Another Deadly Fearsome Mighty Horrifying Scary Frightening Enemy of America

Meet Mr. Purna Raj Bajracharya from Nepal.

Mr. Purna Raj Bajracharya is a Buddhist. We know that Buddhists are normally harmless, but not Mr. Bajracharya. Mr. Bajracharya was spotted in New York video-taping offices in which some FBI agents, under the every-watchful scrutiny of the relentless John Ashcroft, were determinedly rooting out every last vestige of terror activity in the U.S. Mr. Bajracharya claimed he was a tourist.

The other images on his video included a pizzeria.

The FBI immediately snatched up Mr. Bajracharya and locked him in a 9 foot by 6 foot cell for three months. The lights were kept on 24 hours a day. Why? Because we are sonsofbitches is the only possible explanation. Some prisoners in this detention centre in Brooklyn were stripped and beaten. Why? Because we are sonsofbitches.

And then. And then they realized that perhaps Mr. Bajracharya was a Buddhist from Nepal taking video of New York to show to his esteemed family back home.

So they put him into an orange jumpsuit, shackled his arms and legs, and hauled him off to the airport. Mr. Bajracharya begged to be allowed the dignity of wearing his own clothes. The FBI said no. Why? Because we are sonsofbitches– that’s why.

This is how we treat the innocent. Even the FBI admits that Mr. Bajracharya is innocent. It doesn’t matter. Under George Bush, the unthinkable is now not only acceptable, but required: the innocent can be locked up, abused, assaulted, and humiliated with complete impunity.

You don’t care, do you. Because you are white and middle class and you don’t have an accent. You are safe in America in 2004. Because you are not Mr. Bajracharya. Because you can sing your anthems, wave your flags, and march in your parades, with no shame for your government’s rank hypocrisy.

I am enraged at this treatment of an innocent man.  The FBI agents responsible should be fired and charged with abusing their authority and jailed  for at least 90 days in a 6 by 9 foot cell.

The FBI’s behavior is not merely outrageous.  It deserves the term “fucking outrageous” because it is.  It is emblematic of the monstrous failure of the current government to uphold the basic principles of decency and justice that make the world livable for most of us.

It’s hard to bring myself to even address the issue because it is so overwhelmingly obvious to me that you would think that any sane person would agree: if the FBI really insists on arresting people without the slightest grounds for suspicion, could they not at least treat them well until they have completed their investigations?

This treatment of Mr. Bajracharya is police brutality. It is abuse. It is oppression. It is the act of a police state. It is the ultimate expression of George W. Bush’s vision of Amerika. And I have yet to hear or read of a single Christian Bush supporter who feels that it is wrong or immoral to do it.

Added June 2006: where is the outcry from those who claim that the “Christian” Mr. Bush has “restored” ethics and integrity to government? How dare you claim you vote for Bush because he stands for Christian values, and then turn your back on Mr. Bajracharya?

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John Ashcroft Captures an Actual Terrorist!

John Ashcroft, Attorney-General of the United States, has announced many, many arrests of people he claims are terrorists. If you check into these stories, you will find that most–if not all– of these arrests are actually of individuals who are guilty of nothing more than being suspiciously Arabic.

But lo and behold, the top law enforcement officer of the United States of America has finally arrested a bona fide terrorist, a man with actual bombs, guns, remote-controlled detonators, and a load of cyanide. Yes, John Ashcroft has finally caught himself an actual living, breathing, sweating terrorist.

And you aren’t going to hear much about it.

Why? Because the terrorist’s name is William Krar. Not Arabic at all. And he is no associate of Osama Bin Laden. Mr. Krar is a good old-fashioned all-American White Supremacist. Where’s the fun in that?

Doesn’t fit the official White House narrative does it? Doesn’t play well to the heart-land, does it, which sometimes holds to it’s bruised bosom the heartless souls of patriots like Timothy McVeigh, who may have gone a little astray, but, after all, grasped the essential dialectic of our time. No no no– America’s enemies are out there, they are not us, they don’t look like us.

There are persistent rumors that a “olive-skinned” man was seen in the Ryder Truck with McVeigh the day of the Oklahoma City bombing.

Now Krar and his cyanide.

Paul Krugman in the New York Times reports that an FBI spokesman asked an industry group for help dealing with the top domestic threats today: eco-terrorists and animal rights activists.

Stirring, isn’t it? Osama Bin Laden and Heather Graham at the same fund-raiser.

It’s spin. You don’t hear about Krar because the Bush administration needs you to believe that we need to spend $200 billion demolishing a two-bit dictator in Iraq to feel safe. The Bush Administration doesn’t want you to believe that you might end up being safer if a well-managed domestic police force was doing it’s job properly instead of chasing illegal immigrants or pot-smokers.

Krugman also reports that John Ashcroft is using every government data base available to search for terrorists. Every data base except one: the one that contains information about people who applied for gun permits.

To use that information, Ashcroft believes, would be to violate Americans’ civil rights.

If you’ve stopped laughing by now at the idea that John Ashcroft cares about anybody’s civil rights, read on: it is utterly amazing that the press has little or no curiosity about these stories. It’s waiting for signs that Bush will lose the election, before lining up their potshots.

Then we will hear how they had always known that Ashcroft was just a little over the top.

An Honest Olympics

I propose an honest Olympics. We set up a new international organization. Every four years, we select about 50 people at random from a pool of volunteers from each country. And I mean “random”, as in, “from the general population”. Not athletes. I don’t care how pathetic they are– I want to see them race, jump, throw, and swim. I want to know that the winners did it without cheating, because they couldn’t have cheated.

The competition will be held in existing sports facilities– none of this billions of dollars in new stadiums and housing crap.  They can stay in the nearest college dorm.

And when they win a competition, they actually have to sing their own national anthems, solo, in front of thousands of people.

Then you get your medal.

Seriously: I would enjoy watching this way, way more than the current ugly spectacle of the Olympics.

Is There a Single Honest Athlete in the House?

It has recently been reported that Lance Armstrong is attempting to prevent publication of a book that alleges he may have used steroids.

The book is “LA Confidential: Secrets of Lance Armstrong” by David Walsh and Pierre Ballester.

Now, it’s not unimaginable that the book is entirely scurrilous. But it is written by two serious European sports reporters and it’s information comes from named sources.

And it’s not as if Lance Armstrong is saying, “I am a clean athlete who wouldn’t go near an illegal supplement or steroid”.

In fact, he will go very near.

One of the experts Lance Armstrong regularly consults with is Dr. Michele Ferrari, an Italian who has been charged with involvement in producing erythropoietin (EPO) for illegal use by athletes.

Ferrari is a protégé of Francesco Conconi who is also suspected of involvement with doping. Armstrong does not, obviously, deny his association with Ferrari– he can’t; it’s on the record. Armstrong correctly describes Ferrari as an expert on training and fitness and claims that that is the only reason he consults with him and allows him to perform physiological testing.

If you were clean, would you admit a close personal association with an expert on doping, even as you claim it is for other reasons? Would you be willing to risk your reputation and all your endorsement contracts for… what? His friendship and encouragement? Is there really no other expert in the world who can perform the same services… without the suspicious background?

Recent reports suggest that a large number of top U.S. athletes may have been using illegal substances. Some of these substances were not detectable until an informant obtained a syringe containing traces of the supplement and supplied it to the authorities.

There was also that allegation in 2002 that the U.S. Postal Team had tried to dispose of several bags of Actovegin during a race.

In fairness, the U.S. Postal Team tested clear. In fairness, it is now known that certain masking agents can be used to disguise the use of steroids.

Is there a single honest athlete in the house? What is the point of these competitions? You won? You cheated. Case closed.

Not fair? Why aren’t athletes speaking out? Why are there no public demands that the athletic federations work harder to clean up their sports? Why isn’t there an outcry from honest athletes– you cheaters are destroying the credibility of our games?

If I was a world-class athlete and I was not cheating, I would be enraged. I would be enraged because I know that if I actually won an event, everybody would assume I was cheating anyway. If I improved my time dramatically: cheating. If I managed to set a world record: boy, you really cheated. Why would any honest athlete choose to remain in athletics?

Do you watch any of these cycling races?  Why?

I would tell the press that I want tougher testing and tougher regulations because unless the public can be convinced that they are witnessing honest, real performances, they will, sooner or later, stop watching.

Just how big of a scam is this?

I don’t think I personally will accept that any world records established after about 1968 are valid. I don’t accept Barry Bond’s record for home runs. I don’t accept that Roger Clemens can still pitch competitively at 40 just because he works out every day.  I don’t accept that David Ortiz, like a fine wine, is improving with age.

I don’t accept that the organizations that are responsible for ensuring the integrity of their sports really cares. Ask yourself if it hurts them, to have world records broken at almost every meet, every season.


Boing! Your Taxes at Play

Darleen A. Druyun was a top official in the Air Force who played a large role in negotiations with Boeing for big fat air force contracts. She was your representative. She was in charge of seeing that American tax-payers got honest value for their dollar.

She was so good at her job, that a lawyer for Boeing bought her house. Yes, indeed. And her daughter got a job with Boeing– no sense wasting that family of expertise.

Ms. Druyun was not heartless by any means. When Boeing was under severe pressure by a competitor, Airbus, for a major tanking contract, Ms. Druyun was kind enough to pass along some specs about the Airbus contract to Boeing.

By golly, she was so ruthless about getting maximum value for the taxpayer’s dollar that Boeing went out and hired her in 2002. Now, she works for Boeing.


It appears, she was always working for Boeing.

Yeah. Well, you might be wondering by now just how tough this lady was. But you would be reassured to know that the Air Force and the FBI are going to thoroughly investigate the matter. When they are done, I bet all those Boeing shareholders who have been collecting big fat dividends are all going to have to pay big fat fines!

Oink! Oink!

Don’t forget: when the government gives money to people who haven’t worked to earn it, that is called a “dependency” and it is bad, bad, bad.

When the government gives money to corporations who lie and cheat: that’s called capitalism, and that’s what makes our country great.


Locking up Mr. Bojangles

We spend millions of dollars and thousands of hours and all our strength and energy to tell ourselves that we are good, we are kind, we are decent human beings. That’s television. That’s “I am Sam” or “It Could Happen to You” or “The Terminal”.

But the men and women who run for public office know they are more likely to be elected if we think they are heartless. Can he be tough enough? Can he make tough decisions? Can he protect American interests?

When is the last time you heard a candidate talk about compassion? When is the last time an elected official said we need to do more to help the disadvantaged?

Oh yes, we are kind and compassionate and forgiving– on the latest episode of “Friends” and at the Jerry Lewis Telethon. In real life, we take people like Darius McCollum and lock them up.

Darius McCollum, without a doubt, is a problem. He likes trains– subway trains. He likes public transit. He has a strange “thing” for public transit.

He has occasionally disguised himself as an employee of Metropolitan Transportation Authority. He has taken city buses for joy rides. He has tripped the emergency brakes on subway trains, and then arrived on the scene in uniform to handle the “emergency”. He’s kind of a strange guy.

Where would our society be if we allowed men like Darius McCollum to wander around undeterred? Well, probably about where we are. But no, you can’t have strange people joy-riding around in public transit buses and trains. So he was caught. He was sentenced, recently, to three and a half years in jail. He was released. He was on parole. He violated the parole by impersonating an MTA official again.

A psychiatrist has diagnosed Mr. McCollum as having what is called Asperger’s disease, sometimes known as “little professor’s disease”. The New York Times says it’s like autism. But the judge didn’t think much of the psychiatrist and sentenced Mr. McCollum to the three and a half years in jail. This is an American jail. This is hell on earth, especially for a man with a disability.

Believe it or not, Mr. McCollum is married. He met his wife in a subway station. She married him while he was serving his prison sentence. [added 2011-02] I can only imagine.