July 11, 2003

The more things change...

Portions of the State of the Union speech draft came to the CIA for comment shortly before the speech was given. Various parts were shared with cognizant elements of the Agency for review. Although the documents related to the alleged Niger-Iraqi uranium deal had not yet been determined to be forgeries, officials who were reviewing the draft remarks on uranium raised several concerns about the fragmentary nature of the intelligence with National Security Council colleagues. Some of the language was changed. From what we know now, Agency officials in the end concurred that the text in the speech was factually correct � i.e. that the British government report said that Iraq sought uranium from Africa. This should not have been the test for clearing a Presidential address. This did not rise to the level of certainty which should be required for Presidential speeches, and CIA should have ensured that it was removed.
CIA Director George Tenet, July 11, 2003
As you know, in a deposition in January I was asked questions about my relationship with Monica Lewinsky. While my answers were legally accurate, I did not volunteer information. Indeed, I did have a relationship with Ms. Lewinsky that was not appropriate. In fact, it was wrong. It constituted a critical lapse in judgment and a personal failure on my part for which I am solely and completely responsible.
President Bill Clinton, August 17, 1998

Man, it's a shame how much trouble the Bush administration is going to get into lying about something immoral and wrong and excusing themselves by saying it's "technically accurate."

I mean... they are going to get the same treatment...


Posted by August J. Pollak at 11:32 PM

(Spits soda across monitor)

Jesus Christ, Tom. Never post that again. Happy nightmares, kids.

As for Tom's book, I should be (hopefully) getting my hands on a copy soon, so expect a full review in the near future. At the time I'm posting this, it's #21 on Amazon.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 12:23 PM

July 10, 2003

Site update

The "college liberals" strip from last September is fixed up and now in the Toons section. I'm very happy for that, because the final panel image of Overboard using XQUZYPHYR's hat for leverage is personally one of the funniest poses I think I've ever drawn. But that's just me.

Also, I've put a link to Chank in my Links section. Chank is the company that last year designed a custom font of my own lettering for me, which resulted in the actually-legible cartoons you read today. If you're an aspiring cartoonist who, like me, needs as much free time as possible to work on their atrocious artwork, a custom font provides ample extra time that would have otherwise been spent working on your atrocious handwriting.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 12:50 PM

We are all going to hell with minty fresh breath

Reader Margaret Lyman has sent me an e-mail of such greatness that it now has its very own page on the site, in which to hold the images of the product she found that, yes indeedy, exploits the name and image of Mother Teresa.

Reluctantly, I've got to admit that if more of this shit exists, I can sympathize with the lawsuit. I still want a football team, though. Oh, and I still want everyone to remember she refused to give people sterilized needles and accepted stolen money from Charles Keating. Small stuff.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 12:38 PM

July 9, 2003

Well there goes my lucrative merchandising idea

Nuns at Mother Teresa's order said they were seeking copyright on her name and the logo of their order to prevent individuals or organisations using them without permission.

Sister M. Nirmala, Superior General of the Missionaries of Charity, told AFP on Wednesday in the eastern city of Calcutta that the move to seek legal protection was in keeping with the wishes of Mother Teresa, who died in 1997.

"In her lifetime, Mother Teresa expressed on a number of occasions her wish that her name not be used by any other individual or organisation without her permission, or after her death, the permission of her successor, the Superior General of the Missionaries of Charity," she said.

"We are seeking legal protection for the use of our logo, and also want such protection for the name of the Mother Teresa and that of the Missionaries of Charity."

The logo was designed by Mother Teresa.

A ha. Mother Teresa: healer, religous icon, typographer.

Now, since I'm sure the organization doing this isn't going to, for example, use this to shoot down schools and memorial parks named after her, we can guess that like Jeb Bush's recent attempts to trademark his name this is a ploy to prevent anything bad from being said about Mother Teresa... one of the chief practices of the Church of Scientology is to sue websites that mention the evils of the horrible pyramid-scheming cult church which use the word "scientology" in the URL. I'm sure this is no different.

Other than that, I have no idea... I mean, it's not like there was a Midwestern guy somewhere out there who really wanted to make a startup baseball team called "The Fayetteville, AK Fighting Mother Teresas."

Excuse me. I have to go design that RIGHT NOW before it becomes illegal.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 5:04 PM

"Isn't that the movie you called 'a mixture of fantasy and crap?'"

Yes. I dubbed it "Fantacrap."

Had this rhetoric thrown at me today, and it's not the first time, but it's time for it to go away now:

I was against the war in Iraq. I was against the invasion of Afghanistan. For one reason, because I believed the invasion would be staged poorly, kill countless civilians, and likely result in a less-stabilized government in power than there was before. Iraq also gets the addition of the whole "we've faked about 90% of the reasons for invading the damn place" angle.

So now, months later, I and countless others have been noting the failures of these missions, and among many complaints of the pro-war side there has been this ridiculous piece of Fantacrap: "Well if you think there's so much wrong with the U.S.'s role in the Iraq war, why aren't you suggesting how it could have been handled better?"

Umm... what? When did that become my obligation?

Let's look at it this way: If someone shot my friend, and my desire was for my friend to have never died, I'm not obligated to suggest what a better way to have killed him would have been. I never wanted him to die in the first place.

Likewise, it's pathetic to claim that I'm out of touch with the debate because I don't suggest a "better way" for handling an invasion I never wanted to have happen in the first place. My solution for "how I would have handled it" is negated by the fact that time machines don't exist.

For the pro-war side, as well as the gutless "well now that the war's started, it's time to support the troops" people, to claim that I'm being useless in offering ideas: I offered them before Bush decided to engage in this highly-potential quagmire and they were ignored. I went with 400,000 people to the United Nations and screamed them out loud with the whole world watching and I was mocked.

And now, all of a sudden, it's supposed to be my fault that a soldier a day is dying in a nation Bush declared is now absent of combat? My fault that the Taliban or its equal representative is possibly regaining power in U.S.-abandoned Afghanistan? My fault that Bush lied about evidence, faked justification for invasion, and failed to find what he claimed he didn't need to look for anyway because he "knew" it was there?

The idea that the invasion of Iraq, for whatever reason this week we're claiming we started it, has gone off well, is pure fantasy. The notion that it's my fault for noting that is pure crap.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 2:29 PM


The movie is called Wasabi. You have, likely, never heard of it.

It consists of, in 90 minutes: Jean Reno, guns, Japan, gangsters, transvestites, multiple bank robberies, punching people in the head, and golf. This is all done in French.

It is the GREATEST GODDAMN MOVIE EVER. You will rent it now.

As you were.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 12:22 AM

July 7, 2003

(Gasp!) You mean he said something outrageously offensive and hateful?

Michael "Savage" Weiner fired from MSNBC:

The popular radio talk show host who did a weekend TV show for the cable channel referred to an unidentified caller to his show Saturday as a "sodomite" and said he should "get AIDS and die."

"His comments were extremely inappropriate and the decision was an easy one," MSNBC spokesman Jeremy Gaines said.

There was no immediate comment from Savage, according to a spokesman at his office in California.

The brash, tough-talking Savage is one of radio's hottest jocks. His Paul Revere Society advocates closing borders, deporting illegal immigrants, mandating health tests for immigrants and eliminating entitlement programs.

The televised version of The Savage Nation began March 8 despite the protests of such advocacy groups as the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation.

Aired at 5 p.m. ET Saturday, Savage didn't translate into a television hit. He increased the ratings for the time slot marginally, according to MSNBC.

You know, the rating that dropped when they cancelled all the moderate and left-leaning shows on the network. Gosh, I guess now that Savage is gone they have to turn to his usual replacement: a five-gallon pail of vomit with a microphone next to it.

I'm not going to give any credit to MSNBC here. Any notion that they took the "bold move" of canning Weiner is ridiculous, as it would imply that when they gave him a TV show six months ago they somehow didn't know that he was a racist, sexist, violent, mentally-unstable sociopath. For five months or so MSNBC has expected the "shock value" of Savage Nation to rub off on the ratings for a network that has established itself as the cable equivalent of the kid in Junior High who would be willing to eat the scent cake out of the bathroom urinal to impress the Senior who just pissed all over it in the belief that it would make him popular. MSNBC doesn't get any praise for axing Weiner until they issue a full apology for having him on the air for nearly half a year.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 5:46 PM