Monday, February 21, 2005

Hunter S. Thompson was an idiot......

although not an untalented one. BTW, guns suck. Let's say it again....guns suck! This is from a 2003 interview.

What's the best firearm for home security?
Twelve gauge short barrel shotgun.

And what's the best for just fucking around?
Machine guns are kind of nice. You can have a lot of fun with them. It's like watering the lawn. I don't get to play them very often.

Ralph Steadman said that you almost killed him in a gun-related explosion while he was visiting you in Aspen. What happened?
I don't know that story, but no doubt it's right. I can think of several times. Ralph is well acquainted with my lifestyle.

He also said that you claim that you are one of the few people who should be allowed to own a handgun gun, and he said that you definitely shouldn't be allowed to own one.
(Laughs.) Ralph is one person who definitely shouldn't be allowed to drink whiskey.

Why's that?
I'll wait for his reason why I shouldn't have handguns. Whiskey is not beneficial for Ralph.

Friday, February 18, 2005

RIP Henry

I had a dream last night that I was writing a post for this blog and the harder I worked on it, the more things spiraled out of control. That's rather obvious, no?

Here is a small update on my personal life. Last week I decided to adopt a pet fish. I went with a Betta and dubbed him Henry. I struggled with that name quite a bit. At first I felt I should call him Abraham because of the symbolism of A's faith and all that but ultimately I decided to just call him Henry because I've always loved the name.

Anway, I did lots of research about how to take proper care of Bettas and fed him well, talked sweetly to him, kept his water at room temperature and clean, etc. I came home from a meeting on Wednesday night and poor Henry was dead, floating at the bottom of the bowl, puffed up like a blow fish. It was a tough blow. It might sound ridiculous to say I cried over the death of a fish I only had for a week but it's true. I grew to love Henry in 7 short days. I'm not going to give up though. The universe seems to want me to have another fish. I was heading for yet another job interview this morning and I found $5 which is just about exactly what a new betta will cost me. Thanks God.

I've toyed with the idea that Henry may have been my father. Perhaps Dad just wanted to come back and spend a few more days with me and make sure I was doing all right. When he found out I was okay, he felt comfortable leaving and continuing on with his journey. I've always believed in reincarnation and the afterlife. The mystery is part of the appeal. I doubt too much is very systematic or linear for that matter.

Well, they you go. Do you get what my dream was about now?

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Religious Wise Men Quietly Drank Up



A rabbi , priest and a minister walked into a bar in a small Iowa town -- but nothing funny happened.

"When I saw the three of them walk in," bartender Joe Blobonski says, "I thought to myself, 'This is gonna be good. I mean, this is the setup for thousands of jokes, so I figured something hilarious is about to happen." But the results were disappointing.

"They sat down at a table, and didn't say much." Blobonski says he expected to burst out laughing when he took their order. "The priest said, 'I'll have a Virgin Mary.' Then the minister said, 'I'll have a Bloody Mary,' Blobonski says. "I could barely contain myself, waiting for the rabbi's punch line.

"But then he says, 'I'd like a Diet Coke,' A Diet Coke? THAT'S not funny. I couldn't believe it.

" At another point the rabbi asked, "Do you get many rabbis in here?" Blobonski says, "I said 'No,' waiting for the rabbi's hysterical comeback.

"But all he said was 'too bad.' " The three religious wise men quietly drank up, paid the bill, and left.

"It was really pretty boring, to be honest," Blobonski added.

Published on: 09/05/2004 Weekly World News

Friday, February 11, 2005

Working on the Same 12 Poems for 16 Years

or "David, why do you draw the same thing over and over again?" "I don't know."

The Reason? We care.

Changing Minds, One at a Time

by Howard Zinn

As I write this, the day after the inauguration, the banner headline in The New York Times reads: "BUSH, AT 2ND INAUGURAL, SAYS SPREAD OF LIBERTY IS THE 'CALLING OF OUR TIME.' "

Two days earlier, on an inside page of the Times, was a photo of a little girl, crouching, covered with blood, weeping. The caption read: "An Iraqi girl screamed yesterday after her parents were killed when American soldiers fired on their car when it failed to stop, despite warning shots, in Tal Afar, Iraq. The military is investigating the incident."

Today, there is a large photo in the Times of young people cheering the President as his entourage moves down Pennsylvania Avenue. They do not look very different from the young people shown in another part of the paper, along another part of Pennsylvania Avenue, protesting the inauguration.

I doubt that those young people cheering Bush saw the photo of the little girl. And even if they did, would it occur to them to juxtapose that photo to the words of George Bush about spreading liberty around the world?

That question leads me to a larger one, which I suspect most of us have pondered: What does it take to bring a turnaround in social consciousness--from being a racist to being in favor of racial equality, from being in favor of Bush's tax program to being against it, from being in favor of the war in Iraq to being against it? We desperately want an answer, because we know that the future of the human race depends on a radical change in social consciousness.

It seems to me that we need not engage in some fancy psychological experiment to learn the answer, but rather to look at ourselves and to talk to our friends. We then see, though it is unsettling, that we were not born critical of existing society. There was a moment in our lives (or a month, or a year) when certain facts appeared before us, startled us, and then caused us to question beliefs that were strongly fixed in our consciousness--embedded there by years of family prejudices, orthodox schooling, imbibing of newspapers, radio, and television.

This would seem to lead to a simple conclusion: that we all have an enormous responsibility to bring to the attention of others information they do not have, which has the potential of causing them to rethink long-held ideas. It is so simple a thought that it is easily overlooked as we search, desperate in the face of war and apparently immovable power in ruthless hands, for some magical formula, some secret strategy to bring peace and justice to the land and to the world.

"What can I do?" The question is thrust at me again and again as if I possessed some mysterious solution unknown to others. The odd thing is that the question may be posed by someone sitting in an audience of a thousand people, whose very presence there is an instance of information being imparted which, if passed on, could have dramatic consequences. The answer then is as obvious and profound as the Buddhist mantra that says: "Look for the truth exactly on the spot where you stand."

Yes, thinking of the young people holding up the pro-Bush signs at the inauguration, there are those who will not be budged by new information. They will be shown the bloodied little girl whose parents have been killed by an American weapon, and find all sorts of reasons to dismiss it: "Accidents happen. . . . This was an aberration. . . . It is an unfortunate price of liberating a nation," and so on.

There is a hard core of people in the United States who will not be moved, whatever facts you present, from their conviction that this nation means only to do good, and almost always does good, in the world, that it is the beacon of liberty and freedom (words used forty-two times in Bush's inauguration speech). But that core is a minority, as is that core of people who carried signs of protest at the inauguration.

In between those two minorities stand a huge number of Americans who have been brought up to believe in the beneficence of our nation, who find it hard to believe otherwise, but who can rethink their beliefs when presented with information new to them.

Is that not the history of social movements?

There was a hard core of people in this country who believed in the institution of slavery. Between the 1830s, when a tiny group of Abolitionists began their agitation, and the 1850s, when disobedience of the fugitive slave acts reached their height, the Northern public, at first ready to do violence to the agitators, now embraced their cause. What happened in those years? The reality of slavery, its cruelty, as well as the heroism of its resisters, was made evident to Americans through the speeches and writings of the Abolitionists, the testimony of escaped slaves, the presence of magnificent black witnesses like Frederick Douglass and Harriet Tubman.

Something similar happened during those years of the Southern black movement, starting with the Montgomery Bus Boycott, the sit-ins, the Freedom Rides, the marches. White people--not only in the North, but also in the South--were startled into an awareness of the long history of humiliation of millions of people who had been invisible and who now demanded their rights.
When the Vietnam War began, two-thirds of the American public supported the war. A few years later, two-thirds opposed the war. While some remained adamantly pro-war, one-third of the population had learned things that overthrew previously held ideas about the essential goodness of the American intervention in Vietnam. The human consequences of the fierce bombing campaigns, the "search and destroy" missions, became clear in the image of the naked young girl, her skin shredded by napalm, running down a road; the women and children huddled in the trenches in My Lai with soldiers pouring rifle fire onto them; Marines setting fire to peasant huts while the occupants stood by, weeping.

Those images made it impossible for most Americans to believe President Johnson when he said we were fighting for the freedom of the Vietnamese people, that it was all worthwhile because it was part of the worldwide struggle against Communism.

In his inauguration speech, and indeed, through all four years of his presidency, George Bush has insisted that our violence in Afghanistan and Iraq has been in the interest of freedom and democracy, and essential to the "war on terrorism." When the war on Iraq began almost two years ago, about three-fourths of Americans supported the war. Today, the public opinion polls show that at least half of the citizenry believes it was wrong to go to war.

What has happened in these two years is clear: a steady erosion of support for the war, as the public has become more and more aware that the Iraqi people, who were supposed to greet the U.S. troops with flowers, are overwhelmingly opposed to the occupation. Despite the reluctance of the major media to show the frightful toll of the war on Iraqi men, women, children, or to show U.S. soldiers with amputated limbs, enough of those images have broken through, joined by the grimly rising death toll, to have an effect.

But there is still a large pool of Americans, beyond the hard-core minority who will not be dissuaded by any facts (and it would be a waste of energy to make them the object of our attention), who are open to change. For them, it would be important to measure Bush's grandiose inaugural talk about the "spread of liberty" against the historical record of American expansion.

It is a challenge not just for the teachers of the young to give them information they will not get in the standard textbooks, but for everyone else who has an opportunity to speak to friends and neighbors and work associates, to write letters to newspapers, to call in on talk shows.
The history is powerful: the story of the lies and massacres that accompanied our national expansion, first across the continent victimizing Native Americans, then overseas as we left death and destruction in our wake in Cuba, Puerto Rico, Hawaii, and especially the Philippines. The long occupations of Haiti and the Dominican Republic, the repeated dispatch of Marines into Central America, the deaths of millions of Koreans and Vietnamese, none of them resulting in democracy and liberty for those people.

Add to all that the toll of the American young, especially the poor, black and white, a toll measured not only by the corpses and the amputated limbs, but the damaged minds and corrupted sensibilities that result from war.

Those truths make their way, against all obstacles, and break down the credibility of the warmakers, juxtaposing what reality teaches against the rhetoric of inaugural addresses and White House briefings. The work of a movement is to enhance that learning, make clear the disconnect between the rhetoric of "liberty" and the photo of a bloodied little girl, weeping.
And also to go beyond the depiction of past and present, and suggest an alternative to the paths of greed and violence. All through history, people working for change have been inspired by visions of a different world. It is possible, here in the United States, to point to our enormous wealth and suggest how, once not wasted on war or siphoned off to the super-rich, that wealth can make possible a truly just society.

The juxtapositions wait to be made. The recent disaster in Asia, alongside the millions dying of AIDS in Africa, next to the $500 billion military budget, cry out for justice. The words of people from all over the world gathered year after year in Porto Alegre, Brazil, and other places--"a new world is possible"--point to a time when national boundaries are erased, when the natural riches of the world are used for everyone.

The false promises of the rich and powerful about "spreading liberty" can be fulfilled, not by them, but by the concerted effort of us all, as the truth comes out, and our numbers grow.

Howard Zinn's latest work (with Anthony Arnove) is "Voices of a People's History of the United States."

Meg Does Manners - March Preview

Dear Meg,

I drive much faster than I know I should. If I get another speeding ticket I am going to lose my license. A girl in my office told me she sweet talks her way out of tickets all the time because a lot of cops are men. Lately I've noticed more women in blue. Any tips on how to talk my way out of a ticket from the opposite sex?


My Dear Kenny,

My advice is to tell you to slow down and not be in such a rush all the time. Take a deep breath. I am glad you've noticed a few more women on the force and your question is a timely one since March is International Women's Month. I did some research on your query and found some “tips” courtesy of Dick Dogger, a retired Texas State Trooper in Dallas. He recommends you use flattery and suggests saying "My, you have beautiful eyes!" or "Nice earrings, officer!" Don’t forget to slip her a couple of $20s when she asks for your driver's license, he says. "Lady cops don't make as much money as us guys so they're happy to pick up the extra dough.” Lastly Dogger suggests you feel free to lie through your teeth. Tell her you're speeding because you've got to get to church to see your kid’s play. You’ll get off the hook "because female officers are more understanding than us guys."

I'm just passing this on, Kenny. I suspect 'ol Dick's charm might be wearing thin and those “lady cops” are smarter than he thinks. They may be giving him a pass because he used to be a brother in arms? I’d keep in mind that what flies in Texas doesn’t necessarily sail so sweetly in Iowa but a compliment usually brightens everyone’s day. Try and stay outta trouble, ya’ hear.



Dear Meg,

I'm graduating from law school this spring and am beginning to be recruited by some big firms in the corporate world. I have no idea how to behave during these interviews. What are these people looking for. They didn't teach us anything about manners at the University where I went. Do you know anything about this?


My Dear Sheila,

Congratulations on finishing law school. That's a big achievement. You have chosen an area to specialize in that appears to be going gang busters these days. Are you prescient? I am a bit surprised you never received any instruction in business or interviewing etiquette. This is an essential skill in securing a good position in the professional world. Job-seekers need to be on their P & Q's with potential employers. Donald Trump may be making arrogance and bad behavior seem like good strategies on television but, alas, television is not “reality” no matter what you call it.

Many of your interviews will probably take place over lunch. The agenda is to watch you maneuver your way through the meal. Small gestures at the table can be indicative of future behavior in the business arena. If you fumble with your cutlery you might be judged as having little control over psycho-motor skills and in need of costly medication; if you are nervous and fidget with food you risk being seen as suffering from a post traumatic stress disorder; and if you are more interested in your food than business matters you could be taken for a woman with a compulsive eating disorder in need of treatment. Any of these human frailties could wind up sneaking past the insurance company physicians making you, in their eyes, more financial trouble than you are no doubt worth. Heavens to Betsy!

I'm being my usual irreverent self, Sheila, but only slightly. You only have a small window of time when the possibility of employment presents itself. Try to have confidence in yourself and your abilities. You have no doubt invested a hefty sum into your education. Why not invest a few more dollars on a course in business manners?

In the meantime, if you have any lunch interviews, don't talk too much, chew with your mouth open, order any excessively expensive menu intems, drink alcohol or forget to thank the interviewers for their time and send a follow up note restating your gratitude for the former.

If you’d like professional counseling, you have my email. Good luck and thanks for writing.



Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Sexual Harassment is NOT Okay

in any form, by any means.

Women Win $2.3 Million in Sexual Harassment Case Against FedEx

A jury in California awarded two women $2.3 million in a sexual harassment case against FedEx Corporation. Kolainia Hettick alleged she was the subject over the course of several years of an obsession by a male coworker, Rubelle Cristobal, and Jana Bryant said she was harassed for persuading Hettick not to date Cristobal, according to Bloomberg News. Both women complained to management, and alleged that management did not act appropriately to protect them, according to Mercury News.The women won $1 million each in punitive damages. Hettick won an additional $298,000 and Bryant received $30,000in compensatory damages. Hettick delivered a message to other women through her lawyer, John Winer, that she hopes “this verdict sends a message that sexual harassment is not okay, and if you’ve been sexually harassed, don’t be afraid to come forward,” according to Mercury News. “This verdict clearly sends a message to corporate America that we will not tolerate sexual abuse in the workplace,” said Winer, according to the Bloomberg News. “In addition, workers should not be intimidated by companies that turn their backs on this type of behavior.”FedEx spokeswoman Sandra Munoz said that FedEx believed the suit had no merit, and that it would appeal the ruling, according to the Memphis Business Journal.JOIN the Feminist Majority

Thursday, February 03, 2005

A Theory on Male Fright & A Fun Link

I stole this offa Seth's blog. It's really funny. I better go home now. I think I have a few packages of ramen left in my cupboard (sniff, sniff). Are there any other women out there who felt as if going into menopause was about to drive them into the boobey hatch? Perhaps, the reason so many men leave their wives in their mid-40's for younger women is because men tend to be such emotional pee-wee's they lack the fortitude to help a gal "just hang on". It's really much better to be alone, girls, I swear it is. It sucks sometimes but you get through it. I've been doing it a long time and I'm still here. This is only a theory, okay? Just typing outloud. BTW, I know we woman are no saints either but our "stuff" tends to manifest itself in different forms of fear.

Got a Good Idea? Tell George....

Okay boys & girls, our commander and chief says he will listen to any good ideas on how to save social security. Here's some contact info for the SOB (sweet old bliss-bunny, of course):

Contacting the White House
Offers basic contact information for the President, Vice President, the First Lady, and Mrs. Cheney, including e-mail addresses and mailing address. Guidelines for submitting invitations are provided as well. ... If you have a question about a particular government benefit, program or service, contact ... While the President and Mrs. Bush and Vice President and Mrs - 20k - Cached - More from this site