Monday, June 30, 2008
Earlier this week, 20 year old supermodel Ruslana Korshunova committed suicide by jumping off the balcony of her 9th floor apartment in NYC. She was only 15 when she left home and started modeling, after she was discovered by a talent scout.
• A 12 year old girl in Vermont has been missing since last Wednesday. Now her uncle, a registered sex offender, has been identified a the prime suspect. He was just arraigned for sexually abusing another girl, who said the abuse started when she was 9 and continued for 5 years. She also says that she was used in a sex ring that involved 2 other men.
• If you get arrested for pushing an old man off a dock and into the ocean, it's probably not a good idea to use your one phone call to call your friend and brag about it. But that's what one 14 year old Massachusetts brainiac did.
• I've suspected this for a long time, but here's an article that confirms it: Manufacturers are reducing the amount of food they put in a package. For example, Kelloggs is putting 2.4 oz less cereal in every box. It's a way of passing on the rising cost of gas, corn and other commodities without consumers noticing.
• One example of hate mail received by editorial cartoonists:
Ann Coulter has more patriotic blood in one of her used tampons then you have in your whole body.
• Today's Jeopardy answer: A thong, fake breasts and a wig. The question: What was the guy in Connecticut wearing when he took a stroll along the interstate?
• If you need a little cheer, check out this video from the Discovery Channel: Boom De Yada
The school will be using a teaching method called "study technology," which was invented by the founder of Scientology. From the LA Times:
David S. Touretzky, a professor of computer science at Carnegie Mellon University, created a website that dissects study technology and asserts that it is Scientology religion disguised as education.
Touretzky said many phrases and concepts on the school's website are specific to Scientology. For example, the school lists a "Director of Qualifications" and another teacher who is an assistant in the "Qual" department. The "Qual," said Touretzky, is where people who have completed a Scientology counseling, or "auditing," session or a course in the Church of Scientology are tested by a qualifications teacher.
"There is no reputable educator anywhere who endorses [study technology]," said Touretzky, a critic of Scientology. "What happens is that children are inculcated with Scientology jargon and are led to regard L.R. Hubbard as an authority figure. They are laying the groundwork for later bringing people into Scientology."
If they want to start a Scientology school for kids, okay. I believe in freedom of religion, even if that means people end up drinking koolaid. But don't try to pretend it's something else.
Will and Jada have both said they're not Scientologists and that's not what their school's about. Their children have been home schooled for the last 3 years, by the same people who are behind the New Village Academy.
Would Will and Jada recognize it if they've been indoctrinated already?
Which is fine - I don't mind giving them little kitty orgasms. But the whole point is getting rid of the extra fur so there'll be fewer hairballs kacked up on my carpet. Wet, slimy fur balls that I end up stepping in.
So what's my payback? Boy cat knocked the garbage can over and ate the fur.
Maybe the title should be stupid, stupid me. I know he does this but I wasn't smart enough to put the fur someplace where he couldn't get to it.
A little off the subject, remember Hill Street Blues? Every time I see a hair ball, I think of Sgt. Mick Belker. That's what he called the guys he arrested.
A few quickies:
• Pamela Anderson was on an Aussie talk show. The hosts asked her what she thought about Jessica Simpson wearing a t-shirt that said, "Real girls eat meat." Pammy called her "bitch" and "whore." Takes one to know one, I guess. Pam went on to say:
She was not referring to like actual, you know, cows and chickens. I think she was referring to, you know, men.
Maybe. But if so, that's a new thing. I seem to recall episodes of The Newlyweds where Nick and Jessica were arguing because she wouldn't give him blow jobs.
And Pam, you do know everyone's seen your sex tape, right? Despite all the time spent on your vegetarian soap box, you sure seemed to like the taste of Tommy's meat.
• Simply brilliant: A district council in the U.K. wanted to catch people dumping illegally so they set up a $20,000 spy camera near some trash bins. The 'brilliant' part is that they hid the camera in a black bag and workers hauled it away with the rest of the garbage.
• A well-respected Indiana high school teacher lost her job for assigning students to read a book that featured gems like "shit," "bitch," "ho," and "motherfucker." Sounds like the school board did the right thing, but maybe not. The book was "The Freedom Writers Diaries" and the teacher said the kids already use those words and they're inspired to read about other kids who feel the same way they do. She got the parents' approval ahead of time.
• If they allow moose to marry, the next thing you know they'll be letting gays do it too. A town in North Dakota help a mock marriage ceremony to celebrate the fact that the town's mascot, a moose named Joe, has a new mate, named Ana.
Turn ons: purring kitties
Turn offs: hair balls
Sunday, June 29, 2008
Now there's a book called "The Anti-Intellectual Presidency" by Elvin T. Lim, which says the real problem isn't that the presidents are talking more - it's that they're saying less.
Lim studied all of the State of the Union addresses from Washington to Bush. He said the speeches used to be at a college level but now they're at an eighth grade level. The average sentence length dropped from 60 words to 20.
From Dumbing Down the Presidency by David S. Broder:
Simplification has its advantages, if it serves to increase public comprehension. But it comes with a huge risk: The complexity of real-world choices can be, and often is, lost.
As presidents have taken the rhetorical path of least resistance by serving up simplistic sentences to citizens, they have correspondingly offered an easily digestible substantive menu devoid of argument and infused with inspirational platitudes, partisan punch lines and emotional and human-interest appeals.
In other words, they're serving fast food and we gobble it down. Anybody who's ever heard Obama speak knows we're in for more of the same.
Because, like, you know, We are the change we seek.
Turn ons: french fries
Turn offs: freedom fries
Saturday, June 28, 2008
Friday, June 27, 2008
Yes, he has his hand between her legs.
• Fark headline of the day:
Semi-colon fans' exclamations point to its worth, pound detractors tilde give in. Asterisk of sounding hopeful, comma heads may prevail by underscoring plusses and minuses, bracketing debate with dash of logic. Period, quotation marks
It refers to a debate on Slate about whether or not semi-colons are useless. One guy says his professor told students they should never use a semi-colon. Another guy responded:
"I think what your professor really meant was, that semi-colons promote a clear grasp of logic and complex thinking; which should be avoided at all costs."
• I wish this had happened at my graduation: A guy walked across the stage in a 6 foot inflatable penis costume spraying silly string at a high school graduation in New York.
• The Mad Mullah of the Traffic Taliban: That's the nickname of the chief constable of North Wales. He's known for creating controversy, including the recent arrest of a guy in a canoe. The rest of the story is boring - I just liked the nickname.
• Have a problem with marauding elephants? Surround your village with stinky camels.
• Rosie O'Donnell's comment on the train wreck that is Amy Winehouse:
sadness swallows sound
Obama's long march to the center has begun ...
Normally, flip-flopping presidential candidates have to worry about the press. Not Obama. After all, this is a press corps that heard his grandiloquent Philadelphia speech [re: Jeremiah Wright] ... then wiped away a tear and hailed him as the second coming of Abraham Lincoln ...
I have never had any illusions about Obama. I merely note with amazement that his media swooners seem to accept his every policy reversal ...
When it's time to throw campaign finance reform, telecom accountability, NAFTA renegotiation or Jeremiah Wright overboard, Obama is not sentimental. He does not hesitate. He tosses lustily.
Why, the man even tossed his own grandmother overboard back in Philadelphia -- only to haul her back on deck now that her services are needed ...
Not a flinch. Not a flicker. Not a hint of shame. By the time he's finished, Obama will have made the Clintons look scrupulous.
The other night, Olbermann and one of his guests were talking about Obama and they mentioned how independents love him and even Republicans admire him. I wish I could remember the exact quote. They were basically making the point that everybody likes him.
I was thinking, wait a minute. I know a whole bunch of people who don't like him - Democrats who voted for Hillary. Most of us will vote for him because the only other choice is bomb bomb bomb bomb bomb Iran McCain.
But every time I see Obama on TV, I cringe. I hate him.
Thursday, June 26, 2008
• A 14 year old girl in Houston is being charged with capital murder because she stuffed toilet paper in the mouth of her newborn baby and flushed him in the toilet. She gave birth in the bathroom of her junior high school. Her attorney says she didn't realize she was giving birth. Nobody even suspected she was pregnant. I can only imagine how scared and desperate she felt to be in that situation. She could face life in prison.
• Also in Houston, a father is charged with capital murder for the deaths of his 7 year old son and 3 year old daughter. He allegedly tried to burn their bodies before stuffing them in a wooden chest and a suitcase and leaving them in the woods. If you don't hate the guy already, check out his mugshot.
• A 12 year old girl in Vermont is missing after she snuck off to meat someone that she'd been talking to online.
• A Massachusetts state representative who's also a defense attorney is being castigated because of some outrageous statements he made during a debate. He said that if a new mandatory sentencing law was passed, he would "rip apart" child rape victims when they testified:
"I'm going to make sure that the rest of their life is ruined, that when they’re 8 years old, they throw up; when they’re 12 years old, they won’t sleep; when they’re 19 years old, they’ll have nightmares and they’ll never have a relationship with anybody.”
I think he went about it the wrong way but I agree with the point he was making. Mandatory sentencing laws are stupid and the victims often suffer because of them.
• On Wednesday, the Supreme Court overruled a Louisiana law that allowed the death penalty for child rapists. Their reasoning was that the punishment exceeded the crime. I think they made the right decision but for different reasons. If a perpetrator knows he can get the death penalty for rape, he's more likely to kill the victim so she can't testify against him. The consequences would be the same for him whether he killed her or not.
A woman says, "Sheriff's department."
Huh? So I open the door and the chick says, "Elaine?"
It's obvious she doesn't believe me. She says, "Do you know where she is?"
"I don't known anyone named Elaine."
Still, she doesn't believe me. "Isn't this apartment ..." She looks up at the apartment number. Great big number trimmed in gold. Hard to miss it. Then she says, "Oh. Sorry." And walks away.
Next time check the number before you start pounding. Bitch.
I really wish I'd said that. I would've if I'd thought of it before I slammed the door.
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Nah. I'd rather get caught up on the news.
If you don't, we will. That's the message the Israelis are sending the U.S. re: bombing Iran. Right now, it looks like Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff are the only ones standing between us and Armageddon.
But that's too scary to think about so let's move along now. Time for some quickies:
• With a name like Wang, you can't be too surprised if the guy's obsessed with boobs. He's a professor at Georgia Tech and he's developing a bra that will harness the power in the motion of breasts. They could produce enough energy to power an iPod, among other things.
But any hot chick knows her breasts have the power to get a guy to buy an iPod for her.
• A pimp and 2 ho's walk into a parking lot. No, this isn't a joke I heard from Imus. The pimp convinces some chick to lend them her new car so they can go buy her some crack. She gave it to them. Yup, crack makes you stupid.
• Everyone, hide your cigars. That was the comment left by one reader when TMZ posted a picture of Bill Clinton holding hands with a woman young enough to be his daughter. They were out in public, surrounded by photographers and film crews, so I tend to believe what another commenter said - she's his niece and he was just helping her through the crowd.
• Blowed 'em up real good: Remember when you thought tipping over portable toilets was so much fun? Two kids in Florida like to blow them up instead. With bombs made of duct tape and sparklers.
• A guy gets a girl pregnant, gives her $300 and drives her to an abortion clinic. Then he dumps her. Nothing new about that. Except the guy is a Republican who's now running for Congress on an anti-abortion platform. He claims he didn't know she got an abortion.
• A pregnant soldier was found dead in North Carolina. No, not that one. Another one. Pregnant women are more likely to die of homicide than any other cause.
• Remember when stores used to put price tags on every item? Then they started using scanners instead and just put the prices on the shelves. Which is fine, when you can find the signs. Now, some retailers want to stop item-by-item pricing and just put scanners in the aisles instead. Which means shoppers will be wandering around looking for a scanner. Or, more likely, they'll just pick up stuff without knowing what it's supposed to cost.
Maybe they think this way we won't notice how fast the prices are going up.
• Anyway. Back to doom and gloom. If Armageddon doesn't get us, rising sea levels, ecosystem collapse and mass extinction will. A Nasa scientist, also known as the godfather of global warming, says that's what'll happen within a couple of decades if we don't drastically cut carbon dioxide emissions now.
Turn ons: doom & gloom
Turn offs: dirty dishes
In the nighttime darkness, with their lights off, the men drove up behind a transport truck.
Once in place, one man climbed onto the hood of his own car, then used a bolt cutter to break a lock on the trailer door before heaving it open and climbing inside. He then handed boxes of electronics back to a second man on the car hood, who loaded them into the thieves' vehicle ...
A second car blocked the left lane during the operation to prevent other cars from pulling too close ...
Because both cars had their headlights off ... the truck driver never noticed he was being robbed.
Yes, I chose this story and made up the clever title so I'd have an excuse to put up a picture of Brad Pitt and George Clooney. So sue me.
Saturday, June 21, 2008
Thursday, June 19, 2008
When I woke up just now, the clock said 6:42. It's cloudy out so I thought it was p.m. I wanted to watch "So You Think You Can Dance" at 8:00, so I was going to get up but I dozed off.
When I woke again, it was 7:50 - p.m. I thought - so I hurried to get up, feed the cats, and plop down in front of the TV.
The program that was playing was a wildlife show. Not what I expected but I checked to make sure I had the right channel and figured it was some kind of special. At 8:00, that show ended and the next one began - paid programming for some diet program.
WTF? I checked the channel again. Then I thought - what, did the local affiliate get booted by Fox? I started flipping through the channels to see if Fox moved. And found "Today" playing on NBC.
Oh. What a relief. It's a.m. not p.m. so I'm not missing my show.
Then I flew into a panic. Oh my god! I slept all the way through Thursday. It's Friday and I'm supposed to go to my aunt's funeral. I should've left the house by now.
But maybe it's not Friday. What day is it? Fuck. I didn't know whether it's a.m. or p.m. Now I don't even know what day it is. If it's Friday, I should be on my way to my aunt's funeral. I had to wait for the computer to boot up, feeling panicky the whole time, so I could check to find out it was Thursday.
Whew. I didn't lose a whole day.
The last time this happened - not knowing what day it was or whether it was day or night - was a few days before I ended up in the hospital with a psychotic episode. I've been having some of the same symptoms that led up to that. Depression, sleep much more disturbed than usual, talking to myself compulsively, repeating the same sentences or phrases over and over again for hours at a time. So much that I'm getting hoarse.
I'm not as paranoid as I was then, but last night I thought my computer had a virus and someone was spying on me with a Trojan horse. I went to the website for my antivirus provider and did an online scan that came up clear. So I don't think anybody's spying on me. But I'm not sure.
If I start hearing police radios in the hall and think they're coming to get me, or if I think my former psychiatrist has a psychic connection with me and I can hear his voice even though he's thousands of miles away now, or if I see one of the characters in my novel is standing here in front of me, I'll know it's time to go to the hospital.
Those were the hallucinations I had seven years ago when I crossed over from a little bit crazy to batshit crazy. Psychotic. Not in the loose sense of the word, the way people use it. The medical term:
psychotic - "characterized or afflicted with psychosis"
psychosis - "a mental disorder characterized by symptoms, such as delusions or hallucinations, that indicate impaired contact with reality"
Right now, I'm a little bit crazier than usual but I'm still in control of my faculties. Last time, I knew I was losing control but my psychiatrist didn't believe me, or at least didn't realize how bad it was. I slipped in and out of a psychotic state for several days before I went all the way. I kept telling him something was really, really wrong and I didn't think I should be alone. But he said I was severely sleep deprived, gave me some new meds and told me to go to bed and I'd be fine. The meds didn't work.
This time, I know I'm okay but I need to monitor myself. I have some anti-psychotic meds in my junk drawer and know the right dose to take if things get any worse.
I miss my old psychiatrist more than ever. If I called him and told him something was really wrong, that I thought I was edging toward psychosis, he would believe me this time. I could trust him to make the right choices for me if I couldn't do it for myself. I wouldn't hesitate to tell him exactly what's happening because I could trust him not to overreact. He understood that the psych ward usually does more harm than good and he'd send me there only as a last resort.
There's no one I can trust now. If I called the nurse practitioner who prescribes my psych meds, she'd probably want to admit me. Or put me on some heavy duty meds that would make me a zombie. If I called my current therapist, she'd refer me to the NP.
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
The only disappointment was they left Pretty Woman off the list for romantic comedies, but I don't know which movie I would bump off the list to include it. Probably Sleepless in Seattle.
Last night, I caught the end of the AFI show. Kirk Douglas was on and he sounded like my dad - his speech slurred from a stroke. It would've done my father a lot of good if he'd seen someone like that on TV when he was alive. He was embarrassed to talk in front of anyone except immediate family.
Speaking of Pretty Woman, here's a recent headline from Fark: Gerbil causes 3-car accident; article doesn't say which gere he was in at the time.
Time for some quickies:
• Pink Lotus Bathroom: Cross dressers, transvestites, transsexuals, and people born with physical characteristics of both sexes have their own bathrooms in some schools in Thailand. A school director says:
"These students want to be able to go to the restroom in peace without fear of being watched, laughed at or groped."
Thailand has a history of tolerance for the transgender community.
• Did you know you can get fired because your wife smokes? Well, you can if you work for Howard Weyers, who owns a health benefits administration company in Michigan. And he doesn't operate on the honor system - employees are subjected to random blood testing.
• Stop licking your shoes: That's the advice from Fark, after ABC reports that researchers have found bacteria on the soles of shoes.
• Injured by a defective thong? Sue.
• You don't like tits and ass? Then don't go to the most famous nude beach in the country. Makes perfect sense to everyone except the prudes of Westmore, VT, who are trying to pass an anti-nudity ordinance.
• Dipping: Teenagers in the U.K. are using Google Earth to find homes that have large outdoor pools, then the use sites like Facebook to meet for pool parties. Sounds like fun to me.
• Today's most shocking headline on the web: 10 Year Old Girl Shoots 88. At least it was shocking, until I realized I was on a sports website and they're talking about golf and not another teen rampage. I have no idea whether or not shooting 88 would shock a golfer.
"We found clear physical and psychological evidence of torture and abuse, often causing lasting suffering."
All eleven said they had been subjected to stress positions (such as being suspended by their arms for hours or tightly shackled for days), sensory deprivation (isolation and prolonged blindfolding or hooding), extreme heat or cold, and threats against themselves and their families by the interrogators.
Some were forced to be naked for days or weeks, experienced prolonged sleep deprivation, and were threatened with military dogs. One said he was sodomized with a stick and received electric shocks - he has the scars to prove it. Others were forced to wear women's underwear and were paraded around naked in front of female guards. Some were sodomized, subjected to anal probing, or threatened with rape.
In 2002, military lawyers warned the Pentagon that these tactics were illegal and would ultimately hurt U.S. troops. But a CIA lawyer said torture is "subject to perception."
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
I'm not sure if she started out that way or if she became an outcast because of the two creeps she married, but my sense is she ended up with those men because her family didn't want her and she had nowhere else to go.
Darlene was almost 80 and had been in poor health for years, so her death wasn't a surprise. I hadn't seen her or anyone else in Dad's family since my aunt Janis's funeral. Ten years ago? I can't remember how long.
When I was a kid, we went to my grandma's house every week for Sunday dinner. Most of my aunts and uncles and cousins would be there. It was a big, noisy, dysfunctional mess but I miss them. I miss Grandma's cooking - homemade chicken and noodles, cinnamon rolls, apple pie. Sitting around that table listening to my dad and his siblings tell dirty jokes and reminisce about their childhood made me want to be a writer. They, in all their joy and anger and screwed-uppedness, deserve to have their stories told.
So far, I've failed that goal. I've written short stories and even novels that were inspired by those Sundays at Grandma's table but I haven't published them. I haven't even tried to get them published.
Here's another story I should write down but this blog might be the only place it ever appears: When my mom called to tell me about Darlene, she said two of Darlene's daughters had called her earlier that day. They said Darlene was dying and they asked her to please come.
They were surprised my mom didn't know and had been hurt that she wasn't there already. A few days earlier, they'd called two of Darlene's brothers and asked them to spread the news. No one had shown up all weekend. So my mother, Darlene's sister-in-law, ended up being the only member of their extended family who came to see them.
When she arrived, my cousins said they'd been telling their mom it was okay to go and they asked my mom to talk to her. If you knew my mother, you'd understand how hard this was for her. Death - and whatever may or may not come afterwards - gives her the heebie jeebies.
But she cares about my cousins - she and my father Don (and me to a lesser extent) may be the only ones who ever really treated them like family or showed them any kind of sympathy and concern.
So my mom went into the hospital room and stood beside the bed. Darlene was unconscious and had been for days. Mom talked to her a little, then she said, "Tell Don he was evil but I miss him."
Darlene let out a sigh and a moment later, she was gone.
My mother thinks Darlene was just waiting for someone from our family to show up and let her know they cared. I think she needed to know there would be someone who cared about her waiting on the other side.
I'm sad that my dad's family drifted apart. My grandma didn't leave a will. She didn't have anything of monetary value but her house was full of keepsakes everybody wanted.
For years, my mother had predicted there'd be a feud and there was. When Grandma died, Janis was living in her house and everyone agreed she could stay there and all the keepsakes would stay there with her. When Janis died, her will left her personal possessions to my aunt Joan, who thought that meant everything in Grandma's house belonged to her.
Nobody else interpreted it that way, but none of them were willing to fight. Instead, they all went away angry and haven't spoken to each other in years. Joan sold everything in the house at auctions. If I'd known she was doing it, I would've gone down there and bought some of the things that held special memories for me. I'm sure some of my other relatives would've done the same.
When my uncle Tom died a few years ago, his funeral was out of state and most of his siblings didn't go. I seriously doubt any of them will show up for Darlene.
I spent a lot of time with my grandma the summer before she died. Aunt Janis was sick and Grandma was frail, and they both needed help. I went and stayed with them - cooked, cleaned, drove them places, and listened to their stories.
Grandma gave me all of her sewing stuff, which were her most prized possessions - boxes of fabric, buttons, notions, even some 9-patch quilt tops she'd made. She only had a few pieces of her wild roses china left - she bought it at a grocery store one piece at a time after my grandfather died, while my dad was in high school. All those Sunday dinners were served on that china.
I asked if I could have one of the dessert plates - the only piece that wasn't chipped. It's hanging in my kitchen now, along with a few plates that were handed down from my mother's family.
The 3 pheasants in the picture are also hanging in my kitchen. Identical to the ones that hung above Grandma's table. I found them at a flea market a few years ago. They're up high where I don't look at them very often.
I didn't know my mother misses my dad.
Saturday, June 14, 2008
The alleged assault took place while McDade, who shared the apartment with his fiancee and her daughter, was out on bail and awaiting a court date on charges that he tried to lure a young girl into his car last year.
[Defense attorney] Gold said he came up with the idea for the mold on his own after learning about the extent of the girl's injuries. He said they weren't as serious as one would expect.
Gold said he plans to show the mold to the jury to bolster his case that the girl should have had more injuries.
Time for some quickies:
• Did you know actor Rip Torn was a sexual predator? Neither did he. But a Cincinnati city councilman used Torn's mugshot from a drunk driving arrest in a campaign commercial about getting sexual predators off the street. He was forced to apologize.
• "I don't want them anymore anyway." That's what a woman in Florida said when a convenience store clerk scolded her for leaving her 5 year old, 2 year old and 1 year standing outside in the rain while she was buying beer. She's been charged with felony child neglect.
• Remember the Japanese woman who was living in a guy's closet? A guy in the U.K. found 12 illegal immigrants from Kosovo living in his attic.
• According to MSNBC, Des Moines, IA, is the #10 best place to live in America. Omaha came in at #5. Three of the top 10 were in Texas, with 2 each in Colorado and North Carolina.
• You've heard of vibrating toothbrushes and vibrating condoms, right? Well now, Estee Lauder is coming out with vibrating mascara. I kid you not.
• The picture is from Buzzkill. They're supposed to be Gummi Lighthouses but they look like something else, don't they?
For my fiend and all the other pervs out there, here are a couple of websites where you can find naked guys. The first one has men of all shapes and sizes, including some oldies:
Pose Party (click the Free Male Amateur link at the top)
This one has vintage Playgirl photos. Most of them are from back in the days when men were men - no waxing or shaving here.
Thursday, June 12, 2008
His bio on IMDb says he's in private practice and his patients are 60+ years old but it doesn't identify his specialty. Google has his personal website flagged as "this site may harm your computer," which means it tries to install malware. So my opinion of him just went a little lower.
Dr. Drew is the guy who does Celebrity Rehab, and you can tell how good he is because a lot of the people on the show relapse as soon as they get out. He's also done shows as a sexpert, telling guys how to last longer and explaining to women why they're not having orgasms.
I guess you could say he's a jack of all trades. Anyway. In a recent interview with Playboy, he said:
A lot of people in the public eye who behave strangely have mental illness we can learn from, and much of it is based on childhood trauma, without a doubt. Take a guy like Tom Cruise. Why would somebody be drawn into a cultish kind of environment like Scientology? To me, that's a function of a very deep emptiness and suggests serious neglect in childhood - maybe some abuse, but mostly neglect.
Crusie's lawyers, being the yappy little chihuahuas they are, snapped back:
This unqualified television performer who is obviously just looking for notoriety is so grotesquely unprofessional as to pretend to diagnose Tom and others without ever meeting them. He seems to be spewing the absurdity that all Scientologists are mentally ill. The last time we heard garbage like this was from Joseph Goebbels.
Perez defends Dr. Drew but I'm with Cruise on this one. My former psychiatrist once told me that it's considered totally unethical for a psychiatrist to diagnose someone they've never met.
Today, Pinsky's publicist put out a statement:
Dr. Drew meant no harm to Mr. Cruise and apologizes if his comments were hurtful. Although Mr. Fields's (Cruise's lawyer) intent is clearly to slander and discredit Dr. Drew, under no circumstances is Dr. Drew making a blanket diagnosis about Scientology nor Mr. Cruise whom he does not know. Dr. Drew was simply using Mr. Cruise as an example of someone who is recognizable to help the public understand. Again, Dr. Drew meant him no harm.
Um, meant no harm? Not making a blanket diagnosis? Go back and read what he said in Playboy, publicity guy.
Turn ons: Tom Cruise's money shot
Turn offs: Tom Cruise
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Monday, June 09, 2008
By the time McCain returned from Viet Nam, she had gained weight and was 5 inches shorter than she used to be - she looked nothing like the former swimsuit model he had married. He divorced her a few years later and soon after married Cindy, who was 18 years younger than him.
Carol is still loyal to him and says he didn't divorce her because of the accident: "My marriage ended because John McCain didn’t want to be 40, he wanted to be 25."
An interesting tidbit in the article was that Ross Perot paid Carol's medical bills while McCain was in Viet Nam. Perot says:
"McCain is the classic opportunist. He’s always reaching for attention and glory ... After he came home, Carol walked with a limp. So he threw her over for a poster girl with big money from Arizona."
One of his fellow Viet Nam vets is even tougher on him:
"When he came home and saw that Carol was not the beauty he left behind, he started running around on her almost right away. Everybody around him knew it ...
"This is a guy who makes such a big deal about his character. He has no character. He is a fake."
Which explains why I was never the only Debbie in my class, from kindergarten through college. I always hated the fact that I had the same name as roommates, coworkers, and even an aunt and a cousin.
But a recent study in Canada showed that kids with unpopular names are more likely to become juvenile delinquents:
... regardless of race, the more unique, rare and unpopular the name is, the more likely it popped up in youth crime files ...
Lee calculated that for every 10 per cent increase in the popularity of a name, there is an associated 3.7 per cent decrease in the number of troublemaking kids with that name.
However, research also showed that the [popularity] of a juvenile's name is also associated with other factors, such as socio-economic conditions and family structure.
... juveniles with more unpopular names also tended to live in the state's more disadvantaged counties.
Time for some quickies:
• Some of the good Christians of Shreveport, LA, are on a rampage. They held a book burning and Harry Potter was among its victims. One woman said:
"As I tore the pages, I felt a generational curse of immorality and perversion breaking off my family."
The minister who led the protest explained:
"We need healing. We've got pornography, abortion, murder, violence on the rise in Shreveport ... The focus is making sure we can do everything e can for our city as ministers ...
"I am not a doom and gloom preacher, I am a truth seeker. But we are at the threshold of dark days."
I beg to differ on the doom and gloom disclaimer.
• Thelma and Louise? Two guys in Salt Lake City crashed their car into a canyon in what may have been a suicide attempt. When rescuers arrived, the men used broken glass to slash their wrists and threw blood at them.
• Let's play Jeopardy. The answer is a couch, a hard hat, commodes, a traffic sign, a Batman costume and 30 seaweed covered grocery carts. The question? What did Operation Clean Sweep find in San Diego Bay?
• The next Jeopardy answer is: Peanuts, tree nuts, shellfish, sesame, tropical fruits, milk, eggs, soy and wheat. The question: What foods do some allergy activists want to ban from all schools?
• Haven't you wanted to do this sometimes? A judge in New York locked up 46 people after no one would admit whose cell phone rang rang in court.
• If you're ready for some feminist rage, read this story about the woman who was raped but wasn't allowed to use the word rape when she testified against the guy who did it.
• Read this article about a truly bizarre way to die. It involves a cobra and a condom.
"Although we weren't able to shatter that highest, hardest glass ceiling this time, thanks to you, it's got about 18 million cracks in it ... The light is shining through like never before, filling us all with the hope and the sure knowledge that the path will be a little easier next time."
AP writer Beth Fouhy commented:
The speech offered a telling glimpse into what might have happened had Clinton shed her pantsuit-clad androgyny and presented herself instead as what she was: a female trailblazer, going where no woman in this country had ever gone before ...
Would things have been different had the New York senator peeled back the armor and embraced her femininity?
I think Hillary would have been attacked no matter what she did. If she had worn dresses instead of pantsuits, people would have made fun of her heavy calves. Critics are still putting her down because of that one moment when her voice cracked to reveal her emotional side before the New Hampshire primary. Some still question whether it was genuine or simply a political ploy.
One of Hillary's supporters, Bruce Reed, had this to say:
In our lifetimes, we'll be hard-pressed to find a candidate made of tougher stuff than Hillary Clinton. Most candidates leave a race diminished by it. Hillary is like tempered steel: the more intense the heat, the tougher she gets.
And has any candidate had to face fiercer, more sustained heat? As a frontrunner, she expected a tough ride, and as Hillary Clinton, she was accustomed to it. But if she was used to the scrutiny, she could not have anticipated – and did not deserve – the transparent hostility behind it. In much the same way the right wing came unglued when her husband refused to die in the '90s, the media lost its bearings when she defied and survived them ...
Ironically, the biggest question she faced for much of the race is one she answered clearly by the time she left it: whether America was ready for a woman president. No one asks that question any longer. For all the sexism she encountered as the first woman with a serious shot at the White House, voters themselves made clear they were ready.
Anyone who doubts that there was rampant sexism and hostility in the media needs to watch this video - Sexism Sells.
For something that's truly depressing, read the XX Factor blog which bashes Hillary left and right - and it's written by women.
But Marie Wilson, who trains women to become leaders, writes that she's seen a change because of Hillary's influence:
The real and long-term effect of her candidacy can be seen in the burgeoning movement of women at the grass-roots level who are working to alter our political landscape. They are the retiring teachers who want to amplify their good works in the community; the recent college graduates determined to transform the world around them; the seasoned factory workers who want their voices to finally be heard. These women may not be on our national radar, but they are changing the face and voice of American leadership as surely as Hillary Clinton has. She has shifted cultural perceptions of what a leader looks like.
... whether we liked Clinton the person or Clinton the candidate pales in comparison with this unassailable truth: Her candidacy has helped change the political game forever.
I love the picture at the top because it shows Hillary and Bill when they were young and happy and in love. They believed they could change the world - and they did.
Friday, June 06, 2008
My air conditioner is a monster - big enough that the owner's manual repeats about 20 times "use 2 or more people to move or install." It's been sitting in the dining room all winter because I didn't have anywhere else to store it. Last summer, it didn't get cool enough and I knew it was because it needed to be cleaned.
So tonight I pushed and pulled and dragged it into my bathroom, wrapped all the parts in plastic that the owner's manual said to wrap, then took the showerhead off the hose and sprayed it down.
Oh. My. God. The mud, the leaves, the feathers. I had no idea how filthy the coils were. No wonder it wouldn't work.
Now I have to let it set for 24 hours to make sure it's dry, then push and pull and drag it to the window and hoist it up there to install it. And pray that I didn't get the wrong parts wet.
A few quickies:
• According to an article in the NY Times, passing a national health care program might make it even more difficult to recruit people to join the military. Right now, a primary motivator for many recruits is to get health benefits for their families.
• A drunk driver passes out in the drive thru lane at McDonald's. When the cops wake him up, he won't get out of the car so they tase him. He wasn't threatening violence, just refusing to cooperate. Reasonable use of a taser or have cops just become too dependent on them?
• How do you stop Alzheimer's patients from running away? Nursing homes in Germany install fake bus stops outside:
"We will approach them and say that the bus is coming later and invite them in for a coffee," said Richard Neureither, Benrath's director. "Five minutes later they have completely forgotten they wanted to leave."
Thursday, June 05, 2008
"We're not trying to do evil things. We're trying to make the world a little better."
He doesn't seem to get that stalking people - which is basically what they were doing - is evil.
Speaking of Big Brother, Washington DC is starting a program called Neighborhood Safety Zones:
At least six officers will man cordons around those zones and demand identification from people coming in and out of them. Anyone who doesn’t live there, work there or have “legitimate reason” to be there will be sent away or face arrest, documents obtained by The Examiner show.
[Police Chief] Lanier has been struggling to reverse D.C.’s spiraling crime rate but has been forced by public outcry to scale back several initiatives including her “All Hands on Deck” weekends and plans for warrantless, door-to-door searches for drugs and guns.
A spokesman for the ACLU says:
I think they tried this in Russia and it failed ... It’s just our experience in this city that we always end up targeting poor people and people of color, and we treat the kids coming home from choir practice the same as we treat those kids who are selling drugs.
D.C. also has surveillance cameras in some neighborhoods, presumably the same ones that would be designated as "Safety Zones."
Since I'm a conspiracy nut, I see greater implications in this. Naomi Wolfe and other writers say that Bush & Co. have taken steps to make it easier to declare martial law in the U.S. If they decide to do so, they've certainly got their bases covered in Washington.
It's really not that difficult to manufacture a national crisis - just ask the 9/11 conspiracy nuts.
Cell phones, GPS devices, Social Security records, computer databases - do you realize how easy it would be for the government to track down every one of us as well as our friends and family? They're already getting plenty of practice rounding up "terrorists" and "aliens."
I'll spare you the reductio ad Nazium.
He just completed his first year of med school. This summer, he's traveling around in his beat up Suburban to see the country he served.
• You might be a redneck if ... There's an article about you in the local paper and the headline is:
Using a cinder block as a driver's seat not a good idea.
Especially if the car doesn't have a brake pedal
• Forget anything? Surgeons in Tokyo accidentally left a surgical towel inside a guy when they operated to treat an ulcer. It only took them 25 years to go back for it.
• Speaking of forgetting things, there's a new website called YouveBeenLeftBehind.com:
For just $40 a year, believers can arrange for up to 62 people to get a final message exactly six days after the Rapture, that day when -- according to Christian end times dogma -- Christians will be swept up to heaven, while doubters are left behind to suffer seven years of Tribulation under a global government headed by the Antichrist.
Since the Antichrist is currently serving as Vice President of the United States, it might be a good investment.
• For the first time since 1988, a polar bear was seen in Iceland. It was wandering around in the fog and the police shot it "for the safety of the public." And they wonder why there aren't any polar bears in Iceland. Scientists predict that 2/3 of the world's polar bear population will disappear within the next 50 years because of global warming.
• Freegans = a.k.a. anti-consumerists, freegans, frugalists or just plain Dumpster divers ... people [who] delight in drastically reducing their consumer spending, finding life’s essentials at bargain prices or paying nothing at all ... [They] live outside the conventional economic system may include hitchhiking, foraging for food and eschewing regular jobs.
• It's been exactly one week since I washed the dishes and I don't care. Well, I care a little because I'm out of clean plates and silverware.
Turn ons: Freegans and cockroaches - they'll be the only ones to survive Armageddon
Turn offs: You Can't Always Get What You Want - the fact not the song, which is playing on the radio right now
You can't always get what you want
You can't always get what you want
You can't always get what you want
But if you try sometimes well you just might find
You get what you need
~ the Rolling Stones
Wednesday, June 04, 2008
But if the evil doers (Cheney, Haliburton, etc.) wanted a puppet in the White House, supplying him with coke would be an easy way to pull his strings.
NY Post gossip columnist Cindy Adams has said Laura plans to divorce him once he's out of office. Also not a reliable source but Cindy does have a lot of inside connections with the Bush administration.
Obama has some work to do with disaffected Clinton voters, especially the women. According to Pew, just 43 percent of female Clinton supporters express a positive opinion of him - down 15 points since March.
Many women are disappointed that Obama, a liberal man seeking to be their leader, has sat by silently for such comments as:
* Rush Limbaugh wondering whether "this country wants to actually watch a woman get older before their eyes on a daily basis."
* CNN commentator Alex Castellanos saying on-air that Clinton deserves to be called a "bitch."
* MSNBC's Tucker Carlson crying castration - saying, "Every time I hear Hillary Clinton speak, I involuntarily cross my legs."
Howard Dean has refused to address the problem throughout the campaign but he finally talked about it on ABC "This Week" when he said:
"enormous amount of sexism in this campaign" and pointed out that "there have been major networks that have featured numerous outrageous comments that if the words were reversed and they were about race, the people would have been fired."
But why wasn't he calling for these people to be fired months ago, when this crap first got into full swing? Why didn't he support leading feminists when they spoke out and wrote letters to the networks? Do you think he would've stayed quiet if commentators had been making fried chicken and watermelon jokes?
In the article, Powers wrote:
Beyond the misogynist cracks has been the total disregard for Clinton's female supporters.
The same number of people has turned out to vote for her as Obama, yet you rarely hear about the passion of her supporters.
They're practically invisible - the media seem incapable of viewing women over age 50 as mattering, especially ones without college degrees.
From Howard Dean:
"What you don't get over is deep wounds that have been inflicted on somebody because they happen to be a woman running for president of the United States. We know that those comments have no place in our society and certainly no place in our party."
Exactly. So why did you tolerate them for so long, Howard? Barack?
State law requires that sex ed classes focus on physical and emotional development of adolescents, healthy relationships and the threat and prevention of diseases.
Her 7th and 8th grade students asked questions about homosexual sex, oral sex and masturbation, and she had the unmitigated gall to answer them.
Now a group of parents are pushing for a bill to criminalize the behavior and start a registry for teachers who violate the law. Let's burn her at the stake!
Time for some quickies:
• A group of Christian extremists is boycotting Starbucks because of their new logo (pictured above right).
"The Starbucks logo has a naked woman on it with her legs spread like a prostitute,” said Mark Dice, the group's founder. “Need I say more? The company might as well call itself Slutbucks.”
No, you don't need to say any more. We get it. You're deeply ashamed because you used to jack off to mermaid fantasies. Bend over, sweetie, I'll spank you and make it all better.
• The president of Gambia has threatened to behead homosexuals and he's being supported by the Supreme Islamic Council. People convicted of consensual homosexual acts are already subject to 14 years in jail. Many gays fled to Gambia following a crackdown in Senegal.
• At least the guys in North Carolina get to keep their heads: Two men were arrested and charged with a "crime against nature" after a gay encounter. I guess they missed that whole thing about the Supreme Court overturning sodomy laws 5 years ago.
• During a drug raid in New York, police found a homemade sex tape featuring a 15 year old girl and her boyfriend. They taunted her with it, then took the tape back to the cop shop and played it over and over again for their own amusement. I guess they've never heard of jail bait.
• 39 years ago this week, the SS St Louis was denied permission to land in Cuba and in Florida. The ship was forced to return to Europe, and most of its passengers - 963 Jews who had fled Nazi Germany - later died in concentration camps.
Tuesday, June 03, 2008
Meanwhile, Scott McClellan has good company. Retired general Ricardo Sanchez, who was the commander of U.S. troops in Iraq, has also written a new book that is very critical of Bush. He says Bush "led America into a strategic blunder of historic proportions."
In related news, the Guardian UK reports:
The United States is operating "floating prisons" to house those arrested in its war on terror, according to human rights lawyers, who claim there has been an attempt to conceal the numbers and whereabouts of detainees ...
Information about the operation of prison ships has emerged through a number of sources, including statements from the US military, the Council of Europe and related parliamentary bodies, and the testimonies of prisoners.
The analysis, due to be published this year by the human rights organisation Reprieve, also claims there have been more than 200 new cases of rendition since 2006, when President George Bush declared that the practice had stopped.
A human rights organization that is investigating the treatment of detainees says:
By its own admission, the US government is currently detaining at least 26,000 people without trial in secret prisons, and information suggests up to 80,000 have been 'through the system' since 2001. The US government must show a commitment to rights and basic humanity by immediately revealing who these people are, where they are, and what has been done to them.
Here's another story that doesn't seem as important as the torture of human beings, but it's part of the big picture. An Australian man wasn't allowed to board a plane at Heathrow airport because he was wearing a t-shirt with a picture of a gun on it. These so-called "security" measures aren't keeping anyone safe but they sure are making a lot of people paranoid.
Which is the point. When people are afraid of terrorists and afraid of being accused of being terrorists, they're less likely to speak up on behalf of the accused terrorists. And they're sure as hell not going to get out on the street and protest to end the war in Iraq.
On a talk show last autumn, a prominent political analyst named Mikhail Delyagin offered some tart words about Vladimir Putin. When the program was televised, Delyagin was not.
His remarks were cut and he was digitally erased from the show, like a disgraced comrade airbrushed from an old Soviet photo. (The technicians may have worked a bit hastily; they left his disembodied legs in one shot.)
Delyagin, it turned out, has for some time resided on the so-called stop list, a roster of political opponents and other critics of the government who have been barred from television news and political talk shows by the Kremlin.
The article has a lot more details about the way Putin is using the media to strangle dissent. Maybe the American networks aren't talking about this because, for them, it strikes a little too close to home?
Sunday, June 01, 2008
On May 21, Alex Barton, age 5, was escorted out of his kindergarten classroom ... in Port St. Lucie, Fla., by the local police department's "school resource officer." Alex, who is autistic, was taken to the assistant principal, to whom he promised he would "not kick students, throw crayons, eat crayons, crawl under the table, kick the table of other students ... [or] disrupt the class," according to a police report ...
The assistant principal tucked in Alex's shirt, put his "shoes on the right feet and tied them," and sent Alex back to class. During Alex's absence, his teacher, Wendy Portillo, "gathered the students to talk with them" about the youngster's misbehavior.
When Alex returned, Portillo, who has been teaching in Port Lucie for 12 years, directed the youngster to the front of the room and "asked him to listen to what the children didn't like" about him. According to Alex, the children complained that he "eats paper, picks boogers … and bites his shoelaces," and Portillo herself said, "I hate you right now. I don't like you today." ... Portillo next "polled the class" about whether to let Alex back in ... Alex lost the class vote, 14-2, and spent the rest of the school day in the nurse's office. That night, Alex "did not eat dinner [and] would not sleep in his own bed."
There's a police report at the link that includes statements from the teacher and other students. For the most part, their stories match Alex's description of what happened. I can sympathize with a teacher who has a classroom full of children and one is acting out. I can make excuses for her - she was trying to use peer pressure to teach him a lesson.
But Alex has Aspberger's syndrome, which causes a child to exhibit social isolation and eccentric behavior (although I'm not sure a kindergartener eating boogers is all that eccentric). Allowances should be made for his disability. A teacher shouldn't encourage kids to trash a fellow student behind his back, and if they do, why inflict further pain on the child by repeating what they said?
It reminds me of when I was in junior high. I had a teacher who was really bad at math, which was a problem since he was the math teacher. He was always making mistakes when he did equations on the board, and I, being the smart ass that I am, had to correct him.
I guess he didn't like it because one day he laid into me in front of the whole class. He told me that nobody liked me because I was so fat and mouthy. I can't remember what else he said but he went on and on and I just sat there with tears running down my cheeks.
And people wondered why I hated school so much. The only reason I kept going was because I wanted to get a scholarship and get the hell out of there.
I got my scholarship but by the time I got to college, I was thoroughly messed up from 6 years of being a social outcast. We had moved to that town when I was in 6th grade and no one had ever accepted me. I became more and more withdrawn, more and more depressed, and I was showing symptoms of what I now know was bipolar disorder. (It only took 20 years in the mental health system before I finally got the correct diagnosis.)
A few years ago, my mother was going through a photo album and found my 8th grade school picture. She said she was surprised by how sad I looked and was sorry that she hadn't noticed it back then.
I hardly ever slept, I walked around in shirts that were way too big for me, with my hair hanging in my face, hunched over hoping nobody would say anything to me. I was paranoid, hearing voices in the trees, and having out of body experiences. Anybody who didn't notice something was wrong with me wasn't looking.
Today I got a second letter about my 30 year class reunion that's coming up. I have no intention to respond.
"There is no shame in recognizing your failings
or getting help if you need it.
The tragedy comes when we fail
to take responsibility for our weaknesses
and surrender to them."
~ George W. Bush,
speaking to graduates at Furman College
If only he would look in the mirror when he said that.
Fifteen members of the Furman faculty stood in silent protest while Bush spoke at this weekend's commencement. They wore t-shirts that said "We object."
My reaction was, Only 15? Why not all of them?