discarded lies: monday, april 23, 2018 12:13 pm zst
selling meteors to dinosaurs
daily archive: 02/21/2005
evariste in Discarded Lies:
Get used to bloggers
This op-ed repeats a few things that everyone should already know, but bear repeating.
Most people realize that the news media do not just report. They frame and package the news. Stories reflect the mind-set and values of the newsroom. This packaged world is now under heavy assault, partly because different packaging is available (Fox News, talk radio), partly because a strong unpackaging industry has arisen (bloggers, bolder anti-establishment voices in academia and traditional media).

For instance, last year the very smart political scientists Louis Bolce and Gerald De Maio completely unwrapped the orthodox newsroom view of religion and politics. They described the basic media view this way: "The Christian right, having infiltrated the Republican Party, is importing its divisive religious ideas into our public life, whereas the Democratic Party is the neutral camp of tolerant and pluralistic Americans." Writing in First Things magazine, the authors conclude that secularists and religious people have been struggling against each other for many years, but in the newsroom accounts, one struggler (secularism) essentially disappears, leaving the religious side as oddly divisive people who want to take over the culture and "impose" (vote) their values.

The authors believe newsrooms have been partisan in the debate for many years, partly because so many reporters are Democrats who do not go to church and do not fully understand that secularism is basically an aggressive quasi-religion now central to the core constituency of the Democratic Party.

Some Democrats (i.e., Hillary Rodham Clinton ) are beginning to understand this. When she said recently that believers have the right to live out their faith in the public square, she was taking dead aim at the secularist goal of banishing religion from public life.

In the Eason Jordan story, we have something new: retroframing, or the sad attempt to reimpose a discredited frame. Jordan, CNN's chief news executive, said something on a panel (we still don't know exactly what), the gist of which was that U.S. soldiers had deliberately shot at journalists in Iraq . This was a serious charge, particularly coming from one of CNN's high priests, but the major media essentially looked the other way for many days, thus signaling that nothing important had happened.

But bloggers descended quickly, demanding to see the unreleased videotape of the panel and asking about Jordan's evidence. Jordan "walked (the story) back," as one commentator said, meaning that he softened what he apparently had said. But he resigned, essentially because of the case made by the bloggers.

Here's the retroframing: Some mainstream media fell back on their traditional view of bloggers as inaccurate, upstart nobodies who dare to criticize their betters. Last week, for instance, The New York Times, which had looked the other way for two weeks, ran a story dripping with disdain. Headlined "Bloggers as News Media Trophy Hunters," it offered a simple-minded view of bloggers as wild conservatives out to collect liberal scalps. The story was laced with quotes assuring us that bloggers are a "lynch mob" of "salivating morons," fanning fears of "the growing power of rampant, unedited dialogue" on the Internet (as opposed to the completely reliable and unrampant reports in mainstream media).

To make its case, the Times gave a sanitized account of Jordan's comment on his panel and made no mention of two Democratic politicians, Rep. Barney Frank and Sen. Christopher Dodd, who were present at the panel and told the press they were aghast at what they heard Jordan say. Dropping Frank and Dodd from the story upheld the theme of out-of-control conservatives descending on famously liberal CNN. Jordan's explanations that he was talking about mistakes and collateral damage caused by U.S. forces was directly contradicted by Frank, an anti-war liberal, who told the New York Sun that Jordan had said "he knew of about 12 journalists who had not only been killed by American troops but had been targeted as a matter of policy." Nothing like this appeared in the Times.

Why some in mainstream media keep depicting bloggers as inaccurate is a mystery. In the blogs I follow, accuracy is crucially important, and errors have to be admitted quickly, usually on the day of the mistake. Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit.com suggests that mainstream media might want to hire some bloggers to check their stories before publication. This is a cheeky but polite reminder that bloggers are in the checking business, and big media should get used to someone looking over their shoulder.
The New York Times: still up to the same old tricks. This is our paper of record? Not in my universe.
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evariste in Discarded Lies:
Jeb Bush is a moral coward
Wittenberg Gate: Jeb Bush Could Save Terri Schiavo’s Life…If He Wanted
Recently, the US Supreme Court paved the way for the execution of Terri Schiavo beginning February 22. She is the brain- damaged woman whose husband has been trying to starve and dehydrate her to death for years. Florida Governor Jeb Bush should have responded, "You better believe I’m not going to allow an innocent woman to be executed in the most cruel way imaginable in my state! We wouldn’t do that to a dog, and I’m not about to let it happen to Terri Schiavo! No sir, not on my watch!" Instead, we got: "I will do whatever I can do within the powers that have been granted to me by law and by statute. I will do whatever I can. I'm not going to do more than that," and "I really don't know what options we have available, but I will take whatever options I think there are."

Perhaps I can help. Florida’s state constitution says "All natural persons, female and male alike, are equal before the law and have inalienable rights, among which are the right to enjoy and defend life and liberty, to pursue happiness...No person shall be deprived of any right because of race, religion, national origin, or physical disability." The fact that a Circuit Judge continues to ignore Florida statutes does not change the state constitution. Jeb Bush took an oath to uphold that constitution and yet
(despite receiving 120,000 e-mails begging him to save her), he let Terri Schiavo starve (and dehydrate) for six days back in October 2003 until the Florida legislature passed a law that gave him political cover. Now that the courts have struck down "Terri’s Law", don't be surprised if Jeb behaves as if the constitution he swore to uphold is still not relevant to Terri Schiavo. Don't be surprised if he allows her husband to slowly starve and dehydrate her to death.

As you know by now if you’ve seen the videos, Terri tries to communicate and is fully aware of what is going on around her. There is also medical evidence to suggest that a criminal investigation should be launched to try to determine whether her husband may have caused her current disabled state back in 1990. What you probably don’t know is: (A) there never was a local criminal investigation of Terri’s case in Pinellas County; (B) I personally handed the medical evidence to Jeb at a public appearance he made at a nursing home dedication on August 21, 2003: and (C) former federal prosecutors (now with the Thomas More Law Center) gave Jeb all the legal justification he would have needed to personally intervene on Terri's behalf on the first two days of her six-day ordeal!

Consider his track record. On Day Two of Terri’s starvation (October 16,2003), Jeb said his legal staff could find no statutory justification to intervene in the court decision that approved Terri's death. Richard Thompson (chief counsel of the Thomas More Law Center) shot back: "Nobody is asking the Governor to intervene in the civil case. We are asking him to initiate an independent criminal investigation based on a list of facts that suggest criminal wrongdoing. We have outlined for the Governor some of these facts, and confirmed his Constitutional authority to act. The fact that he has chosen to confuse the public by referring to the civil case, completely ignoring the request that we presented, reveals a lack of moral courage and political will. We expect the Governor to do the right thing, and so far, he has refused to do so."

In the ensuing 16 months, Jeb has steadfastly refused to order the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to do an investigation. Is he more concerned about how he is perceived by the editorial boards of Florida’s big daily papers (most of whom want Terri dead) than with saving an innocent woman's life? Dr. James Dobson of Focus on the Family recently "renewed his call for the preservation of the life of Terri Schiavo." If we really want that to happen, we need to put the heat on Jeb. E-mail him at jeb.bush@myflorida.com.

P.S. Did you catch what the swiftvets did to John Kerry? For that matter, have you noticed the growing influence of blogs? If Jeb lets Terri die, it probably would not be wise for him to run for office again.

Doc Washburn is a radio talk show host in Panama City, FL.
I didn't know much about Jeb Bush until I read this; I'm not very impressed with him now that I've read it. The apple didn't fall too far from the tree (I similarly think very little of George HW Bush). We sure got lucky with Dubya.

Jeb has Constitutional authority to save this woman's life. He won't use it. What else is there to know? Michael Schiavo is showing more courage and perseverance in his quest to finish murdering his wife and profit handsomely than Jeb Bush is in stopping him.

A thimbleful of cognac to Norma for this one.
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zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
The Peace Process
While we're busy patting Sharon in the back for giving in to the world's demands for a Judenrein Gaza, the Arab press is not giving an inch: the Gaza withdrawal is meaningless and doesn't even qualify as a concession for peace because it's not "painful" enough. Keep this in mind, future ME peacemakers.
Qatar's al-Watan daily said in its editorial that although Israel might appear to have made a "historic concession" to the Palestinians by dismantling the settlements in the Gaza Strip to pull out, there were other important issues that called for pessimism. The pro-government paper commented that Israeli leaders have made no secret of their insistence on maintaining all Jerusalem as its "eternal capital," that the Palestinian refugees were not to be allowed to return to their homes and that the Jewish state was not about to make "painful concessions" for peace. It added the withdrawal from Gaza "has no meaning because the occupation of the Strip was a great burden on the Israelis." The paper said the important decisions taken by the Israeli Cabinet were "another bad indication of the difficulty of reaching a just, comprehensive and durable solution to the Arab Israeli conflict."

The United Arab Emirates' al-Khaleej commented in its editorial on the same issue, saying that Sharon was seeking to give a false image of himself by pulling out of the Gaza Strip, describing Sharon as "filled with hatred, extremism and racism." The pro-government daily, with independent Islamic leanings, said the Israeli leader wanted to withdraw from Gaza to get rid of a great security burden "that the Israeli occupation army could no longer bear" and to alleviate the burden of the scattered Jewish settlements there. It accused him of having turned this "forced withdrawal" into a political gain "to improve his image as a man of peace" and a security gain to consolidate the settlements in the West Bank. The paper argued that moving the settlers from the Gaza Strip to the West Bank showed that Sharon did not intend to withdraw from the Palestinian territories and that the aspired independent Palestinian state, in its form, size and role, was "hostage to his (Sharon's) own will." It added that Sharon was being "clearly malicious, but he will remain that Sharon whose hands are stained with the blood of thousands of Palestinians and Arabs."
Arab Press Roundup: February 21, 2005

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zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
Pakistani Tribal Council Orders 2-Year-Old Girl to Marry 42-Year-Old Man
A tribal council in Pakistan has ordered the betrothal of a 2-year-old girl to a man 40 years older to punish her uncle for an alleged affair with the man's wife, police said Monday.

The council decreed the girl must marry 42-year-old Mohammed Altaf, her uncle's cousin, when she turns 18, police said.

Altaf, a farmer, divorced his 32-year-old wife over her alleged love affair with his 20-year-old cousin, Mohammed Akmal. Akmal, a bachelor and also a farmer, has no children.

Altaf asked tribal elders in the village of Kacha Chohan, about 215 miles west of the city of Multan in Punjab province, to convene a panchayat, or council, on Feb. 15 to arbitrate and propose a punishment. As punishment, the elders ordered the girl's betrothal and ruled Akmal should also pay a $3,800 fine to the husband.

Village councils in conservative rural regions of Pakistan traditionally rule on local disputes including those involving a family's "honor" purportedly being besmirched by allegations of improper sexual behavior. The councils can dictate harsh — and sometimes illegal — punishments.

In 2002, another village council near Multan ordered a woman gang-raped as punishment for her brother's sexual relations with another woman. A court later convicted six men who perpetrated the rape and sentenced them to death. They are appealing the sentences.

Police chief Maqsoodul Hassan said an investigation has been started into the case involving the 2-year-old girl, but they have made no arrests as no one had filed a complaint.

None of the parties to the dispute could be reached for comment Monday.

Rashid Rahman, a lawyer and Multan-based coordinator with the independent Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, condemned the village council's decision.

"These types of panchayats are illegal and nobody has the right to take a decision about a child's life," he said. "This country has its legal system and all decisions should be taken under it."

He said that the betrothal of a minor did not itself break the law, but forcing a woman to marry against her will carried a maximum 14-year jail sentence. Underage marriage is also illegal but is only punishable by a fine.

Pakistanis Order Betrothal of 2-Year-Old
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evariste in Discarded Lies:
Winds of War Monday is up!
This week, Bill Roggio gave me the week off because I covered him for the last two weeks of Easongate. Isn't that nice?
Winds of Change.NET: Winds of War: Feb 21/05
Topics include:
Hillary agrees with Austin Bay; Hezbollah is scared of losing their sugar daddy; Bashar appoints the bro-in-law chief of Mukhabarat; Kuwaiti newspaper says Hariri murder was co-plotted by Syrians and Lebanese; the week in mullahs; Russia plans to continue aiding Iran's nuke program; UFO/IFOs in Iran; Leaving Gaza; Tunnel war tech; Iraqi irregulars; CIA/FBI terror briefs; The PDB's future; another Saudi "charity" indicted; Pakistani insecurity; India's Patriot [missile] games; Deconstructing Theo's murder; Projecting power; More claims against SEALs; and more....
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zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
Segregated Nonsense
Here's a headline that made my blood boil: Segregation Lives on in California Prisons
In one of the darkest corners of California, a state that prides itself on its liberal values, official racial segregation lives on, impacting hundreds of thousands of prison inmates.
I read that sentence and I immediately felt transported to Alabama of forty years ago.
In a state where school children sing paeans to civil rights icons such as Rosa Parks and Caesar Chavez, prison reform advocates argue prison segregation should end. The U.S. Supreme Court is considering the issue.
I haven't heard any paeans sung by schoolchildren and since I have no kids and no cable tv, maybe I'm wrong about this but I'm just wondering: could it be that these guys are separated for their own protection? 'Cause it's not paean-singing schoolchildren who are being segregated in those prisons, just murderers and stuff. Well, here's how it's done according to the California Department of Corrections:
After the sixty day reception period, the inmate is either transferred to another prison or assigned to a single cell, double cell, or dormitory. Race is not used as a factor when determining who will be assigned to a single cell. If assigned to a double cell, the inmate is encouraged to choose his own cellmate in order to reduce violence and maintain compatibility. Dormitories house inmates considered nonviolent. Therefore, in dormitories, inmates of different races are placed together.

With the exception of the reception cells, the rest of the prison is fully integrated.

Racial segregation in California prisons (PDF)
Doesn't sound so racist, does it?
Even when the races are mixed after an initial 60-day reception period, prisoners often interact mostly and sometimes exclusively with members of their own race.
Well, of course they do. In California, the population is 32% Hispanic, 47% white, 6% black and 11% Asian. There's been a huge problem with gang violence over the last two decades. Prisons are segregated more by gang than by race and even within the same ethnic community people have to be separated even further because of their gang affiliations. Hispanic inmates risk a severe beating if they're seen talking with a black inmate or even another Hispanic from a different gang. Will legislators and prison reformers who are screaming "segregation" take this into account? Yeah, right.
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evariste in Discarded Lies:
The other Communist regime that murders babies
NK defector claims forced abortions
I've read about this before in testimony of North Korean escapees to Congress. It's truly horrifying but certainly nothing new for North Korea; we've had reports that say this kind of thing since the mid 1990s.
A North Korean defector testified to have witnessed forced abortions and infanticide at a detention camp in North Korea.

"I heard the cries of both mother and child through the curtain (at a hospital). And through the partially open curtain, I witnessed the nurse covering the infant's face with a wet towel on a table, suffocating it," a 28-year-old identified as Park Sun-ja told an international conference on North Korean human rights abuses Tuesday.

"The baby stopped crying about ten minutes later," added Park, whose real name was not provided to protect her.

Seven other North Korean defectors appeared at the 6th International Conference on North Korean Human Rights and Refugees, testifying about human rights violations on North Koreans.

But it was Park's testimony that was the most gripping. She said she stayed at Shinuiju Provincial Detention Camp for two months after being caught in China and deported to the country of her origin in 2000. She finally succeeded in gaining asylum in South Korea in 2002 after her second escape attempt.

She said injections to cause miscarriage were the norm at the detention camp. "All the prisoners there believed that all infants were killed immediately upon delivery and wrapped up in a piece of cloth before being buried at a nearby hill," she said.

Human right groups raised the issue of compulsory abortions and infanticide at detention camps in North Korea in the early 2000s, but North Korea strongly denied the accusation.

"I cannot even imagine how she may have felt," Park said, her voice quivering as spoke in front of some 100 people. "I heard that these kinds of acts were done before, but once I saw them with my eyes, I didn't feel like living in the society again."

Her hair tied back neatly, she also recalled painfully the traumatic experience of inhumane treatments at the camp.

"Severe beatings through the use of sticks, fists (punching), and feet (kicking) were standard practice," Park said. "Cells were infested with insects, fleas, lice, and other parasites. It was disgusting."

Referring to heavy workloads at the camp, she said, "While I was starving, I was also forced to do extremely difficult and laborious farm work, which was extremely tough to me."

When she was caught again by Chinese police on her second escape attempt, Park told them, "Go ahead and detain me as long as you wish. I will defect from North Korea ten or twenty times regardless of how long you hold me for!"

Human rights experts were also at the three-day conference, which was arranged by the Citizen's Alliance for North Korean Human Rights.

Some left-wing civic groups boycotted the conference, saying it only denounces North Korea and does no good in improving the human rights of North Koreans.
Yeah, not denouncing them has worked great so far to improve North Koreans' human rights. That's some seriously specious reasoning. What is it with the left? Everything is rearguard, reactionary anklebiting with them now.
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evariste in Discarded Lies:
I want to repent. I want to be a real human being.
I hope you have a strong stomach.
It is hard to imagine an issue that affects people on a more visceral level than reproductive rights- not only because of the physical intrusion into a person's most private physiognomy, but also because of the basic instincts and emotions involved.

China is a country where governmental intrusion into reproductive rights arguably surpasses that of any other society. Couples are told when or if they can have children, women's menstrual cycles are monitored, and persecution for noncompliance ranges from fines, detention and the razing of homes to permanent sterilization and forcible termination of an unauthorized pregnancy, regardless of its stage of development.

"Better Ten Graves than One Extra Birth" (the book's title is drawn from a 1994 family planning slogan in Henan Province) does not attempt an even-handed presentation of the moral outrages committed in the name of China's one-child policy, and one wonders if such a presentation is even possible or desirable. Yes, there may well be room to debate what measures are necessary for China to rein in its enormous population. But is there any population crisis of any proportion that could possibly justify a woman in an advanced stage of pregnancy being forcibly induced into labor, and having to watch a doctor "euthanize" her fully-formed infant?

"Better Ten Graves" references a wide range of sources, from government documents to local newspaper reports to on-theground research. It provides a history of China's population policy (which not surprisingly originated with the Communist Party) from its first stage, when Mao, with typical hubris, encouraged more births, to the increasingly panic-stricken second and third stages that progressed from encouraging smaller families to banning large ones. Quoted figures and studies show there is still considerable variance in local implementation of family planning policy on the basis of geographical location and timescale, which must cause all the more confusion for families in their compliance with or avoidance of family planning regulations. The book's presentation is not always as polished as it might be, but then, no one would read this book for enjoyment- it is necessarily an almost unrelentingly unpleasant read from beginning to end. Most chilling is the testimony of Gao Xiaoduan, a former family planning official from Fujian Province who defected to the United States. In her capacity as a family planning cadre for 14 years from 1984 to 1998, Gao was responsible for overseeing 38 full- and part-time staff in enforcing policy for 22 villages with a total population of 66,000.

Gao's testimony at a U.S. Congressional hearing in 1998, which is reproduced in "Better Ten Graves", starts with a detached bureaucratic description of computer data banks of fertile women and the issuing of "birth permit certificates," and even the first mention of "abortion surgery" performed on out-of-plan pregnancies passes the eye rather smoothly. Gao notes that in January to September of 1996, her family planning unit carried out 256 sterilization surgeries, 386 device insertion surgeries, 41 artificial abortions (under three months' gestation) and 71 induced deliveries (over three months' gestation).

When Gao moves into her own story, the emotional level of her testimony rises markedly. After having their first and only daughter in 1984, Gao and her husband adopted a boy in late 1993, but had to leave him with another family because even that adoption violated family planning policy. Gao observes that her implementation of that same policy, and witnessing its effects on others, increasingly gnawed at her conscience. "I myself did so many brutal things, but I thought I was conscientiously implementing the policy of our 'dear Party,' and that I was an exemplary citizen, a good cadre."

During one inspection, Gao found a woman nine months pregnant out of plan and took her in for an abortion. "In the operation room, I saw how the aborted child's lips were sucking, how its limbs were stretching. A physician injected poison into its skull and the child died. It was thrown into the trash can. To help a tyrant do evil was not what I wanted. I could not bear seeing all those mothers grief-stricken by induced delivery and sterilization. I could not live with this on my conscience. I, too, after all, am a mother."

Unable to continue living a dual life as a "monster in the daytime" and a loving mother at home, Gao fled her country. "Here, to all those injured women, to all those children who were killed, I want to repent and say sincerely that I'm sorry! I want to be a real human being." This remark of Gao's gets to the crux of the matter, which is that a society in which such brutal measures can be taken is a society that does not recognize basic humanity. China's family planning policy not only destroys countless lives, both of the unborn and of their families, but also reduces the individual life to something that is expendable and without value. It contributes to phenomena such as the discarding of girl infants and revolting practices such as the cooking of aborted fetuses into medicinal stews. The list of family planning slogans provided in one of the book's appendices makes for a particularly depressing read (an example: "Fewer Children, More Trees; Fewer Children, More Pig Farms!").
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zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
Seven handy, easy-to-utter phrases
President Bush is going to Brussels on Tuesday to make nice with the Eurobrats and Denis Boyles has a few suggestions for him on Euro-Speak. Read the whole thing, it's wonderful. This is my personal favourite:
Start a “No European Left Behind" program. Anti-Semitism, like anti-Americanism, is a permanent part of the European cultural landscape. But, according to an EU study reported in Le Nouvel Observateur, the situation has “seriously degraded" in the last five years. Anti-Semitism, needless to say, is a pretty reliable indicator of a lousy education. As a result, it’s impossible to make the French, Germans, Belgians, and others understand that Israel is a consequence of their own bloody history and that they therefore have a responsibility to protect that which they forced into creation. This lack of basic education shows sometimes even among those who go to fancy schools like Eton. In Britain, only a small fraction of people under 30 knew anything about Auschwitz until Prince Charles’s clever lad, Harry, decided to go partying with a swastika on his Nazi costume.

In France, it’s not at all uncommon to meet schoolchildren who have no clear understanding that their government eagerly collaborated in the Holocaust. “We never learned that in school," a couple of kids in Provence remarked. Because peace in the Middle East means a greater likelihood of peace in the world, European leaders must explain to their citizens their responsibilities regarding Israel, and stop playing enabler to anti-Semitic terrorism, as France is doing with Hezbollah by refusing to call the terrorists what they are — and that would be terrorists to anyone but the French and Reuters. This quiet support of Hezbollah is hardly reported in the French press, as this rather disingenuous Libération piece describing Chirac’s flying to Beirut suggests. The description of his gray suit is nice, though.
(a thimbleful of cognac to loverofallotherhaters)
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throbert in Channel Ж:
Russian jokes


Seems like a good time to take a break from the heavy religious stuff, and since Q and packen have been giving my sadly atrophied Russian comprehension skills a good workout with an assortment of off-color jokes по-ру??ки, I thought I'd share the results of my labors with the rest of the DL crowd.

Plus, I wanted to show off my new Hover Footnotes™. Regular DL readers know that you can use the "title" function with emoticons to add comments that show up when someone hovers their mouse over the image. Well, the <span> tag lets you apply a "title" to text, too -- it's the perfect way to add a short explanation without hyperlinking to a separate page or cluttering your sentence with parenthetical comments. For this Root Cellar entry, I've used underlining to mark words or phrases that have a Hover Footnote™. Now, on with the jokes!

* * *

Ilya Muromets, the mighty bogatyr was riding along when he came to a fork in the road and a carved stone reading: "If you go to the right, you'll lose your horse. If you go to the left, you'll turn into a bitch."

"Fuck that shit, Ilya Muromets ain't no man's bitch," scoffed the knight, and took the left road.

Soon Ilya met Zmej Gorynych, three-headed Firebreathing Dragon of the Mountains -- one, two, the vorpal blade went snicker-snack, and off came the heads. Ilya continued on, till he came to the lair of the wicked warlock Koshchei the Immortal. He kicks the shit out of Koshchei, rides on, meets the witch Baba Yaga and kicks the shit out of her...

The Nightingale Bandit, watching from above, observes "Damn, this guy's like Faye Dunaway in Mommie Dearest, but on PCP."

"Well, after all, sweetie," chirruped the Frog Tsarevna, who happened to be sitting on the Robber's shoulder, "you remember what the sign said!"

[Hmmm... maybe would've worked better with "cocksucker" after all? Fortunately, the rest of the jokes translate much more easily.]

A court is hearing a case about adultery in a public place -- the "Culture and Relaxation" park. The witness is called to the stand: Maria Ivanovna Ivanova, the neighborhood patrol person.

Prosecutor: Ms. Ivanova, tell the court what happened.

Ivanova: Well, m'kay... I went out that night on my per-trol, I'm walking along, I look, and there in the bushes -- they're fucking!

Prosecutor: Ms. Ivanova, you're in court -- please watch your language!

Ivanova: Well, I'm just saying -- I went out, I'm walking, I look, and there in the bushes... they're fucking!

Prosecutor: Ms. Ivanova, I'm warning you for the last time -- use a more appropriate expression: they were having intercourse.

Ivanova: Gosh, Mr. Prosecutor, that's what I mean to say: I went out on my per-trol, I'm walking, I look, and there in the bushes, I can see them "having intercourse." But then I stepped a little closer, and it turned out that they were fucking!

* * *

Santa Claus comes out to his Santa chair in the mall where the kids are waiting -- all drunk, with a cigarette in his teeth. Behind him, he's dragging the Snowflake Elf by her braids, and she's all bruised and beaten, bloodstained, torn dress. The kids begin to cry.

"Santa Claus, you're hurting her!" scream the kids.

"What, you think I'm some kind of sadist?" retorts the jolly old man, swinging the Snowflake Elf over his head by her braids, and smacking her against the floor with all his might. "See, she's already dead!"

* * *

The scene: Africa, in an area of famine. There's this village, where the ground is covered with corpses of people who've died from hunger, there's a dreadful stench, and flies buzzing around. And then along comes Santa Claus -- tipsy, his face flushed red, dragging his sack of toys behind him. He's stepping his way through the corpses, singing a little song, when suddenly a half-dead toddler, summoning his last ounce of strength, props himself up, grabs hold of Santa's trousers, and says:
"Santy, did you bwing me a pwesent?"
The old saint yanks his leg out of the kid's grasp and says:
"Little boys and girls who didn't eat their supper all year don't GET presents!"

[Blame Q for the "Santa" jokes; Maria Ivanovna Ivanova is courtesy of packen...]

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zorkmidden in Bloggies Of Our Lives:
Episode 301,434,752
Somewhere in the Balkans...

UN Chief-in-Charge-of-Invasions Colt is smoking a cigar and calling his secret contact, Armed Liberal.

Colt: Armed Liberal! Hi, it's Colt.

Colt: Thanks, but it's not my birthday.

Colt: Yeah, I need a...um...I need a favour...

Colt: I need a...um...I need a killer.

Colt: Yes, a killer, you know, someone who kills.

Colt: People, of course, people!

Colt: Great, great, when can I expect him?

Colt: Great, wonderful. What's his name?

Colt: Aluminum Head?! That's not very reassuring...

Colt: Yes I trust you, but... Well, you remember your last recommendation...Turns out they weren't lethal, were they?

Colt: Maybe Joe was wrong?

Colt: NO! No, please don't tell him I said that...

Colt: Yes, fine, I'll give him a chance... Yes, say hi to everyone from me too. No, not too windy here...Yeah, thanks, you stay armed too...

Outside Colt's office, Portia is continuing to look through the keyhole, whispering into a microscopic device deep in her red silk bra. Her voice is hoarse by now from so much whispering...

Cut to Frank's place.

Frank is hanging curtains. The phone rings.

Frank: Hello?

Frank: bigel, what the...

Frank: Which barn?

Frank: How do you know they're Islamonazis?

Frank: No, I'm not doubting you, I just...

Frank: No!

Frank: Who told you about evariste?

Frank: No, we're not having an affair!

Frank: bigel, look...

Frank: I can't do that!

Frank: No! Not Esmeralda!

Frank: Please!

Frank: But she knows nothing about Islamonazis!

Frank: But that's blackmail!

Frank: All right, fine, I'll do it.

Frank: And a good evening to you too, bigel.

Frank looks at the camera dejectedly. He should have known bigel would make him do something awful...

To be continued...
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