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Inside the system

December 13, 2002 | Page 10

The Loveboat goes to Grenada

THINK OF it as a special "U.S. imperialism" episode of the old TV show The Loveboat. Unfortunately, this new skipper isn't as smooth.

Oliver North--the former Marine lieutenant colonel at the center of the Iran-contra scandal--and his Freedom Alliance foundation are sponsoring a Caribbean cruise to honor the 20th anniversary of the invasion of the tiny island of Grenada.

North and a group of supporters--among them National Rifle Association nutcase Wayne LaPierre and Republican Rep. Dana Rohrabacher--will board a luxury liner and sail from Puerto Rico on March 1 of next year. "The idea of a 20th anniversary cruise seemed kind of appropriate," North said.

The invasion of Grenada was seen by most people for what it was--an exercise orchestrated by the U.S. anti-Castro lobby to demonstrate American power to police its "backyard." But North defends the invasion and hopes the cruise will pay proper tribute to the soldiers who risked their lives to "reverse the Communist takeover."

--Associated Press, November 22, 2002

Do they have to ask?

WHEN FRANÇOISE Ducros, communications director to Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, recently called Bush a "moron" the sparks began to fly. Chrétien defended Bush, saying "Bush is not a moron at all; he's a friend."

But experts on stupidity recently suggested that Ducros may be correct. "Technically, a moron is someone who is stupid but looks normal," said Albert Nerenberg, a Toronto-based film director who is completing a television documentary titled Stupidity. "Much has been said recently about Bush arriving at a point where he looks presidential," said Nerenberg. "What's intriguing about morons is that they can pass as just about anyone, but inside, they're still morons."

But Pat Buchanan, thinks the moron discussion in Canada is proof that Canadians are "the spoiled brats of the new world order."

--Canada Newswire, November 22, 2002

Jesus loves clean air

A PENNSYLVANIA environmental group is planning television advertising to urge consumers to park their pollution-causing SUVs--because Jesus would prefer a cleaner auto.

The Evangelical Environmental Network will begin running ads this month in eight cities to urge consumers to buy fuel-efficient cars, saying that the devout ought to consider the SUV's impact on the Earth. "We think he is Lord of our transportation choices as well as all our other choices," said Ball, an ordained American Baptist minister.

--Associated Press, November 13, 2002

Heard it through the grapevine

"THE LAW I sign today directs new funds and new focus to the task of collecting vital intelligence on terrorist threats and on weapons of mass production."
--George W. Bush

"CONTRARY TO my image as a Texan with two shotguns on my side, I'm more comfortable with a posse."
--Bush, speaking to Czech President Vaclav Havel

"WE THINK [George W. Bush] should come to our class on Wednesday to learn some [conflict resolution] skills."
--Jennifer, a fifth-grade student at Sequoia Elementary School in Oakland, Calif.

"WE THINK it's strange to go to war with a country you taught war to."
--Emma Styles-Swaim, another fifth-grade student

"DEAR GOVERNOR-elect Racine, congratulations to you, your family and staff on your recent election!"
--Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, in a letter accidentally sent to Doug Racine, who lost Vermont's election

"WE MUST seek our common ground with the administration."
--Newly elected House Minority Whip Nancy Pelosi

"IT'S LIKE going to a very inexpensive spa."
--Buddy Cianci, former mayor of Providence, R.I., as he headed to prison to begin serving a five-year sentence for corruption

"THE FBI wants access to decode, digest and discuss financial transactions, personal e-mail and proprietary information sent abroad--all in the name of national security. To accomplish this, President Clinton would like government agencies to have the keys for decoding all exported U.S. software and Internet communications. This proposed policy raises obvious concerns about Americans' privacy, in addition to tampering with the competitive advantage that our U.S. software companies currently enjoy in the field of encryption technology."
--Then-Senator John Ashcroft, in 1997

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