"I'm all in favor of keeping dangerous weapons out of the hands of fools. Let's start with typewriters." -- Frank Lloyd Wright
ManixGay - Manix Gel is a lubricant sold by a French "distributeur de plaisire". Their product line is primarily condoms. Somebody used my search engine to look for "feminine lubricant advertisement brazillian". I probably linked to that image at some point a while back, but I don't think I ever posted it. Here it is. BabelFish translates "a haut pouvoir lubrifiant" as "has high lubricating capacity".
# Nina Bernstein at The New York Times - In F.B.I., Innocent Detainee Found Unlikely Ally - the story of Purna Raj Bajracharya's "detention" by the f.b.i. They knew within days of his arrest for videotaping an f.b.i. building that he was no terrorist, but they kept him in solitary confinement for three months before allowing him to return to his family in Katmandu. Land of the free? The Times requires free registration to view its content. Use newslinks/newslinks (thanks, kaba) for user id/password if you don't want to register. [root]
# Chris Floyd at The Moscow Times - Beggar's Banquet - Mr. Floyd aims his rapier wit at a recent Supreme Court ruling that Mr. Bush can't just disappear people. He has to give them some sort of trial, not the trial explicitly required in the Constitition, mind you, but a kangaroo court hearing of some sort. "Supremacists" is a word I'll have to remember. Hehe. [root]
The Supremacists also upheld the L'il Commander's self-bestowed right to use his "enemy combatant" popgun -- a sinister novelty, wholly without precedent, which allows him to zap captives into a legal limbo where neither U.S. law nor the Geneva Conventions apply. But they did place some restrictions on how far Junior can spray his little zapper, apparently limiting it to those actually captured on a battlefield -- at least for now.
For this week's decisions are only a brief respite. The Court's barrage of complex, multilayered opinions left plenty of wiggle room for White House weasel-worders to continue their pursuit of unbridled presidential power. After all, the Regime has publicly defined the entire world as the "battlefield" of the war on terror. "Enemy combatants" are everywhere, and Bush's arbitrary power to bestow this mark of Cain on anyone he pleases was not rejected in principle by the Court, which practically begged the Regime's rubber stamps in Congress to come up with some "enabling acts" to sanctify the Leader's tyrannical longings. Bush's authoritarian claims will simply be slapped with a new coat of paint -- a nod to limited judicial review, some butt-covering legislation -- then trotted out again.
Still, at this advanced stage in the long decay of the American Republic, even a crumb of liberty is better than no liberty at all. The Court, jealous of its prerogatives -- and perhaps piqued at Bush's attempt to hog all the terrorist-bashing fun for himself -- has, temporarily and partially, hobbled the Regime's vigorous march toward 21st-century fascism. For this relief, much thanks. Of course, our gratitude might have been greater if the justices hadn't illegally foisted the tinpot tyrant on the nation -- and the world -- in the first place. Although they've now given their creature a light rap on the knuckles, Bush can hardly be blamed for following their example of partisan lawlessness.
Meanwhile, behind all the somber headlines and earnest commentary on the Court's decisions, behind the glittering public facade of august institutions locked in noble agon over constitutional principle, the Bush Regime's true reality -- the ugly world of "black ops" -- keeps grinding on unabated. Here, in this dank, subterranean realm, where drug-running warlords, private armies, silent assassins, mafia chieftains, terrorist gangs, heads of state and Establishment worthies all mingle in a fog of crime, collusion and double-cross, the law is a dead letter. Here, no courts challenge Bush's most brazen appropriation of unrestrained power -- the arbitrary, unchecked, unbalanced power to kill anyone on earth, without charges, without trial, without warning.
So yes, we're glad that the Supreme Court has put a few weak fetters on some of the more blatant aspects of Bush's rampant Caesarism. But the rotten state of the Republic -- its once-proud people scrambling for crumbs in the fetid mud of Bush's Murder Incorporated -- is not something any patriot can celebrate on Independence Day.
Well, that's rich, isn't it? Christopher Hitchens crawling out of a bottle long enough to denounce Michael Moore as a coward. I can't imagine anything more uplifting, except maybe a zoo baboon humping the foot of a medical school cadaver
I'm off on this tangent because I'm enraged by the numerous attempts at verbose, pseudoliterary, "nuanced" criticism of Moore this week by the learned priests of our business. (And no, I'm not overlooking this newspaper.) Michael Moore may be an ass, and impossible to like as a public figure, and a little loose with the facts, and greedy, and a shameless panderer. But he wouldn't be necessary if even one percent of the rest of us had any balls at all.
If even one reporter had stood up during a pre-Iraq Bush press conference last year and shouted, "Bullshit!" it might have made a difference.
If even one network, instead of cheerily re-broadcasting Pentagon-generated aerial bomb footage, had risked its access to the government by saying to the Bush administration, "We're not covering the war unless we can shoot anything we want, without restrictions," that might have made a difference. It might have made this war look like what it is--pointless death and carnage that would have scared away every advertiser in the country--rather than a big fucking football game that you can sell Coke and Pepsi and Scott's Fertilizer to.
# Jeff Head - Dragon's Fury, Eagle's Talons, the fifth and final volume of Mr. Head's WWIII series is slated to be available in August. He was targetting July the last time I looked. Guess the writing is going slower than expected. Still, I'll wager it will be worth the wait. Two excerpts are available at the linked page. And you can order the other four volumes, for immediate download or on dead trees.
# Richard North at EU Referendum - Possible interruption of service - the tale of a tax protester. He withheld £78 from his taxes because the police service that it was supposedly paying for was worthless. They may throw him in jail for three months for it. [kimdutoit]
Now we have the interesting situation of a "customer" being charged money by a police service, which does not provide a service, and refusing to pay for the lack of the same, then being summonsed by the customer service department of the council, where I will be dealt with by the court service, who may well do me the "service" of ordering me to be locked up, and thus passed to the custody of the self-same police service who had done me no service, until I can be handed over to the prison service -- or whatever it is called now -- who will do me the service of depriving me of my liberty -- while the criminals who robbed my house and smashed up my wife's car roam free. As they say, you couldn't make it up.
# Cheyenne Frontier Days is "The Daddy of 'em All", all rodeos, that is. I remember it well. I used to sell "daily rodeo programs" to make a little money to spend at the carnival. I found the web site via an ad in my ISP's newsletter. If you go there, remember, open containers of alcoholic beverages are not allowed on the street. Keep them in the bar or you will be arrested. It takes place during the last full week in July, which is July 23 through August 1 this year. The locals who don't make money off of it tend to schedule their vacations during that week, to get out of town.
"...the ultimate celebration of the Old West..."
"Everything about Cheyenne Frontier Days is outsized. About 1,800 contestants are competing this year in nine performances that began last Saturday and run through July 27 at Frontier Park, making Cheyenne the world's largest outdoor rodeo. The $1 million in total prize money is the biggest purse outside the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas. Every performance boasts 40 bull rides, 28 bareback rides, 28 saddle bronc rides, 15 rookie saddle bronc rides and a wild horse race involving 16 three-man teams, guaranteeing the 11,000 plus fans each day more views of cowboys biting the dust than The Outlaw Josey Wales."
Sports Illustrated, July 28, 2003
# Kim du Toit - Serbu Super-Shorty (12ga. & 20ga.) - Kim discovers Serbu's interesting weapons. I linked to their short-barreled shotgun back on 12/28/2002. $725 as shown. $672 without the front sight and sling swivels. Drool. [kimdutoit]