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This, That, and The Other
(Sept. 8, 2004)

THIS: Bush ex-sister-in-law says young Dubya put cocaine in his nose while at Camp David during his father's administration.

THAT: But did he inhale?

THIS: In his stupefyingly endless barrage of mangled language, the Prez recently referred to $87 billion for "armor and body parts and ammunition and fuel" for Iraq and Afghanistan. He meant "armor and spare parts."

: For once, he accidentally got it right.

THIS: The Prez also recently said that "too many OB-GYNS aren't able to practice their, uhhh, special love with women all across this country."

THAT: Paging Dr. Freud.

THE OTHER: He inhaled.

THIS: Kerry keeps campaigning about the tax cuts for the rich, loss of jobs, lousy health care, etc.

THAT: It's not the economy, stupid.

THIS: White House chief of staff Andrew "Isn't He A" Card said that Bush regards the American citizenry as a "ten-year-old child."

THAT: Well, that certainly explains the mental sophistication of his sneering, nyah-nyah campaign.

THIS: President Dick "Vice President" Cheney says that if Kerry is elected, terrorists will strike the United States again!

THAT: If he means the certain effort by the right-wing to destroy President Kerry, he's right.

THE OTHER: Why didn't he mention plagues, locusts, and giant horse-people in flying saucers?

THIS: Tiger Woods loses his number-one ranking after five years, to Vijay Singh.

THAT: No one has yet mentioned the reason for Woods' mysterious slide in recent years. It's obvious. When he was at the top of his game, he was lithe and lean, muscles having more or less having grown around his golf swing. Somewhere in his twenties, Tiger pumped weights and bulked up. It threw his whole rhythm off.

THIS: Kerry speaks in Canonsburg, PA, and "Bush supporters" try to shout him down, yelling "liar" and "flip-flop."

THAT: Guess the Kerry folk don't make all comers sign a loyalty oath swearing they are voting for Kerry, as the Bush folk do. (Really.)

THIS: Bush opposed a "homeland security" department prior to 9/11. Bush treated terrorism as zero priority prior to 9/11, despite the pleading of advisor Richard Clarke and former Clinton chief of staff Sandy Berger (among others.) Bush campaigned on a claim of opposing "nation building" and "big government."

THAT: Bush created a "homeland security" department. Bush claims to be fighting terrorism now (although it's really PR for advancing Neocon control of the world.) Bush is engaged in the sheer folly and sure-fire disaster of "nation building" in Iraq. Bush's budget is beyond comprehension, as is the national debt. Homeland Security is looking into legalizing unconstitutional violation of civil rights---basically meaning you can be investigated for any reason, any time, on a whim. That's "big government" by any measure.

THE OTHER: Flip-flop! Flip-flop! Flip-flop!

THIS: An L.A. Times article by Deborah Netburn breezily showcases the back-to school fashion choices of a bunch of junior high and high school kids on "the most important fashion day of the year." One fourteen-year-old girl who shops on posh Montana Avenue described her look as "trendy, kind of funky, but mostly trendy."

THAT: Another Times article showcased the 400-500 kids who live in Skid Row, beset by chronic illness, asthma, depression, behavioral problems, and learning disabilities. One reported having witnessed a murder.

THE OTHER: Funky, but not very trendy.

THIS: Excerpt from Netburn's kiddie fashion article: "There has always been something defining about the back-to-school outfit, a belief that these are the clothes that will set the tone for the entire year."

THAT: Yes, but not as defining as, say, depression, and murders, eh Debbie?

THE OTHER: How about sending all the kids in Debbie's article to live in Skid Row for a week, as a cultural exchange program! (Send Debbie, too.)

THIS: The larger new shell at the Hollywood Bowl is alive with echoes. Players feel like they're in the Grand Canyon. They play a note, move on to the next, and the first note comes back to haunt them.

THAT: At least the audience gets to hear the music twice.

THE OTHER: No matter. The audience isn't listening, anyhow. Everyone is watching the conductor squint and swoop and grunt and grin and dance and dip and strain and sweat on the big screen---six in fact, on either side of the shell. Just like MTV!

THIS: At the Repugnican Convention, Bush was interrupted after almost every sentence with an aggressive automatic roar and waving of signs with such Orwellian declarations as "A Safer World."

THAT: Was I imagining things, or were all the delegates shouting "heil"?

THE OTHER: Dave Lindorff writes: "Just as most ordinary Germans thought of Hitler as an ubermensch, a larger-than-life super Arayan, a god-like leader, many average Americans seemingly believe the bilge being put out there by Bush's marketers, that he is a strong, heroic leader. Like the German public, which turned to the 'heroic' Hitler to 'save' them from the Jews and Reds who were allegedly threatening to destroy the German nation, Americans are turning to the 'heroic' Bush to 'save' them from the terrorists and gays and liberals who are allegedly threatening to destroy the American way of life."

THIS: When some protesters disrupted a meeting of Hitler Youth---er, Young Repugnicans---at the convention, one fine young male GOP adherent dragged a female protester to the ground, and kicked her in the head.

THAT: He was apparently not prosecuted.

THIS: Warner Brothers refuses to release the DVD of "Three Kings" because it comes with a half-hour anti-war documentary about Iraq.

THAT: Never mind that "Three Kings" is an anti-war statement about Iraq.

THIS: Yes, Kerry---and all of Congress except Rep. Barbara Lee---voted to authorize the President to unilaterally invade Iraq, if necessary. The U.S. had just been horrifyingly attacked. Saddam was alleged by Condolleezza Rice to have nuclear weapons!

THAT: Who wouldn't have authorized the President to unilaterally invade Iraq under those circumstances? Kerry hoped the vote would give extra clout to getting the U.N. involved, and force Saddam to allow weapons inspectors full access.

THE OTHER: Too complex for a ten-year-old child to grasp.

THIS: News item: more platinum found in women who have breast implants.

THAT: And I thought those big floppy things were worth their weight in gold.

: In 2001, the Bush administration promised to uphold the Roadless Area Conservation Rule to protect our last wild forests.

THAT: Bush's "protection" includes declaring 58.5 million acres of national forests open to new roads, logging and drilling.

THE OTHER: "Birds and wildlife all destroyed/ to keep some millionaires employed. . ."---George Harrison.

: Bush dodged Vietnam, ditched his National Guard duty (certainly due to drug and alcohol abuse), while Kerry served valiantly and voluntarily in Vietnam, saved at least one man's life, and was wounded several times in the bargain.

THAT: And Bush delegates had the audacity---the sheer unpatriotic insanity---to mock Kerry by wearing band-aids with purple hearts on them?

THE OTHER: Whoops---I forgot. They're only ten years old.

THIS: Okay, then, Bob Dole has the audacity---the sheer unpatriotic insanity---to disparage a fellow war veteran wounded in action by saying that his wounds "didn't bleed"? Dole, a man who famously lost use of one arm in World War II?

THAT: Maybe all that Viagra has burst some small blood vessels in Dole's brain.

THIS: Between the hypersensitive acoustics at goofy Dizzy Hall (where audience feet-shuffling competes with violins), and the new echo brought-to-you-by the new Hollywood Bowl shell, I'd say L.A. Phil Prez Deborah "Lucretia" Borda is leaving the city quite a musical legacy.

THAT: Well, at least they haven't put up video screens inside Dizzy.


THIS: Rumsfeld: "The war on terrorism is too dependent on military resources to track down terrorists, and that not enough emphasis is being placed on using diplomatic, economic, political, and other means to spread democracy and win over the populations from which most terrorists come."

THAT: If Kerry said this, Cheney and Bush would crucify him for "sensitivity."

: News item: insect population declining.

THAT: You wouldn't know it from the RNC.

THIS: Bush declares the Iraq situation a "catastrophic success."

THAT: Is that like a "winnable nuclear war"?

THIS: The Environmental Protection Agency says  that 846,000 miles of U.S. rivers and 14 million acres of U.S. lakes are so tainted with mercury that eating their fish could pose health problems for children and during pregnancy.

THAT: That ol' man Mercury, he jus' keep rollin' alonnnnng. . .

THIS: News item: "Dave Matthews Band Rains Sewage on Chicago."

THAT: And that was just the music. . .

THIS: John McWhorter writes an article on the L.A. Times editorial page expressing the wish that the term, "African-American" be abandoned in favor of "black."

THAT: This is in the proud tradition of expressing the wish that "negro" be changed to "black," "black" be changed to "Afro-American," "Afro-American" be changed to "African-American," "colored" be changed to "people of color."

THE OTHER: How about "pigmentally nuanced?"

THIS: Over one thousand mostly young men and women have been killed in Iraq, their lives spent on what is at best a very uncertain enterprise fought on behalf of Halliburton, Israel, Saudi Arabia.

THAT: All the president's dead men.

THIS: That Hobgoblin, Donald Rumsfeld, calls the number of deaths "relatively small."

THAT: What a tiny, tiny thing to say.

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