Friday, January 21, 2005

Your Own Divine Message

Check out the Church Sign Generator at and start spreading your own words of wisdom.

Our resident belly-dancing fortune teller, Saphira, generated this one for me.

Would you buy this T-shirt?

He's more than an icon for our times, he's the unofficial T/P mascot. And (we think) nothing could be more dichotomous than the VP showing his love. It's one of the comic ironies that defines our times.

On the shirt, he's down-to-Earth in his grunge attire, speaking from the heart and hitch-hiking to Berkeley with a sign that says it all. (Is that ganja I smell?)

We're thinking about making a limited run of these.
Would you buy one?
Cheney Hippie on the front, translation on the back.

Enter a comment so we know how many might be interested -- anonymous comments are welcome.

Presidential Balls Swollen with Pride and Hubris

On inauguration day in Washington DC, thousands of Republicans dressed in their finest party clothes and paid thousands of dollars to see the President's balls. It was on all the news. Or maybe they were just attending the balls, the gala celebrations of the lame duckness of their prophet and savior.
One quote caught me off guard. At the last ball (the one held exclusively for military personnel and their families) the President gave his weak little speech, then pointed out a disabled vet in the audience. (I'll paraphrase what the President said.)
"Hey, I see a familiar face. I visited with you not long ago in the uh... uh... military hospital. It's good to see you here, brotha."

Brotha? He's calling wounded soldiers "brother" now, LIKE HE'S ONE OF THEM?

I would have been less surprised to hear him say, "Hey, I see a familiar face. I visited with you not long ago in the uh... uh... military hospital. How come you're still alive? Now you're going to leach off the VA payrolls the rest of your life and ruin my plans for a balanced budget, aren't you? Get the hell away from my gala balls."

Thursday, January 20, 2005

U.S. to Scale Back Tsunami Relief Efforts (of course)

BANDA ACEH, Indonesia (AP) - The U.S. military - the largest group aiding tsunami survivors - said Thursday it will immediately begin scaling back its relief operations.
"We've got an inauguration to fund," an anonymous Whitehouse spokesperson said while putting the final touches on a 3-thousand dollar table centerpiece for the BBQ lunch. "Do you think all of these cowboy boot-shaped chocolates and yellow rose confections grow on trees?"

Monday, January 17, 2005

Minnesota Town Lowers Temps to Celebrate MLK Day

Across the country and throughout the world, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day was observed in many ways. Here are a few examples.

Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco will pardon a woman who was arrested while trying to integrate a public swimming pool in 1963, to celebrate MLK Day.

In Iraq, a Catholic Arch-Bishop was kidnapped by insurgent MLK Day observers (a fitting hostage, as King was a Baptist).

And in Minnesota, the people of the small town of Embarrass (pop. 659) all opened their refigerators at the same time, effectively lowering the town's temperature to a crisp 54 degrees below zero. This act was performed in memory of MLK's visit to the burg in the summer 1954, on a day that they had a freak snowstorm.

Saturday, January 15, 2005

Bush Blows Own Horn (Nobody Else Will)

Speaking at the annual TWITCH* convention in Lynchburg, VA, last week, the President wanted the audience to know that the whitehouse was doing everything it could to guarantee another tsunami disaster would be averted. From quadrupling the budget and collective observation range of the tidal wave-predicting department, to offering government spending vouchers to Christian organizations that promised to ask God in their prayers to prevent such disasters from befalling His children.

* Theologians Who Ignore the Teachings of CHrist.

Friday, January 07, 2005

The Honda War Eagle!

So, I was riding into work yesterday and I found myself at a red light behind this lady singing to herself in a Honda CR-V with a W '04 sticker on the back window and license plate that sounded-out "War Eagle." I won't print the exact plate number, to protect this woman from you unscrupulous types out there, but it was plain enough to guess. First, I thought War Eagles drove American cars? Am I wrong about this?
Well, it was a long traffic light and I entertained myself by reading her lips in her rearview mirror. (It's an old parlor trick I learned in my years as a volunteer missionary on Molochai Island at the leper colony. Reading lips is common among the lepers... when the ears fall off you have to move to sign language, but once the fingers go, it's all lip-reading, baby, or a pretty hard-to-understand dinner conversation.)
Sure enough, she WAS a war eagle. She was singing the War Eagle anthem. The part I caught before the light turned green went something like this:
Neo-cons and Old-school Rights
Don't need reasons to start fights
We'll find a way to shirk the biiiilllll...
We just want to kill kill kill.

Kill kill kill...
Kill kill kill...
We just want to
Kill kill kill.

Left-wingers won't protect us.
We should put them on a bus.
We're the ones who have the wiiillll...
To stand up tall and kill kill kill.

Kill kill kill...
Kill kill kill...
Teach the children
Kill kill kill.
Needless to say, I put plenty of room between the War Eagle Honda and my pickup truck. Wouldn't want to be on the losing end of a case of road rage, there.

Sunday, January 02, 2005

It ain't torture if it don't really hurt

84 meters beneath Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, DC, there's a secret tunnel that runs from the Whitehouse to the Justice Department (with a small offshoot tunnel that leads to a "viewing booth" of the first floor women's bathroom at the Supreme Court -- a hold-over from the Clinton era. At John Ashcroft's request, the President hasn't had that tunnel bricked-up, yet. Now that Ashy is gone, though, it will probably be lost.) Anyway, halfway between the Whitehouse and the Justice Department, there is a small, dark conference room. Many clandestine decisions are made in that room. And last week, the following meeting took place between a high level Whitehouse official and Daniel Levin, the Acting Assistant Attorney General.

Anonymous: "What's the plan, Danny Boy? I'm getting hammered by the press over this torture defibrilution thingy."
Levin: "Definition, sir."
Anonymous: "Right. Right. I know. I don't need my speech writer here to tell me what you mean."
Levin: "Well, sir, your current definition of torture says that the pain inflicted on a detainee must be at least as bad as the pain of organ failure before it's considered torture."
Anonymous: "So, like the the pain a hog feels when you chop off its nutsack with a ten inch Bowie knife?"
Levin: "Umm, no sir. Testicular castration is just the removal of the scrotum. It's nonlethal and isn't quite as painful as say a heart attack or liver failure."
Anonymous: "Are you saying I don't know my nobbly organs from my squishy organs? Don't try me, boy."
Levin: "Of course not, sir. I was just saying that the old definition of torture left a lot of room for, uh, pain, sir. Lots and lots of pain."
Anonymous: "What's wrong with that? Isn't that what torture is supposed to be, painful?"
Levin: "I guess what the Congress is upset about is that your old definition doesn't say that torture is painful, it says that inflicting pain isn't torture unless it's very very very bad pain."
Anonymous: "Worse than castratin' a pig, right?"
Levin: "Much worse."
Anonymous: "I see. So what we need to do is give a better defad-, defuh-, whatchamacallit..."
Levin: "Definition."
Anonymous: "Right. We need to come up with a better definition of exactly what torture is, so that we can get away with it more often."
Levin: "Not quite, sir. We need a better definition so that our interrogators will stop torturing people."
Anonymous: "Ah... and why is torture bad?"
Levin: "Because torture is wrong, barbaric, uncivilized, and abhorrent to America's basic beliefs in the inalienable rights of individuals."
Anonymous: "That's good."
Levin: "What's good, sir?"
Anonymous: "That word you used just now. Abundant."
Levin: "Abhorrent?"
Anonymous: "That's it. Be sure to use that in your new definition."
Levin: "I'll see how I can work that into the memo, Mr. Presi-"
Anonymous: "Whoah, Danny! Careful what you call me in here. Not sure if there are any of them blaggers hacked in and listening. Just call me Head Cheese when we meet in here."
Levin: "OK, sir."
Anonymous: "Go ahead."
Levin: "Go ahead, sir?"
Anonymous: "Use my code name."
Levin: "Um, OK, sir."
Anonymous: "In a sentence. A complete sentence. Nouns, verbs, practiciples, all that."
Levin: "Um, OK, sir. here goes. I'll try to use the word 'abhorrent,' mister uh Head Cheese, in the memo we write that officially redefines the word torture."
Anonymous: "That was good, Danny Boy. Real good. You sure talk purty."

Later that week, the Justice department released the memo that started:
Torture is abhorrent both to American law and values and to international norms. This universal repudiation of torture is reflected in our criminal law...
And contained several definitions of the word "torture," including:
... The term "torture," in United States and international usage, is usually reserved for extreme, deliberate and unusually cruel practices, for example, sustained systematic beating, application of electric currents to sensitive parts of the body, and tying up or hanging in positions that cause extreme pain.
Note, did you know that a person not "acting in an official capacity" and not "intending to cause extreme pain and suffering" can't actually commit torture, according to the memo? It's true. Read it here.

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