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But wait, there's more.

There's just no polite way to say "Buy me things", is there?

Join codebastards, I dare you. Remember, codebastards are us.

I'm baded and jitter. So are these people. (And why not follow the previous, next, or random links?)

Need a band name?

Doug vs. Japanese Snack Foods: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.

rant is where the heart is

diaryland: sirilyan.diaryland.com: entry for 2001-10-07 (15:46:00)
In which our plucky young hero doesn't worry about the kidney thieves, either.

I got asked for a political rant, so here it is...

Dave Barry once wrote about the essential accuracy of the Weekly World News headline Giant Flying Cat Terrifies States. Well, it turned out that the cat was not giant. It was unable to fly. It did not terrify anybody, and it was seen in only one state, where the county sheriff suspected it was a stray who was living off scraps from dumpsters. But since the main point of the headline (Cat) was completely true, there was no reason not to take the story at face value.

We now have a second headline to put in that same hallowed category, and it is United States Rewards Taliban With $43 Million As Part Of The War On Drugs.

Well, "rewards", "Taliban", and "War on Drugs" were complete bullshit. But the point ($43 Million) is true.

The United States did send that amount of foreign aid to Afghanistan, as part of famine relief efforts. They gave it to international humanitarian agencies, not the Taliban. And they didn't tie it to any work the Taliban may have done in eliminating opium production.

So, you may ask, if this story is so bogus why did you hear about it in the first place? The answer is that one reporter, Robert Scheer, was extremely lazy. He read a New York Times story about the $43 million in foreign aid, assumed that this was a bribe for the Taliban, and wrote an angry article about it for the Los Angeles Times. From there, it spread like wildfire among those who are, we shall say, pleasantly predisposed toward those who reaffirm their belief that United States foreign policy is always evil.

Just like the Vince Foster "murder", the Taliban "millions" have become an unquestioned part of the folkloric history of the United States. It doesn't even matter that much if it's true or not, because the weighty rhetorical value is so much more important than any mere "truth" about the matter. Hillary Clinton personally shot Vince Foster in the head; the United States gave the Taliban $43 million as a drug war bribe; and if you send enough business cards to Craig Shergold, he'll show up in the Guinness Book of World Records.

(Oh, and don't just take my word on any of this: read about it for yourself at Spinsanity. They provide plenty of links, including Scheer's original article and the State Department's announcement of the aid package.)

Remember, folks, question everything... especially the stuff that sounds plausible and agreeable to you and plays up to your prejudices and biases. Otherwise, the giant flying cat will get you too.

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