The Daily Sandwich

"We have to learn the lesson that intellectual honesty is fundamental for everything we cherish." -Sir Karl Popper

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States


Thursday, February 22, 2007

Do Not Attempt To Adjust Your Reality

ITEM! The most powerful man in the closet! I mean world!

OK, here's the deal. We all know that Bush has some literacy issues, and an apparent hatred for diplomacy. And there could be some issues of translation here. And I wouldn't bring this up at all if El Chimpo had just said in his usual smirking way "I'm gonna screw him but good," or "I'm gonna fuck him up." But this anecdote is outright disturbing, in a high school wrestling team locker room sort of way:

Speaking of George Bush, with whom Sharon developed a very close relationship, Uri Dan recalls that Sharon's delicacy made him reluctant to repeat what the president had told him when they discussed Osama bin Laden. Finally he relented. And here is what the leader of the Western world, valiant warrior in the battle of cultures, promised to do to bin Laden if he caught him: "I will screw him in the ass!"

Item! Cheney discovers new continent in Bizarroworld!

Violence continues unabated in Iraq! Most prominent member of the Coalition of the Willing throws in the towel! What does it all mean? SUCCESS!

In the [ABC News] interview, Cheney also said Britain's plans to withdraw about 1,600 troops from Iraq _ while the United States adds more troops _ was a positive step. "I look at it and see it is actually an affirmation that there are parts of Iraq where things are going pretty well," the vice president said.

ITEM! Capone crime wave sweeps city-- but Elliot Ness and his Untouchables fight back with PR campaign!

The Bad News: Globally there was a 607 percent rise in the average yearly incidence of attacks (28.3 attacks per year before and 199.8 after) and a 237 percent rise in the fatality rate (from 501 to 1,689 deaths per year). A large part of this rise occurred in Iraq, the scene of almost half the global total of jihadist terrorist attacks. But even excluding Iraq and Afghanistan—the other current jihadist hot spot—there has been a 35 percent rise in the number of attacks, with a 12 percent rise in fatalities.

The Worse News: Federal prosecutors counted immigration violations, marriage fraud and drug trafficking among anti-terror cases in the four years after 9/11 even though no evidence linked them to terror activity, a Justice Department audit said Tuesday.

Overall, nearly all of the terrorism-related statistics on investigations, referrals and cases examined by department Inspector General Glenn A. Fine were either diminished or inflated. Only two of 26 sets of department data reported between 2001 and 2005 were accurate, the audit found.

ITEM! Right-wing columnist dupes, uhhhh... fifth graders?

We've actually seen this before-- someone takes the number of non-combat military deaths (e.g., traffic accidents, illness) as proof that Iraq is a pretty sweet place to be. But this story gives it an even more disingenuous twist.

"The total military dead in the Iraq war between 2003 and this month stands at about 3,133. This is tragic, as are all deaths due to war, and we are facing a cowardly enemy unlike any other in our past that hides behind innocent citizens," Colon wrote. "Each death is blazoned in the headlines of newspapers and Internet sites. What is never compared is the number of military deaths during the Clinton administration: 1,245 in 1993; 1,109 in 1994; 1,055 in 1995; 1,008 in 1996. That's 4,417 deaths in peacetime but, of course, who's counting?"

What would happen if Alicia Colon added traffic fatalities et al. (not to mention Afghanistan) to her Iraq numbers? She'd probably just write a Clenis-themed column instead. It's all they've got.