Tuesday, January 07, 2003

Suicide kindergarten camps, he averred

In the middle of one of his rants, Netanyahu said the Palestinian gov should close “suicide kindergarten camps”. Say what?

Photo of Ariel Sharon peering through binoculars--whose lens cap is on.

The BBC reports that Britain has finally been proven still to be the force in the world it likes to think itself. All right, they didn’t put it in those terms, but for months you could see how dispirited Tony Blair was by the fact that there hasn’t been a single terrorist attack, even an abortive one, on Britain, despite his many warnings that Britain was a prime target. The BBC said that a raid on a home has uncovered a “deadly toxin.” Let the flood of jokes about British cuisine begin.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has decided that potential terrorist threats cannot be considered when licensing nuclear reactors, not because there is no threat, but because they can’t put a number to it. “We have no way to calculate the probability portion of the equation [risk = probability times consequences], except in such general terms as to be nearly meaningless.” Well, no, we don’t know the number, but I’m sure if you ask Tom Ridge, he’ll come up with a nice color for you. Jesus Christ, our entire foreign and military policy, the suspension of major civil rights and so forth are all predicated on risks expressed in such general terms as to be nearly meaningless.

Republicans have suddenly discovered that “double taxation” is immoral, at least when it’s in the form of dividends (of course it’s not double taxation for the many corporations that escape paying corporate income tax). The fact that they’d even say this in public suggests a total contempt for the intelligence of the American people (the thing nobody ever went broke underestimating, as the Bard of Baltimore averred). The sales tax is a double tax. Paying state as well as federal income taxes is a double tax. I could go on.

But if you’re going to be double taxed, at least you shouldn’t have to work hard to earn your money. Just received a box of things my mother taped off HBO for me, and I’ve been somewhat befuddled by the credits. Someone is employed on The Sopranos as a dialogue coach for James Gandolfini. First, imagine your job being to teach someone to talk like a New Jerseyan. Second, Gandolfini is a native of New Jersey. I was very disappointed by the fact that not once in the 4th season is someone described as a “motherless motherfuck.” Also, in a Robin Williams special, someone had responsibility for Mr. Williams’s hair and makeup. OK, any makeup was washed away in a flood of sweat within the first twelve seconds, so that part’s kind of pointless, but my god, his hair--that should be a team effort. I’d expect to see one person credited with responsibility just for the hair on his left arm above the elbow. The man is quite hairy, is the point I’m trying to make here.

Do you think “averred” is the most pompous word I’ve ever used? Do you think I made up for it with “motherless motherfuck”?

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