Well this has to be my favorite news item of the year so far. A few days ago, eagle-eyed observers noticed that a certain quote from an "Iraqi citizen who preferred not to be identified" in an Army press release sounded an awful lot like a quote from an earlier press release. Today, the military has issued an apology for this "administrative error."

More of the liberal media picking on the poor military-industrial complex? You decide. Here's a quote from an anonymous Iraqi citizen in a July 13 press release:

'The terrorists are attacking the infrastructure, the children and all of Iraq,' said one Iraqi man who preferred not to be identified. 'They are enemies of humanity without religion or any sort of ethics. They have attacked my community today and I will now take the fight to the terrorists.'

Stirring. Truly stirring. Now, a quote from another anonymous Iraqi on Sunday, July 24:

'The terrorists are attacking the infrastructure, the ISF and all of Iraq. They are enemies of humanity without religion or any sort of ethics. They have attacked my community today and I will now take the fight to the terrorists,' said one Iraqi man who preferred not to be identified.

Well, that should put to rest any concerns you might have about the veracity of military media output. Like any advertising firm or magazine, the Army has a bunch of poorly-paid college kids (does the military have interns?) sitting around churning out boilerplate "stock footage", if you will, to perk up the daily body count.

I applaud the military for its efficiency – thanks for recycling, guys! – but condemn its lack of creativity. If you're gonna make shit up, go nuts. Ginandtacos recommends the following (attn: military – feel free to use these!)

  • At the scene of the bombing, an Iraqi citizen who asked to remain anonymous said "I detest this insurgent violence and eagerly await the day when the might of the American armed forces can help me, a newly-converted Evangelical Christian, rid the world of the brown Islamic horde."
  • "Poorly aimed airstrikes demolished my home and killed 6 of my children, but I'm happy to pay this price to rid my neighborhood of insurgents and make it safe for multinational investors" shouted one man from the assembled crowd.
  • In the line of hundreds – maybe thousands – of Iraqi men clamoring to join the Iraqi Defense Force, one man who preferred to remain anonymous said "The only honor greater than this was getting to meet Triple H and Kid Rock on the USO tour."
  • As they fled the scene of their bloody attack, an insurgent shouted "My murderous actions would be impossible without the liberal American media and their allies in public Universities. Allah is great."
  • Concerned Iraqi citizens shouted, "The bloodshed will not end until Judge Janice Rogers Brown gets an up-or-down vote in the Senate."

  • Man, maybe I missed my calling.


    Hey, kids! Want to have some fun learning neat things about your hometown and the surrounding area? Well check out the Superfund EnviroMapper. Combined with a quick perusal of the NPL (National Priorities List, or the sites that are actually causing legally-actionable human illness and can't be ignored any longer) you can find all the best spots for contracting thyroid cancer in your neighborhood.

    Superfund is, of course, the government agency set up in the wake of Love Canal to clean up some of the thousands of toxic, carcinogenic chemical waste sites left over by the glories of unregulated capitalism. Yes, it's badly under-funded and has been trying to clean up some sites since the early Reagan years, but money's tight. It's the thought that counts anyway, right?

    I'll leave you with a fun fact – the entire cost of every program conducted by Superfund in its 25 year history has been about $15 billion….about 25% of the amount allocated in the 2006 budget for military "development and evaluation" of new weapons systems.


    I'll assume that, like me, you're more than a little surprised that John Roberts Jr. has been selected to replace Sandra Day O'Connor on the US Supreme Court. Under the circumstances – those being a Republican Senate, Republican House, Republican President, and wave of irrational jingoism that has engulfed the general public – Roberts is basically as good as it gets for liberals.

    Is he a moderate? Not really. Is he a liberal? Of course not. But given Bush's modus operandi for the past five years, we should all calmly realize how much worse this could be. Roberts is not a member of a creepy religious sect (unlike favorite whipping-boy Sen. Sam Brownback, who lives in a place called Ivanwald – which, aside from sounding like a concentration camp, is a male-only compound run by a subsect of Opus Dei). He lacks the neo-conservative jihad attitude that threatens to turn the Constitution into toilet paper. He has a far better understanding of the relationship between the law and average citizens than Robert "There is no such thing as a right to privacy" Bork and the like. He's never worked for a lobbying firm, corporation, or trade group. He has referred to Roe v. Wade as a legal precedent he is willing to respect. Face it, Bush isn't going to appoint Gloria Steinem. Under the circumstances, Roberts is more than palatable.

    Democrats will kick Roberts' tires and make a big show out of confirming him grudgingly, but confirm him they will. It would require a nominee far, far more insane than Roberts for the Democrats to successfully bear the brunt of a year-long shitstorm of bad publicity while delaying the proceedings.

    So what gives? Allow me to enlighten you for a moment.

    The rush of wind you feel right now is every incumbent GOP Senator north of the Mason-Dixon exhaling (with RNC Chair Ed Gillespie chiming in). On the heels of the vehemently unpopular Terri Schiavo pandering by the GOP, the last thing the party could have tolerated was Bush forcing the issue on a lunatic-fringe Court nominee. Simply put, 2006 Republican Senate candidates in "blue states" or moderate Mid-America are already going to have the fight of their lives to get re-elected. To further burden them with a forced yes-vote on someone like William Pryor would be a death sentence for many. The Lincoln Chaffees and Rick Santorums of the world might as well post their resumes on right now if that were to happen. So, first and foremost, the Roberts choice takes the 2006 race for control of Congress very strongly into account.

    Secondly, it is believed that William Rehnquist is not going to last 4 more years. He's going to try, god bless him, but his health is so fragile that Bush can realisitically expect to have a second appointment before his term expires. By appointing Roberts now, he has created a situation in which he "has to" appoint a female to replace Rehnquist. He will argue that the 8-1 male superiority on the Court must be remedied when he appoints his old back-slapping Texas buddies (not to mention totally unqualified ideologues) Priscilla Owen or Janice Rogers Brown to replace ol' Cancer Bill. By appointing a sorta-moderate male now, he will place significant pressure on the Senate to confirm a conservative lunatic female in the future. After the 2006 elections, of course.

    The one pitfall in this plan is the prospect that Rehnquist will refuse to die. He is more than adamant that he will never retire unless his health prevents him from doing his job. I believe it. He would have retired by now if he planned to do so. Bush is making a calculated gamble – he feels the odds of the 80 year old chemotherapy patient Chief Justice living until 2009 are slim. He may be right.

    If he is, expect the Rehnquist replacement to be a truly appalling, unqualified person whose minority status will guilt the Democrats into confirming her (see also Thomas, Clarence). If Bush is wrong and the old fucker refuses to die, then his legacy on the high court will be nonexistent – Roberts for O'Connor will be, in the longest view, a wash.


    I don't know what's better, the idea of getting to be an "apprentice" or the fact that IU has something called a Cyclotron.

    Position#: 00028876 (Second Listing)

    The Indiana University Cyclotron Facility is seeking an operator who will learn to tune and run the Cyclotrons. Shift work is required and the person filling this position will work all three shifts on a rotating basis.

    Qualifications: Two years post-high school training in electrical, electronics, mechanical, drafting/design, machining, computers, or accelerator operations. Experience in an accelerator laboratory or a bachelor’s degree or equivalent in physics or other science is preferred. The position will start at the Apprentice level with opportunities for advancement.


    As the mighty TremFu gears up for its historic, precedent-setting tour of Bloomington – seven nights, seven venues, seven shows – I use this page as a forum for publicity one final time. Why? Because it's mine, dammit.

    Yes, we're mainly playing Monday through Thursday for our own collective edification. The actual "shows" are once again Friday, July 15 at Second Story and….wait for it….at Rhino's on Saturday, July 16 as part of Plan-it-X Fest. The lineup features actual bands with talent such as This Bike is a Pipe Bomb, Defiance Ohio, Los Gatos Negros, and more.

    Be sure to bring a few bucks for a t-shirt. Why? Well each one is hand-made and therefore unique. We started with green Goodwill t-shirts with some sort of Shaman figure on them, then we spray-painted our band name on top of it. As a finishing touch, I took a paint marker and wrote a different puerile obscenity on the back of each one. One of a kind, one and all.

    As an added bonus, with the amount of spray-paint we got on the collars, the shirt may in fact get you fucked up. Yes, this is retarded. It's all retarded. A retarded tour by a retarded band deserves retarded shirts.

    Show your discriminating taste by becoming one of our retarded fans.


    On the heels of the passing of Ol' Dirty Bastard, Perot 92 vice-presidential running mate Admiral James Stockdale has died at 81.

    "Big Baby Jesus, I can't wait…."

    Admiral Stockdale famously opened the 1992 vice-presidential debate by stating "Who am I? Why am I here?" – a pair of questions that neither he nor anyone else could convincingly answer. His main claim to fame was a Congressional Medal of Honor and seven years' detention in a North Vietnamese POW camp.

    With two lovable lunatics dead in such a short period of time, the global population of certified nutcases should be getting nervous. Death comes in threes, as we all know. So who's next? Given the cosmic debt that Tom Cruise has brought down upon his kind in the past few weeks, the smart money is on David Miscavige, the current fascist at the head of the cult pyramid scheme known as Scientology. For extra credit, I'm going to get specific and say "mortally wounded while shredding tax documents" as the cause.

    Seriously, is anyone not creeped the fuck out by this picture?

    Although if there were any justice left in the world, Coroners would list the cause of death for Scientologists as "God fixing a mistake."