Thursday, August 31, 2006


The Miracle of Technology

President Bush revealed his latest weapon in the War on Terror to Secretary of State Condoleeezzza Rice during an Administrative Retreat at a Motel 6 just outside of Salt Lake City yesterday, sources said.

Bush began taking additional shots of testosterone after the attacks of September 11, Bush's personal physician, Gavin D. Limitt, M.D., told reporters. "He needed additional strength for meeting the challenges that recreating the Middle East would entail. He wanted to be performing at his personal peak."

Dr. Rice took a personal peek at that personal peak in Salt Lake City. "She wanted to be sure that the mayor's protests had not created an additional threat to the President's ability to do his job, that is, to protect America. She is eager to serve his purpose in any way she can."

Dr. Rice pronounced the weapon to be in fine shape, although, an aide to her said, "She has always been supportive of the President.
Criticism is not part of her diplomatic style."

Wednesday, August 30, 2006


Gibson, Cruise Ink Picture Deal

In a move that spells major Tinseltown history, Hollywood hunks Mel Gibson and Tom Cruise have formed a new production company, Pariah Pictures, an outfit that will market "movies for the rest of us."

According to insiders, Cruise and Gibson began talking to one another about image problems when the idea for a merger popped up.

"You know, there are a lot of creepy people out there who still think these guys are cool," said an administrative assistant to Gibson. "Why not join forces and pitch to these fans? Some people actually like what they have to say. Anti-Semites and Scientologists need entertainment, too."

The new partners are planning a company on the scale of Dreamworks, another studio of Hollywood superpowers. Along with the big budget action pictures for which Cruise and Gibson are known, Pariah will traverse new territory, including a six-picture deal to produce children's musicals, starting with a remake of the Wizard of Oz with Michael Jackson playing the great and reclusive Oz, and John Mark Karr as the Scarecrow.

Along with the youth musicals, Cruise is planning an as-yet unnamed picture on a post-Katrina New Orleans in which he scolds survivors for "reactive thinking." Gibson is writing a treatment for a film with the working title, "An Icky Faith," featuring an slide show in which he posits that the Jews are to blame for global warming.

Onlookers hope that the strong religious views of each of the men will not jeopardize the new partnership.

"You'll see... he's gonna convert," each of them has confided to insiders about the other.

The two expect Pariah to be a major name in the film industry.

Thursday, August 24, 2006


Barbara Bush Presents

In a generous gesture to the ongoing plight of those displaced by Hurricane Katrina, former First Lady and current First Mother Barbara Bush has offered another $30,000 donation to local charities.

The donation is contingent upon the purchase of "Mission Accomplished" teddy bears by school districts who lay in the path of the hurricane. They will then be donated to schoolchildren during social studies lessons.

The bears were an unfortunate investment by First Brother Neil Bush, who attempted to market them as educational software.

"They are soft, insisted the younger Bush brother. "And they're of historical importance."

"What they are is adorable, as are all my sons," said Mrs. Bush sternly. "Coodly, coodly, coo," she concluded, glaring at reporters.

Sunday, August 20, 2006


Mel Makes Pilgrimage to Chocolate Virgin

Actor Mel Gibson took some time out of rehab to make a pilgrimage to Fountain Valley, Calif., to the Blessed Virgin Mary on display at the chapel of Bodega Chocolates yesterday.

"Of course we allowed him to go," said an anonymous source at the rehabilitation facility at which Gibson has been staying since his tequila-fueled meltdown in Malibu. "All our residents are here of their own volition. Besides, it's as Gibson reminded us--he could buy and sell us multiple times."

Gibson had to be restrained initially from attempting to bite off the Blessed Virgin's chocolate head. Onlookers said that he had hoped to internalize the statuette's healing powers for his recovery.

The employee stationed to oversee Gibson's audience with the Blessed Chocolate Virgin said that Gibson spent time in open-hearted prayer once the icon had been restored to the plexiglass display container in which She rests.

"He asked for some relief from the splotchy baldness that's developing on the top of his head. He asked that the Jews in Hollywood and the liberal media stop picking on him. He wanted God to forgive him for endangering his career, which he believes to be a divine gift."

After his tete a tete with the Blessed Virgin Gibson bought several boxes of truffles and bon-bons, signed a few autographs, and was whisked by limo back to rehab.

"I hope he doesn't abuse the bon-bons," fretted an employee. "The cocoa liquor content is off the charts."

Saturday, August 19, 2006


Patrick Swayze Defends Mel Gibson

Referring to a beleaguered Mel Gibson as "a wonderful human being," Patrick Swayze said that the actor was not anti-Semitic and should be allowed to "have a stupid moment."

The "Dirty Dancing Star" said that he felt "bad for Mel."

"I also feel bad for me. It's been a long time since 'Dirty Dancing,' and 'Road House' didn't do all that much for my career. Wherever I go I'm mistaken for McCauley Culkin, mostly because he's no longer the young and cute guy they remember in the movies, either."

"In fact, if Mel will give me a role in one of his upcoming anti-Semitic blockbusters, he can have stupid hours, days, weeks, even epochs. What the hell--I'm not Jewish."

He added, "When you are a pit bull and you love what you do, that talent, like the foulest chili dog, will find a way out. Of course, you should be sure to have your shots up to date and some bromo on hand."

Swayze has invited Gibson to meet him at a local pub for the stupid time period of his choice.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006


Note to Mr. President: Shut Up... and Go Ride Your Bicycle

from today's New York Times...

As everyone with a television is aware, Lebanon has just suffered through a terrible month, with more than 1,000 people killed, most of them innocent civilians. But Iraq has suffered through an even worse month. Since June, more than 3,000 Iraqis have been killed each month, and the rate continues to rise. While Lebanon is now trying to pick up the pieces, Iraq is falling apart at an accelerating pace.

As Americans debate where to go from here on Iraq, one thing should be clear. Staying the course until President Bush leaves office 29 months from now is not an option. It is no longer even clear just what course America is on. Most of what Washington now claims to be doing cannot withstand the most elementary reality test.

Just this week, Mr. Bush defined America’s purpose as supporting an inclusive national unity government. Every day, it becomes increasingly clear that there is no such unity government, that there never has been and that the various branches of the Iraqi leadership are not trying to create one.

Iraq’s elected government is dominated by two Iranian-backed Shiite fundamentalist parties. They are backed on the streets of Baghdad and in the Shiite south by two Hezbollah-like armed militias. In Parliament, their power is reinforced by two Kurdish separatist parties, also with their own militias, which have been allowed to run the Kurdish northeast like an independent state within a state.

Washington doesn’t complain too loudly about these militias, because without them, the Iraqi government would be even weaker than it is now. But so long as they are allowed to enforce their murderous brand of vigilante justice, it is ludicrous to claim that Iraqis enjoy democracy or the rule of law.

Some Sunni parties also participate in the government, but without any real policy-making power. This week, the Sunni speaker of Parliament considered quitting to protest his isolation.

Outside Shiite and Kurdish areas, the authority of Iraq’s government is barely felt. There, Sunni insurgents fight and kill American troops. That insurgency did not die down after Saddam Hussein was captured, as Mr. Bush once hoped it would. Nor did it die down when elections were held, when the constitution was ratified, when the government was formed or when the local leader of Al Qaeda, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, was killed. The insurgency rages on, and no one knows when, how or if it might end.

The other key element of Mr. Bush’s policy is his promise that as Iraqi forces stand up, American forces will stand down. Even on the rare occasions that Iraqi forces have stood up, they have often been unreliable and ineffective. In June, Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki announced a drive by Iraqi and American troops to secure Baghdad. Baghdad became even less secure, and more American troops had to be called in to do a job they were supposed to be phasing out of. More Iraqis were killed in July than in any other month of the war.

And the mayhem in Baghdad continues unabated. Local policing is, in fact, a job that only Iraqis can do successfully. But almost three and a half years after the toppling of Saddam Hussein, there is still no Iraqi force capable of taking this on. And it is hard to see how the present Iraqi government will ever field such a force, so long as its power depends on armed sectarian militias that fuel the Baghdad violence.

Things in Iraq are not going to get better by themselves. The answer is not blind perseverance in staying a course that has demonstrably failed.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006


Dust Off Your Cleats: Your Country Calls

I propose that we do away with all this warfare nonsense and replace bombs with the balls of nations' choice (truck nuts excepted). That way when the "battle" is over, we'll have a clearer sense of who's actually won. Few are the arguments about which team has racked up a greater number of scores.

According Lacrosse, Little Brother of War, Native tribes settled all sorts of scores with an admittedly bloody sport that nevertheless left the majority of its combatants alive to play another game. The teams ran for miles, and the two sides got their ya yas out and the winning tribe emerged with its honor restored.

The U.S. would probably have to spiff up its soccer skills, since that is the game of choice for most of our would-be competitors. Or nations could all take on a new game, lacrosse being an obvious choice. Perhaps the aggrieved nations could choose the game to play, or the winner could take two out of three games in a variety of sports selected.

Athletics are already a source of jingoism and macho obsession--why not turn them to an even greater National Good? The press would love it; the government wouldn't try to put blinders on its coverage, and Monday morning quarterbacks would be upgraded to major generals. Ticket sales could finance the contests, so that our "military" actions could pretty much pay for themselves.
Corporate sponsors could have a hand in the action in order to make this new form of warfare a winner for them, too.

Sure, there'd be all the doping that's illegal now, but it would beat prisoners housed in torture chambers, neighborhoods leveled by missiles, and misstatements by chief executives as to who'd actually won. Besides, steroids seem to be fine with Our Lord and Savior, since His personal representative here on earth already partakes so freely of them.

Our current, testosterone-pumped prexy and former sports team owner is just the guy to lead the way. Step up to the plate, Mr. Prez.

Thursday, August 10, 2006


Self Help

What's more American than self-improvement? Since Ben Franklin wrote "The Way to Wealth" back in the early days of the Republic, we've had our nostrils flared in the never ending pursuit of perfection. The New York Times Book Review has a separate best seller list for Advice, How-To, and Miscellaneous. At the moment we can access best selling books to control our mutts, develop millionaire minds, drive our lives with purpose and learn the ABCs of manliness. We can buy computer software that will help us to write the Great American Novel. With a little digging we can apply the secrets of cannibalistic spider sex for the development of genius.

In the library I am fondling the magazines. It's part of the job. I catalog, add, subtract to the collection. In them lie the secrets to our perfectable selves. America, the land of opportunity!

Fix Your Figure! Get Him to Notice You at a Party! Teach your children to get rich and stay rich. Take off 10 years. Build bombproof knees. Get a toned body in 3 moves a day. Get Mary Louise Parker in the sack. Dress for power. Lose belly fat. Get six-pack abs in just minutes a day.

I turn 60 on Saturday. I need a nap.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006


Sweating More Gracefully

If there's anything that brings out the whiner in me, it's heat and humidity. My parents did me a huge service and disservice after high school when they moved the family to the coast at which time I learned what life at the beach was all about. I've been 16 years in the only New England state without a coast, and I still can't get over how much I miss the ocean. That breeze! That sense of energy! Them negative ions!

I've done poorly with the climate here. My friends thought I would have a hard time with the winters, but it's the summers that I detest. This morning I could barely look the love of my life in the eye, so great was my rage at the sticky sun that bore down on us.

We have a few ways of coping--we sit in the river and throw the ball for Maddie-dog, whose swimming style delights me. We go to air conditioned movies. We sit out on the porch with a zillion mosquito coils and torches lit and do the crossword puzzle till it's too much, at which time we repair to one of a zillion ceiling fans installed indoors. But at times none of these things really add up to much.

I've given myself lots of lectures on perspective, but the get-over-it stuff only goes so far. Yes, I'm a goddam baby about this.

Given the fact that most of the nation is experiencing the harsh effects of global warming right along with the Green Mountain State, I figure that there is a wealth of coping advice to be drawn upon. What do you do to maintain your spirits during sucky stretches of weather like this? Southerners especially, let me hear from you! I figure you know more than anyone!

Even if you aren't a usual commentor, please log in and tell me how you get through times like these. And please remember, getting sloshed is no longer an option for me.

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