Friday, October 10, 2003

Bumps on the road

Here in Kallyfohrnia, Ahnuld is getting a few lessons in how state government actually functions. For example, the Gropenf├╝hrer does not have the power to reduce the car tax unilaterally (even if he did, he’d find that the Kallyfohrnia voters would still be pissed, because they probably think he promised to eliminate the tax altogether). He also asked Gray Davis politely not to keep filling vacancies and signing bills (like Pete Wilson and every other outgoing governor did). What Ahnuld didn’t know: even if Davis didn’t sign the bills, they’d still pass into law. So steroids-for-brains doesn’t even how the veto power works.

With all the talk in Israeli circles about those pilots who refuse to bomb people, it seems that as a general, Sharon himself refused to obey an order in 1973 to evacuate a settlement (or advised someone else to disobey such an order, I’m not clear).

From the Daily Telegraph: “A man accused of stealing a penis by sorcery was beaten to death in the Gambia yesterday. Police said tricksters appear to make genitals vanish then extort cash for a cure.” (In 1997 I had several stories about this happening in Ghana.)

Bush’s drug czar wants to drug test all school children.

The Australian Senate censures Prime Minister John Howard for lying about the reasons for Oz joining the war on Iraq.

But don’t they know that the Iraq situation is “a lot better than you probably think,” as Bush put it on a day in which 3 American soldiers, 8 Iraqi police and a Spanish spy were killed. “There will be bumps on the road,” said Paul Bremer, which some editorial cartoonist will, or should, rapidly turn into an image of a jeep driving over a lot of dead bodies.

Slate on the slush fund buried in the $87b. Not that buried, since it’s more than 1/10th of the total. Includes a blank check for Rummy to spend in bribing foreign countries for military aid in Iraq, and to transfer large sums of money from one bit to another, without Congressional oversight. Which they don’t really want to exercise, because with specific amounts, they’d have to explain voting for X million for Iraqi schools but not American schools, etc.

The Vatican really thought the pope was going to get the Nobel Peace Prize. Heh heh.

So to prove America’s even-handedness in killin’ people, a court in Arizona sentences to death a guy who took revenge for 9/11 by killing a Sikh (Sikh, Ayrab, what’s the diff?). Voices in his head told him to kill the devils. The jury chose to disregard his insanity defense, pointing out that George Bush and Donald Rumsfeld hear the same voices (to be fair, the voices may just be Fox News).

That guy was a Boeing airplane mechanic, which should give you some pause. But even he could have answered the questions on which airport screeners are tested, at least if he, like they were pretty much given the answers in advance, because otherwise how could they answer these:

How do threats get on board an aircraft?

a. In carry-on bags.
b. In checked-in bags.
c. In another person's bag.
d. All of the above.

Another question asked why it was important to screen bags for "improvised explosive devices."

a. The I.E.D. batteries could leak and damage other passenger bags.
b. The wires in the I.E.D. could cause a short to the aircraft wires.
c. I.E.D.'s can cause loss of lives, property and aircraft.
d. The ticking timer could worry other passengers.

At no point were they tested on their ability to find actual dangerous stuff in baggage.

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