Urbin Report

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

An early look back at 2005

James Lileks's 2005 roundup.
Here are some highlights:


Social Security reform is declared dead. But no one can find the body. The White House will later insist that reform is merely missing; it slipped out the back of the executive mansion, bolted through the Rose Garden, and was last seen swimming across the Potomac. “We’re confident it will return soon,” stated one aide. “It has nowhere else to go.” There were unconfirmed reports that Social Security reform had been spotted frolicking on a Mexican beach with the Defense of Marriage Amendment. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

Pope John Paul II dies. To the horror of many, his successor turns out to be Catholic.

Gitmo torture tales surface again in May, as Newsweek claims that a Koran was flushed down a toilet. The story is later retracted. Did no one at Newsweek consider the difficulty of flushing a book down a commode? Probably its elitist reporters and editors have Mexican housekeepers who do all their flushing for them.

Rumors persist in the media that there is a new left-wing radio network called “Air America.”

An oppressive colonizer is forced to withdraw from occupied Arab land. This is initially met with dancing in the streets of Cairo, Paris, and Turtle Bay. Then everyone realizes it is Syria pulling out of Lebanon. You must understand that the Cedar Revolution, after years of Syrian domination, has nothing to do with the American presence in Iraq, you jingoist. It’s just one of those international coincidences like the moon being where it was when Apollo 11 flew past. A few months later, Israel voluntarily withdraws from Gaza, earning approximately 17 seconds of good will from the international community. Personal best!

Iran announces it will no longer allow inspectors into the Khomeini Memorial Peaceful Nuclear Research Facility for Hastening the Destruction of Israel. European diplomats threaten to take the matter to the U.N. Subcommittee of the Task Force for Occasionally Threatening to Issue a Strongly-Worded Report. But the group’s next meeting isn’t until 2007, and it must first take up the horror of Israel’s security fence. Iran promises to allow inspections in exchange for 500 million Euros, payable in coins of enriched uranium. The E.U. agrees, with the condition that the interest rate on the loan will be adjusted upward if Iran makes nuclear bombs. If they actually detonate a bomb there would be an immediate balloon payment, make no mistake about it.

North Korea’s envoy approaches a negotiation table in Beijing at an oblique angle. He traces a tic-tac-toe grid in the dust on its surface. He wanders off again. Whistling.

Hurricane Katrina strikes precisely at the moment when the dynamite charges, personally installed by Karl Rove, blow up New Orleans’s levees. Teams of the same ninjas the Bushies used to rig the Diebold voting machines have already disabled the buses that could be used in evacuation. Initial media reports indicate that refugees in the Superdome have resorted to murder, cannibalism, voodoo, keno, and possibly jai alai. FOX anchor Shep Smith is consumed on camera by zombies. His last words indicate that he shares their outrage, if not their desire for sweet, sweet brains. In the weeks that follow it becomes obvious that the hurricane was caused by global warming—specifically, a 0.07 percent rise in median ocean temperature that caused New Orleans police officers to snatch DVDs from Wal-Mart shelves. The destruction of New Orleans, and the attendant effect on refinery capacity, is exposed by media crusaders as part of a GOP plot to raise gas prices and cripple the economy in time for the midterm elections, so they can run on a platform of "You like that? You want some more? Well do you?"

October. After years of haranguing the U.S. for refusing to ratify the Kyoto Protocol, E.U. leaders admit they will miss their own Kyoto guidelines, and have actually increased greenhouse emissions by 1.1 percent. Hurricanes level Paris and Stockholm.