APPALL-O-METER

Dave Mulcahey

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Convert Em All 9.4

When American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon, one of the leading lights of Clinton demonology, Barbara Olson, was lost. She and her husband, Solicitor General Ted Olson, are not exactly sympathetic characters, unless of course you believe in America-hating liberal conspiracies, but one couldn’t help but feel grief and horror reading about their last cell-phone conversation. 

Wherever she is now, Barbara might be happy to know that her colleagues are calling for a jihad of their own to avenge the dreadful events of September 11. Leading the pack is syndicated columnist Ann Coulter, a vicious Clintonographer in her own right, who complained bitterly in National Review Online that our bombs haven’t yet rained down on Muslims everywhere. 

This is no time to be precious about locating the exact individuals directly involved in this particular terrorist attack,” Coulter fumed. Those responsible include anyone anywhere in the world who smiled in response to the annihilation of patriots like Barbara Olson.

We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity.”

Not Mme. Tussaud’s 9.8

The news doesn’t get much better in militant Muslim quarters. A Hamas student group at Al-Najah University in the West Bank town of Nablus staged an exhibit in late September marking the anniversary of the second intifada.” Along with pictures of the past year’s carnage, the exhibit featured mock-ups of terror scenes, complete with plastic body parts, fake blood and other gruesome effects. 

While the exhibit shows scenes of violence against Palestinians as well, according to a report in the New York Times, what really drew attention to it was a celebratory depiction of the notorious suicide attack on the Sbarro restaurant in Jerusalem. A Sbarro sign was placed over the entrance to the exhibit, and a large mural of the blast was draped over the fa¡ade of the building. Inside severed limbs hung from the ceiling, as if in flight from explosion, and gnawed pizza and other debris were scattered throughout. The whole tableau wasn’t exactly a publicity coup for the Palestinian leadership. Although officials ordered the exhibit to be closed, it remained open, albeit a little toned down. A severed hand was removed, and some other mock gore was covered up. This disappointed some who attended. I would hope to see more of that,” a student told the Times. As Palestian, I hope to see more Israelis killed by more Palestinians.” 

Standing Firm 2.4

Meanwhile, a man in Washington State has decided to show his solidarity with a nation in grief by planting two American flags in the six-foot phallus he carved out of a tree stump in his front yard. 

Jean Paul Parshall has long been the bane of neighbors who find his giant organ offensive, but county sheriff’s police have declined to take any action, citing the right of free expression. According to a report on Anano​va​.com, Parshall plans to deck his sculpture out with lights for the Christmas season and to fit it with a large condom to promote safe sex.

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Dave Mulcahey, a former managing editor of The Baffler, wrote In These Times’ monthly Appallo-o-meter” feature for nearly 10 years, until the fall of 2009.
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