G L O B U L L S
PERUíS BLUES BLOWS...With radar assistance from the United States, the Peru military has shot down a private plane SUSPECTED of smuggling drugs - which turned out to just have missionaries aboard. Peru apologized for the mistake once they realized the plane was merely carrying the opiate of the masses.
A M E R I C A N A R D S
MCVEIGH AND AWAY...The schizophrenic pro-life/pro-death-penalty U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft decided in April that survivors and family members of Oklahoma City bombing victims will be allowed to watch the execution of convicted bomber Timothy McVeigh. (Hey, isnít his middle name missing? He canít be a serious killer if you donít call him by all three names.) Theyíll witness the lethal-injection death on a secure, closed-circuit television feed - but will have to cough up the cash themselves if they want to add surround sound. (Which really isnít worth it unless itís an electrocution.)
THE GREAT WHITE NORTH...According to recent census data, Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont are the three whitest states in the union - and it has nothing to do with the snow. Figures cite Maine at 96.9% white, Vermont at 96.8% and New Hampshire at 96.0%. White supremacists in Idaho have already packed their bags (Randy Weaverís even back in Iowa), but the real problem is one of culture. I donít think these "rebels" would be interested in calling themselves "yankees" do you?...Theyíd probably have a problem with "minutemen" too.
DOINí THE OLE MISS-STEP...Mississippi voters overwhelmingly rejected the adoption of a new state flag in response to criticism for continuing to use the stars and bars Confederate battle standard. Backers of the new flag declared the old design a symbol of racism and slavery. Supporters of the old flag countered that the flag was a tie to Mississippiís heritage - of racism and slavery....The state could now face the same kind of economic boycott threat that spurred Georgia and South Carolina to make changes in their state flags. But no one vacations in Mississippi anyway....So the state with the worst economy and the worst literacy rate in the nation is also the last still to use an offensive symbol? Coincidence?
M I C H I G A N D E R S
THE NAKED AND THE DEAD... Participation in the 2001 Naked Mile (at least they SAID it was a mile, but guys have been known to lie about the length) was substantially down over previous years, thanks to threats of sex-offender prosecution by Ann Arbor police. As a result, authorities decided to only charge ugly runners....Yet the truly ugly ones, the pitiful ones, are those with video cameras and grabby hands strategically positioned along the runnersí one-mile route. Between print, video and internet porn, plus the obvious strip clubs, who really needs to be hanging at the perimeter spraining their wrist in a raincoat? Now, if you want to document the youthful exuberance of someone who may later turn into a reactionary conservative politician - Iíll support your right to videotape with my last dying battery....In an unrelated story, former president of Students for a Democratic Society Al Haber, commenting on whether the U would admit that DPS officers are currently infiltrating campus student groups, said, "Iím sure the University would deny it until theyíre caught with their pants down."
P O L Y T I C K S
HAVE A BUSCH - LIGHT...Jenna W. Bush (enough of the Wís already), one of President Bushís 19-year-old twin daughters, has been charged with alcohol possession by a minor. Caught in an Austin, Texas Cheers (where if everyone knew her name why didnít they know sheís under-age?), Jenna was issued a "field release citation" by city police. A spokesperson was at a loss to explain how, despite 24-hour Secret Service protection, they failed to prevent such activity. Rest assured, "We are not going to condone any violations of the law," they said (but I notice she wasnít arrested)....Recall that during the 2000 campaign, George W. Bushís 1976 drunk driving arrest was widely publicized. At the time he said he had not disclosed the arrest because he did not want his daughters to know about his irresponsible behavior. I have a feeling Jenna would have liked the opportunity to carry on the family tradition.
ANOTHER SUPREME HIT...on constitutional rights...In a surprise decision the U.S. Supreme Court in April ruled that police have the power to arrest and jail misdemeanor violators - even for crimes only punishable by fine and not by jail time. [Note: In Austin, if your dadís the President and youíre an under-age drinker in a bar, you walk away with a citation. In Cincinnati, if you have too many parking tickets apparently the police can shoot you.]...The case in point involved a Texas soccer mom who was arrested because she and her children were not wearing seat belts in their vehicle. So I guess the message is: if you thought seat belts were too confining, try handcuffs....Isnít it great to live in a free society?
WHAT, MY LAI TOO?...Former US Senator and Nebraska Governor Bob Kerrey has denied allegations that he and other Navy Seals rounded up and killed civilians during the Vietnam War. Six out of seven squad members agreed with Kerreyís account that they had fired only after being fired upon. Kerrey lost a leg in Vietnam and received a Bronze star in connection with the 1969 raid. Despite an alcoholic squad memberís statement and a Vietnamese womanís evolving account to the contrary, it will be next to impossible to prove what actually transpired....Killing "at least" 13 civilians - including women, children and elderly - is a Kerrey horror story to rival Stephen King. If it ends up being true, who knew that Lt. William Calley could have had a career in politics too?
B U S I N E S S B U R R O S
DOWN ON THE PHARM...In a striking departure from the norm, 39 international pharmaceutical companies have abandoned legal efforts to prevent South Africa from importing cheaper, generic anti-AIDS drugs. In the face of a humanitarian disaster, the public relations experts decided it was cheaper to give in than risk a worsening public image. So how long before the big pharmaceuticals cry poverty? About a month before they announce their own Pharm-Aid concert. (But would Willie Nelson host? While he tends to prefer more organic drugs, only his tax accountant knows for sure.)
YAHOO FOR PORN!...Yahoo.com has officially gone into the pornography business by making commissions on banners posted through their domain. Itís the first "major" business to do so. Which wonít change a great deal for most cyberpornsters - general Yahoo searches only turned up porn sites anyway.
V I R A L C U L T U R E S
YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT/HOW ABOUT THAT SHELF LIFE...The creator of Slim Jims, Adolf Leviss, has died at the age of 89 and oddly enough did not need to be embalmed.
Signed Elements ©