Posted on May 8, 2002


Cranial Tumbleweeds

Martyrdom, Fighting Whities, electric rats, etc.


Daniel Clark


* Just as Americans were bemoaning the alleged escape of Osama bin Laden, Al Qaeda released an extremely amateur video collage, which included a badly superimposed and apparently rather old image of the terrorist leader, who sat silently and blinked while another man spoke. The poorly attempted deception has led many to conclude that bin Laden is now deader than Mussolini. Maybe that's true, and maybe it isn't, but the question is why the terrorists are resisting the idea. According to the martyrdom theory, we are supposed to fear the deaths of our enemies, because that will only make them stronger. If they really believed this themselves, they would now be encouraging the world to think that bin Laden was killed by American troops, so that zillions of fanatics would come stampeding to avenge his death. The fact that they haven't done this should put an end to their childish reverse psychology, and signal to the entire civilized world that there's no need to be reluctant to kill the bad guys.

* Let's get this straight. The recent spate of anti-Semitic violence in France "coincides with" the rise in popularity of "right-wing" presidential candidate Jean-Marie Le Pen. Mr. Le Pen wants to reduce the number of Arabs emigrating to France. This makes him a nationalist, which we all know is really just another term for a Nazi. Therefore, when French synagogues are burned and vandalized by Arab immigrants, it's all Le Pen's fault. If you don't find this perfectly sensible, you'd be a failure as a journalist.

* Le Pen has brought a lot of his problems on himself, by lunkheadedly referring to the Holocaust as a "detail of history," while explaining why it occupied so few pages in a book he'd written about the Second World War. For saying this, he was prosecuted, convicted, and fined the equivalent of $230,000. It's a good thing that Le Pen lost his bid for the presidency, or else the French might find themselves living in a totalitarian state, or something.

* In a related story, Fidel Castro has released political prisoner Vladimiro Roca as a precondition of his visit from former president Jimmy Carter. Roca had been imprisoned since 1997 for criticizing the Cuban Communist Party. Mind you, he is not now being allowed to leave Cuba, just jail. Take your best guess at how soon after Carter's departure Roca will be arrested again, but don't expect CNN's Havana Bureau to keep you posted.

* Why would anyone expect anything constructive to come from a trip to Cuba by Jimmy Carter? The man has never understood communism, and probably never will. Not only was his Soviet policy inept, but when he went to monitor the elections in Nicaragua, he was actually surprised that the people there would reject the Sandinista government of Daniel Ortega, so content he thought them to be with all of their "free" government services.

* The day Carter goes to monitor elections in Cuba, Fidel Castro will be resting in a six-foot humidor. Just a little reminder, for all those who insist on referring to El Jefe as his country's "president."

* Arguably, no other world leader in existence is as intolerant of free speech as Castro, yet America's artsy-Left continues to pucker up to his wrinkled posterior. Last month, singer Carole King serenaded him with her hit song, "You've Got A Friend." She could have more accurately improvised it as "You've Got A Useful Idiot."

* How many of these American celebrities would be singing the praises of socialism if they weren't convinced that they'd all be members of the ruling class?

* Le Pen's fellow "right-wing" European politician, Pim Fortuyn of the Netherlands, has been assassinated. Fortuyn, however, was openly gay, which creates a conundrum for the justice system of the European Union. Was this man's killing a hate-crime, or just the fitting end to the career of a Nazi?

* By now you've surely heard about the "Fighting Whities," the intramural basketball team from the University of Northern Colorado, so named in an attempt to make a point about "offensive" Indian team nicknames. The idea was that white people would have their feelings hurt, and arrive at the conclusion that all ethnic team names should be eliminated. It didn't work. People of all races found the Fighting Whities concept hilarious, and swamped the school with requests to buy T-shirts featuring the club's logo. In a reaction all too typical of the terminally offended, team organizer Solomon Little Owl has decided that the public was too stupid to get the point. "Some people don't realize what we're trying to do," he laments. Of course, everyone realizes what they're trying to do; it's just that most people don't share their hypersensitivity. We're not laughing with you, Solomon, we're laughing at you. Next time you decide to make a joke, first check to be sure that you get it yourself.

* Animal rights activists are now trying to expunge all animal-related team nicknames from college sports, arguing that they are exploitative. Perhaps they can convince the compassionate Mr. Little Owl to legally change his surname to Lipschitz.

* It's a sad statement that our educational system can't even teach kids to spell "Whitey" by the time they get to college.

* President Bush wants to open less than 2,000 acres of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) for oil exploration. ANWR's total area is about 19 million acres, so Bush is asking that drilling be allowed in approximately one ten-thousandth of it. To put this in perspective, take the area between the goal lines of a football field. Partition off the space between the goal line and the one yard line in one end, and then divide that area by 100, so that you have a rectangle measuring 3 feet by 1.6 feet. A majority of our senators would have us believe that it would be wrong for us to dig a hole this size, because it would disrupt the ecosystem of the football field, thereby endangering all the wee critters living in the grass. For this reason, our economy must remain dependent upon our sworn mortal enemies. Just something to keep in mind until November.

* All right, so that comparison isn't quite accurate. Unlike the football field, the disputed section of ANWR gives no indication that it is capable of supporting life. It's completely barren. Nobody will miss it. That's why the citizens of Alaska are overwhelmingly in favor of drilling, as are that state's two senators. But of course, Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts knows better.

* The Senate has been grilling oil executives over accusations of price gouging (however one defines that). Meanwhile, consumers are paying about one dollar in gasoline taxes for every two dollars they spend on gasoline. Just who are the gougers here? Paying two dollars for something you need is a whole lot less unfair than paying one dollar for nothing.

* Bill Clinton says that if peace is ever to arrive in the Middle East, there has got to be economic opportunity for the Palestinians. If they were to stop bombing all the supermarkets and restaurants in Israel, that would be a start.

* ABC News is reportedly going to select former Clinton aide and campaign strategist George Stephanopolous to be the new host of This Week. CNN has already added Democrat smear artists James Carville and Paul Begala to the panel of Crossfire, opposite conservatives Bob Novak and Tucker Carlson, who are actual journalists. CBS is now looking for a replacement for Bryant Gumbel on The Early Show. They've probably already noticed that Larry Flynt isn't doing anything else terribly important.

* On second thought, Flynt might not be too much worse than CBS's first choice, Andrea Viera of ABC's The View. ...On third thought, either is preferable to Gumbel in the first place.

* As if that weren't enough, NBC is even discussing the possibility of giving Bill Clinton his own talk show. The news prompted the obvious speculation that the former president's show would be something akin to Jerry Springer, but that's not the half of it. Springer may be an irresponsible, sleazy pig (and -- it should go without saying -- a Democrat, and a former elected official at that), but at least he doesn't bore guests and viewers alike by bellyaching to them about how misunderstood and under-appreciated he is.

* Remember: Liberal media bias is a figment of your imagination.

* A group of scientists has succeeded in directing the movements of live rats by remote control, after surgically implanting electrodes in their brains. This must be welcome news to the Democratic National Committee, in plenty of time for this year's get-out-the-vote campaign.

* Thanks to the modern miracle of subliminable advertising, that last paragraph has now conditioned you to associate the Democratic Party with "RATS." Of course, you probably already do that anyway, every time Terry McAuliffe opens his mouth.

* A recent study shows that almost thirteen percent of police officers in major cities are women, but that those women are involved in only two percent of all police brutality complaints. The less than objective National Center for Women and Policing concludes from this that women make better cops, because they have superior negotiating and communication skills. Margaret Moore, director of the NCWP, declares that, "The old paramilitary, patriarchal system is not working." Paramilitary? Patriarchal? Oh ... she must mean, like, men with guns, or something. Can't have any of that in the police department.

* Why doesn't this same group conduct a study to find out what percentage of all arrests have been made by women. That just might make the disparity in police brutality charges a little more understandable.

* If you report a robbery in progress, would you rather have the police send a carload of negotiators, or somebody intent on actually, physically apprehending the thieves?

* The police weren't doing a great deal of negotiating in Manhattan on September 11th. Ditto that for the firefighters, in anticipation of the next "study."

* Italian quack Severino Antinori claims that he has impregnated no fewer than three women with cloned babies. If you're of the opinion that "therapeutic cloning" is ethical while "reproductive cloning" is not, you must conclude that the only ethical solution to those three pregnancies is to carry out Chinese-style forced abortions.

* How many abortionists do you suppose participated in Take Your Daughter To Work Day?

* People who have been complaining about patriotic displays at sporting events should be happy with the U.S. World Cup team, whose uniforms are not even recognizably American, because they have almost no red in them. From the look of the players in their bland blue-and-white duds, they might as while be Belgian. Perhaps after their 0-3 performance in the '98 World Cup, they'd prefer to go incognito.

* Perennial NBA All-Star Karl Malone has announced his interest in running for governor of either Utah or Arkansas. Keeping Malone's culinary tastes in mind, here's a suggestion for a campaign slogan: "A squirrel in every pot."

* Oh, all right. But at least it's better than Charles Barkley's slogan, "I am not a role model." Where does he think governors like Bill Clinton come from?

* Hillary Clinton says, "Every two minutes, somewhere in America, someone is sexually assaulted." And she can testify to that.

* Diane Sawyer insists that the media were really tough on Bill Clinton when he was president. She's probably remembering her own interview of Clinton, during which ABC played evil music whenever Clinton was introduced, and she asked Clinton what makes him think he's any better than Saddam Hussein. Oh, no ... that wasn't Bill Clinton, it was Ken Starr. Never mind.



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