The Battle For Civil Liberties After 9/11 – A James Campion Special Report

Aquarian Weekly 3/6/02 REALITY CHECK


I think it’s important to point out that Donald Rumsfeld has gone insane. His Meet the Press, 2/24/02 appearance frightened me in ways that is hard to discern at the moment, but suffice it to suggest that he is clinically mad and currently has the power of two Caesars and Benito Mussolini thrown in for good measure.

No American citizen should have to suffer through anything like that without a network banner warning or a scrolling marquee underneath. Jesus, I felt like those crazed farmers after the “War of the Worlds” broadcast for most of the morning before a phone call from Georgetown jerked me back to reality.

“See that beautiful maniac, Rumsfeld?” he said with preternatural glee. “Goddamnit he’s good.”

I only broach this because my concern is always with national interest and not with the radical impulses of the foreign press. Rumor of the Pentagon leaking false stories doesn’t alarm my journalistic sensibilities, mainly because I sold them not long after college for a case of Genesee Cream Ale and a moped. On the contrary, I believe the more unstable the voice, the better.

It is apparently not bothering enough Americans that the events of 9/11 has given the government a free reign to slowly turn this country into subtle forms of marshal law, an Orwellian spectacle of never ending military missions and infinite wars.

There were times when the loose-cannon approach served Ronald Reagan well. The Soviets viewed the Reagan people as capable of anything, and that’s how Ronnie liked it. UN officials were sure the president would burn the planet to cinder on what they dubbed his more severe “incontinent days”. And by 1986, Muammar Kadafi found himself waking up in the middle of the night soaked with sweat and screaming about John Wayne gremlins gnawing on his testicles with nightmarishly penetrating fangs.

Ordinarily appearing on a network news program as a jabbering lunatic would be advantageous during times of global crisis, but it appears that Rumsfeld is making major decisions on restructuring civil liberties under the auspices that we are perpetually under attack. With the preponderance of this latest blind national acceptance of anything that comes down from the Pentagon or the FBI or the CIA these days, we had better be damn sure those signing off on them aren’t frothing at the mouth.

I don’t believe Rumsfeld is aware that he is loosing his mind, and he doesn’t appear to be merely a blubbering ass like Jesse Helms or Ted Kennedy. Normally, I would blame his behavior on “interview stress”, caffeine overload or bad briefing, like someone forgetting to remind the Secretary of Defense that the Pentagon has been bilking the American people since its inception, and it probably isn’t a good idea to try and sell mercenaries as choir boys on holiday when the red light is on over the camera.

The truth is there is a quagmire in Washington now that will be hard to siphon with one session of congress or one election, and since the secretary of defense is appointed, and not elected, and the current commander and chief is going nowhere, we are confronted with serious issues.

Some congressmen have already begun running for reelection by blaming the slag economy on the millions a day we’re spending on super jets cruising New York Harbor and the circumference of the Beltway. Others take credit for riding the wave of sudden hysteria into what will no doubt mean the kind of military spending that drove the national debt into NASA proportions during the 80s’.

But it will be hard for Democrats to get a sniff while this near untouchable Texan cowboy is mucking up the oval office with letters to the parents of kids who keep getting charred on senseless military missions or the pink slips for “special agents” who were pulling down six figures a year not to find Osama bin Laden.

It is apparently not bothering enough Americans that the events of 9/11 has given the government a free reign to slowly turn this country into subtle forms of marshal law, an Orwellian spectacle of never ending military missions and infinite wars.

Anyone whose career is dependant on the outcome of the next phase of this “war on terrorism” have to believe that if there is no concrete move on Iraq by summer’s end it becomes an ever harder to sell to the American people, the crumbling Arab coalition and the Pentagon itself.

Rumsfeld’s Sunday morning television stint notwithstanding, there is a certain air of John Mitchell bluster to his press conferences that set off alarms here at The Desk. This “holier than thou” Vince Lombari shtick has gone from wonderfully eccentric to annoyingly pedantic. His snide remarks broke up press row when Afghani caves were being smoked daily for two months, but in the glare of this latest military hiatus they sound like juvenile smoke screens.

Meanwhile Muslim women are being molested at airports and any protest against racial profiling is suddenly a hint of un-American activity.

Tom Ridge, director of the Office of Homeland Security, has taken that title to filter every possible panic the FBI sniffs to the point of hysteria. Of course there will be threats at major events, the Super Bowl, the Winter Olympics, a Britney Spears afternoon jog. But what Americans don’t know is that this has been happening for decades, and because your government failed to protect us initially, we are stumbling toward a third world police state.

What September has done is raise the level of terror, its exact directive. Now we may be living in terror of our own government.

And this is a government currently being run domestically by attorney general, John Ashcroft, Ridge and Rumsfeld and Pentagon officials who have been on an unnatural level of readiness for six months. This is apparently too much pressure of for these boys, and if not, they really ought to prepare their spokesmen better.

The press cannot be trusted to uncover the truth on any of this. The news channels have been reduced to beauty pageants and piss fights between the left and right, and the New York Times is now soliciting unmarried freelancers to cover Middle East events since the video slaughter of Wall Street Journal reporter, Daniel Pearl.

It is not a safe time to be an editor and chief when the good reporters are asked to stand down and wear flag pins and the freelance warriors are taking their lives in their hands just showing up for work.

For me it will be a comfortable ride, and I will not be swayed. I’ve fortified Fort Vernon and put the cats on full alert. And thank the gods of journalism I cloak myself in this weekly column so I don’t have to work press conferences or damned piker leads any longer.

Oh yeah, and my wife’s bullhorn privileges have been suspended until further notice.

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Inside Enron digs deep.

Aquarian Weekly 2/20/02 REALITY CHECK

INSIDE THE ENRON FIASCOA Special Report From The Desk

This ain’t about this that what where or how This is about the freaks doing everything they wanna do Now.” – Prince Rogers Nelson

With very little funds and even less disposable time, the Reality Check New & Information staff was able to track down several reliable sources in an ongoing investigation into the wildly popular Enron fiasco. The subjects, ranging from low-level insiders with the beleaguered corporation to peripheral clients of the dubious Arthur Anderson Accounting Firm, relayed the following details under their own volition. No one was paid, drugged or coerced into coming forth nor were they necessarily direct victims of any presently discussed alleged corporate and accounting malfeasance.

As is the ritual around here, the bulk of the information was edited for content by myself and sent to each individual contributor to either reject or qualify. It is important to note that all interested parties stood by the following story.

Late in the winter of 2000 the Enron Corporation purchased huge tracks of land in the Alaskan wildlife area to ostensibly build an amusement park to be run by current vice president, Dick Chaney under the supervision of Greenpeace. But it was merely a front for illegal drilling and gun running to be overseen by Chinese naval captains who were using kickbacks from prominent investors to torture Tibetan monks and fund forced abortions.

Whitman was on a private Enron jet with our Zippy Smith the day a cub reporter from the Fort Worth Telegram called Enron executives to rebut a rumor that the company never existed and the CEO of a multi-billion dollar energy concern was nothing more than a Liza Minelli impersonator from South Florida.

A gentleman, whom we shall dub, Zippy Smith handled the clandestine negotiations and claims that one of the key investors was a high-ranking government official whose main responsibility was the recruitment of Serbian refugees to act as a diversion at the Russian border.

It was during this time, according to Smith’s estimation, that nearly a third of Enron’s donations to the Clinton administration were used to develop specific levels of germ warfare in the basement of a Pizza Hut outside the city of Khobar in Saudi Arabia.

Another source, known to us as Dark Horse, confirmed much of Smith’s allegations, but made it clear that Enron was never officially registered as a corporation at all. From the start, former CEO Kenneth Lay, recently in the news for pleading the fifth during congressional hearings, was implemented at the helm as a patsy.

According to Dark Horse, Lay was a notorious cross-dresser and charter member of Divas Key West; a Florida based female impersonator entertainment company. During the Gulf War, Lay worked as an assistant to Dick Chaney and was expected to barter deals with every rogue element in OPEC, including the overtly effeminate stepfather of Osama bin Laden. But a third source close to the operation tells us that Lay was never there, and that his name was being used unbeknownst to him while working feverishly on his award-winning Liza Minelli routine.

This source, to whom we must refer to as Chunky, claims to have been present at several meetings in which Chaney ordered around a diminutive Arab boy whom he routinely called Kenny. It was this kid’s job to answer any phone calls regarding “the Alaskan thing.”

The plot thickens from here.

Zippy Smith explicitly confirms the Dark Horse tale and told us that around this time the Bush sr. administration was trying to outfox Saddam Hussein by creating fictitious energy concerns. The historically squeaky clean, Arthur Anderson accounting firm was hired with obscene defense monies to create the phony corporations from thin air under the guise of national security.

It turns out that one of the surviving names was Enron, and during the Internet boom of the mid-90s’ several recently indicted accountants in the employ of Arthur Anderson began creating a solvent company from five-year old fabricated books.

Our Arthur Anderson source echoed the story while adding that all of the documents originally drawn up included the names of deceased land barons from the late 1800s’. These are the papers key AA accountants shredded during the final days of Enron.

It was around this time that Kenneth Lay darted back into the picture after his alleged incarceration on trumped up charges of public nudity and male prostitution. Both Smith and Dark Horse agree that Lay’s subsequent suit against the Monroe County police was mysteriously dismissed. Apparently an unnamed character witness later identified as Cliffy Boy revealed that Lay had been merely working undercover as a correspondent for 60 Minutes.

CBS executives could not be reached for comment. It was getting late and we were hungry.

Dark Horse intimates that the mysterious Cliffy Boy was the late J. Clifford Baxter, former vice chairman of Enron who was found dead of an apparent suicide outside his home in Sugar Land, Texas, but is vehement in his claim that “this was no suicide, Bub.”

The question raised several times throughout the investigation was how were the employees involved in the decade-long scam?

Dark Horse told us that the original employees were in on the scheme, but left soon after unloading their phony stocks at record highs. Many of the original members of the Enron Project used the fast cash to buy shares in the Houston Astros and named the stadium after the bogus company for laughs.

The governor of Texas at the time, now president, George W. Bush, former owner of the Texas Rangers and a known Astros hater, threatened to blow the whistle on Enron, but the project had been his father’s puppy and continued to rake in billions for the state. So Bush decided instead to use blackmail to procure ridiculous campaign funds in exchange for announcing Dick Chaney as his running mate.

The new employees were merely on a need to know basis, which didn’t seem like trouble until the NASDAQ collapse in July of 2000.

By September of that year Enron needed new blood and started working with the CIA, pillaged by budget cuts and mostly bored stiff, to deal with underground real estate groups in the purchasing of land throughout the US and Canada. Zippy tells us the plan was to drill for oil beneath the radar of the soon to be doomed Environmental Protection Agency.

Come fall, all that mattered little when G.W. outspent John McCain in the GOP primaries and squeaked by the general election to become President of the United States and appoint party lackey, Christie Todd Whitman to head of the EPA.

Whitman was on a private Enron jet with our Zippy Smith the day a cub reporter from the Fort Worth Telegram called Enron executives to rebut a rumor that the company never existed and the CEO of a multi-billion dollar energy concern was nothing more than a Liza Minelli impersonator from South Florida.

This prompted a frenzied mass selling off of all phony stock and a cover-up worthy of Wall Street, throwing thousands of innocents into sudden poverty and a cadre of boring pundits from the drone of actuary hell into our living rooms nightly. Not to mention the millions that will be spent trying these freaks in several and varied courts.

With apologies to that drunken fossil, Paul Harvey, now you know the rest of the story.

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What’s Next For The War On Terrorism? investigates.

Aquarian Weekly 1/23/02 REALITY CHECK


“Regiments are costly articles everywhere, and more so in this country than any other under the sun.” – John Adams

There is the assumption among the literary set that most people sit when attempting to read. If for some reason you find you are the exception to this, it is time you grabbed a squat.

The United States is prepared to take $42 billion of your money to rebuild a country they just spent an estimated $4 billion destroying. By all measures, this is a whopping bill for dismantling an Arab mafia.

Sorry, I’m wrong.

Afghani women can now wear lipstick, Tora Bora bars can restock their jukeboxes with Elvis records and the US Army has successfully proven once again that without the help of a global power behind rebel factions, most Arab nations fold like cheaply tailored Boy Scout tents.

Yes, and the transport of the 50 Taliban and al Qaeda detainees, currently being held at the U.S. Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay, could not have been cheap.

The stockholders of this republic needed to be consulted on this.

We’re funding 12-hour airplane trips with two guards per man, jail cells furnished with handy Korans, televisions and exercise bikes? That’s got to run in the high six figures for each guy. And this does not include a lengthy trial vehemently protested by Ed Asner.

I think a public vote was in order: High six figures for transport and lodging or $45 per man to put a bullet in their heads where they stood. This price could have been negotiated down, if they were to dig their own graves for easy dumping.

Sure the options range from disturbing to brutal, but this is a damaged economy and we were told that survival is the order of the day.

I’m referring to domestic survival here.

Now that the rabid purchasing of American flags has subsided, the US economy is on a record roll of futility. Last year, for the first time since I began sucking air, the rate of inflation reversed upon itself. This is the economic equivalent of “Planet of the Apes”. It just doesn’t happen.

This Enron fiasco is so patently evil and corrupt it threatens the future of corporate embezzlement, inside trading, or anything that dupes the middle class into droned mediocrity for the remainder of this century.

There is a web of lies and financial indiscretions, and then there is Armageddon. The good people at Enron careened into the latter. And there is very solid evidence suggesting its malfeasance is not unique.

After all, this is a country fueled by corporate greed.

What shall we do without it?

Things are so bad right now by the time you finish reading this sentence another thousand people will be out of work. Apparently not even K-Mart will survive this, which will adversely affect the wardrobes of millions of mid-westerners.

Lord Almighty, even the executive producer of ESPN Radio New York is hounding me with poetic e-mails about $100 worth of Miami Dolphins paraphernalia I’ve owed him for two years of bad gambling, even though that wretched team mistook the first round of the play-offs for a goddamn bye week.

Wars are supposed to be good for economies.

What the hell is going on?

So now that the tears have dried and people can stand on planks above Ground Zero and see the results of the New War, and Osama bin Laden’s corpse is making its way across the Mediterranean Sea on a motorized dingy, or whatever wildly misguided intelligence you’d like to believe, it is becoming apparent that our president is about to be in the same spot his father found himself a decade ago.

The CIA allegedly has plenty of evidence that the Iraqi government, or regime, or madman dictator, aided and bankrolled the attack on this nation. This is not a subject of debate. It is a given. What is before the current administration is that if the United States actually continues this War on Terrorism it will have to do so in Baghdad or it will be waltzing toward failure.

Either that or the state department can start taking requests for Dublin and a house cleaning of the IRA or perhaps a raid on Manila’s transcontinental drug cartel. But that seems even less likely than a chief executive with the last name Bush doing anything to upset the massive oil concerns in Saudi Arabia or inconveniencing the other nations of this precarious alliance currently thriving in terror central.

And if I can borrow the tired holiday advertising campaign that THE TERRORISTS HAVE ALREADY WON IF you don’t spend your money like a drunken sailor on doomsday, despite the stock market looking like a Dickensian workhouse…

THE TERRORISTS HAVE ALREADY WON IF…We continue to chase dead men around the Middle East. As covered extensively in this space, al Qaeda will not allow figureheads to fall into enemy hands to be humiliated by the Western Satan. They have long since assassinated them for the love of Allah. The remedy is to call their bluff by claiming we’ve already captured bin Laden and Mohammad Omar and have sentenced them to clean toilets in the Pentagon unto death.

THE TERRORISTS HAVE ALREADY WON IF… We spend five seconds listening to Senator Joseph Biden, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. His money-pit scheme to continue raiding caves and craters in Afghanistan with American troops is insanity. Get those kids out of there or face another Somalia farce, adding to the astronomical costs of lunatics idly waiting to form governments with third century BC, chieftain/war lord civic methods.

THE TERRORISTS HAVE ALREADY WON IF… We don’t completely abandon military presence in Pakistan before the impending nuclear piss fight with India turns the region into a smoking sinkhole. Its government is barely in control, and a war with a rabid neighboring enemy will cause American causalities and diplomatic troubles. Not to mention the costs.

At the current rate, we’ll be giving back that $400 a head in order to pay for this JohnWayne, macho hoedown.

Hey, vengeance is an expensive ride.

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Remembering Rudy Giuliani – A James Campion Tribute

Aquarian Weekly 1/2/02 REALITY CHECK


No one glides more comfortably in the straits of the abyss than myself. I have called the worst part of the human condition home for decades, rode the black steed into the fires of Hades and emerged merrily chomping on a stogie and nursing a German beer. I have been bloodied and battered by first amendment abusers and earned meager wages for trashing nearly every breathing mammal in the employ of modern politics. But I am here to bemoan the death of the Rudolf Giuliani’s tenure as mayor of NYC.

I have always loved Uncle Rudy, King of New Gotham, Savior of the Urban Money Pit, Redeemer of the Fractured Island.

Somewhere along the mid-90s’ I wrote Uncle Rudy was the best public servant of my lifetime, and on his final days in office, I am proud to reiterate it.

I loved Uncle Rudy before it was hip and patriotic and obligatory, because I love New York City, and Uncle Rudy saved it.

It was an era of prosperity for anyone who loves the Big Apple, and as much as I claim to love Uncle Rudy, I love NYC even more. Even after the press boys at Gracie Mansion took my name off the list, I talked to him following nearly every Yankees celebration for four years, and he told me how much he would miss all of it. I told him how proud I was of the city, and how it looked like it could withstand anything.

I loved Uncle Rudy before he became Time magazine’s man of the year, because the gutless editorial department was too frightened to put a mass murderer on its cover. Before the mayor of New York was mayor of the world soon after George Bush sr’s chickens came home to roost in the opulence of lower Manhattan. Before the greatest city in the world became the greatest city in the world once again.

Until Uncle Rudy, campaign promises rang as hollow as guarantees from banks or insurance companies. It was, and still is, an accepted joke of the people and their leaders that nothing will really ever be done about anything. “Band-aids on gaping wounds” is how one elder reporter once described a particular campaign speech to me. And he sat through plenty of them. Told me to get another profession. “Stop sniffing after them pant-legs of powerful men who only use the press to inflate their delusions,” he snarled. “Then they become your delusions, boy.”

Those were the images I recall dying a brave death the night Uncle Rudy defeated David Dinkens in a drag out, knock down battle for the soul of New York City. No one in the pubs or the delis or the subway runs from Canal to Columbia, whether they lived on the right or the left wings believed Dinkens could lose. From the Hip Hop fusion of Harlem to the rapacious lunacy of Wall Street, was anyone buying that a Republican could win the mayoral race with spit and fire, much less govern?

They’ll tell you now they could feel it, but they lie.

I can remember listening to that victory speech tooling down the Brooklyn/Queens Expressway, sneaking a peek at the Statue of Liberty by the old bridge and wondering if this crazed New Yawker, this glorified policeman, this shrill for the law-and-order choir that paid him handsomely to battle crooks under the guise of morality would have the balls to take on Mamma Bureaucracy.

But they underestimated the little bastard. Uncle Rudy did no dances and had no diplomacy. He called us cesspool merchants and feeble bleeding hearts and vowed to end the bullshit and clean up the town, New Sheriff and all that old Western nonsense. He had the badge and you could take the highway or bend to his bark.

Me and my pal Dibbs heard that bark tooling through Times Square during The Change. This was before MTV and Disney and the rich athletes poured their money into it. You could feel the old harlot coagulate and blister in the artificial midnight sun of the midtown lights. “He’s moving all the porn theaters and massage parlors and strip clubs outta here?” he laughed. “We won’t be able to see them, but WHO’S KIDDING WHO?”

Man we laughed.

That’s when we spent all of our money keeping NYC in the black on clubs and pubs and ridiculously over-priced restaurants, and the women at NYU, even though we could see those cameras Uncle Rudy put in Washington Square Park and Union Square and the Bowery. And what the hell happened to the squeegee guys down at the Third Avenue Bridge? And whatdya mean we can’t camp out in Central Park by Strawberry Fields or dump the Village Halloween Parade out on the street at four in the morning? And where on earth did all those ornery, crazed indigents go on every corner with the smell, the guilt, and the brick throwing madness?

I spent the better part of the late 80s’ and early 90s’ in NYC when it was a gunner’s paradise; the drug capital of Sodom and the cheapest street lay on the Eastern seaboard. But mostly it was a corporation bankrupt with smearing ointments and perfumes on terminal skin diseases. Everyone was leaving, again, like in the 70s’, like when the president told us to borrow money from the Saudis and Bella Absug was on the streets with a tambourine and a hat.

Then Uncle Rudy said he was going to clean it up. It wasn’t about politics then. Later it became a political circus, like when The Man told George Pataki he could look somewhere else for votes and backed the NYC chairman of the board, Mario Cuomo, a liberal democrat.

Then the party booted Uncle Rudy off the VIP list in the ’96 convention. But Uncle Rudy couldn’t be bothered. He had to bolster the cops and secure the streets, and put the hammer down.

And that hammer came down a few times too many, and maybe too hard. Innocents were gunned down like the last days of Saigon and raped in the bathroom of precincts, and it wasn’t too popular to be the strong armed mayor defending the blood lust and reminding everyone how NYC was the safest big city on the continent and tourism numbers were at a record high.

Then 9/11/01 happened and Uncle Rudy’s brand of the Big Bad was suddenly in vogue and the nation understood that the greasy wheel with the hammer was all the rage when skyscrapers became war zones and firemen and police were heroes again.

It was an era of prosperity for anyone who loves the Big Apple, and as much as I claim to love Uncle Rudy, I love NYC even more. Even after the press boys at Gracie Mansion took my name off the list, I talked to him following nearly every Yankees celebration for four years, and he told me how much he would miss all of it. I told him how proud I was of the city, and how it looked like it could withstand anything.

It sure did.

Now rules are rules and some other guy is promising some other stuff. But it ain’t Uncle Rudy. He was the King.

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War On Terrorism Revealed digs the dirt of Washington.

Aquarian Weekly 12/26/01 REALITY CHECK


Editor’s Note:

Having only heard from the infamous GOP snitch once since the events of 9/11/01, which was described by Mr. Campion as a disjointed message rendered mainly through indecipherable code, the insider known as Georgetown contacted jc the week before Christmas from an undisclosed location via the walkie-talkie feature of his Nextel phone. The following is the most coherent portions of that conversation.

jc: It’s been a long time. I put several calls into your office, and no one is willing to go on record regarding your whereabouts. You were assumed dead until I saw your picture on the CNN web site in the background of the Ashcroft deposition on treason.

GT: Hey, everyone on the payroll is a little busy right now. Plus, after reading those irresponsible columns you were cranking out for weeks on the war, I couldn’t lend credibility to any of it. You know the only reason you have any clout down here is because I keep calling you a cancer. That’s a popular term right now.

jc: Irresponsible?

GT: What is this bullshit about bin Laden being dead? He’s not dead. I know four major Saudi diplomats who had dinner with him last week. That legless fuck, what’s his name, the guy in that video with him, called the embassy in Pakistan and leaked his travel arrangements to the secretary. Christ, he’s using an American jeep to pick up broads at the border. Where do you get your info?

jc: I need to see a body. No one can to produce it, because it’s chopped up and buried in caves all over the desert. This allows his disciples to claim he ascended to heaven on some big rock in Tora Bora where he sits at the right hand of Mohammad laughing at the Western Satan.

What is this bullshit about bin Laden being dead? He’s not dead. I know four major Saudi diplomats who had dinner with him last week. That legless fuck, what’s his name, the guy in that video with him, called the embassy in Pakistan and leaked his travel arrangements to the secretary. Christ, he’s using an American jeep to pick up broads at the border.

GT: This is why it is impossible to talk to you now. You think this is all a big joke

jc: I’m not joking. He’s dead.

GT: He’s not dead. We have tapes dated 12/13 that have him ordering mescaline from his connection out of a hotel in Riyadh. He’s changed his name to Shlomo, and often passes himself off as an Israeli diamond merchant.

jc: That sounds like a blatant rumor. What did he need mescaline for? He was sitting on a mountain of smack.

GT: The man’s a junky whore.

jc: Anyone in this government have any balls to call the Saudis out for this?

GT: King George is not going there. Not with a 90% approval rating and gas prices plummeting.

jc: Iraq?

GT: There are already CIA agents planting Wall Street Journal press credentials on Iraqi military officers. American press affiliation is now punishable by hanging. Except for the NY Times, which is considered an ally of the Hussein regime.

jc: So, this will bring the grand total to three American presidents defeated by Saddam the Terrible.

GT: Not so fast. There will be weapons inspectors in there by Valentine’s Day. You can count on that. We have Hussein’s brother-in-law handcuffed to a shower nozzle in an Atlantic City hotel room. He’s standing in about a foot of water with his testicles connected to a car battery.

jc: Old-fashioned CIA stuff.

GT: You were right about one thing in those ridiculous columns: The real spy-ring is back, baby.

jc: I need to see more assassinations.

GT: They’re coming.

jc: Since you’re being brutally honest, can you comment on the 60 Minutes report last Sunday that Republican congressmen were sending death threats to Jim Jeffords’ house.

GT: So? That fucking, scum sucking, traitor humped the system, screwed his constituents, the party and the whole goddamn country. He should be standing next to that John Walker kid when they send him to the firing squad.

jc: Are you confirming that story?

GT: Wish I could, but CBS hasn’t gotten anything right since Uncle Walty walked.

jc: You think that kid’s a traitor?

GT: Jeffords is no kid.

jc: I mean the American kid who fought with the Taliban.

GT: I’ll eat monkey shit if he’s convicted of anything.

jc: I didn’t ask you that.

GT: Traitor.

jc: Back to the Jefford’s factor. Are you guys concerned about the budget vote?

GT: I’m concerned about the fact that the people of Vermont voted for a Republican and ended up with an Independent that is holding up the GOP agenda, backed by one of the most popular presidents in forty years. Now this bastard is holding court to the highest bidder. It’s fucking criminal and should be exposed for what it is: self-aggrandizement.

jc: See if you agree with this: Junior runs this War on Terrorism up the flag poll for four years, brilliantly masking the inevitable bankruptcy of the US economy.

GT: How about this one? Seventy percent of all Americans under the age of 25 join the military, leaving more money for their parents to spend now that they don’t have to bail them out, pay for drug rehab or support college in perpetuity.

jc: Do you expect the government to start investigating all these celebrity charity events?

GT: Let’s call that whole thing what it is: a PR farce. They’ve spent thirty years trying to figure out where the Concert For Bangladesh money went and now George Harrison’s dropped dead. Christ, you can’t expect dolts like George Clooney to know what’s going on. And it’s painful watching that O’Reilly guy sucking up free press by calling him names. It’s like watching Madonna at a Hollywood premier. Creeps the hell out of me.

jc: I’m not even that cynical.

GT: Didn’t I just hear you do a radio spot recently where you swore college football is fixed?

jc: I’ve started a petition to hold the next BCS poll meeting in Cleveland so their brutish drunken Browns fans can pelt them with garbage.

GT: You can put a bonnet on a whore, but that doesn’t make her queen of the Easter parade.

jc: Ouch.

GT: I was talking about football.

jc: Last one. I’ve been dying to know how badly you think we fucked up on 9/11.

GT: (long pause) Have kids, then tell them to have children, and hopefully by then they will know what happened.

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Aquarian Weekly 12/12/01 REALITY CHECK


The state of Israel is under attack. This is not a particularly new revelation. It has been under attack since its inception, which has long surpassed any record for civilized conflict harkening back thousands of years. But this latest atrocity is apparently not going to easily slide into the pages of “here we go again” or “let’s get to the bargaining table for some whiz bang peace talks”. This one will change the face of Israel, its borders and its history, once again.

Didn’t you know? There have been a wide variety of peace talks and treaties signed. Yes, several presidents and ambassadors, dignitaries and heads of state have stood smiling for the cameras, heralding their new and improved peace accords. The faces and dates change, and there is celebrating and political posturing, and then there are dead babies on the cross down bus and slaughtered civilians in inadvertent crossfire.

Israel is defending itself.

And it’s about time.

What has happened over this past week is long past due. The hour has arrived for this nation to fight back in earnest. It is time it chooses survival over compromise. Anyone arguing against this has not stood next to wounded protestors on the streets of Jerusalem. I invite them to the experience. It is well worth the trip if you are going to debate peace processes and diplomatic posturing.

The enemy of order is the Palestinian Liberation Organization, its leader, Yasser Arafat and its offshoot freedom fighters, Hamas.

It is time for the United States government to get onboard with this view of Arafat, and what has been wrongfully perceived as an underdog Arab nation being denied strips of sand promised by God.

These are dangerous days for freedom fighters. They are now officially dubbed “terrorists”. This is what happens when the USA is yanked into the proceedings. Of course, with billions upon billions of annual dollars poured into Israel’s military and political aid, the USA has been more than involved since WWII.

But it’s different now. That kind of “involved” was before the big buildings disintegrated into the streets of lower Manhattan. Now it is a direct involvement, the type that tends to change semantics.

So, this incredible charade Arafat has perpetuated for decades as some kind of fatigues-wearing, hate-mongering guerilla wild man turned dignified world leader, is now finished. He is exposed, finally, as a thug instigator, murderer and inciter of violence and destruction. He can no longer hide behind this mask of suffering minority leader. He is the villain we pain to paint in Osama bin Laden, although bin Laden’s resume has to take a back seat to the disingenuous spin machine keeping this psycho windbag in a seat of authority.

It is time for the United States government to get onboard with this view of Arafat, and what has been wrongfully perceived as an underdog Arab nation being denied strips of sand promised by God. Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians presently being charred by angry Israeli Defense Forces see it this way. They are abused, imprisoned and killed for the actions of a rogue military organization, acting under the ridiculous guise of a government asking for rightful sovereignty.

It needs to be eradicated. And those who have harbored, bankrolled and/or defended its actions must be silenced.

This is no different than what the United States is conducting thousands of miles from its borders, except for the fact that the enemies of Israel are its citizens. At any moment, a countryman could slink into a grocery store, hotel or city bus and detonate a bomb strapped to his torso. This happened last week, and the week before that, and the one before that.

There is a fine line between compassionate diplomacy and self-preservation, and this last devastating blow in Jerusalem, which left 25 more innocents dead, has crossed that line, again.

The PLO has been kicked out of nearly every bordering Arab country from Jordan to Lebanon and settled onto Israel soil to cause deadly mayhem. It exists only to terrorize. Whatever lied behind its original purpose is buried beneath all this hate.

For years, clear-thinking people have been screaming about these atrocities in several languages from several ports. Only now, in a world-turned-war-zone, with the American spirit wounded, can the rest take heed.

If Israel is going to be an ally of the United States, then it must be allowed to defend itself from this madness. It will not be pretty. It will be war. It has been war, just called “unrest” for decades. Now it has a proper term, because America has unleashed it on the world: The War On Terrorism.

Well, Israel is the birthplace of terrorism, the home office for killing innocents. This is where it all began in religious order on holy land, and has been raging for centuries.

The United States present raping of Afghanistan and its eventual revisit of the “Saddam Hussein Problem” puts Israel squarely on the firing line. If there were ever a place that would constitute the use of the term “Ground Zero”, it would be there.

Arafat, and the present Palestinian government, has had their chances, and they’ll probably have a few more, although it should end right here. His “police” will make a few grandiose gestures and symbolic arrests, but the track record is long, and none of it approaches positive.

This is not about religion or politics. This is about the preservation of life.

But if history teaches us anything, sadly, the smart money is always on religion and politics.

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How Michael Bloomberg Took New York City investigates 2001 mayoral run.

Aquarian Weekly 11/14/01 REALITY CHECK


This is a tough time to write about politics. What with a smoking crater on the lower west side of Manhattan and half the tri-state area crazy with fear over terrorist activities, real and imaged. Not to mention this reporter’s late-summer exodus into the Garden State via the Bear Mountain run, making this the first campaign season that I spent away from all the cronies at Gracie Mansion in nearly fifteen years.

It was hard to follow anything in Jersey after the first week of September. There were some e-mail invites to Bret Shundler events down in Wayne, but one of them fell on the night the Counting Crows were over at William Paterson University, and my sister-in-law and her husband were visiting from Syracuse. It was a timing thing.

It was also a reverse vengeance move on my part. This was something I learned in Journalism 101 over at Trenton State in the early 80s’. “Reverse Vengeance” is when someone attacks the validity of a story you write, then asks you to cover another. That’s a no-go in the reporting world.

Bloomberg will be the next mayor of the Big Apple because it was bruised on 9/11 and Uncle Rudy rose from the political grave to do what he does best: “clean the streets and kick the ass.” And all those people who’d forgotten “the scary years” remembered what kind of Wild West show New York had been under Dinkens and feared Green like the plague.

I was able to actually practice this “theory” during a spring internship program in which students were asked to pen a query letter to an editorial department head critiquing the periodical’s material and direction, and then offering their “unique” services to correct it. Most of my fellow classmates chose Esquire or The National Review or Sports Illustrated. My choice was TV Guide.

My only mistake, apparently, was trashing the whole concept of television in the thing. This was curious to my professor, seeing how I was a radio/television major. None-the-less, my query letter was laced with expletives and references to the entire medium “resembling the pasty substance spewed from a coke-head on a whiskey binge.” It was good writing though, just not something a big-time editor wanted to read from a snot-nosed college kid.

I received a one-sentence response a month later on TV Guide letterhead from a mister Gerald Eisen that read: “You think its amusing to compare the entire television industry to a drug addict’s puke?”

I still have the damn thing.

But I think I was just writing about Bret Shundler.

Seems someone in the Friends For Shundler group denied a story I wrote in the 7/4 issue of this paper about the candidate spinning doughnuts up on Route 59 in Rockland County during the primaries. This was a spurious argument on all ends. The Bergen Record broke the story. I just commented on something a friend of mine from Haverstraw described as “pretty out there behavior for someone running for governor.”

So Jim McGreevy won. And from all accounts Jersey Dems are thrilled. Many of them remember the mess Jim Florio made of the taxes here, threatening to use the National Guard on the Garden State Parkway against “any motorist making hand gestures at the coin baskets and then blowing their horns in an attempt to travel for free.”

Florio was a madman, but he was right. There are no free rides on the parkway, not then, not now, not ever.

Which brings me to the NYC mayoral race, that wasn’t much of race at all four days before the polls opened. By Saturday afternoon before 11/6, Democrat Mark Green had a solid 16% lead over Michael Bloomberg. And that was after a furious comeback which took him from a nearly 30% quagmire last summer.

Of course, last summer his Republican meal ticket, Rudy Giuliani was mired in divorce proceedings, his wife threatening to kick him out of the mansion downtown. The mayor of NYC was reduced to shacking up with an assistant in a one-room walk-up on the lower East side. He was in no shape to stump for anyone.

It was a bitter denouement to 18 months of cop beatings and the slaughtering of innocents by the NYPD. Moreover, there was a sense that New Yorkers had somehow traded their civil rights for safety and truckloads of Disney money.

People were starting to forget Uncle Rudy’s amazing reconstruction of the cesspool of hate and disorder David Dinkens had left him. I could not blame them. They weren’t sitting next to me at Giuliani’s campaign hub in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn on the night Uncle Rudy was elected 107th mayor of New York. He was one of their own, come home to clean the streets and kick the ass, and if I close my eyes right now I can see his grinning face up on that twenty foot screen telling his people not to fear anymore.

Driving home on the BQE that night, it was hard to decipher just who “his people” were exactly. White people? Cops? Italians? Yankees fans?

Either way, it was only a few months into Uncle Rudy’s reign that the Third Avenue bridge exit off the Major Deegan, once crawling with stoned and violent squeegie guys, turned into a police state. This was good news for everyone, even the squeegie guys, who were given three-squares a day with the homeless in prison camps up in Ossining.

Now where was I going with this? Oh yes, Bloomberg’s comeback.

The press loves to talk about things like miracles. But there are no miracles in politics or sports. The Mets won in 1969 because they had better pitching and clutch hitting than the Orioles. The ’78 Yankees made up a 14 game deficit in six weeks to the Bosox because they had a guy named Ron Guidry who took the ball every fifth day and rammed it down the throat of anyone holding wood. And they had Thurman Munson, who once told Maury Allen of the NY Post that he would “gladly pistol whip anyone with a ‘B’ on their cap for five minutes of peace.”

Bloomberg will be the next mayor of the Big Apple because it was bruised on 9/11 and Uncle Rudy rose from the political grave to do what he does best: “clean the streets and kick the ass.” And all those people who’d forgotten “the scary years” remembered what kind of Wild West show New York had been under Dinkens and feared Green like the plague.

Not to mention Green, a liberal democrat, was pummeled in the all-important Hispanic vote due to his shameless dismantling of Bronx Borough President Fernando Ferrar two months ago.

Green tried the same crap with Bloomberg, playing up court records and minor league race bating, but he is grass, and Mikey is the toast of the town because his buddy, Uncle Rudy said so. The Big Apple will miss him. You know, the apple with the smoking crater downtown.

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Aquarian Weekly 11/7/01 REALITY CHECK


“Be a scribe! Your body will be sleek, your hand will be soft. You are one who sits grandly in your house; your servants answer speedily; beer is poured copiously; all who see you rejoice in good cheer. Happy is the heart of him who writes; he is young each day.” — Ptahotpe, c. 2350 B.C.

Someone recently sent me that gibberish. I was glad to get it. It caused my drained constitution to fill with gaiety and laughter. Servants? Rejoicing in good cheer? Imagine a writer described as sleek and soft, especially a journalist. Most of the journalists I know are chubby and rankled. The only thing soft is their underbelly when times get tough. And times were tough these past two months for journalists. Many of whom were confronted with all these innuendos of mailbox death and the latest fairy tales coming out of Afghanistan. Information is a touchy subject in times of war, especially bad information, and there has been plenty of that.

Most news organizations have not handled bad news well lately. It is usually a bell-wringing dance party at the network level whenever misery comes calling, but most of these people are frightened now. You have to wear rubber gloves just to deliver pizza at the New York Times, and everyone at the GE building are issued gasmasks and need four kinds of ID to get on the main floor of the NBC Nightly News.

Most news organizations have not handled bad news well lately. It is usually a bell-wringing dance party at the network level whenever misery comes calling, but most of these people are frightened now. You have to wear rubber gloves just to deliver pizza at the New York Times, and everyone at the GE building are issued gasmasks and need four kinds of ID to get on the main floor of the NBC Nightly News.

Then there was the nasty business of who would be allowed to wear red, white and blue ribbons on the air. The American people apparently need to know what messenger is on board with the home team. This is getting harder in Atlanta where Ted Turner is now offering seven figures for fifteen minutes of airtime to anyone claiming to be a terrorist, know a terrorist, or can spell terrorist.

“The first casualty of War is always Truth.”

Winston Churchill coined that one, in between Nazi air raids, and those excruciatingly long love letters he penned for FDR in weaker moments. And not only is it a damn sight more on the money than that silly garbage about “the happy heart of he who writes’, but it is truer than anything your apt to see or hear or read in the way of real news for a very long time.

Now at least the media is in the same rocking boat as their consumers. The last couple of weeks most claims of patriotism went the way of fear mongering and slanted racial profiling, like all the gas stations battling to see which has the largest American flag to avoid misguided retribution. Up in my neck of the woods the poor bastard peddling petroleum has to display posters differentiating him from potential terrorists.

The media has also had a hard time explaining things like religion lately. Television people are so petrified of painting Islam as some kind of vitriolic freak domain; they preface all statements regarding it with a lecture on peace and love. Then to make things ever more difficult for the commentator, the director runs the obligatory video of Palestinians burning American flags in an angered frenzy.

“What’s wrong with these people, Bob?”

“The thing is Ted, they don’t get it. They’re abusing a beautiful and lovely religion.”

“You mean like every religion, Bob?”

“Jesus Christ, go to commercial! Go to commercial!”

What passes for news these days is dime-store charlatans posing as “experts” and “pundits” peddling innuendo and rumor, or vapid talk show dipshits like Sean Hannity painting peace protestors as infidels in the most specious ape-like scenarios known to modern reason.

Why even the crap spewed weekly in this space is hardly worth forwarding to anyone wanting to witness anything resembling The Truth.

However, there was an intriguing report last week that McDonald’s food, or the results of it, has killed more Americans in the past six weeks than Anthrax.

The number of Anthrax-related deaths has now reached a whopping four. There were more casualties at Dan Davis’ Halloween Party, although that is hardly a fair comparison. Managing editors have been known to throw dangerous soirees. The death toll at Chris Uhl’s last dinner party is still to be determined.

Other news that has slipped through the cracks:

Key sources swear that no one in al Qaeda, or anyone funding it, would be caught dead sending hand-written warning letters to Tom Brokaw’s assistant from Trenton, New Jersey. Especially since half the limo drivers on the NBC payroll are illegal aliens who would kill Brokaw without outside motivation.


Anyone attempting to drive in reverse on 161st street outside Yankee Stadium during the World Series rush, (an annual autumnal tradition) were pulled out of the car by NYPD, beaten and sent to an undisclosed area of the Bronx Correctional Facility down the block.

These stories are all true, or at least part of them, or the main parts of them. But the chances they will make headlines when doped-up college kids are leaving badly typed bomb threats on transcontinental flights are nil.

The main story, mostly disseminated from the Reality Check News & Information Desk, and not disqualified in any form of media, is that Osama bin Laden is dead, and has been dead for more than a month. Killed by his own people, close advisors, who use the Bible and the Koran as foreign relation guides.

They cannot allow the Big Gun to be dragged from the bunker caves in shackles and plastic prison booties to be exposed as a lame hack and reduced to Western culture’s new Rubin “Hurricane” Carter.

Instead, they’ll keep telling the American Scum that he is alive and doing well, leaking two-month old videos of the “new Jesus” wagging his tongue at the Evil Western Empire. Stay tuned for more casualties.

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Aquarian Weekly 9/5/01 REALITY CHECK


There is little point in deriding California congressman, Gary Condit anymore. He is something akin to a cured disease, once feared, but quelled by vaccination. The wonder drug was television. One half hour worth of talking to be exact. Less than thirty seconds was all that was needed, really. America welcomed Capital Hill into its homes. The incredibly ineffective vague references and non-denial denials that we sponsor in Washington nicely displayed and wrapped up between GAP commercials.

Before the credits rolled on what is now dubbed, “The Connie Chung Mistake” in San Mateo County, the Democratic party’s top spin machine was in full force, moving districts around to include right wing hooters and liberal yahoos to “put the Condit business on ice.” This is how it’s done in big government. While the last of the congressman’s supporters stock up on office supplies before the end comes, blockade redistricting begins.

And the end will come for mister “respect for the Levy’s”, whether he goes quietly or not. This has already been decided, and it will not be his choice. That option ceased when a cadre of lawyers convinced the congressman that whatever fuck-awful advice put him in that chair across from Maury Povich’s wife, it could not have come from anyone claiming sanity. There is no way the rest of his congressional brethren can allow any more jack-asses out of the barn. At least not within 12 months of Election Day.

Anyone with any hope of a political career does not contact a major network and treat it like an evasive hooker statement in the bowels of a city police department. That was videotape of a man rehearsing for trial, not political backsliding.

They would have us believe that Condit is some sort of mutant, a horrible aberration. They will sell us the biblical imagery of the sheep wandering from the righteous flock. “Pray for Gary Condit,” they will say. “Pray for his corrupted soul. We shall cut him out of our clan like a cancerous cell. How this all happened, we cannot tell. But we will get him the help he needs, and most importantly, replace him with someone closer to our own moral fortitude.”

And it will be as false as Condit himself, because nearly every one of these sanctimonious cretins have a story to tell, maybe not as unfortunate as Gary Condit, with missing interns leaving incriminating phone messages et al, but stories just the same.

There is a cellblock mentality running through the heart of congress right now. Secretaries are on the alert to curtail visits, postpone luncheons and keep the cub reporters at bay. When this kind of whistle blows, there is a bunker instinct, like roaches scurrying to find refuge when the kitchen light is flicked on. There is no natural heroism in the roach heart. He will leave his companions behind to find cover.

Believe that the branded loner has already been separated, ostracized like the King Leper, and when the smoke clears, things will be back to normal.

Condit knows this. Anyone with any hope of a political career does not contact a major network and treat it like an evasive hooker statement in the bowels of a city police department. That was videotape of a man rehearsing for trial, not political backsliding. The mistake by most pundits after the thing ended was to try and compare it to Nixon’s “Checker’s Speech” or the Bill Clinton follies. Condit is a small timer, a cub in a lion’s den of bullshit. Nixon and Clinton were the big time, men fit for the presidency. Congress is the minor leagues of deceit. They enjoy the pack mentality of who is responsible for what district. There are far too many of them to finger. They hide in numbers and avoid real confrontation; therefore they have minor lying skills.

Condit is nothing more than a beer-league softballer sent up to pinch-hit at Yankee Stadium in the seventh game of the World Series. He was excruciatingly out of his league, and he struck out looking at a nasty Chung slider down and in. The bat never left his slumped shoulder. It was sad, yet compelling to watch, like witnessing the savage attack of plains wildebeests being torn apart by ravenous coyote.

There was a queasy sort of snuff film quality about it. The man appeared ambushed, as if he hadn’t asked for the time to plead his case, but was dragged from of Chuck Manson’s cubbyhole to answer for the mass slayings of millionaires.

The best guess of most practicing attorneys I’ve contacted was that Condit tried to set himself up as some manner of victim, a Pilate/Jesus scenario, where people would weep at his crucifixion and write romantic sonnets to his demise. But that backfired into a transparent cry for help; fake hair, fake smile, and a deep-seeded guilt written in large letters across his sweaty forehead.


You want reality television?

Minority leader, Dick Gephart changed his tune almost immediately after the carnage. Many in his offices barely had to time to comment before the Missouri congressman started painting Condit as a lecherous little wart-heel capable of all modes of unspeakable evil; and how can you really comment after Gephart spent weeks raising Condit’s behavior as the font of integrity? You cannot.

And they did not. And now people continue to ponder Condit’s political future, as if he had one. It’s tantamount to listening to Pete Rose yammer on about his plans for Cooperstown.

It’s over, and the boys down in Virginia are already replacing this one with another. One who is as quiet and reserved as they on matters of sex and money. One that wouldn’t be caught dead heaving incriminating evidence in alleyway dumpsters all over town.

And every night they go to the local church and pray to whatever god will listen that something in their closets doesn’t turn up missing or dead or in front of some damned Grand Jury.

How is government supposed to run with all this distraction?

Goddamn media.

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Stem-Cell Research Exposed gets to the nucleus of the matter.

Aquarian Weekly 8/22/01 REALITY CHECK


Politically, George W. Bush’s fractured decision to allow some government funding for some stem-cell research was eerily Clintonian in its approach. He has come as advertised.

Many of his supporters last summer did a great deal of behind-the-scenes crowing that Bush would get elected on being a centrist, which they cleverly labeled compassionate-conservative, and come out in the first few months of his presidency laying the groundwork for a more conservative agenda. And then, faced with his first true controversial issue, they promised he’d check the polls and split the difference. His predecessor would be proud.

Ideologically, and coming from a position of no-win, the president’s eventual solution was sober and empathetic, but a tad disingenuous when reflected in the dusty mirror of his campaign rhetoric. This was not so much Clinton bending to the right to save his presidency, as much as it was a case of Bush’s moral ambiguity.

We test animals and now embryos. Then it will be fetuses and infants. Pretty soon they’ll come for useless dregs of society like Carrot Top and those monotone Jehovah Witness freaks who come to the door to remind you that you are doomed. Oh, and then they’ll come for you.

Even when the Texas governor was firing up the brimstone for the Religious Right those last few months of the campaign by swearing on the graves of the prophets that he would never endanger the potential for human life in the name of science, he was privately torn. This was evidenced by the extra few minutes the president pained over the decision. After all, this was a man, who cut the review time on Texas executions in half to avoid detail.

The stem-cell matter wasn’t exactly the secession of the southern states from the union or Harry Truman’s A-Bomb dilemma, but this was a tough call for Bush. Especially in an age of speeding technological discovery that overwhelms our view of the world on a daily basis. But despite his adamant rants to the contrary, the president had to realize that he would be remembered for this only in a good light simply by opening Pandora’s box. The debate on the genesis of life will rage on regardless of the consequences of stem-cell research. However, if the eventual results find cures for paralysis, Parkinson’s disease and a myriad of cancers, it will be his legacy.

So Captain Shoe-In gets his proverbial cake and a Texas style barbeque to boot.

But that is world-class politics, southern style. Bill Clinton was an Arkansas man, and Baby Bush has the Lone Star tattooed into his brain. This is how things get done in the Bible Belt: Grease the church, pet the public and get back to the golf course for an afternoon of mispronouncing the names of Middle Eastern terrorists with the remaining members of the Memphis Mafia.

Now the question remains, what dupes in congress will battle the forging of progress? Will this be another open-heart surgery harangue or a battle to the death like abortion?

Meanwhile, the ever-widening chasm between scientific enlightenment and atavistic morality grows larger and deeper. We test animals and now embryos. Then it will be fetuses and infants. Pretty soon they’ll come for useless dregs of society like Carrot Top and those monotone Jehovah Witness freaks who come to the door to remind you that you are doomed. Oh, and then they’ll come for you.

Sure, if I thought someone close to me could be saved by carving out pieces of you or injecting some wonder drug into the fat artery under your knee, you can bet I’ll be pushing the local magistrate to fund that. After all, Dr. Zaius, with all his simian posturing was right; it’s a question of survival.

But enough of that alarming imagery, we’re talking about politics here. And George Bush, ignoring mail from the marketing wing of the Artists Against Puritan Pig Fuckers is doing a fine job of shifting the focus on moral issues and away from the true domestic grit of his presidency: crumbling social security structure, campaign finance reform, et al.

Where’s the liberal wing of the Washington Post these days? This is the same fanfare sideshow that jack-sucking phonies like George Will and Rush Limbaugh, sipping brandy and puffing on stogies over at hypocrite junction, would be reaming the Clinton war machine about. “Dance around the bleeding-heart, violins issue and ignore everything you were elected you for!”

But don’t let it be said that fairness is not the aim of this space or its author, and despite pejorative commentary by my sources to the contrary, I like George W. He has a charming sort of Gerald Ford quality to him. You know, “Everything is great because we’re Americans, right?” attitude that strikes to the heart of this proud republic. He sent Al Gore packing, and for that he gets the George Steinbrenner approval rating from the best and the brightest here at The Desk.

And as for the future of stem-cell research and the thousands of brave embryos marching into the great unknown to advance the freedom of knowledge and medicine, we say, thank you. We’ll get to building your monument and stick it proudly beside the Vietnam and WWII varieties so we can remember them as we do all those perfectly healthy, young American kids we sent to be slaughtered in America’s name.

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