Sunday, 27 June 2004
Joke of the day.
It's 2005, and an old man walks up to the front gate of the White House. Speaking to the Marine guard on duty, he says "I'd like to see President Bush, please."
The Marine replies "I'm sorry sir, but George Bush is no longer President. John Kerry's in the White House now."
The old man nods, and goes away.
The next day the old man comes back again, and asks to see President Bush. The Marine, a little more curtly this time, tells him that Bush is no longer President.
The third day the old man comes up and asks to see President Bush. "Listen, old man," says the guard, "I've told you for three days running that Bush isn't President anymore! What is your problem?"
The old man says, "Oh, there's no problem — I just like hearing you say it."
The Marine snaps to attention, salutes, and says, "I'll see you tomorrow."
- Posted by Scott Forbes at 7:25 am. comments.
Sunday, 27 June 2004
Imagine that Iraq is a patient on an operating table. We're performing surgery to remove a malignant brain tumor, a complex procedure that normally requires a team of 15 surgeons and assistants… but we're trying to do it with six, and none of our would-be doctors have done it before. (In fact, our chief surgeon — after watching his predecessor operate on Kosovo, Haiti and Somalia — declared that our hospital should get out of this branch of medicine.)
The instruments in our operating theater consist entirely of knives. The knives are the world's finest, and are very sharp, but we have a critical shortage of blood plasma, sterile bandages, and other important tools that would help us control the bleeding and stabilize the patient. We do have a supply of these items in reserve, but our chief surgeon decided not to call them up before he began the operation; if he calls for them now it'll make him look bad, and they'll take forever to get here regardless.
We've now removed most of the brain tumor (we think), but the cancer has spilled into the bloodstream and is damaging other vital organs. We're cutting open the patient to attack the cancers where they grow (when your only tool is a scalpel, etc.), but this approach is leaving a lot of ugly scars. Chemocratic elections would be more effective at treating the cancer… but apparently the chief doesn't think the patient is stable enough, and fears that chemo would kill off cells he's trying to preserve.
At least one of our brain surgeons has managed to dirty his hands (and, in spite of this, is still operating), so the patient's natural immune system is starting to react to us. We frisked the patient's pockets while he was unconscious, and in spite of what hospital bureaucrats promised us before we started, Iraq doesn't have enough money to pay for the operation — not that we have any illusions about whether the patient would want to anymore, or about how grateful he'll be if and when he recovers. We also didn't find a gun in his pocket, though that was supposedly one of the reasons he needed treatment right away.
If you disagree with the surgeon about any aspect of this procedure, it must be because you hate our hospital, you hate the surgeon, you're anti-surgery, or you didn't think the patient needed treatment. In any case, your disloyalty is appalling: You should be standing behind our chief surgeon in this time of crisis, and it doesn't make sense to change doctors in mid-procedure.
And, finally, our chief surgeon — who has a pressing engagement — is about to take Iraq off the anesthetic. Even though we're still up to our elbows in the patient, our chief has declared that the surgery will end as scheduled… and, to demonstrate how well we've done, we'll return Iraq to full consciousness. Our sawbones-in-chief expects that the patient will be up and about momentarily; oh yes, he'll be walking around the operating room, thanking his doctors and making a speedy recovery from this successful operation.
Just you wait and see.
- Posted by Scott Forbes at 7:03 am. comments.