Potsmokers aren’t terrorists

Those TV ads that try to equate a pot smoker with a bomb wielding terrorist were not only facetious, but just begging to be parodied the first time they were shown. And seeings a recent study proved that most SUV drivers are assholes, I’m totally behind this new TV ad campaign by Americans for Fuel Efficient Cars that equate such drivers with terrorists. After all, I’d rather roll a spliff than roll over and crush my spine. Plus, isn’t the administration’s aim in equating drug takers with terrorists a way to excuse putting more black and brown people in jail?

The Daily Mirror Rocks

Man, the British tabloid press just loathe the Shrub. Check this out. Remember a few months ago when this was just being sent ’round as an email gag?

linked via Die Puny Humans
Now it’s a major headline! It’s almost enough to forgive them for the other 28 days of the month when they obsess, front-page like, over Patsy Kensit, David Beckham’s sperm-based offspring, Diana’s bodyguard, somebody’s knickers, and the fact that Edwina Currie had a four-year affair with John Major (that, I didn’t need to know).
And could you imagine any U.S. newspaper getting away with these?

All covers from The Daily Mirror Online
And who would have a career (or freedom) in the States after attempting this choice piece of muckraking reporting?

Jan 14 2003
Exclusive by ROSA PRINCE
THE Mirror penetrated Sizewell nuclear plant yesterday exposing horrifying security lapses that leave it wide open to an al-Qaeda attack.
On the day Tony Blair appealed for greater public vigilance in the war on terror we breached two wire fences to stand 40ft from the plant’s nerve centre – and potential disaster.
One group of activists even managed to enter Sizewell’s vital Control Building for three hours. Five other campaigners scaled the 120ft dome containing the plant’s reactor.

I mean, they cut through the perimeter fence to show it could be done!
So, once we get herded into the John Ashcroft Memorial Salt Mines/Rehabilitation Camp, do you think we will we be able to subscribe and read about ourselves?

I got me an IKEA Poang chair

The IKEA Poang chair is one of the comfiest chairs I’ve ever sat in. So comfy, that I often feel quite decadent relaxing in one. And ever since my friend Jon got one, I’ve been waiting to get my own.
And so today was the day!

It’s their most popular chair for good reason, and every couple of months they lower the price. I got mine for $79 (plus $40 stool, essential for really zonking out). I think it originally came out priced near $175. And as with most Ikea product, it was easy to put together for Jessica and I, though I don’t know how long it would have taken me alone.
Not everybody likes Ikea. Take this Salon.com article for instance, which mentions lots of reasons to distrust the brand, the store, the concept. I bet the author never sat in a Poang…
Finally, I did a Google image search on “Poang” and got this:

Photo from Swedish Skating Association
It’s the Swedish female skating team! More difficult to assemble, but very comfortable to sit on.

The Bushwacked Press

The British may have those awful tabloids, but they seem to have a freer press. An interesting story from The Guardian.

Bushwhacked Bushwhacked
With war looming it is no good the American public looking to its newspapers for an independent voice. For, says Matthew Engel, the press have now become the president’s men
Monday January 13, 2003
The Guardian
It is more than 30 years ago now, though it seems like yesterday. A Republican president, much derided by liberals, was in the White House and his opponents were being lashed by the rightwing attack dogs, led then by the vice-president, Spiro Agnew.
The elite East Coast press, exemplified by the New York Times and the Washington Post, were the special targets of his scorn: “pointy-headed liberals,” he called them, and “the nattering nabobs of negativism”.
But the press laughed last and longest. Agnew resigned in disgrace, to be followed by his president, Richard Nixon – forced out by the investigations of two Post reporters, Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward, whose doggedness revealed Nixon’s role in covering up the Watergate break-in and sundry other crimes. It remains one of the greatest – maybe the greatest – moment in the history of American journalism.
Now there is a new Republican president, elected even more controversially and pursuing a far more divisive agenda. Where are the pointy-head liberals now? The change can be summed up in Woodward’s own career. As the Watergate investigator, he not merely protected his sources, he glamorised them. Now, still on the Post staff, he functions as a semi-official court stenographer to the Bush White House. And it is notable that those who talk to him – such as the president himself – always play the heroic role in his stories.

Sokolski Gives the Game Away

My letter to BuzzFlash got printed today, a brief, not too articulate post about a debate on North Korea seen on MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour. This was pretty shocking stuff, as you’ll see.

BuzzFlash Mailbag – January 13, 2003
Uh, United States…your slip is showing.
Hi there folks,
If anyone watched last night’s (Friday’s) MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour on PBS there was this slightly whitebread discussion on North Korea hosted by Ray Suarez, talking to Joel Wit (ex-State Department) and Henry Sokolski (ex-first Bush administration, and senior military legislative aide to Sen. Dan Quayle).
It was the usual stuff, but then Sokolski answered this question and stumbled. His face showed that he had got into the sentence halfway and then realized he was giving the game away. The sentence is here in the last paragraph below:
> RAY SUAREZ: Well, the Senate is going to be out of session for a little while,
> but the two senators from Arizona, John Kyle and John McCain, are proposing a
> bill now that would impose sanctions on North Korea. Is that the way to go?
> HENRY SOKOLSKI: Well, I think at a minimum — the short answer is yes. But at
> a minimum, we should at least cut off the further construction of two nuclear
> plants, each of which could make 50 bombs’ worth of weapons grade material in
> the first two months of operation.
> RAY SUAREZ: Cut off how, though?
> HENRY SOKOLSKI: End it. And particularly the United States is critical in the
> completion of those reactors. Only U.S. parts are — U.S. parts — excuse me
> — are critical to complete the plant. We should simply say that we are not
> going to send those to a known violator of the NPT.
Suarez just let him continue as if the guy hadn’t admitted we could stop the whole North Korea reactor crises if WE DIDN’T GIVE THEM THE PARTS!!! So who makes the parts? What parts? Is the government still going to send them to N. Korea? It was a breathtaking goof up, but Sokolski should not have worried–he was on American TV.
Oh, for a Jeremy Paxman-style interviewer.