Wednesday, September 20, 2006


By Ivan G. Goldman

We live in a peculiar age. There are so many peculiar news items we barely notice them.

Somebody by the name of Louis P. Sheldon, a minister and chairman of a group that calls itself the Traditional Values Coalition, told the L.A. Times that he disapproved of John McCain for opposing Bush’s proposed “new rules” on interrogation.

“This very definitely is going to put a chilling effect on the tremendous strides he has made in the conservative evangelical community,” Sheldon said. Did you get that? The pro-torture Christians -- and apparently they're numerous -- are going to be pissed. Absurdities pile upon absurdities like black plague corpses.

Over in Japan, they’re fixing to make Shinzo Abe the next prime minister. He thinks Japan, which tortured and murdered innocents and P.O.W.s all across Asia in the 1930's and '40's, is a self-flagellating wimp of a country and needs to stand up and be proud. What war crimes? Sweet Abe’s shaping up as another great ally, like that royal family in Saudi Arabia that sticks women in shrouds in 120-degree heat as a sign of respect.

Another 38 bodies were found sprinkled around Baghdad, most of them tortured. Two more dead U.S. soldiers. How many got their limbs, faces, guts, or nuts torn out we didn’t learn. What the hell. There’s no draft, so who really cares? Millions of demonstrators turned out to oppose Vietnam. Iraq gets groups of maybe 50 or 60 in cities like New York and Chicago where thousands of people can be found in a one-block stretch out doing their errands.

The Pope had to say he’s sorry for quoting a deceased theologian who dared notice that spreading itself by the sword is an integral part of Islamic doctrine.

South Africa’s health minister favors beets, lemons, and garlic to treat AIDS.

Willy Nelson got busted for weed and mushrooms on his tour bus. At last. Sanity.

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