Tuesday, August 31, 2010
NEW YORK—With polls showing him trailing in New York's Republican primary race for U.S. Senate, candidate David Malpass told reporters Friday he planned to accuse his opponent Bruce Blakeman of racism just to see if it caught on with anybody. "It couldn't hurt, so I might as well give it a shot," said Malpass, explaining that his campaign had whipped up an ad accusing Blakeman of making disparaging remarks about Hispanic-Americans. "I'll just kind of float the idea and see if it gets any traction. If it does, fantastic; if not, well, I wasn't really married to it anyway." According to sources, Malpass then shrugged. (Onion)
Posted by theo at 3:13 PM
Friday, August 27, 2010
From The Miami Herald:
In a gratifying show of multicultural sensitivity, the US Navy has announced that the forced tube feedings of prisoners staging hunger strikes to protest illegal detention and torture will be performed only before sunrise and after sunset--out of respect for the Islamic custom of fasting throughout daylight hours during Ramadan.
According to Pentagram spokesman: “Each detainee receives 5,500-6,000 calories per day and has six menus to choose from." To demystify [force feeding] a bit, Navy prison camp hospital workers some years back created a display of different flavored supplements and let visiting reporters handle a sample yellow rubber feeding tube.
By last summer, staff were pointing to Butter Pecan flavored Ensure as popular with the chair-shackled captives. Flavor made no difference going down, one nurse explained, but a captive could taste it if he burped later.
Posted by theo at 11:24 AM
Monday, August 16, 2010
Pakistan is in the midst of one of the worst humanitarian crises in modern history. More than 20 million people have been displaced by floods whose extent beggars the imagination; at one point, an area the size of Great Britain has been underwater -- and more floods are coming. Millions face the threat of immediate starvation. In the wake of the water and the massive displacement, disease is growing, with "6 million children are at risk of life-threatening diarrhoeal diseases, malnutrition and pneumonia," as the Guardian reports. "Stagnant flood plains in densely populated, poverty-stricken urban areas may become breeding grounds for cholera, mosquitos and malaria." UN chief Ban Ki-moon calls it the worst natural disaster he has ever seen.
Yet you could go days without hearing or reading about this epochal suffering. And in the UK, you could read yards and yards of print about the UK-Pakistan cricket series without being disturbed with ugly scenes of children dying in their own watery filth--or, indeed, with any of those annoying pleas for donations that always crop up in other disasters.
The looking-away from this disaster is extraordinary.
Meanwhile, as the Pakistanis were literally trying to keep their society afloat in a world-historical cataclysm, Peace Laureate Obama was lobbing a few more missiles into remote Pakistani villages, killing alleged "rebels" in yet another in a series of illegal acts of aggression on the sovereign territory of an American ally.
Posted by theo at 6:25 PM