January 14, 2008

Money don't get me down but I can't make it last

Joel Meyerowitz,Red Interior Provincetown, 1977

* Top ten conservative idiots. excerpt:

10. George W. Bush

"And finally: Middle East peacemaking hasn't just been on the back burner for Bush, it's been on the back burner of the old stove which he packed into his pickup a few years ago and dumped in the woods twenty miles out of town. But that all changed last week when, after coming to the conclusion that he's already fixed America's problems, Our Great Leader decided to drop by and solve the Israel/Palestine conflict.

"According to the Associated Press, 'Bush says these conditions in Israel and the Palestinian territories now are ripe for a more aggressive U.S. role.' Because let's face it, if there's one thing that spells Middle East peace, it's George W. Bush and 'a more aggressive U.S. role.'

"So how did it go? Well, after being greeted in Jerusalem by his security cordon of 10,450 police officers who shut down the entire city center for three days, Dubya quickly warmed to his role as a visiting dignitary. According to AFP:

"'Lights in the Old City of Jerusalem will be turned off before dawn this week so visiting US President George W. Bush can get a better view of the sun rising over its ancient walls.'

"Bush, who arrives in the Middle East on Wednesday for a visit lasting more than a week, had made a request to watch the sun rise over the Old City from his suite at the King David Hotel, a municipal spokesman said on Tuesday.

"How special. I hope they were also able to fulfill his other requests. You know George can't go anywhere without a diamond-encrusted salad bar, solid gold toilet paper, and an ice sculpture of Jesus Christ that pisses Jim Beam.

"But the bottom line is that Our Great Leader's Great Middle East Tour was a smashing success. 'I believe that a peace agreement between Israelis and Palestinians that defines a Palestinian state is possible this year,' he boldly declared in his weekly radio address.

"And the headlines certainly bore out George's optimism. 'Bush ends peace mission without breakthrough' trumpeted an Associated Press story. 'Many Palestinians Ho-Hum Over Bush Visit' blared another. And as Reuters reported:

"'To talk about a peace treaty to create a Palestinian state within a year is a fairy tale,' veteran U.S. Middle East negotiator Aaron David Miller told Reuters. 'It does us no good to inflate and raise expectations that are unrealistic.'

"But George won't let the skeptics get him down. After all this is the same guy who just announced that America's economy 'is on a solid foundation.' Yes, a strong economy, peace in the Middle East - the future sure looks bright when viewed through the rose-tinted glass of the presidential crack pipe."

* California appeals court does the right thing. excerpt:

"Police can't enter a home without a warrant just because they see someone inside smoking marijuana, a state appeals court ruled Friday.

"In overturning a Pacifica man's conviction, the state Court of Appeal in San Francisco said officers may enter someone's home to preserve evidence of a crime - but only if the crime is punishable by jail or prison.

"Under a 1975 California law, the court noted, possession of less than an ounce of marijuana is a misdemeanor carrying a fine of as much as $100, with no jail time even for a repeat offense. That means police who see someone smoking can enter only if they have the resident's permission or a warrant from a judge, the court said.

"The case dated from March 2005, when Pacifica officers came to an apartment where loud noises had been reported, smelled marijuana as they approached, and looked through an opening in the window blinds to see someone smoking what appeared to be a marijuana cigarette among a group of people.

"Over the objections of John Hua, who lived at the apartment, police entered and found two marijuana cigarettes in the living room, 46 marijuana plants in a bedroom and an illegal cane sword on a bookshelf, the court said. After a San Mateo County judge upheld the search, Hua pleaded no contest to cultivating marijuana and possession of the cane sword and served a 60-day jail sentence, his lawyer said.

"In defense of the search, prosecutors argued that police had reason to believe there was more than an ounce of marijuana elsewhere in the apartment - enough to subject Hua to a possible one-year jail sentence - and that Hua or others might be committing felonies by handing marijuana cigarettes to each other.

"The court said the first argument was based on 'mere conjecture' and the second was a misinterpretation of the law, which prescribes the same maximum $100 fine for giving away a marijuana cigarette as for smoking it. Justice Mark Simons wrote the 3-0 ruling.

"The court recognized that 'California's law treats possession of marijuana as the least serious crime,' said Hua's lawyer, Gordon Brownell."

* Ten American writer drunks.

* "I exercise extreme self control. I never drink anything stronger than gin before breakfast." -- W. C. Fields


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