Sunday, June 08, 2003

Suffering from total over-branding

The residents of Fallujah took their hammers and their axes and tore down a police station the American troops were occupying. I love it; a mini Berlin Wall event. Fallujah is turning into Belfast without the politeness, with repeated attacks on the troops and aggressively destructive searches of residents’ houses. This is of course the town where troops shot dead 18 protesters in two days last month, and it’s never quieted down. And at no point did the US military ever think it might be a good idea to send Arabic translators to the most tense spot in occupied Iraq.

Texas has passed a mandatory pledge of allegiance in schools and in the very same bill a minute of prayer.

Remember the Segway scooter, that everyone laughed about? The technology that keeps those things upright on 2 wheels can be used in wheelchairs, allowing them to do wheelies--which in practice means they can go up stairs and puts occupants at face level with everybody else (cost = $33,000).

The “germ” that the two mobile labs in Iraq were actually designed to produce, evidently, is hydrogen. They simply lack the equipment and layout necessary for biological production. For a start, they weren’t air-tight, so they would have killed anyone who tried to use them for that purpose. So they were actually to fill up artillery balloons (like weather balloons, so you know where to aim to account for wind)(the British sold this stuff to them in 1987).

Don’t mention the war: the new German ambassador to Britain is trying to “rebrand” Germany. The organizer of a conference to this end says that Germany “continues to suffer from the total ‘over-branding’ which the Nazis had imposed on the country”. Those darn Nazis and their marketing excesses!

Remember how in the early Clinton administration he kept inviting Sharon Stone to the White House, obviously hoping for a little of that Happy birthday, Mr President action? Well now rumor has it that Ms Stone will play Hillary, another woman he does not get to have sex with, in the film of her book. You could almost feel sorry for Billy Bob.

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