The Last Word (tm) SURPRISE!
A nonpartisan populist zine!
Vol. 13/No. 11 - 410th issue - September 14, 2004
Bathroom Bandit, editor-in-chief - serving Bellevue, KY, from New America
firstname.lastname@example.org - http://members.iglou.com/bandit
blog blogga blog at http://bandit73.pitas.com
CONSERVATIVES CRY "HOAX!" DESPITE MEMO AUTHENTICATION
Even well into the '90s most of the media used to be highly professional. In the old days, serious news outlets would have never given the tinfoil hat task force as much space as they have over their latest ridiculous conspiracy theory, in which they claim damning memos regarding Bush's National Guard service are hoaxes.
Before we continue, here's a link that debunks the oavses (or whatever the plural of oaf is) far more effectively than anyone else we've seen:
To us, the whole story about Dumbya shirking National Guard duty is just the latest in a series of near-daily White House scandals that has continued unabated for 4 years. In an effort to save face for ol' Dumps, however, the RNC-bankrolled network of right-wing Internet blogs and websites has concocted what is positively one of the dumbest conspiracy theories we've ever heard: They claim the Kerry campaign forged the memos using Microsoft Word, because they use a proportional font (a typeface in which the letters are of varying widths), and proportional fonts weren't invented yet in the '70s when the memos were written.
If Disgeorge's followers had ever read a book in their valueless lives, they'd know that almost all books before, during, and after the '70s use a proportional font!
When they got burned on this, they dug themselves in deeper by continuing to argue their stupid-ass theory.
Now they're spewing all sorts of bullshit about how, yes, printing presses had this font, but typewriters never did.
If you go to www-1.ibm.com/ibm/history/history/year_1941.html you'll see that IBM was making a typewriter - way back in 1941, no less - that had a proportional font Dumbya's cultists claim typewriters never had!
How many times does one have to be proven wrong before they shut up?
We're not endorsing John Kerry here, but the paranoid Far Right apparently thinks Kerry has a Secret Bat Cave somewhere where he keeps a computer and a stockpile of phony documents to discredit Bush.
Typewriters with proportional fonts or symbols like the raised "th" weren't used much by individuals, but offices - including military and National Guard offices - were overflowing with the damn things. If you worked in an office, proportional font typewriters weren't some rare machine. Fuck, even Cline had a typewriter like this that was already pretty old back when I was in school. I think it even had the superscripts for ordinal numbers.
Conservatives tried desperately to "prove" the memos are hoaxes by printing out the text with a word processor and superimposing it on a copy of the memo. They claim they match. Well, they don't. Here's an exhibit that's been provided to us from an outside resource:
In the above picture, the print from the memo is red, and the print from the attempt to recreate it with Microsoft Word is blue. There's no way you can get the red and the blue to match! In addition the fonts that Bush cultists claim are exactly the same aren't the same at all! For instance, the lower loop on the lowercase "g" is much larger on the Microsoft Word printout than on the memo.
And if the memos are hoaxes then why is the White House acknowledging they're real? Their argument is over what the memos mean, not whether the memos are real. And although Bush received an honorable discharge, which they claim would not have happened if he had not fulfilled his duties, they fail to mention that he could have received it through the same connections that prevented him from having to serve in Vietnam.
CBS authenticated the memos before airing its story on them and verified from others that the memos were real - and besides that, any story by a major news outlet that reflects badly on Bush isn't going to use phony information. That's because major media outlets aren't going to risk trouble from the government by airing a story that casts Bush poorly and having it turn out to be bogus. Because the bullshit theory about the memos being a hoax escalated to such a shrill pitch, Dan Rather had to address this controversy on Friday's newscast, observing, "Those raising questions about the CBS documents have focused on something called superscript, a key that automatically types a raised 'th'. Critics claim typewriters didn't have that ability in the 1970s, but some models did."
By the time those words were uttered, a cloud of sawdust should have been all that remained where the conspiracy theorists stood as they quickly tucked their tails between their legs and piped down about the matter. But Rather elaborated, saying other Bush military records that had been previously released by the White House itself, including one from as long ago as 1968, show the exact same raised "th" - a fact that should damn the conspiracy theory even further into the fiery plains of hell.
But it's really too late to refute the tinfoil hats. The damage has already been done to the democratic process, and that's what makes the conspiracy theorists' babblings such a serious matter.
With CBS as one of few exceptions, most major news outlets have given the Far Right far more attention on this topic than it deserves, acting as if right-wing blogs are the unassailable truth and even saying flat-out that the memos are fakes, when they clearly aren't. Even though The Last Word is a commentary publication, we at least hold ourselves to some standards and wouldn't knowingly print false information - because in addition to being unethical it would also pose a risk of us getting caught and looking silly. Right-wing blogs and many so-called mainstream news organizations don't abide by this basic moral standard. The problem is far worse now than it used to be because of government subsidies such as the loosening of media ownership caps and because the Internet has provided a new venue for fringe rightists to gather bogus stories and amplify them zillionfold.
In a democratic society, the disproportionate influence these interests exercise over the media is unacceptable. Major media should stick with reporting facts and stop telling us what to think. Opinions should clearly be labeled as such or be left to independent publications. Wild notions like the conservative dogma about typewriters not having proportional fonts should be ignored except to point out how full of shit they are.
Oh yes. There's also that little matter of what the memos said. Keep in mind that the White House released these memos after CBS reported them - which amounts to an admission that they're real.
It seems that when Bush was in the National Guard he refused a direct order from his superiors. After failing to take his annual flight physical as he was ordered, he was suspended from flying fighter jets. Bush's commanders were confronted with pressure to give him positive evaluations, and Bush constantly yabbered about how to avoid drills. Apparently, however, all of this information is also found in records other than those memos - so, forged or not, the memos don't even give us much new information.
You know the hoax theory probably won't be the last manufactured RNC story that appears before Election Day, and it likely won't be the last time the media gladly feeds the RNC's fetish for sloppy lies. This is no less a form of cheating than rigging a voting machine is. The theft of the election is already under way, so - unless things change lickety-split - brace yourself for 4 more years of this shit.
WHEN NAZIS ATTACK!
Here's further evidence of why Bush isn't allowed to be President (ooh, an Allowed Cloud), on account of his contempt for the constitutional rights of others:
To quote the caption: "A member of the audience pulls a demonstrator's hair as he forces her out of an auditorium where President [sic] Bush (news - web sites) was addressing a crowd of supporters at Byers Choice in Colmar, Pa."
This is the exact same thing the Brownshirts did when people protested during Hitler's appearances.
Oh, and this is the same sort of thing that happened at the Devou Park rally in July 2000 - which conservatives keep denying.
Uh, isn't this assault?
On an unrelated note, there's this one brand of barbecue sauce conservatives like because the guy who makes it is racist. Someone we know on the Internet speculates that Dumbya buys gallons of it off the Internet, has his assistants buy him a big bag of pretzels, takes a shit, pokes the pretzels into the shit, drenches the pretzels in the sauce, bakes it for 35 minutes at 450º F, and calls it his Crawford Conservative Crap Casserole. And then he shits his Hanes and wiggles his ass on the couch so he can feel his poo squishing all over his buttocks. But then again, to be fair to the hated dictator, this is probably just a myth.
ANOTHER DAY IN PARADISE IN LOUISVILLE
Figuratively speaking, we ripped a satisfying bunker blast squarely into the noses of the Far Right last month by taking advantage of our right granted by nature to an annual trip.
This year's destination was Louisville. This chagrins the forces of fascism even more, as Dumbya was defeated by 31% in this fine city. (And it's nowhere near Bro$$art, but that's another story.)
We left on the morning of Saturday, August 14, driving the family partymobile southwest on I-71 to KY 227 to KY 36 in Carrollton. KY 36 runs along the Ohio River to Milton. The US 421 bridge to Madison, IN, features a rather unfortunate dabble in rightist elitism: In addition to the fact that the roadway is too busy for bicyclists to use, there's no sidewalk, and a sign forbids pedestrians from using this bridge that they paid for with their tax dollars. Yes, that's an Allowed Cloud. Anyone who doesn't have a car and has to travel between Milton and Madison is utterly S.O.L.
Since we DID have a car that day, we continued through Madison and on IN 56 through Scottsburg and Salem, in counties menaced by creeping suburbanism (although Bush also lost the county that features Scottsburg, so hated he is by the honest folks of the Kentuckiana region). We went all the way to Hardinsburg-Livonia Road, a little-used backcountry pike. We took that road, US 150, and IN 66 to the cave region of Crawford County.
We didn't visit the cave at Marengo Cave, but we got a nice lunch there, and we moved on to Wyandotte Cave. I signed the guestbook there as "Oscar the Grouch". The cave features a long guided tour and is quite possibly the most perilous site open to the public I've ever visited, with its steep stairways and all. One of the rooms in the cave includes one of the largest hills inside any cave in the world. Inside Wyandotte Cave, some guy kept snorting so loudly once every 5 seconds that you couldn't hear the guide talk, so we got away from him and ended up behind some guy who kept threatening to fart.
After Wyandotte Cave we went back east on IN 62 to Corydon (boyhood hometown of James Best, actor who played Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane on "The Dukes Of Hazzard"), then on IN 135 and on I-64 towards Louisville. We got off the freeway in New Albany, drove through that industrial city, and then on that goofy Brown Station Highway to Clarksville. This road is almost a freeway, and is as confusing as the I-65 frontage roads you see in Clarksville and Jeffersonville.
We checked into the Holiday Inn in Clarksville, which is quite a bargain for all the goodies it has, including both an indoor and an outdoor pool. As we were checking in we surreptitiously giggled at a guest who was wearing a pro-Bush shirt. It's surprising that a big-time conservative like that guy wasn't staying in a more expensive inn - one far away from the dilapidated business nearby that looks like it has a giant bathtub on its signpost - because Disgeorge's followers like flaunting their wealth so much. We stayed in the 10-story building and found the water in the indoor pool to be surprisingly warm. This was one of few motel pools I've been to in recent years that was warm enough and clean enough to use.
Later we went to the riverfront park in Jeffersonville and saw Louisville's awe-inspiring skyline and bridges, including the Big Four, a rail bridge abandoned since 1969. (Heh-heh, Beavis.) This park will forever be known as Arthritis Park, because the arthritis in my knee was so spectacularly inflamed.
When we returned to the hotel pool I accidentally stepped in a huge wad of bubble gum someone had discarded onto the ledge of the pool.
On Sunday we toured the city proper. The George Rogers Clark Memorial Bridge, which carries US 31, has 4 lanes of auto traffic and appears to now be the only way nonmotorized traffic can get from Louisville to Indiana. This span is a bit like the Taylor-Southgate Bridge in Cincinnati, only much longer. This is the bridge Muhammad Ali threw his Olympic gold medal into the Ohio River from. One of my teachers at St. Joe's was a big Ali fan and always told us the story of how infuriated he was that somebody at the post office had drawn a mustache on a photo of the heavyweight boxing champ on his copy of Sports Illustrated! In downtown Louisville we quickly found River Road, notable for the fact that it travels directly under I-64, almost like a double-decker road.
Then we went back to Indiana to see the fossil bed in Clarksville, and then back to Louisville for the boat ride!
It's important to note that central Louisville has very little signage for U.S. and state routes, so watch out! You might get lost! And wouldn't that be a shame?!
I'm a blue-collar type of guy, so I always enjoy seeing industrial areas both near home and on vacation. Around West Main, 15th, and Northwestern Parkway, Louisville features some of that classic industrial charm, kind of like Cincinnati's Queensgate. Following Northwestern Parkway as closely as possible you may see one or two decades-old signs for the K&I Bridge, but the span has been closed to auto traffic since part of it collapsed in 1979. We couldn't get a glimpse of either one of the 2 bridges to New Albany, because such a view seems to be reserved for patrons of the golf course (which seems out of place in this otherwise industrial area).
For supper I downed a huge, hearty meal at Buckhead Mountain Grill on the Indiana riverfront. Right before going there from the hotel I played a hilarious gag by briefly setting off our car alarm with the remote control. Inside the restaurant I noticed somebody had drawn a mustache on a Lance Armstrong poster. In the restroom there I saw that someone had drawn various parts of both the male and the female anatomy on the wall of the stall.
From there we sped out to New Albany to look for those bridges, and what remains of the approach to the K&I is somewhat interesting, especially since it was starting to get dark and spooky. There's a road on each side of the tracks surrounded by weeds, but NO TRESPASSING signs barred us from entering the forbidden zone that lies beyond.
When we returned to the motel room somebody kept releasing silent but deadly trouser sneezes. Cries of accusation abounded, but no suspects could be indicted for this uproarious deed.
We headed home on Monday, this time taking US 42 most of the way back. New subdivisions sprout from the highway almost to Bedford. Because of this creeping suburbanism there is very little space remaining between Louisville and Cincinnati that is truly undeveloped.
All in all a good time was had. I have numerous photos of roads, buildings, and other public features from my Louisville trip, and right now you can find them here:
LETTER TO THE EDITOR
To The Editor Of The Last Word:
I love this site! Your constant mockery of BBHS amuses me. I'm a student at CCHS, and if only you knew the bullshit that goes on there. As soon as I graduate, I'll fill you in on the details of my life in hell at CCHS.
BROSSART STRIKES AGAIN
A week or two ago we received yet another communication regarding the hated Bishop Brossart High School, this time with the form on our main page. Read it and weep laughing:
"if you are 30 years old and still upset about bbhs there must be some serious issues i didn't like it either but that was all put behind when i graduated. did you not have any friends is that what made it so bad"
Wrong, genius. I'm 31.
You know something? That message would have been much easier to read if it had proper punctuation and capitalization. This is a valuable skill that most high schools will teach if you haven't already learned it.
And people wonder why we still make fun of Brossart?
Reading us online? Click on these words to go up to our index!
(Copywrong 2004. Online edition created with Internet Exploder 6.)
* * *