Sunday, March 14, 2004

Hot Corner: Nipping at the heels of the newsmakers

Russians singing Putin's praises

Russian President Vladimir Putin is far more than a "one-hit-wonder," but we doubt that the ever-present song about him on Russian radio will ever have a sequel.

"Someone Like Putin" isn't officially part of Putin's re-election campaign, but since the government pretty much controls the airwaves over there and he controls the government, it's getting plenty of airtime. A young woman sings it, and the lyrics tell the story of a girl who dumped her boyfriend. She opines that he just doesn't compare to Putin - "I want someone like Putin. Someone full of strength . . . who doesn't hurt me . . . who won't run away."

Putin has approval ratings of about 80 percent and is expected to win another four-year term in a landslide after the voting is counted today. He hasn't done much campaigning. Why should he, with everybody already singing his praises?

Sum of the parts

If you are thinking of donating your body to science, check the fine print about just how many donations you might become.

It's a noble gesture, but those handling the details aren't always so altruistic. The New York Times reported Friday that some body brokers cut cadavers up because they are worth more when sold piecemeal.

Details of the industry were revealed following the arrests last week of two men operating an illegal and unsanctioned parts for profit scheme at the University of California at Los Angeles.

Trail Mix: 21 Anagrams

This week, Democratic candidate John Kerry, after a speech in Chicago, referred to Republicans as "the most crooked, you know, lying group I've ever seen."

Meanwhile, a retort of sorts appeared on some political Web sites: The letters of John Kerry's name, it seems, can be re-arranged to spell "horny jerk." Some referred to the www.anagramgenius.com site as a resource. Sure enough: John Kerry can also morph into "Jerky horn," "Jerry honk" or "Hokey Jr. R.N." Rejigger "Senator John Forbes Kerry" and you wind up with "He rants on, berserk for joy." Otherwise, Kerry's name does not lend itself to scrambling.

But we still have Howard Dean to kick around: "A darned who," "Drown ahead," "An odd, raw he," and "Ha! Dread won." Alas, "Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeyagh!" is not among them.

But the champion anagram subject appears to be that word-scrambling incumbent himself. Re-arrange the letters of George W. Bush, and you get epithets to warm the hearts of rabid Democrats: "He grew bogus," "Bush ego grew," "Where bugs go," "Ugh! Sewer bog!" and "Bugger, who's 'e?" Then there's this obvious nod to Florida 2000 - " 'W': He bugs Gore."

To amend or not to amend
Why is the Constitution so hard to change?
Failed amendment issues include flag desecration, abortion, women's rights
Hot Corner: Nipping at the heels of the newsmakers

Bengals lawsuit is wrong play
It's time for Iraq to stand on its own
Con: U.N. can help, but only we can lead Iraq to be a new bastion of liberty
Pro: Let U.N. rebuild the nation; bring our troops home
Treat all accused of crimes equally
Think history, future in debate over Lunken
Fight high gas prices by conserving
Letters to the editor