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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016


Babble Tower

"And they said, Go to, let us build a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven. And the Lord said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do. Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech." - Genesis 11:4, 6-7.

Obviously, the Lord is a Euroskeptic. How else to explain the gobbledygook that issues from the builders of that tower of continental unity, the European Union? For the Lord hath smited their tongues with thick tangles of bureacratese, The Associated Press reports, ensuring continual confusion.

For example, how can you storm heaven when you have to spend time puzzling out what "grain eating units" might be? Pigs? Cows? Lemurs? Us? (Sheep, as it happens.) And wouldn't you get lost if you were told to arrive at the tower site by "intermodal transport system?" Would that be a plane? Scooter? Bark canoe? Or maybe "bus" is the word the Eurocrats were straining for. And think what a cacophony would result from all the excited flapping of "mucous membranes of the oral cavity." ("Gums," to you and me.)

The jargon is getting so bad even the Brussels Sprouts are taking notice. The EU's translation department has just issued a booklet urging the use of clearer prose: "Too much abstract language may make your reader suspect that something real and unpalatable is being wrapped up in verbiage."

That's rather the point, isn't it?

Party Poopers

What if they held a hanging and nobody came?

That was the situation the Republican Party faced after the U.S. mid-term elections this week. Under the moral leadership of convicted ethics violator Newt Gingrich and confessed adulterer Henry Hyde, the "Party of Power" spent $10 million in the closing days of the campaign on hot-and-heavy anti-Clinton ads, hoping to stir a pro-impeachment groundswell. The result? Once again, Republicans handed Clinton their collective heads on an electoral platter, and Democrats registered an historic off-year triumph.

Clinton, consigned to the dustbin of history by the pundits less than a month ago, savored the sweet revenge of watching rightwing enemies such as Senators Alfonse D'Amato, who led the acrimonious Whitewater hearings, and Lauch Faircloth, who engineered the sacking of the original special prosecutor in favor of his old friend Ken Starr, go down in flames. Meanwhile, with voters expressing overwhelming opposition to impeachment and disgust at the last-minute Monica flurry, Gingrich saw his House majority dwindle to a handful, and shell-shocked Republicans began openly mulling a change from his Keystone Kops style of leadership.

And did the merry maladroits in charge of the party get the message? Why, of course. The day after the debacle, Gingrich boldly declared that "the impeachment process will go forward," because "we can't allow ourselves to be influenced by polls."

Not even polls with actual ballot boxes inside them, apparently.

Starr Billing

But don't cry for Ken Starr. Although many of his political playmates bit the dust this week, and he himself is now under investigation by a "special master" (sounds kinky - Ken will love it!), the grand inquisitor is still living high on the government hog, according to just-released expense accounts.

Diamond Ken has been housing his pampered staff in luxury apartments, to the tune of $19,000 a month, while running off those hot leaks of secret grand jury testimony on a $56,000 copier, the Los Angeles Times reports. And despite having a phalanx of taxpayer-funded lawyers on his staff, as well as the investigative resources of the entire FBI, Starr still rang up a $412,000 tab for outside legal experts, and $700,000 on private dicks to dig up dirt on Clinton.

Other extremely vital expenditures include more than $30,000 on a "community attitude survey" in Clinton's home town. (Short answer, Ken: They don't like you. That'll be $30,000, please.) The long-suffering public also shelled out $30,000 for "psychological analysis of evidence" by a soul-doctor whose main claim to fame was divining the causes of Kurt Cobain's suicide. (He was unhappy and he shot himself. That'll be $30,000, please.)

Yet with Gingrichian doggedness, Starr continues to press on. Despite a high court's blistering dismissal of his tax evasion case against Clinton pal Webster Hubbell (the court ruled the case was completely unfounded), Starr has announced he is going to the grand jury with - you guessed it - a tax evasion case against Webster Hubbell. The same case as before.

Maybe $30,000 worth of "psychological analysis" would be in order here.

Breast Stroke

But if Captain Ken ever gets tired of trying to harpoon Moby Bill, he'll probably find a good job waiting for him down at Sunrise Family Video in Salt Lake City, where for a small fee (somewhat less than $30,000), the prop rietors will snip all the naughty bits from your copy of "Titanic."

For a measly fiver, good old Don and Carol Biesinger will crop the brief exposure of Kate Winslet's tastefully undraped pulchritude, and that backseat snog-fest between her and Leonardo DiCaprio, which shows a flash or two of shoulder flesh before demurely pulling back behind a fogged-up window. And heck, if there's any other evil, nasty parts that make you feel all wiggly - all those cigars, for example - the Sunrise Family will cut them too, for an extra three bucks.

The censorious salesfolk have Hollywood up in arms, AP reports. Director John Frankenheimer, whose classic films "The Manchurian Candidate" and "Seven Days in May" examined the threat to freedom posed by repression and media manipulation, is among the industry leaders calling for a boycott of the store.

"The guy is mutilating art," Frankenheimer said. "It's like being a museum curator and taking a Picasso nude and painting a bikini on it."

Oh, these liberal elites! Listen, John, decent people don't want porn on their television sets. That kind of filth should stay where it belongs - on the Congressional web site.