Wednesday, January 21, 2004

Armageddon cuts and WMD-RPAs

From the Telegraph, a story with a hilarious 1st paragraph, whose effect is completely destroyed by the 2nd paragraph:
“A New Zealand train driver is on indefinite leave suffering from stress after running over a garden gnome.

“The gnome was apparently placed on rail tracks in the North Island city of Tauranga, south-east of Auckland, as a practical joke, police said. But when the driver's train struck the pottery figure in the early hours of yesterday, he believed he had killed a child.”

Morocco has passed the most progressive, pro-woman family code in the Arab world, including equal powers within marriage and a virtual ban on polygamy.

Evidently the proposition on the CA. March ballot for $15b in borrowing is linked (as in, if one fails they both fail) to one for a balanced budget. Governor Ahnuuld warns that if they fail, there will be “Armageddon cuts” in services. Nice to have an action movie star to explain these things to us.

Bush said (quotes from different sections of the SOTU speech): “America will never seek a permission slip to defend the security of our people” and “it is not enough to serve our enemies with legal papers,” and “no one can now doubt the word of America.” I’m telling you, it’s clear as day: George Bush does not know how to read. He sneers at written forms of speech like permission slips and legal papers, but is ok with the oral “word of America.” Can’t read. Clear as day.

(See David Corn’s take on what “America’s word” is now worth after all the lies about Iraq).

NBC offered to kill a documentary about Michael Jackson on Dateline if he gave an interview, for which they’d also have paid him $5m. That’s the second network willing to sell out its journalistic integrity to Michael Jackson.

You know the problem with celebrating the Chinese Year of the Monkey? An hour later, you feel like throwing your feces again.

Oh, like you weren’t all thinking that too.

Joe Conason is using an acronym derived from the SOTU address, that I’d like to see widely used: WMD-RPA (weapons of mass destruction-related program activities).

The French, trying to be even-handed in banning manifestations of religion, started with headscarves and “conspicuous” crucifixes, is now realizing it will have to include bandanas, Sikh turbans, beards if they have a religious significance...

On the other hand, there’s this good news for French women: “Frequent underarm shaving could play a key role in a suggested link between breast cancer and deodorant use, according to a scientist.”

American entrepreneurialism at its finest: “Local tourism officials cheered the news that San Mateo County in California will host the trial of Scott Peterson, right, charged with murdering his wife, Laci, and unborn child in 2002.”

A Belgian Catholic cardinal says: “I am prepared to sign here in my blood that of all those who say they are lesbian or gay, at most five to 10 per cent are effectively lesbian or gay. All the rest are sexual perverts.” I don’t know about that, but they should definitely take him up on the blood thing. He went on to attack democracy and endorsed men who really need sex going to brothels (although he says they won’t be happy).

Boris Yeltsin, who is amazingly still alive, admits that he had 5 heart attacks while in office.

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