I swear to God the second that the clock struck midnight on Halloween, holiday commercials started appearing on TV, department stores threw up holly and blinking lights, and the grocery store stocked the shelves with egg nog. Never too early to spend, spend, spend.
(Pic 1): Tabby as a Hugh Hefner bunny.
(Pic 2): My good friends Liz and Luke after our Halloween party when everyone had gone home.
Here are a two f-ed up things as of late:
(1). Our local newscast on Monday spent 15 minutes of a 30 minute broadcast feeding on the Terrell Owens dismissal. For those on you who aren't from Philadelphia or obsessed with dumb shit like pro football, TO was a receiver for the Eagles who was recently suspended and then asked to leave, I think b/c he insulted someone else . It's all over the news here while 25 seconds were given to a kid in Philly who was accidentally shot and killed by his friend's dad's handgun. Less than that amount of time was given to the riots in Argentina and Bush's inability to say more than "Me goostah bi-lar" in Spanish. Oh, or the recent news that we employed our own illegal weapons of mass destruction when bombing Fallujah by using phosphorous to melt the faces off citizens there. Since salon.com won't let you read their stuff without watching an ad beforehand, here's a cut and past version of the story:
Chemical weapons in Iraq? An old story, but new questions. Has the United States used chemical weapons in Iraq? That charge has been made repeatedly -- and carefully denied just as often -- over the past two years. There was an accusation that the United States used napalm in the first days of the war. The Pentagon denied it, but then admitted that U.S. troops had, in fact, used a "napalm-like" substance in Mark-77 bombs during their march to Baghdad. After the offensive in Fallujah a year ago, there were charges that U.S. troops had used white phosphorus shells against human targets there. The U.S. denied those charges too, admitting that it had used phosphorus shells "very sparingly in Fallujah" but only "for illumination purposes." And on Sept. 11 of this year, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi claimed that U.S. troops had used chemical weapons during fighting in Tal Afar. The United States issued another denial, calling Zarqawi's claims a "standard disinformation technique."
The U.S. denials may all be correct, at least technically so. But a broadcast this week by the Italian state television network, RAI, is raising the question all over again. As the BBC and the Independent are reporting today, the RAI report alleges that the United States used both white phosphorus and the "napalm-like" Mark-77 bombs during the Fallujah assault in November 2004.
The RAI report relies on the words of a former U.S. soldier who said he fought at Fallujah and heard a warning that white phosphorus was about to be used there; the claims of a biologist in Fallujah, who says that a "rain of fire" fell on the city; and photographs, posted on RAI's Web site, that purport to show the burned bodies of Fallujah residents. RAI charges that the use of white phosphorus as a weapon rather than as an illuminating device would constitute the illegal use of a chemical weapon.
So far as we can tell, the mainstream press in the United States hasn't picked up on the story, but the international press certainly has. Al Jazeera has posted the BBC's story on its English-language Web site, complete with graphic photos from RAI.
There's no new response from the Pentagon yet. In the denial issued late last year, the Pentagon insisted that, in Fallujah, white phosphorus shells "were fired into the air to illuminate enemy positions at night, not at enemy fighters."
We are such liars and bullies.
The second thing that boggles my mind is that we continue to celebrate white collar criminals like Martha Stewart. I know this is old news, but I saw a preview of her appearance on Jay Leno and she was saying, "Yes, I made apple soup for all the prisoners." And she has her own show. Like, what do rich white pop culture figures have to do to be cut out of the public eye or ostracized in some way? Well, I guess you could take a stance against the war. That's a sure way to lose cred.
Here, let's not talk about it. Let's look at two more pics from our Halloween party.
(Pic 3): I live with this man, this hip hop Jesus. That is not his real hair, by the way, though the beard is authentic and so are the stigmata.
(Pic 4): Our friend Jimmy wearing the wig I was going to use as Sylvia Plath.