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Jun 17, 2015 | mikle1.livejournal.comThis morning it was real pain to wake up for U.S. Ambassador to Russia John Tefft. A horrible headache, dry mouse and feeling like a herd of frightened wild Mustangs run over him...
He suddenly remembered that last evening it was all well: after coming home from the Bolshoi theater, he drank just four shots of whiskey, looked for a while out his window on evening Moscow streets, and then went to bed with a sense of duty well performed.
However, at 2 a.m. Tefft was awakened by a phone call on closed government line. It was Secretary of state John Kerry, who managed to broke his leg a few days. His voice could be heard hidden mocking , beneath which was hidden the real irritation. Which happened recently more and more often...
-- listen Tefft, are you feeling all right to be Moscow?, and Tefft immediately felt in the voice of the chief signs of a storm.
"I think," just answered your question Kerry, " that you feel is just bad, and not even very bad, and very bad... As I was told that you've gained as much as two kilograms in three months..."
Tefft realized that he has just two options: either to answer these rhetorical questions, or continue to listen and hope to wait out this storm. The Ambassador chose the latter.
Meanwhile Kerry continued:
-- I get the impression that you are a complete slacker. Look at Jeffrey Payette in Ukraine, that he is a real diplomat. How he organized a coup d'état the last year a coup, eh? Beautiful job ! And then military actions in Eastern Ukraine. Can you match those achievements Tefft? Of course, I understand that prior to 2013, it was you, who prepared the ground for all this, but it was Jeffrey who got real results, did not he?
Tefft continued to be humbly silent, and Kerry became even hotter:
-- BTW do you remember that you main task was to organize mass protest in Russia and unite the opposition movement under strong leaders. That's why we send you to this country. Where are the results, I ask you? Why you just wasting money of American taxpayers? Why there are zero result so far, I ask you ?
When we realize that we can stage mass protests in Moscow, you were instructed to organize the triumphal sequence of mass protests in other major cities of Russia. And what came of it? What have you done?
Tefft attempted to insert a word in the speech of the Secretary of state:
-- Look, John, everything work according to plan, all allocated funds are already transferred to our recipients and supporters...
-- You are joking , -- immediately interrupted Kerry -- I understand that they got money. But it looks like that was it... For example important for us "Lustration" movement died out completely.
After that Tefft heard some strange sounds in the tube. He assumed that it was Hillary who entered the room.
-- And what about complete fiasco with he visit of Kasyanov to Novosibirsk? -- it was clear that Kerry suddenly became much more vicious -- "You should probably know that we paid for at least ten thousands of opponents of the current Russian regime to meet him. Where were they? And Kasyanov himself... Oh my God ! Even by his appearance it's clear that he had it enough, and the only thing he wants is to return to Moscow. Were was his fighting sprit for which we pay so much money? And what nonsense was he was blabbing? He was giver the script. Can he read? Why his only praise Novosibirsk was like: "The roads here are just as bad. And the faces in residents are even more sullen then in Moscow..."? And this man wants people to vote for him, right ? He came, he was kicked in the teeth and he left without a fight... A great leader of protest movement, nothing to say... Why he did not speak about brilliant perspectives of Russia in case of victory of the RPR — Parnas? After all Ukrainians did believed that they will have a bright future together with the EU and NATO? Do you think they are much dumber then Siberians? And why he begin to complain about the rake, which somebody threw under his car back in 2008 and pretend that this was an attempt on his life. He was in an armored car, this idiot!
-- Enough is enough.. Tell Kasyanov to get another round of training ASAP and he should never deviate from the taking points we wrote for him.. Now the principle of cooperation changes to: first results — then money. No results, no money. Please convey this message to him.
-- and similar blunder with Alexei Navalny visit to Novosibirsk? We agreed and discussed that after eggs stones will be used to hit him. Were all those pre-paid stones disappeared? What happened? Why only eggs were used? Where are the stones, Tefft? I ask you again, where are all the prepaid stones? Where are bruises and injuries on our hero? How we can present him as the victim of a brutal regime without any injuries? How we can organize the outrage of the world community with just eggs. And this your blunder undermines our efforts in further tightening of sanctions against Russia...
-- John, -- timidly dared to say Tefft, -- everything was organized perfectly well. The only problem was too heavy traffic and traffic jams in Novosibirsk. It was due to jams our guys did not get stones in time...
-- Yes, but they got the money in time, right John? — sarcastically remarked Kerry, So please shut up and just listen...
-- If you decided to promote Russian democratic opposition in Siberia then perform this competently and effectively as you obviously can. Like you did in Western Ukraine, after all. And if you are unable even to provide normal numbers of protesters, please at least submit fake photos with thousands of Novosibirsk residents in the queue willing to vote for the opposition? Or I need to explain to you how this is done?
-- And please ensure that the number opposition press reported were very close and multiplied by at least ten. Not like in the last case when one source reported 1104 opposition voters and the other reported 2580. Not only those numbers are just ridiculously small, they differ from each other way too much!
And finally, why Novosibirsk leaders of newly united RPR-Parnas already managed to quarrel among themselves and started to accuse each other of massive fraud. Is this about who gets our money? Greedy bustards. Please take care about this ASAP.
In short, Tefft, if you don't make right conclusions, we probably will soon transfer you to some African country. The one were there are still some cannibals... All the best."
After such a conversation Tefft remembered that he finished the bottle and went asleep. A now this gloomy Moscow morning is upon him again and something need to be done with all this disappearing and lying Russian opposition who like to take money but can't produce the desired results. He cursed his job and opened the second the bottle of whisky. I am starting to behave like a real Russian he melancholically observed and poured the first short. He instantly felt better. And somewhat proud about this idea about becoming Russian. He drunk the second shot and thought "F*$% Kerry, if you sucker come here I will find some ketchup to greet you". And poured the third shot almost immediately.
As the “single most powerful tool for population control,” the CIA’s “Facebook program” has dramatically reduced the agency’s costs — at least according to the latest “report” from the satirical mag The Onion.
Perhaps inspired by a recent interview with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who called Facebook “the most appalling spy machine that has ever been invented,” The Onion‘s video fires a number of arrows in Facebook’s direction — with hilarious results.
In the video, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is dubbed “The Overlord” and is shown receiving a “medal of intelligence commendation” for his work with the CIA’s Facebook program.
The Onion also takes a jab at FarmVille (which is responsible for “pacifying” as much as 85 million people after unemployment rates rose), Twitter (which is called useless as far as data gathering goes), and Foursquare (which is said to have been created by Al Qaeda).
Check out the video below and tell us in the comments what you think.CIA's 'Facebook' Program Dramatically Cut Agency's Costs Onion News Network
The OnionWASHINGTON—A team of leading archaeologists announced Monday they had uncovered the remains of an ancient job-creating race that, at the peak of its civilization, may have provided occupations for hundreds of thousands of humans in the American Northeast and Midwest.
According to researchers, these long- forgotten people once flourished between western New York state and Illinois, erecting highly distinctive steel and brick structures wherever they went, including many buildings thought to have held hundreds of paid workers at a time.
"It's truly fascinating—after spending a certain number of hours performing assigned tasks, the so-called 'employees' at such facilities would receive monetary compensation that allowed them to support themselves and their families," said archaeologist Alan H. Mueller, citing old ledgers and time-keeping devices unearthed at excavation sites in the region. "In fact, this practice seems to have been the norm for their culture, which consisted of advanced tool users capable of exploiting their skills to produce highly valued goods and services."
"It's a complex and intriguing set of rituals we're still trying to fully understand," Mueller added. "But it appears as if their entire society was centered around creating, out of thin air, actual jobs that paid an actual living wage."
Consider, for a second, a quick list of characteristics of mind control techniques that cults use:"Studies performed by those who believe that some religious groups do practice mind control have identified a number of key steps in coercive persuasion:Let's go through each one by one.
- People are put in physical or emotionally distressing situations;
- Their problems are reduced to one simple explanation, which is repeatedly emphasized;
- They receive unconditional love, acceptance, and attention from a charismatic leader or group;
- They get a new identity based on the group;
- They are subject to entrapment (isolation from friends, relatives and the mainstream culture) and their access to information is severely controlled."
- People are put in physically or emotionally distressing situations. Does the edifice of modern-day finance put people in emotionally and physically distressing situations--moreso than they have to be, to amplify the stakes? In fact, it puts entire nations and regions in them--just ask Europe, America, or China. The cries of "Panic!! Armageddon!!" that every minor question or challenge to the cult of finance are met with are a form of inflicting distress--as are the constant looming threats that "the markets" will eternally, hellishly punish those who fail the test of virtue.
- Problems are reduced to one simple explanation, repeatedly emphasized. Does the monolith of modern-day finance reduce problems to one simple explanation, repeatedly emphasized? Sure: it's the idea that I've called financial determinism--that through unfettered financialization (read: bigger banks, funds, faster trades, more intense buying and selling of paper) the world's challenges can be surmounted, and humanity's biggest problems solved--and that conversely, without hyperfinancialization, humanity has little chance at prosperity. Simply put: more finance, good. Less finance, bad. Would that the world were so naively simplistic.
- They receive unconditional love from a charismatic leader. One word: Geithner. Kidding aside, the point is: the cult of finance has a set of leaders--leaders who show cult members a level of unconditional love that's truly breathtaking, that makes religious cult leaders look like misers. Bailout after bailout after bailout for blowing up entire economies? Now that's unconditional love.
- They get a new identity based on the group. Does modern-day finance create "a new identity based on the group"? I think so. Once you're a member of the cult of finance, the kid gloves come on. You're essentially above the law, beyond the state, and through the looking glass. And I'd guess that might be behind the curiously overweening sense of power most of the members of this cult display: the off-the-cuff remarks that bank chiefs make, for example, that are farcically absurd (when they're not savagely dehumanizing)--like Lloyd Blankfein's famous claim that Goldman Sachs is just "doing God's work".
- They are subject to entrapment, and their access to information is severely controlled. Does modern-day finance create situations of entrapment, and control access to information? Of course--it's entire "business model", as anyone who's spent more than a day or two inside an "investment bank" is premised on hoarding, restricting, limiting, and squeezing information--and so literally keeping nations and corporations, CEOs and prime ministers in the dark. This point is indisputable, given the steep rise over the last few decades in revenues from trading--and the not-so-secret secret that much of that trading revenue is based upon a whisper circuit of quasi-insider info. The cult of finance is premised fundamentally on sophisticated tools to erect barriers to information at every pass--that's exactly what shadow banking is.
July 19, 2011
Horrible Bosses Scotland Yard doesn't consider the death of the News of the World whistleblower suspicious, and Rupert Murdoch and his son appear before Parliament.
are u s'ing me
Fox Tool Channel. Did you notice in that clip of Murdoch his hair(what's left of it) was jet black? Two years later it's now white. Must be the stress.
No, no, no. America doesn't need a third party. It needs a third AND a fourth party. The Inane Party and the Insane Party.
- The Inane Party will be for war, the plutocracy, a police state and abortion rights.
- The Insane Party will be for war, the plutocracy, a police state and gun rights.
Only when those two new parties join the fray will the American voter have a real choice.
I tried repeatedly to surrender to the House GOP, but they wouldn’t take even my most abject surrender. I have summoned them back to the White House tomorrow morning in another attempt to force them to accept it. If worst comes to worst, and they will not accept my surrender, I am prepared to accept theirs, but I really don’t like it, and will use the opportunity to campaign against Democratic values in the next election.
"So it’s not a war; it’s a kinetic military action that is time-limited and contribution-limited on the front end."
March 19, 2011 | naked capitalism
Wile E. Capote:
I don’t mind getting cancer to support the expediency of U.S. corporations’ quarterly profits. It’s getting cancer from Japanese radiation leaked due to their corrupt practices that I object to.
“…we require several orders of magnitude improvement in design if it’s going to be possible at all to have nuclear power with acceptable risks…”
Improvement in design of nuclear power plants, or of human beings?
Trust me, guys like Bush and Obama and their corporate masters could f_ck up a crowbar.
November 05 2008 | guardian
The British ambassador reveals what the defeated presidential candidate really thinks of his running mate
... ... ...
In one joke doing the rounds, the Republican presidential candidate has been asking friends: what is the difference between Sarah Palin and a pitbull? The friendly canine eventually lets go, is the McCain punchline.
According to a report not yet released, the Council on Science and Public Health of the American Medical Association has recommended that a chronic and widespread affliction of Americans be officially declared a psychiatric disorder. It has been named the Political Attention Deficit Disorder (PADD). It is recommended that the disorder be included in a widely used mental illness manual created and published by the American Psychiatric Association. The current manual was published in 1994; the next edition is to be completed in 2012. The benefit to people of an official classification is coverage by health insurance.
"The symptoms of PADD are all around us and treating it professionally can do more for our country than any election," said Dr. Mable Wank in the report's introduction; she is chairwoman of the Council and a professor at UCLA.
Here are the Council's main findings on PADD:
- Nearly 80 percent of adult American citizens are unable to pay sustained attention to issues and problems associated with their government. They are unable to accept their responsibility as citizens, including their obligation to vote, read in-depth articles and books on political issues, become active members of politically oriented groups, and initiate discussions on current events with friends and family. "The decades-old decline in voter turnout is a direct result of a national epidemic of PADD," said the report.
- The chief cause of PADD is the desire to avoid the very real pain of cognitive dissonance, the difference between what Americans want to believe about the greatness of their country and the disturbing reality that their government and country are in terrible shape, which is a constant reminder when there is normal, healthy political attention. Such pain suppression, however, is counterproductive and was found through careful studies at several universities, including the Harvard Medical College, to correlate with depression and anxiety disorders, as well as a heightened level of cynicism and despair. According to the report, many suicides and possibly many criminal acts result from PADD.
THE YEAR THAT WAS: So far, anyway.It's April, supposedly the cruelest month, but after a winter that seemed like 150 days of March, how bad can it be? After all, April means spring, Daylight-Saving Time, and warmer temperatures. That's not so cruel. And April is when the umpire yells, "Play Ball" -- in some cases with Major League Baseball's steroid investigators. still, it's nice to think about heading back to the ballpark.
Of course, April is also tax time, when all but a microscopic slice of society too wealthy to be bothered with such piddling matters ante up so that George W. Bush can pay the vig on his five-year hocking of America. So fork it over lest Uncle Scam be left unable to enrich his cronies and perpetuate the wholesale massacre of the Iraqi people, and while he's in the neighborhood, maybe the Iranians, too. Speak out in protest, and you may quickly learn that it's also latter-day Scoundrel Time, the label Lillian Hellman pasted on another era when fascistic character assassins operated unchallenged by those who knew better.
Anyway, it's time for a bit of spring cleaning -- time to round up the national experience and put the embarrassing low points of First Quarter 2006 neatly on the curb for pickup and disposal into the dustbin of history. Pray that we do not recycle.
In his State of the Union address, in January, George W. Bush told us, "Abroad, our nation is committed to an historic, long-term goal -- we seek the end of tyranny in our world." Which is kind of like the producers of American Idol calling for the restoration of dignity in the performing arts. The event marked the first official public appearance of Justice Joseph Alito, who had just been confirmed to the Supreme Court. Alito looked understandably woozy after a meteoric two-generation ascension from struggling immigrant to robed enemy of the working class. A few weeks later, the man Alito looks to as his "unitary executive" (your one-stop fop for all your authoritarian needs!) attended Coretta Scott King's funeral. Republicans and several media wags (but I repeat myself) were shocked, shocked!, that speakers used the occasion to nonviolently point out how much the prez and his administration suck. For his part, Bush got through the solemn affair by graciously smirking whenever the orators indicted his policies.
This winter, Dick Cheney starred in the modern fable, "The Emperor's New Fluorescent Orange Clothes." Cheney is that most deadly of predators in any forest or field: the well-armed fat cat.
Having learned to hunt by murdering fowl Pavlovianly conditioned to associate shotgun blasts with the distribution of corn pellets, these titans of government and business haven't the patience to do things like wait until a bird distinguishes itself from a human -- by, say, flying -- before pulling the trigger. Had our vice-president followed this simple rule, he'd never have shot one of his Texas hunting companions because, well, pigs don't fly.
But Cheney is above all the rules. Consequently his hunting expeditions aren't fair bouts with woodland creatures; rather, they involve piling up the highest possible body count in the shortest possible time. Some guys just can't leave the office behind.
So screw the formality of getting properly licensed, and to hell with that quaint custom real hunters follow of actually pursuing prey on foot. Quail-gunner Dick has no time for such niceties. When he loosens his cowl for a weekend of relaxation, he crams in as much drinkin' and drivin' and huntin' as possible.
When Cheney mistook 78-year-old lawyer Harry Whittington for a quarry of quail and blasted his associate in the face, he was again exempt from the rules -- the ones requiring that he explain himself to the authorities. This is an option not generally available to those designated in police reports as "the shooter." If any of the rest of us were to wave off a police inquiry into a shooting, the next person we'd be speaking to would be a SWAT negotiator, just long enough for a sniper to draw a proper bead.
The only witness to this mishap who talked at all was Katherine Armstrong, heiress, lobbyist, and hostess of the South Texas manor now famous for its Peppered Whittington. Cheney decided the best possible way to inform the American public that its vice-president had shot a guy in the face was to have Miss Ellie notify the Hooterville Gazette. Why? Because, unlike the national media, Miss Ellie knows the difference between a shotgun and a rifle.
I'm in the national media and I know what a rifle is. A rifle is what I never want in Dick Cheney's hands.
Aside from Bush press secretary Scott McClellan, who got pied like a high-society dame in a Three Stooges short, the only other Cheney sympathizer we saw much of for a few days after the blast was Alan Simpson. The retired jackal who used to represent Wyoming in the US Senate explained to us that Cheney was done in by his own extraordinary skills as a hunter. Absent Simpson's candor, who'd have ever known?
The vice-president finally materialized to face a tough pre-recorded, carefully scripted grilling in an infomercial hosted by Fox News Styrofoam anchor Brit Hume. Cheney didn't apologize, but upon his release from the hospital, the properly chastened Whittington did.
Cheney's cold-bloodedness deepened the February freeze, but cruelty was everywhere all winter. In South Dakota heartless legislators even made birth in that godforsaken state mandatory.
Invaders at the gates
One can only estimate how much worse Bush's poll numbers would be if so many people didn't figure that their remarks to strangers on the telephone were being overheard by the NSA. Fortunately, there are still plenty of brave souls who will phone their coordinates directly into the White House to lodge complaints. This line of communication should soon be cut when Bush uses his powers as the first unitary executive of the United States to un-list the White House phone number. But for now, 202.456.1414 is still ringing, and it's still receiving comments about everything from coal mining to data mining. Unfortunately, the president has shown himself to be much more concerned with the safety of the latter.
So the calls keep coming about Supremacist Court nominees, administration scandals that range from treason to shoplifting, and even some questions from Republicans wondering why they are now supposed to chant "UAE! UAE! UAE!" at rallies. The on-again/off-again deal to sell several US ports to foreign business concerns really confused the xenophobic lemmings who make up the largest portion of Bush's ever-diminishing base. First, Bush asked these poor dopes to form a lynch mob for Arabs, and when they showed up with rope, the president lectured them on tolerance.
But why should we consider American ports sovereign territory? They're hardly used to ship American products anymore. Denser than Cheney's bunker when it comes to things like trade deficits, Bush recently bragged that the United States exports a whopping 20 percent of what it manufactures! And that's not even counting war.
Speaking of boundary issues, everyone seems to have decided this is the exact moment the problem of illegal immigration across the Mexican border must be solved. The topic has caused a schism in the Republican Party (can't exactly use the term intellectual dispute, now can I?) between the wetback-hating bigots and the cheap-labor-exploiting corporatists. I'd give the edge to the corporatists, although a late bid by Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (Reptilian-CA) to replace cheap immigrant labor with slave prison labor may be just the compromise the GOP is looking for.
If there is a crisis that deserves immediate consideration, perhaps it isn't migrating Mexicans from the South but migrating icebergs from the North. Considering the climactic shifts that now seem inevitable, that wall that crackpots want erected on the Mexican border may well end up serving as the one levee Bush ever built that protects brown people from flooding. I'm no gambler, but if the wall goes up, I'm putting everything I have on the Mexican pole-vaulting team in the next Summer Olympics.
When you make a gumbo out of the incredible and immoral waste of American resources in Iraq, global warming, and predictions of the worst hurricane season ever in 2006, Bush's choice to re-line his cronies' pockets rather than rebuild working people's homes and communities on the Gulf Coast and in New Orleans is doubly barf-inducing. This is particularly true since March came in like a liar when footage of Bush on a closed-circuit TV hookup during the first days of Katrina ... um, surfaced. The video showed the littlest president, who had told us again and again that no one could expect the levees to breach, watching (and presumably hearing) a hurricane expert suggest that, whaddya know? The levees might breach!
Just Bush's luck: the one time he could have used swift boats, and he left them in the port. And talk about being slow on the draw: the tape proves that Bush could have read the entire My Pet Goat series while he was waiting to help the people of New Orleans.
That video had a very Stanley Kubrick feel to it: 2005 -- A Displaced Odyssey. Bush, wearing a suit on vacation at his own home, was at the end of a long table sitting next to a couple of lackeys, watching the weather on two-way video. The place was lit with all the warmth of an auto-repair waiting room. You could almost smell the burnt coffee. Gosh, what do I want to read? "A Tire Rotation Guide" or this greasy copy of Modern Maturity?
There was a lesson for us in Bush's Kubrick short, particularly for idiots with video-equipped cell phones. Stop recording everything you do -- that's the government's job!
Traveling abroad, Bush held to form by failing to respond to the massive storm the video caused. He was in India, visiting hundreds of thousands of former American jobs. Bush brought out so many Indian protesters that no one in the United States could get tech support all day. He later went on to trade nuclear technology for pomegranates or kumquats or some other kind of fruit I've never tried.
War for sale
Since returning from abroad, Bush has focused on repackaging and re-selling his war, which is no longer supported by 65 percent of the American people. This figure even includes 15 percent of Democrats holding public office. It's nice to know we still have a few leaders who can do simple math and apply it to a two-party system.
Anyway, the prez has been out at fake events taking fake questions about his real war. He has assured us that Iraq has not deteriorated into a civil war. In fact, his ground commanders at Fort Sumter, Baghdad, pooh-pooh any such suggestion.
He is also reminding us that Saddam Hussein is a bad guy. Which I suppose is why he now says American troops will be in Iraq until at least 2009: at its present rate, Saddam's trial should easily last until then. As the heir to all this, the next president will not put his or her hand on the Bible during the inauguration, but will simply be handed a symbolic bag to hold during the proceedings.
As part of Bush's renewed war effort, he even held a press conference and took a question from a journalist old enough to remember the days when our leaders were held accountable to the American people, often through the good work of journalists. And so for the first time in more than three years, the most recognizable member of the White House press corps was recognized to ask a question. Helen Thomas didn't tarry: she immediately grilled Bush to disclose the real reason for the Iraq war, seeing that all of the reasons he had furnished so far had been demonstrated to be unadulterated bunkum.
Fortunately, the fact that he called on Helen became the story, rather than the inane, rambling, useless jabbering he offered in response to the question, which bottomed out when he explained, "But we realized on September the 11th, 2001, that killers could destroy innocent life."
With all due respect to his exulted numbness, September 11 did shake things up quite a bit, but the concept of killers destroying innocent life has been an accepted theory since even before his intelligence chief John Negroponte used it as part of Reagan-Bushdad's vaunted Death Squad Diplomacy in the 1980s. And it's a concept that is not unfamiliar to the Iraqi people. Except in their version, W plays the killer.
Bush's emboldened approach to the media doesn't just involve press conferences. It also encompasses scapegoating reporters for not telling any of the "good stories" from Iraq. Get that pile of corpses out of the frame -- I want a shot of the puppy!
You know who really pushes good news from Iraq? American soldiers. Because they want to spare their families the grim truth. So they send e-mails and make small talk on the phone that paints a positive picture for their loved ones.
Bush uses families of soldiers -- people with a vested interest in believing the best possible story -- as patsies at his events. They rise and testify, "My son is in Iraq and he says things are going fine over there." But anyone who has known war or warriors knows that loved ones inevitably receive reassurances from their soldier sons and daughters no matter how dire the circumstances. Dear Mom, They are treating us well here at Andersonville . . .
There may be more such encouraging mail. According to British media reports, Bush and Tony Blair have all but signed off on an attack on Iran. Considering their abject failure in Iraq, this agreement is so tasteless it should be commemorated as the Carnaby Street Memo.
A shameless ploy
Bush has finally answered calls for fresh blood at the White House (always a dangerous gambit when Cheney's around) by replacing his chief of staff Andrew Card (who lives on in infamy for his inability to truncate the reading of the aforementioned My Pet Goat saga) with his director of management and budget, Joshua Bolten, the political equivalent of rotating blown-out tires on a totaled car. The American people don't want a new chief of staff; they want a new chief of state. Now calls for press secretary Scott McClellan's job are circulating. Kill the messenger.
At the rotten core of Bush's support is the Christian Right. As with any cult that cannot withstand scrutiny, it is quick to claim that it is being persecuted. So rather than debate inane beliefs concerning evolution, its members have declared pre-emptive war on themselves. Recently, a reactionary radio commentator convened a two-day fringe fest in Washington on the "War on Christians and the Values Voters in 2006." Apparently, they are value voters because, due to the divine providence of Diebold and some miraculously talking moneybags, they get far more representation than they deserve. There will be a second collection today to refit the bell tower with turrets.
It's high time to try something -- anything -- to stop this runaway Humvee of a nation. This may involve personal sacrifice, even my own. The hokiest, most obvious ploy a political satirist can make is to "run" for office. In my 30 or so years putting the needle in those who turn the screws, I've never resorted to such an obvious and predictable stunt.
But this is the era of the new low, and so for the good of this nation and world, I am considering forming a committee to look into the viability of a run for unitary executive of the United States.
Further, I am appointing my friend A. Whitney Brown to head up a one-man search committee for vice-unitary executive -- arguably the more powerful position. Inside word has it that Brown may well finally find himself in this endeavor.
The presidency was just too damned limited in the past. Now that it's no longer encumbered by all that constitutional rigmarole, it holds an allure I cannot fully resist. George W. Bush has redefined the task. Now that it's become the job of a unitary, no-count, unaccountable idiot, I feel almost overqualified. But my nation comes first, and I certainly won't be the first underemployed person in the land.
The important difference between me and Bush is that, as the head of Schmucks Unlimited (Copyright 2006 Dick Cheney), my unbridled power will be employed for the common good and not the private interest. When I tell you I can be trusted, it will be the truth, unless of course you are a weapons manufacturer, pension thief, corrupt mining concern, neo-con kool-aid chugger, Christian who would make Jesus puke, stock-market hustler, Iraq optimist, carpetbagger bottom-feeding anywhere near the Gulf Coast and New Orleans, bigot, prison-industrial-complex profiteer, global-warming accelerator, health-care pimp, church-state integrationist, Big Oil Whore, member of the DLC, downsizer, Bill O'Reilly, science-baiter, terrorizer and/or murderer of innocents anywhere, or anyone involved with that horrific music on Suzuki commercials.
So about 92 percent of you have nothing to fear from a Crimmins unitary executiveship; the rest are advised to familiarize themselves with the lyrics to "Positively Fourth Street."
One more thing: no more wiretaps. I won't spy on anyone because the guilty are as obvious as a political satirist faking a run for office.
I'll be making an announcement soon, but only on a need-to-know basis. I even have a campaign slogan: "Crimmins in '08 -- What are you gonna do about it?"
Political satirist Barry Crimmins will be appearing at Jimmy Tingle's Off-Broadway Theater, in Somerville, Friday and Saturday, May 5 and 6. He may be making an important announcement. That's all you need to know.
Barry Crimmins: firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright (c) 2006 The Phoenix Media/Communications Group
Source: The Boston Phoenix
August 17, 2005 | The Onion
KANSAS CITY, KS—As the debate over the teaching of evolution in public schools continues, a new controversy over the science curriculum arose Monday in this embattled Midwestern state. Scientists from the Evangelical Center For Faith-Based Reasoning are now asserting that the long-held "theory of gravity" is flawed, and they have responded to it with a new theory of Intelligent Falling.
Rev. Gabriel Burdett (left) explains Intelligent Falling.
"Things fall not because they are acted upon by some gravitational force, but because a higher intelligence, 'God' if you will, is pushing them down," said Gabriel Burdett, who holds degrees in education, applied Scripture, and physics from Oral Roberts University.
Burdett added: "Gravity—which is taught to our children as a law—is founded on great gaps in understanding. The laws predict the mutual force between all bodies of mass, but they cannot explain that force. Isaac Newton himself said, 'I suspect that my theories may all depend upon a force for which philosophers have searched all of nature in vain.' Of course, he is alluding to a higher power."
Founded in 1987, the ECFR is the world's leading institution of evangelical physics, a branch of physics based on literal interpretation of the Bible.
According to the ECFR paper published simultaneously this week in the International Journal Of Science and the adolescent magazine God's Word For Teens!, there are many phenomena that cannot be explained by secular gravity alone, including such mysteries as how angels fly, how Jesus ascended into Heaven, and how Satan fell when cast out of Paradise.
The ECFR, in conjunction with the Christian Coalition and other Christian conservative action groups, is calling for public-school curriculums to give equal time to the Intelligent Falling theory. They insist they are not asking that the theory of gravity be banned from schools, but only that students be offered both sides of the issue "so they can make an informed decision."
"We just want the best possible education for Kansas' kids," Burdett said.
Proponents of Intelligent Falling assert that the different theories used by secular physicists to explain gravity are not internally consistent. Even critics of Intelligent Falling admit that Einstein's ideas about gravity are mathematically irreconcilable with quantum mechanics. This fact, Intelligent Falling proponents say, proves that gravity is a theory in crisis.
"Let's take a look at the evidence," said ECFR senior fellow Gregory Lunsden."In Matthew 15:14, Jesus says, 'And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.' He says nothing about some gravity making them fall—just that they will fall. Then, in Job 5:7, we read, 'But mankind is born to trouble, as surely as sparks fly upwards.' If gravity is pulling everything down, why do the sparks fly upwards with great surety? This clearly indicates that a conscious intelligence governs all falling."
Critics of Intelligent Falling point out that gravity is a provable law based on empirical observations of natural phenomena. Evangelical physicists, however, insist that there is no conflict between Newton's mathematics and Holy Scripture.
"Closed-minded gravitists cannot find a way to make Einstein's general relativity match up with the subatomic quantum world," said Dr. Ellen Carson, a leading Intelligent Falling expert known for her work with the Kansan Youth Ministry. "They've been trying to do it for the better part of a century now, and despite all their empirical observation and carefully compiled data, they still don't know how."
"Traditional scientists admit that they cannot explain how gravitation is supposed to work," Carson said. "What the gravity-agenda scientists need to realize is that 'gravity waves' and 'gravitons' are just secular words for 'God can do whatever He wants.'"
Some evangelical physicists propose that Intelligent Falling provides an elegant solution to the central problem of modern physics.
"Anti-falling physicists have been theorizing for decades about the 'electromagnetic force,' the 'weak nuclear force,' the 'strong nuclear force,' and so-called 'force of gravity,'" Burdett said. "And they tilt their findings toward trying to unite them into one force. But readers of the Bible have already known for millennia what this one, unified force is: His name is Jesus."
Fake News written by Axel Schweiger on February 24, 2005 from the evolution-or-evilution dept.
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Calling the traditional scientific method "old-fashioned and inefficient", the Bush Administration today unveiled a "bold new platform" to move scientific exploration to a new frontier: Faith-Based Research.
At a White House press conference, Science advisor John Marburger offered reporters a sneak preview of the initiative, dubbed the "Science In the new Millenium Plan" (SIMP). He said, "America is ready for this new approach to understanding our world in the 21st Century."
"We've had great success in the medical field by clearly demonstrating the benefits of intercessory-prayer," he argued, referring to a NIH-funded Duke University study that showed the health benefits of praying for ailing friends and family. "Now is the time to translate this success into other areas of research."
When asked by a reporter how SIMP will work, Marburger explained, "The White House wants scientists to utilize 'Faith-Based Facts' in their work. The world's holy scriptures offer a rich source of FBFs that can only make our nation's research efforts much more efficient and results-oriented."
As part of SIMP, the Administration will channel more money into space, geosciences, and paranormal research, while dropping support for "controversial" branches of science including evolutionary biology and genetics. "The Theory of Evolution has never been proven, so why should we spend megabucks on science based on this unproven assertion?"
NASA will receive an immediate funding boost, but it will have a new mission to determine the range of God's powers and to help carry freedom and liberty into outer space.
"We all know He is big, but how big? That question has puzzled scientists for hundred of years," said outgoing NASA administrator Sean O'Keefe. "But we're going to find out, no matter what the cost."
Earth exploration is another area highlighted by SIMP. "Let's face it, finding oil and other natural resources is a damned hard and expensive business... We have to learn how to do more with less", said Peter Goblet, head of Exxon-Mobile's resource exploration department. "Divining is a thousand-year old practice, but our kids are just not learning basic rod use in their college science courses anymore. Think of the money that could be saved if we used our best and brightest scientists to hone these techniques and make them more efficient!"
Not everybody is ecstatic about the new plan. Voicing some concerns, National Academy of Sciences President Bruce Albers said, "It's important to keep an open mind, but I think hypothesis-driven science that seeks to support its finding with data is not dead yet."
Sen. John McCain (R-Arizona), a critic of the Administration's policy on climate change, was even more blunt: "Next thing they'll want to solve the global warming problem by praying that Hell freezes over!" He added, "Bush says that this plan will lead science into the new millennium -- but what millennium? The Middle Ages?"
But Carl Huygens, dean of the school of earth sciences at Texas A&M University, was more positive. "We all know that data-driven science is a messy business that involves bucketloads of wild-ass guessing. Everybody uses a certain element of faith when deriving knowledge from their data... why not go one step further and bring faith into the world of research? We can save ourselves the efforts associated with data collection and interpretation. Paradigm shifts have always occurred in science but the naysayers were usually convinced in the end."
Said an anonymous faculty member at the Penn State Department of Geosciences, "Faith-based research will surely allow us to increase the number of papers my graduate students and I will be able to publish. I'll have to rewrite my lectures, but that's a small price to pay for progress."
During his weekly radio address, President Bush said, "Science is already heading in the direction of faith, especially with the emergence of Intelligent Design as an alternative to the highly dubious Theory of Evolution. We need more of this independent thought."
He continued, "Experimentation and theory are overrated and frankly the American public deserves more than scientific 'mumbo-jumbo' about uncertainties and self-serving statements about the need for further research. The time has come to mine the treasure trove of God-given knowledge to finally solve the most pressing scientific issues of our time and wean the scientific community from its narrow-minded obsession with reality and observations."
"You know the one thing that's wrong with this country? Everyone gets a chance to have their fair
say." President William Clinton addressing the people of Philadelphia, May 28, 1993 in the Courtyard,
City Hall, Philadelphia, PA.
HUMORIX WORLD HEADQUARTERS -- The world's largest low-budget Linux humor website announced today that its intern reporter, Ms. Ann Oneemuss, has been fired after she admitted writing real news stories while labeling them as fake.
"At Humorix, we abide by journalistic standards that require us to publish only the finest fake news that our imaginations can fabricate. To publish real news is dishonest, unethical, and just plain wrong. We apologize for any inconvenience that Ms. Oneemuss' truthful reporting may have caused," Humorix's editor said.
Oneemuss was fired earlier today after attempting to file a supposedly fake news article entitled, "Hordes Of Klingon-Speaking Losers Descend On Oregon". In the story, she claimed to fabricate details of how Portland, Oregon was soliciting job applications for a Klingon-English translator to help communicate with mental patients.
"Oh, I immediately suspected this story was real," the Humorix editor said. "You just can't make this stuff up. And indeed Oneemuss did not make it up -- she stole the idea from Slashdot. While Slashdot does inadvertantly publish a large number of fake or misleading stories, this was not one of them. Oneemuss has been caught red-handed."
In her defense, the ex-intern reporter said, "I was getting desperate. I hadn't written anything since April 23rd and I needed a story idea quick. The Klingon story featured such extreme lunacy that I had no choice but to run with it. I hoped that it would be so unbelievable that nobody would believe it was real, but that didn't happen..."
After reviewing all of her previous stories, the staff of Humorix has been unable to find anything else that is blatantly real. "However, some of the articles might possibly contain a kernel of truth," the editor admitted. "We haven't had a chance to thoroughly check on them, but if we do find anything truthful we will immediately issue a correction and an apology."
Bob, Humorix's Regular Reader #3, expressed concern after learning of the firing. "This is all very bewildering. If Oneemuss was actually fired, then that means this story -- and this quotation I'm giving right now -- is also true, which means the author of this story is also guilty of truthfulness. But if this story is fake, as it should be, then that means this quotation is fabricated, which means that I exist only as the figment of somebody's imagination and will cease to exist at the end of this sentence!"
Ms. Oneemuss didn't seem too worried about her future now that she has been escorted out of the building by "Bubba", the Humorix security guard/sumo wrestler. "It's obvious from my writing portfolio that I can seemlessly go from real material to fake material and back again without hesitation. That kind of talent will allow me to go places -- such as Microsoft's Marketing Department."
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