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Spleen January to June, 2004 archive

News sources
The Guardian
Aljazeera in English

Baghdad Burning
Where's Raed (Salam Pax)

Contact Psipook

Flight 77
The Pentagon was not hit by an airliner on 11/9.
Click here to read more.


Sadman Hussein
Old news. Bogey Man captured by Superpowerman

After Euro '04 Beckham heaps blame on himself

Japan's hostages get chilly reception home
Released hostages are scolded and billed by the Japanese government.

No link between Saddam and Al Qaida: gosh!

In case you missed the interim US report into Bush's bullshit, click here.

If 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
Ronald 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
May 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 Aljazeera.
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
Donald 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 down.

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 jockeys.

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.

US 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 like.

" 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 '04


Nice one!

May 27, 2004

Double Finks
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, honest.
Once again I am astounded at the simple mindedness of my fellow humans.

Quite 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?

The 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.

The 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.
April, '04

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 not?

Inside Fallujah
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 twice over.

April, 2004

Military Maths
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 they are?

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 insurgent fatalities?

Why are the journalists in the towns reporting that the US soldiers are firing indiscriminately on the population of the town?

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 fight.

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 Australian wine.

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 tells us:

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 a liberator.

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.

Click 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.

You 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 Franks.

Here is a site that tries to put the numbers to the US atrocities, and tries to put names to the cold statistics.

Iraq 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 terrorists.

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 yet).

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 bombs.

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 tight.

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 illustrate.

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!

You can read the original Psipook letter and Mr. Kennedy's reply by clicking here.

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 other. Whatever.

What struck me as the story infolded is the hypocrisy of B who have attempted to
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 B.

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 notice.

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


Director 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 both resigned.

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.

Kennedy bollocks

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:
Tonge fired
Palestinian boy killed

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.

Bush bollocks

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

Greetings All,
    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 ago.)

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.)




Suffer yet more little children ...
The first casualties of war are the innocents

Hollywood Freaks
War doesn't come to the Oscars

Flight 77
The Pentagon was not hit by an airliner on 11/9


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