SeaViews: Insights from the Gray Havens 
April/May 2003

Motto: The surest way to get a reputation for being a trouble maker these days is to go about repeating the very phrases that the Founders used in the struggle for independence.

-- C.A. Beard

Disclaimer: The editor speaks only for himself, and sometimes even he is wrong.


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On last month's Fix;

the answer to last month's Fix,
""Post war Iraqi govt? US puppet, United Nations or something else?" "

Well, it appears the Bushites are going for a modern day Marshall plan. While they have not mentioned as much, it is common scuttlebut that the US Army presence will be in Iraq for at least 3 years. And the UN has gotten short shrift in the deal, certainly Bush is not going to include them in setting up the governments, and even the humanitarian role may be edged out. For those of you who don't know, the UN Humantarian Food for Oil Program was being diverted by Sadaam. The UN managers knew it (France, Germany, Russia, and Kofi Annan) and did nothing, but why would they? The managers were getting kickbacks from UN coffers via the Iraq oil payments. Which now explains why the UN won't drop the Iraq embargos. They stand to lose big money.

The USA is walking a fine line here. It would behoove it to try to establish an independant election in Iraq with UN oversight and draw down the forces there. Else, the Arab perception that the USA foreign policy is mono-dimensional (ie force) will be reinforced.

Guest Editorial:

Senate Diet Plan - Sea Lampreys and Pork
-edited from Dave Barry

 Our story begins in March. The Iraq war had started and Bush asked Congress for $75 Billion to pay for it. The HOuse basically showed no imagination and just agreed. But the Senate got more creative.

The Senate noticed the bill had a shocking omission. There was nothing in the funding for sea lampreys. In case you are unfamiliar with the national security aspects of sea lampreys, Sen Pat Leahy (D Vermont) decided the the fish sucking lampreys needed $500K allocated to their control in Lake Champlain - which is in Vermont and of course very strategic.

The sundry list grew to include another $600 Million: $1.2 million for the catfish industry, $50 Million for ship-building, $3.3 Million to repair a Vermont dam, $10 Million for an Anarctic research station, $98 Million for ag research in Iowa, several million for direct mailings to Senate constitutents, etc. Many of the additions were added by the Appropriations Comm Chair Ted Stevens (R Alaska).

Sen Alan Specter (R, Penn) said the direct mailing rider was directly related to the war effort becuase "informing the people of Penn. on this issue is an important part of our job ...". Oh, and Specter is running for reelection - not that that matters.

House leaders were so incensed over the pork additions that Chairmen Stevens piped, "I'm sorry we repealed the law on dueling. "

We're sorry too Senator, but if you want to bring dueling back, the pistols are on us.

Eventually the Senate caved, and most of the pork has been stripped from the bill. Vermont's fish are tragically vulnerabe to terrorist lampreys.


none this month

Quote(s) of the month:

"Sit down, you agent, shut up you monkey. A curse on your mustouche ..."
-- Izzat Ibrahim, advisor to Sadaam Hussien, Mach 2003 in the Pan Arab Islamic Unity Confernece, speaking to the Kuwait Minister

Fix of the month:

"Govnr. Jeb Bush just repealed a Florida Scarlet Letter Law. It required a woman putting up a child for adoption to list the father - and if she was not sure - to list all sexual partners. So, should the woman have to inform the father of her intention to give up the baby?"



1. April 30, San Diego: The state of California is $35 billion in debt under Govr Davis. As a way to get money, all things siezed in the State of California airport security are being sold on EBay. The most common items are swiss army knives and corkscrews. So far the idea has generated $16000.


1. 28 May, St. Paul: The govnr. signed into law the concealed carry permit law. The biggest change in this law is that the county sheriff now basically has to issue handgun permits to law abiding citizens unless he/she can show cause for denial. Handguns are still banned in federal and state law buildings, but city and private sector houses have to post signs if they want to ban guns in their buildings.

2. 29 May, Rochester: The Mayo clinic opened business today with signs on all entrances. "The Mayo Clinic bans Guns on its property."

3. 30 May, St. Paul: The Govnr wishes to revisit the law, and ammend the requirement for private businesses to have to post every door, since he now thinks the requirement is too onverous.


1. April 29, Springfield: The Dem Govnr of Illinois has decided that he must take drastic steps to curb both problem gambling and the fiscal crisis in his state. Solution? The state will "oversee" the management of all State Casinos (on indian land or not) and take a cut of the profits. The current managers will remain in place, but will cede part of their paycheck to the state.
[Ed: In pre-WWII this happened in both Germany and Italy. It was called Fascism.

Washington D.C.

1. May 30: Some of you may not know this, but there is a Gaz Guzzle tax break that you can you in your 1040 federal forms. This form let's you get  a break on teh gas you put through one of your poor economy vehicles, as long as it weighs over 6000 pounds. Well now the Sieraa Club is telling the IRS it wants them to Audit any tax filers who claim the guzzler credit. See - it turns out that Hummers and some other SUVs weigh over 6000. So there.

2. April 30: At the annual White House press roast this year well known comedian and author Al Franken heckeld several Bush cabinet members. The WHite House had just described how proud they were of the military. Fanken piped up and said, "Well, given your short time in power, would it not be fair to say you are proud of the Clinton Military that was inherited by your time." President Spokesperson Ari Fleisher responded, "Al, we will be proud of the Clinton military if you'll be proud of the Clinton economy ..."


1. 30 April, Belgium: The EU capitol is in Belguim. They set the EU standards for everything: required oven temperatures for pizza baking, the proper hole size in Swiss cheese, and water quality for exported bottled water. Good thing regs don't cover internal water standards, becuase the EU has the 122'nd dirtiest water on the planet. Below India, Jordan and 12 African nations. Germany is #57. USA is 12 and Finland has the best water quality.