The Last Word (tm) SURPRISE!
Vol. 12/No. 3 - 389th issue - March 24, 2003
Bathroom Bandit, editor-in-chief - serving Bellevue, KY, from New America
firstname.lastname@example.org - http://www.todayslastword.org
TEACHERS PUNISHED FOR OPPOSING WAR
The thought police is at it yet again.
At Rio Grande High School in Albuquerque, NM, two teachers were suspended for daring to display anti-war posters. About 45 students walked out of class to protest the suspensions.
School bureaucrats spluttered and drooled in a vain attempt to justify suspending teachers for their political views. But they failed to explain why no instructor is ever disciplined for spreading views from the other side of the political spectrum. Once in high school during 1991's illegal war we were taken to a pro-war rally on Fountain Square in Cincinnati, so those who think there's no double standard can shut up now.
Notice how shrill the Far Right became immediately before the new war began? According to the Chicago Tribune, the Clear Channel broadcasting syndicate recently staged pro-war rallies in Cincinnati (under the mask of WKRC radio) and other cities. Former FCC commissioner Glen Robinson said that "it sounds like borderline manufacturing of the news", and other observers commented that Clear Channel was using the rallies to earn favor from the Bush regime to help the broadcast giant win issues it has pending before the feds. Although the rallies were reported to be nonpolitical "Support Our Troops" events, they were actually obnoxious rah-rahs for the Republican Party. "Support Our Troops" means one thing; "Blindly Follow The GOP" means something else. American soldiers didn't start this war - rather, Republican politicians started it. Conservatives need to learn the difference between "Support Our Troops" and "Vote Republican". It will keep them from looking like a bunch of fuckwits.
Like a vast majority of folks in the U.S. and its occupied breakaway states, we're against the war, not the troops. But - just like '91 - the patriotism of anti-war activists is already under assault.
The Republican Party habitually turns its back on veterans - although many prominent Republicans (Bush included) used their families' clout to avoid military service. Last fall, when Max Cleland - a popular Democratic senator from Georgia who had lost 3 limbs in the Vietnam War - was running for reelection, he fell victim to the lies of Republican challenger Saxby Chambliss, who accused Cleland of being a communist. Chambliss, however, had used his own clout to dodge the draft. Amazingly, the Republican won the so-called "election", despite polls that showed him well behind, because the "election" was rigged.
And of course, Saddam Hussein is the guy who was so well-loved by Republicans in the 1980s that Reagan sent Donald Rumsfeld (the REAL Eggs Yarnell here) to Iraq for a friendly meeting with him - although both Reagan and Rumsfeld knew the Iraqi dictator had used chemical weapons against his own people.
Rape defendant Dumpya isn't performing some benevolent deed by attacking Iraq, his lies to the contrary notwithstanding. In the past 22 years the U.S. generally has not carried out its foreign policy with the interests of oppressed people in mind. One of Bush's first acts after stealing the 2000 "election" was to order the bombing of an Iraqi soccer field, killing innocent civilians. Kind of like 9/11 - which Bush had prior knowledge of, as you'll recall - but that's another book.
Why has it suddenly become politically correct in the eyes of the media to bash the French? If not for France, America wouldn't be "the 50 states", but "the 50 colonies".
And why does the U.S. go out of its way to protect brutal dictatorships of Kuwait and Saudi Arabia? Like Iraq, those two governments are not exactly the world's human rights giants: In addition to telling American soldiers stationed there they can't drink beer or watch R-rated movies, the regimes abuse their own citizens - by severely restricting legal rights of women and some ethnic groups, censoring the press, and torturing dissidents. We could go on about the U.S. policy of defending other right-wing regimes - ones that murder American citizens - but we'll save that for another day.
If Bush wants Saddam Hussein out of power so badly, he should be on the front lines. It would be entertaining to watch the two duke it out face to face using tanks, daggers, wet comic books, fists, or poop, while spectators gawk at them in amusement like the Gum Fighter in the Hubba Bubba commercial.
(Think the new war minimizes civilian losses? Well, TV stations in Australia - where there is less censorship than in the U.S. - report that the bombings of Baghdad have already bombarded residential areas and killed thousands of civilians. Three cruise missiles may have struck Iran. Oops! And we thought they were "precision guided"?)
WOMAN FIRED FOR ANTI-WAR E-MAIL TO CHARLIE DANIELS
In recent years, singer Charlie Daniels has behaved more and more like the gang of drooling skeezewockers who chased him out of town in one of his early hit songs.
In a recent e-mail to media magnates he went off half-cocked against celebrities opposing the war on Iraq. In reality, the movement against the rogue war is primarily a working-class one - not exactly a feely-good Hollywood thing. But Charlie Daniels and other apologists for U.S. aggression insist otherwise.
An employee of Jones Media in Nashville was fired after she received Daniels's e-mail at her personal Internet account and then replied to it, outlining her own anti-war views. A publicist for Daniels then complained to her employer that there was a dissenter in their ranks - and got her fired.
We're wondering how long it will be for the state disappearances to begin, if they haven't already. Pa Bush carried out a few of these against American dissidents in '91 - and the war back then was just as pointless and unpopular as the new war is.
DIRECTV GOES DIRECTLY TO HELL
DIRECTV thinks it has it rough in life. To hear the satellite TV giant tell it, it has suffered far more than those of us who never have to worry about anything worse than, say, being brainwashed and controlled by an abusive school headmaster, locked in a concentration camp for 4 months without enough blankets or food, assaulted repeatedly in a gym locker room with the lights shut off, force-fed enough pills to fill a SuperX, and robbed of basic political rights. In the warped opinion of DIRECTV, there's something much more traumatic than all of those things put together.
What has terrorized DIRECTV so?
We have to warn you: This article is very graphic! What DIRECTV suffered is so shocking that when we tell you what it is, you'll be in a state of panic for a whole second or two...
Somebody descrambled TV signals.
One, two, three...AAAAAAAAAAWWWWW!!!!!
Boohoo us a fucking river, DIRECTV.
Ten Northern Kentucky residents are being named in a federal lawsuit filed by DIRECTV because each of them allegedly purchased a descrambler box - which DIRECTV thinks is "stealing" their business.
That's exactly like a radio station siccing the FCC on a competing station whose product is better in order to avoid losing listeners to the competitor.
Some DIRECTV nobody named Robert Mercer said of descramblers, "This is theft. There's no other way to describe it. It's no different than walking into a Blockbuster, for example, and stuffing a dozen DVDs down your shirt and walking out the door and doing it 7 days a week."
Uh, yes it is different from that, genius. The comparison isn't even close. Satellite signals travel through the air - and the airwaves are public property. You have a right to descramble signals from the public airwaves. A decade ago a Kentucky judge practically laughed a cable company right out of the courtroom in a cable theft case - but DIRECTV has a far weaker case, because with a satellite descrambler you don't have to patch into a cable or use any device supplied by a cable company or satellite provider.
Hey Robert Mercer! I used to have your baseball card! HAHAHAHAHA!!!
The 10 defendants were named when DIRECTV seized purchase records from businesses in other states that sold the descramblers. Um, excuse me, but where does the Constitution give a corporation the right to confiscate business records?
A local designee of the Bush regime boasts that a 1998 law - which is constitutionally void because of the fact it was passed by a Congress that not only hated the Constitution's guts but rose to power because the '94 and '96 congressional "elections" were rigged - imposes up to 5 years in a federal prison gulag for anyone convicted of buying a descrambler.
So many things were going wrong in 1998 - the worst economy in 65 years (ignored by the media), a soaring crime rate (caused by the failed prison boom), Savage Garden, etc. - and Congress wasted time on THIS?! What gnawing need was there to repeal the doctrine that made the airwaves public property? That's like saying DIRECTV owns the oxygen we breathe.
The satellite TV industry's campaign contributions (bribes) to right-wing members of Congress wouldn't have something to do with it, would it?
WHERE REBELLIOUS TEENS WENT
It's been a while since we've thought much about the dreaded CPH concentration camp in Covington, KY - which was the topic of This Is Not America, an unfinished book that was serialized in The Last Word in 1997. But the new war in Iraq brings back memories of our illegal imprisonment at CPH in 1990, months before the '91 Gulf War - since our incarceration was a documented case of the fact that America had political prisoners while the elder Bush was in power.
We are told that in 1999 the world finally came crashing down for this death camp, and when we biked past this facility last year during a work assignment we saw that at the very least it had a different name, though it was unclear if the building was still used as a gulag. But the fact that teenage political prisoners were still being detained there without a trial IN 1999 is mind-boggling.
By 1990, the year I turned 17, I had for the most part broken free from the yolk - oops, yoke of conservatism. At one time I was very right-wing - but no more. To avoid reprisals by conservatives who infiltrated Bishop Brossart High School, I often tried to appear loyal to them, but there was no escaping the fact that I was one who they had to keep a special eye on. So how does one become even more free from rightist tyranny? By getting expelled from Brossart, of course.
After my expulsion on April 20, 1990 - a day that I'm convinced was chosen by the school because they admired Hitler and it was his birthday - things should have improved immediately. But my increasingly rebellious attitude led to threats and coercion by education system bureaucrats and right-wing politicians that resulted in my confinement in CPH without a trial.
Nearly everyone agreed that CPH was a torture chamber. Its infamous use of a torture device called the "boat" (which resembled being crucified) was worsened by the fact that anyone being abused with the "boat" had their ordeal shown to other prisoners via a TV screen. (A grim joke we often shared: "What's the one good thing about the boat? If you tip it over you don't drown!") Beatings, sexual abuse, and forced druggings also defined CPH in 1990. Starvation was yet another abuse carried out by CPH: Very little of the so-called food that was given to us when we were marched down the cafeteria was even edible. And when it was, we were never allowed to have enough. If the meal was so disgusting we could not eat it, they'd deny us our next meal if it was anything tolerable.
We also were never allowed to spend more than 5 minutes taking a shower (including the time it took to undress and get dressed again) - but often there was no warm water anyway. If you took longer than 5 minutes the guards would beat on the bathroom door with all their might. It is also a fact that at least once a guard insisted on watching a shower being taken.
Any slightest infraction of their ridiculous rules (including "manipulation" - asking a guard whether something was against the rules if another guard had nixed it), and by golly, did you ever hear about it!
At least once I was punished by being locked in my cell for 3 days and not allowed to sleep. And if anyone escaped from CPH and was later recaptured, their shoes would be confiscated as a penalty for "running" from CPH - much like a slave labor farm in a Third World country removing the tendons from the feet of unpaid workers.
Guards and counselors there often lied. I was shocked to hear my case worker reading to my parents a lenghty statement I made about how "I like fights." The problem is that I never made such a statement. THEY liked fights though: One evening a guard started a fight with me after accusing me of painting on a table with ink.
They also assigned "levels" to each youth, depending on how well they conformed to the guards' demands. There were 4 levels, with 3 being the highest and 1* being the lowest. (Don't look for a footnote at the bottom of the page - the * was part of the name of this level.)
Even in this dehumanizing, brutal environment, a few humorous events transpired. Like the one evening after supper when someone spilled Kool-Aid and the guards stood there jabbering like morons for a half-hour because nobody could agree on who did it. Or the time the toilet got clogged with a chess piece. Or how they'd make us play baseball in the field outside the building - but every time I went up to bat, I'd cower and duck when the pitcher threw the ball. Having attended parochial schools for 8 of the previous 11 years, I learned how to reflexively duck whenever an object was thrown at my head. When I struck out, the guards berated me for the rest of the day, accusing me of striking out on purpose.
The guards also decreed that anyone who hit a home run into the woods would be declared out, accusing them of hitting into the woods so prisoners would escape while retrieving the ball. So it's not like we were Pete Rose or Claudell Washington at home plate gallantly holding the bat behind our shoulder and chomping on a big slab of bubble gum.
Now that was yet another capital offense.
When the summer ended and I was daily sent to Spit Eye School - our moniker for a section of First District School set aside for dissident youths - I once snuck bubble gum from the school into CPH. I secretly distributed the gum in a classroom at CPH, and when a prisoner was caught chewing it, an instructor whined that he "ended up with gum somehow", and the prisoner was punished by being withheld food for a week.
But just when CPH was said to have crumbled, abuse of rebellious teenagers in concentration camps became a scandal all over America. Often the victim would be kidnapped from their home in the middle of the night and taken to a gulag in a foreign country where American laws didn't apply. Some died.
In 1998 it was reported that hundreds of economically disadvantaged junior high students in Los Angeles were forcibly shipped to a boot camp near San Luis Obispo, CA. Many were identified as "at-risk" solely because of their ethnicity. The parents were lied to by being told that the camp was a school specializing in math and science. As with an Arizona death camp, where prisoners had died due to extreme negligence, none of the inamtes had been convicted of breaking any law or sent there by a judge. The San Luis Obispo concentration camp - begun under Pa Bush with collusion of the California National Guard and the right-wing Los Angeles school system - was supported with $4,200,000 of your federal taxes.
Like Hitler Youth, the purpose of that boot camp was to brainwash young people into becoming party loyalists - not to provide a real education to enable them to adequately support themselves.
False imprisonments for teenage rebellion are going on in America - yes, America. And the evidence shows that since our maverick confinement the rate of rogue incarcerations has ballooned dramatically - for in the '90s "progress" became a word that defies its own meaning.
SNOW DAY SCAM
Without fail, local school systems and the right-wing media connive at this time each year to shriek about how, darn it, it snowed - as if it has never snowed in winter before - and how the snow "robbed" the schools of a few of the many days they have to brainwash kids.
Like 185 days a year isn't more than enough?
For decades now, conservatives have been griping about how "easy" American schools supposedly are - and the media has always been happy to help amplify their grumbling. Paradoxically, the rightist school systems are the ones who hold back students who have the will to learn by not allowing them to work ahead in subjects where they excel. They do this in the name of a "well-rounded" education.
Uh, you notice that a lot of us aren't real good at language arts? Schools assume that if you're good at math (I was punished in elementary school for knowing about the "secret" fraction ¼), then you're gifted at everything else too. Ever think maybe Mother Nature intended students to be better at some subjects than at others? The world needs literature people to enrich its literary arts - it needs math people for the clunky stuff like mapmaking. You can't always be both.
Mister Rogers liked you exactly how you are. So why should you change to fit the school's mold that doesn't serve anyone except Corporate America, which wants to shape the young into cheap, docile labor to "compete" in the "global marketplace"?
American children should be spending less time in school, not more.
I'd hate to be the one who has to tell it like it is, since I'm such a friendly and swell guy, but sometimes the truth hurts.
And there's no need to trot out the old chestnut of America having a shorter school year than the international average: The school calendar has become longer every few years, so that statistic is no longer true.
With this year's rough winter, it didn't take long for the Far Right's mutterings to approach a howl about how the "lost" days must be made up or else. This time some of the days being made up weren't even canceled to begin with: In the long-troubled Campbell County Schools - a district known for its record of physical abuse - educrats announced that one-hour delays would have to be made up too. Like their idiotic year-round calendar doesn't do that already? Erlanger-Elsmere Schools gloated that - even though its calendar already has two more days than the state minimum - it will make up every snow day anyway.
A bill in the Kentucky legislature would have softened the arbitrary requirement that the abuse factories known as schools reschedule "lost" days by allowing districts to scrap 5 days if they've already "lost" at least 10 days. Its supporters sensibly argued that rescheduling school days disrupts summer activities. Predictably, the Kentucky Post pooped its pants in fury.
Between the neorightist kook meltdowns at the Cincinnati (and Kentucky) Post and the "let's-lie-about-Clinton-two-years-after-he's-gone" Cincinnati Enquirer, it's hard to claim the press doesn't have a conservative bias.
Don't let your kids be indoctrinated in the human slaughterhouse that is the Kentucky school system, which takes a stunner to your very soul.
MONTHLY MORON MOTORIST
Who is our selection as Monthly Moron Motorist for February?
Everybody! That's who.
Apparently everyone has lived in the Gobi Desert their entire lives and has never seen ice on roads before.
Who will win the doobious - oops, dubious hnoor of Monthly Moron Motorist for March? We'll tell ya next month!
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(Copywrong 2003. Online edition best suited to be viewed with Internet Exploder 5.)
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