Archive for April, 2006

Mr. President,

It has been apparent for quite some time that the war in Iraq has little to do with the promulgation of democracy and freedom; who is truly free there, when even the “democratically elected” government is playing by our rules and held by our leash?
Now it is becoming obvious that your interest in Iraq does not even have to do with Christianity; the Belfast Telegraph reports (http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/story.jsp?story=687309) that American troops have laid waste to Babylon itself. Similar reports detail untold devastation to other biblical sites – even Abraham’s home city of Ur is all but lost to us. How long before another inglorious military mistake takes out Bethlehem, or Nazareth?
So if it’s not about democracy or religion, what is it? Liberation from the fear of terrorism? Well, while the captivity of the Jews in 578 BC might have been considered a terrorist act, I don’t believe that we need to take our revenge on a citizenry which was gone two millennia before there was an America… and what else has Babylon ever done to warrant this sort of treatment, other than being something in Iraq worthy of actual respect and reverence?
That leaves only two things this war can really be about: money and oil. Well, perhaps that’s just one thing.
I suppose it doesn’t matter how much money you spend while you’re in office; you don’t have to live with the consequences once you leave office. You can relax with the enormous tax cuts you have bestowed upon the class you will inevitably be a part of, living off the profits from your connections in the oil business.
If, as seems to be the case, you were comfortable viewing your slim re-election majority as a mandate to continue your work, you should logically consider your current approval ratings as a mandate to step down and hand over the job of running the country to someone who cares about what’s happening inside it.

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I read a report from South Africa this morning, in which I found that the Dry Bean Producers’ Organization is protesting a television commercial in which beans are linked with flatulence.

Everybody who has ever eaten a bean knows that they do this. Five-year-olds learn little songs about beans being good for the heart and the obvious rhyme which goes with that. Even kids who don’t actually like beans will frequently choke down a can or two of them, then retire to their bedroom to plot the sudden bombing runs which will inevitably occur once you think they’re fast asleep and settle down for a few drinks. They time it perfectly. When you take your first sip of Chablis or Chardonnay, you’re still wondering whether they’re really asleep. By the third sip, you’re more settled. At the moment of the fifth sip, a small, loud tornado enters the room, pauses, lets loose a real ripper, then beats a retreat back to its bedroom.

It’s going to take a lot more of that wine now.

But in any case, I’m not really surprised that the DBPO is protesting this – after all, it’s one thing to have a product which causes this, but quite another to have it announced all over national television – but what I am surprised about is that there is a Dry Bean Producers’ Organization.

Not that I object to their production of dry beans, or to their wish to organize… but was the regular Bean Producers’ Organization not enough? Could they not simply have operated under that umbrella instead of seceding? The Bean Producers’ Organization, Purveyors of Fine Legumery since 1857? Heck no. Not good enough for them. Couldn’t possibly be good enough for these producers of great flatulence and elementary-school delight.

The result of all this is that the country’s Advertising Standards Authority – which is, unlike its US counterpart, an agency less likely to bend over in the face of a big corporation unless they’ve already had their beans – has closed the case, saying that the commercial “plays on an objectively determinable factual reality which cannot be denied”.

Rock on. And you know how hard they were smirking when they made THAT call.

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