Saturday, December 25, 2010

Al-Qaeda Wants to Kill You with Rattlesnakes!

Shake Your Rattlebooty

My hometown paper, the Philadelphia Inquirer, wasn’t much interested earlier this year when WikiLeaks released “Collateral Murder,” the classified American military video which showed an Apache helicopter crew having a jolly time mowing down Iraqi civilians, including children and two Reuters news staffers.
But now that ghost face killa Joe Lieberman has given American business its marching orders to destroy WikiLeaks, the Inquirer has plenty of alarmist anti-WikiLeaks stories.
My favorite recent WikiLeaks scare, entitled “a hit list for al-Qaeda,” told of   “infuriated” unnamed government officials who “expressed alarm” that WikiLeaks released a State Department cable of “potential targets”  whose disruption by al-Qaeda could “jeopardize our national security.” Among the targets: the Panama Canal, the Strait of Hormuz and the Australian laboratory that produces  polyvalent crotalid antivenin — the antidote for rattlesnake venom. Yup, public enemy number one, Julian Assange, went and told Osama bin Laden where the Panama Canal is — and we’d been keeping it from him for all these years!
The concern expressed for the Strait of Hormuz, through which much of the world’s oil is transported, was touching also. Touching, because many United States Congresspersons foam at the mouth for an Israeli attack on Iran which, in turn, would shut down the strait and cause gas prices to soar. But it all makes sense in Capitol Hell: if Israeli aggression causes me to pay $10 a gallon for gas that’s a regrettable but necessary thing, whereas if al-Qaeda causes this same result it’s an economic disaster for the world that can only be properly avenged by murdering a multitude of Muslim civilians.
As for the al-Qaeda/rattlesnake connection, well, this makes sense too. If you’re a person in Iraq or Afghanistan or Pakistan or Yemen, and America is converting your wedding parties into funerals, your rage is likely directed to one thought only: I’m going to get even by making sure that some poor bastard in West Texas, dying of a rattlesnake bite (which he probably deserved), knows in his dying moments, when he can’t get any antivenin, that Sharia law and baba ganoush have triumphed after all.
But what if the shadowy world of the pit viper family began working tail in hand with al-Qaeda? What would an al-Qaeda terrorist rattlesnake be like? If he was like the failed shoe bomber and the failed underwear bomber, and all the other terrorists who can’t find a gun or a knife or a match in America, he’d be a little bit off. To wit:
If a terrorist rattlesnake was coiled up in the seat next to you on an airplane he would probably appear furtive and wouldn’t “look right.”  You might be too polite (or afraid) to say something like, “Shouldn’t you be in the cargo area?” Or you might think that this snake has connections, especially if he’s in first class — maybe this is Paris Hilton’s snake, maybe you should ask if he’d pose for a picture together. You should definitely tweet about it immediately. Everything must be okay with the authorities — and that’s all that matters — because the snake made it through the TSA scanner or got felt up just like you did.
Somewhere in your carry on bag you have your good digital camera, the one with the equivalent of a 300 mm zoom lens that pops out about 4 inches — you must have that close up of the snake’s tongue  and his rattles. You turn in your seat and zoom in on his face  — “Come on, show me your tongue, shake your rattlebooty, attaboy!” and — wham! — out of the blue, the crazy terrorist rattlesnake bites your forearm! But because this is a screw-up terrorist rattlesnake, instead of fangs he has molars and instead of venom he regurgitates a nauseating concoction of chocolate milk and barbecued Fritos all over your arm. You and several other passengers wrestle him to the floor and you end up getting that photo-op after all. You’re famous, baby.
In the weeks following this terrorist plot you and the rest of America learn one of two things:
1) For years the family, friends and neighbors of this particular rattlesnake were victims of a foreign invasion, torture and genocidal killing. It turns out that snake hunters — a tiny subset of America’s treasure trove of psycho killers and sadists — go to the canyons of West Texas and thread long tubing into narrow crevices in canyon walls where rattlesnakes sleep and then pour in gasoline and /or ammonia ( snake hunters care about nature, dontcha know) to drive out the snakes. Then the hunters bravely capture the snakes with long metal tongs and transport them to “festivals” where the animals are shot, burned with cigarettes and sometimes have their mouths sewn shut with wire before they are gutted and skinned. But don’t think this isn’t educational or fun for kids because the adults will let children hold the still beating heart of a decapitated snake and sometimes even the head itself, though it can bite for up to an hour later — see how cruel and vicious rattlesnakes are! So are we creating more terrorist rattlesnakes faster than we are killing them? A known known that only Donald Rumsfeld doesn’t know for sure.
Or, we learn this:
2) The FBI befriended and cultivated this terrorist rattlesnake and bought him the plane ticket. They knocked him out, drained him of all venom, filed down his fangs and promised him a fabulous garbage dump in paradise where, rather than 72 virgins, there will be 72,000 varmints.
After the plot is foiled the FBI offers this terrorist rattlesnake a deal and puts him in the same small cell as Private First Class Bradley Manning, whose 23rd birthday occurred on December 17. The rattlesnake — touted by the FBI as “pet therapy” — is a sop to civil libertarians who had complained about Manning’s  mind-destroying solitary confinement, the 23 hours of each day with no contact with any living creature. The government’s impeccable reasoning is this: the snake scares or befriends Manning who turns on WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange who turns on all the people in the world who he doesn’t know who steal and anonymously leak classified information and who hate the American government and then, after a few decades, when everybody who has a contrary view to the US government is behind bars or dead, the war on terror is over and America wins. It all makes perfect sense — if it didn’t the American public wouldn’t believe it. And if it didn’t make sense, newspapers like the Philadelphia Inquirer would alert us immediately.

published 12/24/2010 at

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Grand Central Nature

A Jug of Wine, a Loath of Them, and Thou

I used to be a very active animal activist. One of the things that I and my comrades would contend with was charges by others that we liked non-humans better than humans. “Why aren’t you doing something for people?” went the seemingly pre-recorded announcement from passing strangers at our demonstrations. And whenever you probed the loudest mouth of them all you’d find that he — inevitably a he — wouldn’t be donating his time to anybody, human or non-human. We activists were always calling up a list of things that we either did or were (nurses, therapists, teachers, social workers, etc. ) or feeding vegan meals to the homeless or earnestly enumerating the many personal health and environmental benefits from not exploiting animals. Always trying to justify ourselves -- and compassion and mercy -- to stone cold barbarians.


A couple weeks ago my girlfriend and I spent four days at the White Pig Bed and Breakfast, a 175-acre nature sanctuary in the Blue Ridge Mountains near Charlottesville, Virginia. Soaking in the outdoor hot tub one night, we saw a shooting star and, later, turned off the jets and listened as various creatures walked about unseen in the dark woods. In the daytime we rubbed the snouts and bellies of the sanctuary’s resident pot-bellied pigs, hiked up to the top of the cascading Crabtree Falls (where it seems to rain lady bugs) and enjoyed all manner of trails in the splashy glowing Shenandoah Forest. Walking one day deep in a sunny valley there was nothing but stillness — and a four foot black snake lying zigzag  across the trail. We walked right in front of him and he never moved. I turned around and took a few pictures, capturing his angular pose, and then he finally slid on. It made me feel good that this creature was apparently not afraid of us. This was his land, his home he seemed to say. Why should he live in fear here? He and we seemed to be starting at ground zero with each other. And I like that feeling a lot. I like meeting creatures who have neither been terrorized nor tamed by humans.

But what’s nature without a little “red in tooth and claw,” courtesy of human shock and awe? Many of us hiking in the Blue Ridge, or standing on the magnificent overlooks, would occasionally hear gunshots ringing out, reminding us that hunters were playing army against the animals we marvel at or gearing up to do so in the weeks ahead. It was the reminder that some people enjoy watching the light and life go out of an innocent creature’s eyes. No empathy or appreciation of what it’s like to be unarmed, defenseless and shot, to be raising your family or searching for food or simply having a pleasant glorious day and then have someone come into your home (when their home of superior comfort and ease is far away) and perform the profoundly cowardly act of shooting you. Practicing cowardice over and over again is utterly emasculating.

                                     * *

Sometimes you explore to get lost and surprised and other times to find a setting for a jug of wine, a loaf of bread and thou. And sometimes all you get is a hearty satisfying loathe of THEM. Climbing the Humpback Mountain trail we found that the summit was grand central nature chock-a-block with “humanity” jostling for the highest bestest view near the edge of the giant Humpback Rock outcropping, complete with children falling on the slippery slanted rocks and their parents screaming after-the-fact warnings, all the while bumping others with well-provisioned voluminous backpacks  and ski poles (used as walking sticks) as they pin-balled yupward to the absolute top (civilization, i.e., the parking lot, was all of 20 minutes — downhill — away.)

A great place to contemplate nature as you can see — human nature. It didn’t matter that the entire view was spectacular wherever you stood, the humans already at the top wouldn’t budge so the new climbers could take their place and that didn’t stop the newcomers from pushing their way through the madding crowd. Peaceable me preferred a compromise where they embraced and then took a lovers’ leap. Remember, this is all on the edge of a 3,000 foot mountain. There didn’t seem to be any appreciation by the conquerors that nature can be hazardous as well as beautiful. It was a jumbled pointless “rock” concert minus the music and dope. I fantasized that we might go one purple-assed baboon (thank you, William Burroughs) over the line sweet Jesus and the whole overhang would give way and we’d tumble into the valley below. That would teach us.

Well, no, it wouldn’t. Disaster doesn’t teach humans anything. If it did, we wouldn’t be starting a new war in the Middle East every little whipstitch or give money to too big to fail banks so they can scarf up their competitors and become even too bigger to fail in the future. I’ll stick with the quiet sunlight on the dignified blacksnake. I could watch him for hours, but I couldn’t stand the humans on the peak of Humpback Mountain for 30 seconds. Sayonara. “What’s it like up there?” asked one ascending hiker on our way down. “It’s like Market Street in Philly — except there’s ski poles.”

                                        * * *

After my first night back at work — I work in the automotive industry — I was driving home through Valley Forge  National Historical Park at 11:30 at night and the car in front of me swung into the oncoming lane to avoid something. And that something was a young deer sitting in the road, looking back and forth with her legs tucked under her. I stopped, put my flashers on and got out.

She was very afraid and tried rising on her front legs and dragged herself near some grass at the side of the road. Both of her back legs were badly injured. She looked around for help and I could hear her mother or another of her tribe snorting nearby in the darkness. I didn’t know what I could do for her so I walked over to her, knelt down, started petting her and talked to her. She eased up and didn’t try to get away. After a few moments, I got up.

Cars and cars and cars are going by. I’m offered all kinds of advice: “Don’t go near it, they’ll kick ya!”  Others asked if I needed some automotive help. Yeah, I need for you and me to get the fuck off this planet, I thought. I need for cars, these slaughterhouses on wheels, to die.  I wave the cars around. Why aren’t you people home in bed? Why are you and I on the roads at midnight on a Tuesday? Why do country roads have interstate-sized traffic on them? Why are there two busy roads right in the middle of what should be a 3,600-acre nature sanctuary?

I called my girlfriend and she gave me a couple numbers of wildlife rehabbers, one of whose recorded announcement said that they weren’t taking any calls that week and another whose recording advised calling the game commission. I left messages anyway and then decided there was no good answer for this deer so I called 911. After about 15 minutes a couple park rangers pulled up behind me and I asked if anything non-lethal could be done for this creature. One said they would take care of it and that I should go. The ranger acted like I was a crazy person and this was a big joke. I was finding it hard to leave. I got in my car, started to drive then rolled down the window and, not knowing exactly what I wanted to say, uttered, “This is all very sad.” “Will you go now,”  he said. And after about five seconds of driving I heard a gunshot as they killed her.

                     * * * *

There’s a good chance, even without getting hit by a car and then shot, that this deer might have only lived two more weeks. That’s because Valley Forge National Historical Park is now in the first week of its first-ever deer kill, a $3 million four-year plan to kill 1,100 of the park’s estimated 1,277 deer. After the formality of “democracy,” a bogus public comment period which had all the effect of an antiwar sign on Dick Cheney, the park did what it was always going to do from the beginning.

In every park deer kill the cover story is always the “understory,” the  saplings, seedlings and shrubs that deer have the audacity to eat. These plants, plus ground-nesting birds and tulips (deer Tofutti), don’t compete very successfully with deer and that is something the Dr. Frankenstein park managers aim to change. The managers “manage” and disdain mere wilderness and wildlife sanctuaries where animals work out their own destinies. The hell with evolution or survival of the fittest. And all of this nature vivisection is done at the expense of the deer and must never inconvenience the humans, their tourism, their cars, their parking lots, their roads, the chemical run-off from their nearby farms or their high-speed commerce.

Even compared to other parks, which have far fewer resources, Valley Forge park officials acted in very bad faith. Park officials admit that the deer population peaked in 2005 and has declined and stabilized, proving that the deer can be controlled without shooting. How many deer are in the park is also an open question because the park extrapolated its count from several “eyeball” surveys done by volunteers instead of conducting more accurate infrared aerial surveys before and after last year’s hard winter. Even working within their own murderous logic, park officials could choose not to shoot bucks so that the natural one to one ratio between bucks and does can be re-established faster and result in less deer being killed overall. Instead, the park’s plan is to kill bucks, does, young, old, healthy, unhealthy, whatever it takes to kill 500 deer this winter.

Beyond the understory cover story, the real story is this: it’s many people’s  perception that there’s too many large disobedient rebel animals who will not be contained by the average fence and who do not recognize capitalist property rights or the rules of the road which state: get the hell out of the human way. Valley Forge Park has been under pressure for years from wealthy land owners adjacent to the park, a noisy kind of Hostas Rights Movement, who lose thousands of dollars each year (they say) to deer eating their ornamental plants and shrubs. These money patriots love living near the park — they just don’t like the wildlife that comes with it. Do I relate to people who have thousands of dollars to spend each year on ornamental plants? Do I give a damn about their money or their mistaken view that they own the outdoors? I don’t recognize their “property rights”  over nature or the illegitimate laws used to enforce them. I’m not “civilized,” thank God. Bambi and Proudhon believed the same righteous thing: all property is theft — and I’m with them.

The deer are also unpopular with many motorists who are far too busy and important to slow down in the park. Presented with no stop signs, traffic lights or speed bumps, their perception is that “nothing’s here.” So, if they can, they blow through the park, often at 50 mph, because they know the frustration that awaits them on Routes 202 and 422 and the mordantly named Schuykill “Expressway,” one of the best monuments to civilization anywhere in the world. No, nothing’s here, nothing except all these deer, foxes, raccoons, chipmunks, skunks, opossums, squirrels, turtles, snakes, frogs, birds and, yes, a bona fide predator of deer, a few coyotes.

Lowering the speed limit in the park from 35 to 25, and enforcing it, would probably eliminate nearly every deer/vehicle collision. For a brief time every day I bring the revolution to the park by going 25 mph. Since it’s clear that you, O working class, aren’t going to perform your historic mission, your real work of overthrowing capitalism (you're about 162 years late for work, according to Marx and Engels), I don’t give one little damn about you being on time to your bogus work, your make-believe work, your slave work, your artificial world work, your obedient ass-kissing keep your head down work, your life-wasting soul-draining work, your manufacturing of death work, your unquestioning anti-Earth work. I don’t care about interrupting your lifelong inertia dream. As you can imagine, I'm sometimes late for work. So don’t get behind me because I will lead you nowhere, slowly. I’ll make you watch the black snake indefinitely or stand in a lady bug blizzard and I’ll comfort your enemies, like the deer.

published 11/15/2010 at

Caucasian Porn: the White Imagi-Nation

Hang in There, Magenta People, We're on Our Way!

Hey Raheim,

Thanks for letting me borrow Avatar, The Hurt Locker, and Blind Side. You really hooked me up this time. How did you know that Caucasian porn is one of my guilty little pleasures? Having merciful, just, compassionate and brave white people always available and their goodness spurting off like Old Faithful, OMG, is so hot. Here’s my review:

I have to hand it to us: we whites are the most selfless, courageous, beneficent people who ever walked the face of … the silver screen. From pistol-packing white mama Sandra Bullock sashaying into the hood to tell off the home boys in Blind Side (how come those black savages aren’t doing honest work for six bucks an hour in one of Bullock’s millionaire husband’s fast food chain restaurants/plantations?) to the white gimp hero being made whole in his blue heaven of Avatar (white men can jump on Pandora!) and leading the blue savages to victory (after he and his kind brought them carnage and mayhem) to The Hurt Locker soldiers de-mining bombs unfairly planted by the sand savages (after the soldiers and their kind brought them carnage and mayhem.) The problem is always savages — savages, savages everywhere. Savages of every color and stripe (the Na’vi!) and not enough white people to save them. Whites! Carnage! Action! Salvation! Hang in there, magenta people, wherever you are, we’re on our way to save you (from us, after the introductory offer of carnage and mayhem.)

(Memo to white Christians: time to get couples counseling because, while you’re keeping the home fires and hell fires burning, the God you worship apparently hates you: He keeps carousing out there in the Third World and even other galaxies, giving away all the cosmic bling — the buffalo, the oil, the “unobtainium” — to the savages.)

I know you liked Blind Side, Raheim, but if you want a classic football movie check out North Dallas Forty with its humor, injuries, legal and illegal drugs, racism, sadistic coaches, greedy owners, groupies, the stamping out of individuality, and the camaraderie and love of competition that keeps players hanging in there to the bitter end. Should Blind Side get points because it’s based on a true story, this tale of a white southern Republican family that adopts a young black male who goes on to college and pro-football? Nah. It left me cold. I’m not interested in the America that accidentally coughs up a diamond every once in a while for our pleasure and pacification — I’m interested in seeing movies about everything that capitalism deliberately devours and shits out to produce that diamond or, more accurately, fool’s gold. Probably in the last 300 years in America there were a couple dozen instances of white people helping out black people — and Hollywood made blockbusters out of all of them.

In Avatar, put aside the white male hero character going off the rez — that’s too easy to slam — I didn’t buy Sigourney Weaver’s character trying to schmooze the tall athletic Na’vi. Wouldn’t the American empire have sent somebody like NBA Commissioner David Stern to see if the blue freaks could hit the turnaround jumper? The empire needs to be entertained too, you know. Isn’t an NBA commish born to negotiate with chief mercenary Stephen Lang, concerning the merits of a possible new expansion franchise, the Pandora Tail-Shtuppers? Even if Pandora was destroyed, a few Na’vi could have been brought back as “hardship” cases and been mentored and tutored about the discovery of their country by “explorers” Lang and Weaver and then suited up.

I’ll say one thing for Avatar, though: this film is a crack across the mouth of America, America’s military, and everything the American empire is doing in the world. Director James Cameron turned up the squirm knob on American filmgoers cuz by all rights they should have been cheering and whooping that the underdog Na’vi heroically defeated a fiendish aggressor. But there wasn’t that kind of cheering in American theaters (unlike foreign ones) because — oops, cognitive damn dissonance, these villains are the sacred and sainted troops whom it’s so important to glorify at all times. Avatar does not support the troops — and if it cost $300 million to put that statement on screen it was worth it. You can’t get that statement out of the mealy-mouthed “leaders” and supposed radicals in the antiwar movement. Maybe in America you can only tell the truth if you have $300 mil in your pocket. Or are completely broke — anything in between and you’re just a corrupt little weasel in waiting. Apologies to real weasels — we humans just labeled you really funny and it’s a great oversight that our names aren’t reversed and we aren’t all singing I-I-I-I-I-I am everyday weasels… Weasels… need weasels…

That said, Avatar’s not that threatening on a more basic level. A movie of noble savages saying a little prayer for each innocent creature they needlessly slaughter (there seems to be a lot of juicy fruits on Pandora) puts humans back in their cribby comfort zone. Humans are always open to the Good News of the possible necessity of killing something. Americans, in particular, can deal easier with their skyscrapers being knocked down than the true nightmare, the end times scenario: the cheeseless world of the scary vegans. To show you what America really fears, I offer you all the many anti-terror laws used against eco and animal activists during the Bush years (not so much a time of the Great Fear as the time of the Great Big I-Don’t-Give-A-Damn.) The words “soy cheese” and “tofu” elicit more instant hatred and alarm than “fuel oil” and “fertilizer.” (The best sequel to Avatar: an invasion by a thousand vegan missionaries brandishing Cornell University’s “The China Health Project” and Tom Regan’s "The Case for Animal Rights" while simultaneously hunt-sabbing the Na’vi and dodging all of Pandora’s carnivorous creatures. Na’vi eyes would glaze over, preceding their surrender, as we vegans carpet-bombed them with sermons on non-animal sources of B-12 and the hoax of protein complementarity.)

Now the Hurt Locker does support the troops which is why big bad liberal Hollywood gave it the best picture Academy Award over Avatar. This tedious sand fly soap opera is nothing but war propaganda. Scene after scene about the terrible difficulties that invaders, occupiers, and war criminals face. After 90 minutes of murderous foreplay, America finally gets off: a dead young Iraqi boy has a “body bomb” implanted in his torso by the diabolical insurgents and our white hero can’t bear to blow up the dead kid so he basically does open heart surgery to remove the bomb at great risk to his own noble self and carries the dead kid to the safety of the American conscience. It’s so good living here in the White Imagi-Nation. Jesus Christ, we’re good people. We would never stand by and let our government kill one million Iraqis or turn another four million into refugees or destroy their country in a simple tax/wealth transfer from our children’s future to Lockheed and Halliburton’s present. No, we sacrifice our own lives, the most valuable and meaningful lives on this whole damned planet, to make sure that even dead ragheads get a proper burial!

O courageous Hollywood directors, there is a heroic story to be told about Iraq — it’s the Iraqi resistance, particularly the Sunni resistance. At one point the Sunni were fighting the great American murder machine, the fanatical al-Qaeda interlopers and the numerically superior Shia. And in the winter of 2007 with the chaos boiling over it looked like the Sunni just might pull it off and make Uncle Sam cry uncle. But American generals screwed their courage to the sticking place — and put the Sunni on the payroll. I often wonder at the mental gymnastics that friends and loved ones of US soldiers go through. One night we went to bed knowing the Sunni are depraved terrorists who plant IEDs and the next morning the newspapers said these irredeemable murderers are now getting our tax dollars (the “Sunni Awakening” was really the Pentagon Awakening to the fact that it was about to get its five-sided ass kicked out of Iraq.) But where oh where on earth is our revenge supposed to go? And who knew that there’s so much Christian forgiveness at the Pentagon! And no congressperson or prominent media person says a word — just get used to it you idiots, we’ll tell you day is night and shit is sugar and you’ll buy it every time. We’ll tell you who to hate and when to hate and how hard to hate and then tell you to stop on a dime and you losers will do it every time, even if the blood and limbs of your sons and daughters are fertilizing Fallujah. This government is bankrupt because you’re bankrupt.

The Hurt Locker and Blind Side are two “true” stories that paint a more deceptive picture of what life is like in 2010 than does Avatar’s 22nd century Pandora.

Anyway, Raheim, keep the flicks comin’. And don’t forget to shower the weasels you love with love.

published 5/19/2010 at

Kitten Stompers at the Supreme Court

Alito Dissents as Other Justices Kick Up Their Heels!

Last Tuesday the Supreme Court patted America on the back about its specialness, its  sacred right of free speech, by striking down a law which prohibited the selling of “crush” videos where kittens and other small animals are stomped to death for the sadistic sexual satisfaction of, well, people who have a God-given right to sadistic sexual satisfaction and that most defended corollary American right -- the right to make money off of it. The  8 to 1 majority decision ( is a straight up over broad interpretation of a very targeted law which let off the hook nearly every other kind of depiction of animal cruelty -- hunting, slaughterhouses, bullfighting, etc. --  as Justice Samuel Alito’s WTF! dissent makes obvious.

The case in question involved a man selling videos of dogfighting which, like the brutality in “crush” videos, is illegal in every state. However, the eight injustices weren’t interested enough to look at dogfighting on its own brutal “merits” and, instead, twisted themselves into knots trying to find a scenario where the law could be found “over broad.” They came up with a hypothetical someone  in non-hunting Washington, DC (huh? -- isn’t it always open season on Muslims there?) possessing a hunting video made in another state. However, even Congressional opponents of the 1999 bill (like Ron Paul) acknowledged that it didn’t apply to depictions of hunting. As Rep. McCollum said, “ The sale of depictions of legal activities, such as hunting and fishing, would not be illegal under this bill.” No matter, the human supremacist court majority wasn’t taking  any chances.

Alito’s dissent made the point that “crush” videos are analogous to child pornography: the conduct that they depict has no redeeming social value, free speech does not protect violent criminal conduct and, without prohibiting the trade in these videos, the crimes depicted are almost impossible to investigate and prosecute. Here’s Alito citing the Humane Society of the United States brief:

But before the enactment of §48, the underlying conduct depicted in crush videos was nearly impossible to prosecute.  These videos, which “often appeal to persons with a very specific sexual fetish,”  were made in secret, generally without a live audience, and “the faces of the women inflicting the torture in the material often were not shown, nor could the location of the place where the cruelty was being inflicted or the date of the activity be ascertained from the depiction.”  Thus, law enforcement authorities often were not able to identify the parties responsible for the torture. In the rare instances in which it was possible to identify and find the perpetrators, they “often were able to successfully assert as a defense that the State could not prove its jurisdiction over the place where the act occurred or that the actions depicted took place within the time specified in the State statute of limitations.”(“[I]t is the prosecutors from around this country, Federal prosecutors as well as State prosecutors, that have made an appeal to us for this”);  (“If the production of the video is not discovered during the actual filming, then prosecution for the offense is virtually impossible without a cooperative eyewitness to the filming or an undercover police operation.”) In light of the practical problems thwarting the prosecution of the creators of crush videos under state animal cruelty laws, Congress concluded that the only effective way of stopping the underlying criminal conduct was to prohibit the commercial exploitation of the videos of that conduct. And Congress’ strategy appears to have been vindicated.  We are told that “[b]y 2007, sponsors of §48 declared the crush video industry dead.  Even overseas Websites shut down in the wake of §48.

Wow, a law that worked. A law that prevented hideous torture and brutal killing. Well, we can’t have that.

And there’s a very good reason we can’t have that: it’s very important for the ruling class that the working class accept brutality, both of itself and other “lesser” beings. It’s also important for anyone climbing the greasy pole of American politics to prove their mettle by supporting the slaughter of innocents. It’s all the better if, like hunters Bush and Cheney, they actually get their hands bloody themselves. Before he was elected, all we had from His Barackness was the promise of killing people in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Now he’s made good on that, now he’s a “made” man. He can be trusted to make future “hard decisions” all across the globe.

So Alito did something highly suspicious for a Supreme Court Justice: he showed mercy to creatures who weren’t polluters, war criminals or bankers -- and he did it in a way that linked protecting these creatures to protecting human children. This lapse clearly alarmed his fellow speciesist bigots on the court, especially Stompin’ John Roberts who wrote the majority opinion. And it contrasts with duck-hunting Justice Antonin Scalia who once again did not recuse himself because of his long-standing conflict of interest -- that he’s a vicious bastard.

Now I’m not a lawyer so I can’t speak to all the issues in this case. But I am a revolutionary (i.e., I’m broke and I’m pissed off), so I’m able to say  that the government always stands up for the nation’s sacred texts and founding myths as long as they don’t bother anyone in power. “Free speech” is trumpeted when it’s used to stomp on disenfranchised groups like kittens and hamsters or when it’s used to justify bankers buying more congress critters than they already own -- see the recent SCOTUS decision on campaign financing. Capitalist law protects the ruling class, adjudicates disputes between ruling class thieves and sends the working class down long expensive dispiriting dead ends (think Exxon Valdez) when the only true “redress” is revolution. And the Supreme Court is the oil that keeps the American capitalist juggernaut stable and running reliably.

The animal rights movement is no practical threat to the capitalist class, but it is a theoretical threat because it attempts to put a class of beings outside the bounds of who can be exploited -- and that is dangerous and unacceptable. To paraphrase Animal Liberation Front founder Ronnie Lee, speaking at the end of Victor Schonfeld’s great documentary, “The Animals Film,” “The danger of animal liberation is that the working class might look around and say, ‘Maybe we should liberate ourselves  from capitalism too.’ ”

And now it’s time for sensitive souls to look away, because I’d like to conclude with the written description of  a “crush” video submitted by HSUS to the court so you can see the sadism and brutality that Stompin’ John and his smug  cohorts have sentenced thousands of animals to in the days ahead, the horror that’s going on right now behind the walls of some anonymous house in an anonymous world of evil, where, when they hear you scream in agony, it turns them on:

“[A] kitten, secured to the ground, watches and shrieks in pain as a woman thrusts her high-heeled shoe into its body, slams her heel into the kitten’s eye socket and mouth loudly fracturing its skull, and stomps repeatedly on the animal’s head. The kitten hemorrhages blood, screams blindly in pain, and is ul- timately left dead in a moist pile of blood-soaked hair and bone.” Brief for Humane Society of United States as Amicus Curiae 2 (hereinafter Humane Society Brief).

The inspiration for this piece was a tweet of Salon’s Glenn Greenwald where he defended the court’s decision. Screw you, Glenn Greenwald, and your lofty liberal white bread apologetics, which don’t mean shit in the real world of “crush” videos and capitalism.

published 4/23/2010 at

Madison April 24, 1983

In the beginning, there were strangers.  
One by one we picked them up in Columbus,                          
Springfield, Dayton, Indianapolis... going to                    
Madison, Wisconsin to protest the “infliction
of pain to elicit information” -- the  torture  and
superstitious non-science of animal experiments.

Driving and driving past the gray of Gary
and Chicago, the world in delicious color again
in Wisconsin. Driving and driving past over
around through inconjunct perpendicular
parallel to roadkills slaughterhouses farms
labs shelters pounds puppy mills -- I never knew
how much killing this country can comfortably contain.

The next day the assembly site is incredibly bright,
four thousand hearts heat up and beat as one,
thumbs up from people sitting in windowsills
where archangel Gabriel blows out “Shock the
monkey tonight!” Organizers pass out strips
of black cloth, armbands to symbolize the killings
in the lab, cops everywhere, supposed bomb threats,
someone corporeally in charge says via bullhorn
to form four lines to march down the street,
everybody up front dressed in black.

Empowerment is not knowing anybody,
not being anybody, but knowing instantly that this
is what  you were made for and going to the front.
Screams from the back relay up to us: “We’re five
blocks long -- pass it on!... We’re ten blocks long!...”
Now the lines are fourteen blocks long, four thousand
strong chanting shouting marching clapping drumming.
CBS NBC ABC churn away... yes, we’re coming out.

We stop for a moment before turning the final corner
to the lab. Several of us volunteer to be coffin carriers,
not realizing that we’ll get to see everything:
that today is the birth of the animal rights movement
and the thousands of faces who pass will go back
to the hinterlands and build it fast, up from nothing.
We turn the corner. More cops cameras security guards.
And two wooden coffins in the street near the primate lab door.

The  isolated pasts of thousands light up the day.
I see my own little wildfire: the kinder-veterinarian          
bringing home stray cats and injured birds, the                        
flaming arguments with adult hunters, then one day        
while our cat was dying we heard the receptionist say  
the reason our vets were away -- a hunting trip to Montana.

Two lines now, two by two they go by,
silent but for crying, and drop the armbands
in the coffins. On and on they come, it seems
like everyone in the whole world is turning
that corner -- young old radical conservative,
some walking dogs (with black armbands on their paws),
people on crutches and in wheelchairs (sign: Mankind?),
the deaf, the disabled, people sobbing. America,
we’re showing you something you rarely see --
what’s good in you; justice here, mercy there,
all the daring revolutionary pushes and pulls
into a better world. On and on the armbands float down.
People with cancer (sign: Don’t Do It In My Name),
signs speaking for animals around around the globe,
this is the Mobe, the Mobilization for Animals --
today protests in Melbourne Wellington Brussels
Oslo Paris Manchester London Geneva Munich
Boston Cape Town Atlanta Barcelona Heidelberg
Stockholm Davis Marseilles The Hague Edinburgh
and others, on and on like they’ll never stop.
Now I realize what I want out of life: this passion,
this rightness, this thing I can live or die with
and get behind 100%; give it to me,
pour it in me because I am opening up.

Everyone passes. We pick up the coffin: unbelievably,
profoundly heavy these little black armbands,
this weight of death -- no one calculated the heaviness
or considered that we might not be able to lift it.

Far behind, out of sight from the last
of the straggling marchers, we carry the coffins
through almost deserted streets. Feeling lighter,
I could keep walking and walking right out of this world.
I imagine we’ve entered a new land of vegetarianism
and no hunting, trapping or vivisection,
as if all our animal-saving  and animal-dying lives
were a dream and this was the real world, the good world...

Walking and walking on a sunny Sunday
in Madison, Wisconsin... What’s that music?
Drums-- you always hear the drums first.
I don’t know the song but we follow the music                    
to the commons area on campus. Wow! Jesus!                    
We’re entering a triumphant city of teeming                        
dreaming laughing feasting chatting napping                
laying embracing dancing human beings.
We carry the coffins up on stage as the band plays
then lose ourselves among four thousand friends.
Everything real and imagined, everything I ever
doubted the existence of, everything inside me
blows out in inexhaustible fire in a billion directions.
I am at home everywhere.

published 5/29/2009 at

A Vegan Devil's Online Dating Dictionary

I'd like to offer a few tips about vegetarian and left wing dating sites, especially to my fellow vegans.

Credit card in hand, you're ready to open yourself up to the universe of online dating. Almost immediately you get hit with a really low blow: years ago, before this great thing -- the internet -- came along, when you had your back turned, somebody married you! Bummer! This typical rookie mistake can be remedied by not putting your picture on your ad and writing text that ranges from vague to barefaced lies and (a personal favorite) listing several cities that you live in and jet between. Just keep it a little consistent and plausible -- don't put "Rio de Janeiro, Tokyo and Big Bone Lick, Kentucky."

Conversely, if you really are single, you can capture the feeling of having an affair by forgetting what and how much you've told several people. You get the lies and finagling and maybe even the guilt but without any of the sex! Online dating involves very little "meeting" in the 20th century sense. It's mostly about something I've always been really lousy at -- typing.

Now you are ready. Here are the basic rules:

If they say they take in no food at all or only water, they might be vegan. If they say they are vegan it means they eat dairy. If they say they eat dairy it means they eat sea creatures. If they say they eat fish it means they eat anything. If they say they are "almost vegetarian" it means they slaughter animals like Buffalo Bill and Ray Kroc. If they say they eat a "balanced diet" it means that twenty minutes into the first phone call they will reveal a troubling history of cannibalism. And don't forget the "doorway" rule: "I'm a vegan -- except when I'm out of the house."

Believe it or not, fellow vegans, many people on veggie dating sites have never scoured food labels for "calcium caseinate." Many of the folks on veg dating sites are there just like they are on every other dating site whether it's or They want to meet somebody, anybody. Even  troublesome vegans. That's how hard up people are out there.

Here are some key phrases, decoded, from personal ads.

"Must be okay with dog sleeping on bed." Dog is never a Pekinese. Dog is always the size of a llama.

"Not much of a partyer." Les White Flours du Mal. White bread. A human freakbat who can't locate the beat in "Mambo No. 5."

"I want to live off-grid." A rugged imaginary individualist quitter, too alienated  to join others in overthrowing capitalism. Believes capitalism will leave him/her alone even though Arctic Circle polar bears, with DDT in their livers, strongly disagree. Has a pocketful of flip social change: "Heads, I love the earth -- tails, I hate people." Computer and internet OK till the beloved turns up.

"I believe in two people working on the relationship." Neither a round hole nor a square peg, he/she is of undetermined, shape-shifting geometry and you'll soon discover you're now working an extra job.

"Love me, love my llamas." Could we liberate those llamas, say, back to the Andes?

"Seeking the last piece of the puzzle." The beloved won't be making any changes or sacrifices to make this relationship work -- you will. And bet your life, if you  have one, it still won't work. Usually preceded by: "I have a great job, great family, great friends, great llamas."

"I'm into Native American spirituality." A no-sweat lodge just down the road from the casinos and gas rigs. A beautiful refuge of smoke and mirrors where the Pasty Tribe goes to feel good about buying dead animals from the grocery. AKA the Clan of the Weak Asses. Also: A Lick and a Prayer.

"I recycle." See also: "I brush my teeth." Fun fact: The Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition and the Basel Action Network say that 80% of material dropped off by Americans at community recycling events is exported overseas. Chinese children strip out the guts of junked computers from America and the chromium, tin and barium goes straight into the rivers. Requiring American recycling companies to dispose of e-waste safely is treasonous because it cuts into profits. Now you wouldn't want to be a traitor to capitalism, wouldja? Wouldja... punk?

"Me: Degreed professional, web designer, life coach, artist, old soul, loves to travel, fit, active, attractive,  small business owner (chakra grooming service). You: financially stable, unencumbered by debt, children, cacti and any other living thing. No cancer! No whiners! Must be willing to relocate to Alpha Centauri.  You're probably  a Libra (no Capricorns!) I'm very busy. Don't despair if I don't get back right away. Namaste." A lifetime membership.

"I'm the kind of person who thinks outside the box." What the bloody hell are you talking about? If  I find out what that box is, and where it is,  you're going back in it.

"Great body." Agreed, but what sick bastard grafted that head onto it?

"Green." Common sense from the 1960s, probably traceable back to Ben Franklin. Little points of light in the darkness that have flourished into little points of light in the darkness of the new millennium. Mostly meaningless individual acts on the consumption end of capitalism where there's scant impact rather than the production end, possible only under socialism, where impacts would be gigantic. Scrupulously, safely and sadly within the bounds of capitalist plunder, murder, injustice, insanity and waste.

Contrast "green" and "new age"  with what might be called the bloody "red" of the "dark" ages. Events like the Boston Tea Party, the French Revolution and the Battle of Gettysburg aren't really popular with the "centered" and spiritual among us because these discordant events weren't win-win situations. After all, property rights and "space" were violated, perfectly good organic tea was wastefully dumped in a harbor, brothers killed each others' inner child at Gettysburg and some people in France had their mind/body integration sharply (hopefully) curtailed. With the advantage of "behindsight" (seeing the world through American capitalism's reactionary ass), it's obvious that these grunts and losers weren't very evolved or enlightened. And they probably weren't "financially stable" either. Maybe there's a lesson there.
Now get happy and get typing!

published 1/29/2007 at

Somewhere Down the Izzy River

Annexing the Pennsylvania "Terrortories"

(Press Conference with President Bush)

Reporter A: Mr. President, last year the American Council of Rabbinical Hydrologists concluded that a previously unknown biblical text proved that God gave "the land of the three rivers" to the Jews. The council further determined that these three rivers were the Allegheny, the Monongahela and the Ohio Rivers. In recent months, Jewish settlers have begun to establish "facts on the ground" at Fallingwater, Kennywood Amusement Park and, most controversially, the Pittsburgh Pirates' PNC Park. What's the administration's policy on western Pennsylvania?

Bush: Israel has the right to defend herself. I know that the moms and dads of Pittsburgh have some concerns about our strategy of victory in western Pennsylvania. But they have to understand that strengthening Israel helps bring stability and peace to the region.

Reporter B:  Mr. President, Pirate fans believe it isn't fair for Jewish settler trailers to be popping up near the bullpens. Longtime season ticket holders say that every night after the game the foul lines get erased and moved, more and more trailers  appear and the playing field gets smaller. It's harder to hit home runs, they say, and the games are much lower scoring. Attendance is down. Radical extremists, taking advantage of the situation to tell the truth, say that the fans are being "cleansed" from the ballpark. Groundskeepers report that every morning they have to tear down a confusing array of barriers and razor wire which seem intended to separate fans from the concession areas.

Bush: America will not be held hostage by any special interest groups. As far as low-scoring games go, the Pirates are adjusting to a post 9/11 world -- they're playing better defense.

Reporter C: Are you concerned that the situation may be spiraling out of control? Last week a Pittsburgh little league team renamed itself from the Southside Sluggers to the Holy Christ Mujahideen and one of those dads you spoke of, who manages the team, said, quote, "I never saw a Jew camping out in the Pirates' bullpen before, here, or at the old Three Rivers Stadium. And I've been to every home game in the last 25 years. First, we were told that we stole the land from the Indians and now they tell us that we stole it from the Jews. Where's the white man's world, that's what I want to know?"

Reporter D: And what about those out of work steelworkers in the bleachers who threw empty beer cans at the settlers' trailers last week? The settlers opened up on them and killed seven and wounded 12 others during the Cincy doubleheader.

Bush: Peace is hard work, especially when there's no peace partners in those bleachers.

Reporter E: Yeah, and then the steelworkers escalated and started throwing rocks. And the Pirate street is restive -- a common cry is: "Where is the next great pan-baseballer? Where is a Roberto Clemente to throw out the Jews for stealing 'home'"?  As Wolf Blitzer asked last Sunday, "What can America do, realistically, about this cauldron of ancient hatreds?"

Bush: If  there's a question in there somewhere, I'm not going looking for it.

Reporter F: Mr. President, is there any chance that the steelworkers could open up a can of kosher whup-ass on the settlers like Hezbollah did on Israel?

Bush: If they didn't riot for their jobs, why would they riot for their baseball?

Reporter G: Are you disturbed about the Jewish-only "bypass inclines" that the Israelis are building alongside the Monongahela Incline. Isn't this segregation -- separate and unequal?

Bush: Freedom is on the march. If Israel wants to improve the American transportation system, and get people up and down a mountain faster, who are we to interfere?  It's called initiative and privatization. If it's good enough for  the West Bank, it's good enough for us. Israel's airline has never had a hijacking... I'm not expecting their inclines to get hijacked or attacked either. We can learn a lot from our friend Israel. This is like the ruckus about the Dubai Ports deal. People need to understand that xenophobia is disgraceful when it blows out the candle of freedom -- and by that I mean the freedom for people with money to make more money.

Reporter H: There have also been border skirmishes at the Warhol Museum, resulting in damage to some of the art inside. The Warhol Museum director claims that the Department of Homeland Security slights the Warhol compared to Fallingwater. The director decries your refusal to call back the Pennsylvania National Guard from Venezuela. He publicly humiliated you by putting in a call to Hezbollah to protect the museum. Sheik Nasrallah declined and gave a televised three-hour speech which illuminated his thoughts on pop art and electrified the Islamic world. What's your response?

Bush: I've told every single person in the world -- I've knocked on every hut, every door, every cave, with the same message: supporting a terrorist group makes you a terrorist. The enemies of America can't hide in America or pretend that they are real Americans just because they were born here. 9/11 changed everything. Whether it's Saddama bin Laden or Osamadinejad, we will stay focused and bring the 9/11 killers to justice.

Reporter I: Some Pirate fans have noticed almost imperceptible changes in PNC Park, like images of the pirate being replaced with ones of Moshe Dayan. Is it wrong for fans to be worried about this?

Bush: I wish people wouldn't worry so much, but what can I do?

Reporter J: Was it wrong for Prof. Alan Dershowitz to call for that little league coach to be waterboarded until he gave up everything he had on the former Southside Sluggers?

Bush: If my enemy's back was against the wall, if they were shackled and hung, if they were drowned or burned, if they were beaten and raped or electrocuted, if they were naked and hooded and down on their knees and begging for their lives, or just plain killed, and I needed somebody to torture the Geneva Conventions for me, it would be Prof. Dershowitz.

Reporter J: A follow-up, sir: Why doesn't the Pittsburgh Police Department simply remove the illegal settlers from the PNC bullpen?

Reporter A: Anti-Semite!

Reporter D: Holocaust-minimizer!

Reporter L: What a waste of a question!

Bush: No, no, I'd like to answer that. I remind the world that the Military Commissions Act of 2006 is now the supreme law of the land and by land I mean the entire earth. It supersedes the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights. It eliminates habeas corpus. Yes, you can have your guns and your vocalizations but if I choose to kidnap and hold you without charge and torture you, and use the statements that I get out of you against you, well, you get the idea of how free you are. The whole world -- the whole universe, in fact -- is a battlefield and I can declare anyone anywhere a terrorist whether they're in Beijing or Poughkeepsie. One day, it will be possible for a President to sit in the Oval Office and shoot a laser from space down at anyone anywhere in the world who is interfering with freedom. Now, to your point, in the Military Commissions Act there is a passage about protecting the interests of our allies like Israel. Those fine men and women of the Pittsburgh Police Department understand the new realities. They don't want to run afoul of the Act and end up in some black hole any more than you do. 9/11 changed everything -- boundaries and borders don't mean anything. In the post-9/11 world, there is a seamless web between the cop at the protest, the soldier near the oil well and our CIA interrogators roaming the earth, all working together to eliminate terrorists. I'm the King of the World now and the Lord God of Torture. I'm the most powerful creature who ever walked the earth. Too bad there aren't some dinosaurs around -- I'd show those ugly green bastards too. God told me to invade Iraq, but I swear I feel like God myself, so possessed am I of the Holy Spirit. I can kidnap, torture and slaughter any person anywhere on earth at a time and place of my choosing -- and the world can hold its breath. You, yourself, exist at my pleasure -- and you're not making me very happy, hehehe.

Reporter B: Sir, will there be enough time today to talk about existential threats to Israel?

Bush: Now that's a waste of a question. You know we only do that on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays -- and today is Tuesday.

Reporter K: Sen. Santorum is calling for sanctions on the Pirates and an embargo which could ban so-called  "dual-use" items like ball bats. The fear is that the bats could be used to terrorize Jewish settlers in what was once left field. Should Americans get used to playing baseball without bats or can there be a compromise to satisfy Israel's need for security? Sen. Hagel recently wondered whether the Republicans could win the upcoming elections if they were perceived as being more pro-matzoh ball than pro-baseball. Lastly, how many Muslims need to be killed before Americans can feel safe like we did before 9/11?

Bush: It's so hard to tell. We have people studying this all the time. I'd hate to give some number, alarm folks and then find out that it wasn't enough.

Reporter L: A member of the Israeli Knesset has called you the "greatest Arab killer in Israel's history." How do you feel about that?

Bush: I'm humbled, of course. But I point out that leaders in the modern era, like myself, have advantages in equipment, training and nutrition that Hall-of-Famers like Ben-Gurion never had.

Reporter M: Nutrition -- are you referring to performance-enhancing drugs?

Bush: No, no, I mean we have the ability to confine and starve people, put them on a really good diet, on a really big scale now.

Reporter N: What is the origin of your strong feelings for Israel?

Bush: Well, I was watching the 1972 Munich Olympics on TV when those terrorists killed the Israeli athletes. Before this, I didn't know anything about Jews or Arabs, or Shiite from shinola. It was then I had my revelation: even though Israel was minding its own business, Arabs were so unpredictable that they could wake up from a sound sleep one morning and just start hating freedom and democracy and Jews. It was only after I became a born-again Christian that I could forgive those Arabs for ruining my sports-viewing pleasure. The Munich Olympics was the 9/11 of its day.

Reporter O: There's a rumor that the Rabbinical Hydrologists will rename the three rivers. Is that right?

Bush: My understanding from the experts in Israel proper -- and by that I mean the Israel over there, not the Israel over here --is that the three rivers will go back to their original Hebrew names. I've been told that the rivers will be much easier to pronounce. We shouldn't be afraid of change. It may be as simple as calling them the Morty, the Seymour, and the Joan Rivers. You'll see, one day I'll be vinundated. Someday you'll all be singing "Somewhere Down the Izzy River."

Reporter P: Can you really risk offending Ohio's swing voters by changing the river's name?

Bush: I've directed Secretary of State Rice to negotiate a separate peace between Ohio and Israel, a two-name one-river solution that lets Ohioans call the river by its old name and keeps the signage once the river passes west near Cincinnati.

Reporter Q: But isn't that a lousy deal for Ohioans -- the river is essentially beyond Ohio by that point -- they won't really have a river will they?

Bush: The river's not going anywhere and if Ohioans want to jump in it, they can. We have to be realistic. After all these many months, facts on the ground have been established in the Pennsylvania terrortories. I can't change history.

Reporter R: Did you ever foresee that so many American Jews would stand side by side with your deer-slaying, Arab-hating, immigrant-blaming, race-baiting, gay-bashing, anti-science, know-nothing base?

Bush: No, but Karl Rove, the "Wizard of Odds," did.

Reporter S: Your base has always been pretty conspiracy-friendly and mistrustful of government. Do you worry that these folks -- because of the need to explain 9/11 as an inside government job, or simply a notoriously short attention span -- will lose interest in hating Arabs and go back to what they know, go back to their historical comfort of hating and blaming Jews for everything? Or, are their hearts big enough to hate everybody?

Bush: I question the respect of your premise. We only want the American people to hate terrorists -- and they have more choices, colors, selections and worldwide availability from 1.5 billion Muslims. The Muslims are putting up Communist-sized numbers.

Reporter T: Mr. President, I hate to bring up the "Der Beagle" incident again but many people around the world are still confused about one thing that you said in the Der Spiegle interview. Everyone accepts that there was a mix-up between you and the White House staff about the name of the publication and the nature of the questions. But right after you opened with telling the Der Spiegle reporter about a favorite hunting dog you once had, he asked if the US plans on ever leaving Iraq. Perhaps still assuming that this was an outdoor publication, you said, "Does the Pope shit in the woods?" This Zen-like answer troubled a lot of people around the world. Many people were shocked that you believe the Pope would be capable of taking a dump, especially on God's creation. Was this just a way of saying "Are bears Catholic?" Could you clarify this?

Bush: I was misquoted. What I said was: Islamic fascism is a greater threat to the world than Hitler or Stalin.

Reporter C: Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Thomas Friedman has lauded you as a "Catcher In The Rye" kind of guy, one who's trying to save the world. Do you agree?

Bush: Well, I consulted with Laura about that book and I believe that's a fair estimate. I'm trying to save freedom everywhere, I'm trying to save the Iraqi children for freedom. I'm creating a glorious world.

Reporter U: Could you share your thoughts on the recent killings involving a Christian militia at Fallingwater? The militia mistook a Jain tourist group from India for Arabs. The Jains ran away but were shot in the back when they stopped to remove some grasshoppers from a paved parking lot and put them back onto the grass.

Bush: Yeah, people like those Jain tourerists aren't going to make it in this world. When I hear about things like that I almost believe in evolution.

Reporter U: Could sectarian violence, a la Iraq, ever happen in America?

Bush: Allah Iraq? What's your problem? Of course that won't happen here.

Reporter U: What makes you so sure, Mr. President?

Bush: Because in America all the right people have most of the guns. The wrong people know that if they ever get too far out of line and interfere with freedom that they'll be cleaned up on in about a month or two.

Reporter U: So it will be a cakewalk?

Bush: Yeah, something like that.

Reporter V: Mr. President, a follow-up question on the Jains: Does the Jain ideology of "dynamic harmlessness" pose any threat to America?

Bush: To be honest, I'm not familiar with that term but I will say that our government has all the tools it needs to deal with whatever that is. Non-state actors like the Jains need to know that they will be held to account. What goes around comes around. I saw that Jain preacher man on TV, you know, with the rats running around his temple and I said to myself, "That's a religion that needs Dick Cheney and Tom DeLay."

Reporter V: Mr. President, there's no indication that the Jains are terrorists. Their most well-known belief seems to be that of not hurting animals.

Bush: I knew they hated our values! I don't have to know the details about something to know that I'm right about it. There's still so much freedom that needs spread in the world.

Reporter W: Mr. President, some people are saying that we're making the same mistakes in Greater Greater Israel, the Pennsylvania "terrortories," as you call them, that we made in Iraq. I refer to paying vast sums of money to shady or desperate people for unreliable information. For instance, a Christian militia wouldn't be guarding the shrine of Fallingwater were it not for the bogus tip from that Syrian small businessman, the failed hamster breeder Ahkmed Schulubbi. This man fed the CIA a little known online magazine, Architectural Jihadjest, with this fatal line -- fatal for those Jain tourists: "Fallingwater, aka Fallingdownwater, is a claustrophobic, cold, muggy, dumpy, fucking ugly piece of capitalist hubris ... may the God of style, peace be upon him, smite it down." Other than this critique there appears to be no plan, no weapons, indeed, no people to actually smite Fallingwater and yet because of this, the Department of Homeland Security funded a Christian militia to guard it twenty-four hours a day. They diverted the entire stream that runs under the house, for fear of waterborne poisons and rubber ducky IEDs, and put up twelve foot concrete blast walls and planters, albeit in the "Prairie" style. Should taxpayers be paying Christian militias 50 times as much as you could get for a Mexican roofing crew?

Bush: OK, I'm not happy with this. In the world we're trying to create, we could match those roofers with more urgent unmet American needs... We could turn the Mexicans into instant Quaker Oats Minutemen... We could screen those roofers right at the border to see who's good with a gun and who believes in the Rapture and get some faith-based dollars in their hands and send them on their way to the nearest Christian militia -- all for NAFTA prices. I have a theory of freedom and it's magical: freedom warms the hearts of normal people but it burns the asses of terrorists.

Reporter W: But does this militarizing of everything really work in the real world, does it get the results that we want? I ask because, after the Jain family was slain, the 75 year-old  leader of the Jains issued a first of its kind fatwa, saying, in part, "For every time there is a season and it's now open season on that bastard Bush." Previously, no one had ever heard this man raise his voice.

Bush: How big's his air force? Maybe he'd like some vitamin B-52.

Reporter X: The head of Israel's Shin Bet security service says that there's now a Sandlot Crescent forming in Pennsylvania, from the Pirates in the west to the Phillies in the east. Shin Bet estimates that, within six months, there will be more terrorists in Breezewood than hotel rooms. Local proprietors like Mater Patel, Paneer Patel, Aloo Patel and Hamhock Patel, all unrelated, are alarmed at the loss of business caused by Shin Bet's comment and, coincidentally, Israeli businessmen buying up hotels in nearby cities. The Patels issued this statement: "So long as the terrorists/Pirates pay their bills and don't blow us up, it's cricket. We will talk with them as brothers about the infield fly rule but they should not bring up Kashmir or the disputes in the PNC Park bullpen." Given all this, should Americans stay overnight in Breezewood anymore?

Bush: You know, I have a question for you: Are any of those Patels related? Are they all related? This has kept me up a lot of nights. Laura found me a book, "The Genealogy of Super 8 Owners, Volume Seven" but I haven't had a chance to read it yet. It's huge -- it must be 300 pages long  -- you can't run through it like a PDB.

Reporter Y: Mr. President, filmmaker Steven Spielberg is making a documentary about the settlers and their struggles to live in peace in the PNC Park bullpen. In the film the settlers claim to be making the bullpen "bloom" but so far, besides the trailers, there's only a knish stand and a couple Caterpillar bulldozers. Do you plan on seeing the movie?

Bush: Yes. In fact, I'm in it. I have a cameo, what's called in the business a "walked-on" role.

Reporter Z: Polls show that the nation is extremely polarized between the people who dislike you and the people who really hate you. What do you say to that?

Bush: I'd say that I'm not playing "gotcha" today or any other day. Thank you very much.

published 10/31/2006 at