Friday, October 04, 2002

UK urged to ban child smacking
(complete with fuzzy-wuzzy photo of Children™)

The United Nations has urged the British Government to change the law which allows parents to smack their children.

The UK signed the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child™ 11 years ago, but according to a report published on Friday it is failing to meet its obligations.

Bad Britain! How dare you let parents punish their children as they see fit!

The document, written by the UN Committee on The Rights of The Child™ (barf! er - excuse me), says there is "deep regret" that the UK retained the defence of "reasonable chastisement" despite the recommendations made seven years ago.

NSPCC ambassador Lady Walmsley, however, said a change in the UK law would have sent a message that hitting children does not work.

"It is a lesson in bad behaviour, ineffective as a means of discipline," she told BBC News.

No it's not. There's an enormous difference between beating a Child™ and spanking a Child™.

Every one of the very large number of child deaths caused by violence and neglect in the UK starts with a smack, according to Lady Walmsley.

Well, according to a report by UNICEF, the UK has the second lowest child death rates in the world.

She said the 10 countries where it was illegal to hit children had seen a considerable reduction in child abuse.

And probably an increase in snotty-nosed, unruly brats.

Thursday, October 03, 2002

Found over at 3 Bruces, this is absolutely side-splitting. You need sound, and it’s not recommended that you listen at work, unless your boss is as twisted as mine and will laugh along with you.

Dear Shamrockshire Eagle,

I don’t understand why it is that some people insist that every time I say “I think it sucks that the IRA ruthlessly murdered people”, I have to follow with, “I also think it sucks that loyalist paramilitaries ruthlessly murdered people, too.” I guess I’d better from now on, lest I continually be accused of being a “harpie”. But here goes...

It is totally, inexcusably, shockingly, horribly, disgustingly, revoltingly terrible that Miriam Daly was murdered. Really, when have I ever suggested otherwise?

You should have taken that bet.

Have a nice day.


Two peanuts were walking down the street...

Politicians on both sides of the sectarian divide in Northern Ireland were given a blunt warning by Bill Clinton yesterday to "keep your eyes on the prize" and stand by the Good Friday agreement.

Alarmed by David Trimble's threat to abandon the power-sharing executive in January, the former US president called on unionists and nationalists to remember they were setting an example to the world.

With apologies to the good people of Northern Ireland, all I can say is JESUS H. CHRIST ON A FUCKING CRUTCH I CERTAINLY HOPE NOT.

Recalling his role during the early years of the peace process, when he acted as an intermediary between the two sides, Mr Clinton expressed concern at what he described as "recent headlines coming out of Northern Ireland".

Okay, um, Ulster? I'm sorry to break this to you, but Bill Clinton never gave a shit about you. All he cares about is his own legacy and getting laid. He will do anything to inject his name into a history book as a broker in any situation on the planet. Sure, maybe he did it a little bit to pander to the people in America who think they're Irish because their name is "McSomething", but for the most part, he did it for himself.

"The Good Friday accord gave hope to beleaguered peoples all across the globe, from the Middle East to the Indian subcontinent, to Cyprus, to Africa," Mr Clinton told the Labour conference.

How many people in India would say "What's the Good Friday Agreement?" if you asked them?

"George Mitchell [the US chairman of the talks] told us that signing the Good Friday accord was the easy part, following through on it would require courage and commitment, and he turned out to be right. So I would like to say today to the people of the land I have loved so well - keep your eyes on the prize and don't turn back."

Yeah, that's brilliant, Bill. Just like signing my rent check is easy. It's when the landlord goes to cash it when the troubles start...

Bill Clinton was brilliant, dazzling, charismatic, seductive and utterly shameless. The Labour party loved nearly all of it. I bumped into a senior minister straight after the speech. "I've just been for a fag," he said. "I always like a smoke after being made love to."

Okay, I know that "fag" means cigarette in the U.K., but it doesn't here. You can see how us folks here in the US might find that statement a bit sordid. I mean, who doesn't think of sex while looking at Bill Clinton? (Okay, hopefully Chelsea doesn't.)

And that's how it felt. He wooed them all the time. He didn't stop. He cast his eyes down coyly. Then he raised his head, smiled, and scoped the audience, gazing deeply and fondly into their eyes. He is the Princess Di of world politics. It was thrilling.

Christ, man, get a frigging life. It was a speech, for goodness' sake!

They especially adored him when he warned about an unelected despot with access to weapons of mass destruction who had already dragged his own country to the brink of ruin and was now threatening the whole world.

How much do you want to bet that he's not talking about Saddam here...

He also had harsh words for Saddam Hussein.

See! I told you! Wasn't that clever?

But there was no doubt that the real enemy, the man in the electronic cross-hairs yesterday, was George W Bush. Thank God there was one man who could still save the planet! Yes, that was the superman on his right, Tony Blair! Only he could save us from the looming holocaust!

What? I mean, WHAT?!?!?

"As an American, and as a citizen of the world, I am glad Tony Blair will be central to weighing the risks, and making the call," he said, implying that he and he alone might manage to halt that demented freak in the White House.

Well, as an American, and as a citizen of the United States and sometimes guest and visitor to the rest of the world, I'm glad Tony Blair doesn't have his head as far up his ass on this issue as he does on most. Too bad I can't say the same for the former President. And the key word here is FORMER. Get over him, Wanker staff. He's done.

Wednesday, October 02, 2002

How many synonyms are there for "stupid"?

A 26-year-old man was in critical condition Monday after he was badly burned while trying to rid himself of head lice.

The man rented a room at a motel Saturday night and doused a towel with rubbing alcohol to get rid of the lice, police said. He put the towel on his head, lit a cigarette and immediately became engulfed in flames.

Dude, next time just buy the special shampoo.

In all the furore about Ed Moloney's new book, A Secret History of the IRA, one question has not so far been asked: what is the impact of the book likely to be Stateside? The book is designed to have a strong appeal in America. Regrettably, the book opens with a very conventional nationalist interpretation of Irish history and the causes of the rise of Sinn Fein and the IRA.


But what will the reaction be to a passage like this? - "The use of the human bomb did not begin when al-Qaida hijackers pointed passenger jets at the towers of the World Trade Center or when Hamas blew themselves and scores of Israeli partygoers to pieces. It began in Derry a decade before."

How too will Adams' rich American friends react to the account of the republican leadership's "swing to the left" and the murderous campaign against businessmen that followed?

I don't know. I'm not rich and I'm definitely not Adams' friend. But any reaction other than outrage is the work of an asshole.

So it is that Adams, who is so given to pious morality lectures about everyone else's responsibilities, knows that the murder of a mother of ten is a horrible act but cannot believe he had anything to do with it.

Similarly, Martin McGuinness was caught by surprise on American radio recently when a tape of his own voice from 30 years ago was played suggesting that those injured by IRA car bombs had only themselves to blame.

"That is indeed my voice, but I did not say that," responded Mr. McGuiness. "Everybody knows that the British are to blame for IRA car bombs."*

*you guys know the drill...

The IRA. They're responsible for death, destruction, and the suffering of millions. Well, now it also looks like they're also responsible for the break-up of the 20th century's greatest until lately-unknown politico-tryst.

This just in! Teenagers like to drink beer!

But did you know why? It's because they see commercials for it!

Now, a new research agency, the Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth at Georgetown University is scrutinizing alcohol advertising, using the same kind of marketing data that brewers and distillers use for their advertising campaigns. The center’s first report focused on alcohol advertising in magazines and told us that too many kids are seeing too many alcohol ads.

In a report issued late last month, a separate research team from Georgetown University published a related work entitled "Another useless study concluding that teenagers like to get sloshed: because we had to blow the grant money somewhere"*

*I made that up.

Tuesday, October 01, 2002

Modern day entertainers can often times be unintentionally entertaining. I'm speaking, of course, of what I refer to as "tapisms" - really stupid remarks from even more stupid celebrities, but spoken with a certain tone that suggests that the person who said them actually thinks they've just quipped something remarkably brilliant. "Tapism" is in reference to the fantastic film "This is Spinal Tap", which offers profound insights such as this, from David St. Hubbins:

I believe virtually everything I read, and I think that is what makes me more of a selective human, than someone who doesn't believe anything.

Now, the good folks over at PETA have kindly compiled a selection of tapisms for our amusement. Here are a few samples:

"I cheer when a bull at Pamplona sinks his horns deep into the lower intestines of some drunken European macho swine. And my cheers grow louder when the victim is a young American macho-jock tourist asshole. Especially if the bull is able to swing the second horn around and catch the guy right in the nuts."
-George Carlin, human rights activist.

Because we all know what kind, gentle creatures bulls are, right?

"Men hunt because they have something wrong with their own equipment and they need something else to shoot."
-Pamela Anderson, philosopher.

Or sometimes they hunt because they need something else to eat.

"I think you’re a fucking asshole if you wear fur. It’s ridiculous! There’s no need for real fur—since there are compassionate alternatives. And furs are ugly in general, be they synthetic or real. Don’t tell me it’s about warmth, because people who wear furs wouldn’t be caught dead in big down coats."
-Joaquin Phoenix, crap actor who would never have gotten a role in Hollywood if his brother hadn't kicked the bucket on Sunset Boulevard.

"I believe in the saying ‘to each his/her own,’ but I hope they (people who wear fur) someday get bitten in the ass by the same kind of animal they wear on their back."
-Pink, I have never heard of this person.

"I believe in the saying 'to each his/her own', except when I don't."

"At Oscar de la Renta, everybody was freaked out when the people from PETA stormed the catwalk, but it was one of the most inspired moments of the week. It was well thought out and carefully planned, and, like a good old Helmut Newton photo, it was dangerous and sexy as hell."
-Sandra Bernhard, totally rude idiot.

"If you could feel or see the suffering you wouldn’t think twice. Give back life. Don’t eat meat."
-Kim Basinger, Alec Baldwin's ex-wife.

No I wouldn't think twice. I'd still eat steak.

Calling all LOTR nuts...the trailer for The Two Towers is here.

(Found over at Rook's Blog)

Robert Scheer in the L.A. Times:

The strategy is pretty much the same as that drawn up by the Romans: Find and support local strongmen who can deliver the goods to the imperial capital, come hell or high water. How they treat their own people is not our business; we have never cared about democracy in the Mideast unless one of its dictators happened to fail to toe our line.

You know, in all the debate surrounding the “should we?” question, I’ve never once heard someone mention the way Saddam treats his own people as a motive for invading Iraq (sarcasm meter = 11).

Instead of exploiting our natural patriotism to fight a nonsensical war, our government should forgo the temptations of empire.

No we shouldn’t. I can’t wait to make Iraq the 51st state. It’s about time our boys got to dying for oil. Faster Bushies! Kill! Kill! Kill!

The Fair Political Practices Commission is suing the Aqua Caliente tribe in Palm Springs for not disclosing where its $7.5 million in lobbying contributions, which it was late in reporting, wound up. The tribe has argued that, as a sovereign nation, it is not obligated to comply with the state’s political reform laws.

I guess I could go on and on about the idea of Indian "sovereignty" and their relationship to the "state" in which they reside, but it would probably bore the hell out of everybody. But there's a bit of hypocrisy at work here when tribes are claiming to be separate entities, yet using their money to influence state decision. That's like Belgium lobbying the Bundestag, and then claiming their actions are not accountable to the laws of Germany. There's something to be said about the notion of tribal sovereignty; it's not a bad idea in theory. In practice, it can be downright ugly, as we're seeing now, and as I've seen on many a reservation growing up.

Monday, September 30, 2002

I can't believe he really did it!

Like Frank J. pointed out in Gato's comments, "I don't know why everyone is down on Reuters. They do great 'reporting' of the 'news'."

One man's newswire service is another man's comedy fodder.

Who would have guessed that someone as geeky and seemingly proper as John Major would turn out to be a complete slut?

See Matt Sofield's take on the weekend protests here.

Mean Dean's got an excellent eyewitness account here.

It's heeerrrre!

Well, I'm still waiting for mine to arrive from, but lots of folks are chattering about it.

Adams linked to IRA killings

Gerry Adams, the Sinn Fein president, formed a special unit within the IRA which was responsible for the execution of a mother of 10 in 1972 and it was "inconceivable" that he was unaware of the order to kill her, a book claims.

The book in question, as noted above, is A Secret History of the IRA, by Ed Moloney (1948-2002*).

According to the revelations...Mr Adams told the family of Jean McConville, who disappeared in 1972, that he could not have been involved because he was interned at the time.

And everybody knows you can't give orders from jail. Just like you can't get elected to parliament from jail.

Moloney writes, however, that Mr Adams was "very much at large at the time" as leader of the IRA in Belfast and it would have been "inconceivable" that the order to kill her would have been issued without his knowledge.

Mr. Adams still claims that he was never a member of the IRA. So there are two possibilities:

1) Gerry Adams is lying
2) Every other human on the planet with the slightest inside knowledge is making stuff up because they are out to ruin him.

Here's Rosie Cowan in the Wanker on the same subject.

*Final date tentative. Since the year is swiftly drawing to a close, it's quite possible They won't get their hands on him until 2003.