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"It is better to be drunk with loss and to beat the ground, than to let the deeper things gradually escape."

- I. Compton-Burnett, letter to Francis King (1969)

"Cynical realism – it is the intelligent man’s best excuse for doing nothing in an intolerable situation."

- Aldous Huxley, "Time Must Have a Stop"

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Wednesday, 25 August 2004

Topic: Oddities

Three odd political items...

Item One: If it's good enough for Paul Wellstone....

Dana Milbank in the Washington Post - Tuesday, August 24, 2004; Page A15 - notes this -
The White House travel office signed a contract last week with an airline called Primaris to fly the press corps to Bush events. The two-month-old company has only one airplane. True, media representatives gave their blessing to the deal. But that was before they learned that the company's president twice had his pilot's license revoked related to his flying of an "unairworthy" aircraft, that the chief executive flopped in his last attempt to start an airline and that the 15-year-old plane itself was damaged in a hailstorm a decade ago and spent most of the past two years mothballed in France.
Rick, The News Guy in Atlanta, adds this -
I like the way the coup de grace was saved for the end: "France."

It is said that when a Chinese person wants to insult a foreigner who doesn't know any better, he presents him with the gift of a clock. (Something about a reminder that he will die someday, maybe soon.) And I imagine that when the Bush administration wants to insult you, it makes you fly around in a rickety old plane that spent its last two years in France.
No problem, as Rick no longer works for CNN and his wife is was never a reporter/anchor there, but she is an executive who manages resources, like reporters. Will she advise not taking the pool plane?

Item Two: No wonder Bill O'Reilly fumes about the Canadians and is calling for a US boycott of all Canadian products...

Carolyn Parrish is at it again.
OTTAWA, Aug 25 (Reuters) - It was damned bastards last year, "idiots" this year.

Canadian Member of Parliament Carolyn Parrish had said she hated "damned Americans" and called them bastards in the run-up to the Iraq war. She found a new moniker, idiots, on Wednesday in discussing the planned U.S. missile defense system.

"We are not joining the coalition of the idiots. We are joining the coalition of the wise," the Liberal legislator told a small group of demonstrators.

Parrish, who had to apologize for her "bastards" remarks last year, at first denied using the term idiots, and when reporters pointed out they had her remarks on tape, she said: "I don't mean Americans are idiots."

"The world respects Canada. If we were to join this then it will be giving credibility to what they're doing," she said.

Parrish then begged reporters not to use the remarks: "Please guys don't put that on tape," she said. "I already got into trouble once.... Really, please, I've had enough trouble." ...
What? Is she afraid of Bill O'Reilly's once more calling for boycott of Canadian goods and services? Well, he did single-handedly destroy the French economy, according to the Paris Business Review.

Item Three: Life Imitating Art - Paddy Chayefsky LIVES!

MSNBC notes this -
NEW YORK - Al Franken wants you to get up out of your chairs, open your windows, stick your heads out and yell...fuggedaboutdit?

Well, yes.

In the spirit of Paddy Chayefsky's classic movie monologue from "Network," the liberal comedian Wednesday urged New Yorkers -- and other Americans -- to simultaneously scream the all-purpose local wisecrack at the moment that President Bush accepts the nomination.

"This is a form of protest that is very non-disruptive," Franken said at a press conference in the Park Avenue office of Air America radio network, where he hosts a talk show.

Franken said the Sept. 2 protest, called the "Great American Shout-Out," will not "tax our public safety system at all."

"This is our way of venting," Franken added. "It will be a catharsis."

Franken said he expected the shouts to last less than five minutes. Out of "respect for the office of the presidency," he asked that participants quiet down once Bush begins speaking so "people can hear him give a bad speech."

Franken said he expects 100 million people nationwide to participate, adding: "Anything less would be a horrific failure."

Unlike the movie version -- "I'm as mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore!" -- this protest has been tailor-made for regional dialects, Franken said.

In his native Minnesota, people are to yell "Oh no ya don't!" in an exaggerated accent.

In California, the suggested shout is: "No way, dude!"

Air America has created a Web site,, where participants can plan "shout parties" or let their solo shout be counted.
Franken has been floating this idea for the last week or two. I'll lean out my window at the appropriate time and report back if I hear ringing choruses of "No way, dude!"

Posted by Alan at 19:55 PDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Updated: Thursday, 26 August 2004 08:11 PDT home

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