November 7, 2005

no bad dream fucker's gonna boss me around

photograph by sarah small.

* Top Ten conservative idiots. excerpt:

"8. Donald Rumsfeld

"It hasn't received much coverage in the mainstream media - at least not in America anyway - but it's currently reckoned that about 200 of the inmates at Guantanamo Bay are taking part in a hunger strike which is eliciting concern from the International Red Cross.

"Why are they doing this? Because they want to be treated in a manner consistent with the Geneva Conventions. Best of luck with that one.

"Of course the military have put their own spin on the situation, calling the hunger strike a 'voluntary fast,' with a mere 26 participants. 21 of those participants have apparently been hospitalized for "assisted feedings" via a tube placed up the nose and down the throat. According to The Nation:

"...someone committed to self-starvation could easily remove such a tube, if he had any freedom of movement. So we can surmise that there is a line of twenty-one hospital beds, each with a prisoner held tight in four-point restraints. His head must be strapped down, immobile, and forcible sedation seems probable. Hardly the image evoked by the term 'assisted feeding.'

"Thank goodness Donald Rumsfeld is here to explain the situation more clearly. Last week he told reporters, 'There are a number of people who go on a diet where they don't eat for a period and then go off of it at some point. And then they rotate and other people do that.'

"So let me get this straight... down at Six Flags Guantanamo Bay the inmates have 'never been treated better;' in fact we're feeding them so much honey-glazed chicken and lemon-baked fish that every so often they decide to go on a diet!

"George Orwell must be vomiting in his grave."

* From an interview of Barry Hannah.

Interviewr: You’ve said you learned something from your drinking. Most people wouldn’t admit that, that it got them somewhere. What was it you learned?

Hannah: It’s unfortunate that I learned something through booze. Everybody does, but ultimately on the level I was using, it was sickness. Jail, hospital, DUIs. Briefly it worked, to be frank, but that was on three beers and exactly where, if I was to appear on television today as a spokesman for anti-alcohol, I’d say, Listen, if you need more than three beers, worry.

Interviewer: So it got your creativity going?

Hannah: Right. Gosh, I hate to publish this, because young people will do anything it takes. But at first, yes. Teaching at Clemson was very hard work. I’d come home, put down the babies—and I was trying to be a good father and I think I was—but then that freedom, it was astonishing, my God. Every man or woman who comes home and takes a glass of wine or a couple of hits of bourbon on the rocks knows what I mean. Just this total loosening and release from the white noise of the day, so that you enter another zone. Instead of going to sleep I would hit the typewriter and sometimes write until four and teach my classes very haggardly. But I was often taught that everything is worth it for art. Everything. It was a cult. I remember Bill Harrison saying, 'Don’t play with your child that much.' In other words, don’t be that good of a father. Get to that book. The ideal was Flaubert, who labored seven years on Madame Bovary and sweated out every word, le mot juste, the right word. So yeah, I learned things that way, but on the other hand I would have learned things had I been sober.

* Carl Hiaasen on Jack Abramoff's other problems. excerpt:

"The glistening slime trail left by lobbyist Jack Abramoff leads to an infamous homicide scene in South Florida.

"And while the indicted bosom buddy of indicted Rep. Tom DeLay says he had nothing to do with the mob-style execution of casino fleet founder Gus Boulis, Abramoff probably wasn't turning cartwheels when three men were recently charged with murdering Boulis back in February 2001.

"One of the defendants is Anthony 'Big Tony' Moscatiello, identified by police as an associate of the Gambino crime family. Moscatiello is a longtime pal with lawyer Adam Kidan, who was Abramoff's partner in what prosecutors say was a fraudulent purchase of Fort Lauderdale-based SunCruz casinos from Boulis.

"Kidan and Abramoff go way back. At the Georgetown Law Center they were both members of the College Republicans.
"It's an ugly story, but not the worst of Abramoff's legal problems. That would be his partnership with Kidan, whose keen business acumen and sterling ethics had already led to multiple bankruptcies and the loss of his New York law license.

"In 2000, Abramoff shiningly recommended Kidan to Gus Boulis as a buyer for the SunCruz casino boat fleet, which Boulis was being forced to sell because he wasn't a U.S. citizen.

"The buyout sounded like such a sweet deal that Abramoff decided to go 50-50 with Kidan, and the papers were finally signed in September 2000.

"Boulis, who'd kept a stake in SunCruz, soon became enraged with Kidan's free-spending management. Among those hired for catering and security services were Kidan's old mob friend Moscatiello and another upstanding citizen named Anthony 'Little Tony' Ferrari. When Boulis started to raise hell about the money, things grew so tense that Kidan got a restraining order and even hired three bodyguards.

"Boulis filed suit, and the next month he was dead, shot to death in his BMW after leaving his office in Fort Lauderdale. Like Abramoff, Kidan says he knows nothing about Boulis' murder."
"Abramoff was coasting along nicely, ripping off the Indian tribes, until the SunCruz indictments last summer. Today his big-shot friends can't help him, and wouldn't if they could.

"Once a star and darling of congressional Republicans, Abramoff is now political poison. No more skybox parties or free Scottish golf vacations for the Speaker of the House. No more schmoozing with Ralph Reed and Grover Norquist.

"Indicted in Florida, under fire from McCain in Washington, Abramoff can now look forward to an upcoming mob-hit trial in which his once-golden name might be unflatteringly invoked.
"The players and politicians who are so desperately distancing themselves from Abramoff would prefer that we think of him as some small-time hustler, a fringe sleazeball who crawled out of the shadows.

"He wasn't. He was a big-league hustler and a mainstream sleazeball. And he was all theirs."


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