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Harper's Weekly - always a good read

Subsonic Chronic

TRIBE Member
The Labor Department reported that the economy created a mere 96,000 jobs last month, thus failing to keep pace with the expansion of the nation's work force and confirming that George W. Bush has the worst job creation record of any president since Herbert Hoover. The White House reacted to the bad news by declaring that the poor job numbers prove that the president's tax cuts have been working. [New York Times] The Iraq Survey Group issued its final report and concluded that Saddam Hussein dismantled his nuclear weapons program in 1991 and did not attempt to revive it. The inspectors said that there was no evidence that Iraq continued to possess chemical or biological weapons, and they concluded that Hussein refused to admit he had disarmed because he wanted to maintain a deterrent against Iran. [New York Times] President Bush said that the report proved that Iraq was "a gathering threat." [New York Times] L. Paul Bremer, President Bush's former proconsul in Iraq, told an audience of insurance agents that "we never had enough troops on the ground" and that "the single most important change — the one thing that would have improved the situation — would have been having more troops in Iraq at the beginning and throughout." Bremer said that he had argued for more troops but that his requests were denied. The Bush Administration first denied that Bremer asked for more troops and then admitted that, yes, in fact, he did. [Washington Post] Jacques Derrida died of pancreatic cancer. [New York Times] Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld visited Iraq and told soldiers that the violence there will probably get worse; while he was in the country two car bombs went off in Baghdad, killing 11 people. [Los Angeles Times] Alu Alkhanov was sworn in as president of Chechnya. [New York Times] Opposition politicians complained that the Afghan presidential election was fraudulent, and an [New York Times] Iraqi politician was indicted for suggesting that the country open negotiations with Israel. [New York Times] Bombings in three Egyptian resort towns killed at least 33 people and wounded 149. Many of the victims were vacationing Israelis. [New York Times] A suicide car bombing killed at least 39 people at a rally in central Pakistan, and the [Reuters] government banned public meetings except for Friday prayers. [New York Times] Rebels and government soldiers were abducting, torturing, and killing civilians in Nepal. [Reuters] The genocide in Sudan was continuing. [New York Times] In Haiti, supporters of former president Jean-Bertrand Aristide were going after policemen with machetes; some were beheaded. [New York Times] A Washington, D.C., policeman arrested, cuffed, and jailed a woman for eating a candy bar in the subway. [Associated Press]

The Bush campaign denied rumors that the president was wired with an earpiece to receive help during his first debate with Senator John Kerry. [Associated Press] Republicans in Michigan were calling on authorities to prosecute Michael Moore for offering to give clean underwear to college students if they would promise to vote. [Associated Press] Republicans in Oklahoma were running television ads showing dark-skinned hands accepting welfare checks, and [Associated Press] House majority leader Tom DeLay was again rebuked by the House Ethics Committee for having "created an appearance that donors were being provided special access to you regarding" pending legislation. [New York Times] Vice President Dick Cheney and Senator John Edwards had harsh words for each other during their debate; [New York Times] Cheney claimed that he had never before met Senator Edwards; newspapers then published a photograph of the two men smiling and speaking together at a prayer breakfast. [New York Times] Martha Stewart began her five-month prison sentence for telling lies. [Associated Press] Swaziland's police commissioner was detained for several hours in the Atlanta airport when he was traveling to the Interpol General Assembly in Mexico. [New York Times] King Norodom Sihanouk of Cambodia abdicated his throne. [New York Times] Rodney Dangerfield died. [New York Times] Federal tax revenue was lower than it was in 2000, [New York Times] Chicago experienced its first murder-free night in five years, and [New York Times] Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia said that "sexual orgies eliminate social tensions and ought to be encouraged." [Guardian]

Britain suspended the license of the factory in Liverpool that was supposed to manufacture almost half the American supply of this year's flu vaccine. [New York Times] Public health experts have long warned that it is insane for the United States to depend on two companies for the country's flu vaccine. [New York Times] The World Health Organization released a study, based on an unscientific "spot-check" sampling, concluding that Indonesian villagers in Buyat Bay, Sulawesi, have not been poisoned by a gold mine, owned by the Newmont Mining Corporation, that dumped about 2,000 tons of mine tailings a day into nearby waters. [New York Times] The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations called on hospitals to prevent "anesthesia awareness," which is the term for when a patient can feel the pain of surgery but is unable to move or cry out. [Associated Press] Congress agreed to permit the Energy Department to redefine some highly radioactive nuclear waste in South Carolina and Idaho so that it can be left in tanks rather than being pumped out for deep burial. [New York Times] Three hundred pounds of weapons-grade plutonium from the United States arrived in France. [New York Times] Mexico declined to stop the construction of a Wal-Mart next to the ancient ruins of Teotihuacán, and paleontologists [Reuters] in China discovered 130-million-year-old fossils of Dilong paradoxus, an ancestor of Tyrannosaurus rex, with impressions of feathers all over its body. [New York Times] Scientists sequenced the genome of a Hereford cow. [Associated Press] Weather experts said that the United States experienced a record number of tornadoes in August and September, and [New York Times] Elfriede Jelinek, the Austrian novelist, won the Nobel Prize in Literature. [Associated Press] Scientists were investigating the appearance of hermaphrodite fish in Colorado's South Platte River; the fish were found near two wastewater discharge pipes. [USA Today] Korean and Italian researchers developed a tiny robot with multiple legs designed to crawl through a patient's guts. [New Scientist] Scientists with NIZO Food Research developed an artificial throat that breathes, salivates, and swallows. [New Scientist] A nineteen-year-old Singapore man set a world record for the number of hamburgers he could stuff in his mouth. "I'm on top of the world right now," he said," because everyone's going to know that I can shove more than three burgers in my mouth." [Associated Press]
 

Subsonic Chronic

TRIBE Member
The Labor Department reported that the economy created a mere 96,000 jobs last month, thus failing to keep pace with the expansion of the nation's work force and confirming that George W. Bush has the worst job creation record of any president since Herbert Hoover. The White House reacted to the bad news by declaring that the poor job numbers prove that the president's tax cuts have been working.
haha... gotta love the spin.

"uh... yes, it's working. don't let the numbers fool you"

It's just like when they used the new reports that Saddam never posed any threat with WMDs to continue justifying the invasion.
 

SlipperyPete

TRIBE Member
A nineteen-year-old Singapore man set a world record for the number of hamburgers he could stuff in his mouth. "I'm on top of the world right now," he said," because everyone's going to know that I can shove more than three burgers in my mouth."
I just spat fragments of a Snickers bar onto this computer after reading this in my inbox, and had to log on to Tribe to share this fact with you Politics weinerkids.
 

Adam

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by Subsonic Chronic
haha... gotta love the spin.

"uh... yes, it's working. don't let the numbers fool you"
Exactly. The job creation numbers that Cheney spouted during the VP debate was accurate; they were actually job creation numbers. However, he neglected to mention that those were not the net jobs created, and didn't factor in the jobs that had actually been lost.

Creating x number of jobs is less impressive when 50x jobs are lost.
 

OTIS

TRIBE Member
HARPER'S WEEKLY REVIEW
October 19, 2004
*********************

[Image: Twisted creature.]

United States military personnel who worked at Camp Delta,
the largest prison camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, revealed
that many prisoners there were tortured by being forced to
endure strobe lights and cold temperatures and extremely
loud recordings of Limp Bizkit. Members of an Army Reserve
unit in Baghdad refused to deliver a fuel shipment because
they said that it was a "suicide mission." A study
found that Gulf War Syndrome was caused by toxic chemicals.
The U.S. was bombing Falluja again, and two suicide bombers
penetrated the Green Zone in Baghdad and killed five people.
The State Department classified Unification and Jihad, a
group led by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, as a terrorist
organization and froze its assets. Prime Minister Iyad
Allawi was working to dismantle an independent commission
designed to keep former Baathists out of power as part of
his effort to bring former Baathists into the government.
Mohamed ElBaradei, head of the International Atomic Energy
Agency, was concerned that entire buildings from Iraq's
former nuclear facilities have been dismantled and removed
and no one knows where they were taken. Twenty-eight
American soldiers were under investigation for the apparent
murder of two detainees at a base in Afghanistan. Poland
said that it will begin reducing its forces in Iraq next
year. Israel pulled back from its latest invasion of the
Gaza Strip, and the University of Haifa began offering a
master's degree in disaster management. President Bush sent
Ramadan greetings to Muslims in America and around the
globe. Saddam Hussein underwent a hernia operation. Doc
Holliday got a new tombstone.

Officials in Oregon and Nevada were investigating claims
that Republicans destroyed Democratic voter-registration
forms. A senator from Kentucky apologized for saying that
his Democratic opponent looks like one of Saddam Hussein's
sons. A senate candidate in Oklahoma warned of "rampant"
lesbianism in the schools. People in Detroit were debating
the wisdom of creating an "Africa Town" district, where the
city would give special loans to black businessmen. The FCC
fined Fox television $1.2 million for a broadcast of
"Married by America" in April 2003 that featured strippers
covered in whipped cream. Bill O'Reilly, the Fox News
pundit, was accused of sexually harassing one of his female
producers. An Australian doctor claimed that one of his
patients had a sleep disorder that caused her to sneak out
of her house at night and have sex with strangers. A
quadriplegic man succeeded in checking email and playing
computer games via a microchip embedded in his brain. The
Helsinki Zoo decided not to kill its 14 baboons, which it
had planned to do to make room for snow monkeys, after a
public outcry. A tractor-trailer accident spilled hundreds
of live chickens onto the New Jersey Turnpike. Karl Rove
testified before a grand jury investigating the exposure of
Valerie Plame as a covert CIA officer, and New York attorney
general Eliot Spitzer was going after corruption in the
insurance industry. The federal government reached its $7.4
trillion debt ceiling and was forced to delay contributions
to pension plans. A Dutch princess notified her husband in a
newspaper advertisement that she wants a divorce.

The Justice Department opened an investigation into the
Chiron Corporation, which was supposed to provide about half
the American flu vaccine supply until the British government
shut down the operation because of problems with bacterial
contamination. Disabled, elderly, and sick people were
lining up for hours hoping to get a flu shot; one woman in
California died after she collapsed from exhaustion and hit
her head. Scientists announced a relatively successful trial
of a new malaria vaccine. The FDA ordered all
antidepressants to carry a "black box" warning that the
drugs might cause children and adolescents to have suicidal
thoughts. Scientists successfully cultivated square
salt-loving bacteria called Walsby's square archaeon.
Swedish scientists found that using a mobile phone for ten
years doubles the risk of developing a tumor on the acoustic
nerve. A giant virus was discovered that is as big as a
small bacterium and may be an entirely new form of life.
Carbon dioxide levels were rising faster than ever. The
British Food Standards Agency warned that lobsters, cockles,
and scallops taken from the waters northwest of England are
contaminated with plutonium and will exceed United Nations
limits scheduled to take effect next year. Police in
Burlington, Ontario, were searching for someone who glued
shards of glass to playground equipment. The British
government was preparing to legalize casino gambling. An
analysis of government data showed that the net worth of the
median white household is 11 times greater than that of
Hispanics and 14 times greater than blacks'. The European
Patent Office revoked the patent previously granted to
Monsanto on the Indian Nap Hal variety of wheat. It was
proved by Greenpeace that the variety was bred by Indian
farmers; Monsanto claimed to have invented it via genetic
engineering. The Global Amphibian Assessment announced that
1,856 of the 5,743 known amphibian species are at risk of
extinction; nine species are known to have died out since
1980, and 113 have not been seen in recent years;
forty-three percent are in decline. Israeli police were
searching for 1,000 baby crocodiles.

--Roger D. Hodge
 

Adam

TRIBE Member
WEEKLY REVIEW


The interim Iraqi government officially notified the
International Atomic Energy Agency that 350 tons of
extremely powerful HMX and RDX explosives that American
forces simply failed to secure have disappeared from a
former military facility called Al Qaqaa. The explosives can
be used to destroy buildings, arm missile warheads, and
detonate nuclear devices, and it was generally conceded that
the Al Qaqaa cache, which was under seal by the IAEA prior
to the U.S. invasion, is the most likely source of the
explosives used in the extremely effective roadside and
suicide bombs that have been the primary weapon of the Iraqi
insurgency.
The Department of Defense has known about the
loss of the explosives for more than a year. U.S. officials
said that the Iraqi insurgency is at least twice as large as
previously estimated and that it has "unlimited money."
Attacks on Americans in Iraq were up about 30 percent.
Transparency International announced that Iraq is the most
corrupt country on Earth, and the chief contracting officer
for the Army Corps of Engineers called for an investigation
of how Halliburton was awarded large government contracts
for work in Iraq
. Fifty new Iraqi soldiers were ambushed and
killed near Mandali. Margaret Hassan, the local director of
CARE International, was kidnapped and later appeared on
television begging for her life. Pat Robertson revealed that
God told him the Iraq war would be a disaster and that he
tried to warn President Bush, who refused to listen. "I
mean, the Lord told me it was going to be (a), a disaster,
and (b), messy," Robertson said. "I warned him about
casualties."

President Bush accused Senator John Kerry of using
"old-style scare tactics" in his campaign for president;
Vice President Dick Cheney warned that John Kerry isn't
strong enough to win the war on terrorism, especially if a
nuclear bomb goes off in the middle of one of our cities.
It
was reported that the federal government has still failed to
stockpile anti-radiation pills, which can prevent thyroid
cancer from radiation in the event of a nuclear accident or
terrorist attack, and that even the distribution study
required by the Bioterrorism Act of 2002 has not been
completed. Counterterrorism officials were still having a
hard time finding specific evidence to support Tom Ridge's
claim in July that Al Qaeda is planning to disrupt the
November election. Absentee ballots missing the names of
John Kerry and John Edwards were mailed to Ohio voters. Two
Polish doctors and two ambulance workers were charged with
murder for killing patients in exchange for kickbacks from
funeral homes.
Some Israeli rabbis were calling on soldiers
to disobey orders if they are told to expel settlers from
the Gaza Strip. The state government of Utar Pradesh in
India was investigating reports that the Taj Mahal is
leaning. Secretary of Health and Human Services Tommy
Thompson said that the flu vaccine debacle is "not a health
crisis," several states were threatening to jail or fine
medical personnel who give flu shots to healthy people, and
it was reported that European countries, which prudently
avoided depending too much on any one supplier, do not
expect to experience shortages. A 14-year-old Thai girl died
of avian flu, and twenty-three tigers died in a Thai zoo
after they were fed infected chickens. Senator John Kerry
killed some geese in Ohio and showed reporters his bloody
hand to prove it.

Researchers at Yale University successfully grew human
testicular tissue in mice; the goal of the research is to
harvest sperm from the tissue so that pre-pubescent cancer
victims can preserve their fertility. British scientists
want to create human embryos that have three genetic
parents. A recount resulted in a revised estimate of the
number of human genes to between 20,000 and 25,000, and
French researchers reported that the spotted green
pufferfish also possesses about 25,000 genes. Single mothers
are less likely to give birth to boys, a study found, and
another study found that the children of older fathers have
a greater risk of going crazy later in life. The U.S. 9th
Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the world's whales had
no standing to sue President Bush over the Navy's use of
sonar equipment that kills them. Tribal sheiks from Falluja
asked the Americans to please stop bombing their city, and a
Navy jet accidentally bombed a hiking trail in Schuylkill
County, Pennsylvania. Anthony Hecht died. Boston police
killed a woman with a non-lethal pepper spray projectile
after the Red Sox defeated the New York Yankees to win the
American League Championship Series. New calculations
suggested that gravity may not be a constant after all.
President Saparmurat Niyazov of Turkmenistan inaugurated a
large new mosque in Kipchak, his birthplace; the marble
walls of the mosque, which covers 190,000 square feet and
holds up to 10,000 worshippers, are engraved with sayings
from the Koran and from the Rukhnama, Niyazov's spiritual
autobiography. Six Buddhist monks from Ratchaburi,
Thailand, were arrested and defrocked for holding wild drug
and alcohol parties. The British Armed Forces officially
recognized its first Satanist, a sailor on the HMS
Cumberland who will now be permitted to perform Satanic
rituals on board. German archeologists unearthed Martin
Luther's privy.

--Roger D. Hodge

(emphasis mine)
 

Boss Hog

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by Adam
New calculations
suggested that gravity may not be a constant after all.

Interesting. There's a theory out there that this is how they were able to make Stonehenge - that the gravitational pull was different when they worked with the rocks, making them more movable.
 

shylock_one

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by Adam
Pat Robertson revealed that
God told him the Iraq war would be a disaster and that he
tried to warn President Bush, who refused to listen. "I
mean, the Lord told me it was going to be (a), a disaster,
and (b), messy," Robertson said. "I warned him about
casualties."
That can't be right because I'm quite sure that God was telling Bush that he should invade Iraq.
 

OTIS

TRIBE Member
Wow guys.. dropping the ball two weeks in a row.. have we become disillusioned with politics already?!

Anyhow.. here's the last two weeks:

HARPER'S WEEKLY REVIEW
November 2, 2004
**********************

[Image: The pope cast into hell.]

The Bush Administration reversed itself and declared that
non-Iraqis captured fighting in Iraq are not protected by
the Geneva Conventions; such prisoners, it was reported,
have already been transferred out of Iraq in recent months
and could be taken to Egypt or Saudi Arabia where torture is
more common than it is in the United States. Four British
citizens who were held without charges in Guantanamo Bay,
Cuba, filed suit against Donald Rumsfeld and other senior
administration officials, and claimed that they were
tortured while in custody. The Pentagon responded that the
men were "enemy combatants" and thus had no right to sue. A
newly released document revealed that F.B.I. agents
witnessed Iraqi prisoners being abused at Abu Ghraib but
failed to report it because they saw nothing unusual about
the abuse. One agent said that what he saw at Abu Ghraib
was similar to what goes on in prisons in the United States.
A new study found that Iraqis are 58 times more likely to
die a violent death than before the American invasion; the
study concluded that 100,000 Iraqis have died as a result of
the invasion, and that coalition air strikes, which mostly
kill women and children, were the primary cause of civilian
deaths. President Bush suggested that the missing
explosives from the Al Qaqaa military facility might have
been removed before the invasion, and he claimed that by
criticizing him John Kerry is "denigrating the action of our
troops." Several news agencies confirmed that their embedded
reporters were present at the facility with American troops
and that they saw boxes labeled as explosives; KSTP
Television in Minneapolis broadcast footage taken at Al
Qaqaa of boxes of high explosives. KSTP also photographed
the seal of the International Atomic Energy Agency, which
indicates that the explosives were known to be associated
with Iraq's former nuclear program. Rudolph Giuliani went on
television and said that it wasn't the president's fault
that the Al Qaqaa explosives weren't secured; on the
contrary, he said, "the actual responsibility for it would
be for the troops that were there." The Pentagon extended
the Iraq tours of 6,500 soldiers, and a federal judge
ordered the Defense Department to stop giving troops the
anthrax vaccine and said that the Food and Drug
Administration broke its own rules by approving it. Congress
approved a measure that will permit soldiers and their
families to seek reimbursement for combat equipment, such as
body armor, that they have purchased with their own money.
U.S. forces were preparing for another large military
assault on Falluja, and nearby Ramadi was said to be
"slipping into chaos." Osama bin Laden released a new video
message and said that it was U.S. foreign policy,
particularly U.S. support for the Israeli invasion of
Lebanon in 1982, that led him to plan the September 11
attacks. "Bush says and claims that we hate freedom, let him
tell us then, 'Why did we not attack Sweden?'" Bush-Cheney
campaign officials were happy to hear from Osama: "We want
people to think 'terrorism' for the last four days," said
one. Another said that "anything that makes people nervous
about their personal safety helps Bush."

Voter suppression campaigns were reportedly underway all
around the country, though all indications were pointing to
an historically high turnout. Wisconsin Republicans were
trying to challenge about 37,000 voter registrations in
Milwaukee, and there were reports of gay-marriage push polls
in Michigan. In South Carolina a letter purporting to be
from the NAACP claimed that voters will be arrested at the
polls if they have outstanding parking tickets or child
support payments and said that voters must provide a credit
report, two forms of photo ID, a Social Security card, a
voter registration card, and a handwriting sample. Early
voters in Florida, especially in heavily Democratic
districts, were standing in line to vote for up to six
hours. Broward County's election supervisor said that up to
15,000 absentee ballots would be resent to voters whose
ballots mysteriously disappeared. A federal judge said that
political parties in Ohio may not station challengers at
polling places and said that to do so would create a
"substantial likelihood that significant harm will result
not only to voters, but also to the voting process itself."
A Sarasota man failed to run over Florida Republican
representative Katherine Harris in his car. "I intimidated
them with my car," he said. "I was exercising my political
expression." The Bush Campaign was forced to withdraw an ad
that had been digitally altered to increase the number of
soldiers in an audience listening to the president speak.
The IRS decided to investigate the tax-exempt status of the
NAACP.

Mobs of machete-wielding Christians and Muslims were
slaughtering one another in Liberia, Latvia's government
collapsed, and there was violence between Han Chinese and
Hui Muslims in central China. A teenage suicide bomber
killed three people in Tel Aviv when he set off his
explosives in a vegetable stall. Fidel Castro banned the
U.S. dollar, and Pakistan's lower house of parliament
passed a bill that would impose the death penalty for honor
killings, which have traditionally been ignored. Governor
Rick Perry of Texas refused to proclaim "UN Day," and a new
study found that up to 21,000 people are injured every year
from air rifles, paintball pistols, and BB guns. Chief
Justice William Rehnquist, who underwent a tracheotomy last
week, was recovering from treatment for thyroid cancer and
was unable to return to work. A clinic in Cleveland was
hoping to perform a face transplant using skin and the
underlying fat from a donor. Scientists announced the
discovery of a species of hobbit-like humans on Flores, an
island 370 miles east of Bali, that lived as recently as
13,000 years ago. The adult hobbits, who apparently hunted
pygmy elephants and Komodo dragons for food, were about the
size of a three-year-old modern human child. New research
found that it is better to be bullied for the first time as
a young child than as an adolescent. It was discovered that
the stem cell lines approved for federally funded research
in the United States are tainted with mouse characteristics,
the World Health Organization announced that avian flu
probably has not mutated into a form that can pass from
human to human, and researchers in South Carolina concluded
that high-fat diets can cause brain damage. Young mice
treated with Prozac, a study found, grow up to be depressed.
Scientists in California successfully implanted a brain
prosthesis in a dish of rat brain slices. The widow of
former French president Francois Mitterrand auctioned off
some of her designer furniture to raise money for the
defense of her son Jean-Christophe, who is under
investigation for selling arms illegally to Angola.
Britain's House of Commons voted to stop calling visitors
"strangers," and Russia's Federation Council ratified the
Kyoto Protocol. The U.S. murder rate was up. The Boston Red
Sox won the World Series.

--Roger D. Hodge
 

OTIS

TRIBE Member
and..

HARPER'S WEEKLY REVIEW
November 9, 2004
**********************

[Image: A humbug.]

Prime Minister Iyad Allawi of Iraq declared martial law
after twenty-two policemen were killed in one day; moments
later a car bomb blew up in Baghdad near the home of the
finance minister. A British contractor was killed in Basra,
attacks on American soldiers continued, and three Iraqi
translators were found dead in Tikrit. The United States
invaded Falluja for the second time in six months and
conquered the city's general hospital. Patients and doctors
were tied up and an Iraqi soldier shot himself in the leg.
Four car bombs blew up in Samarra and three police stations
were attacked nearby, a roadside bomb went off in Kufa, and
a police car was bombed in Ramadi. Insurgents disguised as
policemen murdered a dozen Iraqi national guardsmen who were
traveling to Najaf. Three British soldiers were killed in a
suicide bombing, and Doctors Without Borders announced that
it will cease its operations in Iraq. American soldiers
admitted to watching Iraqi looters haul off tons of
explosives from the Al Qaqaa ammunition depot, and American
intelligence agencies revised their estimate of the number
of surface-to-air missiles that are at large worldwide;
previously the number was thought to be 2,000 but now it
seems that about 4,000 Iraqi missiles are missing, bringing
the total to 6,000. An Air National Guard warplane fired its
20-millimeter cannon at an elementary school in Little Egg
Harbor Township, New Jersey. Hungary announced that it will
pull its forces out of Iraq, much of Venice was flooded by a
high tide, a plague of locusts descended on Cyprus, and
Senator John Kerry was narrowly defeated by President George
W. Bush in an election that was marred by irregularities and
unanswered questions about the integrity of electronic
voting machines.

Eleven states passed ballot initiatives banning gay
marriage. Voters in Montana approved the use of medical
marijuana; they also approved a "right to hunt" amendment.
Florida and Nevada raised the states' minimum wage. Lines at
Ohio polls were extremely long; one was estimated at 22
hours. Election software in Onslow County, North Carolina,
miscounted the votes for county commissioners. Some voting
machines in Broward County, Florida, started counting
backward once they reached 32,000. An electronic voting
machine in Ohio added 3,893 votes to President Bush's tally
in a district that had only 800 voters. Four thousand five
hundred and thirty early electronic votes in Carteret
County, North Carolina, were lost. Votes were also lost in
Palm Beach County, Florida, and in Tampa. Journalists were
still trying to figure out why exit polls -- which projected
that John Kerry would win in Florida, Ohio, New Mexico,
Colorado, Nevada, and Iowa -- turned out to be completely
wrong. "Exit polls are almost never wrong," wrote Dick
Morris. "Exit polls cannot be as wrong across the board as
they were on election night. I suspect foul play." It was
noted that anomalous voting patterns in Florida (where a
disproportionate number of Democrats apparently
voted for George W. Bush) were all confined to counties
where optical-scanning machines are used to read paper
ballots. Such votes are tabulated by Windows-based PCs
that are vulnerable to tampering. A poll taken just before
the election showed that 75 percent of Bush supporters still
believe that Iraq either was a close ally of Al Qaeda
or was directly involved in the September 11 attacks.
Voters in Dallas County, Texas, elected an openly gay
Hispanic woman as sheriff. President Bush promised "to serve
all Americans": "Let me put it to you this way," he said.
"I earned capital in the campaign, political capital, and
now I intend to spend it."

The Abu Hafs al-Masri Brigades, a group linked to Al Qaeda
that claimed responsibility for the Madrid bombings in
March, released a statement chastising Americans for
reelecting President Bush. "The coming days will show you
that the one you preferred will lead you to an unbearable
hell," the statement said. "The next days will show you that
your support of the criminal will not bring you security and
will not prevent the mujahedeen from hurting you where you
are. The next days will prove this." Senator Arlen Specter
of Pennsylvania suggested that judicial nominees who do not
support Roe v. Wade might have a hard time getting confirmed
and immediately came under attack from conservatives seeking
to prevent him from becoming chairman of the Senate
Judiciary Committee. Elizabeth Edwards, the wife of John
Edwards, was diagnosed with breast cancer. Yasir Arafat was
dying, apparently of liver failure, and Israeli politicians
said that he would never be buried in Jerusalem; they
suggested an overgrown cemetery in Khan Yunis that smells of
dead fish. Asked whether Arafat was brain dead, the French
foreign minister said, "I wouldn't say that." Abilio Soares,
the last Indonesian governor of East Timor, was acquitted on
appeal of crimes against humanity. Saskatchewan legalized
gay marriage. A giant Wal-Mart opened up within a mile of
the pyramids at Teotihuacán, Mexico. The FDA announced that
it will hire a scientific review agency to determine whether
the nation's drug safety system is working. A six-year-old
Florida girl took $1,000 worth of crack cocaine to school;
her mother said she must have got it trick-or-treating.
Police in Las Vegas were told to stop using Tasers on
handcuffed prisoners. Two Episcopal priests in Pennsylvania
were in trouble for also being Druid spiritual leaders; the
husband-and-wife priests were known among the Druids as
Raven and Oakwyse. Farmers in India were reportedly spraying
their cotton and chili fields with Coca-Cola because it's
cheaper than pesticides and kills pests just as effectively.
A Russian nuclear power plant was shut down because of what
was called a "minor mishap." Officials in Lithuania were
looking for a radioactive $100 bill. Coyotes were spotted in
Washington, D.C.

--Roger D. Hodge
 

Boss Hog

TRIBE Member
Re: and..

Originally posted by OTIS
American soldiers admitted to watching Iraqi looters haul off tons of explosives from the Al Qaqaa ammunition depot,

I totally missed this in the news...
 

organik

TRIBE Member
Re: and..

A six-year-old Florida girl took $1,000 worth of crack cocaine to school;her mother said she must have got it trick-or-treating.
LMAO!


Farmers in India were reportedly spraying
their cotton and chili fields with Coca-Cola because it's
cheaper than pesticides and kills pests just as effectively.
wow... and people drink this shit everyday.
 

Subsonic Chronic

TRIBE Member
Some real funny shit this week:


Nobel Prize winner Rahman Abdel-Raouf Arafat Al-Qudwa,
better known as Yasir Arafat, died of unknown causes at a
French military hospital. He was 75. Samples of Arafat's
blood were sent to the United States and Germany to test for
poison, while some claimed that Arafat had a fondness for
wild homosexual orgies and had consequently died of AIDS.

Arafat's funeral, attended by tens of thousands, was marked
by two hours of honorary gunfire. Mahmoud Abbas, Arafat's
most likely successor, dodged bullets in Gaza. The
Palestinian leadership was left wondering where Arafat had
stowed his billions of dollars, and downtown Jerusalem went
wireless, with free Internet access for all. In Iraq, the
United States took control of Falluja. Thirty-eight U.S.
troops, six Iraqi soldiers, and 1,200 insurgents were killed
in Operation al-Fajr (the Dawn), previously known as
Operation Phantom Fury. Civilians there were finding it hard
to come by medical supplies, and few clinics remained open.
"People are eating flour because there's no proper food,"
one refugee reported. Troops were diverted from Falluja to
quell uprisings in Mosul, and there were at least five
explosions in Central Baghdad. In response to protests by
civilians, tanks rolled into Los Angeles.
The State
Department pledged $90 million to rebuild Falluja, and the
New York City Metropolitan Museum of Art paid more than $45
million for Duccio di Buoninsegna's 8"x11" "Madonna and
Child."

Commerce Secretary Donald Evans and Attorney General John
Ashcroft resigned, as did Secretary of State Colin Powell,
Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman, Education Secretary Rod
Paige, and Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham. "Corporate
integrity has been restored," Ashcroft wrote to the
President.
(Ahahahaha...) "The objective of securing the safety of Americans from crime and terror has been achieved."
Halliburton admitted that it might have bribed Nigerian
officials. Dick Cheney, who appears to have an enormous
penis,
went to a hospital complaining of shortness of
breath, and was discharged three hours later. A pregnant
baboon ran wild at George Bush Airport,
and President Bush
nominated Alberto R. Gonzales to replace Ashcroft. Gonzales,
a critic of the Geneva convention and long-time Bush
loyalist, was instrumental in protecting then-Governor Bush
from the details of clemency pleas for death row inmates in
Texas, and in 1996 took pains to help Bush hide a 1976 drunk
driving conviction. Former high-school football star Demarco
McCullum, Texas prisoner #999180, became the 21st prisoner
executed in that state this year. A train carrying nuclear
waste from Valognes, France, to Gorleben, Germany, arrived
late after being delayed by protestors, one of whom died
after he chained himself to the tracks and was run over.
At
the beginning of the week, Iran was working hard to convert
37 metric tons of milled yellowcake uranium into enough
uranium hexaflouride for five nuclear weapons, but later in
the week, it promised to stop. Egypt rejected claims that it
had secret nuclear ambitions. The Christian-dominated
government of the Ivory Coast continued to battle a Muslim
insurgency. President Laurent Gbagbo accused France, which
has 4,000 peacekeeping troops in the region, of favoring the
rebels, and anti-French feeling among southern Ivorians ran
high. "I want a Frenchman. I want to eat a Frenchman," said
one protestor. Astronomers took a closer look at Uranus, and
found it stormy, with "vigorous convective activity in the
southern hemisphere"; they described the rings around Uranus
as "a layer of chunks."
Television was banned in
Afghanistan.

A North Carolina doctor gave women orgasms by running
electric wires directly into their spines, a 29-year old
Connecticut woman accused her eight-year-old boyfriend of
being too controlling
, and scientists discovered three new
species of sea squirt. The presidential race was still
undecided in New Mexico. John Kerry, the junior senator from
Massachusetts, told reporters, "Fifty-four plus million
Americans voted for health care, they voted for energy
independence, they voted for unity in America, they voted
for stem-cell research, they voted for protecting Social
Security." Tennessee took steps to eliminate its public
health programs, and Bush moved forward with his plan to
privatize Social Security. Scientists noted that Arctic
warming could make it easier to find oil. It was also
observed that global warming is good for squid. Shell Oil
opened the first hydrogen refueling station in North
America. Centrist Democrats launched "Third Way," an
advocacy group that they hope will create a "moderate
majority." Jerry Falwell announced the Faith and Values
Coalition, a revival of the failed Moral Majority. The new
group will fight against abortion, homosexual rights, and
Democrats. When asked to discuss Bush's obligations to
evangelical Christians, White House Press Secretary Scott
McLellan said, "This President is someone who is committed
to getting things done." The President spoke to Muslim
leaders at an Iftar dinner to celebrate the end of Ramadan.
"We will always protect the most basic human freedom," he
said, "the freedom to worship the almighty God without any
fear." President Bush refused to return the phone calls of
Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, opting
instead to meet with Jose Maria Aznar, whom Zapatero
defeated in March. Bush also met with Tony Blair, who is
threatened with impeachment at home. They discussed the
Middle East. The White House ordered the CIA to purge all
agents who were disloyal to the president
, and Indiana
Congressman John Hostettler was planning to put forth a bill
in Congress to change Interstate Route 69 to a more moral
number.
In Japan, young women were being raped by the men with whom they'd hoped to commit suicide. Iris Chang, author of The Rape of Nanking, killed herself, and researchers at
Carnegie Mellon announced a remote-controlled wireless
pillow that sends hugs. Chicago's parks division announced
plans to track its employees with GPS monitors, like
animals, and NASCAR officials decided that race cars can be
emblazoned with liquor ads. Wu-Tang Clan co-founder Russell
Jones, also known as O.D.B., Ol' Dirty Bastard, Dirt McGirt,
and Big Baby Jesus, died at age 35. All around the world,
dogs were doing yoga.



...so much absurdity.
 

Adam

TRIBE Member
What happened to Roger Hodge?

WEEKLY REVIEW

[Image: George W. Bush holds a turkey's neck, smiling, as
Dick Cheney looks on.]

George W. Bush named national security advisor Condoleezza
Rice to replace Colin Powell as secretary of state. A few
days later, Rice entered the hospital for minor surgery of
an undisclosed nature. Bush spared two Thanksgiving turkeys
from death. "By virtue of an unconditional presidential
pardon, they are safe from harm," he said. The turkeys,
named Biscuits and Gravy, were chosen by an Internet poll,
beating out Patience and Fortitude. Texas prisoner Anthony
Fuentes was executed. A buck was captured and euthanized
after running through Chicago's O'Hare Airport, and a Texas
website was planning to offer hunters the ability to shoot
animals online. Congress passed a $388 billion spending
bill. The bill had $15.8 billion worth of "extras,"
including $25,000 for the study of mariachi music and $2
million to buy back the presidential yacht, sold by Jimmy
Carter in 1977. The yacht, the U.S.S. Sequoia, currently
rents for $2,500 an hour. The bill also allows hospitals and
HMOs to refuse to provide abortions
, and gave two committee
chairmen and their assistants access to income tax returns,
without regard to privacy laws. Republicans acknowledged the
mistake of the latter provision, and vowed to repeal it. The
House Republican Conference changed its rules to allow
majority leader Tom DeLay to maintain his leadership role if
he is indicted. Inflation rose, and many credit card lenders
were doubling and tripling their rates. The dollar fell
sharply against the Euro.

There was fighting in Baghdad, Addhamiya, and Mosul, where
nine Iraqi soldiers were executed. It appeared that Margaret
Hassan, an aid worker held hostage in Iraq, had been
executed. Another hostage, Teresa Borcz Khalifa, was
released after being held for three weeks. A U.S. Marine was
caught on videotape as he shot and killed a wounded,
apparently unarmed man in a Falluja mosque. Soldiers at Fort
Lewis, Washington, were throwing chocolate pudding and
lemon-lime Gatorade at each other in order to prepare for
duty at Army detention centers like Guantanamo Bay
. "I feel
good about this mission," said one soldier. "I get to be
part of the solution."
Web publishers were upset with the
White House for denying them the right to host a
Christmastime video of Barney the dog; the White House
insisted that the publishers link to the video instead of
hosting it themselves. Last year's video, "Barney Reloaded,"
which featured Karl Rove draped in Christmas lights, brought
24 million visitors to the White House website. The Army and
Air Force increased the number of mobilized National Guard
and Army Reserve personnel to 182,478, and Senator John
McCain called for up to 50,000 more troops in Iraq. Colin
Powell visited Israel and the West Bank.

Kmart and Sears merged, thieves stole a 10-ton railway
bridge in Australia, and an elderly South African woman was
eaten by a shark. A Yemeni FBI informant set himself on fire
in front of the White House, and the Clinton library opened
in Little Rock, Arkansas. The management of a company with
offices near the library asked its employees to leave their
guns at home on the day of the opening. British programmers
released a game called "JFK: Reloaded," which recreates the
Grassy Knoll. "Players will discover just how hard it is to
place those three bullets in exactly the same way that
Oswald did," said a spokesman for the game company. It was
extremely windy in Austria and Slovakia, and strong winds
killed seven in Poland. Fifty-five died in an iron mine fire
in the Chinese province of Hebei, and 54 were killed in the
crash of a passenger plane in Baotou, in Inner Mongolia.
China was planning to launch 100 satellites by 2020. A
plague of locusts, which are kosher, swept through parts of
Israel. Locusts also invaded Cairo, and Egypt decided to
allow foreign belly dancers. The mayor of Riyadh announced
that no foreign observers would be welcome in Saudi Arabia's
municipal elections, nor would women be able to participate
as voters, or candidates. The U.N. announced plans to send
7,000 peacekeeping troops to Sudan, and U.S. and Afghan
forces were looking for three kidnapped U.N. workers in
Kabul. A union representing U.N. staff registered a vote of
no confidence in the U.N.'s senior management. Ukraine
elected Viktor Yanukovich as its president, although
observers said the election failed to meet international
standards. The World Conservation Union released a list of
15,589 endangered species, 8,323 of them plants or lichen,
and a tanker spilled 44,909 gallons of oil off the coast of
Newfoundland.
Cholera killed 42 in Nigeria, and an
experimental jet flew at 6,600 miles an hour. A new poll
showed that nearly one half of the U.S. population believes
that human beings did not evolve, but instead were created
by God within the last 10,000 years, while only one third
believe that the theory of evolution is accurate.
Cubans
were building a new Russian Orthodox church, and Catholic
dioceses in America were buckling under the financial strain
of sex-abuse lawsuits; dioceses in Tucson, Arizona, and
Portland, Oregon, had declared bankruptcy. The World Toilet
Summit was held in China, and Americans were celebrating
National Bible Week
(adam: wasnt this the week of november 2nd?).
Scientists flooded the Grand Canyon.
--Paul Ford
 

Adam

TRIBE Member
Foiled

Dear Reader,

This week's contributor suffered a last-minute laptop
fatality. Consequently, for only the second time since July
2000, you will be deprived of a Weekly Review.

Please accept our most sincere apologies, and visit
Harpers.org for an encore presentation of "The Frequency:
Solving the Riddle of the Dan Rather Beating," by the
novelist Paul Limbert Allman, originally from the December
2001 issue of Harper's Magazine.

Yrs,

Roger D. Hodge
Harper's Magazine
 

OTIS

TRIBE Member
HARPER'S WEEKLY REVIEW
December 7, 2004

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

by Benjamin Austen

Ukraine's Supreme Court ordered a second presidential
run-off to be held by December 26 after it ruled last
month's fraud-plagued election invalid. Supporters of Prime
Minister Viktor Yanukovich, the winner in the November 21
run-off, threatened to form a separate nation in the
country's east; the opposition candidate, Viktor Yushchenko,
who promises to increase Ukraine's ties to the West,
celebrated the court's decision with thousands of protesters
in Kiev's Independence Square. Stricken by a mysterious
illness that has left his face a mask of puffy, red cysts
and lesions, Yushchenko said to the crowd, "This is the face
of today's Ukraine." At a Moscow airport Vladimir Putin told
Ukraine's outgoing president that new run-off elections were
unnecessary, and Russia blocked all exports from a breakaway
region of Georgia because it did not support the candidate
whom the region elected. Hours before a registration
deadline, Marwan Barghouti gave word from his prison cell in
Israel, where he is serving five life sentences, that he
would run for the presidency of the Palestinian Authority.
Barghouti's popularity among Palestinian youths has caused
fears that he could siphon votes from PLO chairman Mahmoud
Abbas and cause a split in the Fatah Party; Palestinian
leaders urged Barghouti to withdraw his candidacy, Egyptian
president Hosni Mubarak endorsed Abbas, and Ariel Sharon
said Barghouti would be able to campaign only from behind
bars. A French court reduced a political ban on former Prime
Minister Alain Juppe for illegal party financing from ten
years to one, making him eligible to succeed Jacques Chirac
in the 2007 presidential election, and Colombia's congress
voted to overturn a rule that restricts presidents from
running for reelection, allowing Alvaro Uribe, an ally of
George W. Bush, to run again in 2006. Jesse Jackson and
candidates from the Green and Libertarian parties, citing
numerous voting irregularities in Ohio, demanded a recount
in the state, whose voting results John Kerry conceded on
the morning of November 3. A report filed with the Federal
Election Commission last week revealed that Kerry did not
spend $14 million of his campaign funds, money he kept in
reserve in case legal challenges or recounts became
necessary. The number of jobs created in November was half
of what analysts expected, the dollar continued to fall, and
retail sales during the Thanksgiving weekend disappointed.
President Bush, on his first official visit to Canada, ate
local beef and announced that he was "still standing," but
he did not say when he would lift a U.S. ban on Canadian
beef or end tariffs on the country's timber. Canada
announced that it would no longer grant temporary work
permits to foreign strippers.

A team from the Red Cross that spent much of last June at
the naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, accused the U.S.
military of physically and psychologically torturing its
detainees there, and more photos documenting the
mistreatment of prisoners in Iraq were acquired by American
news sources. The pictures, many taken in the aftermath of
raids, show Navy Seals abusing hooded and handcuffed men by
sitting on them, holding guns to their heads, and stepping
on their chests. A woman whose husband had served in Iraq
had posted the pictures on a photo-sharing website, and an
AP reporter found them through a Google search. Former head
of the CIA George Tenet said it might be necessary to limit
access to the Internet because terrorists could use it to
attack the United States. Secretary of Health and Human
Services Tommy Thompson became the eighth member of Bush's
fifteen-member cabinet to resign since Election Day. At a
press conference, Thompson expressed concern about the FDA's
flawed drug approval process, a possible global flu
pandemic, and the vulnerability of the nation's food supply.
"For the life of me," Thompson said, "I cannot understand
why the terrorists have not attacked our food supply,
because it's so easy to do." Tom Ridge, who raised the
color-coded terror alert to orange six times, announced that
he would step down as secretary of homeland security. There
were no terrorist attacks on U.S. soil during his tenure.
President Bush selected former bodyguard, undercover cop,
corrections officer, and New York City police commissioner
Bernard Kerik to replace Ridge; Kerik has made millions of
dollars in partnership with Rudolph Giuliani in a post-9/11
security consulting firm and recently has been in Iraq
training its police officers. In attacks this weekend in and
around Baghdad, Mosul, and Tikrit, insurgents killed more
than eighty Iraqis, mostly security officers and those
working with American authorities, and 135 American soldiers
died in Iraq in November, tying last April as the deadliest
month for U.S. forces during the war. The U.S. ordered more
than 10,000 troops to extend their tours, raising the number
of soldiers in Iraq to its highest levels since last year's
invasion. "It's mainly to provide security for the
election," a military spokesman said. Representatives from
forty Iraqi political parties called for the January 30
elections to be delayed. President Bush announced that he
would be awarding the Medal of Freedom to George Tenet,
retired Army Gen. Tommy R. Franks, and former Iraq viceroy
L. Paul Bremer. The State Department was discouraging smiles
on passport photos.

In testimony before a federal grand jury that was leaked to
the press, several professional baseball players confessed
to using performance-enhancing steroids. Barry Bonds, who
has hit more home runs in a season than any other player,
told the court that his steroid use was accidental; he
believed he was rubbing flaxseed oil and arthritis ointment
on his aching muscles. The International Atomic Energy
Agency voted to accept Iran's promises that it was halting
its nuclear weapons program, and cocaine and heroin prices
hit a twenty year low. Four people who received Botox
injections in south Florida were hospitalized for botulism
poisoning. Brian Williams replaced Tom Brokaw on NBC Nightly
News. Sheriff's deputies searched the Neverland estate for
two days and took a DNA sample from inside Michael Jackson's
mouth, and Sotheby's announced it would auction off items
from five Kennedy family homes; items to be sold include
Mason jars, broken china, used records, and old magazines.
Po'ouli birds took another step toward extinction, and the
U.S. government refused to protect sage grouse and salmon. A
British artist publicly ate a fox to protest all the
attention being paid to a ban on fox hunting. "Everyone gets
really worked up about a furry animal," the performance
artist said after his meal, "but no one cares about each
other." The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, John
Danforth, resigned in order to spend more time with his wife
of forty-seven years. Thailand was planning to drop origami
birds on three restive provinces, and the prime minister
called on each of the sixty-three million Thais to make at
least one paper bird; television stations showed troops
busily constructing flocks of doves, cranes, and pigeons.
Mudslides killed more than 1,100 in the Philippines. It was
revealed that a Hmong who recently shot five hunters in
Wisconsin is a shaman. A twenty-four-year-old man was killed
in his trailer home by an exploding lava lamp.
 

OTIS

TRIBE Member
HARPER'S WEEKLY REVIEW
December 14, 2004

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

by Margaret Cordi

Doctors determined that the mysterious facial disfigurement
of Viktor Yushchenko, the Ukrainian opposition leader, was
caused by dioxin, a component of Agent Orange; his blood was
found to contain over a thousand times the normal human
level of dioxin, and some speculated that the poison was
mixed into soup fed to Yushchenko during a dinner with the
Ukrainian security service on the night before he became ill
in September. Colin Powell and Russian leaders squabbled
about each other's interest in monitoring the upcoming
Ukrainian election, and Hamid Karzai was sworn in as
Afghanistan's first elected president. Marwan Barghouti,
the Palestinian leader who had vowed to campaign from prison
to succeed Yasir Arafat in the January election, withdrew
his candidacy and endorsed Mahmoud Abbas, now the clear
frontrunner in the race who last week apologized to Kuwait
for Palestinian support of the 1990 invasion by Saddam
Hussein. A military spokesman denied rumors that Saddam
Hussein was on a hunger strike as the anniversary of his
capture approached; some of his former associates had
threatened such a strike but they were reported to be
snacking. With its food supply running low, the crew of the
international space station was asked to cut calories until
fresh groceries could be delivered on Christmas. Defense
secretary Donald Rumsfeld was asked at a pep talk in Kuwait,
"Why do we soldiers have to dig through local landfills for
pieces of scrap metal and compromised ballistic glass to
up-armor our vehicles?" Rumsfeld mused, "You go to war with
the Army you have, not the Army you might want or wish to
have." Besides, he noted, "You can have all the armor in the
world on a tank and it can still be blown up." Two days
later the Pentagon asked a contractor to speed up its
production of armored Humvees. The notoriously outdated
London Underground conceded that some of its spare parts
were purchased on eBay, and scientists developed a
biodegradable cell phone cover that turns into a sunflower
when thrown away.

French police planted plastic explosives in a random
dark-blue suitcase at Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris as
a security exercise, then failed to monitor the bag as a
conveyor belt rolled it to one of 90 planes with an
international destination. A police spokesman expressed the
hope that whoever finds the explosives will return them to
authorities. Bernard Kerik withdrew from consideration to
replace Tom Ridge as head of homeland security after
discovering that a nanny he had employed may have been an
illegal immigrant for whom he may not have paid taxes;
questions also arose about his failure to report financial
gifts, including a $1,900 jeweled Tiffany badge he received
while New York City's police commissioner. Congress voted to
overhaul the country's intelligence structure, enacting some
of the recommendations of the September 11 commission. The
bill creates the job of director of national intelligence to
oversee the CIA and 14 other spy agencies, requires more
border guards, and forces cooperation among federal, state,
local, and private organizations. It was revealed that the
Bush Administration has been tapping the phone of Mohamed
ElBaradei, the director of the International Atomic Energy
Agency who questioned U.S. intelligence on Iraq, in an
effort to find a reason to block his reappointment next
summer. ElBaradei said he believed that North Korea has
converted thousands of spent nuclear fuel rods into enough
weapons-grade plutonium for four to six bombs, and Iranian
officials suggested that their country's enrichment of
uranium was accelerated to instigate offers of economic
incentives from the West. Israel promised to release dozens
of Palestinian prisoners as a favor to Egyptian president
Hosni Mubarak before the Palestinian election. A survey
found that about half of Britons have never heard of
Auschwitz, and Augusto Pinochet was indicted and placed
under house arrest by a Chilean court for the abduction of
nine dissidents and the murder of one of them during his
dictatorship. The fate of Pale Male, a virile red-tailed
hawk residing on the cornice of a New York City building for
11 years, was uncertain after the family nest was removed by
the co-op building's board; the next day Pale Male was seen
carrying twigs from Central Park in a futile attempt to
rebuild. Those supporting the eviction took exception to the
occasional bloody carcass of a prey pigeon or rat falling to
the sidewalk, but protestors bearing signs that read "Honk 4
Hawks" began a daily vigil. Scientists were warning men not
to place laptop computers on their laps since overheating
the scrotum can reduce fertility. England's Royal Society
for the Prevention of Accidents urged people attending
office Christmas parties to resist photocopying body parts
and dancing on desks, and to avoid flaming Christmas
puddings at all costs. The Vatican disapproved of a nativity
scene in Madame Tussaud's wax museum in London that depicted
David and Victoria Beckham, aka Posh Spice, as Joseph and
Mary, with George W. Bush, Tony Blair, and the Duke of
Edinburgh standing in for the three wise men. "There is a
tradition in which each generation tries to reenact the
nativity," explained a spokesman for the Archbishop of
Canterbury, "but oh deary me."

President Bush appointed attorney Gerald Reynolds to the
chairmanship of the Commission of Civil Rights. "I just
assume somewhere in my life some knucklehead has looked at
me and my brown self and said that they have given me less
or denied me an opportunity," he said, "but the bottom line
is . . . I am so insensitive that I probably didn't notice."
Canada's supreme court ruled that the government can define
marriage to include same-sex couples. The FCC estimated that
99.8 percent of complaints about broadcast indecency were
filed by one conservative group, the Parents Television
Council, accounting for the exorbitant rise in the number of
complaints that chairman Michael Powell described to
Congress earlier this year, from 350 in 2001 to 240,000 in
2003. Researchers surmised that we are hardwired for instant
gratification because hunter-gatherers were rewarded for
grabbing food morsels rather than waiting for something
better; blue jays given a choice of a small bit of food or
waiting a short time for a larger quantity could not be
trained to wait, even after a thousand repetitions. A report
found that a federally funded program to promote abstinence
in schools has been teaching students that a 43-day-old
fetus is a "thinking person," abortion can lead to sterility
and suicide, touching a person's genitals can result in
pregnancy, and HIV can be spread by sweat and tears. One
book preaches the story of a knight who rejects a princess
when she becomes too opinionated about how best to slay a
dragon. The parable concludes: "Occasional suggestions and
assistance may be alright, but too much of it may lessen a
man's confidence or even turn him away from his princess."
Scientists confirmed that men prefer subordinate women to
dominant ones. Kenneth Starr was having second thoughts
about delving into Bill Clinton's relationship with Monica
Lewinsky.


Copyright 2004 Harper's Magazine Foundation
 

Subsonic Chronic

TRIBE Member
The FCC estimated that 99.8 percent of complaints about broadcast indecency were filed by one conservative group, the Parents Television Council, accounting for the exorbitant rise in the number of complaints that chairman Michael Powell described to Congress earlier this year, from 350 in 2001 to 240,000 in 2003.


This was the shocker of the week for me.

The PTC is the same group that had to apologize publicly to the WWE (and pay them a hefty sum) for making false statements about it's advertisers. The asshat Brent Bozell who runs the PTC had this huge campaign against the WWE and was claiming to their current advertisers that many of their former advertisers had pulled out because of questionable content.

Of course, the truth came out, and many of the companies that had supposedly pulled out had actually never advertised with WWE before or were still in business with them.
 

OTIS

TRIBE Member
HARPER'S WEEKLY REVIEW
December 21, 2004

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

By Theodore Ross and Arno Kopecky

Time Magazine named President George W. Bush "Person of the Year" and praised him for "reframing reality to match his design." [CBS News] Tommy Franks, George Tenet, and Paul Bremer III were awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor, [New York Times] and Donald Rumsfeld announced that from now on he would personally sign condolence letters sent to the families of soldiers killed in action, instead of using a machine. [CNN] Fox News hired Zell Miller. [New York Times] United States military officials couldn't explain the failure of the most recent missile shield test, but maintained that it was "a very good training exercise." [Guardian] Senator John McCain said he had no confidence in Donald Rumsfeld. [New York Times] Scientists discovered a new monkey species, [New York Times] and Muamar Qaddafi said President Bush couldn't have won the election without him. [New York Times] The supreme court of Kansas declared that the state's death penalty is unconstitutional but then issued a stay of its own ruling. [Associated Press] Representative Billy Tauzin, an author of the House Medicare Drug Law, announced that he will become a lobbyist for the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America. [New York Times] The Securities and Exchange Commission accused Fannie Mae of cheating on its taxes. [New York Times] Pfizer admitted that Celebrex doubled the risk of heart attack in certain patients, but declined to take it off the market, [Reuters] and a survey found that one fifth of all FDA scientists had been pressured to recommend approval of a new drug. [New York Times] The DEA told the University of Massachusetts it couldn't grow marijuana on campus. [New York Times] The Trust For America's Health reported that two thirds of U.S. states were not adequately prepared for a bioterrorist attack, [Pjstar.com] and the National Guard was offering a $15,000 enlistment bonus. [New York Times] President Bush made privatizing social security a major priority for his second term, and his daughter Jenna considered becoming a schoolteacher. [New York Times] Scientists announced that 70.6 percent of husbands are obese. [New York Times]

The Iraqi Special Tribune opened hearings into the crimes of prominent former Baath government officials, most notably Hassan Al-Majeed, aka "Chemical Ali." Evidence against him included a tape on which he boasted that if any Kurd defied him, he would "blow him away, cut him open like a cucumber," and bury him with a bulldozer. [The Telegraph] The election season began in Iraq with 73 parties participating, [Reuters] and car bombs killed more than 60 people in Najaf and Karbala. [New York Times] Fourteen U.S. Marines were convicted of abusing Iraqi prisoners, including one soldier who used an electronic device to make a detainee "dance." [New York Times] The United States Army decided to drive less and fly more. [New York Times] The United Nations reported that there had been widespread smuggling of oil out of Iraq under the Coalition Provisional Authority, [New York Times] the British House of Lords said the indefinite detention of foreign terrorism suspects violates EU human rights laws, [Bloomberg] and Osama bin Laden urged Muslims to attack oil facilities in Iraq and the Persian Gulf. [TurkishPress.com] Saddam Hussein met with his lawyer. [Reuters] Mahmoud Abbas called for an end to political violence, [Reuters] and Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom called Yasir Arafat's death "an opportunity we should not miss," [Haaretz International] while Palestinian militants insisted that "the blessed Intifada will continue" and an Israeli raid in Gaza left 11 dead. [United Press International ] The Pentagon announced it wanted to spend more time spying. [New York Times] The Tenth International Convention on Climate Change ended with a resolution for all parties to meet again soon, [Associated Press] and General Motors sued a Chinese automaker for cloning the Chevrolet Spark. [The Wall Street Journal] Russian border guards discovered an underground "vodka pipeline" used to smuggle alcohol into Estonia, [New York Times] and an Australian man nearly died after his "jug helmet," a beer-drinking device made from a hose and a power drill, malfunctioned. [The West Australian] Workmen discovered that U.N. headquarters in Geneva were bugged. [New York Times]

The prime minister of Spain accused his predecessor of erasing all computer files related to last year's Madrid terrorist bombing. "Not a single trace of any files was left behind," said one official, "zero, nothing." [New York Times] Augusto Pinochet had another stroke. [Associated Press] A Washington State man received a three-year prison sentence for attempting to circumcise his eight-year-old son, [The Columbian] and a Minnesota company was building a power plant that will be fueled primarily by turkey droppings. [Reuters] The Australian government warned its citizens to avoid major hotels in Indonesia. [USA Today] Russia forced the Yukos oil conglomerate to auction off its largest subsidiary to a little-known company with suspected government ties in a sale that was widely interpreted as a way to punish Yukos's politically outspoken founder, Boris Khodorkovsky, who is currently in jail. [New York Times] A virtual island on the planet Calypso sold for $26,500, [The New Scientist] and the United States forgave $4.1 billion in Iraqi debt. [Boston Globe] Congressman John Conyers Jr. said he would ask the FBI to investigate "inappropriate and likely illegal election tampering" in Ohio during the presidential election, [New York Times] and Gillette unveiled its newest product, a vibrating razor for women called "The Venus Vibrance." [USA Today] A general from the African Union called the situation in Sudan a "bomb that could explode at any moment," as a deadline to end hostilities there was ignored. [New York Times] Scientists estimated that ten percent of all bird species will become extinct by the end of the century, and [Stanford University] enrollment was down at London's premier Santa school. [New York Times] Twelve million honeybees died in a Las Vegas freeway accident. [Associated Press]
 

OTIS

TRIBE Member
HARPER'S WEEKLY REVIEW
December 28, 2004

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

by Paul Ford

A suicide bomber set off a bomb at a mess tent on a U.S.
base in Mosul, killing 22 and wounding 69. Among the dead
were 13 American soldiers and four employees and
subcontractors of Halliburton. A spokeswoman for Halliburton
called for a full investigation into the attack. South of
Kirkuk, insurgents set an oil well on fire, and south of
Baghdad, an explosives-rigged gas tanker blew up, killing at
least eight. Families returned to the bombed-out city of
Falluja and found little clean water. Donald Rumsfeld made a
surprise trip to Mosul on Christmas eve. Rumsfeld, under
criticism for having his condolence letters to the families
of dead American soldiers signed by an automatic pen, said
he stays "awake at night for concern for those at risk." The
ACLU circulated memos, obtained under the Freedom of
Information Act, that suggest President George W. Bush
directly authorized torture against detainees in Iraq. Tony
Blair toured the Middle East, and called for a peace summit
in London. The United States and Israel both told him to cut
it out. Wall Street firms were quietly preparing for the
privatization of Social Security, the Bush Administration
changed federal forest regulations to cut down on "wasteful
and time-consuming" environmental impact statements, and the
dollar fell to $1.3505 against the euro. Yusuf Halacoglu,
president of the Turkish History Institution, accused
Armenia of genocide. A new species of monster cockroach was
discovered in Indonesia, a bomb killed two and wounded eight
outside a bank in Thailand, and Cuba discovered a new crude
oil deposit off the coast near Havana. A man in Calcutta was
killed when his co-workers at a rubber factory playfully
inserted the tube of an air pump into his anus, and the Pope
defrocked Maurice Blackwell, a Baltimore-area priest; in
2002, Blackwell was shot and wounded by an altar boy he
allegedly molested. John G. Rowland, the former governor of
Connecticut, pleaded guilty to criminal conspiracy. The
Democrats were thinking of dropping abortion rights from
their platform, in order to appeal to "values" voters; many
Democratic leaders want to promote adoption over abortion.
Adoptees and adoptive parents were calling on Fox TV to stop
the broadcast of a game show called "Who's Your Daddy," in
which an adopted woman has to pick her biological father
from a line-up; she wins a prize if she picks correctly.
Eastern Rite, Roman, and Protestant Christian churches
celebrated Christmas, and on Christmas day, 30,000 air
passengers were stranded across the United States because of
a computer crash. The United States cut back on
international food aid, a change that will affect five to
seven million people in Indonesia, Malawi, Madagascar, and
other countries. It snowed in Texas, and male fish in the
Potomac river were producing eggs.

A 9.0 magnitude earthquake created a tsunami that ravaged
south and southeast Asia, as well as parts of Africa. The
wave reached from Somalia and Kenya to Malaysia. Thousands
of fatalities were reported in the Maldives, Sri Lanka,
South India, Thailand, Bangladesh, and Indonesia.
Three-story waves washed sunbathers into the sea, carried
away snorkelers, and swallowed up Hindu ritual bathers
celebrating Full Moon Day. A prison in Sumatra was torn open
by the tsunami, and hundreds of inmates fled. A baby was
washed from her father's arms. At least 25,000 died, and
millions were displaced. Entire towns were turned into
rubble. Corpses hung from trees and fences, and the rotting
bodies of humans and animals threatened to pollute water
supplies. It was difficult to bury the dead for lack of dry
ground. The earthquake was the largest since 1964, and
slightly altered the rotation of the earth. Other quakes
were felt in India's Andaman and Nicobar islands. Viktor
Yushchenko, his face still disfigured from dioxin poisoning,
appeared to have won the presidency of the Ukraine over
Viktor Yanukovich. A mentally ill man went on a stabbing
rampage in London, killing one and injuring five, and the
UK's National Health Service was running low on painkillers.
Reggie White died. Strike Holdings, which manages several
bowling alleys in the United States, decided to return the
investments it received from the Palestinian Authority, and
10,000 people were dying each month in Darfur.

A poll showed that 56 percent of Americans believe the Iraq
war is "not worth fighting." Another poll showed that 44
percent of Americans believe that Muslims should have their
civil liberties curtailed; 27 percent favor registration of
Muslims, and 29 percent believe that law enforcement
agencies should infiltrate Muslim civic and volunteer
organizations. A third poll showed that three-quarters of
Iraqis intend to vote in upcoming elections; 41 percent
incorrectly believe that they are voting for an Iraqi
president. Polls also showed that "Stairway to Heaven" was
the greatest rock song of all time, that Britney Spears was
the number one star in America, that teens were smoking
less, but are increasingly likely to abuse the painkiller
OxyContin, that gay people make more cell phone calls, that
the best part of Christmas is family time, and that nearly
3/4 of doctors believe in miracles. Studies showed that
doctors were much more likely to kill themselves than the
general population, that doctors talk less when treating
white patients than they do when treating black patients,
that lung cancer runs in families, that parents enjoy a
visit with Santa more than their children do, and that the
terminally ill do not, as is commonly believed, hold on to
life until major events, like birthdays or holidays,
transpire. Rather, they simply die. Other studies found that
more Americans die on Christmas and the day after New Year's
than on any other day of the year, that meditation improves
heart health, that gastric bypass surgery is more effective
than dieting for the severely obese, that half of American
food goes to waste, that the number of starving Iraqi
children has nearly doubled in the last 21 months, and that
young owls learn new skills more quickly than do old owls.
Another study showed that 22 percent of medical devices were
not adequately studied. Italian police used computer
software to create a composite sketch of Jesus Christ at age
12, based on the Shroud of Turin. The sketch shows that
Christ had blue eyes, fair skin, and dirty blond hair. The
Siloam Pool, where Christ is said to have healed the blind
(John 9:7), was discovered in Jerusalem, and paralyzed rats,
injected with brain cells culled from human embryos, were
rising up and walking. A California company shipped its
first cloned cat, Martha Stewart called for prison reform,
and NASA announced that a 400-meter asteroid had a good
chance of striking the earth in 2029.
 

OTIS

TRIBE Member
HARPER'S WEEKLY REVIEW
January 4, 2005

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

by Arno Kopecky

The World Health Organization warned that outbreaks of
cholera and dysentery resulting from a lack of clean
drinking water could easily double the number of people
killed by the Indian Ocean tsunami. Nearly 150,000 people
were confirmed dead in the disaster and far more were badly
injured. Estimates of the homeless ran to five million.
United Nations secretary general Kofi Annan cut his
Christmas holiday short to meet with world leaders about
providing relief and announced that he would fly to affected
countries to help organize the effort from the ground.
President George W. Bush stayed on vacation down at the
ranch in Crawford, Texas, and complained about the U.S.
being called stingy. He then doubled his initial aid offer
to $35 million. Senator Patrick Leahy noted that "we spend
$35 million before breakfast in Iraq." Two days later the
amount rose to $350 million. Officials at Sri Lanka's
largest national park were wondering how all the wild
animals had survived, and Norodom Sihanouk, the retired king
of Cambodia, said his country had been spared thanks to the
warnings of his astrologer. Water saved from a cup Elvis
sipped from sold for $455 on eBay, and a bad batch of
homemade alcohol killed 37 people in India. A new law took
effect that bars immigrants from claiming refugee status in
Canada if they have to travel through the U.S. to get there,
and the Department of Agriculture said it would allow
Canadian beef back into the country. Scientists were
concerned about rats overrunning Alaska. Astronauts aboard
the international space station reported they'd had little
to eat except candy for the last five weeks, and studies
showed that obesity increases a woman's risk of getting
pregnant while on the pill. Missouri legalized bare-handed
catfishing.

The Department of Justice revised its definition of torture
and asserted that it is, in fact, illegal. Six Navy Seals
and two of their wives sued the Associated Press for
publishing photographs of the men posing and grinning amid
hooded prisoners; a reporter found the photos after one of
the wives posted them on smugmug.com, a website she had
thought was secure. In Dubai, an Italian man was fined for
hugging and kissing a woman in public. The Ugandan
government entered peace talks with the Lord's Resistance
Army, a rebel group led by a self-proclaimed messiah, whose
ranks consist largely of kidnapped children. "We could kill
you all now for nothing," said a rebel spokesman, "but
that's not our aim." Fighting resumed the next day. The
imprisoned founder of Russia's largest oil producer accused
the government of stealing his empire. President Vladimir
Putin made the first ten days of the New Year a national
holiday and awarded the Hero of Russia medal to Ramzan
Kadyrov, a Chechen leader widely accused of kidnapping and
torture. Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi explained
his numerous plastic surgeries to reporters, saying "I need
to feel that my external appearance reflects my inner
youth." A bomb knocked the head off a statue of Marshal
Josip Tito in his home town in Croatia. In Pakistan, Pervez
Musharraf announced that he would hold on to his dual post
as president and army chief, reneging on his promise to
relinquish authority over the country's military by the end
of 2004. "The spirit of democracy has been restored in the
country," he said. Peace talks between India and Pakistan
went nowhere. One hundred seventy-five people died in a
Buenos Aires nightclub that burned down after fireworks were
lit inside, and tourist muggings were up in Rio de Janeiro.
Snow fell in the United Arab Emirates.

Viktor Yanukovich resigned as prime minister of Ukraine,
though he continued to insist that the presidential runoff
election, which he lost, had been fraudulent. The Central
Election Commission disagreed, as did international
observers, and Viktor Yushchenko was preparing to take
office. The eastern tiger salamander won was selected by
voters in Illinois as the official "State Amphibian." Osama
bin Laden named the Jordanian militant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi
as Al Qaeda's "emir," or prince, in Iraq, and the largest
Sunni party in the country withdrew from the election.
Murder rates were down in Colombia, Israel freed 159
Palestinian prisoners and briefly detained presidential
candidate Mustafa Barghouti for campaigning in Jerusalem
without a permit. Mahmoud Abbas, the frontrunner, was
thinking about visiting the Temple Mount. Suicide bombers
attacked Saudi Arabia's Interior Ministry. A 67-year-old
Romanian woman who had undergone ten years of treatment in
fertility clinics announced that she was pregnant with
twins. A study found that American preschoolers are more
obese than ever, and tourism was up in Cuba. The Pentagon
was considering cutting back on new weapons programs, the
FBI named its sixth counterterrorism chief in three years,
and Jami Miscik became the CIA's sixth high-level official
to resign since Porter Goss took over the agency in
September. The stock market finished 2004 in the black.
Susan Sontag died, thirty-six children in North Dakota were
injured in a New Year's Eve sledding accident, and Liza
Minnelli was hospitalized after falling out of bed.
 

Adam

TRIBE Member
Mahmoud Abbas was elected president of the Palestinian
Authority. He dedicated his victory to "the soul of the
brother martyr Yasir Arafat and to our people." Earlier in
the week, Abbas called Israel the "Zionist Enemy" at an
election rally, then announced he would pursue peace talks
with it
. Israel shut the border at Gaza, then offered Abbas
personal security in Jerusalem, which he refused. Kofi Annan
visited the site of the South Asia tsunami disaster and
said, "I have never seen such utter destruction." Colin
Powell toured Indonesia and called it "amazing" and
"heartbreaking." He also said providing disaster relief was
a good public relations move. Religious leaders blamed God
for the tsunami, the United Nations said pirates were
threatening relief supplies, and the Indonesian government
made it illegal to leave Aceh province with a
sixteen-year-old. Aid efforts were temporarily halted when
an airplane carrying emergency supplies hit a herd of cows.
Nearly 25 percent of Iraq will not be secure for the
election
, according to one U.S. military commander, who
still insisted the poll date should not be changed. "I think
there is a greater chance of civil war with a delay than
without one," he said. Iraqi Security Force General Mohamed
Shahwani said the insurgents outnumber the U.S. military,
and President Bush called the upcoming Iraqi elections
"hard." A suicide bomber killed twenty people at the Baghdad
Police Academy, Iraq's thirteen police dogs weren't getting
enough to eat, and the U.S. Army Reserves were "rapidly
degenerating into a 'broken' force," a high-ranking officer
said
. The Iraqi government extended a state of emergency for
the country for another 30 days. The U.S. killed as many as
fourteen people in one family when it bombed the wrong house
in northern Iraq
, and the second assassination attempt on
the governor of Baghdad succeeded.

Congress officially ratified President Bush's election
victory after a two-hour debate about voting irregularities
in Ohio
. Senator Richard Lugar called the lifetime detention
of untried terrorism suspects a "bad idea," and Attorney
General nominee Alberto Gonzales said he did not approve of
torture. Federal authorities arrested a New Jersey man for
menacing a jet with a hand-held laser. A U.S. appeals court
told Evel Knievel that a website that called him a pimp
probably meant it as a compliment and that he could not sue.
Scientists discovered that gecko feet are self-cleaning. The
Chilean Supreme Court ruled Augusto Pinochet fit to stand
trial for his crimes, and Edgar Ray Killen was arrested in
connection with the 1964 murder of three voter-registration
workers in Mississippi. Airlines cut prices and tried to cut
pensions. The U.S. decided not to classify the sage grouse
as endangered, and the evolution of the great tit, a kind of
bird, contradicted Darwin. China said it would make aborting
a female fetus a crime
. Francois Vacavant won a Parisian
bakers' confederation award for the best Epiphany cake, a
Pennsylvania man tried to kill workers in a fast-food
restaurant when they ran out of french fries, and a $20
million art project described as a "visual golden river"
broke ground in New York's Central Park. Veteran foreign
policy experts met with Kofi Annan to teach him how to lead,
and gun sales in South Africa were down. Political leaders
in Sudan signed a peace deal that did not include Darfur.
Shirley Chisholm, the first black woman to serve in
Congress, died, as did Nelson Mandela's last surviving son.
Andrea Yates's conviction for murdering her five children
was overturned because an expert witness didn't watch enough
television.

Representative Alan B. Mollohan said recent congressional
rules changes "would seriously undermine the ethics process
in the House." Congressman Zach Wamp said the changes made
him feel like he had "just taken a shower." Tom Delay was
still not indicted. Donations to the Bush inauguration
reached $18 million, and federal regulators made it easier
to kill wolves. Jennifer Aniston dumped Brad Pitt, Sandra
Bullock gave $1 million to charity, Scott Peterson's
ex-girlfriend called him a liar, and Bill Gates announced
the arrival of the digital lifestyle. Then his computer
crashed. Director Oliver Stone blamed audiences and the
critics for the box office failure of "Alexander." Recent
studies showed that women are using less birth control. The
Dingman family of Virginia was auctioning off the right to
pay for surgery on a tumor infecting their 9-year-old son.
Bids reached as high as $200. Krispy Kreme Doughnuts
announced that it has bad credit and that the Atkins diet
was not to blame. Houston was named the fattest city in the
U.S. for the fourth time in five years, and researchers
found that commercial diet programs don't work very well.
Sales of Ford automobiles were down. Online jewelry sales
were up. The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry told
consumers to watch out for bad veneer jobs. The song "Snappy
the Little Crocodile" made the Top Ten in Germany, with its
signature lyric "Schni schna schnappi schnappi schnappi
schnapp." Boston announced a crackdown on illegally parked
garbage cans, and scientists found that organic ketchup
fights cancer better than the regular kind. The Vietnamese
government executed 450 ducks.
 

Boss Hog

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by OTIS

and Jami Miscik became the CIA's sixth high-level official
to resign since Porter Goss took over the agency in
September.

going back a bit...

I find it interesting that on Sept. 11 Porter Goss was meeting with the head of Pakistani intelligence, who handed the lead 9/11 hijacker $100,000.
 

OTIS

TRIBE Member
HARPER'S WEEKLY REVIEW
January 18, 2005

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

by Paul Ford

Army Spc. Charles Graner Jr. was sentenced to ten years in
military prison for his role in torturing prisoners at the
Abu Ghraib prison. Graner threatened to rape prisoners and
made them eat pork, and made one prisoner eat from a toilet.
He insisted that he was only following orders. "There's a
war on," he said. "Bad things happen." More reports surfaced
detailing torture in Iraq, this time with Navy SEALs and the
CIA as the instigators, and the Pentagon was considering
whether to fund special, El Salvador-style Iraqi death
squads. Sixty Afghans were released from Guantanamo Bay and
returned home, and detainees from other nations were
released without being charged. Further allegations of
torture at Guantanamo Bay were made by the FBI. Iraqi
insurgents were killing at least one hundred people each
week, and the Bush administration announced that the hunt
for weapons of mass destruction had been a total failure.
Iraqi polling places were bombed, and Iraqi Prime Minister
Iyad Allawi announced that $2 billion would be spent to add
50,000 troops to the Iraqi army. Ukraine pulled its troops
out of Iraq. A soldier who sued the Army for requiring him
to return to Iraq was sent back to serve another tour of
duty, and in Mosul, a Syrian archbishop was kidnapped. The
Army was planning to deploy knee-high robots equipped with
machine guns to fight Iraqi insurgents, and Osama bin Laden
was rumored to have returned to Afghanistan.

The White House continued to work towards a constitutional
amendment banning same-sex marriages, and the Supreme Court
ruled that the Ku Klux Klan could adopt a highway in
Missouri. A federal judge ordered Cobb County, Georgia,
schools to remove from biology textbooks all stickers that
question the theory of evolution. Sir David King, the Chief
Scientific Advisor to the United Kingdom, was under attack
by American lobbyists for saying that global warming is a
problem, and a police officer in the Philippines was accused
of stealing a fellow officer's bomb-sniffing dog, then
eating it. United States Special Forces teams were
conducting secret missions in Iran, where Halliburton,
operating through a subsidiary in the Cayman Islands, was to
start drilling for oil. In Hempstead, New York, two
legal-reform activists were detained for telling old lawyer
jokes outside a courthouse, including: "Why do they bury
lawyers 100 feet into the ground? Because down deep, they're
good people." An offended lawyer had the men arrested.
Rwanda said that it will attempt to try one-eighth of its
population for genocide. Trials will be held in small
village courts, called gacacas. E! Television and Britain's
BSkyB announced plans to broadcast 30-minute dramatizations
of Michael Jackson's child molestation trial, based on the
testimony from the previous day, in order to get around a
ban on cameras in the courtroom. A 64-year-old webmaster
sued the Tallahassee, Florida, Department of Elder Affairs
for age discrimination, and a New Mexico woman was sued for
embezzling Girl Scout cookies. The FBI announced that
Virtual Case File, an incomplete, $170 million software
application intended to help agents share information, was
likely to be scrapped. A British contractor was hired to
define requirements for a new system. All 790 men in Truro,
Massachusetts, were asked to submit to a DNA test so that
they could prove their innocence in a three-year-old murder
case. Satanists were upset to learn that the Regina
Apostolorum, a Vatican university, was going to offer
courses in Satanism and exorcism. The church, said a
prominent Satanist, "has the blood of countless millions on
its bejeweled fingers." A man jumped from the Millau
viaduct, the world's tallest bridge, to become its first
suicide, and the last reel-to-reel tape manufacturer in
America went under, forcing indie rockers to hoard tapes.
Nas married Kelis. In Colombia, a Black Hawk helicopter
crashed while on a counter-narcotics mission, killing all
twenty onboard. A four-legged, anus-less, double-penised
baby was born in Nigeria, and Prince Harry, third in line to
the British throne, was revealed to have gone to a party
dressed as a Nazi.

In India, men were calling tsunami relief help lines,
offering to marry women who lost their husbands in the
recent disaster. "I have no caste barriers, and my parents
are very supportive of my decision," said one caller.
President George W. Bush nominated Michael Chertoff, a
former aide to John Ashcroft and former Senate Republican
counsel for the Whitewater investigation, to head the
Department of Homeland Security. The White House was
preparing for the president's inauguration, and it was
revealed that Laura Bush's inaugural gown is an ice-blue and
silver embroidered tulle V-neck dress with matching satin
coat, by de la Renta; Jenna and Barbara Bush are being
dressed by Lela Rose, de la Renta, Derek Lam, and Badgley
Mischka. President Bush will wear a business suit. "Not all
the new clothes are in the house," said Mrs. Bush, "but
they've all had their last fitting." Forty agencies were
working together to provide security for the event. The
White House refused to reimburse Washington, D.C., for
inauguration expenses, which will require $11.9 million to
be diverted from homeland security funds, and it was
announced that no one may carry a cross along the parade
route. Performers in the inaugural parade, including
marching bands, bell ringers, and Civil War reenactors, were
instructed not to look directly at Bush as they pass the
parade stand, nor to make any sudden moves. A head, hands,
two legs, and a torso were pulled from latrines in Botswana,
and Bill Clinton and George W. Bush were becoming friends.
The parents of a baby born on January 6, and officially
named the 1.3 billionth citizen of China, turned down
sponsorship deals from diaper makers. "Zhang Yichi is too
young, and too many commercial activities will have negative
impact on the boy's healthy growth," said Zhang Tong, the
boy's father. Women were freezing their eggs in order to
have them fertilized when it's convenient, and storms
ravaged California, where the resulting mud slides killed at
least nine while dislodging boulders up to twenty-five feet
in diameter. Herpes struck the horses of Michigan, and an
iceberg the size of Long Island was about to smash into an
Antarctic glacier. A Florida man, upset over hurricanes,
beat a puppy with a hammer, and a Florida minister died at
the pulpit. His last words were, "And when I go to
heaven..."
 
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