TW3


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That Was The Week That Was — disturbing; I suggest the flamingo decapitators and Mum-snuffing Scot be sentenced to eat every lick of the bathtub cheese.

Also — McCain’s choice of ABBA as backdrop for democracy qualifies as a national emergency … do ANYTHING to beat him back!

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

Jude

HARPER’S WEEKLY REVIEW
October 30, 2007

Wildfires spread from north of Los Angeles to south of San
Diego, killing at least seven people, consuming more than
1,800 homes, burning a half-million acres, setting Camp
Pendleton afire, forcing about 300,000 San Diego residents
to evacuate, and prompting California Governor Arnold
Schwarzenegger to declare seven counties disaster areas
and to mobilize the National Guard. At the Qualcomm
Stadium in San Diego, typically home to the Chargers but a
place of refuge for 20,000 evacuees during the fires, an
air-conditioned medical tent was erected, a cell-phone
provider offered free calls to anywhere in the United
States, volunteers distributed coloring books and crayons
to children, coolers brimmed with cold sodas, residents
piled sandwich meat onto bread, and a massage therapist
and acupuncturist set up shop. FEMA apologized for holding
a fake press conference on the wildfires, with FEMA
staffers posing as reporters. “Are you happy with FEMA’s
response so far?” asked one fake reporter. “I’m very
happy,” said Deputy Administrator Harvey Johnson, “with
FEMA’s response so far.” The Government Accountability
Office reported that more than 755,000 names now appear on
the U.S. terrorist watch list. Turkish Prime Minister
Recep Tayyip Erdogan asked the United States for military
help with the Kurdish rebel group PKK. “We have a
disturbance,” said Erdogan. “What kind of disturbance did
the United States have with Iraq?” President George
W. Bush phoned Turkish President Abdullah Gul to tell him
that the United States was willing to bomb PKK
strongholds. “It’s not ‘Kumbaya’ time any more,” said an
official familiar with the conversation. A DNA study
revealed that some Neanderthals were redheads.

Harry Potter creator J.K. Rowling revealed that Dumbledore
was a gay wizard. “It’s been terrible,” said an English
father of five who was teased by coworkers because of the
$1,200, two-foot-tall Dumbledore tattoo on his
back. Defense Minister Lee Tien-yu scrapped the Taiwanese
military’s “loving hug” policy, which required squad
leaders to embrace new recruits and say, “Brother, I will
take care of you” (to which recruits respond by saying,
“Leader, I respect and love you”). Lee canceled the policy
after a lawmaker who thought the policy was inappropriate
insisted the Defense Minister accept a hug; “We are not
that close,” said Lee. The $5-million African Leadership
Prize, an award designed to encourage good governance in
Africa, was awarded to former Mozambique president Joaquim
Chissano, who ruled his country for 18 years before
stepping down in 2005. “Those who govern badly,” said an
analyst at the South African Institute of International
Affairs, “bag a lot more than $5 million.” The Sudanese
government announced a unilateral cease-fire in Darfur
during peace talks hosted by Libyan leader Colonel Muammar
el-Qaddafi, who spoke about the Rodney King riots in Los
Angeles before concluding that other countries should not
interfere in Darfur. The state of Georgia had less than 80
days of stored water left. Governor Sonny Perdue banned
the washing of state vehicles, ordered inmates to take no
more than one shower a day, and insisted that state
departments use paper plates at least once a week. At a
high-security auction in Texas, a bookstore owner paid
$100,000 for a lock of Che Guevara’s hair.

Senator John McCain promised workers at Thompson Center
Arms, a small-weapons factory in Rochester, New Hampshire,
that he would “follow Osama Bin Laden to the gates of
hell” and “shoot him with your products.” McCain also
promised that if he were elected “the background music
would be ABBA in the elevators all over the White House”
and proposed “Take a Chance on Me” as his campaign
song. Elvis Costello sang to Hillary Clinton at her 60th
birthday party, and a still-living 405-year-old quahog
clam was found near Iceland. The warming climate of
Greenland meant that for the the first time locally grown
cauliflower, broccoli, and cabbage could be sold in local
supermarkets. General Motors announced it would open a new
research center into alternative fuels and vehicles in
Shanghai, and a Scottish man was placed on a sex offenders
registry for raping a bicycle. Another Scottish man was
sentenced to five years in jail for smothering his
76-year-old mother with a pillow not long after she told
him he was a failure who could not even kill himself
properly. “I woke up,” the man told police, “and just
decided to do it.” A New Zealand woman died while nursing
her baby son; the child was smothered by her corpse. A
couple in southern California was facing criminal charges
for attempting to sell 375 pounds of bathtub cheese, an
attack on the Frankfurt zoo left three flamingos
decapitated and a fourth strangled, and in Florida one
18-year-old stabbed another after a squabble at the mullet
festival.

– Claire Gutierrez
http://harpers.org/archive/2007/10/WeeklyReview2007-10-30

“So keep fightin’ for freedom and justice, beloveds, but don’t you forget to have fun doin’ it. Lord, let your laughter ring forth. Be outrageous, ridicule the fraidy-cats, rejoice in all the oddities that freedom can produce. And when you get through kickin’ ass and celebratin’ the sheer joy of a good fight, be sure to tell those who come after how much fun it was.”
~ Molly Ivins, 1944 – 2007

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.

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