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August 9, 2003

Ow ow ow ow ow
Posted by Teresa at 01:46 AM *

Tom Tomorrow’s readers have sent him a couple of items guaranteed to leave a dent in your central nervous system. One’s a statement by Dick Cheney:

Events leading to the fall of Saddam Hussein are fresh in memory, and do not need recounting at length. Every measure was taken to avoid a war. But it was Saddam Hussein himself who made war unavoidable. He had a lengthy history of reckless and sudden aggression. He bore a deep and bitter hatred for the United States. He cultivated ties to terrorist groups. He built, possessed, and used weapons of mass destruction. He refused all international demands to account for those weapons.
The other’s an eldritch horror of an action figure. It looks keen and fearless, which is pretty good for a man who was a deserter in time of war. As TT observes, the action figure’s packaging doesn’t mention whether the accessories include a 1/6 scale sock to stuff in the crotch.

I swear, these guys really do hold us in contempt. They really do think we’ll believe anything, and remember nothing.

Addendum: More on the George Bush action toy.

Comments on Ow ow ow ow ow:
#1 ::: Darkhawk ::: (view all by) ::: August 09, 2003, 02:46 AM:

It gives me the impression of trying to look Keen And Fearless, and managing . . . slightly perplexed.

It's the eyebrows that do it, I think.

It's also the most disturbing thing I've seen all week. I've inflicted it on my nearest and dearest so I will not be alone with it.

#2 ::: Annwyd ::: (view all by) ::: August 09, 2003, 02:53 AM:

Wow, Cheney has the power to rewrite reality with his words! Perhaps he's a mutant. Maybe he's had his flawed human heart replaced with a cold mechanical one which grants him superpowers. Hey, the current political situation becomes a lot more interesting when one raises the possibility of the administration being mutant supervillains.

#3 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: August 09, 2003, 03:55 AM:

Jeez . . . you know, nothing these toads say surprises me any more. They lie and spin and smug to keep their base (the scared, the greedy, and the ideology-drunk) happy, and can't give a damn what anyone else thinks. Don't *need* to give a damn what anyone else thinks.

Even worse, I find myself hardly giving a damn any more. It's like getting angry that a bull that's blundered into your house keeps dumping on the carpet. After awhile it's no surprise, and your voice gets hoarse, and anyway shouting just puzzles and angers the bull.

The key is to keep your head and figure out a way to get the bull out the door.

#4 ::: Carlos ::: (view all by) ::: August 09, 2003, 10:17 AM:

This is all going to make some future Robert Graves rich someday.

I keep on coming back to the Chauncey Gardner theory for certain figures in recent administrations. It explains about twenty percent of the variance, I think.

#5 ::: Paul Riddell ::: (view all by) ::: August 09, 2003, 11:04 AM:

Personally, I want one of those Bush action figures. Remember when that prank front was switching GI Joe voice chips wiht Barbie voice chips back in '93 and then putting the freshly altered dolls back on the shelves? I suggest we do the same thing: give all the little Shrubs a voice chip. I even know where we can scavenge the proper chip, so you push a button and our Prez says "Wow...this is cool. Huh huh huh huh."

#6 ::: Claude Muncey ::: (view all by) ::: August 09, 2003, 11:07 AM:

Actually I thought this figure would go well right in with some Sccoby-Doo action figures. Or mabye next to my framed t-shirt with a picture of Darrel Issa with the caption "I spent $1.7 million of my own money to recall Gray Davis and all I got was this t-shirt".

Over on Kos, though the opinion seems to be ranging between redressing the figure in an prison orange jump suit (I like it) to using some really hot pins . . .

Or there is billmon's take . . .

#7 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: August 09, 2003, 11:23 AM:
The National Security Archive at George Washington University today published on the Web a series of declassified U.S. documents detailing the U.S. embrace of Saddam Hussein in the early 1980's, including the renewal of diplomatic relations that had been suspended since 1967. The documents show that during this period of renewed U.S. support for Saddam, he had invaded his neighbor (Iran), had long-range nuclear aspirations that would "probably" include "an eventual nuclear weapon capability," harbored known terrorists in Baghdad, abused the human rights of his citizens, and possessed and used chemical weapons on Iranians and his own people. The U.S. response was to renew ties, to provide intelligence and aid to ensure Iraq would not be defeated by Iran, and to send a high-level presidential envoy named Donald Rumsfeld to shake hands with Saddam (20 December 1983).

#8 ::: Jon H ::: (view all by) ::: August 09, 2003, 02:40 PM:

Take a look at the logo of the company (BBI) that makes the Bush doll:

(It's at the top left corner).

A snip here, a little horizontal bar at the top...

It's a Chinese company, so it's probably just a coincidence and/or clueless design.

I especially like this from the 'About Us' page:

"Blue Box was founded in 1952 by Mr. Peter Chan Pui, who is today the company Chairman. Our first item at that time was the now famous "drinks and wets" doll."

Well, it looks like they've come full circle, in a sense.

#9 ::: the talking dog ::: (view all by) ::: August 09, 2003, 03:14 PM:

Well, the action picture seems a very good likeness of the President. I think he, as well as all Americans, should be proud to have such an attractive action figure depicting the fearless leader. Indeed, the action figure is as handsome, fit and ready for action as the real thing.

So, this should be a lesson to the TERRORISTS-- yes, you, Abdul, and you Mohammed, and especially you, OSAMA-- you know who we're talking about-- and the rest of you Islamist assholes: BRING IT ON! You will find an America that stands ready to BRING YOU DOWN-- an America full of 57 year old action figures, ready to masquerade as fighter pilots in the blink of an eye.

Come on, you pussies-- BRING IT ON!!!

#10 ::: Keith ::: (view all by) ::: August 09, 2003, 04:12 PM:

First, I'm going to order a GWB action figure. Then a do-it-yourself voodoo kit. Oh boy am I gonna have some fun...

#11 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: August 09, 2003, 04:12 PM:

I wonder where the action figures are for Osama bin Laden, Idi Amin, Saddam Hussein _et al_ are -- much as I think they're reprehensible, is it possibly the case that their followers just don't have has much money as Bush's do? It's tasteless to suggest it; there's probably a market in the US for these Evil Villains of World Terrorism (and imagine their collectible value -- fairly high for Mint On Card, in the millions for the Original Article).


#12 ::: Lydia Nickerson ::: (view all by) ::: August 09, 2003, 07:16 PM:

I wonder where the action figures are for Osama bin Laden, Idi Amin, Saddam Hussein _et al_ are --

Good point. The villains always outsell the heroes. Darth Maul was the most popular of the Star Wars action figures. Besides, just think of the compromising positions you could put Bush and Hussein dolls in... Where is capitalism when you need it?

#13 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: August 09, 2003, 08:32 PM:


#14 ::: Beth ::: (view all by) ::: August 09, 2003, 09:40 PM:


Coffee all over my keyboard. Bad Teresa!

#15 ::: Madeleine Robins ::: (view all by) ::: August 09, 2003, 10:12 PM:

"it92s the GI Joe-scale fully articulated "George W. Bush in a flight suit" action figure. "

As opposed to fully articulate, which I suppose is a forlorn hope. What a skin-crawling object. Eewww.

#16 ::: Mr Ripley ::: (view all by) ::: August 09, 2003, 11:40 PM:

Lydia --"the villains always outsell the heroes." Of course. Why do ya think they made an action figure of Bush rather than, say, Jimmy Carter?

The next villain I'd like to see from Blue Box would be the Christopher Hitchens "drinks and swaggers" doll.

#18 ::: Elric ::: (view all by) ::: August 10, 2003, 07:34 AM:

Under Patriot Act and its buddies, aren't we arresting and interrogating people who have given active support to terrorist regimes? For protracted periods, without usual Constitutional rights?

As Macdonald has just reminded us, Ronnie, George Sr., and Donny Rumsfeld are among those who sure as hell ought to be enjoying their taxpayer-paid vacation in a no-stars hotel whose location will never be disclosed to families, friends, or legal counsel. It is a shame that Ronnie is far gone in Alzheimers, but I don't remember the Patriot Act Family making any provision for exemption based on physical or mental infirmity. (Of course, it also doesn't mention exemption based on money and political connection within the current administration.)

#19 ::: Keith ::: (view all by) ::: August 10, 2003, 11:09 AM:


A good and noble thought but as we all know, the King and his vissirs are above the law.

#20 ::: Demosthenes ::: (view all by) ::: August 10, 2003, 12:37 PM:

I don't think it's merely that they think we'll believe anything, as much as they think that anything is believable. As Gore well put it, ideology trumps truth with the "movementarians", at least partially because the Straussians involved within it don't believe in concrete truth in the first place.

When it's all perspective, spin becomes reality.

#21 ::: ala ::: (view all by) ::: August 10, 2003, 11:36 PM:

Nowadays few politicians really do things or make decisions for people .

Most of them do every things just for themself(power,self-interest,money ,status and more).

Politics becomes a farce,they are just actors and never be great historical personalities.

But regrettably history probably could be changed
because of those vulgar men.

#22 ::: Daniel Martin ::: (view all by) ::: August 11, 2003, 09:33 AM:

> Nowadays few politicians really do things or make decisions for people .

And this is different from the rest of human history how? Isn't this how it's always been? "Them that has, gets"? What golden past are you looking at?

It's disheartening to see spin and double-speak like this precisely /because/ it echoes what has led to results widely deemed disasterous in the past. America is supposed to be different; free of royalty, free of oligarchy, and free of a demoralized populace that lets the first two get away with anything. I'm disturbed that we'll discover that the difference between America and Eastern Europe has been largely a matter of location all along.

America is supposed to be different. America is supposed to be *better*.

#23 ::: ala ::: (view all by) ::: August 11, 2003, 10:39 AM:

>America is supposed to be *better*.

But first you can not vote a war hawk to be the president of the United State,who disregards the lives of those inculpable people .

#24 ::: Aaron Pogue ::: (view all by) ::: August 11, 2003, 11:43 AM:

>America is supposed to be different. America is supposed to be *better*.

Pah! America's full of people. People is people. That we've been able to pretend AT ALL for even as long as we have....

Well, it's the romance of a new relationship, isn't it? We've got two hundred years on and we're telling all the world, "See? See, you silly Frenchmen? THIS is how the world oughta work. WE'VE done it right from the start."

Democracy was never new. Republics were never new. We tried a special hybrid of Old Republic and Polite Anarchy, and it was pretty neat.

People prefer kings, though. It's less work, and people are lazy.

#25 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: August 11, 2003, 10:30 PM:

ideology trumps truth with the "movementarians", at least partially because the Straussians involved within it don't believe in concrete truth in the first place.

You mean the neocons are pomo relativists? Could we get Bill Bennett to take them on?

#26 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: August 11, 2003, 10:38 PM:

The fact that the great crusaders for allegedly "Western" standards of tumescent objectivity appear to turn into subjectivity-drunk devotees of postmodern depravity when it suits their agenda to do so (i.e., when they need to start lying) (i.e., between the hours of midnight and 11:59 PM) is Not News.

#27 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: August 11, 2003, 11:24 PM:

Aaron, if people prefer kings because it's easier, we have two hundred years of inexplicable history.

Good is always good, and it always matter. Never give up on that.

#28 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: August 12, 2003, 08:09 AM:

Aaron, Democracy is QUITE new. Less than 100 years old, in fact.

Of course, I'm using the term in a special sense: democracy is a system under which all native-born or naturalized individuals who have reached the age of majority have the right to vote. (I may be wrong about the age of it if the US was not, in fact, first in enfranchising women.)

(There's an even stronger sense of the term, and in that sense no one has ever tried democracy anywhere. But that can is labeled Lumbricus Terrestris, so I won't go there.)

This is what we must fight to preserve: the imperfect democracy we have now, and our right to keep striving toward the perfect one we imagine.

#30 ::: Aaron Pogue ::: (view all by) ::: August 12, 2003, 09:44 AM:

Ah, personally I'm for monarchy (admittedly, I'm a middle-class white boy saying that from a lifetime lived in mid-Western suburbia...).

But it is patently absurd to believe that the general populace, who have never served in public office, never run a country, never necessarily even run a successful household...somehow know what it takes to make a good leader. To believe that Joe Governed has any IDEA which of the candidates he SHOULD vote for is laughable.

People vote on appearances, on scandals, on stated policies or past performance or personal preference, but how many of the voting public actually know what the country NEEDS to be successful--and then vote in keeping with that? Nah, it's a big crap shoot. We DO seem to have a filtration system that makes sure that, for the most part, the people running for office are people who have been trained most of their life to run for office. If any of the independent parties ever get a toe-hold, I'll be worried.

(It has always seemed to me that the right to vote, much like the right to free speech, is one most likely to be used by those least responsible in their use of it.)

#31 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: August 12, 2003, 10:25 AM:

"But it is patently absurd to believe that the general populace, who have never served in public office, never run a country, never necessarily even run a successful household...somehow know what it takes to make a good leader."


" To believe that Joe Governed has any IDEA which of the candidates he SHOULD vote for is laughable."

Indeed. The idea that common everyday people ought to have a voice in how they're governed -- you're right, that's laughable.

Indeed, I daresay the idea that "the general populace" should be allowed to run around loose at all is every bit as ridiculous. After all, as you point out, freedom is "most likely to be used by those least responsible in their use of it." Most of those "Joe Governeds," after all, have "never served in public office, never run a country, never necessarily even run a successful household." Much more sensible if we could arrange things so they spend their lives as, ah, personal servants of we well-informed and well-trained few. We should be kind to them, of course. But firm. We know best.

And if we happen to need one of their internal organs? Well, the idea that "Joe Governed's" life matters more than ours--why, that's laughable too.

Because after all, they don't really count. Not the way smart people like us do.

#32 ::: Stefanie Murray ::: (view all by) ::: August 12, 2003, 11:44 AM:

Xopher: close in dates, no cigar for country.

"The Electoral Act [passed on September 19, 1893] granted universal suffrage to New Zealanders, making it the first country in the world to grant full voting rights to women. Congratulations poured in from suffrage movements all over the world, inspired by this success in a country that was seen as a distant and small colonial outpost.
"New Zealand92s victory would predate that of her larger allies by decades: British women were not granted suffrage until 1918 and American women were not granted it across the whole country until 1920."




posting from a wee-cubby-next-to-the-apprentice-janitor's-forgotten-closet in the Utter Bottom of Electrolite Tower.

#33 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: August 12, 2003, 11:46 AM:

Democracy is just, not in an on-the-street kind of sense,* but in a more cosmic one: the people collectively get the government they deserve. Or as the former president of my HS Junior class put it, as he successfully ran for president of the Senior class: "You elected him, and he serves you right!"

*Plato pointed out that a whole lot of people being unjust is worse than a small set of people being unjust. But Plato was twisting things around to suit his totalitarian oligarch agenda.

#34 ::: Stefanie Murray ::: (view all by) ::: August 12, 2003, 11:57 AM:


Here's the thing with monarchy: it's hereditary, and no more earned than the elected office that you say is so arbitrarily conferred. It's a system that lends itself to oligarchy. And I for one think that the oligarchy we've already got is one of our more urgent challenges.

As for the Great Unwashed not being able to figure out what's best for them, you may want to take a look at the top few posts on Patrick's blog. Just for a start.

#35 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: August 12, 2003, 11:59 AM:

Stefanie: Well, YAY NEW ZEALAND!!! And UK beat us out, too. Shet mah mouf.

#36 ::: Aaron Pogue ::: (view all by) ::: August 12, 2003, 01:39 PM:

Good suggestion, Stefanie. I shall. Somehow it had not yet crossed my mind to look at Patrick's blog. I will, now.

Mr Nielsen Hayden, I appreciate your responses. (Earnestly.) Sharp and to-the-point, and I hope I didn't actually offend--I hope I just drew the rebuke my too-casual words earned.

In fact, my only (immediate) rebuttal would have to do with the implications in your pronouns. When I consider how my vote is spent (err...), when I weigh America's nominal democracy against a theoretical monarchy, I do not assume myself a position in the elite. The chances, after all, are slim. I lump myself with the unwashed masses.

I also lump myself with those too irresponsible to deserve a right of free speech, and of the press--though I'm a writer with hopes of someday being a full-time novelist. The fact that I CAN do something, doesn't mean I am worthy to do it (the heart of ethics). Unfortunately, the people who should be most limited by that statement are the ones who will never be bound by it.

#37 ::: Aaron Pogue ::: (view all by) ::: August 12, 2003, 02:04 PM:

Eck! I rebutted, didn't I? Please pretend I didn't. Let's imagine I only posted the first two paragraphs there, because I mean them both sincerely.

I didn't mean to start this particular argument here (particularly in the comments field of a days-old story). And I don't know if I could make any kind of reasonable defense to it on short notice against THIS crowd.

I usually hang out with conservatives and Republicans and, as you can imagine, the tenor of the argument is considerably different versus that camp.

#38 ::: natasha ::: (view all by) ::: August 12, 2003, 02:54 PM:

I realize the conversation has moved on a tad from the Bush dollie, but did anyone else think that the reason it comes across so steely-eyed is because the eyes are proportioned differently than those of the subject? Dubya's eyes are set closer together by a fair bit.

#39 ::: Lydia Nickerson ::: (view all by) ::: August 12, 2003, 05:11 PM:

I admit that it's not a piece of the True Cross, but it does merit especial notice. Especially given the current bid price.

#40 ::: natasha ::: (view all by) ::: August 12, 2003, 05:37 PM:

Lydia, thanks for the chuckle.

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