Jim Hightower

Bork's Day in Court

It’s almost impossible to write satire these days because reality is so ridiculous.

Remember Robert Bork? He’s the former right-wing judge and Justice Department official who did dirty work for Richard Nixon during Watergate. Bork is a lawyer whose career has been based on bashing lawyers-personal injury lawyers in particular. He has railed long and loud against plaintiffs’ attorneys, demonizing them as greedy, conniving hucksters who file frivolous lawsuits seeking high-dollar punitive damages.

So guess who hired a personal injury lawyer and filed a million-dollar lawsuit? Bork. Right-wing ideology is one thing, but when right-wingers get injured-ideology be damned! They want one of those lawyers they’ve been demonizing, pronto.

Last year he was to speak at the Yale Club of New York City, but when he tried to step onto the dais, he fell backward, striking his head and injuring his leg. Though Bork delivered his speech, he claims he subsequently suffered “excruciating pain” and had to undergo extensive medical treatment. Bork is demanding big bucks in damages, charging that the club “wantonly, willfully, and recklessly” failed to provide steps and a railing.

While Bork’s lawyer wails that the club is guilty of “gross negligence,” Yale contends that surely Bork saw the height of the dais and should have asked for help if he felt it was too high. It’s up to a jury to decide, and that’s why America’s system of justice gives people access to lawyers and courts-a right that Bork has wanted to curtail … for others.

A BOMB OF A GAY POLICY

Rest easy, people. Though we live in dangerous times, Pentagon officials are spending every waking moment devising ways to keep our nation safe. For cutting-edge thinking, look at the Air Force’s innovative proposal for a “gay bomb.”

The Sunshine Project, a government watchdog group, reports that the Air Force sought several million dollars to develop a hormone bomb that releases “strong aphrodisiacs” on enemy combatants, causing “homosexual behavior.” Apparently, if our military can turn the enemy gay-even for a little while-the enemy would stop shooting and start kissing because … well, you know how gays are. Don’t you?

The Pentagon obviously doesn’t. It rejects gays on the grounds that homosexuals are so inherently frisky that they can’t be trusted to serve in the military. The brass fears that in battle, the burning heat of raw homosexual lust would overcome the sense of duty. Thus, uptight military leaders consider these able, patriotic Americans a hindrance.

Not only is such “thinking” hogwash, it’s hurting our troops and our nation. For example, the military is desperate to recruit more Arabic-speaking linguists who can translate intelligence documents in Iraq-intelligence that could save soldiers’ lives. Yet despite a shortage of translators, 58 Arabic speakers have been expelled from service because of the anti-gay policy.

The armed forces of such U.S. allies as Israel, Australia, and Great Britain include gays who serve openly, proudly, even heroically. Why not in the “Land of The Free?” The bipartisan Military Readiness Enhancement Act would repeal the Pentagon’s ridiculous anti-gay policy. To learn more, call Rep. Martin Meehan, a Democrat from Massachusetts, at (202) 225-3411.

BUSH’S LATEST WAR STRATEGY

I once belonged to the Book-of the-Month Club, as well as the Beer-of-the-Month Club-but one thing I can’t subscribe to is George W’s Iraq-Strategy-of-the-Month Club.

The original strategy was to find weapons of mass destruction. That failed. Then there was the bring-democracy-to-Iraq strategy, which failed in a blitzkrieg of theocracy, sectarian hatred, and civil war. Next came the we’ll-stand-down-as-they-stand-up strategy-but alas, the Iraqi troops have not shown up, much less stood up. Then, Bush cried, we’ll “surge” 20,000 more U.S. troops into Iraq, concentrate them in Baghdad to stop the violence there, and somehow we’ll “win.” Well, our troops have surged, but even the Pentagon admits the violence has surged, too. Concentrating on Baghdad only spread the killing to the rest of the country and resulted in more dead American soldiers. Now violence is rising again in Baghdad.

The latest policy shift spinning out of the White House is Bush’s Korean strategy. Instead of hoping for quick results from the surge, he now says we must settle into Iraq for the long haul, stationing maybe 50,000 troops there, just as we’ve done in South Korea.

Even Republicans won’t join this club, and their candidates are fleeing from Bush’s war. Rudy Giuliani, the GOP’s presidential front-runner who’s posing as Mr. Tough-On Terrorism, listed the Big 12 issues of his campaign-and Iraq didn’t make the list! Asked about this, Rudy-the-Tough-Guy said, “We may be successful in Iraq; we may not be. I don’t know the answer to that. That’s in the hands of other people.”

Yeah – like the voters.

For more information on Jim Hightower’s work-and to subscribe to his award-winning monthly newsletter, The Hightower Lowdown-visit www.jimhightower.com.

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Published at 12:00 am CST
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