Diary of a Mad County

A WORD FROM OUR SPONSOR

Welcome to a New Year and a new format for your favorite off-brand timepiece. Readers who have previously dozed off, fallen nose-first and snotted this very space know that last year we provided day-by-day diary of this mad county. While that format had its advantages—namely, even retardo monkeys can find an item a day to blabber on about—we believe that this Homeland Security Agency-approved method of throwing together a hodgepodge of intelligence is better on your eyes, minds and spleens. However, we recognize change is difficult, old habits are hard to break and with three you get eggroll. Therefore, any complaints you may have about the new format will be courteously accepted, cataloged and considered by our Complaints Department, which you'll find buried deep up your arse.

YOUR RIGHTS, THEIR WRONGS


Several national Arab-American and Muslim organizations filed federal suits on Christmas Eve asking for an immediate stop to the detention of legal U.S. visitors who—as asked—simply registered with the government. The Immigration and Naturalization Service and Attorney General John "Lock 'Em Up" Ashcroft are named in the suit. The government never said how many Iraqi, Iranian, Syrian, Libyan and Sudanese nationals they had put behind bars; advocates estimated there were 700 alone in Orange, San Diego and Los Angeles counties. On Dec. 19, most were freed, but fears spread that more sweeps were imminent as Ashcroft's goons worked their way down their lists of visitors from other Arab and Muslim nations.

"These are people who are law-abiding," said Babak Sotoodeh, president of the Santa Ana-based, hastily put-together Alliance of Iranian Americans rights group. "How many terrorists do you know who are going to show up and say, 'Yes, I'm here to get fingerprinted?' The terrorists are sitting at home laughing because all the law-abiding citizens got picked up."

Sharing Sotoodeh's outrage was Irvine Mayor Larry Agran, who fired off a letter to Ashcroft that called the mass arrests "widespread and manifest injustice." And to think: a few short weeks ago, Agran used a photo of himself beaming next to Dubya to win re-election.

But the gubment's not stopping with these detentions; they're also demanding that colleges and universities around the country supply them with personal information about all foreign students and faculty. Previously, the Ashcroftians just wanted names; now they claim to need expanded info to weed out terrorists. Critics charge that violates the very federal laws Dubya and Ashcroft took oaths to defend.

All this leads one wag to suggest the time is ripe to resurrect the sanctuary movement. For you kids who missed those wacky Reagan years, the sanctuary movement involved Americans across the country—in violation of U.S. immigration laws—opening their churches and homes to refugees of Ronald Reagan-endorsed Central American wars. "By the time those wars ended in the 1990s, the 'sanctuary movement' included hundreds of churches and thousands of persons across this country who put themselves on the line, refusing to cooperate with a policy they deemed injurious to human life and downright un-American," wrote Mary Jo McConahay of Pacific News Service. "If the impulse to declare a spirit of solidarity and protest still exists, this is a good time to revive it."

YOUR MOUTH SMELLS OF ASS


Sure, who hasn't wanted a metal spike rammed through his/her tongue? Who hasn't wanted simultaneously to make a fashion statement, a clicking noise while chewing and an enhanced oral sex experience for his/her partner? But improving one form of intimacy comes at the risk of destroying another, according to Sacramento periodontist Dr. Gordon Douglas in an account carried by the Wireless Flash service (www.flashnews.com). Douglas claims bacteria that collects around the piercing fosters bad breath—and stinky kissing. And if the poked area isn't regularly cleaned, he warns that heavy tartar will form inside the tongue, making the smell emanating from your piehole akin to what comes out a manhole. Pucker up!

IMMINENTLY QUOTABLE

"The OC Planning Department is an oxymoron. The only question left is: Who is the moron?"

Roger von Butow, founder of Clean Water Now! Coalition, Laguna Beach

"I'm sure Walt Disney is crying from his grave when he sees what the current owners are doing to his basic belief system by saying, 'The inn is full. There's no more room for the baby Jesus.'"

The Reverend Lou Sheldon, founder of Anaheim-based Traditional Values Coalition, on the suspension of church services at Walt Disney World, Florida
 
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