Monday, August 31, 2009

Remembering Ted Kennedy

Ted Kennedy, a hero to many, died last week. The senate lost its lion. Camelot ended. And many are asking if this is the end of the Kennedys.

Sure, Ted Kennedy killed a person. But he helped so many people throughout his career, so it doesn't count. I recently killed a guy, but I donated his brain to science (the part I didn't eat, anyway), so it's all good.

Don't get me wrong, I've always liked Ted Kennedy. But he killed a person.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Evil Leaders League, Semis 1st Leg

Before we begin the playoffs, we have some business to attend to. Three evil competitors tied for 4th place with a record of 3-4. So, veteran fans know what that means. One challenger will make the playoffs, another will try again next season, and the other will be relegated. Exciting stuff. So how to do this? A round robin could finish in 1-1s all around, so that's out. As a result, the evil endeavors of the three hopefuls will be assigned point totals in this tie breaker and the results will be determined as such. Check out the official Evil Leaders League site.

Ahmadinejad vs al-Assad vs Obiang
For years, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, one of the leaders of Iran, has talked the talk. He committed a Holocaust that never happened and, if it did, it ended before he was born. He defeated American imperialism and destroyed the state of Israel. Of course, actions speak louder than words, so he didn't do any of these things. But recently, he's actually acting. Opponents: jailed. Reform party: deemed illegal. Short guys with beards: sexy.

Bashar al-Assad of Syria has moved closer to the West recently. But he still decries imperialism, foreign intervention, hot beef injections, and every other euphemism for the United States' empire you can think of. However, al-Assad has spent a lot of time listening to the Village People this season. His favorite is "Go West." He also loves the policeman and his steamy mustache.

Equatorial Guinea, the third best Guinea in Africa, and 5th worldwide, is headed by Teodoro Obiang, the 2nd best Teodoro Obiang globally. There's a Teodoro Obiang who works at a gas station in Secaucus, New Jersey. The ruling Obiang uses his country's profits to sustain his billion dollar habit of stealing billions of dollars.
All the winners at the Evil Leaders League site.

Now on to the playoffs. The semifinals will consist of two legs, best aggregate score wins. Enjoy.

Shwe vs al-Bashir
If you thought being a democracy-advocating opposition leader to a cutthroat military junta was bad, imagine if you add the term "convicted" in front of that. That is the situation Aung San Suu Kyi faces in Burmese leader Than Shwe's Myanmar. Never fear, Myanmar has tons of gas and just signed a huge trade deal with China via a South Korean company. See, Than Shwe isn't that bad after all. Sudan's Omar al-Bashir knows all about the game. While overseeing his oil rich country, he hacks the blacks of his nation. It's not all bad, at least he doesn't use marijuana. It's the gateway drug, you know.

The playoff winners at the Evil Leaders League site.

Ahmadinejad vs Kim
The difference between Ahmadinejad's rants against his own people and those against the rest of the world is that he can carry out the ones against Iranians. Apparently, Ahmadinejad is a fan of prison rape. It all dates back to a paper he wrote in kindergarten titled "I Hope to One Day Become President and Advocate the Rape of My Political Opponents while They Languish Away in Prison on Trumped Up Charges." The paper got a B+. North Korea's Kim Jong-Il sent his condolences to South Korea following the death of ex-president Kim Dae Jung. The ill North Korean dictator has made other overtures towards his southern neighbor. Looks like someone's trying to get into Korean Heaven.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Afghan Psychosis

I've been thinking about Afghanistan too much. Afghanistan has consumed my life. Last night, I dreamed that Hamid Karzai and I were surrounded by Karzai's cabinet in Ramazan Bashardost's tent. Foreign minister Rangin Dadfar Spanta was there. So was justice minister Sarwar Danish and agricultural minister Asif Rahimi. They all huddled around Hamid and I. Hamid had given me a top secret mission and a tootsie pop. The mission was to see how many licks it took to get to the center. It took 438 1/2. I counted each one.

For the next 34 minutes, everyone gave their own interpretation of what constitutes a lick. Then the Americans weighed in and told us to quit bickering and just bite it. Then I woke up.

I would like to take this time to join the crowd and declare myself the winner of Thursday's presidential election in Afghanistan. If I didn't win, it was only because of massive fraud.

I'd also like to wish everyone a dignified and enlightening Ramadan.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Healthcare Nazis

We all know that I became a conservative once Obama came to power because I couldn't deal with being on the winning team. But I must say to my fellow conservatives, this whole "if you advocate healthcare reform you're a Nazi" thing makes me uncomfortable.

Let's say the proposed bill actually does call for the infamous death panels (keep in mind, you'd have to be a fucking moron to interpret the bill this way). Let's say that the government was really going to kill your grandmother if she so much as sneezed. That still doesn't make it a Nazi policy. The Nazis did worse shit in their sleep. Perhaps some of my fellow conservatives should read a fucking book on the Nazis before they open their mouths. The Nazis also had guns; does that mean that anyone who has a gun is a Nazi?

I also don't like that we are calling various Jewish congresspersons and senators Nazis for supporting healthcare reform. If you think about it, that's unbelievably offensive. The Nazis attempted to extinguish the Jewish people; so to call a Jew who supports a public option in the healthcare system a Nazi is crossing the line a bit. The word Nazi might be a punchline to you, but it has real meaning for Jews. Practice some empathy before casually screaming shit. I mean, what's next? If Charlie Rangel supports a clean air act, are we going to accuse him of slavery? It's interesting that the accusations of nazism have come from white goyim who have never experienced a moment of persecution in their lives.

I have to be honest, I feel pretty uncomfortable even pretending to be associated with conservatives after this. Plus, I feel sufficiently persecuted to jump ship.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Taliban Rap

Here's a Taliban rap song translated into English:

Down with the unbelievers (x4)

Verse 1 - MC Mullah Malik Shabazz
Throw your hands upwards, throw your hands upwards
If you are against singing, say Ho!
If you are against dancing, wiggle your hips in a seductive fashion
Down with modernity, down with unbelief.

The T to the A to the L to the I to the B - A - N,
You know the name., you read it in your textbook.
There, we are referred to as terrorists, but who are the real terrorists?
This is a device known as a rhetorical question,


Verse 2 - Marvelous Mullah Muhammad
The Prophet (pbuh) told me to rock the mic.
The Commander of the Faithful told me to rock the mic.
I do not like the United States, because they disagree with our principles,
Which is disappointing, because our principles are righteous.

I don a beard because I am manly
I wear a turban, also because I am manly
I shoot an AK-47, because I am manly
I like strawberry ice cream, because it is delicious.


It's much better in Pashto. Trust me.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The 2009 Afghan Presidential Election

[Extensive (and I mean extensive!) coverage at The HQT International Edition]

The context: War. Lots of it.

The election: Taking place on August 20. Lots of candidates. Even your mother is running. So are Hamid Karzai, Ashraf Ghani, Ramazan Bashardost, and Abdullah Abdullah. The Taliban will use violence to try and discourage people from voting. If no candidate gets 50%, the top two will tango in six weeks.

The polls: A few U.S.-based organizations gave their best guess.

The candidates:
Hamid Karzai: Is the president. Running on the achievements of his time in office. Everyone is upset that the war rages on, he tolerates corruption and the drug trade, and people don't have water, power, or jobs. Yet, he's still popular and the front runner. Go figure.

Abdullah Abdullah: Former foreign minister is the northern candidate. Believe it or not, he's against corruption. Half-Tajik, half-Pashtun, fought against the Soviets and the Taliban. Has been called Afghanistan's Obama, but without the socialist tyranny part.

Ashraf Ghani: Former finance minister has spent 24 years living in the West. Western educated, became a professor, worked at the World Bank, and has a policy prescription for everything you could imagine. Except the prevention of presidential wedgies, should he be elected. Is against corruption.

Ramazan Bashardost: Former planning minister and current Member of Parliament. Is against corruption, but, unlike the others, actually lives in a tent to protest it. Has been called Afghanistan's Gandhi, but without the Oscar Award winning movie.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Strasburg Signs

The number 1 overall pick in MLB's June draft, Stephen Strasburg, signed a record contract at the last moment with the Nats for a record $15.67 million over 4 years. The Nats are the worst team in the league with 43-75 record, but have been playing better of late.

The signing makes the Nats relevant for now. I have no problem with Strasburg getting a record amount, but I'm also glad he didn't hold out, which would've reflected poorly on him. While most expect Strasburg to be at least a good player, Nats fans shouldn't start buying their 2010 playoff tickets just yet. A pitcher rarely turns a terrible franchise around. That comment is assuming Strasburg lives up to the hype. It is difficult to predict whether pitchers who have never thrown a major league pitch will pan out. Hell, it's difficult to predict whether pitchers who just won a Cy Young award will have any luck the very next season.

The signing is a step in the right direction. One of many needed to turn this thing around. It provides hope, but not much more just yet.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Evil Leaders League, Week 7

I was just at the gas station when I saw a guy light a cigarette. I tried to get as far away as possible. I'm sure the people who live in our competitors' countries can empathize. Let's get the results for the final week of the regular season. Every matchup involves at least one participant whose playoff chances are up in the air. Vote in the poll at the official Evil Leaders League site.

Aliyev vs al-Bashir
Ilham Aliyev, the president of Azerbaijan, is in a little bit of trouble for silencing dissent in his country. His critics fail to understand that Aliyev is very sensitive and doesn't take criticism well. After spending most of his first few years as president hiding under his bed, crying uncontrollably because some people didn't like the way he ruled his country, he decided to make a change. Either people say nice things about him or they don't say anything at all. Sudan's Omar al-Bashir replaced his intelligence chief, Salah Gosh, because Gosh was accused of human rights abuses. Maybe al-Bashir is starting to change? Well, Gosh is now an official presidential adviser. Um. Never mind. And that was the least evil thing al-Bashir did this week.

To view the winner of each contest this week, check out the official Evil Leaders League site. The playoffs depend on it.

Kim vs Obiang
Ok, ok, threatening everyone with nuclear weapons in order to force the international community to provide aid to impoverished North Korea didn't work out so well for Kim Jong-Il this time around. So Kim is trying a different route- opening up to South Korea. Of course, Kim hasn't had a lot of practice when it comes to making new friends. So after asking if the chairwoman of Hyundai wanted to go out for ice cream, he ended the encounter with a warning about blowing up South Korea. He's learning; give him time. Equatorial Guinea's leader is Teodoro Obiang. Obiang is your typical tyrant with oil. In other words, he's not so bad, just misunderstood. The mothers of child rapists have been using that line for years.

Ahmadinejad vs al-Assad
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad calls himself the president of Iran. Lately, he's been getting some bad press. He's really not that bad a guy. He appointed 3 women to his cabinet (Condoleezza Rice was one). See, he's a feminist! He also received congratulations on his election "victory" from UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon. And finally, he was named one of the sexiest world leaders in by People Magazine because of his "irresistible short-guy-with-a-beard look." Syrian President Bashar al-Assad will travel to Tehran to congratulate Ahmadinejad on his victory. Very statesman like. But secret tapes have surfaced of al-Assad blaming all of his country's problems on Jews and blacks. He also hates people who text while driving, the Lebanese, and overweight lumberjacks.

Chavez vs Shwe
Venezuela's Hugo Chavez criticized Obama for wanting to turn the U.S. into a socialist country, starting with universal healthcare. Just kidding. He called Obama a clueless imperialist. The he counted his American dollars. How could he sell out to the U.S.? Hey, his kids gotta eat, just ask Latrell Sprewell. Myanmar junta head, Than Shwe released an American prisoner from a Burmese prison this week after meeting Senator Jim Webb (suck on that Bill Clinton). That could thaw relations between the three country names. Not good news for democracy advocate Aung San Suu Kyi, who was convicted of not being a supporter of human rights violations. What's her deal anyway? Violating human rights is more fun than you might imagine. Unless you're the one being violated.

standings: Check out the ELL site

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Mexican Menace

Don't be distracted by health care, the economic crisis, or the two wars, the real problem facing this country is the the immigration of Mexican aliens.

I know what you're saying, "But America is a nation of immigrants. The collaboration of different cultures makes this a better country. More than mere respect, we should learn from other cultures. As a result, we need to welcome newcomers, not demonize them or use them as scapegoats." Blah, blah, blah.

Let's take, for example, a woman named Sofia. You might think she's intelligent and nice and could only benefit any society she chooses to be a part of. But let there be no doubt that she's here to steal your job and force you to speak Spanish. Yo soy viente siete anos. See, it's happening already.

For the past 8 years, we have focused on terrorism. But these Mexicans are far more dangerous. The terrorists want to kill you. The Mexicans want to destroy your way of life. I think it's in their constitution or something.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Democracy is Not the Answer

Angola held its one and only presidential election in 1992. Incumbent president, Jose Eduardo dos Santos, led after the first round of voting against UNITA's Jonas Savimbi. International observers deemed the election to be generally free and fair. However, dos Santos did not win the required 50% of the vote needed to claim the presidency outright. As a result, a runoff election between dos Santos and Savimbi should have taken place. It didn't. Savimbi rejected the results and what has been deemed the worst part of Angola's 40-year war broke out in 1992, lasting until 1994.

Dos Santos's term was suppose to be 5 years. However, the government claimed the lack of a second round of voting and the war were enough reason to scrap that limit. The Lusaka Protocol, which followed the 1992-1994 phase of the war, called for speedy elections. No elections were held as a result of the Lusaka Protocol and the war resumed in 1998. UNITA was defeated militarily in 2002, the same year their autocratic leader, Savimbi, was killed. As a result, the government held all of the cards. The government continuously promised to hold elections. In 2008, a flawed parliamentary election was held. A presidential election has yet to be held.

At this point, a presidential election will do nothing except to legitimize dos Santos, his cronies, and their exploitation of Angola's natural wealth. Angola cannot offer a valid opposition. An election would not be based on issues. While dos Santos would have a tremendous advantage over any opponent, because of his access to state resources, even a change of power would not aid the average Angolan. The system is set up to benefit a small group in charge, whether they be members of the MPLA, which is the current party in power, UNITA, or any other group. There are no checks on corruption. Much of the nation's vast oil wealth goes unaccounted for. This allows people in power to steal that money- evidence of which can be traced to foreign bank accounts held by prominent members of Luandan society. Civil society is too weak to do anything about the corruption. Independent journalists are often harassed or worse.

Barring a radical revolution within Angola, which is unlikely given the war fatigue of the nation, the country's best hope might be a profound change in the actions of the international community. With the U.S. desperate to find sources of oil outside the contentious region of the Middle East, Angolan oil has become more desirable. As a result, the flaws of Angola's leadership are ignored. The powers that be in Angola are allowed to profit from the U.S.’s predicament. Demanding accountability for oil dollars and taking the pro-active stance of creating alternative sources of fuel are two things the U.S. and the wider international community can do to help Angola. (for more on Angola, International Affairs Edition of The HQT)

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Ask Ted - Clash of Cultures

Dear Ted,

My girlfriend and I are of a different culture and religion. She can only marry someone of her own culture or she will be disowned by her family. My family and I are more open in our views. I'm not even sure how far our relationship could go if it were allowed to, but should we call it off now because it might hurt more later? Can I ask her to sacrifice that much?

Yours truly,
Frustrated in Frederick

Dear Frustrated,

Messing with tradition is always difficult. Ending it now might be the best way to go because, as you suggested, the longer you are together, the more pain could come from having to split. Remember, this isn't a romantic movie, it's real life, so if you ask her to make this gigantic sacrifice and she does, both of you will have to live with that decision for the rest of your lives. She might feel like she gave up so much for you that you'll never be able to make up for it. And that’s the best case scenario. Whatever you choose to do, let me make one suggestion- don't rape and murder her. Believe me, that never goes well; I know, I'm Ted Bundy.

Ted Bundy is not a licensed therapist. He is, however, a convicted serial rapist and murderer.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The Baltimore Holocaust Memorial

I visited the Baltimore Holocaust Memorial over the weekend. I got a little lost taking the light rail and jumped off when I saw East Baltimore Street. I knew to take East Baltimore Street to Gay Street where the memorial would be.

As I was walking on East Baltimore Street, I saw Larry Flint's Hustler Club. it didn't take long before I realized that I was in the red light district. "Hey guy, come inside and take a look," was yelled at me several times. I put my head down and walked fast, determined to get to the Holocaust memorial.

The memorial was the next block over from the red light district. It is not well kept. There is a monument with tortured body's curled up in a bronze of fire. There's a well-written plaque in the middle. The half-block memorial is filled wit railroad track covered by overgrown weeds. In the back stands a large wall with adorned by a Primo Levi quote written in big letters.

While I was walking through the memorial, a motorcycle rally was taking place a half-block away. I could hear the announcer's continual screaming over the public address system and the occasional engine rev. It turned out to be one of those things where the motorcyclists jump off ramps and do tricks. The place was filled with outcasts and bikini-topped women.

I left the block and walked to the harbor futilely trying to process what had just happened.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Chuck Wepner Sports Trivia Hour

Chuck Wepner: Hello ladies and gentlemen. I'm your host Chuck Wepner. Let's get the show started. Alright. First question. Buzz in when you know the answer. Who is the only man to knock down Muhammad Ali while he was champ?
Player #3: Joe Frazier
Chuck Wepner: No.
Player #2: Chuck Wepner
Chuck Wepner: Correct. Next question. Which professional athlete was known as the Bayonne Bleeder?
Player #2: Chuck Wepner
Chuck Wepner: Right again. Whose heroic performance against Ali became the inspiration for the movie Rocky?
Player: #3: Chuck Wepner
Chuck Wepner: Yes. During a fight against Sonny Liston, with blood pouring down his face, who was asked by a referee, "How many fingers am I holding up?" and then replied, "How many guesses do I get?"
Player #1: Um, Chuck Wepner?
Chuck Wepner: Correct. Which boxer with the initials C.W. ended his professional career with a 35-14-2 record?
Player #3: Chuck Wepner
Chuck Wepner: Right. Now look at the screen. Some of the letters in this athlete's name are missing. Name this athlete. "C_uc_ We_n_r"
Player #1: Chuck Wepner...

A look back at this groundbreaking television series: The Chuck Wepner Sports Trivia Hour never made it past the first show. In theory, it was a great idea. Hire an obscure athlete to host a sports trivia show and have him be the answer to every question. Chuck Wepner seemed like the perfect candidate. What could go wrong? But in practice, it was a disaster. The Chuck Wepner Sports Trivia Hour lasted for all of 15 minutes. Chuck Wepner would never host another sports trivia show on television again.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Evil Leaders League, Week 6

We're hitting the homestretch. It's usually around this time of the season that I become a bit emotional as three of our valiant competitors are only a couple of weeks away from relegation. I'll try to carry on. Let's get the results. Vote in the poll at the official Evil Leaders League site.

Chavez vs al-Assad
Don't call it a comeback, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has been here for years. Now, he's threatening war with Colombia yet again. Apparently, his mother advised him to "knock them out." After pulling his ambassador to Colombia, however, Chavez balked. It seems his bark is bigger than his bite. But to make himself feel better, he nationalized the country's largest coffee plant. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad continues to engage in the Israeli peace process. That's like Mike Tyson becoming a peer mediator. The tall hair gel-enthusiast has also claimed that the Golan Heights should be returned to Syria. Israel would return the Golan Heights, but is afraid it'd only be offered store credit.

To view the winner of each contest this week, check out the official Evil Leaders League site. If you don't find out who wins now, it will eat away at you until, one day, you're at the bank and you just snap, screaming repeatedly, "Who won, al-Bashir or Obiang?" Don't let it happen to you.

al-Bashir vs Obiang
Sudan's Omar al-Bashir used to be a hit with the girls. Just earlier this season, Angelina Jolie was all about him. But recently al-Bashir can't get things started with the ladies. Oh sure, he has great friends. Ghana refuses to arrest him even though the ICC issued a warrant for al-Bashir's arrest on charges of genocide. But al-Bashir still longs for the time when women were after him. Almost as much as the black Africans of Darfur long for a piece of food.

There's another black leader even more popular than Barack Obama; his name is Teodoro Obiang and he leads Equatorial Guinea. He's never garnered less than 95% of the vote in any election. That fact should emasculate Obama enough for him to just give up now. Obiang is celebrating his 30th year as his country's dictator. His citizens want to pitch in and give him a present. Two colonial-era antique bullets. Right in his head.

Ahmadinejad vs Shwe
Iranian second banana, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has a bit of an Ahmadinejad Complex. He's going to destroy those meddling bully nations who interfere with Iranian politics and took his lunch money in seventh grade and stole all of his ties in college and his razor while he was mayor of Tehran. He also wants to punish any and all dissidents. Hey, not having any real power can go to a person's head.

There's a little country in east Asia known as Myanmar by some and as Burma by those in the know. Or is it the other way around? Whatever you call it, Than Shwe runs it. A decision on the fate of democracy advocate Aung San Suu Kyi, who has been accused of harboring too many names (4 to be exact), is imminent. If Shwe was anything like Ahmadinejad claims to be, he'd kill her and take down America in one fell swoop.

Aliyev vs Kim
The guy in charge of Azerbaijan is Ilham Aliyev. But you knew that already. While he moves his nation closer to peace with Armenia, I have some advice for the Armenians. Don't dress up like donkeys and poke fun at Aliyev. He's very sensitive about that. It all stems from a bad experience with a donkey when he was younger. That's what you get when you're penis looks like a salt lick.

Here's the one you've all been waiting for... North Korea's Kim Jong-Il. The same charm that opened Monica Lewinsky's mouth, released the iron grip of Kim. While Bill Clinton has been lionized by most, honestly, it would’ve been surprising if the American journalists held hostage weren't released. Regardless, Kim's acquiescence was a disappointment for long-time ELL followers. He didn't even get some crazy concession, which we've all come to expect. Something like a private Busta Rhymes concert, a pair of Lindsey Lohan's oversized sunglasses, or a signed copy of Debbie Does Dallas.

standings: Check out the ELL site

Sunday, August 09, 2009

The Tajikistan Crisis Revisted

Tension with the Unknown - The Tajikistan Crisis
A HarazQuack Times Special Report
  • The crisis seems to have begun on July 9 when the Dear and Fearless Leader claimed that Tajik officials were making derogatory comments against the citizens of his country and he answered back in kind, asserting that "Tajiks smell like rotten bananas."
  • The next day, Hermann Buttersward , writing under the name John Wallibee, courageous published a piece claiming that the Dear and Fearless Leader's comments were intended to stir up trouble with Tajikistan in order to distract the nation from the foundering economy.
  • On the very next day, it was reported that Hermann Buttersward had committed suicide, although the circumstances surrounding his death were suspicious and no one really seems to know what happened. That same day, the Dear and Fearless Leader upped the ante by calling for a cashew-related embargo against Tajikistan.
  • On July 17, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Tajikistan, Hamrokhon Zarifi, wrote a letter to the Dear and Fearless Leader which was immediately publicized. The letter called for the two nations to work together to end the rising tension.
  • The following day, the Dear and Fearless Leader publicly derided the letter and denounced Zarifi for being condescending.
  • On July 22, a secret meeting between Tajikistan's President Emomali Rahmon and Zarifi was made public. In the meeting, Zarifi argues that action must be taken as a result of the Dear and Fearless Leader's insulting comments at the Foreign Minister's expense. Rahmon decides to have a UN resolution written up. Because of the meeting, the Dear and Fearless Leader made a deal with Kyrgyzstan for use of its Manas Air Base in preparation for war.
  • After the UN resolution was introduced to the Security Counsel, a discussion between the US/Britain and Russia/China officials was uncovered, where it was decided that Russia and China would vote against the resolution. The contents of that meeting were made public on July 29.
  • The next day, the Dear and Fearless Leader mocked the idea of a UN resolution. It was also reported that Kyrgyzstan withdrew its offer for use of Manas Air Base. At this point, the Dear and Fearless Leader could only count Russia, China, and Turkmenistan in his corner.
  • With the world's opinion turning against his country, on August 5, op-ed writer Bradley Benny cautiously, yet heroically, apologized for his role in fueling the Tajikistan Crisis and asked the Dear and Fearless Leader to squash the tensions between the two countries.
  • Two days later, Bradley Benny was found dead. His testicles were severed and shoved down his throat. The administration claimed it was another suicide. That same day, with a fresh world-wide embargo against his land, the Dear and Fearless Leader, now a global pariah, instituted a new strategy called, "Destructive Engagement," a defensive policy meant to save face. Destructive Engagement was effectively the end of the Tajikistan Crisis as Tajikistan recognized that the Dear and Fearless Leader no longer posed a threat, particularly since the entire world was against him.
  • On August 9, The HarazQuack Times produced a special report on the Tajikistan Crisis.

So what is next for the Dear and Fearless Leader and his country? It is likely that he will remain in power for quite some time, as he is popular within his beleaguered nation. Whether or not he can repair relations with the world's leaders remains to be seen.

Friday, August 07, 2009

The World is Against Us

My fellow citizens, you may have noticed fewer goods on the shelves. You can blame it on the world. They don't want to recognize our right to protect ourselves against Tajikistan's aggression by going over there and kicking their asses.

That has put me in a tough position. But, like a true leader, I have acted in a manner that will best serve my people. You will have goods on the shelves soon. To protect us I have taken the liberty of devising a new strategy called "Destructive Engagement." If Tajikistan engages us over here, we will destroy them. Sound good? I thought so.

I would also like to take this time to express official condolences to the family of Bradley Benny. The great man, who professed his utmost respect for me, took his own life earlier today. He hung himself by his balls until they separated from his body and subsequently shoved them down his own throat until he choked to death. Don't judge him.

Today's decrees
You already know about "Destructive Engagement."

I proclaim this the end of The Tajikistan Crisis. We didn't ask for it. It was brought upon us. But each citizen of this great nation can take pride in his or her role towards achieving the goal of making this a safer country. It will never truly be safe as long as evil doers such as Tajikistan's Foreign Minister, Hamrokhon Zarifi, roam the Earth. That guy really irks me. Anyway, I hope you all celebrate our triumph in averting the Sam Adams Lite War with Tajikistan™ with a tall cool glass of Sam Adams Lite. Sam Adams Lite, the best tasting lite beer™.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Ask Ted

Dear Ted,

I really like the guy I'm with. But I was raised as a strict Catholic and believe that masturbation is a sin. My boyfriend doesn't. I asked my brothers and each said that he has never masturbated. I'm not sure if I can be with someone who engages in a mortal sin such as masturbation. My boyfriend refuses to repent because he doesn't believe it's wrong. What should I do? Thanks.

Befuddled in Baltimore

Dear Befuddled,

It sounds like your boyfriend is not willing to compromise. So this decision is totally on you. However, I must warn against bringing your brothers into this situation. It must have been an awkward conversation and there is no guarantee that they were being truthful given that they are your brothers. How do you tell your sister that you masturbate? The reality is that virtually every man has masturbated.

While it is always important to maintain ideals, this one might not be very realistic. It's possible that you're setting up yourself to end up with the first man who will lie to you about their masturbating past. If I were the guy and you broke up with me over this, I'd jerk off in an envelope and then mail it to you. Then, I'd send you a vibrator for your next birthday. And then I'd rape and murder you- after all, I am Ted Bundy.

Ted Bundy is not a licensed therapist. He is, however, a convicted serial rapist and murderer.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

A Plea for My Country

During these times, we must tread carefully. However, there are situations that arise which force us to face the unknown. I understand the risk. My family understands the risk. But I've reached a realization that if I do not say something, the result would be worse than if I do. For the sake of my children, I must protest the direction our Dear and Fearless Leader is taking us.

We have come to near-war with the impoverished nation of Tajikistan. We are meant to believe that this fight is crucial to our national security. I have contributed to this perception and for that, I ask for forgiveness from my people. Fear erases morals. The reality is that Tajikistan poses no threat. they are a poor country, filled with people who are looking for the same lessons in life that we are. it's true, a few have committed acts of violence, but we must ask ourselves, should a country's worth of people suffer for the acts of a few?

Our nation is facing tough times. This war, if it happens, won't help anything. I must profess my utmost respect for the Savior of the People, but, asking for his merciful kindness, I believe it is my duty to publish my opinion as to the war.

Bradley Benny Op-Ed Writer

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

International Disruptions

The international community has played a negative role in Angola. The southwestern African nation endured war for four decades ending in 2002, experiencing only brief interludes of peace during that span. Initially, a number of countries impacted the war by physically intervening in the conflict or providing direct military assistance to either side. In recent years, the international community has simply turned a blind eye to abuses.

This is not to suggest that Angolans, particularly the top brass of the government and the leader of UNITA, the former rebel group, Jonas Savimbi, have not played an active role in determining their country's fate. Both sides have taken advantage of the population.

Despite the role these selfish leaders have played in destroying their own land, international factors have had a comparably negative impact. South Africa and the U.S. backed UNITA while the Soviet Union and Cuba took the side of the government. Regional nations also took sides.

By the time of the 1991-1992 Bicesse Accords, direct intervention was a tactic of the past. Instead, governments turned a blind eye to the conflict when purchasing Angola's diamonds (largely controlled by UNITA) and oil (controlled by the government). No conditions were enforced accompanying these items and the funds poured into continuing the war. Following Bicesse, the UN failed to ensure the demilitarization of both sides before the 1992 election. Once Savimbi realized he had lost the first round, the war resumed. During the Lusaka Protocol, 1994-1998, the UN actually argued that it was a better strategy to keep human rights violations committed by either side quiet, so as to further the peace process. Human Rights Watch asserts that exposing human rights violations leads to accountability, a condition of creating lasting peace.

Even after the war has ended, Angola's oil is still in demand. The profits are enjoyed by the leadership at the expense of the regular population. At every turn, the people of Angola have suffered at the hands of their leaders and the international community. (More at International Edition)

Monday, August 03, 2009

Gefilte Fish Woes

In 1934, the USSR officially designated the region surrounding the capital city of Birobidzhan the Jewish Autonomous Region. The official name has endured, although the region never fulfilled its promise of being a homeland for Soviet Jews.

I was reading about Stalin's purges of the late 1930s that reached the J.A.R. when I came across this line, "[Matvei] Khavkin's wife, Sofia, also fell victim to the secret police who accused her of trying to poison [Lazar] Kaganovich with homemade gefilte fish."

Even if she didn't try to poison it, simply offering someone homemade gefilte fish should be an arrestable offence. And if she was trying to poison him, why not choose something he might actually eat, like matzah balls.

"She was arrested along with her husband, sentenced to a labor camp, and tragically ended up in a mental hospital."

Not a surprise, you'd have to be mental to serve gefilte fish.

source: Robert Weinberg, "Stalin's Forgotten Jews."

Sunday, August 02, 2009

It Was A Very Bad Year

5769 has been a bad year for us. I should have seen it coming when some redneck took a picture of me while I was driving in my car wearing a yarmulke. What am I, a fucking animal in a zoo?

Bernie Madoff didn't help things. A Jewish serial killer, say, The Son of Sam, is bad, but at least it breaks the usual Jewish stereotype. Bernie Madoff is virtually a walking endorsement for the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. When you're Jewish, you're not just a greedy, sneaky, conniving, money-grubbing, despicable person. You're a greedy, sneaky, conniving, money-grubbing, despicable Jew.

Recently, there's been a group of prominent New Jersey rabbis caught dealing in illegal organs. If the rabbis are crooks, what does that say about the rest of us? I might expect this shit from a New Jersey mayor, but the rabbis need to hold themselves to a higher standard. Whether a rabbi or a gas station attendant, a Jew is a Jew, and each has a responsibility not to sell illegal organs or create a Ponzi scheme. For the sake of our people.