Saturday, June 28, 2003

Yoga for dogs, poo on stilts, deaf waiters on purpose, puttanopoly

It’s not just the British government at war with the BBC, now it’s the Israeli. In future it will refuse all interviews, and use visas to force the frequent rotation of BBC employees in the country, and not allow them through military road blocks, or issue them press cards.

New trend in NY: yoga for dogs.

An Australian group, the Revolutionary Council for the Removal of Bad Art in Public Places, has given a three-month ultimatum for public art such as one in Sydney nicknamed “Poo on Stilts” (sadly, no pictures in any of the news stories, and the only reference to poo on stilts on the internet is as an answer to the “joke” what’s brown and knocks on your window.)

Follow-up: the guardian that Florida insisted on appointing for that severely retarded woman has decided that she will be used as an incubator after all. No word on the identity of her rapist.

A gay, Democratic candidate for NJ state senate once entered a prettiest penis contest. Won, too.

A while back I linked to a site that talked about what the hell Bush was doing on 9/11. If you want to see the actual footage, starting from when Shrub was told of the attack on the 2nd tower, five long minutes of kids reading in unison (I haven’t downloaded the whole thing myself, but for crappier connections, there’s a version which is a snapshot every 5 seconds).

There’s a line in the majority opinion in the affirmative action case I missed the first time: “In order to cultivate a set of leaders with legitimacy in the eyes of the citizenry, it is necessary that the path to leadership be visibly open to talented and qualified individuals of every race and ethnicity.” Setting aside the word choice “visibly” in a case about race, let’s look at the irony, because the last time the Supreme Court was so concerned about leaders having legitimacy in the eyes of the citizenry, it was refusing to allow a proper vote-count in Florida.

The Independent on Sunday interviews the US ambassador who investigated and discredited the report about Iraq looking to buy uranium from Niger, and how it was no secret. American officials still haven’t been questioned about this by Congress or the press or anyone. Some officials in the US & British governments are still claiming that they had other evidence, but by coincidence the only one they have every showed the public was a cheap forgery a 12-year old could have discredited with Google. Well, as one official said, “What I told the public came from very reliable sources. The full picture will only emerge when I write my book.” Oh, wait, that official was the Iraqi information minister Comical Ali.

A fundraising letter sent by Sen. George Allen (whoever that is) as head of the National Republican Senatorial Committee invokes Satan herself: "If Republicans don't take immediate steps to counter her, Senator Hillary Clinton will continue to rise unimpeded to the very pinnacle of power in Washington and we will see the dawning of a new, more liberal Clinton era." Evidently they expect her to take over as party leader after the R’s defeat Tom Daschle next year. Their website,, has a Stop Hillary Now button, and boasts “Hillary e-mail alerts.” I’ve signed up my cat (who just fell off the file cabinet).

I couldn’t make this up: a café on the Left Bank in Paris has only deaf waiters. There are leaflets explaining that yelling at them doesn’t help and giving the sign language for the various menu items. There are lights to request service, or, the leaflet suggests, "You can wave your hand and go ‘hou hou’ in the direction of the server; tap him on the arm to attract his attention; tap your foot and make vibrations; tell your neighbour to pass it on to his neighbour until the message reaches the deaf person; or throw a little object.”

A Sunday NY Times editorial comments on the problems of using Iraqis to run Iraq. I just want to say that if the US tries to administer Iraq without Iraqis I will accuse them of racism and colonialism; if they put exiles in charge I will accuse them of setting up a puppet government; and if they use Baathists, or worse, Iraqi military officers as they are now, I will fault them as well. No, they can’t win with me. Indeed they cannot win. They have placed themselves in a no-win situation. I am not being hypocritical because whatever they do, it will be wrong. A good commentary (much more sophisticated than the Times’s) on this is called “No Country Can Democratise Another.” A sentence that I liked gives the theme: “We Fed-exed the Afghanis the Bill of Rights rather than seeing the need for democracy to develop that accommodates the local history and culture.”

The US will finally return those Syrian border guards it shot and then held hostage, or whatever the hell they were doing. And I mentioned 5 Malawians spirited out of the country: there have bene major protest riots. We just pissed off another country, and nobody here even noticed.

A piece in the NY Times magazine on Guantanamo says that the concentration camp boasts just one video, the Tom Hanks movie Castaway. Another tidbit: the sign at the entrance says "Honor Bound to Defend Freedom". Better than Arbeit Macht Frei, I guess. The author finds the use of the word freedom ironic, but I find the implication that freedom is to be defended not for its intrinsic value but because of one’s personal “honor” to be even more so.

No comments:

Post a Comment