Secrets from Inside the White House! from the Something Awful forums


AMAZING stuff from a thread at the Something Awful forums. A White House staffer has apparently snapped and decided to spill the beans, albeit in a carefully guarded way. It starts like this:

This is all good information, personally verified or witnessed by none other than me, but I will not answer any questions about it or go into any detail other than what I’ve already typed out. I may reply with more information or anecdotes if I see fit, but I’ve pretty much already scraped the barrel of my experiences.

These are some facts I have witnessed and learned through my employment. Take it at face value, believe it or don’t believe it, because I’m not providing corroborating pictures, details, or evidence beyond my own testimony.

Homeland security buys in bulk and at great premium millions of dollars of useless personal appliances from China, such as rice cookers, nose hair trimmers, massage wands, and heating pads, boxes them up, and buries them in railroad shipping containers in the Arizona desert for no reason whatsoever other than to spend its budget and prevent sub-agencies from getting the funds. I suspect that the money goes to a middleman in order to secretly siphon funds into foreign organizations which we can’t support over the table, but this is just me trying to find a justification for this massive and intentional government waste.

Donald Rumsfeld needs to wear iced underwear because of some medical condition, and he has his secret service detail hold his spares. He was recently getting uncontrollable long-term erections and had to change up his medical treatments. The underwear and the erections is why he uses a standing desk, not because he is some super-man. He also wears nylon stockings, not because he’s gay, but to control some vascular problem with his legs which causes him intense pain.

President Bush uses anti-depressant medication, a lot of it, at a stupendous dosage, and he is hiding it from the American public. This is the real reason he stopped drinking. Because of the dosage, he is also impotent.

Tom Ridge carries 20 credit cards with him at all times, each one with a very low limit. I have never heard of him using one, ever, but he has them. He also wears his socks inside-out, and will flip the fuck out and walk strangely if he is forced to wear them properly, because it drives him crazy. All of his socks must be laundered right side in and then turned inside out before they are returned to him. He gave specific instructions about handling his food, and not allowing his vegetables to touch any other food item on the plate. His utensils must be steamed over boiling water. He will not eat soup which hasn’t been boiled within the past 20 minutes or which he has not prepared himself. If any of these rules are violated, he flies into a rage, turns beet red, and will not eat a single thing. He has his personal attendants confirm over and over that the food is as he likes it. He also shaves his forearms and hands because he can’t stand the idea of body hair on his arms. He demands that his bedsheets are bleach white and changed fresh every night and he sleeps in a separate bed in a big, tight, body-length nylon sleeve, with a fan blowing over him at full power. He is terrified of animals which have fur or hair longer than one inch, and will not go near curly hair of any kind, even on people. At one time he ran from his office and demanded that someone look under everything for a rodent which did not and could not exist, then he had the entire place wiped down with disinfectant and vacuumed twice. While this was done he couldn’t even bear to look at the door, or come within 20 feet of his office. He was in hysterics.

President Bush, when dining at the white-house, does not eat any item of food which has not been first sniffed by a trained dog before being prepared. Think about that.

Word among the staff is that Cheney was drunk when he shot that lawyer, and secluded himself for a day to sober up and avoid felony firearms charges. I don’t have any direct information on this because the guys with him at the time are not talking. This is totally unconfirmed, but I think it is plausible.

Dick Cheney has chronic gum problems and his breath smells like shit as a result. He is also a CLOSE TALKER. He keeps a small bottle of diluted hydrogen peroxide which he rinses with every hour on the hour, and he swallows it instead of spitting. He also picks his nose vigorously (violently) and hums loudly and tunelessly to himself while taking shits.

There is a sealed room in the whitehouse which once held a half-ton block of cheese for about 30 years.

The White house is planting its own men among the press agents at press conferences.

The white house lawn is mowed every other day by the same man humming the same tune.

Despite all of this craziness, there is nothing strange whatsoever about Condoleeza Rice. She is completely balanced and normal, if slightly robotic in her personal demeanor. She smells very nice at all times. She does, however, constantly check her investments online from her office when she thinks that nobody is looking, and she has slept at her desk on multiple occasions.

There is an administrative law judge who sits in an office in a building near the white-house, earns around 200k per year and has a secretary, and he does nothing except sit, read, and listen to classical music all day. His secretary likewise does nothing. He gets meals taken to him from the White-house kitchen, and is so lonely that he latches on to whoever gets sent and talks to them for hours about the korean war. His family is all dead and his secretary hates him. In a drawer in his desk he has an old revolver, which he got in there somehow despite that he shouldn’t have been able to bring it in. I think he will shoot himself one day.

The “undisclosed location” is usually a local police officer training ground or state trooper college. Shh.

I can’t tell you if much of it is true or not, but it certainly rings true. Plus, it’s funny as hell!

What convinced me he knew what he was talking about was when he mentioned that a lot of our “foreign policy” is us using our economic power to twist foreign govts into enacting policies that benefit US companies. If you know anything about the USTR, that should hit home.

The Weekend Frog: “Wow, he isn’t a retard after all!”

Readdressing an age-old question: how does a visibly non-Japanese person deal with living in Japan?

Everyone in my office is bilingual to some extent, but the lingua franca is Japanese. When the three foreign employees use English in the office, people almost seem surprised at how good we are at it. Or, in the words of my boss, they seem to be thinking: “Wow, he isn’t a retard after all!”

But every day I have to go outside, into the Real Japan, where speaking English to a foreigner is a much more natural feeling. Hell, it’s practically a legal presumption now. I can tell you from personal experience that bureaucrats definitely treat you better when you speak to them in English. Even in our office, our Japanese clients are put at ease when they can practice their English on a foreign lawyer, but have the option to switch back into Japanese if the conversation starts getting difficult.

I occasionally poke around on mixi when I’m bored, and sometimes I enjoy slipping into the discussions in a group called 英語★できる人&勉強してる人 (“ENGLISH – People who know it and people who study it”). A high school-aged girl in Yokohama made a post a few weeks back along these lines:

I’m working part-time at a convenience store now, and I get quite a few foreign customers. I don’t know much English, but I’m wondering what I should say to them in English. Any ideas?

There were a bunch of replies, with varying degrees of appropriateness. I decided to slip in the Debito answer to this question at the bottom of the thread:

These are all good ideas. One thing you should watch out for, though, is that many foreign people in Japan want to speak Japanese. So if you see someone and immediately think “Oh, I’m going to speak English to them!” they might not appreciate it. Of course everyone has a different attitude, but there are such people out there.

Now I disagree with that suggestion. I remember poking through a book that advised people learning Japanese to “say you don’t speak English.” That’s an effective response, but it always struck me as extreme. Do I really have to lie to speak in Japanese with people on the street?

The Debito answer isn’t the right answer. The better example comes from Anthony Bianchi, the Brooklyn-born city councilman in Aichi Prefecture who we started talking about a few days ago. He likes who he is. As a result, people like who he is. He doesn’t need to file lawsuits to get his way: he can get himself elected.

In the Campbell hero archetype, this is called being the Master of Two Worlds. This is what you get when you blow up the Death Star, ride your horse into the sunset or accept surrender papers on a battleship in Tokyo Bay.

Now, I started writing this post as a bitchfest after a trip to Wendy’s came out like this:

ME: Bacon burger set.
EMPLOYEE [apparently a trainee]: Uh…. fo-a hee-uh o-a to go-o?
ME: [getting impatient] For here.
EMPLOYEE: [motions vaguely toward the set options part of the menu]
ME: Fries. Pepsi.
ME: (sigh) I want the small size, please.

The employee proceeded to ring up a small fries and small drink, but no burger. I didn’t want to make the situation any more difficult for him, so I paid my 200 yen, ate and left.

But in the end, there’s a comfort zone in Japan. It’s not enough to be Japanese or American… you have to be able to be both at once. And that’s something I’ll have to work on a bit. Maybe that kid just wanted to speak English; maybe he isn’t a retard after all.

Arudo Debito and Japundit’s JP – kindred spirits?

OK, got my first chance to see/hear American-born activist in Japan Arudo Debito by watching an amateur interview at the video blog Yamato Damacy. Here it is.

Now, listen to the latest edition of the Japundit Podcast, by Japanese-English translator JP.

Is it me, or are their voices eerily similar? Does living in Japan for more than 10 years make your English sound a certain way? Not necessarily a bad thing, I’m just curious.

This is the result of 1,000 electric bolts

Lucky for you I saw this story at the same time I was listening to Eminem:

Friday, April 7, 2006

Japan Remains Top In Average Life Span: WHO Report

GENEVA (Nikkei)–Japanese remained the longest-lived people in the world in 2004, with an average life expectancy of 82 years, unchanged from the previous year, according to the World Health Report 2006 released Friday by the World Health Organization.

The top spot was shared by Monaco and San Marino, where the average life span increased from 81 years the previous year.

By gender, Japanese women had the world’s longest life expectancy, at 86 years. Japanese men had an average life span of 79 years, with some small European countries, including San Marino and Iceland, trailing closely.

Sixteen of the WHO’s 192 member states had average life expectancies of 80 years or longer, two more countries than the previous year, suggesting that the populations of industrialized nations are progressively aging.

Japan also had the highest ratio of people aged 60 or older to the entire population, at 25.6%.

The country ranked 23rd in terms of the lowest average number of children a woman gives birth to during her lifetime, at 1.33. Ukraine topped the list at 1.12, followed by the Czech Republic’s 1.17 and Slovakia’s 1.18.

Among other countries with lower birthrates than Japan were South Korea, at 1.20, and Germany and Singapore, at 1.32.

Sixty-six countries, roughly one-third of the total, had birthrates of less than 2.1, the level seen as necessary to avoid a population decline.

(The Nihon Keizai Shimbun Friday evening edition)

Eikaiwa Teacher Nabbed for Marijuana Possession, Yukan Fuji Makes fun of His Japanese


“I had marijuana”… Middle School Asst English Teacher Arrested

The Gunma Prefectural Police, Shibukawa Precinct, arrested a male American citizen (34) working as an assistant English teacher at a middle school in Shinto Village [a real town, not some Japanese-style Santaland, unfortunately – Adamu], Gunma, for possession of marijuana.

According to police investigations, the man had several grams of marijuana in his home. The man was the only asst. English teacher in the village and has been employed on a contract basis since August. He has admitted the crime and the precinct intends to pursue questioning on the route by which he obtained the drugs.

ZAKZAK 2006/04/06

Now, take a look at this headline:


(The words before the ellipse mean “I had marijuana” written in letters to mockingly indicate a foreign accent)

For you gaijin in Japan who get hot under the collar when Japanese people praise your Japanese, maybe you should try getting arrested! I can guarantee no one will tell you how smart you are for learning such a hard language, certainly not the press.

(Picture plucked from Google Images and probably does not depict the actual suspect)

More Kabuki PLUS – Blast and Slam: My two favorite news cliches

I hereby present my dear readers with yet another example of the growing usage of “kabuki” as a political metaphor for either boring deliberations or carefully calculated horse-and-pony shows (if I may use one cliche to explain another). This was linked to on the front page of

The Full Kabuki: Everybody’s happy, nothing changes.
By Mickey Kaus
Updated Thursday, April 6, 2006, at 6:36 AM ET

The Full Kabuki: On immigration, the stage is set for a classic Washington stalemate in which all the actors–at least the Republican actors–get to position themselves as advocating their desired brand of bold action, and nothing gets done. … As Charles Peters has written, in Washington, “Make Believe = Survival.”

I don’t really remember kabuki having many happy endings. Someone needs to decide on a real definition for “political kabuki” or perhaps just officially ban the term from public discourse. It’s lame!

What’s never lame, however, is the use of the words “blast” and “slam” over and over again in headlines to describe any kind of criticism. I mean, it does get a little stale, but I still get a kick out of shouting SLAM!!! whenever I read that a think tank isn’t into Bush’s tax plan. And remember what Slate’s Jack Shafer said: “If journalists weren’t allowed to recycle headlines every 10 years they’d run out of them.”

Here are some fun examples from recent news:

  • Ugly apartments SLAMMED into the stone age!
  • An artist's impression of Jurys Inn at Kings Dock

    Experts slam Kings Dock hotel design

    Apr 5 2006

    By Nick Coligan, Liverpool Echo

    TWO hotels earmarked for Liverpool’s Kings Dock have come under fire from architecture experts.

    The three-star-plus Jurys Inn and smaller Staybridge boutique hotel are dubbed “disappointing” and “not convincing”.

  • Moby BLASTS xenophobia with his techno-laser-glasses!
  • Continue reading More Kabuki PLUS – Blast and Slam: My two favorite news cliches

    You know you’ve been in Aum Shinrikyo too long when…

    Pure evilYou think Dave Spector is the Antichrist:

    “Issue 6 [of Aum official magazine Vajrayana Sacca] ran a feature [in late 1994] entitled “Manual of Terror: The Jewish Ambition,” which cites the Jewish people and the freemasons [as forces working to destroy Japan and conquer the world]. Of great interest is the article, “WANTED! The Black Elites Who Sold Their Souls to the Devil,” which introduces and comments on 12 Japanese people and two foreigners:

    “The Dark Emperor (暗黒帝王), Ichiro Ozawa [senior DPJ leader] (trying to build a Japan that is subordinated to the world unified government).

    “The 6th Demon (第六天魔), Daisaku Ikeda [founder charismatic leader of Soka Gakkai] (General of the vanguard army to destroy Japan)

    “The Puppet Emperor (傀儡皇帝 かいらいこうてい), Emperor Naruhito (Had the ideas of masonry beaten into him from childhood via teachers poisoned with Jewish thought. The imperial family is already hijacked by them)

    “Queen of the Ruined Country (亡国后妃 ぼうこくこうひ), Masako Owada [now known as Crown Princess Masako] (She is a person who worked to help American multinational corporations and pushed Japanese companies to destruction!)

    “The rest are Lord of Ruin (没落大名), Morihiro Hosokawa [former Prime Minister]; The Three-day Ruler (三日天下), Tsutomu Hata [former Prime Minister]; Ambassor of Hell (地獄大使), Hisashi Owada [noted diplomat and father of Princess Masako]; Death’s Apprentice (死の丁稚 しのでっち), Yasushi Akashi [former UN Under-secretary general for peacekeeping operations]; Killer of Refugees (難民殺し), Sadako Ogata [former UN High Commissioner of Refugees]; Father of Beasts (家畜の父), Rev. Sun Myung Moon [founder of the Unification Church]; Heart of Extreme Evil (極悪用心), Ryoichi Sasakawa [prewar gangster and accused war criminal turned boat racing magnate and Nobel Peace Prize candidate]; Electric Geisha (電波芸者), Dave Spector [White American TV personality in Japan]; Wholesaler to America (米国問屋), Yasuhiro Nakasone [notoriously powerful former Prime Minister]; and the Human Bomb (人間爆弾), Ken’ichi Ohmae [powerful businessman and political mover].”

    [Translated from The Aum Shinrikyo Incidents by Shoichi Fujita, p. 64; notes in brackets by me]

    Cut off by floods, man survives on frogs

    Wed Apr 5, 2006 09:37 AM ET
    PRAGUE (Reuters)

    – A Czech man ate frogs and other small animals for four days after he was trapped on an island cut off by flooding, the daily Pravo reported Wednesday.

    Zdenek Bucek, 30, was taking a short-cut through the woods near the southeastern town of Breclav when a flood wave trapped him on a small patch of high ground.

    Bucek was not carrying a cell phone and the water was too cold to swim through. To survive, he caught frogs and drank the floodwater until he flagged down an emergency crew passing by on a boat four days later.

    “I had no idea a flood was coming. I had not even noticed that the forests were declared off limits,” he said.

    Pravo said Bucek had matches, but did not elaborate on how he preferred his frogs.

    Floods from rain and melting snow have killed at least six Czechs over the past week and forced thousands to flee their homes.

    Japanese Justice

    An anonymous German studying at a Masters course somewhere in Japan wrote this long and disturbing account of his false arrest for selling drugs.

    The whole process culminated when after about hour and a half of searching my apartment a “Translator” came to talk to me. He was speaking a strange language (which turned out to be Farsi) and after it became obvious that I do not understand him, he left. At this point there was a bit of confusion but the person that seemed to be in charge said “He understands some Japanese so arrest him in Japanese” and they did so. At that time they showed me the “Arrest Warrant” and said they were arresting me for “selling JPY10,000 of Marijuana and JPY5,000 of Cocaine to Nakada Masakazu on October 15th of 2001.” They did not inform me of any of my rights or of the normal procedure. Since I am a bit familiar with American Judicial system through study and movies, I asked whether I am entitled to make one phone-call. At least I could do, I thought, is instruct my girlfriend to contact my embassy and potentially look for a lawyer. However, I was denied. After taking several essentials (they told me that I will be gone for only couple of days) with me I was taken away. To summarize, I was not told of any rights I might have (right to remain silent, right to a lawyer, etc.) at the point of arrest.

    Two things strike me in particular when reading this story.

    First, I’m somewhat amused that a German seemd to be basing his legal expectations on reruns of “Law and Order,” when Japan’s legal code is in fact based on Germanic civil law and not Anglo-American law at all.

    Second, based on other accounts of the Japanese justice system I have read, he does not seem to have been treated particularly different because he was a foreigner. Of course, this is hardly a time to be all lovey-dovey about internationalization in Japan, since it only reinforces how ridiculously bad Japan’s criminal investigatory procedures are, and how little respect is given to anyone accused of a crime, regardless of evidence or alibi.

    Luckily, this particular victim was released without charges, and his university was understanding enough to allow him an extension on his thesis. The bad news: he never even got to see the evidence against him, an official notice of dismissal, or even an official record of his arrest.

    [Update] Joe suggests in a comment that the original author of the story may not be German after all. Having just ran the German introduction through Google translator, it does seem possible.

    my friend on English has 23 days in the Japanese Knast the following report over his meeting with the Japanese law machine wrote down. Only now, several years later, he permitted me to publish it here (names all changed). My friend was arrested by the Japanese police, when the police looked for its Iranian house neighbour in Tokyo for an accomplice, that had been indicated as Drogendealer. The informant had described the accomplice as a “foreigner with glatze” – applied also to my friend. That and the house neighbourhood should also the none indications remain, which could supply police and public prosecutor’s office during the 23 days, which mean it friend held. The Iranian had pulled at all only for a long time after the informant had observed him and the accomplice, into the apartment in the house of my friend. At the latest this chronological discrepancy would have means friend back on free foot to bring to have. Not so in Japan. Nobody felt responsible. It was more important to all involved ones to protect the face and to pull the once angeleierte Tretmuehle through up to the bitter end, than help an obviously innocent one to its right. It becomes completely clear also that the responsible persons a wrong confession of my friend would have come very much zupass – even at the price that the true accomplice would then sell further unimpaired drugs.

    At least I can safely guess what “Drogendealer” means.

    Intro to Image Characters, Part 1: Japan and America’s Image (Character) Problems

    Japan’s infamous penchant for cutesy corporate and government mascots not necessarily aimed at children are well known and have been covered on this blog in various capacities before. These mascots are often called “image characters” in Japan (though the term can also apply to live human and animal mascots). Some examples (translations liberal and loose, just the way I like it):

  • Masumasu-kun – “Mr. Grow-and-grow” the mascot for Japan Post’s mutual fund products:
  • Gambaru Bear – “Do-your-best Bear,” representing the Japan Self-Defense Force Sapporo Regional Liaison:
  • And who can forget the national mascots for the Self Defense Forces, Prince Pickles and Parsley-chan!

  • Quiz time! Why are they called Pickles and Parsley? No cheating!

    Apparently, the SDF holds overnight tours for groups of children hosted by the mascots. Imagine spending a weekend doing semaphore and knife training with that!

    (other fun pictures of SDF largesse can be found here)

  • Ayumi and Mamoru, cartoon human rights activists brought to you by Japan’s Ministry of Justice:

  • They’re so cute they I’m sure they could even get Kim Jong Il to dance to the human rights anthem (too bad Mamoru can’t sing!).

    I could, of course, go on but I will hold off until later posts). If you love lame mascots in Japan as much as I do, be sure check out the wonderful “YuruKyara” (Dumb Characters), a mini coffeetable book with full-color photos of dozens of the things. Don’t spend too long reading it though, or their hollow eyes may eat your soul (try having a staring contest with Mamoru to see what I mean).

    Now, before you start chortling about how wacky those Japanese are, America has pretty much the same problem. This excellent report from a now-defunct blog catalogs some of America’s own lame mascots to be found on the kids sections of various government websites. Some of these things are amazingly lame, so do follow the links and check it out (article reproduced in full for your convenience and entertainment, click the headline for a cached Google link):

    Feb 13, 2006
    Why the Feds shouldn’t advertise to our kids, either.

    By Constantine von Hoffman

    There is only one thing creepier than corporations marketing to kids: The government marketing to kids. Now, I hear you say, what’s wrong with NASA teaming up with Pokemon to get our kids interested in science? Or the Centers for Disease Control creating something called The Immune Platoon of superheroes to show how your body defends itself? Or FEMA’s Herman the Spokescrab teaching children to care for themselves in the event of an emergency because you sure as heck shouldn’t rely on the government to do it? Why, nothing of course.

    Where it gets eerie is when the cops and the spy agencies start to do it. Yeah, yeah, McGruff the Crime Dog was cute … but this goes way beyond that. Were talking the National Security Agency doing anthropomorphic animals with names like Crypto Cat, Decipher Dog and Rosetta Stone (who appears to be a fox). With them the NSA hopes to entice “America’s future codemakers and codebreakers!” … but remember: Only with a warrant kids. Unless Mr. Prez says otherwise.

    Truly troubling – from a marketing standpoint – is the National Reconnaissance Office’s kids page. The NRO, in case you didn’t know, is an agency considered so important that you and I and everyone else aren’t even allowed to know the size of its budget. Suffice to say that budget must be big and it looks like they spent about $2.50 on their website. Littered (and I do mean littered) with characters named Corey Corona, Earth Watch, Whirly Lizard and Dana Drop (who? what?), it has all the aesthetic value of a not-very-talented 2nd graders rejected heroes. It is quite clear the site, like the agency, is designed not to attract attention.
    Continue reading Intro to Image Characters, Part 1: Japan and America’s Image (Character) Problems