December 17, 2010

The Trumped-Up Espionage Case Against Julian Assange


February 22, 2010

Back when the good guys were the good guys

Filed under: Guest Comment — Tags: , , , , — Bob Patterson @ 7:24 pm

Since it is slowly becoming obvious that the Bush Administration will accomplish what the Nazis couldn’t (be forgiven for committing war crimes); it seems concomitant to find some other topics for columns to be posted online. It would be best to come up with topics which will be previously untouched but will proved a “Eurika!” moment/reaction with this site’s regulars.

One hypothetical question which has always been a concern for this columnist has been: “If you could travel back in time to anyplace to see history happen; where would you be going when (not if) they actually invent and activate the “Wayback Machine”?

At this point we direct readers’ attention to the comments section below.

For this columnist, the first response has always been: I’d go to Paris to watch the Liberation during WWII occur.

We used to work with a guy who was, according to the judgment of the other workers, very boring. We made a specific effort to get to know him hoping that he would have some hidden trove of memories that we could get him to share. We’ve always been anxious to hear the experiences of the men who fought in WWII. When this fellow mentioned the Army, we hauled out our verbal questionnaire form. What theater of operations, what unit, what time frame, etc.

The guy didn’t offer any spectacular possibilities for combat stories. He had been wounded in action but it wasn’t life threatening. Then he proved my point by dropping a game winner: while he was in a military hospital, he and a nurse who spoke French went AWOL and snuck into Paris three weeks after the Liberation. He succinctly reported “We had a good time.”

The highlight, according to his reminiscences, occurred when he went into one of the best restaurants and ordered up a “once in a lifetime” dining experience. When the bill wasn’t presented, he asked for it. The waiter explained that it was impossible to present a bill to a member of the very same Army that had Liberated Paris. Sweet.

One might assume that living in Berkeley wouldn’t offer much possibility for finding some vicarious material for flashbacks to the aforementioned historical series of events that transpired in August 1944. Thanks to some items found in the Berkeley Public Library book store, such an assumption would be misguided.

In a copy of “By-line: Ernest Hemingway,” we found (on pages 382 – 3): “We ran through the road where the munitions dump was exploding, with Archie (his driver), who has bright red hair, six years of regular Army, four words of French, a missing front tooth, and a Frere in a guerrilla outfit, laughing heartily at the noise the big stuff was making as it blew. . . .

“We were going downhill now, and I knew that road and what we could see when we made the next turn. . . .

“‘Yeah,’ I said. I couldn’t say anything more then, because I had a funny choke in my throat and I had to clean my glasses because there now, below us, gray and always beautiful, was spread the city I love best in all the world.”

A day or so later, in “Wayward Reporter: The Life of A. J. Liebling,” we found (pages 4 – 5): “For the first time in my life and probably the last, I have lived for a week in a great city where everybody is happy. Moreover, since this city is Paris, everybody makes this euphoria manifest.”

We’ve read some of the articles that Albert Camus wrote for Combat, the resistance newspaper, but were surprised to find that Liebling had written a book that critically evaluated the journalism produced in Paris during the Occupation. Where the heck are we ever going to find a copy of “The Republic of Silence”? Now we have a reason to go to bookstores.

Somehow George W. Bush thought that the troops he sent into Baghdad would get the same tumultuous reception that the Parisians gave to the American troops who arrived in Paris in 1944. Unfortunately, Bush miscalculated. Bush ultimately came off looking like a guy standing in the rain watching his girlfriend and her husband boarding a train that was leaving Paris.

When we started flipping through a recently acquired copy of “Anthology: Selected essays from the first 30 years of The New York Review of Books,” we came across Bruce Chatwin’s piece titled “An Aesthete at War.” It tells about the life of Captain Ernst Junger who won Iron Crosses in both World Wars.

Part of fact finding for our imaginary time travel trip had been a reading of “Is Paris Burning?” many years ago. “An Aesthete at War” mentions that General Speidel “forgot” the order to V-bomb Paris. How did we miss that bit of trivia? It seems that Paris was doubly lucky to survive the Liberation relatively unscathed. We also just read (In Joseph Harsch’s book about covering WWII?) that the night they left Paris, the Germans did send some airplanes on a bombing raid over Paris’ outskirts.

Junger loved war, but he also loved Paris. According to Chatwin’s article it seems likely that Rush Limbaugh would cherish Junger’s book about WWI titled “Storm of Steel.” Apparently, if you like war; you will love Junger’s book “Storm of Steel.” A guy who was wounded 14 times in World War I and then fought again in World War II would be the kind of guy Uncle Rushbo would urge all American kids to emulate. Uncle Rushbo would agree with the warmonger aspect of Junger’s personality and it isn’t hard to imagine the fat man also wishing for an alternative history where Paris was leveled by the retreating German Army.

It seems that Dick Cheney will never stand trial for war crimes and that time travel back to the days when the Americans were “the good guys” will never be perfected, but a columnist can dream, can’t he?

Chatwin delivers an occupation era quote from Madame (Mrs. Paul) Morand: “For me the art of living is the art of making other people work and keeping pleasure for myself.” (Does Uncle Rushbo need a motto for his radio program?)

Now, we’ll pry the disk jockey away from his transistor radio (where the True Oldies Channel delivers a limited dose of time travel) and have him play “The Last Time I Saw Paris (the song was inspired by the fall of France),” “Paris vor Hundert Jahren” and Waylon Jenning’s song, “He Went to Paris.” (What? You were expecting “As Time Goes By”? The boss don’t like to hear that song.) It’s time for us to go do some fact finding about the new John Cusack movie with the intriguing title “Hot Tub Time Machine.” Have a “filled with those events which alter and illuminate our times” type week.

December 29, 2009

GOP Freaks of 2009

Filed under: Commentary,Opinion,Toon — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , — RS Janes @ 7:13 am


December 19, 2009

The Tattlesnake – The Political Good, Bad and Ugly Edition

Good: Your husband has decided to get more involved in
local politics.
Bad: He’s running for congress as a conservative Republican.
Ugly: He’s Karl Rove.

Good: Your wife just got a great-paying job.
Bad: She’s on Fox News.
Ugly: After fifteen years of marriage, you never knew she was a wingnut.

Good: Your 22-year-old daughter just announced she’s marrying the man of her dreams.
Bad: He’s old enough to be her grandfather.
Ugly: He’s Mitch McConnell.

Good: Your 21-year-old son’s new book is about to be published.
Bad: It’s a biography of George W. Bush.
Ugly: He’s started talking like him.

Good: Your wife buys a new hat for her birthday.
Bad: It has teabags hanging off the brim.
Ugly: They’ve all been used.

Good: The recently discovered Bush emails prove conclusively that Bush, Cheney, Rove, et al, committed high crimes while in office.
Bad: Holder’s Justice Department refuses to prosecute them.
Ugly: Obama excuses them by saying, “Anyone could make a mistake.”

Good: You laugh at an Andy Borowitz satire about Glenn Beck ‘editing’ and releasing an ‘abridged’ version of “1984″ wherein Big Brother’s name is replaced by Obama’s.
Bad: Turns out it’s not an Andy Borowitz satire.
Ugly: The MSM quote from the book as if it were George Orwell’s original version.

Good: Your daughter just got a new job.
Bad: She’s working for Bill O’Reilly.
Ugly: She just bought a case of loofahs.

Good: Your son just got a new job.
Bad: He’s working for FreedomWorks.
Ugly: He’s Dick Armey’s ‘butt boy.’

Good: You just got a tenured job at a university.
Bad: You’re teaching ‘Creation Science.’
Ugly: At Messiah College.

Good: The ideas of Tom Paine are being discussed on TV.
Bad: By Glenn Beck on Fox News.
Ugly: Beck has made liberal agnostic Paine into a far-right Christian fanatic just like himself.

Good: Your son has been signed to star in a major motion picture.
Bad: It’s “The Life of Rush Limbaugh.”
Ugly: He was hired due to his strong resemblance to the subject.

Good: You’ve accepted a $50,000 speaking gig.
Bad: At the next CPAC convention.
Ugly: Your topic is “The Incredible Genius of Sarah Palin.”

Good: You’re not feeling well and your friend says he will find you a good doctor.
Bad: You’re flat broke.
Ugly: Your friend is Joe Lieberman.

© 2009 RS Janes.

June 25, 2009

GOP A-Holes on Parade


June 7, 2009

Dumb-Boat Diplomacy

Filed under: Commentary,Opinion,Toon — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — RS Janes @ 8:49 am


May 30, 2009

The Tattlesnake – On Celebrating Memorial Day in the Aftermath of Cheney’s New Rome Edition

Filed under: Commentary,Opinion — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — RS Janes @ 6:58 pm

My uncle was an Army Ranger during the Korean War who saw the results of ‘enhanced interrogation techniques’ performed by the North Koreans on American GIs. Although there were no waterboardings mentioned that I recall, sleep deprivation, exposure to extreme temperatures, lengthy confinement in small spaces, prisoners kept for days with their head covered by burlap bags, and other forms of torture were routinely practiced. There were no ‘major organ failures,’ yet my uncle, and every one who saw the psychologically broken, hollow-eyed men released by the NK knew what they had ungone was torture, without question. He was proud to say that America didn’t torture our captives. So was my father, who witnessed the results of torture of American POWs in the Pacific Theater during WWII.

It was simple: America does not torture.

The Bush/Cheney Gang, supported by those other execrable toads Bybee, Bradbury and Yoo, have dishonored the service of my father, my uncle and millions of others who sacrificed their youth and risked or lost their lives for a Constitution and a form of government that adhered to its own laws and didn’t descend to barbarism out of panic or sadism or incompetence. Dick Cheney knew very well that Americans would not countenance torture so he had his lawyers invent another name for it, and he continues to dishonor our veterans, living and dead, and all Americans, justifying the crimes he committed in our name and without our permission by insisting he has protected us, when he is really only protecting himself. If Cheney had the kind of guts he is purported to have, he would come out and admit he ordered the torture and take responsibility for it, instead of wrapping himself in weasely euphemisms and the flag. But ‘tough guy’ Cheney doesn’t have the courage to do that — my father and my uncle had more courage in their little fingers than ‘desk jockey’ Cheney has displayed in his entire career. They risked their lives for their country; Dick Cheney has done nothing more than play pathetic political games for his own profit. To say he is disgusting is an understatement.

Perhaps the House and Senate, before voting on Bybee’s impeachment or, indeed, the prosecution of any of these war criminals, should be required to see a film of what American soldiers looked like after they had been subjected to the techniques outlined in the Bybee/Yoo memos, and allow men like my uncle, who have seen the terrible results of Cheney’s ‘enhanced interrogation techniques,’ and those who have experienced them first-hand, to testify in public. It might wake them up to the true horror of what the Bush/Cheney Regime has done in our name.

Also read:
“Everyone Should See ‘Torturing Democracy’”
Bill Moyers and Michael Winship, Common Dreams, May 30, 2009.

© 2009 R.S. Janes.

May 25, 2009

Memorial Day 2009


May 17, 2009

Yes We Cantor! GOP: No We Can’t!

Filed under: Commentary,Opinion,Toon — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — RS Janes @ 5:40 pm


May 16, 2009

The Real Enemy in Iraq

Filed under: Commentary,Opinion,Toon — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , — RS Janes @ 4:42 am


May 15, 2009

But Only Because the American Nazi Party Was Taken

Today’s GOP — moving from the ridiculously stupid to the space-cadet silly

“A member of the Republican National Committee told me Tuesday that when the RNC meets in an extraordinary special session next week, it will approve a resolution rebranding Democrats as the ‘Democrat Socialist Party.’”
— Roger Simon, “GOP, RNC to Rebrand Democrats as ‘Socialists,’”, May 13, 2009.

That’s fine, the Republicans should go ahead and do that, as long as
they accept this appropriate title as well:


“Things for the Republicans are bad, very bad. It is worse than just about any Republican wants to admit.” [...]
“…But the big picture is clear for all to see: Under Republican rule,
government got bigger and more intrusive.
“Which brings us to personal freedoms: From the legislating of
morality (Schiavo as the prime example), to the various conservative-led state bans on gay marriage, the Republicans did very little to
expand personal freedoms and if anything looked like the party trying
to take freedoms away.” [...]
“No one is stepping up and accepting any responsibility. The public only sees a bunch of cowards afraid to take responsibility.”
— Chuck Todd, “Yes, It’s That Bad for the GOP,” NBC News, May 14, 2009.

April 27, 2009

Bush’s Torture Memo Lawyers Didn’t Read the Geneva Convention (or Their Oaths of Office)?

Seriously – Jay Bybee, Bush’s former Assistant Attorney General in the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel, apparently didn’t bother to read the Geneva Convention definitions of torture before giving advice to Bush and Cheney on what constitutes torture? And this guy’s still a federal judge?

“Judge [Jay] Bybee’s résumé tells us that he has four children and is both a Cubmaster for the Boy Scouts and a youth baseball and basketball coach. He currently occupies a tenured seat on the United States Court of Appeals. As an assistant attorney general, he was the author of the Aug. 1, 2002, memo endorsing in lengthy, prurient detail interrogation ‘techniques’ like ‘facial slap (insult slap)’ and ‘insects placed in a confinement box.’

“He proposed using 10 such techniques ‘in some sort of escalating fashion, culminating with the waterboard, though not necessarily ending with this technique.’ Waterboarding, the near-drowning favored by Pol Pot and the Spanish Inquisition, was prosecuted by the United States in war-crimes trials after World War II. But Bybee concluded that it ‘does not, in our view, inflict ‘severe pain or suffering.” ”
– Frank Rich, “The Banality of Bush White House Evil,” NY Times, April 26, 2009.

From the Geneva Convention:

Part II, Section I, Article 13, “General Protection of Prisoners of War”: “Prisoners of war must at all times be humanely treated. Any unlawful act or omission by the Detaining Power causing death or seriously endangering the health of a prisoner of war in its custody is prohibited, and will be regarded as a serious breach of the present Convention.” [...]

“Likewise, prisoners of war must at all times be protected, particularly against acts of violence or intimidation and against insults and public curiosity.”

Part III, Section I, Article 17, “Captivity”: “No physical or mental torture, nor any other form of coercion, may be inflicted on prisoners of war to secure from them information of any kind whatever. Prisoners of war who refuse to answer may not be threatened, insulted, or exposed to any unpleasant or disadvantageous treatment of any kind.”
– From the “Geneva Convention Relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War,” adopted August 12, 1949 and signed by the United States on October 21, 1950. Published by the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Everything proposed by Bybee and Yoo was illegal under both the Geneva Convention and US torture laws, and they should have known that. So should Bush, Cheney and the others who took an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution. Read the exact oaths below:


April 8, 2009

Make Big Money in Torture!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — RS Janes @ 2:45 pm


February 2, 2009

The Tattlesnake – The Hilarity Begins at Home Edition

Short Cuts on the Collapse of Bush’s Republi-conism and Letterman’s Resurrection of Bill Hicks

Here’s the Future of the GOP:

“One thing that Americans do at this time, also, though, is let’s commit ourselves, just everyday American people, Joe Six Pack, hockey moms across the nation, I think we need to band together and say never again.”
— Sarah Palin, Vice Presidential debate, Oct. 2, 2008.

Yes, never again elect another Booby-Hatch Neocon like Junior the First as president, and I won’t mention any particular governor from Alaska who does Fargoesque photo-ops with a working turkey chipper in the background. What do you think – Obama wins 49 states in 2012 against the Mad WASP Caribou Mangler of the Great White North?

Oh, Brothern and Sistern: A “Full Armor of God Playset Kids Costume” is up for sale at EBay from the ‘God4me Ministries,’ which looks amazingly similar to a Roman legionnaire’s battle rattle. Does God4Me Ministries recall who it was that put the spikes into Big J and let him die on a cross? Hey, but for only $8.99, it’s relatively cheap to turn your bambino into one of Pontius Pilate’s boys.

How shoddy can your reporting get? One anonymous “Republican official” makes false claims about President Obama’s stimulus package and there is no attempt to fact-check the charges or get a response from Democrats or the White House? I would have gotten a dressing down for this kind of sloppy nonsense even in my pathetic journalism course at a no-name school. This is what happens when the guy in charge of your Washington Bureau crawls under the covers with the Demonic Forces of the Republican Party, as has Ron Fournier. In 2004, then-AP reporter Fournier had an email exchange with Karl Rove and ended one message with the line, “Keep up the fight” and has been stroking the GOP since. (He’s almost as bad as King Sucker Mark Halperin or one of those Tiny Tots at Tell me about the liberal media, Elton, ’cause it makes me wanna puke. Media Matters has more details at “The AP’s Thursday Train Wreck.”

Speaking of Mrs. Rove’s Evil Spawn: If Karl Rove doesn’t show up in Congress soon to answer questions from John Conyers and the House Judiciary Committee, it’s inevitable that Eric Holder’s DoJ will instruct the FBI to compel Rove to appear, arresting and jailing him if necessary.

Crazy Karl is bizarrely claiming permanent executive privilege on an issue he supposedly never discussed with the president — Don Siegelman’s corrupt prosecution and imprisonment in Alabama and Rove’s involvement in ‘changing’ the Alabama election results late at night — after Siegelman had won — to put Republican Bob Riley in as governor.

Executive privilege only extends to actual communications with the president and Rove has stated he never discussed these matters with Bush, so it doesn’t apply. Besides that, no court has ruled that the privilege is eternal.

Unfortunately, if it comes down to it, Rove might pull a Scooter Libby and fall on his dagger to protect Dick and Dumbo, taking the heat for the political corruption of the Bush Regime while Rummy is nailed for approving torture. As pleasing as it would be to see Karlo and The Don in orange jumpsuits, the idea that Cheney and his Puppet would skate free is outrageous.

Finally, David Letterman has apologized to comic genius Bill Hicks’ mother Mary for censoring him in 1993 and banning him from his show. Hicks, who died shortly thereafter from pancreatic cancer, was, along with George Carlin, one of the few ‘no sell-out’ social satirists of the ’80s and ’90s, giants in the tradition of Lenny Bruce and Mark Twain. (Incidentally, Letterman didn’t know Bill had cancer when he barred him.) Good on Dave for coming to his senses, even if it took 16 years. No word on why CBS’ late night talk show host chose this time to make amends, but better late than never. When will we see equal treatment for Harvey Pekar? He’s still alive so the apology could be face-to-face. Click here for videos of the on-air apology and short clips of Bill’s brilliant routines. (H/T to Quinn Esq. at TPM Cafe.)

January 23, 2009

The Tattlesnake – Random Notes on Bush’s Exit, Obama’s Entrance, and the Dying of the Right Edition

Part the One

– Wow. Obama’s been president for three days and already he’s signed Executive Orders closing Gitmo; banning torture; suspending those odious ‘military tribunal’ trials; ending revolving-door lobbying; preventing lobbyists from occupying senior positions in agencies they once lobbied; requiring ethics courses for all of his staff (and he took the course himself); limiting the use of secrecy classification, even imposing Justice Department oversight on his ability to classify documents secret; and expanded government transparency, directing his administration to err on the side of Freedom of Information Act requests rather than the other way around. He also froze the pay of senior White House staff and informed them that as long as he’s president, none of them will quit and then turn around and lobby their friends still in his government, reversing years of Bush/Cheney corruption, sleaze, secrecy and illegality.

What’s more, he did all of this while acting like a grown-up, speaking in full, clear, grammatical sentences, and taking his job seriously. It will be difficult, but pleasant, to adjust to a president who doesn’t have a smirk perpetually playing about his mouth, doesn’t need someone else to run his brain, and can think on his feet. We’ve gone from Barney Fife to Denzel Washington, and the change is striking. I’ll be criticizing Obama in the future I’m sure, but for now all I can say is: Wow. I think he’s one of those rare politicians who really meant what he said when he was campaigning.

– The Dying of the Right 1: While the vast majority of America is celebrating our new competent president, the peevish drones over at Fox News, led by Chris “My Dad’s the Journalist!” Wallace, have been foaming at the mouth over whether Obama’s really president, since Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts bumbled the reading of the oath on January 20th and Obama followed him. This is the largest load of unprocessed fertilizer since the questioning of Obama’s birth certificate. (Hint to all the ‘reporters’ at Fox: As well as the certificate itself, long available online and sanctioned as genuine by fact-checking organizations, there was also a birth announcement in the Honolulu Advertiser newspaper welcoming Barack H. Obama Jr. into the world in 1961.) In fact, the law says that, as the victor in the last election, Obama was officially president at Noon last Tuesday, whether he was sworn in or not, and documents were signed after the inaugural ceremony signifying that official transfer of power. Just to head off frivolous lawsuits from tinfoil-hat pinheads, Obama had Roberts drop by the White House the next day and redo the swearing in. Incredibly, some of the bloviating scoundrels claimed this was a – oooohhhh — ‘secret ceremony’! Horse pucky. The press was invited in, still photos were taken and an audio track was recorded – it was as secret as an American Idol audition. Only the TV cameras weren’t involved, and that was likely because Obama wanted this formality completed quickly and didn’t want to get bogged down with silly questions from the Usual Media Meatheads like Fox News. (“Mr. President, will you now come clean about your place of birth? Weren’t you really born in Kenya or Cuba or Mexico? Isn’t it true that Patrice Lumumba is your real father and Squeaky Fromme is your real mother?” )

– The Dying of the Right 2: Rush “Rhymes with Limbo” Limbaugh, who once went apoplectic criticizing liberals as ‘unpatriotic America-haters’ because he had convinced himself they wanted the Little King to fail in Iraq, has now joined the ranks of unpatriotic America-haters, according to his lights. On his radio show the other day, he confessed openly, “I hope Obama fails.” Aside from the fact that about 83 percent of the public doesn’t agree with him, even some the brain-dead rubes who still give any credence to the great blubbery gasbag, suffering under the GOP economy and dying in the senseless Republican wars Rushbo helped peddle, had to be appalled by this statement. He wants the country to go down the drain to what – make the era of conservative Republicans look good? That’s some patriot; George Washington would be proud. Prediction: This is the sort of nasty, psychotic hypocrisy that is losing ratings for the neocon hustlers of the broadcast media and it’s going to result in Limbo being dropped from the airwaves across the country. In eight years, Rush will have lost his syndication deal and will end his miserable existence shouting through a tin can at a little 1000-watt daytimer in North Peckerwood, Alabama. (“Hey, Limbaugh, y’all forgot to take out the trash from the studio last night!” “I’ll get it, boss, I’ll get it!” “Yeah, and don’t forget to mop them washrooms extra good while you’re at it.” )

– Laugh-A-Bullroar: If you were watching the inaugural ceremonies on CNN or MSNBC, did you notice they cut the mics picking up the crowd sounds when Bush, Cheney and the Republicans were introduced? And the band was cranked up extra loud to try and drown out the tidal wave of booing. Earlier in the day, even addle-pated ‘Morning’ Joe Scarborough remarked on the two to three million Obama fans flooding into Washington that the GOP had better pay attention to this political shift or risk being the minority party far into the future. Forget Dimmy and Dick, they’re gone, but I wonder if those Congressional Republicans got the point? (Some of them nearly lost their safe seats last election.)


October 2, 2008

The Tattlesnake – I Knew Sarah Palin Edition

…Or, At Least, Someone Like Her

Centuries ago, before personal computers, Blackberries, cell phones and The Google, Your Decrepit Tattler worked for a company that published a glossy magazine in a mid-sized, Midwestern US city. The glossy was eponymously named after the city, and the company also owned the local civic-booster travel guide and an FM radio station.

One day the word went out – the company had hired that year’s winner of the state beauty pageant to flack for the magazine, and proudly announced that the owner/publisher was confident she would go on to become Miss America, thereby enhancing the magazine’s ‘national prestige and image.’ All of us Worker Bees were ordered to come up with ways to promote the wonderfulness of Wendy Jo Stepford – her real name has been lost in the mists of age, but that’s a serviceable substitute – making sure we ‘excited’ local and state media coverage of her and, of course, the magazine for which she stood.

Our Advertising Director Ron, the dog, eagerly took it upon himself to be her personal escort and tutor, and arranged photo-ops around town to display her at various events – inaugurating the Oktoberfest celebration, cutting the ribbon at a car dealership opening, saluting the interstate trucking industry, dining at a new trendy restaurant – where she could smile with incredibly large teeth, open her eyes unnaturally wide, and proclaim forgettable hooey with the breathy guileless sincerity of a pretty 20-year-old in a miniskirt.

At first, the plans of the owner/publisher went smoothly – wherever she went, Wendy Jo attracted crowds of young women asking her about her choice in cosmetics and wardrobe, and leering old lechers who lusted to be her Sugar Daddy, and the media couldn’t get enough of her blandly sweet persona and trite, platitude-laden lexicon. Plus, she looked good in a two-piece bathing suit – somewhat incongruous for a German beer festival where she was posed with ruddy men in lederhosen, but it put her picture on the front page of the city’s highest-circulation newspaper.

The first crack in Wendy Jo’s edifice occurred during that suds-soaked Teutonic rave-up when she was asked about the history of Oktoberfest – they might as well have asked her to define Quantum Mechanics. She paused for a long uneasy moment, eyes practically bugging out of her head in naive intensity while her mouth froze in a large-mouthed professional beauty contestant grin; then came the groaner, delivered brightly: “Uh, those Nazis in Germany had a lot of bad stuff about them, but I think we can all agree that Oktoberfest was a pretty darn good idea!” Oh, you betcha! Gemütlichkeit!


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