Greetings, many friends,
Thanks to a major reconfiguration of my address book, this is the "mother of all screeds"...many of you have not seen such a missive before. I hope you enjoy...and remember, unless you think I'm a damn commie and have no use for my version of "Weekend Update", please just hit the "delete" button.
There's no life or death stuff here, no movie dates (not enough, or should I say, no response at all, shame on you) and no upcoming gigs. All I have for you this time is bare-knuckled politics and more tasteless weirdness from across the globe. For those of you expecting a long (i.e. as with Ireland, over 50 pages) narrative of my recent trip to Paris, fear not: I am slowly working on it. However, it will *not* be e-mailed this time, but posted to my website, probably in August. I can make other arrangements for those with no easy access to the Internet.
Let the screed begin...
FIRST OF ALL, a very agitated Iranian sent this link to me. It's an article in Foreign Policy Magazine, not too long, which spells out better than almost anything I've ever read the straight dope on our position in the world. It gave me much to think about and I highly recommend it:
Now let's move along...some of you, I hope, are paying attention to the embarrassing row "our" government has raised concerning the International Criminal Court in Den Haag. Seems everyone else likes the idea of one world body being responsible for prosecuting genocide and such terrors, but we're way too good for that. Even our best friends think we've lost it:
Canada Leads Effort to Oppose U.S. Court Position
By Evelyn Leopold UNITED NATIONS
Arguing that peacekeepers are not above the law, Canada called a public U.N. Security Council debate for Wednesday so nation after nation could voice its opposition to U.S. efforts to get immunity for its soldiers from the world's first permanent criminal court.
A second article, more brief, on the same subject:
Bosnia Mission Threat Clouds World Court's Birth
Do you think the Canadians are joking? Here's more evidence of their wrath,
Canada Tells U.S. That Inventor Bell No Phony
And even tennis players are getting their two bits in.
Tennis Great Navratilova Attacks U.S. Values
Okay, let's take a brief break from the screed for some humor. How about a Palestinian joke?
An old man lived alone in Palestine. He wanted to dig up his potato garden, but it was very hard work. His only son, who would have helped him, was in an Israeli prison. The old man wrote a letter to his son and mentioned his predicament. Shortly, he received this reply, "For HEAVEN'S SAKE, Dad, don't dig up that garden, that's where I buried the GUNS!"
At 4 A.M. the next morning, a dozen Israeli soldiers showed up and dug up the entire garden, without finding any guns. Confused, the old man wrote another note to his son telling him what happened, and asking him what to do next. His son's reply was: "Now plant your potatoes, Dad. This is the best I can do for you at this time."
-- Hossein Shahidi
Funny, eh? Okay, back to the screed, in the most unfunny way...I remember telling several people (hi Beth) that once we killed three or four thousand people in Afghanistan, we should call it a draw and split. Well, we've made it:
N.H. professor shines light on bombs' toll among Afghan civilians
Net Life/by Stephanie Schorow
Tuesday, January 15, 2002
What is the value of a human life? A New Hampshire professor contends that United States bombs in Afghanistan have killed more civilians than the number of people killed in the World Trade Center attack.
A second, somewhat more strident article on the same subject is to be found here:
Okay, please, let's have some good news. Some of you have heard my theory that Iran is suffering our wrath mostly because we've backed the Arab monarchies (i.e. Saudi Arabia and the Emirates) instead of the great "oil democracies" (Mexico, Iran, Venezuela, Indonesia). My trip to Europe has brought this home to me. Their attitude towards the Middle East could not be more different than ours:
** EU decision gives boost to Iranian reformers **
A recent European Union decision to start trade negotiations with Iran indicate that President Mohammad Khatamis policies may be paying off. NBCs Jahangir Jahanbagloo reports.
Okay, let's press ahead. It's pure crap (but amusing as always) from here on out. First of all, good news for the California economy,
Marijuana Prices Fall, Consumption Rises
Unless, of course, you are an idiot,
Man Tells Passer-By Cop About Dope
And people in other cultures have different ways than us...so I'm told.
Cambodians Find Mice Way to Turn a Profit
Now if any of this is giving you pause, you might want to stop here. But no, no, no, keep going, the best is always at the end. You've eaten the cake but the icing remains. If you're brave, there are many prizes in this life for you...from oppressive theocratic governments...
Israel Gives Awards to Intrepid Tourists
And that goes double for oppressive secular governments.
Turkish Cops Block DJ's Broadcast From Grave
And what about oppressive, antiquated religions?
Centuries After Inquisition, Vatican Slams Torture
http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/nm/20020627/od_nm/torture_dc_1 Hindu Woman Proves Fidelity With Hot Iron
And if you think you can run for the hills, the irony of the Earth will sink you like a stone.
Suspect Escapes Jail, Is Eaten by Crocodile
Finally, courtesy of Mrs. Dorothy Hasenecz of Los Feliz, California, I offer you these words of wisdom, which have already substantially changed my life, this week, anyway:
As I Have Matured ......
I've learned that you cannot make someone love you. All you can do is stalk them and hope they panic and give in.
I've learned that no matter how much I care, some people are just assholes.
I've learned that it takes years to build up trust, and it only takes suspicion, not proof, to destroy it.
I've learned that you can get by on charm for about fifteen minutes. After that, you'd better have a big weenie or huge boobs.
I've learned that you shouldn't compare yourself to others - they are more screwed up than you think.
I've learned that you can keep puking long after you think you're finished.
I've learned that we are responsible for what we do, unless we are celebrities.
I've learned that regardless of how hot and steamy a relationship is at first, the passion fades, and there had better be a lot of money to take its place.
I've learned that the people you care most about in life are taken from you too soon and all the less important ones just never go away. Pass this along to 5 friends...trust me, they'll appreciate it. Who knows, maybe something good will happen. If not...tough.
See you on the other side,
10 July 2002
Greetings, many friends,