Most people can’t tell the difference between Valentine Strasser and Valentine’s Day or Sierra Leone and Sierra Madre, so who gives a monkey’s butt about what happens in West Africa? Well, the people of Liberia have wanted our help since 1980. That year President William Tolbert was murdered to make way for the brutal dictator Samuel K. Doe.
Founded in 1847 by descendants of American slaves, Liberia has always wanted to be in the shadow of America. That is, a free democracy. But in the Reagan-era ’80s, Doe simply declared his enmity for communism, and U.S. officials declared their love to the tune of $60 million in military aid. Never mind Doe’s rigged elections, bullying ways and sponsorship of a civil war that infected Sierra Leone and Guinea. Doe was our guy! (So was Saddam when he was killing Iranians.) Brutality crushed brutality when Charles Taylor came to power, U.S. attention waned and the Middle East was a mess anyway. Now the Liberians want our help, and Bush wavers. Here’s a tip for nations without oil who want U.S. help in crushing brutal regimes: Plant a memo detailing your nation’s efforts to secure weapons-grade uranium, then wait for Bush’s next State of the Union address. Results are guaranteed.
& ull; Tell us something we don’t know. The LDS Church has issued a scathing attack on Jon Krakauer’s book Under the Banner of Heaven, which details the 1984 Lafferty murders and the fact that Joseph Smith—much like street prophet Brian Mitchell—took a 14-year-old girl among his 40 wives. “His [Krakauer’s] basic thesis appears to be that people who are religious are irrational, and that irrational people do strange things,” wrote church spokesman Mike Otterson.
& ull; Finger it out. Oh, what the Supreme Court sodomy ruling has wrought! Justice Scalia worries that the masses may now legally masturbate, and televangelist Pat Robertson is offering prayers for the retirement of Justices Stevens and Ginsburg. Meanwhile, a recent article in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology studying sexual preference found that gay men across ethnic groups have significantly shorter ring fingers than straight men.
& ull; “The Beeb” gets a boycott. Israeli officials have denied all press credentials and interviews with media representatives of the BBC, since the British news service recently aired “Israel’s Secret Weapons,” a documentary about that nation’s nuclear stockpile. Israel is the only Middle East nation with a nuclear arsenal and is not party to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. The BBC also rattled Israeli officials with “Dead in the Water,” a documentary detailing Israel’s attack on the intelligence ship U.S.S. Liberty during the 1967 Six Day War. Thirty-four U.S. servicemen were killed in the attack.
& ull; Freud would have a field day. A retired British professor of obstetrics and gynecology believes he’s cracked the code to Stonehenge’s symbolic meaning. In a paper published in Britain’s Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, Anthony Perks believes the ancient monument is an homage to the pagan Earth Goddess. Therefore, the structure’s inner bluestone circle and outer sarsen stone circle represent intimate parts of the vagina.