many people died? 127 at last official figure, but, what, no one lingered on for a few days and then croaked? And weren’t there 100 or 200 people never actually accounted for, but obviously dead, who never made it onto the official figures?

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