Sunday, August 08, 2004

I am a Disaster Action Kid, bow down before me!

Turkmenistan, home to the looniest dictator of all the loony dictators in all the former-Soviet Central Asian dictatorships, now has the plague, possibly because most of the health-care professionals were fired, and all those with foreign credentials. The government has responded by making the word plague illegal.

In South Africa, the National Party of Verwoerd, P.W. Botha, F.W. DeKlerk and Vorster, the party that built apartheid and imprisoned Nelson Mandela, will dissolve itself and be absorbed by the ANC. It got 1.65% at the last elections. President Thabo Mbeki calls the Nats a “party of oppression” and, um, welcomes its members into his own party. I have mixed feelings about this. The Nats are, obviously, no great loss and should not let the door hit them in the ass on the way out (they used to employ black servants to hold the door open for them), but SA is moving slowly but not irreversibly in the direction of a one-party state, one result of which is an AIDS policy only slightly saner than that of Turkmenistan (which also made the word AIDS illegal, although to be fair, it made the disease illegal as well), and no proper opposition party able to hold the government’s feet to the fire on the issue.

Bob Harris at the This Modern World blog reports that September will be National Preparedness Month, nicely coordinated with the Republican convention. Harris covers that well, so I don’t need to, but while following links through government websites, I came across the FEMA for Kids website, hosted by Herman the spokescrab. I encourage everyone to get a Disaster Action Kids Certificate, by filling out the online form provided. You must fill out Two Things You Learned (mine: FEMA has nothing to do with the femoral artery; Natural disasters are a sign that God hates America.) and list One Disaster You Learned About (the Bush administration)(naturally). Oh, gyp, they don’t mail it to you, you have to print it out yourself.

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