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Saturday, February 22, 2003

When even the left-coasters in San Francisco have to pad their numbers, you know that the anti-war movement is truly based on smoke and mirrors. (No offense to Siegfried and Roy.)

A newspaper's aerial survey of last weekend's massive anti-war rally in San Francisco determined Friday that the size of the crowd was less than half of what police and protest organizers had originally estimated.

The San Francisco Chronicle said high-resolution aerial photographs commissioned by the newspaper showed that around 65,000 people took part in last Sunday's march through downtown rather than the 200,000 announced originally.

Media reports in the aftermath of last weekend's marches around the world declared that the large crowds at the anti-war rallies indicated tangible opposition to a war in Iraq.

Rally organizers disputed the Chronicle's findings as did police officials.

"I can tell you for a fact that's an enormously low number," declared Deputy Police Chief Greg Suhr, who commanded the officers assigned to the march. [You can tell us "for a fact"? Honest and for true? Well, this should be interesting. Let's read on.]

Suhr said that the 200,000 figure was his personal estimate and that no one else in the SFPD had been assigned to count heads. He said, however, that the crowd was much larger than those seen during baseball games at Pacific Bell Park, which is often filled to capacity.

"(Pacific Bell Park), just in the stands, holds 40,000," Suhr said. "The crowd at Pac Bell would pale in comparison to the crowd on Sunday."

Well, I guess he's right. I mean, one person standing on the ground just has to be more accurate than high-res aerial photographs. And Officer Suhr must not be much on mathematics. If Pac Bell holds 40,ooo people, and the number--let's assume the paper was right--of protestors was 65,000, then that's an increase of 62.5 percent. Assuming my rusty math skills are somewhat accurate. And a 62 percent increase would most definitely make the Pac Bell crowd "pale in comparison."

Officer Suhr needs to quit spending so much time reading Mother Jones and brush up on his cypherin'.

Old Bill Clinton is still out there being an idiot. (Big surprise, I know.) To paraphrase Hank Hill, "Everytime I think you've said the stupidest thing ever, you keep talking."

Seems that the former president presided over a pre-Grammy celebration in which U2's Bono received the "Person of the Year" award. And while awarding Bono, Slick said, "If you immediately think it's us versus them, then this will not be a world for your children to grow up in."

I agree. This isn't a world for our children to grow up in. So let's kill the bad guys.

Captain's Log, Stardate I haven't the foggiest because I'm still psychotic from this sickness. Auntie Em, is that you?

Anyway, the Pope has met with British Prime Minister Tony Blair to encourage him to avoid the "tragedy of war." Funny, the old boy with the funny hat didn't seem nearly as exercised about the tragedy of priests molesting children.

During a private audience that lasted about 30 minutes on Saturday, the pope reiterated that "in the grave situation in Iraq, every effort to avoid new divisions in the world be made," the Vatican said in a statement.

Blair, who is an Anglican, shook the pope's hand and sat next to him during their discussions. The 82-year-old pontiff received Blair's wife Cherie, a Catholic, and their children at the end of the audience, the Vatican said.

In recent days, the pope met several players in the debate, including Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz, who is a Christian, U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan and German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer. He also sent an envoy to meet Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein.

A few points here. Tariq Aziz is as much a Christian as I am a Barbra Streisand fan. You do not, under any circumstances, rise to any form of "power" in countries like Iraq unless you're Muslim. Yes, technically Saddam's Baath Party is secularist, but the country is about 95 percent Muslim, and we all know how friendly those peaceful Muslims are to other religions.

Kofi Annan is the bureaucrat's bureaucrat, the figurehead of the most inept, useless organization the world has ever seen, except for maybe the Pauly Shore for President committee.

And "gut" old Joschka Fischer is a tried and true radical, with ties to wonderful people like Qadaffi, the Baader-Meinhof gang, Carlos the Jackal, and various and sundry other violent revolutionaries.

Yet the pope welcomed all three of these thugs with open arms, while chastizing Tony Blair. Your friends speak volumes about your own character, and the Pope just said a mouthful.

Friday, February 21, 2003

Did I mention it's raining? If I were black, I could write a kicking blues song. Alas, I have terminal white boy disease. Curse my Caucasian genes!

Being sick is not fun. These words of obvious wisdom brought to you by whatever insidious little virus/bacteria/otherworldly specter is currently ravaging my body. I'm coughing like the Pall Mall All-Stars, my eyes are flashing more spots than a Leopardpalooza, and my head feels like it's been completely filled by grout. Whine, gripe, complain, repeat.