Letters to 8-ball Allah

Dear 8-ball Allah,

I’m a great fan of your Qur’an, but I feel like I’m struggling with some issues…. particularly Paradise. Don’t get me wrong, Paradise sounds great, but it seems like there are a lot of women. I get along with women okay, my best friends are all women, and my mom’s pretty cool….but I was just wondering if there are other options, besides the “young, full-breasted maidens of equal age” (v78:33).

-James (Jenine) Francis

Dear James,

Don’t worry, I made Mohammed, my fav prophet, be very specific about Paradise, as stated in my Sura titled “The Mount”:

“And there will go round boy-servants of theirs, to serve them…” (v52:24).

And also in another Sura:

“And round about them will serve boys of everlasting youth. If you see them, you would think them scattered pearls” (v76:19).

I prefer to keep an open mind about these things…

I’m the only one and I’m great,


Laugh! My Speechwriter demands it.

Besides the obvious despotic, conceited, and autocratic similarities,

--Oh, and let me not forget that overall lingering toward genocide--

I found other correlations.

Stalin made people dance,
Bush makes them laugh.

Just Ask Karl Rove!

She wasn't laughing.



"Failure to cooperate meant the loss of the ordinary necessities of living, such as showers, sufficient food, relief from the prospect of IRF'ing and other regular abuse visited upon non-cooperative detainees, access to reading material, and social contact (including receiving mail)." --Hicks Affidavit

I always find myself experiencing the same revelation, never ceasing to be amazed at what can happen here and how little is really said about it on the network news. I recently got the feeling again with David Hicks's military tribunal Guilty Plea, a plea he entered after spending five years in Guantanamo.

Thing could have turned out differently. The case of Canadian Maher Arar comes to mind. However, even after an apology from the Canadian Prime Minister (Stephen Harper) and $10.5 million in compensation, Arar is still hasn't received an American apology and is currently still on the "No Fly" list.

But with Hicks it's different right? He' s guilty, because, after all, he said so?
"I feel as though I'm teetering on the edge of losing my sanity after such a long ordeal, the last year of it being in isolation."--Hicks in a letter to his father 11-2-04.
I think after "teetering on the edge of sanity" for three years, after having his abuse "allegations documented at the Australian government's request" but only "investigated by American authorities," he is growing weary. I think after learning of increasing public support for him in Australia and after having the Australian government get a guarantee from Bush that if he had to serve a prison term it would be on Australian soil, he would have admitted to anything.

I Also think that, all at David Hicks's expense, it was a compromise between the two governments. John Howard, the Australian Prime Minister, wants to look good before an election; the Bush Administration wants a guilty plea--they've had too many Maher Arars.


What Goes in Must Come Out (9 months later)

Fargo's Prolife Billboards:
We're Prolife (but please don't tell Alfonso Rodriguez)

In the same spot where beer is boasted, 2nd mortgages are suggested, and cellulose can be magically removed, Prolife Accross America is letting a conservative city in a conservative state know they are trying to change womens' beliefs one billboard at a time.

And in case a person decides to research the Prolife Across America campaign, they can learn about not just the medical facts (like when a fetus smiles in the womb), but the scripture evidence as well. "Scripture" because apparently they only think pregnant Christian women are the ones debating this conundrum.

We saw these three billboards driving through downtown Fargo. I have a religious Christian friend that had an abortion during college for fear of what her religious community would think of her unmarried and pregnant, and I wonder how she feels everytime she has to look at one of these big, bright smiling babies...which are very healthy and very white as all good Christain babies should be in developed America.

So, out of curiosity, how prevelent are these billboards in your area?


Pro War? Then Pro-Aid!

Ever wonder why a majority of Africans are still starving? Or how the U.S. can drop a bomb in an African nation and not be reprimanded?

Well, the good thing is, American has been trying to help some of the starving! With Clinton signing the African Growth and Control Opportunity Act 2000, we now can
offer beneficiary sub-Saharan African countries duty-free and quota-free U.S. market access for essentially all products.

But, along with a basic need, you must also pass these eligibility requirements:

(1) Cannot engage in activities that undermine U.S. national security or foreign policy interests.

(2) Cannot engage in gross violations of internationally-recognized human rights.

(3) Cannot provide support for acts of international terrorism.

(4) Must have implemented their commitments to eliminate the worst forms of child labor.

The last three clauses make it look good, but the first one is unethical. This is business ethics at its best. It allows the US to cut off aid to countries that decide not to support U.S. foreign policy. By making the first clause very vague, even an unfavorable stance for the war in Iraq could disqualify a country.


Hopeful, Diluted, Delayed Gratification

Rumsfield has Germany, Libby has an indictment and not much support for a pardon, and Alberto Gonzales has mounting criticism and hopefully at least a looming resignation for illegally using the Patriot act and for the dismissal of eight US attorneys. Yet in each case, I am delaying appeasement, still waiting. There has to be more than this.

Due to his take on Article III of the Geneva Conventions, Alberto Gonzales should have been imprisoned for human rights abuses back in 2002. Then at least we would have some vague reassurance that the justice system works. We may even have had a sense of justice that could have stopped any notion of a "Just War" theory.

But today we manufacture our justice through CSI, Cops, and 24. I feel better already. Well, actually I'll feel much better when Bush is in Gonzales's position of disgrace, critique, and hopeful indictment. That truly would be TV-like bookend, tying everything up before his term is over.



Answering important questions such as "can Satan read our minds," the "walking bible."Jack Van Impe, calls the European Union the "ten-nation confederacy of the Anti-Christ" (actually, there are 27 nations in the European Union, there hasn't been just 10 nations since 1981).

But the cool thing about Jack Van Impe's ministry is that it is like a top-secret bible prophecy club. You can eagerly await his next plethora of prophecy paranoia in your mailbox and feel like a real CIA agent with his "Van Impe Intelligence Briefing," which is members-only for the "Prophecy Forum!" And, if you feel like you are straying from your godly mission, and experience twinges of truth, you can always rely on Jack Van Impe to update his "Daily Walk Devotional Guide," helping you relate your chaotic, non-linear experiences to vague, miracle-infused messages.

Unfortunately, you better join that club by the year 2012.

Note: God likes logic puzzles and long math equations.


A Meditation on Lee Greenwood

Just like the American media, I am going to take everyone's mind off the real news. I am going to ask "where were you" when you first heard/sang a song by Lee Greenwood?

I know I was in the Jr. High choir. I envisioned "America's most recognized [self-proclaimed] patriot" as some Francis Scott Key type, rather than a flag-waving venture capitalist that, after 9-11 caused a jump back to the top of the charts, decided to give back by selling Iraqi coins and going on tour with Sean Hanity.

From the Walter Reed Medical Center to the Bushvilles in New Orleans, grab a group of patriotic third graders and don on that dusty American flag jacket. What do you think about patriotism now that freedom-loving parade has dwindled, leaving only a few sick and weary stragglers?


Land of the Free

America definitely is the "Land of the Free." After all, we can buy supersized tampons for plus sized women, watch Hugh Hefner's the Girls Next Door, and banks and businesses do close on at least two Christan holidays--Christmas and Easter.

Secularism and freedom go hand in hand. India, a secular state, actually finds time to publicly celebrate holidays from the three major religions of Hindu, Islam, and Christianity. In America, "where at least I know I'm free," a Jew, Muslim, or Hindu is left celebrating their holiday making money for the landlord, CEO, and Uncle Sam.

In America, "where at least I know I'm free" to practice the national religion and exploit the minority, isn't it ironic the "in God we trust" is printed on those same dollars minority make while working on their holidays?

Thank you
Lee Greenwood:

If tomorrow all the things were gone I’d worked for all my life,
And I had to start again with just my children and my wife.
I’d thank my lucky stars to be living here today,
‘Cause the flag still stands for freedom and they can’t take that away.

And I’m proud to be an American where at least I know I’m free.

And I won’t forget the men who died, who gave that right to me.
And I’d gladly stand up next to you and defend her still today.
‘Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land God bless the U.S.A.

From the lakes of Minnesota, to the hills of Tennessee,
across the plains of Texas, from sea to shining sea,

From Detroit down to Houston and New York to LA,
Well, there’s pride in every American heart,

and it’s time to stand and say:

I’m proud to be an American where at least I know I’m free.
And I won’t forget the men who died, who gave that right to me.
And I’d gladly stand up next to you and defend her still today.

‘Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land God bless the U.S.A.


On Tour

As protests became violent, baby kissing wasn't on the agenda during his visit to Brazil.

"The world looks very different depending on whether you are holding the lash or whether you are being whipped by it for hundreds of years." --Noam Chomsky


Divine Intervention

The other day, I received a letter.
I thought it was a special credit card application with the insignia of the American Enterprise Institute, but it wasn't. It was a prayer handkerchief. Apparently it's used for those allergy prone atheists.

With America's wealth inequality, North Dakota's weak stance on the minimum wage, and the pairing of religion with conservative politics, somehow I think it wasn't "God's Holy Spirit" that singled me out, but the fact that I'm not in that top 1percentile. I think they are on the list to get frankincense and myrrh.



In spite of bad publicity and congressional investigations about the Bush administration’s downplay of climate change, the American Conservative Union met today to reminisce about Baptist college, to talk about how tough it was to be a conservative during the 60's, and of course to question global warming.

According to them, the "liberal" media--which has been compliant with the Bush administration, flag waving up to and after the Iraq war--is tricking foolish Americans into becoming Europeans. After all, in the spectrum of "Eurpeaness" energy conservation is only one increment away from gay marriage, legalized prostitution, and a social welfare state.

This, said Newt Gingrich, must be stopped!