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FOX radio in STL offers me $97 to take a shot of Ashcroft’s backwash

The saga of John Ashcroft’s backwash and I gets weirderer and weirderer.

I was on Allman and Crane on FOX talk radio 97.1 FM in St. Louis around 8 a.m. this morning talking about my efforts to sell the former Atorney General’s backwash on eBay. You can listen online at their site (or if you get frustrated with their buggy flash media player, I’m hosting it as well). I have to say, it was a strange way to wake up.

Allman gave me a really friendly intro, calling me a “mack daddy” at one point and plugging Big Muddy Records, which we of course always appreciate. This was nice, because I wasn’t sure if he was going to just yell at me like Papa Bear O’Reilly likes to do.

That’s so adorable.

But, as I do not listen to conservative FOX radio often, I did not know what to expect from Allman. He was, after all, former St. Louis Archbishop Burke‘s spokesman, and that dude sucked. I also knew that there was no way an anarchist like me was going to find much common ground with a guy who likes people like Ashcroft and Cheney, and who thinks “Guantanamo is a shining example of how great this country is”. Somehow I don’t feel that the Vatican would agree, but who knows? They sometimes like religious wars, too.

But Allman seemed to actually find the backwash funny, and was willing to let me speak my fair share, so I have to at least give him credit for that. That’s more than Papa Bear does.

So, to bury the lede, when we got around to talking about the backwash, he asked me if I would take a shot of John Ashcroft’s backwash out of a GOP shot glass for $97. That’s pretty gross, but I said yes. I’m not sure if that makes me a whore or a capitalist (is there a difference?), but I am confident it was the right choice. He suggested that it might make me smarter, too…

But I am left with some resonating concerns. At one point, Allman said, “Guantanamo is a Holiday Inn compared to the alternative, which would have been just shooting them on the spot. Which we actually could have legally done, but didn’t.” At the time, I couldn’t think of anything to say to that. I was genuinely shocked. That’s one of the most horrible things a person could say. I know he’s a shock jock, so I really hope he does not actually feel that way. I mean, these are people are are talking about. Real life people. No one could actually think such a cruel, lifeless thought, right?

Instead of challenging him, I addressed his assertion that these killings were legal and legitimate by pointing out that not only were they not, but that the wars themselves were neither legal or legitimate. At one point I made reference to an article about the mistreatment of Afghan prisoners (which is part of their huge report on Guantanamo). This point was, of course, not embraced. But this is the dance, I guess. It flows like a scene you’ve already performed 1,000 times.

But I can’t shake the idea that someone would not only condone this treatment of other people, but that they think it would have been OK for the U.S. Army to just shoot them on the spot. Watching people as they listen to the recording, they are always kind of smiling through it until they get to that part, and then the life is just drained from them. It’s like, in all the joking, we have managed to forget the very real consequences and victims we’re talking about. And when you realize that Ashcroft is not just a clown, but a man who made abusive, terrible decisions that have caused so much pain and horror for so many, it becomes hard to just laugh at the idea of taking a shot of the man’s backwash for $97.

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Ashcroft’s saliva back on the market

John Ashcroft’s backwash is back on eBay after the auction site removed the listing, citing it’s “adult” content and suggesting it could only be sold in the “mature content” section of their site. I did not put it there. This is a glass that John Ashcroft once drank from, not a dildo.

This is starting to make me wonder how eBay’s consorship mechanism works, or if they have changed it to make it even less personal than it already was. I guess I have never tried to sell anything weird before, but it seems pretty ridiculous to me that any eBay employee could have thought that item had adult content in it. Was it a political move? Is there some Ashcroft ally sitting in an eBay cubicle farm somewhere (that seems hard to believe, since anyone who actually agrees with that guy probably does not use a computer).

It looks like eBay censorship not only affects those trying to peddle the saliva of a mad man, but also people who are just trying to have a conversation in the eBay forums. Now granted, Doc seems particularly angry at the auction giant, but I trust him (at least more than I trust eBay).

Now, I must correct a statement I made in an earlier post about eBay allowing Hitler memorabilia. Turns out, Nazi memorabilia is often banned from the site because of it’s offensive nature. In fact, a search of “ebay banned” on Google returns 3,900,000 hits. So this reignites a theory I had that eBay thinks John Ashcroft is such a despicable person that the selling of a glass he drank from is offensive to all the domestic spying and wiretapping victims or tortured prisoners in American custody. If this is the case, then at least eBay is consistent with their banning of offensive stuff. But somehow, I don’t think that’s the case.

If anything, I guess this is just a good lesson in why capitalist corporations cannot be trusted to hold public forums, whether that forum is for the sale of some Third Reich dinnerware or the spit of a U.S. Attourney General or conversation about how the capitalist organization sucks. eBay is all worried about their loss of auctions now that Craig’s List and a bunch of other startups have come along, yet their solution is not to make eBay better, but to continue censoring the hell out of everyone who uses the site in their cold, impersonal way that drives people batty.

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eBay gets off on Ashcroft’s backwash

I got this e-mail today from eBay, explaining why they removed my listing for a glass of John Ashcroft’s backwash.

Dear tfooq(XXXXXXXXXX@gmail.com),

You recently listed the following auction-style listing:

320282682781 – John Ashcroft’s BACKWASH!! DNA of a war criminal!!!

The was removed because it violated the eBay Adult Material policy. We notified members who placed bids on the item that the listing has been canceled.

Adult material (material that is not appropriate for people under 18 years old) can be listed in the eBay Mature Audiences category only. Also, even though it may be legal to sell certain items to adults, sales of these items are still not permitted on eBay.

Obscene materials are not permitted anywhere on eBay. eBay defines obscene materials as those items that show or suggest rape, incest, bestiality, or necrophilia.
For more information about the eBay policy, please visit:

http://pages.ebay.com/help/policies/mature-audiences.html

What could eBay possibly find erotic, adult, obscene, whatever in a glass of John Ashcroft’s backwash? It’s a glass the dude drank from once. That might be the least sexy thing I’ve ever heard of.

Now, would I want my child playing with a glass of John Ashcroft’s backwash? Hell no. The stuff creeps me out. But that’s just because he’s a pretty evil guy with bad vibes and a strange desire to torture people. But they sell Hitler memorabilia all the time on eBay, so that can’t be why they took it off.

So now I’m angry. I was all set to retire on the truckloads of money that auction was going to bring in (it was up to $0.16 before eBay destroyed my dreams!).

This fight is not over. EBay, you’re on the list. Being cold and impersonal is why everyone uses Craig’s List now. And your text editor is embarrassing (go start to make a listing and try using the text editor they give you. It’s ridiculous. The spell check looks like it was programmed in ’88).

Ah, so mad. Time to regroup. Anyone have any ideas? I still have the backwash. What should I do with it?

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Now selling John Ashcroft’s backwash on eBay

UPDATE (12:17 P.M. cst AUG. 4) eBay has removed my listing, calling it “adult”. I guess this means Ashcroft’s backwash turns them on.

I finally got around to it. Until August 10, you can bid to be the proud owner of a glass full of former U.S. Atorney General John Ashcroft’s backwash.

I would relate the story behind me getting the item here, but I did it pretty well in the listing summary. So here is that:

This is not a joke. This is actually a glass of former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft’s backwash.


He spoke at Knox College April 22 (Earth Day, of all days) and was a pretty big jerk to every one (including your humble seller). There is a YouTube video of him being mean to me, actually. My retort got more cheers than his, so if applause meters selected Attorneys General, I would be there right now.


(I am the dude in the purple shirt around 6:10)

After he left, my friends and I attempted to regain our ability to reason after the vicious attack against humanity that spewed from that man’s mouth, so we decided to play a little music in the theater where he spoke. You know, to channel that frustration into something productive.

And what do we find still sitting on the pedestal? John Ashcroft’s glass, still with water and backwash in it (in one photo, you can see the water pitcher and glass on the pedestal during his talk).

(P.S. Thank you, Evan Temchin, for the photo)

We first dared each other to drink it, but nobody would. It’s like Satan’s glass or something. You just never know.

Then I thought, Hey, we could probably use this to put hexes on him or something. But I don’t know anything about hexes. Derrick Jensen spoke at Knox a few days later, and he suggested we plant his DNA at a murder scene so he is found guilty. That’s by far the best idea, but I would have no idea how to do that. And how do you find a murder scene? I’d have to have pretty good timing (and happen to have the glass on me).

So, defeated and out of other ideas, I did what any good American would do. I decided to try to make money on it on eBay.

So here is your chance to buy the backwash, fingerprints, lipprints and DNA of a war criminal to do with as you please (though I wouldn’t suggest the framing for murder thing, since now I’ve spoiled that idea by writing it here).

It is a few months old. I’m not sure how long backwash stays good. But on close inspection, the water is still clear. There is nothing growing anywhere. I think Ashcroft’s saliva has a strong disinfectant in it that destroys all life. That would explain a few things.

And very little has evaporated, since it has been sealed with cling wrap and a rubber band and kept in a dark closet this whole time.

The glass is part of the deal, and I will figure out a secure way to ship the items. So worst case scenario, you have a glass that John Ashcroft drank from. That’s pretty cool, right? You can pour guests a glass of water and say, “You are drinking from the very same glass as the man responsible for the torturing of prisoners in American custody!” The perfect way to liven up any social gathering!

Happy bidding!

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