Thursday, July 20, 2006

Bush hates science. Yes, we know. Global warming confuses the man, and he's not sure about evolution, and I don't think it would be that hard to get Tony Snow to tell us that Bush believes the earth is flat, but he's waiting for all the research to come in from his buddies at the Billy Graham Institute of Casuistry. So try not to be so shocked when Dubya uses his first veto ever to cut federal funding for stem cell research, or as the White House's official position puts it, "Significantly Advancing Research in an Ethical Way." Because for an administration that finds a moral justification for slaughtering forty thousand civilians in Iraq, experimenting on a microscopic puddle of goo in order to cure Alzheimer's or Parkinson's is questionable. You know, someone really ought to just tell Dubya that stem cells can be used to create crude oil; he'd be harvesting the damn things out of the twins' vaginas within five minutes.

Meanwhile, I am so goddamned bored with the situation in the Middle East and the constant news reporting about how the Israeli-Lebanese conflict might destabilize teh region (really, how can you tell?), I can only imagine how the people over there feel. I'll take a guess: pissed. Despite the culture of victimhood that pervades the region, the puerile "But they started it!" attitude, I can at least respect the Lebanese for being slaughterers without pretense. Israel's arguments for — well, just about everything the Israeli military does to the Arab world — is oversaturated with moral righteousness and an unadmitted, though not undue, neurosis that grows quickly tiresome, like the whole Middle East conflict has been a sixty-year-long Woody Allen movie. The Palestinians and now the Lebanese are showing any CNN reporter with a camera and mike one flattened building after another, and Israel — which I think could win the "hearts and minds" battle if it wanted to — goes on a bitchfest: "Yes, yes, that cab driver... I think he was a member of Hamas. The whole ride, I was so afraid he was gonna throw a rock at me!"

I know it won't sell quite as nicely in the West, Ehud, but just say it: you — and I don't mean the people of Israel; I mean you — want to wipe out the entire Arab race the same way the crazy shieks and pan-Arab militias want to take Israel off the map. That might not be the only way Israel will ever be safe, but it's almost certainly the only way Israel will ever feel safe, and that leads me to my plan for peace in the Middle East: Get the fuck out of the Middle East. Seriously, Israel is dropping leaflets warning civilians to leave Beirut, and while Hezbollah wasn't quite as courteous to the Israelis, I don't think anyone should really need an invitation to get the hell out of Haifa, either. I hear Boca Raton is lovely this time of year.

Now, if I had my druthers, we'd raze everything in the region and pave the shit over. Other people might have more creative ideas, like I think Wilmer Valderrama plans on sorting out the Mideast peace crisis by inviting the best trash talkers in the Arab world to go on TV and make fun of each other's mothers — those Muslims have such a wonderful sense of humor! — but I think my solution pretty much distills everything those nations are heading towards and everything they deserve: either shut the fuck up and stop killing each other, or have your entire country turned into long-term parking for the new Mall of Dubai. Whoever's left behind — which, by the way, aren't the same people fighting — can get jobs in the mall food court or something.