Saturday, September 21, 2002

MEET THE NEW BUSH - SAME AS THE OLD BUSH! We're getting a surprisingly large -- or maybe not too surprising -- number of Googlers looking for audio or video of GWBush's cover of "Won't Get Fooled Again."

There's a streaming audio source for the entire speech, right on the website. Fast-forward about ten minutes in.

UPDATE: While the transcript is still there, the streaming audio has apparently been removed from the White House website. So, as a public service, I bring you the salient video clip, TiVo'd right off the The Daily Show broadcast and streamed for your convenience by Mind Over What Matters. (Link requires Windows or somesuch Media Player.)

Alternately: Here's Comedy Central's own streaming video clip (requires RealMedia-compatible player).

Obviously, in its never-ending quest for currency of the realm -- more hits -- this page will have to make a point of deconstructing presidential speeches, press briefings and awkward casual remarks much more aggressively in the future.

UPDATE, Part Deux: Help me wrap my mind around what matters! If you have any trouble viewing the aforementioned streaming video -- seriously -- leave a note in the comments section. I'm having a litle trouble with it myself, but I can't tell whether it's a problem with my own MPEG conversion -- or just with certain problematic Media Player installations, "iffy" DSL connections, or firewall issues.

Friday, September 20, 2002

UP NEXT, A REAL-LIFE THOLIAN WEB: "The area was strewn with rubble and bulldozers began digging a deep trench near Arafatís building, completing the physical isolation of the Palestinian leader." "Israeli forces also erected a barbed wire fence encircling Arafat's office building..."

Dreaded Deadline Doom strikes again! Sorry, compadres and compadrettes, but some last-minute rush work is keeping me tied up in the office, and I'll have to skip tonight's NYC Blogger Bash. Regards to all.

"He was a loner" they'll say. "A quiet guy. Kept to himself."

Wednesday, September 18, 2002

ANATOMY OF A BUSHISM: The White House press core was slightly taken aback yesterday when, speaking off-the-cuff at a Tennesee school, George W. Bush inappropriately invoked the lyrics of Pete Townshend's Won't Get Fooled Again.

Making the case, once again, that Saddam Hussein cannot be trusted, Bush said:

"There's an old saying in Tennessee--"

Wait a minute ... I really have no idea if they say it in Tennessee ... for all I know, they might have a completely different set of sayings here. I'd better cover myself ...

"I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee -- that says--"

What am I thinking about? What's my point? Concentrate! Concentrate!

"--fool me--"

How does that go again? Does it start with fool me once, or fool me twice? Let me think... Fool me twice, shame on... no, that doesn't make any sense! It's gotta be...

"--once, shame on--"

Me? You? Me? You? Let me try it both ways ... Foolmeonce,shameonme,foolmetwice,shameonyou...? No -- that doesn't make sense. Or does it? Oh, hell, why do I ever stray from the prepared text? Gotta say something! Gotta take a chance! Let's try...

"--shame on you."

Yeah! Nailed it! Halfway home!

"Fool me--"

What did I just say five seconds ago? Did I say "once?" Did I already say "twice"? Damn! Which is it? Once or twice? You or me? Shame on -- oh, hell, I'm completely lost. I'm going to look like a complete idiot. Exit strategy. How does that old song go?

"--you can't get fooled again."

Whew! Close enough for government work...

Tuesday, September 17, 2002

COMEDY TONIGHT: Some months ago, the (native-born American citizen / US Army veteran) "Palestinian" activist and comedian Ray Hanania bared his true feelings on the Middle East conflict, in a forum which his American fans were rather unlikely to see unless they really went out of their way to look for it: the Lebanese newspaper Daily Star.

Far from the posture he took earlier this month -- the victimized up-and-coming standup comic who only wanted to share a few laughs and bring us all together, until that rotten Jewish comedy cabal got together and jealously Jewed him out of a choice booking -- here, Hanania comes clean about a great many other things on his mind:
...The dream of compromise with Israel is over, today, and it is clear to nearly everyone that Sharon has opened the door to the new possibility of correcting the original injustice of 1948 and restoring Palestinian control over all of Palestine, an action that the pro-Israel American apologists have dubbed as the ďdestructionĒ of the state of Israel.

...No matter how hard Israel and its manipulators in the American media try to prevent the world from seeing the truth of Israelís viciousness, it comes out either on TV, the internet or in newspapers. The Israeli Army is guilty of Nazi-like war crimes, including executing in cold blood, Palestinian prisoners it has captured. Several of these executions have been captured on TV.

...The second intifada is working. The world can see the ridiculousness of Christiana Amanpour standing there asking Yasser Arafat, who is besieged in a bunker, if he will do something to stop the violence. More and more Americans have said they were appaled [sic] by her display of ignorance, and are now seeing the Palestinian cause as being the victim of Israelís state terrorism.

...While President George W. Bush remains in a leadership stupor in the White House, incapable of doing anything, some view his inaction as the cause of the violence. That is true. His failure to lead has given Sharon the green light, dripping with red blood, to murder Palestinians at will.

...Israelís Nazi-like government must be shown that its policies of murder and executions and killings will carry a heavy price in future talks, and that all of Jerusalem is now on the table and that all of Palestine is on the table, too.

Hey -- Ray, my man -- now that's funny! But what's your problem with Christiana Amanpour? Ray, don't you recognize a soul sister?

It's a pity. Rather than babbling lamely about "publicity protocol" violations and other transparent excuses, had Jackie Mason merely lobbed a few of these choice Hanania quotations at the media, his "controversial" firing of Hanania would have swiftly been deemed a non-event. However much CNN media loves to fictionalize the narrative of Palestinian Davids versus Jewish Goliaths, I think even Christiana Amanpour would counsel him ease up on the "Nazi-like" rhetoric. It just doesn't play well in the top-20 markets, y'know?

(Link via Shark Blog)

UPDATE: what about all that supposed evidence of war crimes against Palestinians? Gee, what can I say? I can't argue that the evidence doesn't exist. In fact, such war crimes are all very real, and very well-documented. Here's a compilation of several very graphic examples in which the victims are all Palestinian civilians who were executed without benefit of trial or due process. (Caution: Not for the squeamish!)

ROOT CAUSES: (according to Mark Steyn)
The story of the last 30 years is the emergence of "a new world middle class," as Professor Xavier Sala-i-Martin calls them in his study The World Distribution Of Income. This class is made up of some 2.5 billion people in the developing world, whose standards of living now approach those of the West. That's to say, roughly half the people in the developing world are doing pretty well economically. As Virginia Postrel wrote in The New York Times recently, taking the world's population as a whole, in 1998 "the largest number of people earned about $8,000 -- a standard of living equivalent to Portugal's."

Why hasn't the Middle East shared in this economic growth? Because they're failed states run by kleptocrats who govern by clan and corruption and whose starting point is to exclude half the population -- the women -- from the economic life of the country.

This page hasn't made a point of linking to every Mark Steyn commentary because he is already so well-connected elsewhere in the Blogosphere. But, apparently, I have some readers who aren't familiar with this brilliant essayist whose work is a pleasure to read, not only for its acerbic wit, but moreso for the uncomfortable truths about institutionalized ignorance and racism he routinely lays bare.

Consider the oversight remedied. Oh, and here's a couple more uncomfortably factual tidbits he tosses off, almost as an afterthought, en route to some larger and cleverer point:
In the words of Hussein Mussawi, former leader of Hezbollah: "We are not fighting so that you will offer us something. We are fighting to eliminate you."

OK, that's just his opening position. ... Mr. Mussawi is obviously a hardliner, but we should certainly be able to "work with" more "mainstream" figures in the movement such as Sheikh Muhammad al-Gamei'a, an Egyptian bigshot who was the imam at the Islamic Cultural Center and Mosque in New York at the time of last September's unfortunate example of the price of American arrogance. Back in October, the big-time Westernized imam thought it was all to do with America's Jewish influence: "You see these people all the time, everywhere, disseminating corruption, heresy, homosexuality, alcoholism, and drugs. Because of the Jews there are strip clubs, homosexuals, and lesbians everywhere. They do this to impose their hegemony and colonialism on the world ..." [emphasis mine. -jlz]

Read the whole thing.