The Range

There's No Justice

John Ashcroft, the criminal mastermind who leads the Injustice League--oh, wait, that's Lex Luthor. U.S. Attorney General Ashcroft, head of the U.S. Justice Department, brought his God-fearing, Bill-of-Rights-shredding, torture-supporting, Crisco-anointing, patriotic-ditty-singing act to Tucson for a Bush campaign photo op touting a brand-new program that has put a couple of federal agents and prosecutors on the job to tackle violent crime in our town. Seems mighty generous--until you remember that the Bush Administration has repeatedly attempted to completely eliminate hundreds of millions of dollars in funding for the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program, which provides federal funding to cover a fraction of the cost of incarcerating illegal entrants who break the law. It's kinda like a deadbeat dad showing up with a yoyo on Christmas.

But evidently, the Justice Department has more important priorities--such as the ongoing War on Porn, which has federal prosecutors watching dirty movies all day. (Maybe we're getting a better understanding of exactly why justice is blind.)

The Baltimore Sun reported earlier this year that "32 prosecutors, investigators and a handful of FBI agents are spending millions of dollars to bring anti-obscenity cases to courthouses across the country for the first time in 10 years. Nothing is off limits, they warn, even soft-core cable programs such as HBO's long-running Real Sex or the adult movies widely offered in guestrooms of major hotel chains."

That's what we call an excellent use of resources--since, y'know, it's not like we're getting daily warnings that nutball Islamic terrorists are planning to "hit us hard" on American soil this year. Think the attacks will involve rabbit-shaped dildos and girl-on-girl action?


Arizona continues to lead the nation in yet another category: confirmed cases of the West Nile virus! The Maricopa County Health Department last week confirmed that a 69-year-old man was the second person killed by the virus this year.

West Nile is transmitted to humans through mosquito bites. The good news: Less than 1 percent of all mosquitoes are infected with West Nile, which they pick up from sick birds. The bad news: There seem to be a hell of a lot of mosquitoes out there.

An estimated 20 percent of people infected with West Nile will show symptoms such as fevers, headaches, body aches, nausea, vomiting, swollen lymph glands or a skin rash on the chest, stomach and back--which is pretty much how we feel every time we see that clip of John Ashcroft singing about soaring eagles. The severe cases, generally in people older than 50, include meningitis, encephalitis, paralysis and death.

Biking Bandit Breaks Bank

Even bank robbers are getting behind local efforts to curb congestion and pollution. Last Tuesday, July 6, an unidentified white male entered the Wells Fargo Bank at 1260 W. Prince Road, handed the teller a note demanding money and made a not-so-fast getaway on a 10-speed bike, according the Tucson Police Department. The suspect is described as between 35 and 45 years old, 6 feet tall and 180 pounds, with dark, graying hair. His bike is described as "a 10-speed with handle bars that do not curl down." If you have any info about the biking bandit, call 881-CRIME.

Strange Bedfellows

Question of the week: Are presidential wannabes hot? Do you find the Massachusetts senator Kerrylicious? Would you beat around the Bush? Do you just love Dick? Last week, The Range received the results of a survey that attempts to answer these burning questions from It's Just Lunch, a national match-making outfit with a local branch right here in Tucson.

Sorry to disappoint all those holding public office, but the majority of single women polled--53 percent--said that if they were offered a chance to go on a blind date with Colin Powell, Jed Bush, George W. Bush, John McCain, John Kerry or Bill Clinton, they'd rather stay home to wash their hair.

Single gals do still have a thing for the Camelot mystique, with 39 percent saying they'd have a drink after work with John F. Kennedy--presumably, if he were still alive. Another 21 percent said they'd have a cocktail with Bill Clinton, while less than 10 percent said they'd be interested in joining either Bush or Kerry. Can't blame 'em for that.

The guys also fall for the Kennedy thing, with 45 percent saying they'd hook up with Maria Shriver for a drink and 39 percent reporting they'd like to get to know Jackie O. over lunch.

"No matter what your political leanings, a drink after work or a lunch date is a wonderful way to get to know someone, because it is a casual, no-pressure setting," notes It's Just Lunch founder Andrea McGinty in a well-crafted soundbite.

On a related note, Kerry gushed last week, after picking John Edwards as his running mate, that they had better hair than the GOP ticket.

Not so fast, says the Wahl Clipper Corporation, which released it own grooming survey showing that the 1,000 Americans it surveyed preferred Bush's hair to Kerry's style, by a margin of 51 percent to 30 percent. (Another 10 percent said they preferred neither, while 9 percent just didn't know.)

"Wahl isn't choosing sides politically, but when it comes to what we know best--hair--we're interested in what Americans think is a fitting hairstyle for their president," said Pat Anello, director of marketing for Wahl Clipper. "Whether you're running for president or running a busy schedule, Wahl has innovative, quality products that make grooming easy."

Coming later this summer: Dick Cheney's makeover on Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.

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