: There’s a great picture in the NY Post today (that is, sadly, too small online) showing a bug-eyed Yasser Arafat staring at his bombed-out bed. (Larger image here.)
On the nightstand is a box of babywipes.
I don’t wanna know what he does with them!
The Short-Sighted Greed Oscars
: I hate taxes too. I really hate them this year, having to pay more than I expected, painfully more. But I just pay them. I’m not stupid.
Can’t say that about the head of Tyco, who’s now out of a job and staring a jail cell straight in the face just because he wanted to avoid New York sales tax on his wildly expensive art.
Can’t say that about Mitt Romney, idiot Republican candidate for governor in Massachussetts, who saved $54k in taxes by declaring Utah his primary residence. Only problem is: The Mass constitution requires that gubernatorial candidates live in the state for seven consecutive years before running. He could find himself out of the race.
Short-term, short-sighted greed.
The OZ Act
: So Michael Skakel is going off to prison. Scary thought. The Tyco guy could be facing jail. Scary, too.
But prison is a lot scarier for me these days because I watch OZ on HBO. Nothing could make prison look scarier than that: rape, murder, drugs, torture, humiliation, pain, and stench.
I want to propose the OZ Act: Play it on broadcast channels for free; make it required viewing for kids — especially rich kids who think they can get away with murder or tax evasion or general law-skirting.
That would be a greater deterrent to crime than the death penalty.
: The most amazing story of the day is practically buried in The Times: Mohammed Atta tried to get a U.S. government loan to buy a crop duster with an extra big tank. Thank God the bureaucrat he saw at the Department of Agriculture didn’t give it to him. But she also did not call anyone to report his beyond-suspicious behavior:
The official, Johnell Bryant, said she told Mr. Atta that he could not have a loan of $650,000 to buy a twin-engine, six-passenger plane, which he wanted to equip with a very large tank. He then became agitated, Ms. Bryant said, and asked her what was to keep him from slitting her throat and stealing money from the safe behind the desk in her Florida office.
“He started accusing me of discriminating against him because he was not a United States citizen,” Ms. Bryant said….
Later in their meeting, she said, he told her he wanted to buy an aerial picture of Washington that hung in her office. He pulled out a wad of cash and threw money on her desk, even after she said she would not sell it. He asked about the White House and Pentagon, and she pointed them out.
In their conversation, he said that Al Qaeda could use someone with her qualifications, and mentioned Osama bin Laden, Ms. Bryant said.
“He mentioned that this man would someday be known as the world’s greatest leader,” she said. “I didn’t know who he was talking about.”
He also asked her about other cities, including Phoenix, Los Angeles, Seattle and Chicago, she said, and mentioned that the football stadium used by the Dallas Cowboys had a “hole in the roof.”
Mark my words: There will be more to come out. There will be dot after unconnected dot.
: Update. Reader Stephen Berg cuts through this lady’s story like a chainsaw through butter. The timing doesn’t work vs. his world travels; he supposedly said bin Laden would recruit women (ha!); he’s looking for a loan when he just got $100k wired to him (and he doesn’t exactly have long-term expenses)… He concludes:
She could be an attention hound. But, if she reported it right after the eleventh, why’d she wait till now to speak up?
Or, she could be someone the government’s using to deflect attention and stop people asking the questions they have started to ask.
Either way, never ever trust anything that comes out of Florida.