Wednesday, September 08, 2004



We have a new policy on obscenity. I have used some language that some people find objectionable. And if people are going to get angry and complain about so-called dirty words (and breasts at the Super Bowl) at the same time as many of these same people remain silent on the counter-productive and useless deaths of thousands of innocent people (including 1,000 American soldiers) in Afghanistan and Iraq, then I guess I should make an effort to accommodate their strongly-held belief that it is much worse to say a bad word than it is to pursue ruinous and violent policies that kill thousands of people and generate great wealth for the people who promoted the war.

In the past I have defended my use of obscenity by saying that the right word is the right word, and I am the kind of writer who uses the right word. But from now on, I will work extra hard not to use obscenity.

Regular readers will notice that I have never used an obscenity to refer to George W. Bush. The reason is simple: I can't think of anything worse to call him than "George W. Bush." "George W. Bush" is the worst thing I can think of to call someone. But I will continue to use this particular obscenity for simplicity's sake.

From now on, when I feel it to be absolutely necessary, I will disguise the objectionable words that I use. I will use an asterisk for every letter and I will mention the most important letters. For example, if the offensive word is tinkle, we would represent it with six asterisks, followed by a comma, and the first letter of the word will be indicated. "Bill O'Reilly likes to (******, starts with t) on the truth every chance he gets.

This way, my readers will still be able to get the effect of my angriest writing without having to be upset by bad words (so much worse than the images of pieces of children strewn about the rubble of Baghdad that the all-knowing media protects us from; it would be just awful if we Americans had to face the full horror of the consequences of our actions; we might not vote for Bush!).

To further illustrate, Mel Gibson will be referred to as an (*******, begins with a) and the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, Dick Cheney, Colin Powell, Bill O'Reilly, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, John Ashcroft and all my favorite fictional characters at the Fox News Fantasy World are lying pieces of (****, begins with s).

Hopefully our new policy will ensure that our more sensitive readers will not have to deal with reality any more than they have to in the hard times ahead.


Speaking of (*******s, begins with a), Secretary of State Donald H. Rumsfeld made the following statement, as reported in the Los Angeles Times today: "If you think about the fact that we have thousands of patrols every day ... if you take all of those patrols, and look at the number of incidents, [the casualties are] relatively small."

(I'm sorry. Using an obscenity was absolutely necessary. It's Rumsfeld, and look at what he's saying! What an (*******, starts with a)!

Mr. Rumsfeld, how many casualties would you call "relatively moderate"? 20,000 to 30,000? What would you call "relatively high"? 50,000 to 100,000?

How much more blood needs to be shed before you are satisfied?

It's very easy for this (*******, starts with a) to talk about casualties being "relatively small" when he isn't one of them.


Also in the Los Angeles Times today is the charming story of a Bakersfield Republican who supports Bush. He says Bush's religious faith inspired him.

"He prays before he makes decisions, and that's important to me," says the guy.

I just don't get it. Why do Christians who support Bush hate Jesus so much? Bush has pursued two wars that have proven damaging to civilian populations, he has allowed unrestricted and unsrupulous contractors to monopolize Iraqi development for years to come, he has silently condoned vicious accusations of "treason" hurled against his critics. (Fill in with your favorite outrage.)

And some people who call themselves "Christians" are voting for him because he says he is religious, he says he is born-again and he says he prays before every decision.

(Bush: "Jesus? Should I drive drunk tonight, endanger my underage sister, and then lie about it until I get caught?"

Jesus: "Yes, my son, I think you should."

Bush: "Thank you, Jesus!")

So I guess that means that these so-called "Christians" believe that Jesus condones the policies of the Bush Administration. And that means that they have a vastly different view of Jesus than the one I have, you know, the one that I read about in the Bible.

I pray to Jesus. And he has never told me that the answer to my problems was to bomb the poop out of someone.


I have no words of horror adequate to describe my feelings about the massacre of children at a school in Beslan in North Ossetia. The stories in the mainstream media have had words, as difficult as they may be to wade through.

However, the mainstream has had no words to describe the horror of the long and brutal war that Russia waged against Chechnya in the 1990s. What I mean by that is: they didn't mention it at all.

Some people think that there is a connection between Russia's devastation of Chechnya (an estimated 70,000 Chechnyans killed, for example) and the outrages committed by Chechnyan terrorists. By not mentioning that there was a long and particularly nasty war in Chechnya as a prelude, the media might be giving uninformed viewers the idea that the Beslan terrorists massacred 300 children simply because "they hate freedom."

Sound familiar?

For more information on Chechnya check out Global Issues: Crisis in Chechnya.

Here's an excerpt of a letter from the Los Angeles Times from a writer I'll call "Studio City": "The condemnation of terrorists by Muslim religious and political readers reacting to the slaughter of more than 300 children and others in Russia is welcome. However, I wonder if they realize that a similar level of timely outrage over the deaths of nearly 10 times that many on 9/11 in America might have helped prevent these latest atrocities."

Score one for the Fox News Fantasy World! Muslims did express outrage on September 11, 2001, but the media coverage was sparse at best.

If you want to talk about things that might have helped to prevent the tragedy in Beslan, Studio City, let's talk about American outrage over the Russians' atrocities in Chechnya. There wasn't any.

Such talk might lead to a discussion about the futility and the death and the waste of any cycle of violence, and how it's just going to get worse and worse without new ideas about the future. And some people might start to wonder if we, as Americans, should consider if there are any parallels to our own situation in Iraq. And yelling "traitor" every time such a suggestion is made is only going to work while casualties are still "relatively small."

Its time for all of us to get up off our butts and learn a little bit about the world around us.


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