ZIP Beep #53
THE ULTIMATE PROPAGANDA MACHINE
by Chuck Strinz
Mikhail Gorbachev's early departure from New York took some of the wind out of Donald Trump's sails, but the ostentation king of New York went ahead with plans to unveil the product of his latest flight of capitalistic fancy.
It's called the WEALTH bomber, an aircraft designed to catch the attention of every third world country and cause more than a few left-leaning political bodies to sit up and take notice.
"I was disappointed when Gorby left early," Trump told the media. "The plan was to roll this baby out and put him in the pilot's seat. The USSR is becoming more and more democratic under his regime. Capitalism can't be far behind. What better way to underscore that than to show Gorbachev at the stick of the WEALTH bomber?"
The WEALTH bomber is clearly an awesome capitalist power tool. With every conceivable luxury, it's designed to display a degree of conspicuous consumption hitherto unseen anywhere in the world. As it travels from country to country, people of the lowest economic strata will see the result of a strong capitalistic system and, it is hoped, be inspired to support any antisocialistic trends in their own governments.
"I'm always hearing complaints about America's 'keep up with the Joneses' mentality," Trump said. "But I think there's something to be said for it. Imagine this: we drop into a little Bulgarian berg. The peasants all come out to see what's going on. We give them the grand tour of the WEALTH bomber. They know they can't possibly hope to own such a thing in a socialist country. It won't be long before they rise up and declare their allegiance to anybody that promises to help them replace their pitiful spartan existence with a more hedonistic lifestyle."
Unlike the much-publicized STEALTH bomber, the WEALTH bomber is not intended to go undetected. The more attention it gets, the better. WEALTH, in fact, is an acronym for Wonderfully Expensive Aircraft Launched to Turn Heads.
At more than eighty billion dollars ($80,000,000,000), it certainly qualifies as expensive. Much of that cost went into its design, but a quick examination of the WEALTH bomber's interior is all one needs to see it is truly a flying Fort Knox.
The mink-upholstered, vibrating pilot's chair grabs the eye of anyone entering the cockpit. One arm of the chair folds back to reveal the ultimate remote control panel, with instruments for basic navigation, the Super VHS digital stereo audio/video system, mood lights, alpha wave generator and much more.
It's a spacious cockpit, but once the pilot is seated, there is little need to rise for anything. An attractive robot equipped with advanced AI circuits brings drinks from the bar and carries out other pilot commands, while several backup robots stand around showering the pilot with compliments and fawning comments.
When the pilot tires of the cockpit atmosphere, a brief walk leads to the diamond-encrusted elevator connecting the craft's 36 decks. The pilot and guests can enjoy themselves in the specially-equipped zero gravity hot tub, work out on advanced training equipment designed to do all of the heavy lifting, muse over the books in the antiquarian library of rare tomes and early Elvis records, gamble in the casino, feed the exotic animals in the zoo, gaze through the various high-resolution and infrared telescopes and use the audio surveilance devices in the intelligence wing to listen in on private conversations below, undergo full physical examinations in the private hospital, or shoot a few rounds on the golf course.
"It's not really a bomber," Trump admits, "at least, not strictly speaking. But I plan to bomb around the world dropping in here and there to show it off. I think I'm entitled to it. Forbes has his balloons, you know. And after all, I'm doing a real service for my country."
The WEALTH bomber will begin its touring schedule within the borders of the USA. Several major shopping centers have expressed interest in featuring it, and at least one oil company has said the craft's fuel consumption could underwrite all expenses of the firm that gets its contract. At this point, however, no oil company has submitted a bid, probably owing to the fact that the WEALTH bomber still has a few design problems, most notably its inability to fly.
"That's something we're working on," Trump said. "Until then, we'll probably just haul it around in the back of a flat bed truck. Sure is a real beauty, though, ain't it?"
ZIP Beep #53
TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE NEW YEAR (1969)
by Ed Eubanks
Twas the night before New Year's & all through the house, everybody was partying; hitting the sauce. There were highballs, tobacco and other drugs there for friends and relations to liberally share. The lovers were snuggling, all paired off in beds while the sights of a Huxlian danced in their heads. And ma in a stupor and pop dipped on booze had long nodded off in a year-ending snooze. Gramps with his hookah, and Grams with her Zigs had just settled down to some mind-bending cigs when out on the lawn we heard such a din. I screamed. "Flush the dope, it's the cops busting in!" I flew to the door and I bolted the lock, then blocked it all up with the grandfather's clock. I drew shut the curtains in less than a flash as Gramps quickly gobbled the whole freaking stash. With a head full of goofballs, a nose full of snow I could barely make out what was happening below. I peeked through the shutters out into the dark at a mean, dogged shadow I knew was St. Narc's. A towering figure of corpulent mass He'd one golden tooth and an eye made of glass. He'd a tattered old hat and a trenchcoat worn loose, and a snide, crooked smile that seemed snatched from a moose. He wasted no time with the job to be done. In a bang and a flash half the east wall was gone. He entered the room with a sneer and a smirk, and he spoke not a word, but went straight to his work. He dumped out the drawers and cut up the chairs. He had mom and pop drug feet-first down the stairs. He scattered our albums and smashed open vases and had his goons check us in personal places. He ripped open cushions, and tore open gifts he even inspected the heels of Gram's lifts. He took out a hammer and smashed in the telly. (Poor Gramps was O.D.ing and shaking like jelly.) He rousted the boudoirs and shackled our guests who stood, dazed and helpless, in utter distress. Then inhaled the smoke from an old pipe he puffed and blew smoke in my face. Well enough was enough! Outraged, I exploded, "What gives you the right to tear up our home and to disrupt our night?" "This warrant," he snarled, "officially drawn to inspect all the house at One-Fifty-Six Brawn." "You damn fool!" I hollered. "Man are you insane? The place you've just scuttled is One-Five-Six Brane." His snarl receded, the glint left his eye. In the smallest of murmurs, he murmured, "Oh, my!" He snapped to attention, then spat with a hiss, then called to his men who were strip-searching Sis, "Come Rudolph, come Randolph, take hands-off that vixen. A house up the road awaitin' a blitzin'." The men all assembled, they quickly marched out. Not a glance left his eye, nor a word left his mouth. But I heard him exclaim just before he was gone, "Happy New Year to All, and to all, carry on." (c)copyright 1986, Edward Eubanks
ZIP Beep #53
MABEBE YES, MABEBE NO
monitored by Chuck Strinz
(It might be the meteor shower this week. Perhaps it's the increased sunspot activity. Who knows? In any case, we picked up a FAX file from the Alternate Universe. This is a first. Continual ZIP Beep readers know our satellite dish periodically receives strange transmissions from unknown sources, probably due to the effects of the old aluminum hut standing next to it. Most are radio or TV broadcasts, although we do monitor the occasional one-sided telephone call. I suspect we will be receiving more FAX transmissions as the machines become more popular in what we know as the, for lack of a better term, Alternate Universe.--ED)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------- GENEVA BUREAU 12/13/88 -- U.N. CODE 33854 -- CLASSIFIED, SCRAMBLED ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- To: Secretary of State Charles Schultz Re: Address by PLO Chairman Yassir Sadats MaBebeBy now I'm sure you have heard the speech today. I know you must be disappointed since you were looking forward to finally talking with this guy face-to-face before the present administration ends. And while I would like to say that the address by Yassir Sadats MaBebe created opportunities for a diplomatic exchange, I am saddened and not a little chagrined to report certain points in his speech departed from the original prepared text we reviewed earlier this week.
On the plus side, MaBebe did show some respect for our allies in various and generally trivial ways, including his greetings and wishes for a happy holiday season. I sometimes wonder if he's not constrained by the possible response of the hardliners in his own organization. Some Philistines are unable to accept any concessions, and until MaBebe can solidify his political foundation, we may be in for quite a bit of doubletalk.
The question is, does MaBebe intend to talk double to us, or to his own hardliners? I would be naturally inclined to think the latter, although he seems to be aware that there will never be a settlement without some concessions. But the entrenched patriots of his organization will probably never accept even the slightest slight to their dignity, and I suspect that factions of our allies are totally incapable of giving ANY ground, so to speak.
Another positive point was MaBebe's statement that he comes not with an olive branch and gun (as he said several years ago), not with an olive branch and empty holster (his statement earlier this year), but with an olive branch complete with olives, plus a couple of bottles of vermouth and a cask of gin. The obvious implication is a desire to sit down and talk, although it could also mean he just wants to get drunk and forget about everything else.
His three-point peace plan is also noteworthy, but it's probably not as conciliatory as it might seem on first glance. Point number one is that peace negotiations should be based on Resolutions 242 and 338 of the United Nations. So far so good. But point number two puts forth the proposition that the numbering system of the U.N. is not according to that of the Philistine Libation Organization, and point number three outlines a confusing conversion chart we have not been able to decipher yet. I believe it demands more study, as preliminary investigation indicates (probably incorrectly) that the PLO supports Resolution 136 pertaining to the introduction of the Trick-Or-Treat for UNICEF program in third world countries.
MaBebe suggests that he now backs the call for an end to terrorism. I say "suggests" advisedly. His words, according to the translator, were, "MaBebe, why don't you support the call for an end to terrorism. What, are you talking to me? Yes, I am. Who are you? I'm you, you fool. Oh, sorry. Well? Well what? Well, are you going to support the call for an end to terrorism? Of course I am. On what terms? On any terms you like, as long as I can change my mind tomorrow. Does that mean you'll renounce the Cairo Declairation? Sure, why not, as long as it's clear that the PLO will fight to regain its homeland in any way possible. Then terrorism is out? I'd say it's out as much as it was when the present occupiers were fighting for land then occupied by other occupiers, but only going back a few thousand years."
MaBebe's split personality has been a factor for some time. Now it's more pronounced than ever.
At this point, all I can recommend is that we continue to play the waiting game until MaBebe states a position he doesn't contradict two weeks later. I'll be catching the next plane home. See you then. --Frank
PS. Loved last Sunday's Peanuts cartoon. Nice job.
THE EIGHT YEARS OF REAGAN
by Ed Eubanks
This Christmas was the last that we as a nation would spend with Ronald Reagan. I pondered what these eight last eight Christmases had brought us. What legacy had the man left for us and posterity? What great gifts had I found beneath my tree to write thank-you notes for? As I listened to Reagan's Christmas interview on television, in which he said the homeless were on the streets because they wanted to be there, visions of Scroooge --not sugarplums-- danced in my head.
After the broadcast, I sat down and wrote a list of the things that would characterize the Reagan years.
A Party of Disparity --
Let's face it. Reagan reflected America's affection for the split ticket. He split the nation down the middle between the haves and the have-nots. He pandered to the haves and gave the have-nots a lot more not-having.
Lots of poor whites voted for Reagan. He promised them jobs and prosperity. If the hillfolk of West Virginia thought that Reagan was going to be Santa Claus, they were mistaken. They awoke Christmas morning to find their kids couldn't get student loans. They found their unions busted and their jobs shipped overseas. What would they have received for being naughty?
Two totaled doves
Think what you will about Ronald Reagan's presidency, there is one thing that history will say about the ol' Gipper: He beat the pants off of Carter and Mondale.
After putting an end to the political careers of Mondale and Carter, Reagan declared a hunting season on Washington doves that put that species on the endangered list. Some of the doves have tried to disguise themselves by perching on tanks, but the clever "liberal" hunter is not fooled by this ploy. As George Bush said in the last election: "If it ducks when it walks, it it ducks when it talks, and if it ducks when it looks, it's a dove."
Three Benched In
Reagan wanted a judiciary that made the right decisions, so during his tenure the federal benches were manned with judges from the right. For the reach, this meant go right ahead. For the poor, it meant go right to jail.
Congress did muster a rejection of the nomination of Robert Bork, an arch-conservative hatchet man from the Nixon administration. Yet even without Bork, the addition of Justices Scalia, O'Connor and Kennedy has left D.C. feeling a definite tilt to the right. I've heard "No Left Turn" signs are popping up all over the place.
Four Falling Birds
The B-1 bomber was supposed to be the tree-topper of Reagan's military buildup. Equipped with state-of-the-art contraptions, the B-1 could fly far, fly fast, and fly low. Too low. Since coming off the assembly line four years ago, four of these $200 million dollar gizmos have ended up as ground sculpture.
When first asked about the B-1, Reagan quipped that he thought it was a vitamin pill. No way could a pill go down this easy. The Washington doves had no luck in stopping the B-1, but the Washington pigeons were quite successful. It seems the birs' annoying habit of hanging out in the air poses a danger to the B-1's engines. Now how is that for throwing an $8,700.30 monkey wrench into the works?
Unfortunately for us Americans, the tale of the B-1 is the tale of American military expansion in the 1980's. Planes that crash, tanks that sink, ships vulnerable to unsophisticated mines, and radar that can't tell the difference between a squadron of Russian bombers and a sleigh full of toys. Though there was not enough to feed the poor, greedy military contractors could always find a place at the Reagan table.
Fire from O-Rings
The joy of exploration and the quest for knowledge found few enthusiasts in the Reagan camp. If it did not maim or go boom in the night, the Reaganites would just as soon have it made in Japan.
Along with the militarization of the space program came the shoddy workmanhip that typifies government work. Pentagon jockeying, political opportunism and slipshod engineering created an atmosphere where a disaster was waiting to happen. What we ended up with was a space shuttle that thought it was a B-1.
Slick Meese a-lying
The trick to describing Ed Meese is to do it without using four-letter words. This man was more suited to be an ambulance chaser than Attorney General. He secured government jobs for people who helped him get a loan and sell his house. He failed to report an interest-free loan of $15,000. He was implicated in a scheme to bribe a foreign official to get a pipeline built.. He secured a government minority contract for a firm tht returned him 80 percent profit on his investment.
It is quite likely that Meese warned Oliver North of the impending Irangate investigation and winked at the Colonel's destruction of evidence. We may never know.
For sure, don't ask Meese about it. A full 187 times during the house hearings, he claimed forgetfulness. Amnesia must be contagious. Poindexter couldn't remember 184 times and, when he could, the unpleasant memories launched him into a spate of fifth-taking. They're not going to get William Casey to roll over* Ollie North sang, but it wall all to the tune of "The Star-Spangled Banner."
Sylvan Swamis Swooning
Reagan the Pagan? Whu'da thunk it? But that's the way it is folks. The president is hooked on the hocus-pocus of sideshow gypsy girls. It is rumored that he and the First Woman gamboled betwixt the White House willows, wearing laurel wreaths and togas, and sipping ambrosia while plotting stars and invasions.
Star Wars? Voodoo Economics? It all makes sense now. All these years the president's head was in the heavens when we thought it was up his butt. Our mistake.
One of the charges leveled against Reagan during his first term, was that he was a stay-at-home president. Reagan, desperately wanting to secure his place in the Guinness Book of Records, embarked upon history-making treks in his second term.
Alas, from the moment his feet touched foreign soil, Reagan seemed like Superman standing on an acre of kryptonite. In Iceland, he was listless, melancholic, and unsure of himself. He didn't have much to say and what he did say was said by his press secretary.
The low point of Reagan's globetrotting came when he visited Bitburg cemetery to honor Germany's war dead. Reagan was trying to recreate the emotional bonding between the two nations which occurred when Kennedy visited Berlin and declared, "Ich bin ein Berliner>" He, however, chose to prance through a cemetery planted with SS mne. It took all his aides could do to keep Ronnie from blurting out, "Ich bin ein Bitburger>"
They should have taken him to Hamburg.
Known puppets packing
The Reagan era saw the triumph of democracy. Some of it could be attributed to American actions, as when our military forces freed the Grenadans after entering into pitched battle with 1,500 trowel-swinging bricklayers. Much of it occurred without or despite U.S. effort.
The Haitians booted Duvalier and have now made despot-routing the national pastime. The Filipinos forced the Marcos family to flee Manila. Imelda had to leave her shoes, but Ferdinand managed to pack away a couple of shirts and the national treasury.
This dictator business -- the hours are long and the job is thankless, but you can't beat the retirement benefits.
Men Mad not Milking
How we gonna keep 'em down on the farm: Apparently we're not. The Reagan era will be known as one which oversaw the death of the family farm. For Christmas gifts this year, Uncle Ron, that jolly old stocking stuffer, sent them another batch of foreclosure notices.
Leveled Lads A-leaving
Reagan rode into Washington like a tall, lean marshall whom 'd come to town to chase out the drifters, s'loon girls, and outlaws. Not since Death Valley Days had we seen so many men hightailing it from town with a posse on their heels. Unfortunately, these drifters and outlaws were the men Marshal Reagan had brought with him as his deputies.
Richard Allen was the first to hightail it after it was found he'd taken bribes from a Japanese newspaper and failed to report certain incomes. Ann Burford, the hated vamp at the Environmental Protection Agency, was caught barefaced lying to a congressional committee and likewise took a midnight stage. Lyn Nofziger and Michael Deaver were caught dealing from a stacked deck. In the Pentagon, a slew of government insiders were caught selling their favors to defense contractors.
Ollie North, Richard Secord and John Pondexter may yet stand trial for selling missiles to Khomeini and channeling the profits into private bank accounts and contra supplies. (Great peace plan those guys had: Let's take some missiles, a cake, and a bible to the Ayatollah. Isn't that just what a pissed-off, 80-year-old Muslim holy man needs?)
Along with the obvious crooks, many snake-oil salesmen cauht the train just minutes ahead of a lynch mob. James Watt blew town in a hurry. David Stockman skedaddled. Robert McFarlane, Al Haig, Don Regan, and Ed Meese hung around long enough to get tarred and feathered.
With less than two weeks left in his term, Reagan has finally got a staff free of scalawgs and riffraff. Ever true to his word, the marshal has cleaned up the town and can now ride silently off into his sunset.
Wealth Dreamers Drowning
Black Money - October 19, 1987. The end of the Ragan era. The philosophy of greed that had been so effective to choke the disadvantaged had now turned against its practitioners. No longer did people talk about the positive aspects of greed. Like everything else during the Reagan era, the market thought it was a B-1 only this time, the pigeons got the worst of it.
The party may have ended, but the hangover will be around for years. Huge corporate debt loads, closed plants, lost jobs, and devastated communities are what's left after eight years of wearing a lampshade.
The Indians sold Manhattan to the Dutch for 24 bucks. We're selling Manhattan to the Japanese for billions. Pretty soon, some besides ourselves will hold the power in America. Corporate headquarters in Frankfurt of Tokyo will increasingly make live-or-die decisions about Peoria or Atlanta. The president will be reduced to an ineffectual figurehead who has no idea of what is going on around him. Sort of like…. right now.
I guess I could mention the smashing of the air traffic controllers' strike, the subsequent air tragedies, the marines in the Beirut barracks, Tripoli, Nicaragua, Ed Meese and the Bill of Rights, the FBI scandal, AIDS, the KAL fiasco, the downing of the Iranian airliner, and the drug epidemic, but I'm running out of space for this ditty. So, let me sum it up. The eight years of Reagan, the dear man gave to me:
Wealth dreamers drowning
Leveled lads a-leaving
Men mad not milking
Known puppets packing
Sylvan swamis swooning
Slick Meese a-lying
Fire from O-rings
Four falling birds
Three benched in
Two totaled doves
And a party of disparity.
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