Saturday, February 09, 2002

Satan Watch Weekend Edition

"N Korea says US is 'empire of the devil'", according to this BBS news story.

Elsewhere in the news, it was discovered that Saddam Hussein, Kim Jong-il, Osama bin Laden, Mullah Omar, and Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali all have the same speechwriter.

Thursday, February 07, 2002

This Just In...

The Worker's World Party has informed Happy Fun Pundit that it wishes to make clear that it is in no way affiliated with the World Worker's Party, which they described as being a 'bunch of splitters'. No word from them on whether they are affiliated with the World Party of Workers, or whether or not they have ever been acquainted with work itself. My guess? No.
World Workers Say Women Bear Brunt of War

This according to Workers World.

How do they come to this conclusion? Allow me to explain:

Item: Increased economic burdens. See, when the man of the house is killed, the women have to work harder to make ends meet. To illustrate this, they point out that so many men in Afghanistan have been killed that women now make up 54% of the population. The bastards. How dare they die and leave the women to do the real hard stuff?

Item: More work for women. "In war zones, women continue to be responsible for procuring and preparing food and caring for children, the elderly, and the ill." In contrast, those goldbricking men are off being shot and tortured.

Item: Land mines pose a 'particular threat to women'. Silly me, I thought they posed a particular threat to soldiers, and then to the civilian population as a whole. But apparently I was unaware of the new gender-sensing mine developed by evil corporatist labs in the U.S.

You may remember this team from such political tracts as, "Women Bear Brunt of Burden from Male Prostate Cancer", and "Women Bear Brunt of Burden From Accidents Involving Men Being Kicked in the Nuts."
Eww, I'm SO Scared...

Bin Laden? An Amateur. Islamic Jihad? Pikers. Hizbollah? Wimps.

The world has a new threat. The Worker's World Party is threatening a Marxist Revolution.

Allow me to quote from their statement:
WWP has the greatest confidence in the revolutionary potential of the multinational working class of this country to break out of this trap and create their own organs of struggle and, eventually, of power. The power to lead society out of the abyss--that is what the struggle is all about. A revolutionary Marxist party is always on the lookout for ways that the workers can realize and express this power.

Ways other than, for example, working. Anyway, this terrifies me. The armies of the WWP are formidable. Their bodies conditioned to pain from years of piercings, their brains conveniently unfilled and ready to focus on the task at hand, the legions of soldiers bloodied in the fierce battlegrounds of Marin County and Berkeley are an awesome sight.

Like a moth from a chrysalis, they have emerged from the world of Starbucks and bad poetry, freshly caffeinated, wearing their pants dangerously low. And like the porcupine or spiny echidna, they are capable of forming defensive rings by gathering in circles and lowering their heads, such that nothing can be seen but a sea of spiked hair.

The time of the revolution is upon us, comrades. Just as soon as the new Calvin Klein fall camouflage collection is ready.

Another In-Depth Analysis From Reuters

This is the Reuters News Service on the Bush Budget: "It's clearly a budget, because it has a lot of numbers in it."

Now, this is world-class reporting -- a quantum leap above Reuters' last analysis of the war on terror, in which they said that they were "pretty sure" that Afghanistan was "some form of country".

Now we just need to teach them how to identify terrorists.

Wednesday, February 06, 2002

Pope-A-Go-Go!

The Roman Catholic Church seems to be having a hard time deciding whether sin does or doesn't cause physical illness, according to The Times , which describes a sort of theological WWF cage match following the Pope's Lent message. Apparently, Archbishop Paul Cordes had a little too much cough syrup this morning, and decided that, yes, what the Pope really meant was that the lepers were cursed by God after all, and so it's high time we started, y'know, shunning them and stuff... Of course, we modern folk know that illness is caused by a surfeit of melancholy humours, and can be cured with leeches.
"Stop, or I'll use excessive force!"

Happy Fun Surfin' Legal Correspondent Dee Dee writes:

"One of our attorneys ... was FUMING because The Recorder I think yesterday or one of those law journals handed down a decision by the Ninth Circuit Court of APPEALS (meaning it's already been appealed, and now the only people that can overturn this decision is the Supreme freakin' Court) stating that basically it's now excessive force for a cop to simply POINT HIS GUN at a suspect."

"So say you've just robbed a liquor store, and leave the liquor store, and a cop points his gun at you on the way out....EXCESSIVE FORCE. "Hey man, quit bringing me down with your excessive force!"

...This precedent is going to be incredibly hard to overturn because it's already been set in the Appeallate Court."


..and so the day draws nearer when they outlaw the "faintly pissed-off look", and only outlaws will look faintly pissed-off.


We Get Letters
Dear Happy Fun Pundit,

I resent the insinuation that I would not have made as good a wartime president as George Bush. It's not true. I would have been very, very effective. Let me tell you what I would have done had I been elected:

First, I would have appointed a bipartisan commission to determine potential responses to the attacks. This commission would have produced a report that detailed all of our potential actions. This report would be passed on to a blue-ribbon Presidential panel, which would have summarized it into 15 different action items. Or perhaps 12 action items. Although my mind is still open and willing to consider the options of having 13 or 14 action items.

Once the action items were on my desk, I would have acted immediately. First, I would have contacted experts from our nation's best universities and tried to reach a consensus as to which of the 12, 13, 14, or 15 action items should be acted on first. Once this list was prioritized, I would have presented it to my cabinet for approval.

Once the cabinet approved the list of action items, they would be presented to the U.N. along with the proper forms for submission as a proposed resolution. But I won't be pushed around by U.N. bureaucrats! Therefore, the documentation would be sent in triplicate.

Upon U.N. approval, I would take the first action agreed upon, and immediately contact the leaders of the terrorist organizations at fault. These leaders would be notified that I was about to take serious action, and would be given 48 hours to examine the document detailing the proposed actions. If at the end of 48 hours they voiced any objections to the action plan, I would take their objections back to the bipartisan commision and forcefully demand that the action plan be modified to take these conditions into account.

I would also keep the list of action items in a safe place. Security is very important.

Sincerely,
Al Gore



Dear Mister Fun Pundits,

I have a dream. A dream where all African Americans will have the the same opportunities as white Americans. A dream where the Ranbow/PUSH coalition convinces businesses across America to hire African Americans. In particular, those poor, disadvantaged African Americans who allow their voices to be heard by joining Rainbow/PUSH for a nominal fee of $1500-$2500 per year.

Yours,
Jesse Jackson



Dear Happy Fun Pundits,

So you think I don't know anything about the economy, huh? Well, how about this: You know those ridges on coins? Do you know why they are there? Back in the days when coins were made of precious metals, the ridges were put on them to keep the coins form being filed and cut down for their metal. How about that? Pretty good, eh? Let's see your fancy econometicians beat that for knowledge.

Sincerely,
Tom Daschle
Berkeley Watch

The Sacramento Bee reports that Berkeley cab drivers will be required to take sensitivity training. I personally have never known an insensitive cab driver, goodness no, but I suppose it's possible that someone uncouth might get a cab license despite the rigorous screening processes that have been put in place to keep the bad apples out. I imagine the sensitivity curriculum is filled with "Goofus and Gallant" films that show the right and wrong way to deal with differently differentialed people, and a chick wearing a leotard who gives her profession as "facilitator" running the show. The films would feature montages of a Bad Cabbie dealing improperly with individuals:


A man in dark glasses with a white cane is climbing into the back of the taxi. He is somewhat slow and hesitant.

INSENSITIVE IAN: Get in the cab, you sightless bastard!

BLIND GUY: I'm sorry... I'm blind, and I have a ---

INSENSITIVE IAN rolls his eyes at the camera and makes a "yap yap yap" sign with his hand.

INSENSITIVE IAN: Blah blah blah. You getting in or not?

BLIND GUY: Yeah, I think I'm OK now, thanks.

INSENSITIVE IAN: Ferrchrissakes, just tell me where you want to go, blindy. I have to hurry off somewhere and vote for Republicans.

BLIND GUY: Uhm, I'm sorry?

INSENSITIVE IAN writes out a sign that says "I HATE THE VISUALLY IMPAIRED" and pretends to stifle laughter as he holds it up to the camera.

Cut to later. IAN is driving with an ELDERLY WOMAN visible in the rearview mirror.

IAN: (shaking his head) Man, are you ever old.

ELDERLY WOMAN: Pardon me?

IAN: (quietly) I said I have nothing but contempt for the elderly.

ELDERLY WOMAN: I'm sorry, dear, you're going to have to speak up.

Cut away again. A MIDDLE EASTERN MAN is in the back of the cab.

IAN: All I can say is, if you're thinking of trying to hijack me and make me drive into a building, you got another thing coming, bub.

Cut away to two YOUNG WOMAN holding hands in the back seat.

IAN: Hey, I'll stop the meter if you two want to make out!

A big red hand appears on the screen.

NARRATOR: Now let's see that the RIGHT way!



Next: Doormen at Berkeley Strip Clubs Required To Take 3 Credits of Gender Studies, Conflict Resolution
Evolve, damn you! EVOLVE!

I checked out the story that Drudge pointed to a coupla days ago (see item below, with the pic of Prince Chuck); seems that one Professor Steve Jones is going to argue before the Royal Society Edinburgh that "evolution is over". I checked the Prof. Jones' academic position, expecting to find that he has an appointment in the Department of Comparative Cultural Asininity, but no, he is, according to University College London's website, Professor of Genetics in the Department of Biology. That's sad, because then he has no excuse.

Friends and neighbours, evolution hasn't stopped, is not going to stop, cannot stop, until all the molecules in the universe sign a non-proliferation-of-energy treaty, outlawing all intermolecular collisions, and you know that will only last until the first rogue molecule can't resist the urge to kick some nearby water in the ass, and the next thing you know, there's caloric all over the place and everybody's vibrating and bonding, and one group puts up a Berlin Van Der Waal ...

Sorry, sorry... Anyhow, you argue, the guy is arguing that human evolution has stopped. What exactly that means is not clear, but from the context of the article I assume he means that there is no selective pressure on the human gene pool, that which genes get carried on to future generations is essentially random and not influenced by nature. A biologist should know better on several counts. The most obvious one: evolution is slow, so you can't generalize from a hundred or thousand or five thousand years. However, more important is the fact that for evolution to stop, the environment in which the organism under study operates must be static, and, brothers and sisters, it plain ain't so. Now you may say, "Hah! Somebody's reading 'The Future And Its Enemies'" and yea, right you may be, but there ain't one among you can testify that Mother Nature stands still. The last poor sap who said that was an anaerobic archaebacteria:

ARCHIE THE ARCHAEBACTERIA: This oxygen thing? It's a fad. You just wait and see. These kids will get tired of metabolizing carbon dioxide soon enough.

The last I heard, he and the last of his kin were living in a volcano and making ends meet by pimping their children to structural biologists. You want to see the gene pool change? Come up with a test to detect trisomy 21 before birth, or tweak height or eye colour or sex or --- but wait, you say, that doesn't count, that's not Nature, nossir, that's Man! And I will smack you upside the head and tell you that's a stupid distinction, but fine, be that way.

Take a virus; anybody want to argue that viruses don't evolve, I got a big friend with a big stick and a big case of this year's influenza, the new and improved version of last year's influenza, who will set you straight on that score. Viruses evolve constantly; they have to, to stay ahead of the immune systems of their hosts. The taxonomic name for viruses which don't evolve is "extinct". Whether or not a virus kills a given infected individual is at least in part on that person's genetic makeup, and people, that's all it takes to exert selective pressure. If Bob The Wiener-Hearted hadn't died just before the Battle of Hastings in 1066 from a bad egg-salad sandwich, and if his descendants averaged 1.5 offspring each, there'd be over 10,000,000 people running around today whose genes carried some of the Wiener-Heart imprint. Even if Bob's untimely demise meant that he had only 1.5 little Wiener-Hearts instead of 2.5, that's seven million fewer Wiener-Genes in the pool. In short, a single death or a single life is magnified greatly by the passage of time.

There are a zillion other arguments against the end of evolution to be made that I'll just leave alone. The point is: you can't preach the end of evolution without implying that nature is unchanging, and you can't argue that unless you're a dumbass who's Not Paying Attention.

Here endeth the lesson.

Tuesday, February 05, 2002

The Daily Show on the World Economic Forum:
We have a breaking story: the captains of industry have given in to the protestor's demands. Apparently, they cracked under the vicious onslaught of puppetry.

Starting immediately, the world's corporations will be dismantled and turned into soybean farms. The proceeds from the farms will be used to fund art. For instance, puppetry.

The Shortest Memory Award Goes To...

...None other than Terry McAuliffe, chairman of the Democratic Party. Apparently, he keeps forgetting about the memo James Carville and Bob Shrum sent to leading Democrats detailing how to make political hay out of the Enron Scandal.

This is Terry last week on Paula Zahn's show:
ZAHN: Were you aware of this memo? Do you think it was a bad idea?

MCAULIFFE: I have not seen the memo. This is the first I have heard about it.


Cut to the next episode of "Crossfire", during which McCauliffe is again asked about the memo:
TUCKER CARLSON: It turns out that the other day the Democratic brain trust, James Carville, Stan Greenberg and Bob Shrum released this. And this is a memo outlining how Democrats can do that, politicize Enron. Democrats have a credibility problem on Enron, do they not? And this proves it?

MCAULIFFE: Well, I haven't seen the memo. This is the first I heard about it.
You've at least got to give him some points for consistency here. When asked about his apparent memory loss on Crossfire, MCauliffe replied, "Crossfire? Haven't seen it. This is the first I've heard of it."

Earth to Jim Traficant: We found your defense. When you get up on the stand and explain about your apparent taking of multiple bribes, employ the 'McCauliffe Strategy.' "Your honor, I don't know about any charges for bribery. This is the first I've heard of it." Repeat as needed.

Monday, February 04, 2002

Paging Mr. Mailer, Mr. Norman Mailer...

A judge in Duluth had the thorny task of sentencing a man and a woman who were both charged with first-degree assault in the same fight. In a fit of creative jurisprudence, the woman, who stabbed a man five times, was ordered to read eight different works of literature and submit a book report on each one.

The man got eight years in the slammer.

The judge's reasoning: "Well, the woman seemed pretty smart, so it would be a shame to put her in jail." It's tough to argue with that kind of logic.

You can read all about it here:
Duluth Woman Sentenced to Read the Declaration of Independence*.

In a related story, Amnesty International, after hearing that one of the books the woman would have to read was 'It Takes a Village', is fighting the sentence on the grounds that it constitutes cruel and unusual punishment.

In another related story, Mike Tyson is frantically trying to learn how to read.

*reading this article qualifies you for one "get off on a felony free" card. Tell the judge Happy Fun Pundit sent you.
Canadian Troops Land in Kandahar

CBC News says that our soldiers have arrived in Kandahar, ready to take part in the war against terrorism.

One small problem arose when the Canadian troops were constantly inundated with camels. Said one spokesman, "With us wearing our jungle fatigues in the desert, every time 3 or more soldiers stand in the same general area the camels think it's an oasis."

Okay, that was a joke. But this isn't: The Canadian military has actually had to fend off private donations from concerned citizens who wanted to pay for the desert camo that the government is too cheap to buy. The services actually released a statement saying that they were not allowed to accept charity.

Jean Chretien, when asked to comment on his government's disgraceful treatment of our military, replied "Have you seen my golf clubs? I've got a 2:30 tee-off time."