Chuck Heston, or as I've always called him, Cheston, ascended Mount Sinai for the last time this year. Cheston won an Oscar for his ripely cheesy performance in Ben-Hur. Must have been a slow year. Chuck was really just Steve Reeves without Steve's charm, sex appeal, and Marvin Miller's voice. And you never saw Steve Reeves trying to arm every school kid in America, or constantly expressing his Deep True Love for a parade of America's most evil men: Richard Nixon, Dick Cheney, the entire Bush Family. I imagine him on the set of his Dynasty spin-off night-time soap opera The Colbys, and Aaron Spelling asking him, "Could you dial back the ham, Chuck? Your artificial, cheesy over-posturing is even embarrassing Joan Collins.
Another prominent occupant of this Good Riddance List is Gordon B. Hinckley, President of the Mormon church. The Mormon Church made itself particularly odious this year, which is quite an achievement for them, by spending millions to legislate its delusions into California's laws, in the name of Religious Freedom, even though making their tenants into our laws is the precise opposite of Religious Freedom. Happy as I am to see Hinckley off to Mormon Heaven (Or, as it's known to everyone else, Hell), it does little good. Like Popes, no sooner does a Mormon president die off than they select a new one. At least they only have one at a time, which is more than you can say about their wives, much as they like to pretend to the contrary.
This man is Carl Karcher, the creator of Carl's Jr Restaurants. The money you spent there, he then gave to The Republican Party, to all sorts of hyper-conservative causes and organizations, and to anyone fighting against Gay Rights. He sold out his interests in Carl's Jr. a while back, and he's dead now, so it's okay to eat there again. Just don't order the Soylent Burger, unless you found Carl easier to stomach than I did.
I always felt a bit sorry for Christian Brando, but not sorry enough to forgive murder. Unless he was expressing a delicious irony, Marlon chose the wrong name for that son.
Tony Snowjob was a talking head at The Fox "News" Channel who became Dubya's press secretary. In short, he was a professional liar. Well, they weren't important lies; just invented, make-believe reasons for sending your kids off to die in Iraq. Let's just laugh it off.
Richard Darman was the Republican White House budget director who helped persuade President George Bush Senior to renege on his "no new taxes" pledge. Oh well, it wasn't like we ever believed George in the first place. Oh wait; the fools who voted for him did believe him. Well they just got what they deserved. The problem with that is, we all got what only they deserved, and that goes for the idiots who voted for his son too.
Here's an old favorite: Earl L. Butz. Remember him? He was the Agriculture Secretary under Presidents Nixon and Ford who lost his job when we all heard the wildly racist joke he enjoyed telling. That it was racist was merely to be expected. Nixon appointed him, remember? But that it wasn't remotely funny was really unforgivable. Hey, did Sam Kinison ever try to run the Department of Agriculture? Butt out. And Butz's out!
Mecham brought out the worst in Arizonans: racism, bigotry, intolerance, car salesmanship. After taking office in January 1987, Mecham rescinded the Martin Luther King Jr. state holiday, saying its creation had been illegal. In addition to canceling the holiday, Mecham said working women caused divorce (Patronizing "Working Women" can cause divorce.) and that he saw nothing wrong with calling black children "pickaninnies." Lovely man. How can one not be happy to see a clown like this dead? What a shame he didn't live long enough to see O'Bama elected to the White House.
Let us look back at the 1962 arrest and subsequent trial of the great Lenny Bruce on obscenity charges. Future Sheriff Sherman Blockhead, then a sergeant in the department, sought Hecht's counsel on whether Bruce’s routine at the Troubadour nightclub in West Hollywood was obscene. Hecht sat through a show – and said "Yes." Something was obscene all right, but it wasn't Lenny Bruce. It was Hecht using The First Amendment to wipe shit off his ass.
The real crime was that Hecht never stood trial in Federal court for violating Lenny Bruce's constitutionally guaranteed freedoms.
In an audio interview that accompanies the book, Hecht partly explains the prosecution of Bruce by saying, "It was a different world at that time." No, I was there. It was this same planet, this same country, this same state, and this same Bill of Rights.
Ruth Greenglass. Her testimony helped send her sister-in-law, Ethel Rosenberg, to the electric chair. Now those are real Family Values! The execution of The Rosenbergs was a particularly shameful chapter in American History.
Imagine having murdered so many millions of people, you not only no longer know exactly how many people you've killed, but you can't even narrow it down to the nearest 1,000,000! I may have lost track of how many men I have married, but at least I know that the number is still in the low 2 figures. And I know exactly how many people I have killed.
But Suharto wasn't just a mass murderer and torturer; he was also a world class thief! He multi-tasked, or multi-crimed. He helped himself to Indonesia's money to the tune of roughly $40,000,000,000. America is a Republic. Dubya "Exports Democracy" and tried to make us a Theocracy. But Suharto made Indonesia into a Kleptocracy! When they finally threw him out, they didn't just find towels in his luggage; they found a palace!