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Harper's Weekly - always a good read

Cydome

TRIBE Member
Weekly Review
Posted on Tuesday, July 5, 2005. By Paul Ford.

It was the 229th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. The U.S. Capitol was evacuated for a few minutes, China Export & Credit Insurance Corporation was planning to buy Huffy Bikes, Senator Gaylord Nelson died, NASA smashed a coffee-table-sized device traveling at 23,000 miles per hour into the Tempel 1 comet, and Toyota announced that it would open a new $800 million plant in Ontario. The company turned down hundreds of millions of dollars in subsidies in the United States because, when compared to Canadians, U.S. workers are too hard to train, often illiterate, and expensive to insure. A Japanese man recited 83,431 digits of pi, and the state of Georgia legalized fishing with only your hands. The owner of the New England Patriots football team took off his 14-karat-gold Super Bowl ring to show it to Vladimir Putin; Putin put the ring in his pocket and kept it. A member of Britain's parliament identified himself as a Jedi, and a trader for Taiwan’s Fubon Securities accidentally purchased $223 million worth of the wrong stocks. A woman in Florida won the right to bare her breasts in public, genetic engineers were growing a SARS vaccine in tomatoes, and a suicide melon truck exploded in Mosul, killing six people and damaging many melons. In New Zealand a baby boy undergoing penis-enlargement treatment was accidentally given ten times the recommended dose of testosterone by his nurse, causing the boy to become angry and irritable and to develop pubic hair. A doctor warned that the baby might also suffer from painful erections, but that problem had yet to arise.

President George W. Bush gave a nationally televised speech about the war in Iraq to an audience of soldiers. Bush, who served in the Air National Guard, said there was “no higher calling†than military service and mentioned the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks five times. After the speech, there was some question as to whether the soldiers had clapped enough. The U.S. Army, having increased the maximum enlistment age from thirty-four to thirty-nine and the maximum age for officer candidate school from twenty-nine to forty-two, having offered $20,000 more for college per soldier, and having lowered its recruitment goal for this June by more than one thousand as compared to the previous year, announced that it had exceeded its June recruitment goal by 507 soldiers. A group of U.S. senators visited Guantanamo Bay and said that prisoners there were being treated humanely. Prisoners “even have air-conditioning,†said Senator Jim Bunning of Kentucky, “and semi-private showers.†Scientists in Pittsburgh killed a dog, then resurrected it hours later with fresh blood, and Sandra Day O’Connor announced that she would retire from the Supreme Court. Conservative groups immediately began fighting to keep Attorney General Alberto Gonzales from being nominated to replace her because he is not conservative enough. Sixteen people died when a U.S. Chinook helicopter was shot down in Afghanistan, and a fourth American soldier in Iraq converted to Islam. It was uncertain whether Iran's new president had been involved in taking fifty-two Americans hostage at the U.S. embassy in Tehran in 1979 or not. A cleric in Lebanon issued a fatwa banning the shooting of guns into the air, China decided to outlaw sexual harassment, and a South Korean pastor announced that he had raised enough money to send 1.2 million rabbits to North Korea. In Kota Belud, Malaysia, a Kadazandusun Chief Bobolian urged people to stop dressing animals in costumes because doing so offends the spirits and could turn a longhouse to stone. A farmer in Nicktown, Pennsylvania, was rendered immobile when he fell through a barn floor and broke his thigh bone. The loud noise of his fall scared his cows, who trampled him to death. A sixty-million-year-old venomous mouse fossil was discovered by a Canadian, fifty new species of snail were discovered in Sri Lanka, and a Zamboni driver in Morristown, New Jersey, was charged with drunk Zamboni driving. In Indonesia, the Islamic Defenders Front unsuccessfully attempted to stop a transvestite beauty show. A woman in Hoogeveen, the Netherlands, turned one hundred and fifteen, a man in New Hampshire was arrested for hiding inside an outhouse tank, and a kangaroo was loose in Indiana.

The estimated number of hedgehogs in Britain was found to have dropped 20 percent since 2001, probably because tidy gardens alienate hedgehogs. It was discovered that killer jellyfish will swim away from the color red and that baby dolphins do not sleep. Two Brooklyn, New York, teenagers were arrested for killing a fifteen-year-old boy for his iPod. France announced that it would build a nuclear fusion reactor, and Canada's parliament voted to allow gay marriages. Iran sentenced a man to have his eyes surgically removed, and in Muncie, Indiana, a paraplegic man was on his way to Mount Zion Baptist Church when his motorized wheelchair became stuck on some train tracks. He was thrown ten yards and killed by a thirty-eight-car freight train. Lightning struck a sleeping child’s mattress in Kansas, sparked a wildfire in Alaska’s interior, shocked a boy in New Hampshire through his video-game controller, killed both a golfer and a prisoner in Ohio, and struck the offices of the National Weather Service in Iowa. The Association of British Insurers estimated that global warming will result in $27 billion worth of storm damage annually by 2080. Scientists in India warned that the Himalayan glacier that feeds the Ganges River would probably melt before the end of this century, and in Tobe, Japan, a panther stood on its hind legs and clasped its paws together in the posture of prayer.
 

Boss Hog

TRIBE Member
why did you guys stop posting these? I used to read them all. Or point me to where I can read it, please.
 

SlipperyPete

TRIBE Member
http://www.harpers.org/WeeklyReview.html

You can subscribe & have'em emailed to you.

I dunno why nobody posts them anymore -- it used to be fierce competition to see who'd post them first. I find they don't have the same bite & humour that they did when Roger Hodge wrote them -- granted, I still read it weekly, just not with the same pantsless gusto I once had.
 

SlipperyPete

TRIBE Member
...speaking of which

Harper's Weekly Review
Posted on Tuesday, November 22, 2005. By Paul Ford.



At least 162 people were killed in violence in Iraq, where 173 malnourished Sunni Arab prisoners, many of whom had been severely tortured, were found in the basement of an Iraqi Interior Ministry compound. “You know what happens in prison,†explained the Interior Ministry's undersecretary for security. “Their skins,†said one witness, “got stuck to the floor.†Two Iraqi businessmen accused U.S. troops of caging them with lions in 2003. The men were also severely beaten after they were not able to tell Army interrogators where to find Saddam Hussein or weapons of mass destruction. “I thought he was joking, so I laughed,†said one of the businessmen. “He just hit me.†In Basra two British-trained policemen had tortured at least two civilians to death with electric drills. After repeated denials, the Pentagon finally admitted to using white phosphorus during the 2004 attack on Fallujah. “It is an incendiary weapon,†explained a spokesman. Representative John Murtha (D., Pa.), called for the halt of U.S. troop deployments to Iraq. Duncan Hunter (R., Calif.), seeking to cut off debate over Murtha's statements, countered by proposing a measure that required that U.S. troops be brought home immediately. Jean Schmidt (R., Ohio) addressed Murtha, a decorated veteran and former Marine colonel who previously supported the invasion of Iraq, by quoting a Marine Corps reserve officer who told her that “cowards cut and run.†She was booed by Democrats. “You guys,†yelled Marty Meehan (D., Mass.), “are pathetic!†Harold Ford (D., Tenn.) ran across the House chamber's center aisle to the Republican side. “Say Murtha's name!†he shouted. Schmidt asked that her comments be struck from the record, and Hunter's resolution was rejected 403 to 3, with Murtha among those voting against it. The House approved a $50 billion budget cut that will increase Medicaid fees and reduce funding for student loans and food stamps, and Congress voted itself a $3,100 annual pay raise. The Pentagon revealed that since September 11, 2001, it has detained more than 80,000 prisoners at facilities around the world, and UN human rights experts decided not to visit Guantanamo Bay because the United States refused to allow them full access to detainees. A CIA official revealed that the agency's annual budget, which is classified, is $44 billion. The Justice Department was considering an investigation into how the Halliburton Company was secretly awarded noncompetitive multibillion-dollar contracts for oil-field repairs in Iraq.

A White House document showed that executives from large oil firms met with Vice President Dick Cheney's energy task force in 2001; the document was released a week after representatives from those firms testified before a Senate committee that they had not met with the task force. Washington Post journalist Bob Woodward admitted that a “senior administration official†had revealed the identity of Valerie Wilson to him one month before administration officials revealed Wilson's identity to anyone else. The official is apparently neither I. Lewis “Scooter†Libby Jr. nor Karl Rove. Condoleezza Rice denied any involvement. Patrick Fitzgerald announced that he would call a new grand jury to investigate the Valerie Wilson case. Bill Clinton referred to the Iraq war as a “big mistake.†“We never sent enough troops,†he said. Daniel Ellsberg, who leaked the Pentagon Papers to the New York Times in 1971, said that history was repeating itself. The German intelligence officials who interrogated “Curveball,†an Iraqi who provided intelligence that the Bush Administration used to justify the war in Iraq, said that they repeatedly warned the United States that Curveball (who may have been lying in order to obtain a German visa) could not be trusted. “Mein Gott!†said an intelligence official. “We had always told them it was not proven.†Ahmad Chalabi met with Dick Cheney and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld in Washington, D.C. In Australia a ten-year attempt to create pest-resistant peas was canceled after it was found that the peas cause lung damage in mice. A Swedish study linked oral sex to mouth cancer. A Florida woman was run over by ten different cars while attempting to walk across a highway. Police marked parts of her body with traffic cones. “It is crazy out here,†said a trooper, “to try to cross the median.†The U.K. was building a database that will track the movements of every vehicle on its roads. Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito attempted to distance himself from his statement, “the Constitution does not protect a right to an abortion,†which he wrote in an application for a job in the Reagan Administration. “It was a political job,†he clarified, “and that was 1985.â€

A Congressional investigation determined that the FDA decided to bar over-the-counter sales of the “morning after†pill before a scientific review of the pill was completed. Eight possibly pregnant South African Boer goats were missing in Lincoln, Nebraska. One Milwaukee, Wisconsin, man was in trouble for drunken ice-cream-truck driving, while another was in trouble for severely beating his girlfriend with a cactus. Peter Drucker died, and Prince Albert ascended to the throne of Monaco. The Night Safari Zoo was preparing to open in Thailand; its buffet will feature tiger, lion, elephant, and giraffes. In Georgia a 37-year-old woman married a 15-year-old boy, and the Kansas Board of Education had redefined “science†so that it is “no longer limited to the search for natural explanations of phenomena.†The Vatican announced that Intelligent Design was not science and did not belong in classrooms. President George W. Bush visited China, where he went to church. China announced that it will vaccinate 14 billion poultry against bird flu. Bodies were still being found in New Orleans. An Oklahoma man confessed that he killed two elderly women because he wanted to do something exciting. The Senate refused to consider a Democratic resolution to honor Bruce Springsteen. At a convention center in Leeuwarden, Netherlands, a sparrow flew in through an open window and knocked over 23,000 dominoes. The sparrow cowered in a corner until it was shot and killed. Scientists found the gene that regulates fear in mice and created mice that are not afraid. In Chhattisgarh, India, a three-day-old baby died from an infection when her parents were unable to afford surgery. The baby had been born with her heart in her hand.

http://harpers.org/WeeklyReview2005-11-22.html
*****

OTIS -- Georgie's messin' with our Mongols!!
 

Subsonic Chronic

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by Boss Hog
why did you guys stop posting these? I used to read them all. Or point me to where I can read it, please.
I can't access webmail from work so I don't get to read them until Tuesday evenings. I know I could just post it then, but I figured those who were really interested had signed up. ;)
 

Cydome

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by Boss Hog
why did you guys stop posting these? I used to read them all. Or point me to where I can read it, please.
All of a sudden I couldn't find the thread anymore, so I figured that it had been deleted...

I'm glad it's back!
 

SlipperyPete

TRIBE Member
HARPER'S WEEKLY
November 29, 2005

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WEEKLY REVIEW

General George Casey, the top U.S. commander in Iraq,
presented a plan for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq
to Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. Saddam Hussein,
on trial with seven other defendants for killing civilians
in 1982, complained to a judge about being denied a pen
and paper; Iraqi Prime Minister Ayad Allawi said that
human-rights abuses in Iraq are "the same . . . and worse"
than they were under Hussein. Gunmen in Baghdad killed
a Sunni Arab chief, his three sons, and his son-in-law,
and south of Baghdad thirty people were killed when a bomb
exploded outside a hospital. It was reported that President
George W. Bush had, on April 16, 2004, revealed to British
Prime Minister Tony Blair a plan to take "military action"
against the headquarters of the Al Jazeera news network in
Doha, Qatar. According to a leaked transcript, Blair talked
Bush out of attacking the television station. The White
House called the report "outlandish and inconceivable,"
and Blair called the report a "conspiracy theory." David
Keogh, a former U.K. Cabinet Office official, was charged
under the Official Secrets Act with leaking the memo,
and U.K. Attorney General Lord Goldsmith warned British
media that any further reporting based on the leaked
memo could be subject to criminal charges. Al Jazeera
demanded an inquiry. After three years in prison,
U.S. citizen Jose Padilla was indicted on charges that
he conspired to murder individuals overseas and provide
support for terrorists; no mention was made of prior
accusations that Padilla intended to use a "dirty bomb"
or claims that he conspired with Al Qaeda to blow up
U.S. apartment buildings. "The indictment," explained
a former Justice Department official, "is doubtless a
strategy by the Bush Administration to avoid a Supreme
Court ruling that would likely hold that U.S. citizens
cannot be detained incommunicado as enemy combatants if
they are detained on U.S. soil." It was revealed that the
United States imprisoned terrorism suspects in Kosovo,
at a prison described by the Council of Europe's Human
Rights Commissioner as "a smaller version of Guantanamo";
the Netherlands threatened to withdraw its support for
U.S. military missions if the United States continued
to refuse to acknowledge its network of secret Eastern
European prisons. "The U.S. should stop hiding," said
Netherlands Foreign Minister Ben Bot. "It will all come
out sooner or later." George McGovern said that "all kinds
of mutual friends" had told him that George Bush Sr. had
been against the Iraq war from its beginning. The Supreme
Court's marble facade began to crumble. Augusto Pinochet
turned 90.

Violent shopping incidents occurred in Hamilton County,
New Jersey; Elkton, Maryland; Grand Rapids, Michigan;
Orlando, Florida; and Sunrise, Florida, where a
72-year-old woman was trampled. At the Macy's Thanksgiving
Day Parade, the M&M's Chocolate Candies balloon knocked
parts of a street lamp onto a woman and child. Both were
briefly hospitalized. "We should be thankful," said New
York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, "none were more
seriously hurt." Ruth M. Siems, who invented Stove Top
Stuffing (U.S. patent no. 3,870,803), died of a heart
attack at 74. President Bush issued pardons to two
turkeys, which were then sent to Disneyland to serve as
grand marshals at a parade. "The granting of the turkey
pardon," said the President, "is not a responsibility that
I take lightly." The turkeys, Marshmallow and Yam, earned
their pardons when they beat out Democracy and Freedom in
an online poll. A Vermont teacher was in trouble for
testing students with liberal vocabulary questions. "I
wish Bush," read one question, "would be (coherent,
eschewed) for once during a speech, but there are theories
that his everyday diction charms the below-average mind,
hence insuring him Republican votes." In South Korea
geneticist Hwang Woo-suk, who cloned an Afghan hound named
Snuppy, resigned as chairman of the World Stem Cell Hub
after it was discovered that he had used the eggs of women
from his research team in experiments. "We needed a lot of
ova for the research," he explained, "but there were not
enough ova around." The British government was
investigating reports that up to 50 babies each year
survive being aborted. A former student at Oxford
University was in trouble for calling a policeman's horse
"gay." "Sam was adamant," said an eyewitness, "his equine
gaydar was accurate." The Vatican announced that men with
"deep-rooted homosexual tendencies" may not become Roman
Catholic priests. Men who experienced "transitory"
homosexual tendencies at least three years ago, however,
may. The community council of Perthshire, Scotland, forced
a developer to change the layout of his housing
development so that it would not disturb fairies.

Scientists at Rutgers University in New Jersey said
that global warming had doubled the rate of sea-level
rise over the last 150 years, and there was nothing that
could be done to stop it. Seventy-seven people died in
India when two passenger buses were swept away by floods,
and state-controlled Venezuelan oil company Citgo announced
that it would provide over 11 million gallons of oil
to poor people in Boston and New York. It was revealed
that the investigation into illegal payoffs made by
lobbyist Jack Abramoff involves not only Representative
Tom DeLay (R., Texas), but Representative Bob Ney (R.,
Ohio), Representative John Doolittle (R., Calif.),
Senator Conrad Burns (R., Mont.), 17 current and former
Congressional aides, and two former Bush Administration
officials. Representative Randy "Duke" Cunningham (R.,
Calif.) confessed to taking $2.4 million in bribes and
resigned from office. A 1,600-inmate faith-based prison
opened in Crawfordville, Florida. Diepreye Alamieyeseigha,
governor of Bayelsa State, Nigeria, denied that, in
order to avoid money-laundering charges, he had fled
from the U.K. disguised in a dress. Earthquakes struck
Iran and China, and Somalia's transitional government
awarded U.S. firm Topcat Marine Security $50 million to
fight pirates for two years. Chris Whitley, Pat Morita,
and George Best died. A German woman named Petra Ficker
threw her husband, Frank Ficker, out of the house after
her parrot cried out the name of Mr. Ficker's mistress,
Uta. "It's just me and my parrot now," said Petra. A new
nasal spray made women want sex. In Australia, bestiality
charges were dropped against financier Brendan Francis
McMahon, because prosecutors were unable to prove that
his penis penetrated any rabbits. McMahon, who told
a psychiatrist named Steven Allnutt that he could
"communicate with animals through a third eye," was
still charged with mutilating 17 rabbits and one guinea
pig. Former FEMA Director Michael Brown announced that he
was starting a disaster-preparedness company. "My parents,"
noted Brown, "are still proud of me." Former Canadian
Minister of Defense Paul Hellyer called on Canadian
Parliament to hold hearings on the best way to deal
with extraterrestrials. "I'm so concerned about what the
consequences might be of starting an intergalactic war,"
said Hellyer, "that I just think I had to say something." A
Nevada man was arrested for stealing $200,000 worth of
Legos, and a London man was stabbed to death by someone in
a Santa hat and beard. Singapore fired its executioner,
Darshan Singh, after his identity was revealed in the
media. Singh, who conducted more than 850 hangings over
46 years, said that his last words to condemned prisoners
were always: "I am going to send you to a better place
than this. God bless you." German scientists discovered
a singing iceberg in Antarctica.

-- Paul Ford

* * * * * * * * *
LETTERS

TO: Harper's Weekly
FROM: Heather P.

The Pentagon has, in the past, referred to white
phosphorus as a chemical weapon - when it was being used
by non-Americans, that is.

See: http://thinkprogress.org/2005/11/21/phosphorus-chemical/


TO: Harper's Weekly
FROM: D. Trotter

To Shannon O'Donnell:

I'm not exactly sure what your point is, but to clarify,
this is mine: Wilma was not underreported. If someone
didn't know about Wilma it's because they don't know
anything about anything or they didn't care. In either
case, they weren't going to be reading about it in
Harper's Weekly. Furthmore, if Harper's were to make space
for stories about Wilma by sacrificing stories about
exploding whales and idiotic Commanders in Chief, I
wouldn't be reading the Weekly.


TO: Harper's Weekly
FROM: Aric Anderson

This is just a brief note to explain why I will shortly
(and actively) unsubscribe from the Weekly.

In short: I can inadvertently see my religion mocked ten
times a day; I do not need to actively seek out a weekly
e-mail to have that accomplished.

I take comfort in the fact that your readers who engage in
the mocking are third-rate hacks. First-raters (and I am
certainly not one myself) almost always recognize the
internal coherence of the Catholic worldview, even if they
don't share it themselves.


TO: Harper's Weekly
FROM: Henry Davies

where is your sense of humor? Thou you did usually present
sad news you used to have a snse of humor to your news in
the tie ins to other dumb things that happen to the world?
If you are going to be sad an serious only then you need
to show all the lies the politicans and corperate types
tell us and show the numer of people who are starivnt to
death in the world. If all, that is, you are foing to do
is show the bad news get on withi ti


TO: Harper's Weekly
FROM: Natty Bumppo

How about a little editing of your mail? The drivel is
detracting from your excellent column.


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
SUBSCRIBE to Harper's Weekly
via web: http://www.harpers.org
via email: join-harpers-weekly@pluto.sparklist.com
 

SlipperyPete

TRIBE Member
HARPER'S WEEKLY
December 6, 2005

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At the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland,
President George W. Bush gave a speech on the Iraq
war. "As Iraqi forces grow more capable," he said,
"they're increasingly taking the lead in the fight against
the terrorists." Operation Steel Hammer, intended to end
Al Qaeda operations in Hit, west of Baghdad, was launched
with a force of 1,500 U.S. Marines, 500 U.S. Army soldiers,
and 500 Iraqi soldiers. Nineteen Iraqi soldiers were killed
in an attack north of Baghdad, and ten U.S. Marines were
killed by a roadside bomb in Fallujah. In New York City,
a defense contractor named David H. Brooks rented out two
floors of the Rainbow Room for his daughter Elizabeth's
bat mitzvah. Tom Petty, Kenny G, and members of Aerosmith
performed, as did 50 Cent. The total cost of the party
was reported as $10 million. "Go shorty," rapped 50 Cent,
"it's your bat mitzvah, we gonna party like it's your bat
mitzvah." Two women told a reporter that Randy "Duke"
Cunningham, the California Congressman who resigned
after he was found to have accepted bribes from defense
contractors, once changed into pajama bottoms and a
turtleneck sweater and offered the women champagne by the
light of a lava lamp. The House Ethics Committee had not
opened a new case in the last 12 months. "I would say by
the early part of January, we will be fully organized,"
said Representative Alan Mollohan (D., W. Va.). "Or should
be really close to that." Senator John McCain said that
he didn't think "the ethics committees are working very
well." In Tennessee a man was arrested for firing a gun
at traffic while wearing only a pair of socks.

In North Carolina Kenneth Boyd became the 1,000th prisoner
executed since the United States reintroduced the death
penalty in 1976. "It's a milestone we should all be
ashamed of," said Boyd's lawyer. Facing criticism over
the United States' network of secret prisons in Europe,
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice pointed out that
intelligence gathered from terrorism suspects has helped
prevent attacks in not only the United States but Europe
as well. Rice also asserted that the United States does
not transport detainees from one country to another for
the purpose of torture. The U.S. Transportation Safety
Administration decided that screwdrivers under seven inches
long and scissors with blades under four inches long will
again be permitted on airplanes. Russia confirmed plans
to sell $1 billion worth of surface-to-air missiles and
other weapons hardware to Iran, and it was reported that
Iraqi militants, before they carried out raids or suicide
bombings, were taking a methamphetamine-based drug called
"pinky" that made them feel superhuman. A U.S. federal
judge determined that it is constitutional for the New
York City Police to randomly search passengers' bags on
the subway, and a Jasper County, Georgia, eighth-grader
was dismissed from school after he took down a video
camera installed in the school's boys' bathroom; it turned
out that the camera had been placed there by the school
principal so that he could observe the boys. A theological
commission planned to ask Pope Benedict XVI to eliminate
limbo--where unbaptized infants are thought to go after
death--from the catechism, and an atheist student group
at the University of Texas was handing out pornography to
anyone who gave them a Bible as part of a "Smut for Smut"
program. "We consider the Bible to be a very negative force
in the history of the world," said a student. In Fremont,
California, Iron Crotch Grandmaster Tu Jin-Sheng pulled
a rental truck several yards with his penis. "He's very
special," said student Shawnee Wang. An Indiana man was
found guilty of murder for shooting a 15-year-old boy who
threw eggs at him. President Bush was called for jury duty
but asked to delay his service until he was out of office,
and a Wasau, Wisconsin, hunter shot and killed a buck that
lacked testicles. In Russia a pack of squirrels attacked
and, according to an eyewitness, "literally gutted" a large
dog that was barking at them. When humans approached the
squirrels ran away, some carrying flesh.

The National Security Agency released papers related to
the 1964 Gulf of Tonkin incident; one previously secret
history, written in 2001, argued that intelligence
regarding the incident was "deliberately skewed" to
cover up 90 percent of intercepted North Vietnamese
communications, so that President Lyndon Johnson and
Congress could be more easily pushed into the Vietnam
War. It was revealed that the U.S. Army was writing
positive news stories about the Iraq war, and was then
paying to have the articles translated into Arabic
and published in Iraqi newspapers. Abdul Zahra Zaki,
editor of the newspaper Al Mada, said that if he had
known the stories--with titles like "Iraqis Insist on
Living Despite Terrorism" and "More Money Goes to Iraq's
Development"--were written by the Army he would have
"charged much, much more." President Omar Bongo of Gabon
won another term in office, and a South African court ruled
that same-sex marriage was constitutional. In Phoenix,
Arizona, a 14-year-old freshman at Barry Goldwater High
School was arrested for raping a 75-year-old woman,
and in Manchester, New Hampshire, a man named Ronald
MacDonald was arrested for stealing $133 from a safe at
a Wendy's restaurant. Scientists in London were planning
to insert nose cells into damaged human spines in the
hope that the cells will stimulate the growth of nerve
fibers, and surgeons in France performed a partial face
transplant, taking the nose and lips of a brain-dead
donor and grafting them onto the face of a woman who had
been severely disfigured by a dog. In Gabon and Congo,
scientists traced the origin of the Ebola virus to three
different species of fruit bat; by stopping people from
eating the bats, a scientist suggested, the spread of the
virus could be slowed. There was a shortage of Santas in
Perth, Australia; current Santas said that the risk of
litigation was too great. "Once upon a time you'd walk
through the mall saying 'Ho, ho, ho, Merry Christmas',"
said Santa John Gomez, "but now you say nothing." In
Gavle, Sweden, vandals burned a huge straw Christmas
goat. The White House put up nearly 600 feet of garland
and erected an 18-and-a-half-foot fir tree decorated with
tulips and azaleas in honor of this year's Christmas theme,
"All Things Bright and Beautiful." An Amtrak train struck
a bald eagle in Fredericksburg, Virginia.

-- Paul Ford



* * * * * * * * *

CORRECTION

A violent shopping incident took place in Hamilton
Township, New Jersey, not Hamilton County, New Jersey.

* * * * * * * * *
LETTERS

TO: Harper's Weekly
FROM: Ben Sayre

I will not address Mr. Anderson's insistence that nobody
make jokes about the Catholic Church since other religions
are ridiculed in equal measure, but this passage of his
is remarkable:

"I take comfort in the fact that your readers who engage
in the mocking are third-rate hacks. First-raters (and I
am certainly not one myself) almost always recognize the
internal coherence of the Catholic worldview, even if they
don't share it themselves."

If I understand what that says, it looks like nonsense in
a number of ways. First and foremost, what kind of virtue
is internal coherence? Surely many ardent Nazis were
blissfully free of internal contradictions. My childhood
fantasies were internally coherent. Then there's that
stuff about "third-raters" and "first-raters" . . . Does this
mean that somebody who recognizes internal coherence
consequently cannot engage in mocking? Mocking Catholicism
makes one a third-rater by default?

I guess I could grant that Catholicism is internally
coherent, but that's pretty easy when you accept things
as an article of faith. "Grant me one assumption, and
I'll prove anything."


TO: Harper's Weekly
FROM: Perry Petrich

Like Aric Anderson, I too am usually mildly frustrated
with the sophistic way you often portray the Vatican
and Catholic Doctrine in general. This frustration,
however, is frequently outweighed by the comic value.
Unfortunately, I feel neither frustrated nor amused by
your portrayal of the esoterically titled "Instruction
Concerning the Criteria for the Discernment of Vocations
With Regard to Persons With Homosexual Tendencies in View
of Their Admission to the Seminary and to Sacred Orders."
You have encapsulated the absurdity of the document spot
on and I am horrified.
 

Boss Hog

TRIBE Member
HARPER'S WEEKLY
December 13, 2005

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WEEKLY REVIEW

Saddam Hussein refused to appear in court to defend
himself against war crimes, complaining of a lack of clean
underwear. "Go to hell, all you agents of America," he
said. At least 66 people were killed in suicide bombings
in Iraq, and 625 prisoners were found packed in a small
space in Baghdad. Iraq's Victorious Army Group was holding
a contest to see who could design the best website to
promote their message of jihad. The contest winner will
receive Allah's blessings and be allowed to fire three
rockets at an American military base. The probe into the
U.S. policy of paying Iraqi newspapers for positive
coverage widened to include the Baghdad Press Club, a
military-created P.R. organization; the military admitted
that the club compensated reporters, but made clear that
it did not insist on positive coverage. An Iraqi
journalist said that the club paid $25 for each story that
ran ($45 for stories with photos), and $50 for television
reports. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld criticized
the media in a speech, claiming that news is "reported and
spread around the world, often with little context and
little scrutiny, let alone correction or accountability
after the fact." In Iran a military plane crashed into an
apartment building, killing at least 115 people, most of
them journalists. Australian whites rioted against people
of Arab descent. Pakistan extended its ban on kites due to
the deadliness of kiteflying; in February, 19 people died
and over 200 were injured during a kite festival.
Condoleezza Rice made a deal with Romania that will allow
the United States to use military bases there. It was
reported that there were 80,000 names on the United
States' list of possible terror suspects.

A conference on global warming was held in Montreal. The
United States was represented by Harlan Watson, whose
appointment as U.S. climate negotiator was suggested by
ExxonMobil; Watson's presence led to complaints by
environmentalists. Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin
criticized the United States for its reticence in dealing
with global warming. "There is such a thing as a global
conscience," he said, "and now is the time to listen to
it." The European Sound Climate Policy Coalition, an
ExxonMobil-funded lobbying group, was working to destroy
Europe's support for the Kyoto treaty on climate
change. The Inuit people filed a suit against the United
States over its role in global warming, and an increasing
number of Americans were heating their homes with corn. A
religious studies professor at the University of Kansas
was beaten up on a roadside after he mocked creationism in
an email, and at least eight American megachurches planned
to cancel their Sunday services on Christmas
day. Christmas activists were upset to receive White House
greeting cards that wished them a happy "holiday season"
instead of a Merry Christmas, and the office of the
Governor of Georgia issued a press release to announce the
lighting of a holiday tree; a half-hour later the office
announced that the tree was "in fact a Christmas tree." A
passenger jet slid off the runway at Chicago's Midway
Airport and hit a car, killing a six-year-old boy as he
ate some McDonald's food and sang "Santa Claus Is Coming
to Town." A Funyun shaped like the Virgin Mary cradling
the baby Jesus sold online for $609. Fidel Castro said
that Florida Governor Jeb Bush was fat; Bush, who at 225
pounds is between 18 and 44 pounds above the ideal weight
for his height and frame, said he was flattered by the
criticism. "It is not a criticism," clarified Castro,
"rather a suggestion that he do some exercises and go on a
diet, don't you think? I'm doing this for the gentleman's
health." Elian Gonzalez turned 12.

Police in Guangdong, China, fired into a crowd of
demonstrators who were protesting the sale of government
land for a wind-power plant; villagers said that at least
ten people had been killed. Ninety-two members of the
U.S. House of Representatives were planning to challenge
the provision of the 14th amendment that provides those
born in the United States with citizenship. "Addressing
this problem," said Representative Lamar Smith (R., Tex.),
"is needed if we're going to try to combat illegal
immigration on all fronts." Former Senator Eugene
McCarthy, comedian Richard Pryor, and science-fiction
author Robert Sheckley died. In San Francisco a group of
lesbian motorcyclists successfully trademarked the name
"Dykes on Bikes," and Ford began to cut back its
advertising in gay publications. The supreme court of
Italy ruled that it is not necessarily racist to call
someone a "dirty negro." A police officer in Hamtramck,
Michigan, tasered his partner during an argument over
whether to stop their car to buy a soda. In Miami an air
marshal shot and killed an American Airlines passenger,
Rigoberto Alpizar, who falsely claimed to have a bomb in
his backpack. Before the shooting, Alpizar's wife
attempted to explain that her husband was bipolar and off
his medication. A Memphis, Tennessee, woman was arrested
after she hired a hit man to kill four other men and take
their cocaine; the hit man turned out to be an undercover
police officer, and the cocaine turned out to be queso
fresco cheese. In Boston a man named Jason Strickland
asked a court to recognize him as the father of
11-year-old Haleigh Poutre after Strickland's wife, who
was the aunt and legal guardian of Poutre, shot herself
and the girl's grandmother in a murder-suicide. If
Strickland, who is accused of beating Poutre into a
permanent vegetative state, is recognized as the girl's
father, he can order that she be kept on life support and
thus avoid a murder charge. In the rainforests of Borneo,
scientists were attempting to trap a newly discovered
carnivorous cat-fox creature; the creature appears to have
a muscular tail. It was announced that the Dutch
sparrow that was shot and killed after it knocked down
23,000 dominoes will be preserved and displayed at
Rotterdam's Natural History museum, perched atop a box of
dominoes. In West Virginia five deer leaped to their
deaths from the top of a five-story garage, and
veterinarians in Rome inserted 50 24-karat gold pellets
into a lion named Bellamy to treat his arthritis. "The
lion," explained a veterinarian, "is getting old."

-- Paul Ford
 

SlipperyPete

TRIBE Member
HARPER'S WEEKLY
December 20, 2005

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

WEEKLY REVIEW

President George W. Bush defended his executive order
authorizing the National Security Agency to spy on
Americans without a warrant; Bush said that he
"absolutely" had the right to authorize the program, and
that whoever leaked news of the program's existence had
committed a "shameful act." Dick Cheney visited Iraq and
informed American soldiers that he was not Jessica
Simpson. He also watched as Iraqi soldiers holding
imaginary guns practiced a vehicle sweep. The Iraqi
military announced that they had captured Abu Musab
al-Zarqawi, the leader of Al Qaeda in Iraq, but
accidentally released him, and 24 top officials from the
Hussein regime, including "Dr. Germ" and "Mrs. Anthrax,"
were released from jail without charges. It was reported
that agents from the Department of Homeland Security
visited a college student in New Bedford, Massachusetts,
soon after he requested a copy of "Mao's Little Red Book"
through interlibrary loan--although many librarians felt
the story might be a hoax. The Senate voted not to extend
portions of the Patriot Act. "It is time," said Senator
Patrick Leahy, "to have some checks and balances in this
country." President Bush was forced to approve the McCain
Amendment, which will ban "cruel, inhuman and degrading
treatment of terrorism detainees." Leaked Pentagon
documents showed that the U.S. military was routinely
collecting intelligence on antiwar groups and putting it
into a database. The Pentagon also launched
1-800-CALL-SPY, a hotline that allows U.S. citizens to
report suspicious activity directly to the
military. Columnist Doug Bandow resigned from his position
as a Cato Institute Fellow after it was revealed that he
had accepted money from lobbyist Jack Abramoff for writing
between 12 and 24 newspaper columns favorable to
Abramoff's clients. Peter Ferrara, a senior policy advisor
at the Institute for Policy Innovation, said that he had
also taken money from Abramoff to write op-ed pieces, but
felt no remorse. "I do that all the time," he
explained. Senator Harry Reid said the current
U.S. Congress was "the most corrupt in history." Iraq held
parliamentary elections.

Tookie Williams was executed in California, and
77-year-old John B. Nixon Sr. was executed in
Mississippi. Nixon was the oldest person executed in the
United States since the death penalty was reinstated. In
Houston, Texas, a receptionist named Kristina Roberts was
suing her boss, Jorge Garcia, for ejaculating on her as
she worked. Garcia insists the ejaculation was
consensual. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said the
Holocaust was a myth, and Israeli Prime Minister Ariel
Sharon had a stroke. Palestinians celebrated Sharon's
stroke and leaders of Kahane, the ultra-nationalist Jewish
group, called on members to pray for the Prime Minister's
death. Evo Morales appeared to have won the presidency of
Bolivia; he plans to legalize coca farming. Morales, who
admires Fidel Castro, said that he wanted to maintain
Bolivia's ties to the United States but did not want "a
relationship of submission." An Ohio man named Wayne Green
was suing a police drug dog for illegal search. "They've
got a mean ol' dog," he explained. "You know what I'm
saying?" The dog, Andi, signed with a paw print when
served with the complaint. North of London, thieves used a
crane to steal a two-ton Henry Moore sculpture, "Reclining
Figure," that was valued at more than $5 million;
authorities fear the thieves may melt it down for scrap
metal. A Romanian shepherd found 80 human fetuses in a
forest, and a passerby found 30 dog heads in a Tokyo moat.

Scientists decoded the mitochondrial DNA of the woolly
mammoth and confirmed that the mammoth was more closely
related to the Asian elephant than to the African
elephant, and researchers discovered that the lack of ice
floes in the Arctic Ocean was causing polar bears to
drown. A Florida owl was found to be high on
marijuana. Forty Santas rampaged in Auckland, New Zealand,
a flasher dressed as Santa was on the loose in London, and
a man who works as a Santa at a New York Wal-Mart was
arrested after he exposed himself to a 15-year-old boy and
asked for oral sex. For the second time this year, someone
stole the life-sized Jesus from a nativity scene in
Cincinnati, Ohio, although this time they left behind baby
Jesus's leg. Police in New Windsor, New York, destroyed a
snow penis, and a frog-shaped baby was born dead in
Yemen. An increasing number of U.S. women were having
their hymens reattached. "It's the ultimate gift," said
one woman who underwent the surgery, "for the man who has
everything." British scientists discovered that little
girls like to torture their Barbie dolls by scalping,
decapitating, burning, breaking, and microwaving
them. "Girls," explained a researcher, "feel violence and
hatred towards their Barbie." EBay was selling 85 toys a
minute.

-- Paul Ford


* * * * * * * * *
LETTERS

TO: Harper's Weekly
FROM: David Frier

Rigoberto Alpizar only said he had a bomb according to the
utterly uncorroborated testimony of the man who shot and
killed him. I'd say "his murderer" but the man held a
Department of Homeland Security badge and I prefer not to be disappeared.


TO: Harper's Weekly
FROM: Patrick Moynihan

I read today's weekly report as usual, and then I
proceeded on to the two letters you presented. I was left
awestruck. Normally, if your publication posts a letter
against something, you follow it up with one supporting
it. Something along the lines of balanced journalism. I
understand that some issues are hard to balance,
but I am willing to be my life's savings that you could find a
supporter of the Vatican's stance on the Bible. I am
hoping that you posted their letters just so that all of
us could have a good laugh at their expense. Their
arguments are poor, and they are clearly not educated in
the matters they are discussing (either for or
against). So then I ask, why do you post crap like that?
And if you are going to, why do you not balance it out
with something intelligent? I do not have a problem with
reasoned, intelligent criticism of the Church, but today's
letters do not qualify.

By way of a short rebuttal to the individuals that wrote
in this week I would like to point out that the when Ron
Walker speaks about the use of the words "brothers and
sisters" he may have missed something important. For
starters, brothers and sisters is a translation of the
original text, and so from the beginning we have lost some
of the real meaning, unless you happen to speak one of the
languages in which scripture was written (Hebrew,
Greek). Second, I would love to see a reference for this
stuff about being begat through an ear. If it is a joke,
great, but if not, as we have seen with the Da Vinci Code,
people seem to really have trouble reading works of
fiction, especially when they refer to some real things. I
really do not understand how people think a massive
conspiracy about scripture, or about Christ, or about his
family could survive for all this time? And, if Christ had
real siblings, why would anyone cover it up? It doesn't
make sense.


TO: Harper's Weekly
FROM: Matthew Harmon

I find it alarming that in the midst of an ill advised
war, racially motivated violence, the regression to
mid-evil beliefs about the origins of life, rampant
corporate greed and the dismantling of the last vestiges
of democratic institutions in this country the only story
that has stimulated a long standing debate is about which
church holds sway on the truth about God. This speaks
volumes about why this country is going to "Hell in and
Hand Basket (or is it Hell in an Oil Well)." Put down the
bible folks, it's blocking your view.


TO: Harper's Weekly
FROM: Patrick Moynihan

Regarding the carnivorous cat-fox creature discovered in
Borneo:

Cryptozoologist Loren Coleman is positing that it's that
presumed extinct (since 1955) Hose's palm civet:

http://www.cryptomundo.com/cryptozoo-news/more-on-borneos-new-animal/


TO: Steve Davison
FROM: Matthew Harmon

I love your magazine. I love the idea of getting a weekly
update from you. However unless my software is destroying
the formating, your weekely message is virtually illegible
due to the lack of paragraphs or some other discerning
style that would designate one news blip from the other. I
expect better from such a prestigious literary and news
journal. Thanks
 

OTIS

TRIBE Member
HARPER'S YEARLY REVIEW

The number of people killed by the Indian Ocean tsunami
rose to 230,000. A study showed that 310,000 Europeans die
from air pollution each year, and the U.N. predicted that
90 million Africans will have HIV by 2025. An
international task force of scientists, politicians, and
business leaders warned that the world has about 10 years
before global warming becomes irreversible. The
U.S. Congress officially ratified President George
W. Bush's election victory after a two-hour debate over
voting irregularities in Ohio. Terri Schiavo, Johnnie
Cochran, Frank Perdue, Mitch Hedberg, Arthur Miller, Saul
Bellow, and the pope died, as did the man who wrote the
theme song to "Gidget." An Australian tortoise named
Harriet turned 175. General Motors was spending more for
health care than for steel, and an increasing number of
Americans were heating their homes with corn. El
Salvadoran police arrested 21 people for operating a
smuggling operation and seized 24 tons of contraband
cheese. NASA announced that it wanted to return to the
moon.

A study found that the worldwide percentage of land
stricken by drought has doubled within the last 30
years. The Jordan River was filled with sewage, and the
last of Gaza's Jewish settlers left their homes on armored
buses. Terrorists in London set off bombs on four trains
and a bus, killing 52 people; President Bush condemned
attacks on innocent folks by those with evil in their
hearts. A 13-year-old boy in Kalamazoo accidentally burned
down the family meth lab. New Orleans flooded after levees
broke in the wake of Hurricane Katrina; many evacuees were
not allowed to take their pets with them. "Snowball!"
cried a little boy after police took away his
dog. "Snowball!" At least 42,000 people died in an
earthquake in Pakistan. It was announced that Cookie
Monster would cut back on cookies. Authorities in Malaysia
arrested 58 people who worship a giant teapot. Poor people
rioted in France.

In North Carolina Kenneth Boyd became the 1,000th prisoner
executed since the United States reintroduced the death
penalty in 1976. A 1,600-inmate faith-based prison opened
in Crawfordville, Florida. Police began random bag checks
of subway passengers in New York City. It was revealed
that the CIA had set up a secret system of prisons, called
"black sites," around the world; it was also revealed that
the National Security Agency was spying on Americans
without first obtaining warrants. Journalist Judith Miller
was released from jail and said she wanted to hug her
dog. U.S. Congressman Tom DeLay was arrested; U.S. Vice
President Dick Cheney's Chief of Staff I. Lewis "Scooter"
Libby was indicted. The Pentagon admitted to using white
phosphorus during the 2004 attack on Fallujah, Iraq, and
allocated $127 billion to build a robot army. The total
number of American soldiers killed in the Iraq war rose to
2,174, while the total number of Iraqi civilians killed
rose to 27,636. "We are all waiting for death," said an
Iraqi soldier, "like the moon waiting for sunset." The
U.S. Defense Department, in violation of the federal
Privacy Act, was building a database of 30 million 16- to
25-year-olds. The Department of Homeland Security
announced that it had wasted a great deal of money and
needed much more. Starbucks came to Guantanamo
Bay. Scientists began work on a complete, molecule-level
computer simulation of the human brain. The project will
take at least ten years.

--Paul Ford
 

OTIS

TRIBE Member
HARPER'S WEEKLY REVIEW
January 24, 2006

* * * * * * * * * *

In Iraq 30 people were killed at makeshift checkpoints, 22
people died in suicide bombings, 9 people were killed in
an ambush, 5 bodies were found in the Qaid River, 4
children were killed by rocket-propelled grenades, and 2
American civilians were killed in a roadside
bombing. Suicide bombings killed at least 22 people in
Afghanistan and injured 30 people in Tel Aviv. Osama bin
Laden released a tape in which he warned of new attacks on
the United States and offered a truce. "Your president,"
said bin Laden, "is misinterpreting public opinion polls
which show that the vast majority of you support the
withdrawal of your forces from Iraq." Bin Laden also
encouraged Americans to read the book *Rogue State: A Guide
to the World's Only Superpower* by William Blum
. Bin
Laden's deputy Ayman Al-Zawahiri released his own tape and
recited a poem called "Tears in the Eyes of Time." It was
reported that Iraqi militants had developed an "Aerial
Improvised Explosive Device" that could blow up
helicopters. The U.S. Army raised its maximum enlistment
age to 39, and the U.S. State Department said that there
was a very high chance that terrorists would attack the
United States with weapons of mass destruction. America
celebrated the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Al Gore compared the FBI's spying on King to the Bush
Administration's authorizing spying on American citizens,
and New York Senator Hillary Clinton said that Republicans
were running the House of Representatives "like a
plantation." Republicans disagreed with Clinton, and Al
Sharpton complained that she was stealing his
material
<---LOL . New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin said that the
rebuilt New Orleans "will be chocolate at the end of the
day." He clarified: "You take dark chocolate, you mix it
with white milk, and it becomes a delicious drink. That is
the chocolate I am talking about." One New Orleans
resident said that Nagin "used the wrong dairy product."
Three thousand two hundred people were still missing in
New Orleans. Google refused to comply with a Bush
Administration subpoena demanding the records for a week's
worth of search queries. Yahoo! and Microsoft, however,
complied fully, while America Online said it had complied
partially.
The White House refused to provide any details
of meetings between Bush Administration staff and lobbyist
Jack Abramoff. "We are not," said White House spokesman
Scott McLellan, "going to engage in a fishing expedition."

Two more miners died in West Virginia. Japan blocked
imports of American beef after a spine was discovered in a
shipment from a U.S. meatpacker. Russia accused the
U.K. of spying in Moscow, and offered a data-transmitting
fake spy rock as evidence. California executed
76-year-old, blind, wheelchair-bound, mostly deaf,
diabetic Clarence Ray Allen. "It's a good day to die,"
said Allen via a statement. In Chile socialist and former
political prisoner Michelle Bachelet was elected
president; she will be the first woman to lead
Chile. Bolivia swore in Evo Morales as its first
indigenous president.
"From 500 years of resistance," said
Morales, "we pass to another 500 years in power." In
Nairobi a young hippo named Owen and a 130-year-old
tortoise named Mzee celebrated a year of friendship, and
in Tokyo a hamster named Gohan ("snack") and a rat snake
were still friends after two years. Nigeria planned to
make it a crime, punishable by five years in jail, to
participate in or officiate at a same-sex marriage. A
two-year, $939,233 study commissioned by the U.S. Justice
Department found that inmates who claim to have been raped
in prison are usually lying. In prison, the study
explained, sexual pressure is not seen as coercion;
rather, "sexual pressure ushers, guides, or shepherds the
process of sexual awakening." A man in Australia escaped
from prison by losing enough weight to slip through a
hole. There was a shortage of women in India, possibly due
to endemic female feticide; as a result, women can cost up
to $136 each or more.

It was cold in Russia. People were smearing goose fat on
their bodies to stop frostbite, and near Moscow zookeepers
fed an Indian elephant a bucket of vodka to keep it warm;
the elephant then went on a rampage, tore radiators from a
wall, and calmed down only after it was given a hot
shower. Scientists in London found more evidence of a link
between the parasite Toxoplasma gondii in cat feces and
the development of schizophrenia in rats. In San Jose,
California, Anna Ayala, who planted a severed finger in a
bowl of Wendy's chili, was sentenced to nine years in
prison. Her husband, Jaime Plascencia, who obtained the
finger from a co-worker, was given more than twelve
years. It was reported that several of the Guantanamo Bay
hunger strikers had started to eat again, while other
reports indicated that 30 of the hunger strikers were
close to death. The U.S. Supreme Court upheld an Oregon
law allowing for physician-assisted suicide. Greenpeace
dumped a 55-foot fin whale in front of the Japanese
Embassy in Berlin, and in London a northern bottlenosed
whale swam up the Thames, sparking a massive rescue effort
before the whale died. In El Paso, Texas, a mechanic was
sucked into a jet engine. "It doesn't happen very often,"
said a Boeing spokeswoman. Astronomers in West Virginia
discovered a superbubble, a man in Sweden was in trouble
for eating his foster sisters, and the French
face-transplant patient was smoking through her recently
grafted-on lips.

-- Paul Ford
 

OTIS

TRIBE Member
HARPER'S WEEKLY REVIEW
January 31, 2006

* * * * * * * * *

The Conservative Party won a plurality of seats in Canada's
federal election, making Stephen Harper Canada's next
prime minister. The Islamic group Hamas won 76 of 132
parliamentary seats in Palestine's parliamentary elections,
unseating the Fatah party. U.S. President George W. Bush,
whose administration supported open democratic elections
in Palestine, said that the United States would not
negotiate with Hamas until the organization renounced its
chartered goal of destroying Israel, and U.S. Secretary
of State Condoleezza Rice announced that the United States
would cut off aid to Palestine if Hamas assumed power
without changing its policies. "I've asked why nobody
saw it coming," said Rice, even though publications
like The Guardian and the The New York Times had,
since at least 2003, published regular reports on the
increasing popularity of Hamas in Palestine. "It does
say something about us not having a good enough pulse."
Senator Joseph Biden (D., Del.) said Hamas would have
to change its stripes. In Iraq, the United States was
negotiating with Sunni insurgents. A new judge took over
the Saddam Hussein trial and had Hussein and co-defendant
Barzan Ibrahim removed from the courtroom after Hussein
began shouting and Ibrahim called the court "a bastard."
Hussein also said through a lawyer that he wanted to
sue President Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair
for authorizing the use of weapons of mass destruction,
such as white phosphorus, in Iraq. U.S. auditors found
that of $120 million in Iraqi oil revenue allocated
to fund reconstruction $97 million had gone missing.
Eleven people died in a bombing at an Iraqi sweets shop, and
at least 17 people died in other attacks. Four Christian
churches were bombed. ABC News anchor Bob Woodruff and
cameraman Doug Vogt were severely injured in an explosion
in Taji, and a teenage girl in northern Iraq was reported
to have died of bird flu. In Gary, Indiana, an Iraq war
veteran killed a 79-year-old man when the man refused
to give him money for crack. Marine James Blake Miller,
whose face became emblematic of the Iraq war after he was
photographed smoking a cigarette during the November 2004
attack on Fallujah, was at home in Kentucky, where he was
suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and had cut
back to a pack and a half a day. Halliburton announced
that 2005 was its best year ever.

The White House refused to release photographs of
President Bush with lobbyist Jack Abramoff, despite
requests from Senate and House Republicans, and a Senate
committee investigating the government response to
Hurricane Katrina criticized the Bush Administration for
ignoring the findings of a hurricane-preparedness exercise
called "Hurricane Pam," which had warned that New Orleans
would be flooded. "It is apparent that a more appropriate
name for Pam should have been 'Cassandra,'" said Senator
Susan Collins (R., Maine). Venezuelan President Hugo
Chavez vowed to jail anyone who spies for the United
States, and Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi
promised not to have sex until elections were held on
April 9. The UPN and WB television networks were slated to
merge, Disney announced it would buy Pixar, and Google
agreed to censor its Chinese search results to please the
Chinese government. With support from the ACLU, a boy in
New Jersey won the right to wear a skirt to school; the
boy wears the skirt to protest the school's policy banning
shorts. A grandfather in Florida died of a heart attack
after all seven of his grandchildren were killed in an
automobile accident, and a starving woman in Kangundo,
Kenya, placed a curse on God as she hit a cooking pot with
a stick, then died in her sleep. In southern Poland, 66
people were crushed to death when an exhibition hall
collapsed during an international pigeon fanciers' fair.

James E. Hansen, a director at NASA's Goddard Institute
for Space Studies, said that NASA had ordered its
public-affairs staff to review and possibly censor his
upcoming speeches and papers after he called for reductions
in greenhouse-gas emissions. Massachusetts Junior Senator
John Kerry, in Switzerland for the Davos economic forum,
called for a filibuster to stop the nomination of Samuel
Alito Jr. to the Supreme Court. Representative Marty
Meehan's staff was caught removing unfavorable facts about
Meehan from his Wikipedia entry; in the past the entire
House has been banned from editing Wikipedia due to rampant
abuse of the online public encyclopedia's editing policies
by House staffers. It was revealed that Senator Bill
Frist's AIDS charity had paid almost a half-million dollars
in consulting fees to Frist's political friends, and it
was reported that one quarter of the Bush Administration's
$15 billion in AIDS-fighting money had been given to
religious groups. President Bush said that he had not
yet seen the film "Brokeback Mountain." French police
realized that they had spent the last two years trying
to identify a female murder victim--whose skeleton was
found during a low tide in Plouezoc'h--who actually died
in the 15th century. "We reckon it was pirates," said a
policeman. U.S. murderers were learning how to cover their
tracks by watching television crime shows. Authorities
in Mexico City arrested a woman named Juana Barraza, a
48-year-old former wrestler who is thought to be the serial
killer known as Mataviejitas, or "the Killer of Little
Old Ladies," and who may be responsible for strangling
up to 30 of them. Hawaiians were attempting to have the
humuhumunukunukuapuaa (HOO-moo-HOO-moo- NOO-koo-NOO-koo-
AH-poo-AH-ah) appointed as Hawaii's state fish on a
permanent basis after its five-year term expired. "It kind
of looks like a pig and it squawks and everything," said
a humuhumunukunukuapuaa advocate. A substitute teacher in
Santa Cruz, California, was sentenced to a year in jail for
filming young boys licking whipped cream off each other's
toes. "I used very poor judgment," said the teacher. Mozart
turned 250, the FBI was spying on vegans in Georgia, and
several women in Missouri were sick with infections after
receiving tattoos from a door-to-door tattoo salesman. A
firecracker explosion killed 16 people during a New Year
celebration in China, and the year of the dog began.

-- Paul Ford

* * * * * * * * *
CLARIFICATIONS

Despite published reports, Owen the hippo and Mzee the
tortoise, who recently celebrated one year of friendship,
reside in Mombasa, Kenya, not Nairobi, Kenya.

Despite published reports, the name of the Gohan the
hamster, who lives in Tokyo with a snake, translates as
"meal" or "dinner" rather than "snack."

CLARIFICATIONS and CORRECTIONS are always welcome.
Write to: harpers-weekly@harpers.org

* * * * * * * * *
LETTERS

TO: Harper's Weekly
FROM: Robert Kertesz

Your report on the California execution of "76-year-old,
blind, wheelchair-bound, mostly deaf, diabetic Clarence
Ray Allen" conveniently omitted the fact that he was
convicted of slaughtering a 17 year old girl; then, while
in prison, he was charged and convicted with ordering the
murder of the witnesses against him.

Then, after manipulating the system for 23 years to delay
his execution, in a remarkable display of unmitigated
gall, his lawyers appealed his pending execution to the
Supreme Court, saying that being kept on death row for 23
years was cruel and unusual punishment.

No one needs to weep for Mr. Allen. He was the architect
of his own demise, and got exactly what he deserved.


TO: Harper's Weekly
FROM: Robert Kertesz

I can't help but wondering if it would not have been more
circumspect to refer to "a man purported to be Osama bin
Laden", rather than to "Osama bin Laden". The manner in
which this figure, who, as we are advised, suffers from a
serious kidney disease requiring treatment unlikely to
have been regularly available to him during these last
four years spent, so it is said, on the mountainous border
between Afghanistan and Pakistan, turns up every time the
Bush administration needs him, makes even so
journalistically unschooled a person as myself a wee tad
suspicious. Could the tape possibly have another origin
than Al Qaeda ?...


TO: Harper's Weekly
FROM: Evan Jeffries

To Daniel Isaiah. It's a shame you feel that the Flying
Spaghetti Monster at www.venganza.org is not worthy of
your attention: millions of people--including, I would
guess, many Harper's readers--feel that it is making a
point just as valid as that of the conservative members of
the Kansas School Board. And it's funny, too.


WRITE TO HARPER'S WEEKLY: harpers-weekly@harpers.org

* * * * * * * * *
 

SlipperyPete

TRIBE Member
The last one posted was just after Harper won the election...coincidence??


HARPER'S WEEKLY
May 16, 2006

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

It was revealed that the National Security Agency, with
the assistance of AT&T, Verizon, and BellSouth, has
secretly stored the phone call records of tens of millions
of Americans. "It's the largest database ever assembled in
the world" said an anonymous whistleblower. A poll found
that 63 percent of Americans feel that it is acceptable
for the NSA to build such a database. It was reported that
the United States was analyzing phone call records of
reporters from ABC News, the New York Times, and the
Washington Post to determine the identities of CIA
employees who leak information to the press. "It's time,"
a federal law enforcement official told a reporter for ABC
News, "for you to get some new cell phones, quick." The
FBI searched the home of former number-three CIA official
Kyle "Dusty" Foggo; Foggo is under investigation for his
relationship with defense contractors linked to the Randy
"Duke" Cunningham bribery scandal. In Virginia a federal
judge was considering whether the case brought by Khaled
el-Masri against former CIA director George Tenet could
proceed; el-Masri says he was abducted and beaten by the
CIA, while the United States claims that allowing the case
to move forward would expose state secrets and endanger
the war on terrorism. A fight broke out in the lobby of
Iraq's parliament building after a cell phone played a
Shiite ringtone, and more than 30 people died in a series
of bombings in Basra and around Baghdad. A car bomb killed
17 people in Talafar, and it was announced that five
journalists had been killed so far this month in Iraq. The
Red Cross criticized the United States for refusing access
to prisoners in secret detention. "We know that some
people, we don't know how many and we don't know where,"
said a Red Cross spokeswoman, "are held in places where we
don't have access." President George W. Bush proposed
sending in the National Guard to patrol the Mexican
border, and the United States announced that it would
renew full diplomatic relations with Libya. Zimbabwe was
facing an acute tampon shortage.

In South Korea stem-cell researcher Hwang Woo-suk was
indicted for fraud, embezzlement, and violation of
bioethics laws, and in Canada scientists confirmed that an
odd-looking bear shot and killed in April was a "grolar"
bear (half polar bear, half grizzly), thus exempting the
hunter who shot the bear from paying a grizzly-killing
fine. Scientists announced that the recently discovered
species of Tanzanian monkey which utters distinctive honk
barks is different enough from a mangabey to merit
inclusion in its own, new genus, Rungwecebus. At a zoo in
the Netherlands three bears ate a monkey. "The macaque,"
said an eyewitness, "was shrieking and resisting."
Bananas, said the United Nations, were in danger of
extinction. In California a 1,500-pound sea lion was
biting people, and authorities in gas masks entered a
residence to remove 98 guinea pigs, 84 cats, 27 dogs, 14
rabbits, three potbellied pigs, and one bird. Snoop Dogg
was banned for life from the United Kingdom. A Baptist
church in Britain was planning to wash cars with
baptismal-font water. The Air Force, under orders from
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, was researching
alternative fuels for its jets. "Energy," said an Air
Force representative, "is a national security issue."
Scientists in Illinois said that they had refined a
process that transforms pig manure into crude oil, and
suggested that up to 3.6 gallons of crude oil could be
generated daily per pig. Gas in Venezuela was selling for
$0.12 per gallon, and a British inventor claimed to have
created a car that gets 8,000 miles per gallon, improving
on his previous record of 6,603 miles per gallon. In
Nigeria more than 150 people, some of them stealing fuel
from a pipeline, died when the pipeline exploded. "By
tomorrow," said a health commissioner, "we will dig a
bigger ditch and bury them all."

In Lynchburg, Virginia, at Liberty University (which fines
its students $500 if they engage in witchcraft), Senator
John McCain (R., Ariz.) stood next to Jerry Falwell and
spoke in support of the Iraq war. Army recruiters in
Portland, Oregon, were under investigation for recruiting
an autistic boy for a dangerous position in the cavalry
scouts. The Israeli army announced that female soldiers
must not lower the waistline of their pants or take in
their shirts. A small plane carrying Senator Edward
Kennedy (D., Mass.) landed safely after being struck by
lightning, and a model airplane crash in Hungary killed
two people. Bird flu appeared to have been eradicated in
Thailand and Vietnam. In south Texas 100 people had been
diagnosed with Morgellons disease. "These people," said a
nurse practitioner, "will have like beads of sweat but
it's black, black and tarry." "It looked," said the mother
of a Morgellons patient, "like a piece of spaghetti was
sticking out about a quarter to an eighth of an inch long,
and it was sticking out of his chest." In Kenya, Thomas
Cholmondeley, a British aristocrat, was arrested for
shooting and killing a man whom he believed was poaching
on his 100,000-acre farm, and in Florida an alligator that
recently killed a jogger was caught with the jogger's arms
in its stomach. FEMA announced that it was ready for the
Atlantic hurricane season, which starts June 1, and a
tornado struck Wizard of Oz Drive in Hillsboro, Ohio. The
International Atomic Energy Agency found evidence that
Iran possesses highly enriched uranium, Saddam Hussein
said that he was ready to die, and a woman in Moon
Township, Pennsylvania, found a potato shaped like a
heart. The United Nations said that 1,200 people were
dying in Congo each day. In Kenya pilgrims were traveling
to Mombasa to see a miraculous tuna with a Koranic verse
inscribed into its scales. "God," reads the tuna, "is the
greatest of all providers."

-- Paul Ford
 

AbnerWigglestaf

TRIBE Member
...In south Texas 100 people had been
diagnosed with Morgellons disease. "These people," said a
nurse practitioner, "will have like beads of sweat but
it's black, black and tarry." "It looked," said the mother
of a Morgellons patient, "like a piece of spaghetti was
sticking out about a quarter to an eighth of an inch long,
and it was sticking out of his chest."...


WTF? *shudder*
 

OTIS

TRIBE Member
HARPER'S WEEKLY REVIEW
July 18, 2006

War erupted between Hezbollah and Israel after the Lebanese militia launched Operation Truthful Promise against Israel by crossing the border and capturing two Israeli soldiers. The operation was staged in response to Operation Summer Rains, in which Israel occupied Gaza and destroyed a large portion of the civilian infrastructure. Israel countered Operation Truthful Promise by staging Operation Just Reward against Lebanon, bombing roads, bridges, power stations, fuel depots, ports, and airports, and killing numerous civilians. Hezbollah bombed Haifa, surprising Israel with the range of its rockets and killing at least eight civilians. "You wanted an open war," said Hezbollah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah in a recorded message, "and we are heading for an open war. . . . The surprises that I have promised you will start now." "What they need to do," said President George W. Bush as he buttered a piece of bread at the G-8 summit, "is get Syria to get Hezbollah to stop doing this shit and it's over." Israel said it had no plans to attack Syria. Twenty dead bus drivers were found in Muqdadiya, Iraq, and two dead carpenters were found in Tikrit. Gunmen entered a market in Mahmudiya and killed at least 42 people; an explosion killed 25 at a cafe in Tuz Khurmatu. In Afghanistan 700 coalition troops occupied the town of Sangin in the Helmand province, and Newt Gingrich called on President Bush to admit that the United States is now involved in World War III.

Bombings on trains and in train stations killed 181 people in Mumbai, India, and led India to postpone peace talks with Pakistan. The diamond industry of Mumbai was said to be particularly hard hit by the bombings. Syd Barrett died. Scientists in Maryland found that two thirds of people who consumed the hallucinogenic drug psilocybin had extremely meaningful experiences. British scientists found that playing with dolls can help improve Alzheimer's patients' communication abilities, and scientists in Massachusetts implanted sensors in a paralyzed man's brain that allowed the man to check email. The Pentagon issued a memo acknowledging that all prisoners in U.S. military custody were entitled to protection under the Geneva Conventions. A German man, on trial for robbery, was caught stealing from the judge during his hearing, and police in Seattle were looking for a gang of angry machete-wielding clowns. The U.S. Army said that it would not renew its contract for logistics support with Halliburton. Peter Coors, chief executive of Molson Coors Brewing Co., had his license revoked for drunk driving.

Scientists in Pennsylvania found that menarche occurs earlier in girls who live in homes with half- and step-brothers, without fathers, or in urban areas, but occurs later in girls who live with sisters. Such an adaptation, the scientists proposed, might help limit inbreeding. A girls' softball coach at Beaver Falls High School in Beaver County, Pennsylvania, was in trouble for having sex with a 17-year-old softball player, and Bill Clinton called on Sudan to accept foreign peacekeepers from Muslim countries. Red Buttons died. In Australia scientists found that mothers are less revolted by the smell of their child's feces than they are by the feces of other children, and paleontologists found fossil evidence between 10 million and 20 million years old of large,meat-eating kangaroos and possibly carnivorous birds, which were nicknamed "demon ducks of doom." Researchers in Uganda announced that gorillas eat rotting wood for the sodium. Bees killed four dogs in Florida. It was feared that the West African black rhino was extinct, and JackKevorkian, who is dying, said that he would not choose suicide. Chechen separatist leader Shamil Basayev died in an explosion. Scientists in Bologna, Italy, disinterred the eighteenth-century castrato Farinelli in the hope of finding what made him such a powerful singer, and the Vatican announced that, while it paid $9 million for the funeral of Pope John Paul II, it still made a $12.4 million profit in 2005. In Mauritania, where local custom favors obese women and where girls are sometimes fattened up by being force-fed sweetened milk and millet porridge via a funnel, large numbers of women were attempting to lose weight for health reasons. Saddam Hussein's hunger strike entered its ninth day, though he still drinks sweet coffee and other liquids. In Chennai, India, more than a ton of camel meat from Dubai was destroyed at an airport after no one claimed it, and a chicken in Kazakhstan laid an egg with the word "Allah" in Arabic on its shell. "We'll keep this egg," said a farmer, "and we don't think it'll go bad." -- Paul Ford

TO: Harper's Weekly
FROM: Manuel Arriaga
In today's "Harper Weekly" you write that The president of Spain snubbed the pope Zapatero received the pope at the airport; he was simplyabsent from a religious ceremony conducted by thelatter. Even the extremely succint format of this weeklydigest would allow you to have included a few wordsproviding some context: you could, e.g., have mentionedthe several recent occasions on which Vatican dignitariesmade undiplomatic comments on matters of Spanish domesticpolicy. Furthermore, last time I checked Spain was a monarchy, nota republic. Zapatero is the Spanish prime-minister.

TO: Harper's Weekly
FROM: Peter Ban To Brian Hotson:
Q: "Why is it that the Palestinian 'abducted' a Israelisolder, and the Israelis 'arrest' "as many as 64Palestinian officials." Can the Palestinians only abductand not arrest? Or is it somehow more legitimate for theIsraelis to take who they like?" A: There is a cause and effect relationship. It is commonusage in English to refer to those who kidnap for ransomas "abductors," and when they are caught, they are being"arrested" for their unlawful crime.

TO: Harper's Weekly
FROM: M. Henri Day
Amazing! A small East Asian country (population 23million), which has not been involved in a shooting warsince 1953 and which, while it may or may not possess 6 -8 nuclear devices has never conducted a nuclear test,tests (unsuccessfully) a long-range missile. An enormousSouth Asian country with a population some 50 times thatof the country mentioned above, which has been involved inthree major and one minor war with one neighbour and aborder conflict with another and which, having conductedseveral nuclear tests is estimated to possessapproximately 100 nuclear warheads, also tests(unsuccessfully) a long-range missile. Guess which of thetwo it is that all the Chicken Littles of the worldcharacterise as a Threat to World Peace? ("What WorldPeace?" - one might like to ask....)

COMMENTS, CLARIFICATIONS, and CORRECTIONS are alwayswelcome. Write to: harpers-weekly@harpers.org
 

OTIS

TRIBE Member
HARPER'S WEEKLY REVIEW
July 25, 2006

* * * * * * * * *

Israel insisted it had no immediate plans for a
large-scale ground invasion of Lebanon, although it seized
two Lebanese towns, called up 10,000 troops to the border,
and called thousands of reservists to active duty. Almost
400 people (362 Lebanese, 37 Israelis) have been killed so
far in the conflict. European governments debated the
proportionality of these deaths, and Syrian president
Bashar Assad told the international community to stop
procrastinating and broker a ceasefire. President Mahmoud
Ahmadinejad of Iran predicted that Israel had "pushed the
button of its own destruction." Ehud Olmert, prime
minister of Israel, said Hezbollah's war on Israel was a
ruse to divert attention from Iran's nuclear weapons
program. Kayhan, an Iranian news daily, replied that it
only "wish[ed] Israel's lies were true." One thousand
Americans were evacuated from Beirut aboard a 38-year-old
cruise ship named the Orient Queen. A 950-foot luxury sea
liner unexpectedly listed off Port Canaveral, Florida, and
a tractor-trailer carrying a Tomahawk missile overturned
in New York City. Fifty-three Iraqis died when a car bomb
exploded in the Shiite city of Kufa, and 48 lost their
lives to Sunni Arab gunmen in Mahmudiya. Violence was
forcing Shiite-owned bakeries in Baghdad's Sunni
neighborhoods to close their doors, and Saddam Hussein was
being force-fed through a tube. Ethiopia denied reports
that it had attacked Somalia, and Somalia declared an "all
out holy war" on Ethiopia. India was gagging blogs. The
president of Vietnam told reporters to "stick to their
principles" and to "do their utmost in the fight against
wrong-doing and crime." The Chinese government announced
that it would begin issuing identity numbers to fresh
vegetables.

U.S. Representative Phil Gingrey of Georgia claimed that
God supported a Constitutional amendment banning same-sex
marriages. "I think," he said, "God has spoken very
clearly on this issue." "It's part of God's plan," said
Texas Congressman John Carter, "for the future of
mankind." "We best not," said Colorado Representative Bob
Beauprez, "be messing with His plan." President George
W. Bush issued his first executive veto, striking down a
bill that would have expanded federal research involving
embryonic stem cells. Prosecuting attorneys in California
and New York were trying to limit "gay panic" defenses in
criminal trials, advisers at federally funded "pregnancy
resource centers" were telling women that abortions
increase the risk of cancer, infertility, and mental
illness, and a doctor and two nurses at the Memorial
Medical Center in New Orleans were charged with the murder
of four patients during the aftermath of Hurricane
Katrina. Bill Clinton said that if Iraq or Iran had
attacked Israel during his presidency, he would have been
ready to "grab a rifle, get in a ditch, and fight and
die." Hillary Clinton warned that advertisers may attempt
to place mind-controlling computer chips in the brains of
children. Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales testified
to the Senate that President Bush personally blocked an
investigation of the administration's warrantless
eavesdropping program, and the National Enquirer admitted
that Britney Spears's marriage was stable, despite reports
to the contrary. Scientists learned that Britain's wealthy
neighborhoods may cause cancer in children, and that one
third of the country's river fish are undergoing sex
changes. Scientists in Austria recommended that men sleep
alone to better safeguard their brainpower.

The United States and Russia agreed to set quotas for how
many polar bears they would kill each year, and British
stage actor Frank Harrison, 70, was fined $919 for lightly
spanking an actress. "All pretty little girls," said
Harrison, "deserve to be spanked once a day." Research
revealed that giant thermonuclear explosions detected in
the constellation Ophiuchus were caused by a Red Giant
star dumping gas onto a White Dwarf star, and that
Canadian high-rise hotels may be to blame for a 200
percent increase in mist levels at Niagara Falls. The
United States agreed to buy a 29-foot-tall cross located
on a hilltop in San Diego, sheriff's deputies in Arizona
stumbled upon 100 Mexican immigrants wandering in the
desert west of Phoenix, and a study conducted at the
University of Pennsylvania discovered a positive
correlation between education and sunburn. A taxidermist
from Lake County, Florida, was arrested after urinating on
$500 worth of frozen food, and thieves stole a 14-foot
inflatable sheep from a store in Rochester,
Minnesota. Wolf-dogs attacked and killed a woman in
Greensburg, Pennsylvania.

-- Theodore Ross

* * * * * * * * *
 

SlipperyPete

TRIBE Member
HARPER'S WEEKLY
August 1, 2006

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

WEEKLY REVIEW

After an Israeli bombing raid killed 54 people,
including 37 children, in the Lebanese village of Qana,
Beirut residents set fire to a U.N. headquarters. Israel
agreed to suspend some bombing operations for 48 hours
in order to investigate the deaths, though Israeli Prime
Minister Ehud Olmert ruled out a ceasefire. Israeli bombs
struck a U.N. post in southern Lebanon, killing four
peacekeepers. U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan said the
targeting was "apparently deliberate," and Olmert called
Annan's comments "premature and erroneous." The United
Nations began relief operations. Hezbollah guerillas fired
several hundred rockets into towns in northern Israel,
hitting a laundry detergent factory and a cemetery, and
injuring at least 31 people. Nine Israeli soldiers were
killed in an ambush, and Israeli officials claimed to have
killed some 200 Hezbollah "operatives" since the outset of
hostilities. Lebanese were receiving late-night phone calls
from the Israeli government. "I just wished I could talk
back to the voice," said one woman, "but it was a recorded
message." Hezbollah responded by sending mobile-phone
text messages to dozens of Israelis. The Israeli military
deployed llamas in southern Lebanon. Radical Sunni groups
usually hostile to Shiites urged support for Hezbollah,
and Iraq's prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki, condemned
Israel's military actions; Howard Dean called al-Maliki
an "anti-Semite." Thirteen U.S. soldiers died in Iraq,
where the U.S. military was planning to deploy 5,000
more troops. At least 34 gunshot bodies were found in
Baghdad, all showing signs of torture. Shiite militia
groups in Baghdad were setting up checkpoints, demanding
that passersby provide identification, and shooting Sunnis
on the spot. "The gangs also raided houses and shouted at
the people there, 'You pimps, Sunnis, we will kill you,'"
explained an eyewitness. "And they did." Gunmen in Mosul
set fire to government-run food-ration shops. A marine
sniper who has killed as many as 60 insurgents in Iraq said
of his work, "It's like hearing classical music playing
in my head." It was reported that Private Steven D. Green,
who is charged with raping a 14-year-old Iraqi girl, then
killing her and members of her family, had said that, in
Iraq, "killing people is like squashing an ant, I mean,
you kill somebody and it's like, 'All right, let's go get
some pizza.'" The coach of the Iraqi national soccer team
resigned and fled to Kurdistan. Saddam Hussein demanded
that he be shot--not hanged--if he is found guilty of
murdering Shiites in Dujail in 1982. "This case," said
Hussein, "is not worth the urine of an Iraqi child." In
Minnesota people in zombie costumes were arrested for
carrying "simulated weapons of mass destruction."

Hot weather killed 141 people (as well as 25,000 cattle
and 700,000 fowl) in California, at least 170 people in
France, Italy, and Spain, and dozens of racing dogs in
Oregon, and shut down MySpace. Two people in England
were killed by a giant inflatable sculpture named
Dreamscape. Radiologists announced that many Americans
were becoming too fat for X-rays, and a man in Sumatra
was squashed by an elephant. Doctors in India removed a
15-year-old dead fetus from a woman's womb, President
George W. Bush apologized to British Prime Minister
Tony Blair for improperly shipping bombs to Israel via
Scotland, and Britain considered legislation to establish
$1,859 fines for cyber-bullying. Baboons were harrassing
construction workers in Liverpool, and a school headmaster
in China burned down 10 classrooms when the dog meat
he was cooking burst into flames. An American scientist
claimed that parrots are as intelligent as five-year-old
children, and Georgian soldiers were injured in a battle
in a gorge in Georgia, according to government official
Georgy Arveladze. It was reported that detainees at the
Guantanamo Bay prison have attacked their guards with spit,
feces, semen, and a bloody lizard tail. Senators Hillary
Clinton and John McCain held a vodka-drinking contest,
and in Maryland one U.S. Senate candidate said he did
not knowingly pay for 20 heroin addicts to come to his
campaign rally, while another was arrested for raping his
19-year-old mail-order bride. Officials in Mississippi
claimed to have their beaver problem under control.

Geneticists were optimistic about their plans to sequence
and compare the genomes of such primate species as the
chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes), the rhesus macaque (Macaca
mulatta), the orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus), and the gorilla
(Gorilla gorilla). A Tennessee elephant named Winkie was
found not to have killed her handler on purpose, and a
British jockey apologized for headbutting his horse. A
large praying mantis statue was frightening children
in Tokyo, poisoned pigeons rained down in Schenectady,
New York, and Texas was overrun by butterflies. A man in
Prey Veng province, Vietnam, killed a 76-year-old nun by
strangling her with a krama, then attempted to assassinate
a monk, while the victims slept at a wat. An influential
Italian banker and member of Opus Dei was found dismembered
under a bridge in Parma, and Mel Gibson was arrested on
suspicion of drunk driving. "Are you a Jew?" Gibson is
reported to have asked a sheriff's deputy. "What do you
think you're looking at, sugar tits?" he demanded of a
female sergeant. Chinese scientists were preparing to
test an artificial sun. Lubbock, Texas, prayed for rain,
and fish fell from the sky in Manna, India.

-- Rafil Kroll-Zaidi


* * * * * * * * *
CORRECTION

Bill Clinton said he would offer his life for Israel in
2002.

* * * * * * * * *
LETTERS

TO: Harper's Weekly
FROM: Jane Paulkovich

Your statement that "Hillary Clinton warned that
advertisers may attempt to place mind-controlling computer
chips in the brains of children" is not quite the same as
"Madison Ave. ad execs are so bent on taking control of
America's children, they'd put computer chips in kids'
brains if they could", as said by Hillary Clinton in the
New York Daily news.

While I enjoy reading your brief versions of the news, I
would like to ask you to please try not to lose--or
change--their meaning.


TO: Harper's Weekly
FROM: Lavella Medford

More and more of our elected officials seem to believe
they are in "direct" touch with God, and therefore know
his "plan" (whatever that is) for the rest of us. Their
ideology stands as a frightening warning of our national
drift toward sectarian government. We need look no
further than Afghanistan, Iraq, and other middle-east
countries for current, powerful evidence of what happens
when people are governed by fanatical sectarian
governments. Whichever group is in power claims God,
Allah or some other deity is the only God, and uses the
Bible or their religious manifesto to mandate and justify
the slaughter of all who are not believers in that God.
Shades of the persecution of Christians by the Romans, the
Spanish Inquisition, the Salem witch trials in our own
country! Have we forgotten that freedom of religion
motivated our forefathers to leave their countries and
endure untold hardships so they could live free of
religious persecution? Having experienced its horrors,
they took great pains to separate the powers of church and
state. Wake up Americans! See the slippery slope we are
treading where government by religious ideology, rather
than established law, is the rule! Government by ideology
promotes fear, not freedom and stems from cowardice, not
courage. Its results are destruction, not democracy!

* * * * * * * * *
 

Genesius

TRIBE Member
I didn't hear this one:

Lebanese were receiving late-night phone calls
from the Israeli government. "I just wished I could talk
back to the voice," said one woman, "but it was a recorded
message." Hezbollah responded by sending mobile-phone
text messages to dozens of Israelis.

And that's... news to me.
 

Boss Hog

TRIBE Member
HARPER'S WEEKLY
August 15, 2006


WEEKLY REVIEW

Connecticut Senator Joseph Lieberman lost the Democratic
Senate primary election to anti-Iraq-war candidate Ned
Lamont. Lieberman then announced that he would run as an
independent candidate, and that "Team Connecticut" would
"surge forward to victory." Vice President Dick Cheney
said that Lamont's victory was encouraging to "Al Qaeda
types." Under pressure from U.S. officials, authorities in
the United Kingdom announced the discovery of a terrorist
plot to blow up as many as ten passenger planes in the
air, possibly by using explosive liquids hidden inside
sports-drink bottles. Twenty-one suspects were
arrested. Britain raised its threat level to "critical";
the United States raised its threat level "for all
commercial flights flying from the United Kingdom to the
United States" to "red." Carry-on luggage was banned on
flights in and out of Heathrow airport, and classical and
traditional musicians, who normally keep their fragile
instruments with them while traveling, were forced to
check them as baggage and risk damage. "These
restrictions," said a cellist, "are a disaster for me."
Bagpipers planning to attend the World Pipe Band
Championships were particularly worried about the effects
of the ban. Prime Minister Tony Blair, on vacation in the
Caribbean, thanked U.K. security services for their "hard
work," and President George W. Bush, who had been
monitoring the progress of the investigation while on
vacation in Crawford, Texas (where he was reading The
Stranger, by Albert Camus), flew to Wisconsin and called
the arrests "a stark reminder that this nation is at war
with Islamic fascists." Bush's approval rating once again
fell to 33 percent, and light, sweet crude was trading at
$76.98 per barrel. The Federal Reserve allowed the
U.S. interest rate to remain at 5.25 percent. Coke and
Pepsi were banned in the state of Kerala, India, because
of their high levels of pesticide residue, and Scotland
banned the sale of swords, with religious swords exempted.

Astronomers were trying to decide whether Pluto was or was
not a planet. "So far," said an astronomer, "it looks like
a stalemate." Hezbollah accepted a U.N. ceasefire
resolution, and agreed to allow Lebanese and U.N. troops
to serve as peacekeepers in southern Lebanon. Ariel
Sharon's cerebral condition was reportedly growing
worse. In Queens, New York, a cat named Fred Wheezy, a
recipient of the New York City Police Department's Law
Enforcement Achievement Award, was struck and killed by a
car. Cuban leader Fidel Castro, it was reported, looked
good after surgery, and Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez
visited his bedside. "I ask you all to be optimistic,"
said Castro in a statement, "and at the same time to be
ready to face any adverse news." Iranian President Mahmoud
Ahmadinejad was writing a blog. Günter Grass announced
that he had once been a member of the Nazi SS. A Hiroshima
man was arrested for making 37,760 silent phone calls to
directory assistance because he wanted "to hear these
women's voices." It was pointed out that the United States
has been fighting in Iraq for as long as it fought Germany
during World War II.

Spain, Sicily, and North Africa were on jellyfish alert,
with over 30,000 people stung so far this summer. The
jellyfish explosion, a researcher explained, is due to
overfishing and global warming. America Online released
the search query data of 658,000 people to the Web, then
pulled the information because it could be used to violate
user privacy. User 88112, for instance, searched for
"christian beliefs and sex outside of marrigae" and "penis
abnormalities in children," while user 843043 searched for
"fungal meningitis and coma" and "easter cookie recipe for
jesus' suffering." "This," said an AOL representative,
"was a screw up." It was reported that NASA had lost the
original high-resolution tapes of the July 1969 moon
landing. In Texas a truck carrying zoo animals overturned,
immediately killing one penguin; three more penguins were
killed by oncoming traffic. The octopus was not
harmed. Marine biologists discovered a huge hypoxic "dead
zone" off the Oregon coast. "We can't be sure what
happened to all the fish," said a researcher, "but it's
clear they are gone." In Florida a man was missing after a
large turtle pulled him into the sea, and, for the first
time in over 60 years, a corpse flower bloomed in New York
City.

-- Paul Ford
 

SonorouS

TRIBE Member
not the newest one...

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WEEKLY REVIEW

Israel, a few days before Yom Kippur, declared that the
Gaza Strip is now a "hostile entity," and the office of
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert (who is under investigation for
corruption) announced a collective-punishment plan that
includes "limiting the transfer of goods to the Gaza Strip,
cutting back fuel and electricity, and restricting the
movement of people to and from the Strip." Hamas spokesman
Fawzi Barhoum condemned Israel's "criminal, terrorist
Zionist actions." U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza
Rice, who recently was denied an audience with the Pope,
went to Jerusalem to bring peace, and it was reported that
not long ago Vice President Dick Cheney considered asking
Israel to launch missiles at an Iranian nuclear site to
kick-start a new war. The Senate failed to pass a bill
restoring habeas corpus to military detainees but voted
to denounce MoveOn.org. Senators Joseph Lieberman and Jon
Kyl filed an amendment to the 2008 Defense Authorization
Bill to classify Iran's Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist
organization, and Iran shut its border with northern Iraq
after an Iranian national was detained by U.S. troops
and accused of being a member of the Revolutionary
Guard. Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad attended
the United Nations in New York City and gave a speech at
Columbia University. "There is," he said in an interview,
"no war in the offing." Marcel Marceau died quietly.

Both Iran and mercenary firm Blackwater USA were accused of
smuggling weapons into Iraq, and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri
al-Maliki, speaking from a Manhattan hotel, criticized the
United States for the recent deaths of civilians at the
hands of Blackwater. "Success is shared," he said. "God
forbid, failure is also shared." General Motors workers
went on strike, and Raytheon unveiled Silent Guardian, a
device that radiates unbearable pain. "You don't have time
to think about it," said an executive. "You just run." The
ray gun, Raytheon promised, will not be sold to countries
with questionable human rights records, although it will be
used by the United States in Iraq. Sherri Shepherd, one of
the hosts of "The View," was criticized for not knowing
for sure whether the earth is round, and a dismissed
trial-court judge in the Philippines was fighting to be
returned to the bench along with his three elves, Angel,
Armand, and Luis the Avenger. There were reports of a
restaurant in Tokyo where patrons could rape an animal
before eating it. "When people have got money and done
everything else," said a lawyer who'd had the pork,
"they turn toward bestiality." Apple co-founder Steve
Wozniak was dating actress Kathy Griffin.


Contestants on "American Idol"-style talent shows,
said China, must henceforth demonstrate "perseverance,
maturity, confidence, and health." A rare and valuable
white koala was discovered in Australia, and FOX talk-show
host Bill O'Reilly ate a meal in Harlem. "There wasn't one
person in Sylvia's who was screaming, 'M-Fer, I want more
iced tea,'" said O'Reilly. "You know, I mean, everybody
was--it was like going into an Italian restaurant in an
all-white suburb in the sense of people were sitting there,
and they were ordering and having fun." U.S. Homeland
Security was noting what some people read when they fly,
and a University of Florida student was Tasered after
his question for Senator John Kerry went on too long. An
Ocala, Florida, man accused police of Tasering him after
he refused to drop his Koran; police in Tustin, California,
Tasered a 15-year-old autistic boy; and a Taser dart fired
at a Vancouver, Washington, man ignited the cigarette
lighter in his pocket, setting his pants on fire. Sales
at Taser International were expected to reach $90 million
this year. One million cribs made by Simplicity Inc. and
Graco Children's Products were recalled due to the risk
of infant suffocation, and Denver police were searching
for a three-year-old girl abandoned by her mother and
mother's boyfriend. "Walk out into your back yard," said
police. "Look through your Dumpsters, help us find this
little girl. She's probably in a black plastic bag or
white plastic bag." A man in St. Paul, Minnesota, faced
$5,000 in fines for ripping the head off a tame duck in a
hotel lobby and a British man named Anthony Anderson was
arrested for urinating on a 57-year-old woman as she lay
dying of pancreatic failure. "This," yelled Anderson as he
was filmed, "is YouTube material." Twenty thousand people
marched against the junta in Burma; about 400 monks were
pushed away from the house where pro-democracy leader Aung
San Suu Kyi is imprisoned. "Love and kindness," read the
monks' yellow banner, "must win over everything."



i love the way they group the sentences. for some reason the bold part made me laugh so hard...
 
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