It’s been a little over five years since Gary Webb committed suicide. I highly recommend that you read Why Journalist Gary Webb Died, by Robert Parry, over at Consortium News, regardless of whether you’re familiar with his work or not. Needless to say, it’s the sort of topic that either a) comes as no surprise or b) is immediately dismissed as fantasy, depending on what part of the political spectrum you’re on. My father and I always debate this sort of thing, tinfoil hattery, as he likes to call it, even when I pull out the spreadsheets and pie charts to prove that it’s true. Trying to get him to believe that Operation Northwoods was really real took five years and 500 Anytime Minutes off my life.

Thing is, it seems he genuinely loves to hear about shit like this, which is why I still try. Also, it serves a practical purpose, because he has this rotating list of People He Would Kill if He Discovers He Has Only Six Months to Live, and sometimes I like to seed that list. It’s a completely indiscriminate assortment of folks, this list, most of them politicians, political talking heads, and also Rush Limbaugh.

We have long phone conversations about this list. They always end with him saying, “The point is, these fuckers need to be held accountable for their actions, and if I ever find out I have terminal cancer…” and then I say, “I’m coming upstate to get all the guns out of the house.”

But speaking of homegrown terrorists and killing people, we seem to have some really strange (and by strange I mean irredeemably annoying) upstairs neighbors. It used to be a bunch of Spaniards who walked around the apartment on coffee can stilts. Now, they’ve been replaced by an assortment of Eastern European Eurotrash types who seem to be building things, with saws and drills and hammers, 24 hours a day. This could mean a couple of things: a) They’re a sleeper cell building bombs, b) They’re adding a second story to the apartment, c) They’re meth dealers*, or, worst yet, d) They’re artists. The other night they woke us up at 6:30 am, because they were drilling something into the floor. Sometimes I fantasize about how much fun I’d have if I could suspend the laws of gravity and vacuum the ceiling.

It was the 6:30 drilling that really made me go berserk. The Sunday morning hammering, I could handle. The late night sawing and thudding, fine. But 6:30 am? That deprives me of 45 minutes of sleep. Don’t do that to me. The most I will tolerate from European neighbors is shitty French rap and Gauloises smoke. This is like Neubauten meets that episode of Tom & Jerry where they’re working in a munitions plant. I keep waiting for my dad to call and tell me he’s terminal, because they are so totally bumping Rumsfeld out of the top three.

*Not so implausible a theory! They’ve installed a massive lock on their front door that bolts into both sides of the frame. I’m sure our super would be delighted to hear about that. If only I could locate him.
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