Roots of Terrorism, Dick Blows Up, and the Ashcroft Slime
by Warren Pease
A Real Stunner: SF Chronicle Reports Link Between Poverty
Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, who faces
two Muslim rebellions at home, said her government is committed
to fighting terrorism but stressed the need to eradicate the
poverty that can breed discontent and extremism.
"We recognize that the fight against terrorism is intertwined
with the fight against poverty," Arroyo told The Chronicle
during a brief stop in San Francisco Wednesday. "Terrorism
is caused by evil, and evil can spread its ideology when people
are poor. The fight against terrorism and the fight against
poverty are one and the same." (SF Chronicle, November 16,
This just in: Sun rises in East; Pope refuses to deny being
Catholic; scientists reveal trees made of wood. Reporters
are on scene now and we'll have full details at eleven.
A New, Improved Ubercreep
The White House confirmed that Vice President Dick Cheney
exploded today, an apparent victim of bad tacos and faulty
pacemaker power supply circuitry.
The vice president had just finished lunch at an undisclosed
location and was mapping out plans to keep at least five miles
from the Infant in Chief, making it less likely that the veep
would be infected by chronic malapropism and a belief in talking
caterpillars. Suddenly, according to undisclosed aides, the
vice president gasped, grabbed his stomach and "just blew
According to one aide, Cheney's clothing, flesh and internal
organs exploded in a roughly circular pattern and splattered
the walls and ceiling of the undisclosed location. The vice
president's viscera then dripped slowly to the floor, turning
first to primordial ooze, then to dust, and then vanishing
"In most movies I've ever seen, that's only possible if the
dead guy is at least several hundred years old, and even then
you usually need to put a stake through his heart," said anatomist
and forensic pathologist Dorian Grey, speaking from an undisclosed
Fortunately for the vice president, Scott Adams' speculation
that Cheney had crossed the line between human and cyborg
proved prophetic. The explosion revealed a titanium endo-skeleton
powered by servomotors and directed by complex computer circuitry.
His feet are now small tractor treads for all-terrain navigation
and his eyes bright red LEDs. He was able to mimic speech
using a computerized voice synthesizer, much as he did in
As the user manual for the new, improved Cheney puts it:
"The core of the engine is a finite-state automata machine,
which persists state and data for fully atomic failure recovery."
According to cardiologists at an undisclosed location, today's
episode underscores the need for effective electrical shielding
to contain shorts and arcs in implanted cyborg body parts.
Gastroenterologists and electricians at another undisclosed
location speculated that a short in wires or contact points
used to connect the battery pack that powered Cheney's pacemaker/defibrillator
may have ignited explosive methane gas trapped in the vice
president's intestines after a lunch delivered to an undisclosed
location from a nearby, undisclosed fake Mexican fast food
restaurant whose initials are Taco Bell.
"This is a time to watch what we eat, watch where we eat
it," said Ari Fleischer as he wiped small pieces of Cheney
from his lapels and glasses at a hastily called news conference
at an undisclosed location. The conference was poorly attended
because its location was not disclosed, Fleischer said, although
CNN managed to send 37 reporters, three camera crews, several
sound trucks and a helicopter to make sure its slack-jawed,
pizza-chomping, beer-saturated viewers didn't miss a single
word of Ari's little five-second homily.
"GURRRRP," said Mike Doddsworth, a maintenance man at a West
Cretinsbug, Tenn. mobile home park, finishing off his fourth
Miller Lite of the morning. "That Andrea Thompson is some
bitchin babe. I used to watch NYPD to see if she'd take her
clothes off, but I musta missed that episode."
Following the Ashcroft Slime Trail
As everyone but Senate Democrats could have predicted,
the ludicrous John Ashcroft is turning out to be the worst
thing that's happened to the Constitution since the Supreme
Court ruled that money equals free speech. In case you haven't
been paying close attention, here's a couple of recent moves
that may leave you questioning everything from his priorities
to his sanity.
Chin-deep in the vaunted war against terrorism, Ashcroft
still found time to direct the mighty resources of the Department
of Justice to swoop down on a medical marijuana outlet in
Southern California, proving once again that a conservative's
worst nightmare is that somebody, somewhere might be getting
away with something that might be fun. That's simply outside
the bounds of the conservative ethos, which is all about pain,
misery, unresolved fury, sexual repression and men in frilly
Never mind that pot is said to alleviate some of the more
awful symptoms of several serious diseases, including full-blown
AIDS, as well as some side effects of procedures like chemotherapy.
And never mind that California voters decided to allow the
use of pot for exactly those reasons. Too bad, the narcs said,
gimme your pot and be glad we don't charge you with terrorism.
When he cleaned up the LA pot scene, he turned his demented
gaze on Oregon, that hotbed of seppuku. Oregon, you may remember,
enacted an "assisted suicide" law a couple of years ago, under
which people in the terminal stages of incurable diseases
can apply to their doctors for a legally prescribed drug overdose,
which sends them painlessly and peacefully into the void at
a time, place and manner of their own choosing.
All of which is enough to drive a conservative crazy. So
our multi-focused AG ruled that Oregon doctors who okay such
overdoses could have their licenses to prescribe any federally-controlled
substances pulled. Which means, effectively, that these docs
would be out of the pharmacological business. They could,
I suppose, turn to leeches and trepanning, but our fine health
care system usually doesn't cover that stuff.
Oregon's fighting back in the courts but, when you look at
the composition of the federal judiciary, it's hard to be
overly optimistic about the outcome.
Meanwhile, the epic hypocrisy of the party of States' Rights
meddling in the rights of the states is, of course, lost on
the AG and ignored in the media, who seem to be the only people
getting really good narcotics these days. But then, the kinds
of states' rights Ashcroft is interested in have exclusively
to do with Jim Crow, Lester Maddox and general-purpose repression.
Another key point to keep in mind is that Ashcroft is such
an inept, bungling ideologue, such an abysmal failure as a
public servant, that the voters of Missouri, not an overly
liberal lot, preferred the corpse of their former Democratic
governor to the living body of their live Republican senator.
So they turned out this past November to vote against Ashcroft
and for the dead guy, Mel Carnahan, who had been killed in
a plane crash a week or so before the election last November.
But you can't keep a good fascist down. His philosophical
brethren usurped the White House late last year and, when
it became time to fill the AG slot, they looked long and hard
for the kind of guy who could turn the country's loose, progressive
morals around and reinstitute a sense of decorum and dignity
in the Justice Department.
Unfortunately, Juan Peron was dead, Idi Amin preferred to
remain in luxurious exile on the French Riviera, Augusto Pinochet
was under indictment, and the Grand Wizard of the Louisiana
KKK was in hiding. There went the short list, so Honest John
was reluctantly summoned to the White House.
Even the Cowpoke in Chief was a little put off by Ashcroft's
beady little bird eyes, but a quick look at his Senate voting
record quelled all reservations.
Pro rich white guys, hate crimes, campaign contributors and
religious fanatics. Anti women, minorities, gays, minimum
wage, unions, choice and most of the provisions of the Bill
of Rights (except, of course, the NRA's spin on the Second
Amendment). Plus, he looks better in dresses than Janet Reno.
"Cool," said George, and the nomination went forward.
So he came before the judiciary committee, lied like a federal
prosecutor, and gained rapid "bipartisan" confirmation by
the full Senate. (Bipartisanship these days means that Democrats
cave immediately and completely at the merest hint of a lifted
eyebrow from Karl Rove.)
Anyway, right after the confirmation hearings, Democrats
were spinning like Dervishes to get the country to buy into
the patently insane notion that Ashcroft's confirmation somehow
represented a victory for the progressive cause.
Early this year, California Senator Barbara Boxer actually
told the San Francisco Chronicle that, in putting up token
resistance while delivering more than enough votes to put
Ashcroft over the top, Democrats sent a strong message to
the White House ". . . that when it comes to policies or court
nominees, if your agenda is anti-civil rights, anti-women's
rights, anti-human rights, don't send it to us." She apparently
said this with a straight face, although she was later seen
giggling and howling uncontrollably at Houston's, the Georgetown
And although there was no finer opportunity and no more urgent
need for Democrats to develop a collective spine, this "strong
message" is about all the resistance the slavishly loyal opposition
was able to muster.
So here we are in late 2001. Detention centers; offshore
military tribunals; wiretaps and email intercepts; clandestine
break-ins; property seizures, courtesy of Barbara and most
other Democratic senators
Thanks, folks. We really, really could have used a little
help on this one, but I understand how important it is to
send messages rather than getting down in the trenches and
doing your goddamn jobs. Trench warfare seems to be the exclusive
province of the GOP these days, and what really uplifting
results we're seeing.
Some very clever pundit said that Reagan naming James Watt
to head the Interior Department was the worst public appointment
since Caligula appointed his horse proconsul. Somebody even
more clever responded that at least Caligula had appointed
the entire horse.
Ladies and Gentlemen, your Attorney General, John "Horse
Hips" Ashcroft, a James Watt for a new century.
# # #
be it from the author to publicly disrespect this great nation's
number one lawman. So if you really want to know what I think
about this abominable sociopath, this religious maniac, this
disgraceful fraud, this moral pipsqueak, this jerkwater simpleton,
this constipated psychopath, this incompetent dunderhead,
this tin-plated charlatan, this . . . anyway, reply here: