Tuesday, September 09, 2003

A toy and everything

Evidently The Arnold went AWOL from the Austrian army to compete in a bodybuilding competition. Don’t know whether to compare that with Shrub, or with Adolf Hitler, another Austrian draft-dodger.

The big issue in recall politics this week is the new law allowing illegal aliens to get driver’s licenses. Davis just signed the law, which he’d threatened to veto, after realizing he needed Chicano votes. According to Republicans, this is a threat to national security because no background checks are involved, and a covert effort to let illegals vote. There is talk about a ballot initiative to repeal this.

McClintock, who is actually the one major candidate who is not pandering like crazy and wants to be accepted just as he is, warts, racism, and all, also wants to revive Prop 187, which denied benefits, including schools and emergency room care, to illegal aliens (I know, we’re supposed to call them illegal immigrants now, or possibly Non-American Americans). 187 was struck down by the courts, but Davis refused to appeal that ruling. McClintock would revive the appeal.

Arnold, the immigrant accused of being anti-immigrant, and correctly so, says “I came to California 35 years ago because I saw this state as the best place on Earth to fulfill my dreams,” and of course his dreams involved flexing his muscles and public group sex, so yeah, you could see why you’d move from Austria to California for that. Livin’ the dream. An article on his wife yesterday told how he “charmed” the Shrivers when he first met them, evidently by telling Eunice Kennedy Shriver that Maria had a great body. Davis, by the way, has been severely chastised by everyone for commenting that the governorship shouldn’t go to someone who can’t pronounce the word California.

Saudi Arabia is putting out the theory that bin Laden deliberately recruited Saudis, in order to damage US-Saudi relations. It does make a certain sort of sense, I suppose.

Leni Riefenstahl dies, as her mantle is passed to the guy who made that cable movie about Bush and 9/11.

It is reported that the Jordanian Parliament voted against imposing tougher penalties for “honor killings.” Islamic types think this would destroy families--as opposed to what happens when male relatives kill a female relative. The family that slays together stays together. As the UPI story is written, you can’t tell exactly what the law is or how it would be changed. It sounds like honor killing is a whole separate crime, like manslaughter, or infanticide in British but not American law.

Bob Graham notes that Bush wants to spend more on Iraq than the federal government spends on education.

In Iraq, Rumsfeld complained that the media were ignoring "the story of success and accomplishment" there. No word on whether any reporter responded that they’d talk about success and accomplishment if he dared get out of his helicopter and actually walk the streets of Baghdad.

Kim Jong Il was unanimously reelected as second in command of North Korea. Everybody is still too scared to tell the official head of state, Kim Il Sung, that he’s been dead for ten years.

The prisoners in Guantanamo are now being bribed to give up intelligence, with Twinkies and McDonald’s Happy Meals, with “a toy and everything” (presumably for the under-aged detainees). Twinkies are like Guantanamo prisoners in that they can just be kept on a shelf for years without being charged. Ok, that joke was a little belabored, I admit it.


Hillary Potter and the Senate Chamber of Secrets.

Speaking of immigrants, a lot of Pakistanis have been leaving the US, some deported, but more feeling forced out, and a couple thousand are seeking asylum in Canada.

“Walden O'Dell, chief executive of Diebold Inc., told Republicans in an Aug. 14 fund-raising letter that he is ‘committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the president next year.’” Guess what Diebold makes? Voting machines, currently bidding for a place in Ohio elections.

139 American soldiers have been killed since the end of (major) hostilities, which killed 138. The London Times mentions that #139 (or 277) is black. I don’t think I’ve seen a run-down on the other 276. Ward Connerly strikes again. (Later): The Indy says that the Pentagon is aggressively recruiting Hispanics and aliens, including sending recruiters into Mexico to recruit Mexicans with US residency papers (Mexico is not pleased). They are currently under-represented in the military compared to their numbers in the population, but over-represented in the cannon fodder slots. The Indy says an ethnic breakdown of the US dead & wounded is “not available.” Like the number of Iraqi dead, this is data the Pentagon is keeping to itself. Evidently recruiters now begin (in poor areas) as early as elementary school.

Enough Italians have signed a petition that there will be a referendum revoking Berlusconi’s new immunity from prosecution. But it would need a higher turnout than is likely.

The cluster bombs used by Britain in Iraq were bought from Israel.

Although Alabama Governor Bob Riley said raising taxes on the rich was the Christian thing to do, roughly 2/3 of Alabamaniacs turned out to be heathens in a referendum.

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