19 July 2003

We Get Letters

I thought I would share the following update I received from the offices of one of my representatives in the United States Senate. Her courage in standing up to these monsters now ruining our country, and her willingness to listen to the many voices she represents has been one of those silver linings in the dark cloud that is our representative (cough) government under Stole Himself an Election.

July 17, 2003

Dear Funny Farm: As someone who I know cares about this issue, I wanted to share with you the statement I gave yesterday on the floor of the United States Senate. I will continue to closely monitor this situation. As always, please let me know if ever I can be of assistance to you or your family.
-- Debbie Stabenow, United States Senator

Ms. STABENOW: Madam President, I rise to . . . commend our service men and women who have served us so well in Iraq, as well as around the world.

We join in our pride and gratitude for their courage and their service.

However, I must rise today to express my deep concern about revelation after revelation of the fragile nature of the facts presented to the American public and the world about the reasons we had to preemptively, unilaterally attack Iraq.

Those misleading words in the President's State of the Union Address this past January have brought into question the credibility of our Government. This is extremely serious. It hurts our country because Iraq is not the only threat to our Nation, as the Senator from New Jersey indicated. We continue to be threatened by terrorists in emerging nuclear countries such as Iran and North Korea. In order to win the war on terrorism and ultimately disarm Iran and North Korea, we are going to have to work with NATO and other allies to protect American citizens.

Unfortunately, the misleading statements about Iraq attempting to purchase uranium from Niger will make building such coalitions even more difficult. This means our homeland will be less safe and our American citizens less secure. This is a deep concern of mine. I wish the misleading statements about Iraq and Niger were the only statements in question that the President and his administration have made to the American people. Unfortunately, there have been others.

First, let's go through what transpired with the statements on Iraq and Niger. Before the State of the Union referencing Iraqi purchases of uranium from Africa, the administration, at the direction of the CIA, took out a nearly identical line in a speech the President gave in Cincinnati last October justifying the use of force in Iraq. Then, the African uranium purchase was back in the State of the Union Address, although we were told now this was a mistake by the CIA director George Tenet. Then, the African reference was dropped from Secretary of State Powell's presentation on Iraqi weapons capabilities to the United Nations just 8 days later. Then, Saddam's nuclear weapons came back with certainty when Vice President Cheney appeared on Meet the Press in March and said, "We believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons.''

This was one of the main assertions used that took us to war, and I believe the American people have a right to know which it is. If it was good intelligence, why the constant change of mind? Either Iraq had nuclear weapons or it didn't. If it was bad intelligence, who kept pushing to use it in the administration speeches and interviews? We need to know the answers to these questions. It is important for the credibility of our country and for the trust of the American people in our Government.

It does not end there. We heard much about specially-made aluminum tubes that could be used to build centrifuges to create weapons-grade uranium. In the same State of the Union where he referenced uranium purchases from Africa, President Bush also said: Our intelligence sources tell us that he has attempted to purchase high-strength aluminum tubes suitable for nuclear weapons production.

But, in fact, an unclassified intelligence assessment back in October stated some intelligence specialists "believe that those tubes are probably intended for conventional weapons programs.''

Last February, Secretary of State Colin Powell told the U.N. Security Council that "we all know there are differences of opinion,'' and that ``there is controversy about what these tubes are for.''

However, the International Atomic Energy Agency, after conducting its own study, concluded the uranium tubes were not for uranium enrichment.

Which is it? Enough time has gone by; we should have and are entitled to answers. We are entitled to the truth. Most importantly, the American people are entitled to the truth. Although we now have more than 140,000 troops in Iraq, we have not yet found chemical or biological weapons or even the plants needed to make them. We have not found evidence of al-Qaida training camps, although in the run-up to the war the administration not only said they were there in Iraq but that they knew precise locations.

Again, this administration has taken us into a new age, an age where we claim the right to unilaterally, preemptively strike another nation because we believe our national survival is at stake. In such a world, the intelligence used as proof for striking first has to be unassailable, has to be totally credible, or the American people and our allies will be deeply suspicious of any future claims.

The claims led to decisions to put American men and women in harm's way and in too many instances have led to the loss of life. We need to find out the truth behind the various claims and questions, legitimate questions that have arisen, questions that have been asked by colleagues on both sides of the aisle, questions that have taken us into the deserts of Iraq and put our men and women in harm's way.

The only way we can get to the bottom of this is to set up an independent commission to get the facts, a bipartisan commission, a way to objectively look at what happened so it does not happen again.

There is nothing more serious than a potential nuclear threat to our people. If there was ever a need for an independent commission, it is now. We now face potential nuclear threats from Iran, from North Korea. We could face more in the future. American families and our American troops deserve answers to the questions that have been raised. We all deserve answers. We all deserve the truth.

I hope my colleagues will join in support developing this independent commission. I believe nothing less than the credibility of our country is at stake. I hope we all join in supporting the Corzine amendment.

I yield the floor.

18 July 2003

Friday Morning Funny

From comments on Matthew Iglesias’ website:

Question: How many warbologgers does it take to screw in a lightbulb?

Answer: Have you read Mark Steyn's column today?

It’s even funnier when you read this piece of propaganda. Many thanks to Matt and The Talking Dog for putting this out there...

17 July 2003

What A Surprise!

MICHIGAN'S FINANCES: Covering deficit turns personal. Capsule summary: you better obey the traffic laws a little more in Michigan. Or you will pay through the nose.

It would be nice if all those idiots who have put Hitler Engler into the governor’s office while he screwed over Michigan for the last twelve years (after promising to leave after he had served (cough) for eight years) would be the ones to get the heftier fines and closer scrutiny that the rest of us are headed for. But I am positive that will not be happening anytime soon.

On a personal note: I have been aware that this was coming for a while now. Why?

Recently I was running around during lunchtime, trying to get six impossible things done before heading back to work. I freely admit I was completely wrong for making a left hand turn out of the fast food restaurant where I did. I also have to inform you that the No Left Hand Turn sign that I didn't notice at the time was partially obscured by plant growth (a bush or a small tree) at the time.

The officer put the lights on immediately. Luckily I do not have to worry about a DWB ‘conviction’ – otherwise I would have been offed long ago. Anyways,... after coming out of the squad car, I see him look at the rear bumper and begin scowling. Maybe it was the bumper sticker that said You voted for Bush, and all I got was this lousy recession. But, I heard no sympathy, no consideration of giving me a warning, none of that. And, I had the wrong insurance card. My insurance had recently expired, and I had neglected to put the new piece of paper with the new expiry date on it with the copy of the registration I keep with me when I drive.

I received a $90 ticket for the improper left turn (and a point or two on my record – I wonder if my insurance premiums will go up as a result?), and a $75 fine for not having proof of insurance in the vehicle. When I asked the officer if I would be able to have the fine rescinded if I produced my proof to the local authorities within 48 hours – which was what was required of me eight years ago when I had the same thing happen – I was told that there would be no leniency for this sort of thing any more. At least he didn’t tell me to ‘Have a nice day!’ as he went away.

The end result: I will no longer drive in that city if I can avoid it at all, and I certainly will not be doing any business there any more. And I have started actively seeking both employment and residence elsewhere. I had finally gotten to the point where I was confident enough in my financial situation to consider going to lunch outside the office. Not any more! And I don’t try to take care of things during lunch, either.

Gee, I wonder why we’re not all out there spending like our drunken cokehead fratboy pResident wants us to?

16 July 2003

Time to Let the Cat Out of the Bag

I cannot tell you how excited I am to let you know, my faithful minions, that the Funny Farm will be participating in the Blogathon that will be going on ten days from now. That’s right – I am going to try and turn it up another notch around here on June 26. So please stop by and offer your encouragement next Saturday. There will be some prizes awarded over the course of the day, some mysteries revealed, at least one sense of wonder instilled, and one mind (my own – hope you don’t mind) boggled for sure. And all for your viewing pleasure, ladies and gentlemen, straight from the Motor City Adjunct here in Hazeltucky.

Of course I can’t let the Ranch Monkey get away from the Pencil Dick Organ Grinder just yet. (cough)

I can go so far as to say that Your Humble Narrator has arranged for all charitable donations from the Funny Farm to be sent to the Frank Zappa Memorial Fund at the French Freedom to Learn foundation (which in itself is an adjunct of the American Library Association. You remember, the ones who saved Stupid White Men from the pulper?). So, I would ask any of my fellow blogathoners, if they are interested, to consider sponsoring the FZ fund as well.

And I hope there will be enough red-assed ditto monkeys amongst the mayhem to satisfy the discerning reader.

Oh, and we’re going to try and put up some banners and links for you to grok on. They will hopefully allow you to Sponsor me in the 2003 Blogathon!.

Thanks to pandagon dot net for supporting this kewl pic for the Funny Farm

From the Mouth of the Beast Itself

Dwight Meredith over at PLA Blog gives us Dwight’s Top Ten Reasons Why pReznit Drunken Cokehead Fratboy’s Specific Whopper of a Lie That We Can Actually Pin Him Down On Is Important. To present those reasons he turns to Jonah Goldberg of the National Review On-line with an assist from Bill Bennett. You can view his original post here.

Top Ten Reasons Why pReznit Drunken Cokehead Fratboy’s Specific Whopper of a Lie That We Can Actually Pin Him Down On Is Important

Cue Jonah Goldberg:

10. “Lying matters, the truth matters”;

9. “It is always relevant”;

8. “No matter what perspective you come from, it seems hard to imagine how anyone can say that the character of the president is irrelevant”;

7. “But all of this is such an old and flagrantly obvious argument which misses the simple, old-fashioned point. Presidents should try to tell the truth and be gentlemen”;

6. It is “about his lying, his untrustworthiness, and specifically about his pathological need to have everything both ways”;

5. “Americans understand that truth telling matters, I think. I hope.

4. “We will never have all the facts at the disposal of a president, which is why philosophy and temperament are important. While a "plan" is simply a list of things that will go wrong, temperament and philosophy are predictive of how someone will act in new situations”;

3. “If you are a gifted and relentless liar in one sphere of life, you will in all likelihood be a liar in all spheres of life”;

2. “Lying goes to the heart of politics and turns it black”;

And the number one reason that Mr. Bush’s lie is important (cue Bill Bennett) is:

1) “Public office is a public trust, and people who violate it ought to be held accountable.”

Anyone want to ask Mr. Bennett what the odds are that many of the blowhard Media Whores could have Top 50 Lists?

15 July 2003

Half A Loaf

Some of you might remember, on Roast the Savage Weiner Day, one the gags I did was a letter to the CBC where I mentioned the Savage Weiner by name. Well, fellow travelers, that letter was indeed real.

To show you how a classy organization responds to a distraught possible future customer, here is their response:

Dear Funny Farm:

Thank you for your message. Your interest in MADE IN CANADA and THIS HOUR HAS 22 MINUTES is appreciated.

From your email, we are pleased to read that you are such a fan of the above named programs. You obviously feel very passionate about these shows and we are glad that they have effected as deeply as you have expressed. With respect to MADE IN CANADA, after five successful seasons on CBC Television, the decision was made to close out the show. Hopefully this is not too much of a disappointment to you. While repeats of the program can be seen in the current CBC Television schedule, we look forward to future projects with cast members and production personnel from the show.

On the other hand, THIS HOUR HAS 22 MINUTES will be back with new episodes for the 2003/2004 season. Be sure to tune in!

Once again, thank you for contacting us. We hope this information is helpful to you and that you remain tuned to CBC programming.


Harith Hasanie

Communications Officer CBC Audience Relations.

I received this response by the beginning of the next week (my email was sent to the CBC on Thursday, June 26). Getting an official response in that quick of a turnaround (Monday, June 30) is, frankly, astounding customer service.

I am sad to see Made In Canada go. Will Rick Mercer come crawling back to the set of 22 Minutes? Will Colin Mochrie (another good Maritime bye he is, too!) be tossed casually aside, consigned to the nether hells of network TV with Drew Carey? Will we actually see Five Quinlan quints? Stay tuned to the Funny Farm News Burrow. We’ll get to the bottom of this mess...

It’s even worse than Uggabugga thinks, too...

Further to Uggabugga’s analysis:

I see that uggs has noticed some of the, um, flaws in the Shrubbery’s handlers logic. But, I pose the question: hasn’t there been something else going on here? Is the cost of the war included in the deficit projections? I don’t think so! The $150 billion the junta’s we’re stealing from Social Security is paying for the rape reconstruction of Iraq, so far. So, doesn’t it need to be added to the already doubled record budget deficits under the accounting rules, upping that $600 Bil to three quarters of a trillion dollars?

Isn’t the junta’s abuse here tantamount to double-dipping? With one dip into our grandparent’s pockets, and another into our grandchildren’s pockets? Inquiring minds want to know...

Does Bartcop Read the Funny Farm?

You bet your sweet bippy he does! Even Bill Bennett won’t take odds on that bet. The Tequila Treehouse is right up there in the Links Zone for a reason, fellow campers. He hits all the high points of the day, of course including the same things outraging noticed by Your Humble Narrator. But to see, once again, another picture (the winning one, actually) from the contest – well the synchronicity of it is nice to behold.

But did the chicken come before the egg, or was it the other way around? I am privilieged privileged (cough) to catch the early edition of BartCop in the members section – so maybe I have been unduly influenced .

Then again... (and oh I cannot tell you how long I have been waiting to use this)
even a blind squirrel finds a nut once in a while!

Could it be. . . SATAN?!?!?

Yes, that’s my poor excuse for a Church Lady impression. But I thought you might be interested to note that Stole Himself an Election told us 666 days ago that he’d catch Usama.

Maybe that bounty hunter will go after the $25 million reward that is still being offered for Usama’s capture. I wonder why no one else has tried to claim it yet (cough cough neverlivetospendBFEEmoney cough cough).

They Have to Change the Graphs Again

From Eschaton this morning,

Thanks, Putsch!
you can see in the pretty picture that the junta has broken the bottom of the graph and is heading down off the page altogether. Like you used to see in all those silly commercials for so many years.

Maybe that’s why pRezNit CEO seems so comfortable doing it. He can remember it (it is within his 45 second attention span), and it made him laugh (it’s always funny for the BFEE when somebody else screws up – and that’s how far the mental [cough] processes go).

Too little to do, too much time to do it. Strike that – reverse it. Talk amongst yourselves, while I go tend to other matters...

14 July 2003

Some Humor to Relieve the Tension

This would be funny if it wasn’t so sad: Limbaugh will be voice of fan on ESPN NFL show. Guess who I won’t be tuning in to any more? And, seeing as my only television interaction right now is the Daily show and sports (and there’s no sports that I like on TV right now), this impacts me more than most.

Wouldn’t it be nice if there was an outpouring of viewer dissatisfaction that causes ESPN to change its’ decision?

I wonder if anyone, besides the Fashionable Left Bank of Blogistan, is aware of his recent poll results? If anyone reading this who watches CNN remembers hearing them announce that poll where over 90 percent of the people think Smirky McWarHardon is at fault for the mistakes in the State of the Union address. It wouldn’t have been all those pictures of him pretending to read the script studying the State of the Union address that were published by the White House just before that particular qWagmire came on. I remember the SOTU breifly because I had to watch this:

Get me off this stage, boys!
in order to get some pictures for a fun game at he time. It’s even funnier today, but in a much more bittersweet way – because you have to laugh these days to stop from breaking down...

And, by the way, as 0f 1930 Eastern, today’s hard-hitting Wolf Blitzer poll question:

Do you believe Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction on the eve of the war?
Yes 1647 13 percent
No 10666 87 percent

Well, don’t just sit there! Go torture Wolf yourself!

Lots to do, and some to tell you in a couple of days – once I get it all organized properly. In the meantime, go to Blah3 and look at the stories he talks about today. Some interesting things indeed. Plus my oh my the people over at Atrios are also in fine form today! Go look...

Squad! Tell the... Joke!

With thanks to Lambert over at Atrios for inspiring the title of this post, in which I introduce our first collaborator, er, contributor to the Funny Farm, Snoozie Q, who has given us this gem:

Overheard in an actual conversation:

Nurse: What seems to be the problem, sir?

Patient’s Father: It’s my little girl. She’s been, um, having trouble with her vowel movements for the last couple of days.

Nurse [pauses briefly to collect herself]: So, she’s consonated, then?

[maniacal laughter rolls through surrounding area]

Congratulations to Snoozie Q on her first contribution to these hallowed (cough) halls. We look forward to featuring her here again!

13 July 2003

Ahhh… I Love the Smell of Coverup in the Morning

I have just gone to read the full article about the Lockheed Martin employee who went berserk and killed five coworkers and wounded nine more before killing himself while he was attending an employee ethics class. For the first time. Because he had been ’randomly’ selected.

Now, I don’t know about your neck of the woods, but where I come from, if this clown had done anything like his initial racist actions, there would have been some sort of internal company investigation about the situation. And, if he subsequently did half of the stuff he reportedly did in his nineteen years there, he would have been required to go to the employee ethics courses upon his second reported incident. Possibly some counseling and further evaluation would be considered as well. And if there were several more incidents, as there appear to be in this case, he would have been out the door soon after one of them. Which strikes me as one way to help try and prevent this from happening in the future, perhaps?

The place where this took place, Lockheed-Martin, where he was making parts for (I would have to guess at least some of) those gub’mint airplanes coming out of that plant for those nineteen years, just happens to be the district of Representative Chip Pickering (R – Insensitive Elitist God Squad Racist), Senator Trent Lott (R – Elitst God Squad Cheerleader Racist), and Senator Thad Cochran (R – Elitist Fat Cat Racist).

Let’s listen to Pickering’s official statement from his own website:

’We grieve today for a tragedy that cannot be explained’, he said. ‘As a community we will come together, we will pray together, we will comfort the families and we will comfort those who have experienced a loss’.

Well, Chip, maybe your God will tell you about this little problem down around where you and your family (ostensibly) live called racism. It’s, generally speaking, when a piece of white trash ‘free and independent Southern Rights activist’ decides he doesn’t have enough of the finer things in life because some of those non white-male types have taken some of his piece of the American Dream, and then takes some form of firearm in hand to rectify the situation. And it seems to me to be a likely explanation for the primary motivation for this troubled individual’s actions.

I just thought some of the more sanctimonious of your church goers this morning might reflect on some of the fruits of the Christian teachings of years go by. In this particular case, I am referring not only to racism. I am also referring to something called miscegenation, which has been rationalized from a number of pulpits since before our Founding Fathers came to be. And is such a ridiculous piece of crap, I wonder how anyone can even justify their ancestors practicing it, much less being proud of it. Not to mention any group in particular or anything (cough cough Southernstrategery cough cough). Then again, I am continually reminded that I tend to wonder about a lot of things that most people take for granted (cough cough theWordoftheLord cough cough). And I, um, occasionally, ask questions that most people don’t want to concern themselves with, or would prefer not to examine too closely.

I think that’s enough Standup Philosophy for one morning. Go forth and enjoy yourself!

The More Things Change

Did you know, gentle reader, that if you by perchance are some sort of Zappa fan, and you have either high or low bandwidth (they seem to have thought ahead about that), you can go to the Zappa website and plug into Zappa Radio? A glorious Sunday morning which is capping another wonderful weekend here at the Funny Farm is subtly enhanced by listening to Burnt Weeny Sandwich. And, of course, finding a not-too-subtle reminder of Frank’s prescience whilst doing the research for this post.

It is also interesting to note that, although these words were penned almost twenty five years ago, and almost certainly were, um, inspired, by the whole recording industry censoring that was begun in the late seventies, they seem eerily resonant in our Back to the Future times:

Eventually it was discovered
That God
Did not want us to be
All the same

This was
Bad News
For the Governments of The World
As it seemed contrary
To the doctrine of
Portion Controlled Servings

Mankind must be made more uniformly
The Future
Was going to work

Various ways were sought
To bind us all together
But, alas
Same-ness was unenforceable

It was about this time
That someone
Came up with the idea of
Total Criminalization

Based on the principle that
If we were All crooks
We could at last be uniform
To some degree
In the eyes of
The Law

Shrewdly our legislators calculated
That most people were
Too lazy to perform a
Real Crime
So new laws were manufactured
Making it possible for anyone
To violate them any time of the day or night,
Once we had all broken some kind of law
We'd all be in the same big happy club
Right up there with the President,
The most exalted industrialists,
And the clerical big shots
Of all your favorite religions

Total Criminalization
Was the greatest idea of its time
And was vastly popular
Except with those people
Who didn't want to be crooks or outlaws,

So, of course, they had to be
Tricked Into It . . .
Which is one of the reasons why
Was eventually made

, Joe’s Garage, end of scene Eight - 1979