Wednesday, January 14, 2004

The Mustache Patrol

A Japanese judge rules that comic books can be pornography. Says the Telegraph, “Even the popular schoolchildren's comic Shonen Jump, which has an English language edition, has had such bizarre characters as "Weirdo Mask," a schoolboy who acquires special powers when wearing women's knickers on his face.” Well who doesn’t?

According to Newsweek, the White House is still opposing extension of the 9/11 investigating committee after its impossible May deadline. It had thought about extending it only if its report weren’t released until after the election, but has reverted to its previous strategy of playing out the clock, delaying giving the commission access to personnel and paperwork. One might almost think they had something to hide.

Speaking of something to hide, the president of Kenya turns out to have a second wife no one knew about (which is legal, and no, he isn’t Muslim, just horny).

The Italian constitutional court rules that a law passed expressly to stop PM Berlusconi’s corruption/bribery trial was unconstitutional, so the trial is back on. That’s one for the rule of law.

Speaking of corruption, Bush at the Summit of the Americas wanted countries with corruption to be excluded from the OAS. No one pointed out his refusal to release information on which companies participated in the formulation of his energy policy, or indeed his brother Neil getting money and free call girls from foreign companies. (Later:) and one of you just sent this story about the Bush dynasty’s financial dealings over the years and the conflicts of interest they create in US foreign policy.

The NYT says the Bush admin is talking about $1.5 billion in programs to promote marriages and train couples in marriage skills. No one pointed out that Bush spent the first, what, 10 years or so? of his marriage in bars sniffing cocaine off prostitutes’ backsides. It’s interesting that the religious right is pushing this, but not training in parenting skills.

From the Daily Telegraph: “Police in northern India are being paid an extra 30 rupees (35p) a month to grow a moustache to give them more authority. Mayank Jain, a superintendent with the Madhya Pradesh state police, told The Asian Age that research showed that police with moustaches were taken more seriously. But the shape and style of police moustaches would be monitored to ensure they did not take on a mean look, he said.” Sipowitz?

Bush in the Diane Sawyer interview: “The possibility that [Saddam] could acquire weapons. If he were to acquire weapons, he would be the danger.” Yeah and if he had ham, he could have ham and eggs, if he had eggs.

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