Friday, September 4, 2009

Small Uighur Pricks, Mark Sanford, Mr Rice Flipped the Wrong Finger

David Brooks
Eugene Robinson
Dana Milbank
Joe Klein

On the Economy:
Paul Krugman
Bruce Bartlett
Timothy Geithner

Eating bitter...
We all know how badly China has treated its minorities. For many years it has forced millions of ethnic Han to relocate out of the cities and live in places like Tibet and Xinjiang, hoping to subdue the local ethnic groups and assimilate them into Chinese society, whatever that is. Predictably, the results have fostered resentment, often rioting, and sometimes violence. The current problems area continues to be in Xinjiang Province, home to the Uighur minority, as reported by the NY Times: "Urumqi remained paralyzed Friday as Han protesters continued to rally in parts of the city to call for greater security measures against alleged Uighur attacks, forcing the government to close schools, offices and shops to keep people off the streets and to block traffic from the city center. The police used tear gas to disperse protesters, and loud booms from the firing of gas canisters could be heard from the city center, witnesses said.

Groups of protesters continued to gather in front of the offices of the regional government Friday to demand the resignation of Wang Lequan, the top Communist Party official in Xinjiang, an oil-rich and ethnically fractious region that makes up one-sixth of China. The Han protesters said that Mr. Wang had failed to make the city safe for Han residents after mobs of Uighurs went on a rampage in the city center July 5, beating and killing scores of civilians. Mr. Wang, a proponent of hard-line ethnic minority policies who has ruled Xinjiang for 15 years, is a member of the Communist Party’s ruling Politburo, and the outcry is a rare attack against a member of the country’s governing elite." The claims over the latest stealth attacks against the Han involved members of the Uighur minority sneaking up and pricking them with needles. Fears that the needles were infected with HIV grew hysterical, though it hasn't been proved. Guess the plan worked, groups of Han Chinese have been forming vigilante groups and going into the neighborhoods and beating the crap out of any Uighur wandering out after dark. Kinda reminds me of our proud heritage and history of the South. String em' up, boys...

I know you are, but what am I..
Let's see, South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford ruins his marriage and his chances at any higher national office by having an affair with an Argentinian woman and bragging about it when he gets caught. Last week the Lt Governor Andre Bauer calls for Sanford's resignation. Last weekend the state's House Republican Caucus met and asked the governor to resign under threat of impeachment.

So, what clever strategy does the governor's staff come up with to prevent their good old boy from being dumped into the tank? By circulating the rumors that the Lt Governor is gay! Yeah, that sure will work, glad that Mark is safe for a few more years, ensuring a bright political future ahead...

And then there were nine...
Another weird story is about the guy who had his finger bitten off at a health care vigil in Thousand Oaks, CA, right near where my aunt lives. I wonder if she saw anything on her way home from work... Anyway, here's a semi eye witness account of what happened: "The man in the orange shirt hit the pro-reform guy (I’m going to call him PR Guy just to keep the players straight). Hard. ( tweeted in real time) He punched him in the face, knocked him to the ground and into that thruway. As you can see from the photo, cars drive straight through that without stopping. The pro-reform guy could have been run over. He got up, tried to get back up on the curb, but Orange Shirt guy was in his face. Finger in his face, PR Guy standing, steps up to the curb, and there’s a scuffle. Orange shirt seemed to have PR Guy in a hold, but again, I was across the street, so won’t state that as absolute fact. Next thing I see is PR Guy’s hat being tossed into the street, both yelling at one another, then Orange shirt walks away, PR Guy picks up hat and crosses to our side.

When he gets to our side, he tells a story in one sentence: “He punched me hard, straight in the face, so I bit his finger off.” There have been conflicting reports about the two guys, and the older man has been made into a sympathetic victim, as some old dude who was just wandering by without a political agenda. He is William James Rice and he "told deputies he was not actually protesting. He said he stopped to inquire about the demonstration and then was approached by the suspect."

But, also in the published eyewitness report, Mr Rice had previously accosted and been beligerant to a young woman: "All of a sudden, I saw a very tall man in an orange shirt (yes, he is in the photo I linked you to) confront her, verbally at first. Her back was to the thruway, and he was shooing her, approaching her, speaking to her in a very aggressive fashion (observation from body language only) and waving his arms in a shooing motion. With each step she took back, he took one forward, shooing her more. From where I was, it appeared as though he were telling her to get on her own side of the street, and backing it up with a very clear physical threat..." If this account is true, Mr Rice is a liar and angry old man, my favorite kind, and was the incident that led the younger man to go over and defend her, leading to the fight.

late night jokes:

"The swine flu just is bad. And everybody's worried about it. As a matter of fact, former Vice President Dick Cheney is so concerned about swine flu that today he fried his bacon in Purell." --David Letterman

"I like that Cheney. In eight years as Vice President, the only thing we knew about Dick Cheney was he was always in an undisclosed location. That and he shot his buddy in the face." --David Letterman

"But now, he can't keep his mouth closed, and he's talking about he's really upset with the Obama Administration about the CIA torture probe. He said he can't stand it. He said it's a huge mistake and we shouldn't be doing it. And then he went back to his mountain fortress to create a mate for his monster." --David Letterman

"Cheney says that the CIA torture probe is a terrible idea and should never have been authorized. You mean like the war in Iraq? You mean like that, Dick?" --David Letterman

"Hey, here's good news, ladies and gentlemen -- Eliot Spitzer is running for governor again. I'm telling you, the comedy recession is over." --David Letterman

"He's talking about running for governor again, although Eliot says he won't make a decision without consulting his wife. I remember when he used to make quite a few decisions without consulting his wife." --David Letterman

"It looks like they're starting to get the wildfires under control. Firefighters in the LA area have been working nonstop all week long. And this morning -- this is very nice -- this morning, as a reward, Governor Schwarzenegger personally served them breakfast. Unfortunately, due to the California's budget crisis, he was forced to charge them $12.99 each." --Conan O'Brien

"Big election scandal in Afghanistan. The loser of the Afghanistan presidential election, a man named Abdullah Abdullah, is claiming that the winner, Hamid Karzai, artificially inflated his number of votes. In response, Karzai is claiming that Abdullah Abdullah artificially inflated his number of Abdullahs." --Conan O'Brien

"State Department's conducting a big investigation into a wild party thrown at the U.S. embassy in Afghanistan. Of course, in Afghanistan, a wild party is any event where a girl takes her socks off." --Conan O'Brien

"In an interview, President Obama has said that picking up his dog Bo's poop is one of the highlights of his day. The interview was published in 'The Journal of Depressing Metaphors for the State of America.'" --Conan O'Brien

"Elmo from 'Sesame Street' is appearing in a new public service announcement informing people about swine flu. Doctors warn that if you see a red, furry, high-pitched monster informing you about swine flu, you may already have it." --Conan O'Brien

"Summer vacation's sadly coming to an end. Not for the Obama family. They just got back from Martha's Vineyard. And now they're going on another vacation to Camp David. Joe Biden is really excited for the car trip. He loves sticking his head out the window." --Jimmy Fallon

"Yesterday, ex-Governor Eliot Spitzer started work as a professor at New York City College, where he will teach a three-hour long political science class. Last time he did something for three hours, it cost him, like, 15 grand." --Jimmy Fallon

"The Toyota Camry is the number one selling car in the U.S., because of the 'Cash for Clunkers' program. I think Obama's getting a little carried away. Now he's letting people trade in old American children for newer Japanese children." --Jimmy Fallon

"A new study from the University of Maryland finds that swine flu easily overtakes other strains of the flu. And you know it's bad when the bird flu is worried about the swine flu." --Jimmy Fallon

David Letterman's Top Ten Dumb Guys Tips to Combat the Swine Flu

10. Give your pigs and hogs Advil, vitamin C and plenty of liquids.
9. Let President Nixon figure it out.
8. Be extra vigilant when shopping at Piggly Wiggly.
7. Tax cuts for the rich.
6. Forget swine flu, you should be worried about the Obama death panels.
5. Lock yourself in Y2K bunker.
4. Spray your pork chops with Lysol.
3. Initiate talks with the leader of the pigs, see if we can't work this out.
2. If you see a pig, run!
1. Those microscopic germs don't stand a chance against Dr. Jack Daniels

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