A tip of the beret and sombrero once again to the resolute and thoughtful
Senator Linc Chafee, for continuing courage and utmost integrity in bucking his
GOP Party to side with the Democrats against giving broad war-making powers to
President Boy George. Instead, he ended up on the losing side, and as the only
Republican, in voting for a resolution that would have required Dubya the Dumb,
the saber-rattling National Guard service-dodger, to seek UN action before he
could come back to Congress for permission to invade Iraq.
While this drew the ire of the White House and other knee-jerk (hold the knee)
Republican senators, perhaps Linc was just trying to believe what Dubya says
when he's making pronouncements, unlike the majority of people who now view
Georgie as a professional prevaricator. Interviewed about the reasons for his
vote by John Mulligan, the Urinal's man in Washington, he pulled from his
wallet a 2000 campaign quote from Dubya that reads, "If we are an arrogant
nation, (the world) will resist us. If we are a humble nation, they will
Surprising that it takes a GOP politician to remind us what the Bushies have
forgotten, rather than our hard-hitting national media. The US has no allies in
going after Saddam, especially since Dubya's poodle, Tony Blair, prime minister
of Britain, got de-pantsed and slow-clapped off stage at his Labour Party
convention when he came back from Texas espousing what his master's voice told
him to say about supporting an invasion. No, for once in his life, Georgie got
it right during the campaign, and thanks to our collective amnesia, he's
allowed to turn his back on yet another promise. But, Mr. President, we still
haven't forgotten that your father's a wimp.
Special P&J note to blacks and other minorities: Guess who is going to be
fighting the Iraqi war if it happens, which seems inevitable? Hey, it's you!
Again! Just like Vietnam!
As Richard Pryor used to say about justice in America: "That's who is in
prison. Just us." Lock and load, brothers and amigos, and don't look for anyone
named Bush, Fleischer, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, or Perle hunkered down next to you
when you're getting shelled outside Baghdad.
In the excellent BeloJo article detailing the extravagant spending habits of
scandalized House Speaker Johnny Hardwood, P&J note his travel to Los
Angeles and stay at the swank Westwood Hotel. Our longtime pal Larry Berman, US
Representative Patrick Kennedy's campaign manager, was quoted as saying that
Johnny was there for a February fundraiser for young Patrick, at the home of
Haim Saban, an entertainment mover and shaker who formerly owned the Fox Family
Network. The Urinal article noted, "While there, Berman said, Harwood talked
with California House Speaker Robert Hertzberg." Wow, sounds important.
In the interest of providing inquiring minds everywhere with the best possible
information, your superior correspondents obtained a transcript of that
high-level political exchange between the two speakers:
Hardwood: "Hey, chief, where's the bar?"
Hertzberg: "Next to the pool. You new around here?"
Hardwood: "Yeah. Hey, the chicks here available?"
Hertzberg: "If you're a contributor, all of them are."
Hertzberg: "Five hundred bucks gets you a BJ. For a thou, you can drive down
her Ventura Boulevard, and for five thousand, she'll throw in Mulholland Drive,
if you get what I mean." [Nudge, nudge. Wink, wink.]
Hardwood: "Rrrruff! Rrrruff!"
Hertzberg: "So what do you do?"
Hardwood: "I'm in politics."
Hertzberg: "Me, too. What a racket, eh?"
Hardwood: "No shit, Sherlock. See you in the funnies. I'm going to cruise the
strip out by the pool. Hey, you, cutie . . . "
The Wright stuff
P&J's pick of the week is AS220's Gallery Night opening from 5 to 9 p.m.
this Thursday, October 17. Featured will be one of our closest friends, an
artist-cum-commercial lobsterwomen-cum-queen of Rhode Island raw bars, the
effervescent and extremely talented Amanda Wright. In the Upstairs Gallery,
Amanda will be showing her wonderful raku and other pottery, as well as a range
of dazzling objets d'art that range from the fishy to voodoo. It is not
to be missed. As P&J always say, "Be there or be square."
Love and adore, 'Mando.
After Vo Dilunduhs suffered through the ravages of a torrid, dry summer and
subsequent drought, your superior correspondents have come across a surefire
method of preventing the same thing from happening in the future. This is
courtesy of an August 15 article in the Nepal Samacharpatra, as noted in "Funny
Old World," in the English magazine, Private Eye.
" `You may call it superstition, but just look at the results,' local
government official Rajesh Kumar Mahoto told reporters in the far western Banke
district of Nepal. `The rains had not come, and the villagers needed to appease
Indra, the God of rain, so they could plant rice. So the women, all 200 of
them, locked their husbands in their homes, then stripped naked and ploughed
the fields at midnight. After that, some of them also married frogs, and staged
naked dances. And the next day the rain came. Coincidence? I don't think so.
" `In fact, if anything, the ritual worked too well. We had 197 millimetres of
rain over the weekend, which led to flooding in some areas, causing landslides
and some deaths. Next year, we may have to leave out the frogs.' "
We hope the Rhode Island Water Resources Board is paying attention.
Killing the goose that laid the golden egg
P&J have never mistaken the gambling/gaming industry as a form of economic
development, but facts are facts. The State of Rhode Island and Feinstein
Plantations in 2002 is largely dependent on revenues from Lincoln Greyhound
Park and Newport Jai Alai. That said, we have noticed more than a touch of
demagoguery in the ongoing debate about gambling.
Last weekend, we heard GOP gubernatorial candidate "Enron Don" Carcieri once
again call for "getting a better deal" for the state from Lincoln and Newport
as a way to boost state revenues. He also continues to refer to the money
received by the greyhound kennels and owners as a "subsidy." (It's not just
Carcieri, but Governor Bigfoot and writers at the BeloJo -- Edward Achorn,
chief among them -- who refer to the money received by the greyhound people as
According to Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary, a subsidy is "a grant by a
government to a private person or company to assist an enterprise deemed
advantageous to the public." In no way can the money received by the dog owners
be considered "a subsidy."
A while back, Jim Baron, the respected reporter and columnist for The
Times of Pawtucket, pointed out the hypocrisy. He noted that the money
going to the Greyhound Association is not the government's money to give. It
comes directly out of the video lottery intake as part of a "partnership" with
the government. The state currently takes 51 percent of the slot revenues,
right off the top, and the next three years it is due for a one-percent annual
bump. Meanwhile the rest goes to the facility owners, the people who provide
the machines, and finally, the dog people, who currently get about six percent.
This was worked out by the General Assembly 10 years ago, in something called
the "Fair Share" program, and it has been adjusted a couple of times since --
always in the state's favor.
Our question: How much more can the state rake off the top before it is no
longer feasible for these facilities to operate? Are we going to kill the goose
that laid the golden egg? A number of other states have similar profit-sharing
arrangements with their gambling entities and the average take among those
states is about 30 percent..
If the Narragansett tribe is successful in building their casino, would the
state get anywhere near 50 percent of the slot revenues? Perhaps this explains
the intransigence in some quarters to even allow the question on the ballot
(note also that many of the strongest anti-casino voices are those who
blatantly lie about the "subsidy").
However this whole thing plays out, we hope it's not based on lies and
The genius of talk radio
P&J always say that any time you want to hear probing perspectives from
people who can't see beyond their own noses, turn to talk radio. Just the other
day, while the angry, white masses were discussing the sniper shootings in the
DC area, one area of discussion was, "What if the snipers had been profiled as
a black or Latino man (or men); don't you think civil rights organizations
would be going nuts complaining about people of color being randomly stopped
Naturally, all the callers we heard were in total agreement with this straw
man analogy, which strained to equate a heinous criminal spree with the
all-too-common practice of "driving while black" discrimination on the
Of course, there's not much relation between the two and the whole exercise
seemed designed to make reactionaries feel good about those pesky minorities
and their persistent complaints about civil rights organizations. It's great to
know that, from the perspective of talk radio nation, the long history of
racial bias in this country is over. So far, we haven't heard any tales of
white men with white vans having their businesses vandalized or being subject
to the sort of verbal harassment many people of Middle Eastern descent faced in
the immediate aftermath of 9/11.
Death letter office
Your superior correspondents were cc:ed a letter originally sent to the BeloJo
this week that, we trust, will not be appearing in the august pages of the
Other Paper. A former Vo Dilunduh living in the Atlanta area writes to complain
about access to the Urinal's Web site. As you know, either from visiting the
site or from Ian Donnis's regular reports here in the Phoenix, most
areas of other paper.com can be accessed only if you fill out their little
demographic survey and become a "registered user." This doesn't cost anything
in dollars and cents, just in time and annoyance -- i.e., the spam you'll soon
Our correspondent's not unreasonable request is that the obituary and death
notices should be exempt from the "registered user" scheme. A friend of his
recently died, and because he did not wish to receive tons more of unwanted
e-mail from the folks that the BeloJo sell its lists to, he couldn't find out
anything about the funeral arrangements for the friend. One of his primary
concerns is that people wouldn't know where to send donations for a memorial
fund, so here goes. If you'd like to donate to the Memorial Fund for the
Benefit of the Children of Arthur A. Grace, send your checks to the fund, c/o
581 Hillfarm Road, Coventry, RI 02816.
Send registered users and Pulitzer-grade tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Issue Date: October 18 - 24, 2002