George W. Faust
It was so rewarding to see the panic level of P&J's good pal, Boy
George Bush, reach so high in South Carolina that he sold his soul before the
second real primary ever took place. His splendid swan dive into the tank at
the abominable Bob Jones University, where he joined Pat Robertson and Ralph
Reed in breast-stroking through racist excrement, should put a huge dagger into
his campaign now that he's left this redneck, no-nothing enclave full of old
fat, white, drunk good ol' boys who mourn the passing of lynchings. (It
certainly appeared so after McCain cleaned house during Tuesday's Michigan and
Arizona primaries. Perhaps a cheery thank-you note to Reed, Robertson and
Michigan Governor John "Firewall" Engler is in order.)
The GOP strategist who was quoted as saying he'd urge a candidate to lose in
South Carolina if he truly wanted to be president is looking awfully smart
right now. A nice note, too, from somewhere in the great white noise of
politics: a commentator pointed out that Tiger Woods, who is half black and
half Thai, wouldn't be allowed to date anyone if he attended Bob Jones
Not only has Dubya sold his soul to the devil, he didn't even have the cojones
to stand up to the man, Bob Jones III, who once called Georgie Boy's dad "a
devil." Obviously not prepared to defend his father's honor in the slightest,
Georgie stood proudly shoulder-to-shoulder with an MIA activist who has also
demeaned Bush the elder.
One hopes that as Dubya's right-wing bedfellows continue their attacks on John
McCain -- while Bush claims to remain above the fray -- a particularly
ambitious investigative reporter discovers evidence linking Dubya's campaign
with the coordination of these diabolical attacks. This kind of link, if it
exists, is known as a felony.
Killin' 'em with compassionate conservatism
Speaking of Bush's proclivity for bending over for political benefit, a woman
named Betty Lou Beets, who was convicted of killing her fifth husband, is
scheduled to be executed by tough guy Boy George the day this column appears.
In an op-ed piece sent to newspapers and activists, a group of Boston-based
advocates for battered women (one of whom is the sister of Phoenix news
editor Ian Donnis) are urging Dubya to stay the execution, saying:
"You are also aware that E. Ray Andrews, the defense attorney in Ms. Beets'
four-day trial, was grossly negligent, representing her in exchange for the
media rights to her story. This conflict of interest led him to avoid entering
mitigating evidence in the case, including his own responsibility for
suggesting she file a life insurance claim against her already deceased
husband. Had this evidence been entered at the time, Betty Lou Beets would have
been convicted of a non-capital offense and would not have ended up on death
"More recently Andrews admitted under oath that he failed to investigate her
background and never entered evidence about her lifelong history of severe
abuse. The jury never knew that Ms. Beets was already learning disabled,
hearing impaired, and suffering from organic brain damage caused in part by
severe blows to the head rendered by a succession of abusive men in her life.
"The jury didn't know that Ms. Beets suffered from Post Traumatic Stress
Disorder and Battered Women's Syndrome. As John Blume, an attorney on Ms.
Beets' current legal team stated, `Knowing what we now do about this syndrome,
a fully informed jury would never sentence a battered woman to death today.' We
doubt that the Beets jury would have either, except for her tragically
incompetent legal representation."
Now, Georgie, how does that story of yours go about personally reviewing every
case on death row?
Safari wins another round
Late Monday afternoon, while most of us were celebrating President's Day, the
Safari Lounge won another decision in Judge Robert Pirraglia's Providence
court. Those who have been following the story know that the Safari, one of the
few nightspots in downtown Providence where emerging bands and artists can
strut their stuff, has been the target of a sustained eviction effort by
landlord Stanley Weiss. The grounds for expulsion have been highly
questionable. And according to lawyer John Dineen, it looks like the Safari
won't be boosted any time this year. After an initial improbable victory in
Judge Pirraglia's court, the good guys won again.
Congratulations to Jimmy, counselors Dineen and Litwin, and all the young
artists who have made the Safari their home. This Sunday evening, Rich Lupo has
made the Heartbreak Hotel available for a benefit performance featuring a slew
of Safari acts to help pay for some of the legal expenses incurred in this
battle. While Dineen and Litwin have taken on this case for almost nothing, the
community would like to remunerate them for some of their time and heroic
effort. So make it on over to Lupo's on Sunday, and celebrate a victory for the
people and the arts scene in Our Little Towne.
Who Wants To Marry a Maniac?
It just doesn't get any better than this. Rick Rockwell (if that is indeed your
real name, Lt. Batguano), who got hitched virtually sight unseen to one Darva
Conger last week on Who Wants to Marry a Multimillionaire?, on the
ever-tasteful Fox network, just happened to have been accused of threatening to
harm an ex-girlfriend in 1991. Too bad Charlie Manson is still in the can; he
could have been best man.
As with most contrived shows of this sort, the truth is more bizarre than
anything the producers can come up with. In addition to his rather heated
record of romantic relations, Rockwell is a failed comedian who once tried to
get into the Guinness Book of World Records by telling jokes for 30
straight hours; may not actually be a multimillionaire; may have known Conger
prior to their supposed first encounter five minutes before tying the knot; and
he arrived home from his honeymoon sans his bride, ostensibly because she was
tuckered out. (Maybe he told her jokes the whole time they were together.)
Other than that, the show's absolutely legit.
P&J say anytime you can out-weird Regis Philbin, you're really on the
A little too late
When it comes to good manners, you just can't beat the leaders of the Catholic
Church. Sure their timing is a little faulty, but eventually they always do the
We all remember how gracious the Vatican was in 1992, when they admitted that
Galileo may have had a point in claiming the earth circled the sun, a
realization that took them only 359 years to reach after denouncing the
astronomer as a heretic (Vatican officials had always thought that the sun
circled the earth, propelled by an organ grinder turning a wheel, accompanied
by the largest monkey ever created).
Now, the Catholic Church has grudgingly admitted they "regretted" burning
rationalist philosopher Bruno Giordano at the stake for his beliefs, which
we're sure would perk old Bruno up if he hadn't been immolated alive in 1600.
Giordano is exalted by many Italians as the father of free speech in that
country, and he was feted February 17 at a statue in erected his honor in Rome.
Celebrants declared the plaza in which the statue stands a Pope-free zone, a
concept which Phillipe and Jorge thinks has great potential for replication.
Oh, and what did Giordano do to irk the Vatican so much that they torched him?
He simply doubted the tale whipped up by the Virgin Mary about her immaculate
conception, and called Jesus a wizard. Too bad the National Enquirer
wasn't around in those days.
Phillipe & Jorge were taken aback a few weeks ago when we went into the
downtown branch of Citizens Bank to change some accounts. We were informed that
Citizens no longer considers the Vo Dilun State Picture Identification Card a
valid first form of ID. Fleet and most of the other big banks have for a number
of years followed this same policy. Citizens, which has been promoting itself
as "not your typical bank," seems to be acting pretty typical in this case.
What we would like to know is how the banks can consider a state driver's
license as a legitimate form of identification, but not the RI identification
card. They both must be acquired from the state Division of Motor Vehicles, and
are virtually the same, except one states that you're licensed to operate a
vehicle. When we asked about this discrepancy, we were told, "We've been having
a lot of trouble with people using fake ID cards." The only thing is, the motor
vehicle card is just as easy to forge as the state ID. Why would someone be
making fake state ID cards when they could just as easily make a fake driver's
The real answer, which the banks won't admit, is quite simple. It is blatant
discrimination against the poor, who are less likely to be owning and operating
an automobile. We have always respected Larry Fish, Faye Sanders, Barbara
Cottam and the other folks over at Citizens who have shown a bit more social
conscience than the "typical banks." We think, however, that this deal sucks.
On Saturday evening at around 9:30 p.m., Jorge found himself in the emergency
room of Rhode Island Hospital after suffering a brief seizure. He ended up
staying in the hospital until 6 p.m. the next evening. While the care providers
at RIH did a fine job, the same cannot be said of the genius-types in
administration and others who were calling the shots.
Although Jorge signed papers to be officially admitted to the hospital at
around 2:30 a.m., he stayed down in the ER until 7:30 a.m. waiting for a room
in the critical care unit. While this was going on, Jorge could hear the
physician in attendance arguing with people on the phone to get Jorge into the
CCU. Meanwhile, family members who called to check on J's status were given a
different explanation, with each call, of where he was and what his status was.
One Einstein at the hospital even suggested that he had never been admitted and
wasn't there. Another caller was told, while Jorge was in the ER, that he was
already upstairs. His condition was described as "stable" by one person,
"satisfactory" by another. Asked exactly what those designations meant, no
answer was given.
We suggest that no one try to get actual information out of the folks at
Lifescam. The likelihood of it being accurate or worthwhile is extremely