Send in the troops -- somewhere
BY PHILLIPE & JORGE
The chickens are coming home to roost in the shape of George "Corporate Fraud"
Bush's Harken shenanigans, John Ashcroft getting nailed for his insane,
democracy-defying detention of aliens in the name of fighting terrorism, and
Big Time Cheney's thieving at Halliburton and stonewalling over his energy
advisory commission. Well, we know what's needed to defend their honor. Yes,
you're right, it's Dubya sending boys and girls to die in a war with Iraq,
sometime before the mid-term elections, or at least before the SEC releases the
records of its "investigation" into Harken and its new long, hard look (honk!)
at Cheney's book-cooking.
The invasion of Iraq is much more now than Boy George simply trying to restore
his Daddy's testicles. (And wasn't that just a precious picture of Dubya and
Poppy on the golf course on the front page of the Sunday New York Times
of August 4? The only thing missing was a minority caddy, but we guess they
don't even allow tinted folks on the golf course to do that up in
Kennebunkport. At least someone was there who could keep score without having
to take off his shoes to count.) Iraq is a way to subsume once again anyone who
dares criticize the Bush administration for any number of topics -- being soft
on corporate thievery and accounting prestidigitation; woeful foreign policies;
the stripping of people's civil rights and invasion of their privacy, and the
continued ability to alienate the rest of the free world.
Why are we invading Iraq? Because, according to Dubya and his tribe of
professional liars, Saddam has "weapons of mass destruction." It's really
because he's an embarrassment to Poppy and Dubya, and it's a way to make them
feel like real men, sending soldiers over to die in Iraq, while we fellate the
oil-rich countries that surround it even as they suppress individual rights.
Did you catch the response by Senator Joe Biden, head of the Senate Foreign
Relations committee, to a question from Tim Russert on Meet the Press on
August 4? This was all we needed to know that former UN weapons investigator
Scott Ritter is right when he likens Dubya's call for war and "regime change"
to the Gulf of Tonkin resolution.
Russert: "Does [Saddam Hussein] have chemical weapons?"
Biden: (Pause) "We don't know what he has."
Well, there's an argument that should have our allies running to join in the
Meanwhile, Dubya and and his crew turned a blind eye to the sentencing of a
63-year-old Egyptian "pro-American democracy advocate" to seven years of hard
labor for teaching his countrymen to register to vote, fill in a ballot, and
monitor elections. This was enough, though, to send the normally cool, calm,
and collected Times columnist Tom Friedman over the edge in his August 4
Friedman flayed Boy George and Co. ("Bush's Shame" was the headline), and
after informally polling people during a visit to Sri Lanka, wrote eloquently,
"I am struck by how many Sri Lankans, who are as pro-American as they come,
have made some version of this observation to me: America as an idea, as a
source of optimism and a beacon of liberty is critical to the world -- but you
Americans seem to have forgotten that since 9/11. You've stopped talking about
who you are, and are only talking now about who you're going to invade, oust or
sanction." You can bet the Sri Lankans aren't the only ones with this
Unless people start speaking up against the lies and excesses of Dubya,
Cheney, and Ashcroft, the only audible voice will be theirs. What a pity that
would be. The global village's idiot, armed and dangerous.
How sweet it was to see the Rhode Island Historical Society plant a plaque on
the John Brown House, making it, partially at least, an African-American
historic site. Why? The plaque reveals something that everyone knew, but which
was politely swept under the rug for centuries because it just wasn't something
we talk about, don't you know -- that Brown got rich dealing slaves.
Oh, sure, the plaque does mention that Brown wasn't all bad -- " a slave
trader, privateer, China trade merchant, and a patriot" -- but it lets his
dirty, not-so-little secret out officially and finally. The Hysterical Society,
which came round on the plaque after insistent and admirable pressure from
individuals and organizations like the Providence Human Relations Commission
and Rhode Island Black Heritage Society (oh, blacks have a heritage, too? My,
my), is also going to revamp brochures to include info about the slave trade,
and the fact that that old Johnnie was also the first American to be tried
under the 1794 law that prohibited slave trade from US ports. ("But perhaps you
don't know who I am!")
It was wonderful to see photos of respected friends, like Rogeriee Thompson,
who is the great-granddaughter of a slave, on hand for the ceremony. This
brings the issue a lot closer to home, to Our Little Towne, in fact. Congrats
to all who helped make this happen, and to the Historical Society, which
realized that by not bowing to Providence politesse, it can now hold its head
Your superior correspondents apologize to our under-40 readers, but you aging
beatniks know we just couldn't resist making an allusion to Blonde on
Blonde-era Bob, what with the mighty B-O-B back in the Biggest Little on
August 3 to play Newport for the first time since the great eruption of '65. It
was enough of a national "event" that, two weeks ago, the New York Times
filed a front page Sunday Arts & Leisure piece on Bob's return -- the same
day that the BeloJo gave the story front page news. Bob's return got more
front-page treatment this past Sunday with a feature on the concert by ace
reporter Karen Lee Ziner. Good for Karen for catching such nice duty.
This item, however, is about another Bob, our own Cool Moose, Bob Healey. A
story on A-3 of the Other Paper of August 5 featured this headline: "US
rethinks policy, gives Uruguay $1.5 billion loan." It seems that the continuing
economic crisis in Latin America is signaling to the Bush Administration that
another headline -- "We won't bail out struggling countries" -- is a bit, shall
we say, shortsighted.
The same issue of the OP included this brief in the Political Scene column:
"The Cool Moose candidate for lieutenant governor strayed way off the campaign
trail this past week, spending it on a trip to Uruguay. Robert J. Healey Jr.
said among his ventures on the combination business-and-pleasure trip was a
meeting about a possible land purchase, and stops related to his interests
exporting wine and antique furniture."
Might these two stories be related? Could Healey be a secret emissary for
Bush, carrying $1.5 billion dollars in an innocuous looking leather satchel?
Probably not. While we've become used to our Bob's hirsute appearance and Cool
Moose style, he's not exactly the type of bland-looking character we'd select
for big time secret missions. Of course, if the Bud-I had recently breezed in
from Montevideo, we'd bet he'd be madly hinting that he had something to do
with the $1.5 bil.
Say it ain't so, Joe
While the swinging Bush twins get all the ink, it seems that the previously
mentioned Senator Joe Biden has a daughter who'd give Jenna & Barbara a run
for their money. Joe's youngest, Ashley Blazer Biden, 21, was busted Saturday,
August 3, in Chicago for "obstructing a police officer." According to reports
on the incident, Ashley was enjoying a few beverages with some pals when one of
her drinking buddies tossed a bottle at an officer. When a couple of other
police went to arrest the perp (we just love using phrases popularized by
Law & Order. In fact, our greatest desire is to someday have an excuse
to use the term LUDs in this column), Ashley stood in their way and mouthed
off. One officer, JoAnn Taylor, described Ashley's comments as "intimidating."
Well, awwwright, Ashley. We like the idea that the current generation of
political offspring are more Joan Jett than Tricia Nixon.
Ask us anything!
A thirsty and distressed reader, Ms. PC, writes to take us up on our offer to
"Ask us anything!"
"How come if you get a bug in your drink, and you rotate the glass, the bug
stays in same position relative to your drinking approach? And a corollary
question: How does the bug know to drown himself in the spot closest to your
drinking approach? And as a sub-corollary: Does it mean you're an alcoholic if
you try to keep drinking a drink with a bug in it?"
Well, Phillipe and Jorge can say with total confidence, we have no idea. But
we have seen reports that bug suicides are rapidly rising, and the idea of
topping one's self by drowning in a mega-sized gin and tonic has crossed
P&J's minds on more than one occasion. We can only attribute the rotating
location of said insect right into the sluice of the drinking zone to simply an
attention-getting desire, or the bug doing a frantic backstroke. Or perhaps the
fillings in your teeth exert a magnetic effect upon the metal plates that most
bugs have in their heads from years of flying into screens and windows. And as
for the alcoholism, if God didn't want you to drink bugs with your booze, he
wouldn't have put worms in the bottom of bottles of Mezcal. You're very
Send dog helmets and Pulitzer-grade tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Issue Date: August 9 - 15, 2002