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 This, That, and The Other. . .
(June 16, 2005)

THIS: Couldn’t find a single paper carrying the headline, “JACKSON BEATS IT.”

THAT: A Jackson spokesman said that his boss is changing his ways, and will never allow children into the bedroom again.

THE OTHER: The shower remains an open question.

THIS: Phil Jackson returns to the Lakers, wearing sandals.

THAT: Good attire for his second coming.

THE OTHER: Kobe, or not Kobe. That is the question.

THIS: Archaeologists discover the bones of human predecessors who stood just three feet tall and had brains the size of grapefruits.

THAT: This reportedly challenges some evolutionary theories, which hold that a big brain is an essential part of being human.

THE OTHER: Nonsense. It simply proves that anyone can become president.

THIS: Mohamed al-Kahtani, believed to have been the planned 20th hijacker in the Sept. 11 terror plot, is held at Guantanamo, and is reportedly eating well and has been given the materials he needed to practice Islam.

THAT: This is an outrage. A violation of human rights in the extreme.

THE OTHER: Especially the rights of the several thousand international citizens he allegedly plotted to kill on 9/11.

THIS: Howard Dean calls the Repugnican party a “white, Christian party.”

THAT: Dean is way off. The behavior and philosophy of those so-called “Christians” have nothing to do with the teachings of Christ.

THE OTHER: And you don’t have to be white to be “white.” Ask Michael Jackson.

THIS: Michael Jackson is said to be in financial trouble now, despite owning the Beatles’ publishing catalogue.

THAT: You never give me your money? I’m looking through you. . .

THE OTHER: Just curious---anybody have the slightest idea where O.J. Simpson gets his dough?

THIS: Porn star Mary Carey attends GOP Fundraiser.

THAT: There should be laws against this sort of obscenity. Don’t the Repugnicans have enough money?

THIS: Mega-giganticus corporate beast Wal-Mart filed briefs in support of China television manufacturers contesting a Tennessee TV company’s complaint with the International Trade Commission.

THAT: Tom Hopson of Tennessee’s Five Rivers Electronics, one of the last U.S. companies assembling televisions, had charged China with flooding the U.S. market with TVs below free market value, and won his case.

THE OTHER: Who says Wal-Mart is unpatriotic? Is there any company in the world more loyal to China?

THIS: The entire Wal-Mart/China collusion, and the resultant crippling loss of industry and jobs in the U.S., is laid out clearly in a “Frontline” on PBS.

THAT: Yes, PBS, that liberal, un-American network whose budget that the U.S. government is threatening to cut by $100 million.

THIS: Autopsy reveals that Terry Shiavo had massive, irreversible brain damage.

THAT: You know, rather like the people who wanted her unthinking, unknowing husk kept alive.

THIS: Tom Cruise bounds around like a six-year-old who lost his Ritalin, teeth threatening to explode out of his head, telling Oprah that he’s “in love.”

THAT: Porn star Mary Carey announces that she would like to have sexual relations with the Bush twins.

THE OTHER: Ain’t love grand?

THIS: Troop numbers in Iraq have been quietly boosted to 140,000, at a time when polls have three-fifths of the public calling for an “exit strategy.”

THAT: Soldiers, as Dave Lindorff reports, “are now sent in dead of night without any brass bands, and the dead come home at night without any bugle or rifle salute.”

THE OTHER: During Vietnam, Lindorff notes, this was called “escalation.”

THIS: Doctors are baffled as to how to treat chronic insomnia, a terrible disorder that all but ruins the lives of millions.

THAT: Perhaps they have overlooked a remedy once offered by W.C. Fields, who suffered from extreme insomnia.

THE OTHER: Said Fields: “Get plenty of sleep.”

THIS: Perhaps now TeeVee will stop replaying video of poor Schiavo supposedly recognizing her mother, and responding to visual stimuli.

THAT: After all, the autopsy also revealed that she was blind.

THE OTHER: You know, rather like the people who wanted her unthinking, unknowng husk kept alive.

THIS: The San Francisco Chronicle, now owned by Hearst and saddled with a new publisher not exactly known for humanitarianism, is facing a strike. Hearst has hired Vance International for “security.”

THAT: Vance, headed by former secret service agent Chuck Vance (one-time son-in-law of Gerald Ford) reportedly operates several security teams from bases throughout Iraq and is registered with the Coalition Provisional Authority as a Security Provider for Iraq.

THE OTHER: Yup, those underpaid, overworked, balding, pot-bellied, graying, alcoholic newspaperpeople are quite a threat.

THIS: Mountaineers climbing Mt. McKinley face dangers from extreme cold, death-defying maneuvering, and. . .dung.

THAT: Yes, the mountain is laden with snow and the virus-rich droppings of other mountaineers---adding diarrhea and illness to the challenge.

THE OTHER: On top of Old Smokey, all covered with. . .

THIS: Autopsy reveals that Terry Shiavo had massive, irreversible brain damage.

THAT: Proving once again that this is no impediment to becoming a major star on prime time TeeVee.

THIS: Here is one blog's description of Vance International, which helped break newspaper strikes in Detroit and Seattle: “The company. . .surpassed all other union-busting firms for its paramilitary methods and anti-working class violence. Arriving at the scene of a strike in black uniforms and combat boots and equipped with tear gas, shields and attack dogs, Vance’s Asset Protection Team would ring the location with barb wire, floodlights and video cameras and place armed guards on factory roof-tops. Throughout working class communities Vance guards were denounced as thugs and ‘jack-booted Nazis,’ and even alienated local police departments with their brutality.”

THAT: And another from Daily Kos: “From the strikes at Pittston Coal to Caterpillar to Detroit Newspapers, if there was violence on the picket line of a high-profile strike, it was most likely provoked by maladjusted ex-soldiers, angry cop wannabes, and CIA rejects who wear the jack-boots of Vance’s Asset Protection Team.”

THE OTHER: You can count on the Hearst Corporation to always do right by newspapers.

THIS: New survey puts the L.A. County homeless population at 90,000.

THAT: Good thing L.A. King Eli Broad and the mayor are behind the new billion-dollar development of hotels, skyscrapers, and dancing bears next to the Music Center.

THIS: Mayor “Little Anthony” Villaraigosa renewed his pledge to build a subway from North Hollywood to um, Sylmar. The previous L.A. subway cost $300 million per mile---ten or fifteen years ago.

THAT: Good that the mayor is thinking of a nice place for all those homeless people to sleep and urinate.

THIS: Want to know how and why the culture became so damned ignorant?

THAT: Read this.

THIS: Microsoft Inc. is helping China to prevent bloggers from using the words, “freedom,” “democracy,” and “human rights” on their websites.

THAT: Users who try to include such terms in subject lines are warned: "This topic contains forbidden words. Please delete them."

THE OTHER: Who says Microsoft is unpatriotic? Is there any company in the world more loyal to China?

THIS: Downing Street Memo: “Intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy.”

THAT: American media: _________________________________.

THE OTHER: ???????????????

THIS: Scientists have successfully grown fully mature brain cells, using stem cells.

THAT: “President” Bush, of course, still opposes use of stem cells taken from micrscopic embryos that will never grow into mature humans.

THE OTHER: He’s shooting himself in the foot.

THIS: Conductor Carlo Maria Giulini, who led the L.A. Philharmonic from 1978 to 1984, dies at 91.

THAT: Current L.A. Phil conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen: “Giulini was universally seen as the last great Romantic conductor. His tempos were majestic, phrasing incredibly expressive, balances perfect.”

THE OTHER: How would he know?

THIS: Einstein’s brain weighed 2.7 pounds---less than the average male adult brain.

THAT: Size isn’t everything.

THIS: Riposte manages a lousy "honorable mention" in the Greater Los Angeles Press Club competition for on-line commentary.

THAT: This is sort of like getting probation for jaywalking.

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