The Year in Rebuke

•An official British government report cites a "policy of sedition" in the government's previously misleading statements about the severity of mad cow disease to avert panic and protect beef exports. I'm betting that mad cow disease turns up stateside sometime in the next three years. Any takers?


•There was a presidential election early in the month, but they really needn't have bothered.

•StarLink corn, which contains a genetically altered protein, keeps popping up where it shouldn't—in taco shells and other food products. The pest-repelling protein is considered a possible human allergen and is approved only for animal feed. StarLink maker Aventis CropScience responds to the potential problem by urging the USDA to fast-track reclassifying the corn for human consumption. Barring that, maybe they could get humans reclassified as cattle.


•U2 guitarist the Edge buys a $2 million house on the beach in Malibu, right on the edge of the United States. Committed to the plight of the downtrodden, the Edge announces he will only live there in an ironic sense.

•The United States Supreme Court, having previously discounted the value of the Constitution's equal- protection clause when it came to voting rights or a state's ability to execute Negroes willy-nilly, finds that it is just the ticket to send George DUI Bush careening into the White House. Explaining the ruling to court visitors the following day, Thomas says, "Sometimes a man's gotta do what a man's gotta do."

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