After Euro '04 Beckham heaps blame on himself
hostages get chilly reception home
hostages are scolded and billed by the Japanese government.
No link between Saddam and Al Qaida: gosh!
case you missed the interim US report into Bush's bullshit, click here.
I lie to my friends and colleagues, people lose faith in me.
When Bush and Blair lie, children die.
Mad old git pops his clogs
Reagan has sadly passed away. His long life was tragically marred by
a chronic mental degenerative disorder, which at its worst led him
into the delusion that he was president of the United States and made
him unable to tell the difference between reality and his own speeches.
The mental degeneration led him to believe that he was standing tall for freedom
and democracy at the same time that his army and intelligence services were
fighting covert and proxy wars against popular and elected leaders in Chile,
and Nicaragua, propped up despots in Guatemala and Honduras, trained death
squads and torturers within the US at the School of the Americas and funded
Pol Pot in his war against Vietnam. Mr. Reagan himself laid flowers on the
graves of Nazis.
He claimed to be maintaining peace and security on the planet but at the same
time absent mindedly brandished nuclear weapons at us.
In one of history's worst cases of contageous mental disorder, he and many
others like him, believed he had brought an end to the Soviet Union. The reality
of course was that the leaders of the USSR brought an end to that system. The
extravagance of his claims to have reformed the USSR can only lead us to the
unhappy inference that he thought he was leader of that country rather than
the USA or was unable to distinguish the two. Given the two countries' disregard
for truth and freedom and given that they both began with the letter U, perhaps
the error was understandable.
He believed he was a statesman, but to the rest of the world he was a confused
old man wandering a golf course looking for a monkey.
Undying Faith in Humanity
One story that stuck in my mind from
the Israeli assault on Rafah. Probably you read it, so stop me if you've
heard it before.
This old Palestinian bloke finds his house is in the path of the Israeli bulldozers.
There's shooting all around. People are being injured and killed all over.
His family and friends tell him to get the hell out. He tells them, no, it's
his home. He's not going.
He says that if he stands outside his house with a white flag, the Israelis
won't dare hurt him or his house.
With all that's gone on since 1947, with all that's going on in the world,
with all that he's experienced in his life, after living in Gaza for so long
and with the bombs and bullets flying, he still has enough faith in decency,
and enough faith in humanity in general and the Israeli army in particular
that he will bet his life on a white flag on his doorstep to protect his house.
So he steps outside with the white flag, the Israelis shoot him right away
and bulldoze his house over his dead body.
That is the world that Bush and Blair and Sharon have made.
May 27, 2004
US press cuts its own balls off
20, US forces bomb an Iraqi wedding party killing more than 40 people.
Israeli forces push into Rafah and fire on a protest march killing
many, the majority of whom are children. The UN censures Israel and
tells the country that bulldozing houses is a crime.
These stories are front page in the Guardian, the BBC, The Independent and
The US press are more coy. The New York Times mentions the wedding massacre
on its front page but makes sure to call the attack 'disputed' in the headline.
Fox brings itself to mention the bombing of the wedding but insists too in
its headline that it is disputed, then tells us another US soldier is killed
in Baghdad, but no front page mention of the UN resolution condemning Israel
or of the protest march attack.
USA Today is pretty much a clone of Fox.
CNN mentions none of the above on its front page.
All the US sources give prominent mention
to the entirely neutral story of the raid on Chalabi's residence.
May 20, '04
The Rumsfeld Apology — full text
Rumsfeld: I am deeply sorry.
Deeply, deeply, deeply, deeply, deeply, deeply, deeply, deeply, deeply,
deeply, sorry. Not only am I deeply sorry, I am sincerely deeply sorry
for ... [to aide] What am I sorry for? OK.
I am deeply, deeply, deeply, deeply, deeply, deeply, deeply, deeply, deeply,
deeply, sorry and sincerely deeply sorry for dropping my marmalade toast on
the carpet. In dropping this marmalade toast I brought a stain on the carpet.
And for this I am deeply, deeply, deeply, sorry.
It is true that I knew as long ago as last January that I had dropped my marmalade
toast on the carpet, and I knew, moreover, that it landed sticky side down.
I didn't see any need at the time to tell Congress or the President because
I immediately ordered a wet cloth.
It seems that despite this some members of the government and the President
have marmalade impregnated fluff attached to their socks. I will of course
order my staff to clean the socks at no extra charge.
It is also true that I had received explicit warnings about the marmalade toast.
The Red Cross did in fact tell me that twirling toast on the end of my finger
could result in it falling to the carpet, but the CIA told me that in such
cases the toast always falls dry side down. In the event it fell sticky side
It was only when I saw all the sticky fluff attached to the stain on the carpet
that I understood the full extent of the marmalade.
As for the abuse of Iraqi prisoners ... fuck 'em, they're all a bunch of camel
May 9, '04
Abuse photos are blatant fakes
Military experts have cast doubt on
the authenticity of the photos of abuse allegedly commited by US and
UK troops in Iraq.
General Donald Rumdoings and UK General Emperor Franz Joseph
told us about their doubts.
" There are lots of inconsistencies in the photos," said Gen. Franz
Joseph. "Firstly, we don't use that kind of urine in the desert. We use
a dry, powdery kind specially developed for hot places, so this photo cannot
possibly be real.
" Secondly, soldiers have much bigger willies than that. This is obviously
a journalist pissing on the towel-head because the willy is so small.
" Third, we don't have victims like that. This guy looks like he might be
able to take care of himself if unshackled. We prefer to brutalise women and
children. And then we do it by remote control by use of cluster bombs and the
" Finally, the uniform is all wrong. Our combat soldiers in the desert wear
sandals on their feet and flowers in their hair and they never carry guns. Chihuahuas.
They carry chihuahuas, not guns."
" And there's another important point people have overlooked here," explained
Gen. Rumdoings. "Making piles of naked men isn't abuse, it's fun."
" Yes. When I was at boarding school, we used to do it all the time. It's
especially good if you are in the middle, because then you have naked men all
around you," elaborated Gen. Franz Joseph.
Gen. Rumdoings went on to explain that the US uses very advanced forms of interrogation
and has no need of physical coercion.
" Cream buns. Lots of them. And hamburgers and hot dogs and fried chicken.
We feed them till they're stuffed, then we feed them some more. Then we track
down their families and leave picnic hampers outside their door and big boxes
of cream buns and vats of Ben and Jerry's ice cream. Then we go back and make
tea and sandwiches for the inmates and give them a good rub down with a hot towel.
In no time at all they are telling us what we want to know out of sheer gratitude."
" So these pictures are blatent fakes. In fact, the whole war is a fake.
We have never invaded Iraq. It's all a tabloid ploy to boost circulation."
The press conference broke up in sighs of relief and cries of "Back to
abuse as usual, then."
May 27, 2004
Soon after the official end of hostilities
in Iraq a year ago, I remember George Bush declaring with a completely
straight face that the occupation forces were providing electricity,
water and food to the Iraqi, things, Bush told us, Saddam was unable
to provide. My jaw didn't so much drop as fall off my face. As reasonable
statements of fact go this was on a par with hearing him say that hamburgers
grow on trees and are harvested by fairies and then seeing the US population
nod their heads in serene agreement as if they were all familiar with
the sight of fairies plucking quarter pounders from the boughs of trees.
The truth is that the Iraqi people under Saddam
had electricity and water and food. The invasion took all that away.
In fact, international aid agencies told us
that Saddam's oil-for-food distribution system was the most effecient
they had ever seen. No one went without.
Then the bombs put an end to all that.
Remembering this, I was pleased to see an
article in a recent edition of the Guardian by Johnathon Freedland collecting
together lots more examples of these fantastic assertions from our glorious
leaders, champions of truth and democracy and ... bollocks.
Freedland calls these unsupportable statements
'doublethink'. I call them big, blatant, stinking lies. Read
the article for yourself.
Is it only me that wonders how it is that
these pathological liars and cheats are not behind bars, and that they
are still in charge of whole nations.
May 15, 2004
Little Angels: Nuffink
to do with us, guv. We was in church,
Once again I am astounded at the
simple mindedness of my fellow humans.
rightly there has been much anger and anguish over the images of prisoners
abused by US and UK soldiers.
People are worried that the revelations will
make us look bad.
Let's stop and think about that one. We invade
another country under false pretenses, kill thousands of civilians, destroy
the infrastructure, besiege cities, imprison thousands of people without
charge or due process, attempt to install a puppet government, and keep
the reconstruction contracts for ourselves. And we worry that the abuse
of prisoners is the only thing that makes us look less than angelic?
invasion and occupation has already killed more civilians than Hussein
did with his US-supplied WMD. History is going to judge the US and UK
as the most belligerent powers since 1945.
Furthermore, why are people surprised? Give
a man a gun and a uniform, throw in a big fear for his own safety and
resentment at being away from home, and he turns into a monster. This
has always been true. Look back into history. The behaviour of men in
response to power and fear has always been the same. And neither have
the supposed good guys ever been immune. US soldiers raped and razed
and murdered their way through Vietnam, and more recently UK troops training
in Kenya have raped and brutalised unknown numbers of women.
Stark evidence, if it were needed, that humans
are incapable of learning from their own experience. We have no right
to be surprised by these images. We had every reason to suppose it was
going to happen.
May 3, 2004
The Free and the Brave
Troops of the most powerful nation
on the planet are besieging cities in one of the most damaged countries
and killing its civilians.
US military tell us that they are only targeting Iraqi or foreign
fighters, yet the hospitals fill up with ordinary people, many
of whom are children.
What you see above is an image lifted from
Aljazeera showing a two-year old child who has died from gunshot wounds.
This is the reality of the US occupation of Iraq.
In the name of freedom and security US soldiers
are on a killing spree. These are war crimes and atrocities and they
are perpetrated while barely a word of protest in the world.
There are no mass protests, no words of condemnation
from the leaders of countries. The UN pussyfoots around mindful of US
contributions to its coffers. The Iraqi people are utterly alone.
I am sitting here with music on, drinking
wine. Life goes on. We are all complicit.
Indiscriminate killing and selective murder
US representatives negotiating
with the militias in Fallujah and Najaf want, as the BBC put it, "those
responsible for the recent murder of four US security contractors
to be brought to justice."
Fair enough. But why is no one calling the
deaths of the hundreds of civilians gunned down deliberately by the US
soldiers murder? Why are civilian deaths OK and the deaths of mercenaries
Here's an account of life inside Fallujah
with the US beseiging and shooting at civilians. Click
here. The story will open in a new window.
Masturbation and the environment
It has been clinically proven (the
mind boggles) that masturbation produces as much globe-warming CO2
as a short trip to the convenience store in a large car.
This means that the wankers driving
SUVs are damaging the environment
The US army does not keep a tally of
the people it kills or injures. "We do not do body counts" we
are told by General Tommy Franks.
Why then can the US military announce confidently
that 95% of the dead in the current fighting in Falluja are insurgents?
If they don't count bodies, how do they know?
Since many of these bodies are lying the street
decomposing where no one can collect them, how do the Marines know who
If the death toll is 700 and the Iraqi hospitals
are claiming their morgues contain 120 dead children and 200 dead women,
how do the marines arrive at the proportional figure of 95% for total
Why are the journalists in the towns reporting
that the US soldiers are firing indiscriminately on the population of
If you don't count bodies, why are you telling
us who they are?
April 13, 2004
The way cowards kill people
Saddam Hussein's sons died fighting
the US army. Their father seemed happy to be found alive.
When the Israeli army battered down the walls to his compound, Arafat foretold
his martyrdom and hid under a table until it was safe to come out.
George Bush evaded military service,
then evaded his evasion of military service, then thirty years later
landed on the deck of an aircraft carrier in military drag to announce
the finish of a war that had only just started.
None of the rest of the Bush/Blair/Aznar/ Berlusconi regimes have been near
military service, yet they feel qualified to lead wars in which they will never
In Iraq, following the example of Saddam Hussein, Al Sadr announces he is ready
to die then engages in semi-secret negotiations to get his arse out of the
sling. He claims he is hoping to save the lives of Najaf's civilians. He showed
no such sensitivity to the plight of Fallujah's civilians when they were being
indiscriminately killed by US soldiers. In fact, the US killing of civilians
was rather good publicity for him. Only when death came near him did civilians
become an issue.
I have seen photos of dead children,
of babies killed by the Americans calling Al Sadr's military bluff.
I don't suppose those images
will deter either Bush or Sadr and yet they were killed by both; as were
both the Iraqi and foreign victims of the war.
The alert reader (Hi!) will have noticed that
the end of the above rant about cowardly leaders is incoherent. I let
the piece stand as eloquent testimony to the combined effects of an excess
of moral outrage, a tiring day job, lack of sleep and a litre of cheap
It might be a cautionary tale, but sod it, pass
the bottle ...
Told you so
After the Madrid bomb, I said in
an entry on this page we should expect an attack against Japanese civilians
to lever out the Japanese army from Iraq and to destabilise the government.
Most of Japan's population, like Spain's, was against the war and the occupation.
Three abducted Japanese in Iraq are facing
the threat of being burned alive in less than 24 hours by people who
are demanding the Japanese government withdraw its troops from Iraq.
Koizumi is adamant that he is keeping his nose in Bush's arse.
Incidentally, the media here are refraining
from showing the video images of the Japanese hostages with knives held
at their throats, showing only the images of the hostages kneeling and
not threatened. This, they say, is to protect the feelings of the families
of the kidnapped.
Unfortunately, suppressing the images is protecting
PM Koizumi. There would be considerably more people on the streets protesting
if folk here saw the more disturbing images.
When Koizumi was elected, there was a popular
misconception that he was the first premiere in memory who actually had
the best interests of the country and its people at heart.
He was Japan's first populist leader. There
is a little subtlety of language here that is significant. Populist is
a position in the same way that other words that end in -ist are — capitalist,
socialist, etc. Populist is a stance, not a measure of sincerity.
April 10, 04
Baghdad still burning
On this page I have pointed out the Baghdad
blog Baghdad Burning/Riverbend written by a young Iraqi woman who apparently
lives right in Baghdad. She is very forthright, and to my mind a contrast
to her neighbour Salam Pax.
The representation of the war we receivein
the mainstream media is very sanitised. We generally do not see pictures
of Iraqi civilian casualties. We see pictures of injured US troops who
are represented as the real victims of 'evildoers', 'thugs', 'terrorists'
or whatever meaningless phrase is current for people who do not want
foreign troops terrorising their country.
In the past couple of weeks this blogger has
given us stories of arrests and imprisonment without evidence or due
process by the US forces. She is telling us about the broken families
and mutilated bodies of civilians.
All people who think the war was right and
that the occupation is benevolent should check in on this weblog for
a reality check.
In a meditation about the impact of one year
of occupation on Iraqi people and on the war on terror generally Riverbend
And where are we now? Well, our governmental facilities
have been burned to the ground by a combination of 'liberators' and 'Free
Iraqi Fighters'; 50% of the working population is jobless and hungry;
summer is looming close and our electrical situation is a joke; the streets
are dirty and overflowing with sewage; our jails are fuller than ever
with thousands of innocent people; we've seen more explosions, tanks,
fighter planes and troops in the last year than almost a decade of war
with Iran brought; our homes are being raided and our cars are stopped
in the streets for inspections… journalists are being killed 'accidentally'
and the seeds of a civil war are being sown by those who find it most
useful; the hospitals overflow with patients but are short on just about
everything else- medical supplies, medicine and doctors; and all the
while, the oil is flowing.
But we've learned a lot. We've learned that terrorism isn't actually the act
of creating terror. It isn't the act of killing innocent people and frightening
others… no, you see, that's called a 'liberation'. It doesn't matter
what you burn or who you kill- if you wear khaki, ride a tank or Apache or
fighter plane and drop missiles and bombs, then you're not a terrorist- you're
The war on terror is a joke… Madrid was proof of that last week… Iraq
is proof of that everyday.
I hope someone feels safer, because we certainly don't.
I certainly don't feel safer. Come to think
about it, I didn't feel threatened until the US went to war on our behalf.
Now because of my nationality and my country
of residence, I am a target. Worse than that, my kids are targets too.
All in the name of corporate interests and the SUV.
here for Baghdad Burning/Riverbend.
April 10, 2004
George F Will hunting
In February this year, venerable Washington
Post scribe George F Will told us in his column that anti-Semitism is
the left's new "radical chic". This was a bit of an eye-opener
for me. Having identified with the broad left since I was a teenager,
I had no idea I was anti-Semitic. Duly enlightened, perhaps I can now
hang my head in shame. Or perhaps Mr. Will who is the one who should
be hanging his head.
can read the Pookian response to Mr. Will's thoughtful and balanced
essay by clicking here.
April 4, 2004
Bringing 'em on
Civilian deaths in foreign wars are just so
many statistics. The numbers easily obscure the human tragedies and suffering
that are the result of the crude exercise of power.
Famously, the US military does not keep track
of the number of people it kills or the circumstances in which they kill.
Very pragmatic."We do not do body counts," says General Tommy
Here is a site that tries to put the numbers
to the US atrocities, and tries to put names to the cold statistics.
Body Count More necessary reading for those people who are fond
of saying you have to break eggs to make an omelette.
March 23, 2004
Suck it through Straw
Tuesday the 16th, Spain absorbs the shock
of the Madrid train bombs and mourns the 201 dead.
Tuesday the 16th, the chief of London's Metropolitan
Police John Stevens said that a terrorist attack in the city is inevitable.
Tuesday the 16th, London's mayor Ken Livingstone
said that it would be "miraculous" if London escaped an attack.
Tuesday the 16th, cabinet minister Peter Hain
said the UK was a "frontline target" for attack by international
Monday the 15th, Home Secretary David Blunkett
said it was "quite likely" a terror attack was being planned
now against the UK.
Tuesday the 16th, UK Foreign Minister Jack
Straw tells us "I do not believe we are less safe as a result of
the activity we have taken [in Iraq]".
Butler Inquiry Results: Preview
Tory Blair recently announced an inquiry
into the accuracy of UK military intelligence before the Iraq war.
We can give you an exclusive sneak preview of those results right here.
Using our international network of janitors, we succeeded in obtaining
an advance copy of the report, whose findings will be announced later
this year, right off Lord Butler's desk. And here are the findings
of this behind-closed-doors inquiry:
So now we know.
Today's announcement by the Spanish prime
minister elect that he is going to withdraw Spanish troops from Iraq
is not quite the good news it seems to be.
Firstly, a qualification attached to the announcement
has gone largely unremarked upon. Zapatero actually said he would consider
withdrawing the troops after June 30 if the situation in Iraq had not
changed, meaning that he is leaving a open a means of backtracking if
realpolitik decides he wants to keep the soldiers there. Source:
BBC lead story today.
Next — and putting myself in uncomfortable
company — look at this from Al Quaida's point of view (assuming
it was them that planted the Spanish bombs, which hasn't been proved
With one audacious and horrible act they have
changed a Western government and extracted an apparent resolution to
remove part of the occupying force in Iraq. They will now be pumped and
looking for the next target. A sufficiently violent act could send home
the Polish or Japanese or Bulgarian contingents. This means more death.
Peaceniks cannot be against death when inflicted by the US and UK and
indifferent to it when inflicted by others. Sending home the Spanish
contingent may encourage more extravagant acts of violence such as the
string of bombings that started in Bali and includes the recent Spanish
Al Quaida will look at Japan whose government
is a keen supporter of the Bush lunacy but whose population, like Spain's,
is instinctively against the war and occupation.
An attack on the mainland of Japan is unlikely.
There is no Islamic community to blend in with. Foreigners stand out
a mile. Unlike Europe, there is no politicised body to act as support
for an attack here. Al Q may choose to attack Japanese people abroad
or go for an airliner in another country where the security isn't so
Britain is an obvious target. The deployment
on London's tube trains of undercover marshals will do little to prevent
determined attackers, and let's face it, the tube is a disaster waiting
to happen with or without bombs.
Moreover, Britain has a large number of radicalised
youngsters ready to throw away their lives, as recent suicide bombings
by British citizens in Iraq and Palestine demonstrate.
Zapatero is in a very shitty position: maintain
an unjust occupation and risk further attacks or pull out and guarantee
attacks on other countries.
And we are in a shitty position whichever
way Zapatero swings: we are all targets, as the Spain and Bali bombs
Of course, the invasion of Iraq should never
have happened, and let's be clear, it went ahead for the most craven
reasons and our leaders should be in the dock in the Hague alongside
Milosevic. They should remove their troops because that is the right
thing to do, not because they were bombed out by a rival gang of psychotics — that
way lies yet more violence.
March 15, '04
More Kennedy bollocks
Well, your long wait is over. You can now
get some sleep at night. Charles Kennedy, leader of the UK's LSD party
finally replied to the letter I sent him on January 24th this year.
And what a mealy-mouthed lot of rubbish it
is too. Mr. Kennedy, considerate enough to reply, was apparently not
considerate enough to read the message Psipook sent him because the form
letter he sent fails abjectly to address the question I posed and in
fact digs himself deeper in.
Mr. Kennedy in his reply quite rightly condemns "the
use of terrorism and suicide bombings which target and kill innocent
people." I am not sure why he sees terrorism and suicide bombings
as two separate things, but the point is he seems to be unconcerned about
the killing of innocent people by the Israeli armed forces, which endorses
my original objection to his treatment of Jennifer Tonge. Or does he
consider all Palestinians to be terrorists and suicide bombers? Is that
really what the leader of the UK's third party thinks?
And to think I once voted for these guys twenty
years ago. I guess I was beguiled by the name of the party and anyway,
there was no Monster Raving Loony Party candidate standing in my constituency
on that occasion.
In posting this, I have noticed a further
irony. Ms. Tonge was the party's spokesperson for children, and as Mr.
Kennedy was sacking her it was children that were being shot by the Israeli
army. Hands up all those who are going to vote LSD at the next election!
can read the original Psipook letter and Mr. Kennedy's reply by clicking
You can find the original story by scrolling
down to the entry on this page for January 25.
To be honest, Mr. Kennedy replied to my letter
on February 12, but since he didn't bother to address the issues, I didn't
bother quickly to address his reply.
March 9, '04
Doomed and buggered
Yes, I know, you all saw it last week, but
here it is again, just to remind us what real fear and outrage is all
about. Here's the Observer story about the Pentagon report that says
we are all going to hell in a globally warmed hand basket. The report
was suppressed by George Bush and his crew who apparently don't want
us to know that they are not only doing nothing to combat the threat,
they are actively creating it. Click
here to read — incidentally, there is nowhere to click if you
want to hide.
March 7, '04
A tale of two standards
I can't reveal the names of the magazines in this story because I could
get into hot water, possibly of the legal kind. I shall refer to the
magazines as A and B. The story is a behind-the-scenes wrangle involving
staggering hypocrisy. And I will confess at the outset a personal interest.
Magazine A in its current issue printed a photo provided by the editor
of website C to accompany a story he wrote for A. The photo had apparently
been used on website C and was properly credited to the photographer.
Website C had a contract with A to provide stories for a certain period
of time which provided content for A and promoted C. This issue of A
carried the last story from C.
Today, the photographer, who also works for B emailed A to complain in
no uncertain terms about what he considered unauthorised use of his photo
and demanded money. A referred B to C, since it was C that provided the
credited photo in the first place.
Within the afternoon, the email row had escalated to drag in a top wig
of an association of periodicals in Japan who happens to be a friend
of the photographer and there were threats of some kind of action or
What struck me as the story infolded is the hypocrisy of B who have attempted
To get specific, a photographer once approached B with some shots she
thought the magazine might like to use before she left the country. B
said no thanks but kept some of the slides she offered for their files.
The photographer changed her plan to leave the country and was surprised
a couple of months later to see her work adorning the cover of magazine
An illustrator was commissioned to do some stuff for the same magazine
and had a bit of an undignified tussle to extract payment from them after
publication. Two years later, the same illustrator was surprised to see
his work reappear in the pages of the magazine. His surprise was less
than the surprise of the editor when he called to claim payment. As with
the photographer, the editor seemed to have made the assumption that
the copyright owner of the work was out of the country and would not
The same illustrator, years later, put aside his aversion to B to write
for them a short article. His enquiry about payment terms was curtly
dismissed with a referral
A graphic designer found work he had done for another client mysteriously
appear in B without credit or remuneration.
To the photographer from B, I would like to say A received the photo
in good faith and used it in good faith. I would like to say that in
each of the cases above, people submitted work to B work in good faith
and were treated in bad faith.
March 18, 2004
of BBC, and Tory Blair resign
Greg Dyke, the director of UK national
broadcaster the BBC,and Tory Blair Prime Minister of the UK have
Mr. Dyke resigned to take responsibility
for the errors of Andrew Gilligan in reporting what Dr. Kelly said about
WMD. One person, Dr. Kelly, died following the errors.
Tory Blair resigned to take responsibility
for the errors of his intelligence services in reporting Iraq's WMD.
Thousands of people died following the errors... oh, there seems to
be some mistake. Blair hasn't resigned after all.
Dancing on satire's grave
In the news recently, George
Bush and Tory Blair have been nominated for the Nobel Peace prize.
Other nominees for this prestigious award are Attila the Hun, Genghis
Khan, Adolf Hitler and Lord Sauron of Mordor. We are trying to verify
reports that Mr. Bush and Mr. Blair were nominated by Henry Kissinger.
In the UK, LSD party member Jenny Tonge was sacked
by party leader Charles Kennedy for saying she would consider being a
suicide bomber if she was a Palestinian. On the same day as this sacking,
Israeli soldiers shot three Palestinian children, one fatally. If Tonge
had said that she might consider becoming an Israeli soldier would Kennedy
have fired her?
Psipook has posed this question to Charles Kennedy
by email. Check back to read his reply.
Read the two stories:
Jan. 24, '04/Updated Jan. 25, '04
Feb. 03 Update.
Funnily, after more than a week, Charles
Kennedy has not replied to Psipook's reasonable question about why
he considers dead Palestinians less dead than dead Israelis. Thank
you Mr. Kennedy. Your silence is sufficient answer.
Well, hi. It's day bleagh after
the 2004 State of the Union address and rapture is not upon us.
Pislocybe P Pook is, however, a little puzzled
about a couple of parts of the speech.
Bush claims that the world is safer because
of the war in Iraq. At another point in the speech he points out that "the
killing continues," and cites Bali, Jakarta, Casablanca, Riyadh,
Mombassa, Jerusalem, Istanbul, and Baghdad where lots of bombs have
killed lots more people. Surely this is evidence that the world is
more dangerous, not less. Surely he is contradicting himself.
He went on to forget to mention the winter
holiday airline terrorist alerts that brought chaos to thousands of
travelers. Perhaps he didn't consider this potential terrorist action
in any way dangerous or unusual. Those of us not tranquillised beyond
hope are aware that these warnings are exceptional. Shit like that
just didn't happen before Bush. This is an escalation in threat, not
a safer, less threatening world.
Or perhaps Bush discounted them because
the terror alerts were totally bogus. Let's think this one through.
Muslim terrorists are threatening to blow up French airliners on their
way to the US. France was the most vocal opponent to the Iraq war,
why would the enemies of America want to blow up French planes? It
doesn't make any sense. Note that not one terrorist was connected to
those cancelled flights. Not even a wannabe. Not even someone like
the guy that waltzed onto a US plane in the US through all the post
11/9 tougher than tough security checks with bullets in his pocket.
(He forgot they were there. Security evidently forgot to check he was
safe to board. He'll go to prison anyway.) And what a great time to
have an alert, when everyone is feeling comfy and homey at Christmas,
what better time to tell them that the Grinch is real.
That's beef one. Here's beef two. Bush tells
us that there hasn't been an attack on the US mainland for two years,
but we shouldn't get complacent. This makes it sound like attacks on
the US mainland are commonplace and I think there is an implication
here that only Bush has ended serial assaults on the homeland. Let's
think this one through too.
Attacks on US soil are this frequent: since
the end of the Mexican war there have been precisely three attacks
on US soil from foreign agents or powers (ignoring attacks on US embassies
which are only nominally US soil). Pearl Harbour, the WTC bomb, the
attack on September 11, 2001. Wow! What a lot of attacks on US soil!
And Bush quite sensibly reminds us that the onslaught is not yet over.
Why, at this rate, the next attack could be as soon as 2070.
It is true that 3,000 people died in the
September 11attacks. Let's not dishonour them by making political capital
out of their deaths as Bush is doing.
Jan 24, '04
Bush: State of the Union Undressed
Matt Kaste's Epiphany rant
The grain of salt I take most political speeches with could
thoroughly salinate Lake Superior and the other four Great Lakes no problem,
but I do think most of us expect that at least some of the content of these speeches
will speak to the condition of the world in which we live. Our fearless leader
is plumbing new depths, and diving headlong into an ocean of doublespeak,
namely, this year's SOTUA. I have hired a medium who has helped me channel GWB.
Though the experience has been harrowing and as scary as if our best and brightest
had actually found some WMD's in that tiny Scottish distillery our government
had been monitoring, you will see that his commentary is quite helpful in closing
the gap between his words and deeds and identifying each and every demon we will
instruct the exorcists (It'll take a team.) to rid him of. Enjoy!
Mr. Speaker, Vice President Cheney, Members
of Congress, distinguished guests, fellow citizens: (When I say "citizens," I
mean "Republicans," the rich ones in particular, the few
minority voters we've brainwashed, the House of Saud and all
of the Bin Ladens except for that feisty one we trained and who got
all uppity all of a sudden, all rich multinational executives we
control and anyone who can get us some more, cheap crude, wherever
you are and regardless of who you are currently oppressing.)
Every year, by law and by custom, we meet here to consider the state of the
union. (until we have redefined reality so completely that we can completely
stop pretending that we care or that we listen to anything you say.) This year,
we gather in this chamber deeply aware of decisive days that lie (and which
we will continue lying) ahead.
You and I serve our country in a time of great consequence. (Yet I have still
manage to take more vacation than any President before me, because of my brilliant
and all-encompassing knowledge of domestic and foreign affairs, direct intercession
from my co-pilot in Heaven and the fact that I am blessed with such a
tireless and competent administration, drawn from such diverse and far corners
of the oil industry and military industrial complex.) During
this session of Congress, we have the duty to reform (eliminate) domestic programs
(anything the over half million crowd doesn't understand, or hasn't used but
believes is a waste of taxpayers' money) vital to our country ... and
we have the opportunity to save millions of lives abroad from a terrible disease.
(They're thinking "AIDS," but I'm thinking "democracy." God,
it's a pain in the ass. Can't wait to fry those whiners good once we push through
a couple more amendments to the PATRIOT Act. That was my idea, you know. Don't
go giving that one to Ashcroft. All mine.) We will work for a prosperity
that is broadly shared (by the top 50 megacorporations) ... and we will
answer every danger and every enemy (real, but mostly imagined, then created
and publicized by us, Your Leaders) and that threatens the American people.
(Yes, you have a lot to fear. Lions and tigers and bears, OH MY!)
In all these days of promise and days of reckoning, (Yeah, I read the Bible
or sometimes have it read to me. As you know, I strayed as many have, but God
has called me to His fold and I have surrendered to Him and am now acting on
His behalf here on earth, with the utmost humility, of course. That Skull
and Bones membership back at Yale with all the secrecy, black candles,
goats heads, weird Latin chanting and pentacles was just a bunch of my buds
lettin' off a little steam. No disrespect to you, my heavenly Father. It is
kind of weird how many of the members are both Republicans and are pretty much
just behind me in the running the world department. Anyway...) we
can be confident. In a whirlwind of change, and hope, and peril, our faith
is sure, our resolve is firm, and our union is strong. (That sounds awesome.
I have no idea what it means, nor do I care, but I want that engraved on the
butt of one of my guns.)
This country has many challenges. We will not deny, we will not ignore, we
will not pass along our problems to other Congresses, (Well, except the huge
deficit I'm running up for your kids and grandkids to pay off. Oh, and the
rape of the environment crap those pansies keep whimpering about. But
we are going to Mars, are going to make sure you are always aware of how scared
you should be for the rest of your lives, are going to make sure no millionaire
pays any tax on top of the taxes he already hasn't paid because of our
well-crafted tax laws and will always seem to be just ready to improve public
education and health care coverage while secretly working to undermine
them.) other presidents, and other generations. We will confront them with
focus, and clarity, and courage. (in the "bizarro world." See! I
watch SNL. "I be down wid wassup in da hood." Hee hee!)
During the last two years, we have seen what can be accomplished when we (Republicans)
work together. To lift the standards of our public schools, we achieved historic
education reform (which wouldn't help our students one bit, and which I haven't
funded anyway. Touche! Liberal-controlled teachers' union) -- which must
now be carried out in every school, and every classroom, so that every child
in America can read, (the books we don't burn) and learn, (about the noble
people and cute, huntable animals of the entire nation of Africa) and succeed
in life. To protect (scare the perpetual shit out of) our country, we reorganized
(toppled) our government and created the Department of Homeland Security
(with help from God Almighty and the legions of Satan) -- which is mobilizing
against the threats of a new era. (which we are now busily creating.) To bring
our economy out of recession, (the one we created by giving all your money
to my dad's a-hole friends and waging those two crusades over their
against those towel heads.) we delivered the largest tax relief in a generation.
(to the top 16% of the American population.) To insist on integrity in American
business, (but not in my Cabinet or at any of the companies members of my administration
used to be the CEO's of) we passed tough reforms, and we are holding corporate
criminals to account. (Let's get the pollsters checking how many of them bought
that one. Karl? Chop chop.)
Some might call this a good record. (if it was true.) I call it a good start.
(Just like how a few lines of coke chased with a couple of shots of J.D. used
to give me that needed kick to get up and start the day off right, in the early
afternoon.) Tonight I ask the House (of Saud) and Senate (I own) to join
me in the next bold steps to serve our fellow citizens. (I think I mentioned
who those citizens were earlier.)
Our first goal is clear: We must have an economy that grows fast enough to
employ every man and woman who seeks a job. (If we do this right, you will
think there is job growth when we "add" jobs to the millions
my rich buddies and dad's a-hole friends have eliminated since I took office.
Then, I'm pretty sure we will be able to sell you rights to that "Freedom
Air" crap Ken Lay was rampling on about at the ranch a couple of years
After recession, terrorist attacks, corporate scandals, and stock market declines,
(and many innumerable and ever-present fears we want you to dread and carry
with you to the grave) our economy is recovering -- yet it is not growing fast
enough, or strongly enough. With unemployment rising, our Nation needs more
small businesses to open, (so they can go under within six to nine months and
become Tae Kwon Do studios or tanning salons thanks to the mega-corporations
that have written this speech for me and who will soon be bringing you, "Freedom
Air. Geez, it goes down good. Only $6.95 a bottle, while supplies last.") more
companies to invest (in energy and military technology companies), and expand,
more employers to put up the sign that says, "Help Wanted." (Undocumented
workers wanted on a regular, revolving basis because our government knows who
you are and can ship you back across the Rio Grande before you ask for a raise
and start getting notions of getting one of "our" jobs in the world
outside the Food Court and the parking garage.)
Jobs are created (including the millions of 29-hours-with-lots-of-unpaid-overtime,
part-time jobs with no benefits this generation has been blessed with) when
the economy grows; the economy grows when Americans have more money to spend
and invest (something that only happens during Democratic administrations due
to the fiscal responsibility and forethought of god-fearing Republicans like
myself); and the best, fairest way to make sure Americans have that money is
not to tax it away in the first place. ('Cuz I'll be in Bermuda partying with
Ken Lay, the Terminator and that Harris babe Jeb's always talking about by
the time y'all figure out that future generations of taxpayers will never be
able to dig themselves out of the hole I've dug for you. Buying that "death
tax" crap was the best. Now future Bushes, DuPonts, Mellons and Vanderbilts
will not pay tax even once on the fortunes which support us and assure that
we will continue to play by completely different rules and inhabit entirely
different and superior lives to those of yours for many generations to come.
Muchos gracias-- El Suckerinos.)
I am proposing that all the income tax reductions set for 2004 and 2006 be
made permanent (because enough of you will figure it out eventually and will
scream to have it repealed once you do) and effective this year. And under
my plan, as soon as I have signed the bill, (and offered the severed head of
a Liberal to my dark, I mean, heavenly Master) this extra money will start
showing up in workers' paychecks. (So enjoy that extra Big Gulp and don't forget
to "Super Size" that safe, 100% American beef Big Mac combo.) Instead
of gradually reducing the (natural, non-sin-against-nature-and-the-American-Way)
marriage penalty, we should do it now. Instead of slowly raising the child
credit to a thousand dollars, we should send the checks to American families
now. (Because you'll need every cent of it to make a first payment on your
spiralling health care and education costs that we are doing nothing to curb
and are, in fact, helping contibute to.)
This tax relief is for everyone who pays income taxes (and the clever,
non-tax-paying millionaires who get their hands on the really smart accountants)
-- and it will help our economy immediately. (for a period of 1-2 weeks for
the vast majority of Americans and for the rest of the lives of the top 1%
of wage earners in this great democracy we have created.) Ninety-two million
Americans will keep -- this year -- an average of almost 1,100 dollars more
of their own money. (Just like how the average income would be about $1.5 million
if Dick Cheney, Ken Lay and I invited those three hot, Hooters waitresses to
the ranch for a pool party like Ken's always going on about. Note to self...
'continue underfunding education, particularly MATH education.') family
of four with an income of 40,000 dollars would see their federal income taxes
fall from 1,178 dollars to 45 dollars per year. (if they only new that the
family of four I am describing is an actual family of four, the Halversons
of Cairo, Illinois, and they have been chosen because their tax
situation is so bizarre, unusual and perfect that it bears no resemblance to
any other "families of four" in this proud nation of ours.) And
our plan will improve the bottom line for more than 23 million small businesses.
(That was fun lying about improving the bottom line. I never got to say "improve
the bottom line" at any of the companies or professional sports teams
daddy and his a-hole friends let me mismanage.)