Sunday, April 29, 2007

Language And Political Ideology

Word nut that I am, I’ve been following the pulse of the English language for quite some time. And lately there’s been a clear shift of the language to suit political and sociological ideology. I suppose this has always been the case…every politician with an agenda and power behind it (and the fourth estate behind them) has created their own catch phrases that have entered the lexicon. Soccer mom, Freedom Fries, Reaganomics, trickle-down theory, people of color, plausible deniability, and so on back to the day the first male of European descent looked at the first Native American and said, “Oh, you’re still here?”

But lately they’ve been coming at us faster and more furiously…and are getting downright ridiculous. At least for those of us who’d prefer to call an implement for creating holes in the earth a shovel.

For instance, you can’t say “illegal aliens” anymore. They are now called “migrant workers,” whether or not they’ve come across the border with legal papers in order to pick the harvest. I’m sure that ET and his brethren are now breathing a sigh of righteous relief, and will now step up their lobbying efforts to get the word “illegal” dropped as they don’t feel they are governed by any of our planetary laws.

Thanks to Congress and the Clinton Administration, “government spending” is now “government investing.” This way, they can raise taxes but still spin it into a good thing because it’s an investment, not frittering public dollars away on programs that will really just get sucked up into administrative costs and never reach the people who need them.

Thanks to the Food Police, when you make your Rice-A-Roni, in a large skillet you now stir your rice packet plus “butter, margarine, or the trans-fat-free spread of your choice.” Even though you should know by now that trans-fats are bad for you and cause childhood obesity, heart attacks, and global warming.

Thanks to Hurricane Katrina, when used in the US, “refugee” is now “survivor.”

Thanks to Hallmark, “Secretary’s Day” has now become “Administrative Professional’s Day.” I think I’m due about a dozen bouquets of flowers and a whole heap of free lunches.

Thanks to the Department of Health and Human Services (which itself used to be Health, Education and Welfare), “slums,” which became “Economic Oppression Zones” have now become, with the help of the Association of Realtors, “Economic Opportunity Zones.” Heck, I’m too dizzy from this one to comment.

Diplomacy is now “preemptive outreach.” So are diplomats now “Preemptive Outreach Workers?”

And the Politically Correct trend rains on.

According to the Global Language Monitor, you can no longer use the term “flip chart” as it is a term that is offensive to Filipinos. It is suggested that you use “writing block” instead.

I want to believe that this isn’t true, but staff at a Glasgow coffee shop refused to serve a customer who ordered a black coffee, believing it a racist snub. He was not served until he asked for “coffee without milk.”

A new, gender inclusive version of the Bible (Titled, “The Bible in a More Just Language”) includes the phrase, “Our Mother And Father Who Are In Heaven.”

And according to a training manual used at the Kirklee Council in West Yorkshire, England, the term “politically correct” is now politically incorrect.

We also have England to thank for replacing “terrorist” with “misguided criminal.”

Maybe they just need some preemptive outreach.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Post-Reality Show Separation Anxiety

As we are approaching May sweeps, the big reality shows will soon have their finales. After the last survivor is voted off the island, the winning couple makes it to the final pit stop, the pop Idol starts planning his or her publicity tour, some reality show fans, like some baseball fans, are left with a sense of…emptiness.

This is an actual documented psychiatric syndrome: post-reality show separation anxiety. And fortunately, no medication or therapy is required. The best cure is…new reality shows!

Yes, there are a ton of them on the docket, slated for summer and early fall. But here at RFG, our creative team has come up with a few that probably will never make it to the airwaves…but who knows? Stranger things have come out of Mark Burnett’s mind than…

The Apology Tour

Follow a cadre of chastised celebrities week by week as they atone for a variety of public sins. Watch Don Imus, Michael Richards, Mel Gibson, Trent Lott and the rest of our recently excoriated contenders as they attend sensitivity training, then compete for the best and most sincere apology to each group they are considered to have offended. Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton and Gloria Allred will be our all-star panel of judges. Danny Bonaduce will host.

American Paparazzi

Who wouldn’t want a cushy job annoying celebrities? Our sixteen hopeful amateur photographers will vie for a coveted one-year contract with the National Enquirer by stalking, staking out, climbing fences, hanging from helicopters, buying off personal assistants and other creative ways of finding and shooting the celebrities du jour. Bonus points for catching the celeb in a compromising position (like, without makeup, or on the beach while bulking up for a role as a Real Person). Extra bonus points for getting punched out by Alec Baldwin or Tyra Banks.

So You Want To Be A Porn Star

Yes, you might have seen the adult DVD…but not this full-season reality show! D-list celebrities and desperate rejects from other reality shows are paired up with professional porn industry actors so they can learn the ropes (so to speak) and compete for a role in a real adult film! As this is a family web site, we can’t tell you further details. Will air on the internet only. You must be over 18 to have access to this site. All major credit cards accepted. Paris Hilton and Traci Lords co-host.

Breaking O’Donnell

A slice of life show, starring Rosie O’Donnell. Follow Rosie’s triumphs and failures as she recovers from her recent firing, sues the Donald, attends charm school and moves on, with Kelly and their children at her side.

So You Want To Be On A Reality Show

Watch twenty carefully-culled contestants tough their way through a week-by-week Boot Camp during which they will learn any skill they might need to pull out of their hats for any number of reality shows. For example, Carrying Heavy Things For Long Distances, Eating Disgusting Animal Body Parts, Singing Like A Pop Star, Hailing A Cab In A Foreign Country While Running And Waving Money, Enduring A Complete Makeover Including Getting A Full Body Wax Without Crying Like A Little Girl, Backstabbing With A Smile, and Bungee Jumping Off A Tall Building Without Wetting Your Pants. Loser of each weekly task gets the boot. Whoever is still able to walk without assistance at the end of the series gets a slot on the reality show of Mark Burnett’s choice.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Earth Day

This is a public service message from the management of Rooting For Gargamel.

Yes, some will tell me that the "real" Earth Day is actually the Vernal Equinox, and it has been for thousands of years. But I'm talking about the "political" Earth Day, celebrated on April 22, the original intent of which, in 1970, was to raise awareness of the fragility of our ecosphere and what we all could do to stop pollution. Which is great. I am old enough to remember the first Earth Day, and I am a child of the late 60s and early 70s, who grew up recycling and not littering and loving the flowers and the trees.

But I think this simple message, the beautiful intent of Earth Day’s founder, Senator Gaylord Nelson, has gotten lost – in cynicism, in fear, and has become a giant political football.

So please, for one day, can we please stop the Global Whining and the finger-pointing and the talk of carbon footprints and drowning polar bears and just enjoy what’s still out there?

We have all year to recycle and repurpose and conserve, and I’m in agreement that these are wonderful habits that if all would agree to pursue, would make a great difference to our environment. We have all year to write fomenting letters to newspapers and our congresspeople, all year to complain about what the current administration is or isn’t doing, all year to debate the longevity of compact fluorescent bulbs versus the mercury they contain. And these are good things to talk about, too.

But for today, just go outside. Go for a walk. Take a deep breath (if circumstances allow) and note the difference between outside air and inside air. Feel the sun on your face, the breeze on your skin. Stand quietly and listen, beyond the hum of automobiles, for the smaller sounds - bird songs and insects humming and (if you’re fortunate enough to live deep enough into the country to hear this) the peep of tree frogs calling for mates. If you live in a city, go to a park and smell the dark aroma of earth, feel beneath your feet the energy of a world about to burst into bloom. Look beyond the graffiti and the crudeness of trash discarded into the weeds. (Where do people think those empty beer cans are going, huh? Surely not back into the earth. Not while we’re still on it, nor our children.) Take a few minutes to appreciate the budding trees, and the energy it takes them to grow new leaves each spring. Watch the ripples on the surface of a pond, the rush of streams and creeks swollen (as ours are) with the heavy spring rains.

Appreciate what’s still here.

Now back to our regularly scheduled program. You are now free to resume calling Bush an idiot and counting the days until he leaves office.

And tomorrow, when you write your fomenting letters, try to do so electronically, and preferably from a laptop computer. This saves paper and energy.

I’m going outside now.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Enough With The Guns, Already

Why does the American media do this? Every time there’s a terrible event such as Monday’s massacre in Virginia – after the initial shock and horror has settled for a day or so – the drumbeat begins anew that the culprit is gun control. That it is simply too easy to get a gun in this country, and something should be done about it.

I can understand why we want an easy solution. It’s difficult to look at the horror of how someone could walk across a college campus – what should be a safe, bucolic haven nurturing the future leaders of America - and shoot thirty young people to death, without wanting answers, without wanting someone to blame.

And often the last person to get the blame is the one who pulled the trigger.

Although a gun was used to commit the crime – a gun purchased legally, mind you - this was not the impetus that did the killing. A disturbed young man was behind it. And no matter what kind of laws we make about guns, if this disturbed young man had been denied his gun permit, if he wanted a gun he would have gotten it illegally, and would have used it.

The two teenaged boys who perpetuated the Columbine massacre had, along with the automatic weapons they’d convinced other people to buy for them (as they both had mental health issues on their records), material to make bombs that they'd downloaded from the Internet. These were sick, sick children who practically screamed with signs they needed help, and got some, but not enough. But yet again, we blamed the weaponry. And this time, video games.

Timothy McVeigh also wanted to kill a lot of people in a hurry, except he found it more expeditious to build a bomb out of fertilizer. Should fertilizer be banned?

No one wants to answer the difficult questions. Such as, why are we raising people sick enough to do these acts? The parents of Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris had to have seen that something wasn’t right with their boys, yet the help they got was inadequate at best, and perhaps they refused to admit that something was happening at all. Maybe they thought it was a phase they’d grow out of. Or didn’t want to go through what they might have perceived as the embarrassment of additional therapy, or couldn’t afford the expense. After all, who wants to believe that their children were murderers? And more evidence is surfacing about how disturbed this poor young man in Virginia had been. That as early as 2005 his teachers and classmates had been noticing his behavior yet although it was “recommended” that he get counseling, there was no evidence that he got the help he so desperately needed. Yet he passed his legal background check and was allowed to buy a gun. What I want to know is where were the parents? If the school is noticing how disturbed he was, why weren’t the parents involved?

Or did they simply hope it would go away, too?

No one wants to look at this part of the problem because it’s so complex. It’s not an easy fix, like passing a new gun law (when we don’t even enforce the gun laws we have) or putting a metal detector at the door. Some people I’ve talked with want the problem solved by arming everyone, which I don’t accept. I can’t imagine this doing anything but making a bad situation worse. Can you imagine someone with a latent mental illness (or even someone under extreme stress) reaching their tipping point and trying to shoot their way out of it? No. We can’t let this happen.

The truth that we don’t want to see is this: there are sick people in America. There are sick people who aren’t getting the help they need. Either because they can’t afford it, or families think they can handle it themselves, or because the stigma is so great that they don’t want to pursue it. Some can’t afford the medication. Or they take the medication but either can’t afford or can’t otherwise get access to the follow-up care that goes hand in hand with the pills.

We want to blame the guns.

Because it’s easy.

And when we’re in grief, when we’re bombarded with this overload of tragedy, we want answers.

And we want them now. Then we want to pass a law guaranteeing that it will never happen again.

And then something else knocks it off the headlines and we forget about it.

Until the next time.

Monday, April 16, 2007

“Comedy bends; it shouldn’t break”

Or, Shock Jock Touches Third Rail

OK, I’ve been busy doing my taxes and attending to other things that unfortunately have taken more time and energy than I would have liked, but even though this news story has probably been examined through every possible microscope, and from every angle, I still feel the need to weigh in.

Don Imus, like so many others of late who have already begun and ended their Apology Tours, including the obligatory kissing of Al Sharpton’s rump, said something idiotic (which I will not repeat here), after a career of saying other idiotic things, for which he is paying dearly and will probably never forget. Whether you found his most recent words egregiously offensive or merely stupid (I’m somewhere in the middle, but I’ve never been much of an Imus fan) the media fallout is only a symptom of a larger problem in our culture.

Part of it is a fundamental tenet of humor that spans all cultures, ethnicities and historical eras. Jokes are perceived as funnier when the oppressed make fun of the oppressors. The serfs can sit around the fire making fun of the king (out of earshot of his noblemen, of course), but when the king makes jokes about the serfs, they’re not funny; they’re merely cruel. Making fun of those who have power over you is a survival mechanism, a way of cutting off Goliath at the knees. This is why women made fun of men, slaves made jokes about their masters, Jews made jokes about…well, about everyone, and so on. Since the dawn of time, the weaker tribe of stooped-over hairy men sniggered about the stronger tribe of stooped-over hairy men.

But many of the gender and class lines in this current primordial soup of American culture have been blurred. White teens in the ‘burbs wear hip-hop clothes and rock out to Ludikris on their iPods. Black teens are wearing hockey jerseys. Women have so much freedom that the movement for equal rights is barely a footnote on their agendas, and gay marriage is gaining more and more acceptance.

Still, with all this blending, mixing and pureeing going on in our multicultural Cuisinart, some rules still apply. Certain groups can get away with using specific types of language and others cannot. Blacks can call each other the “n” word and it’s cool (I don’t happen to think so; I think it demeans everyone, but the one time when I took a kid to task about it, he gave me a blank stare and said it was a “black thing.”) but if you’re white and you say it – even about another Caucasian – you’re dead meat. Anyone who knows me or has read any of my novels should know that I’m no prude, and that I know the power of words (and hopefully a little bit about humor), but I hate to death that black comedians and rappers are polluting the atmosphere with filthy language about women and each other and no one calls them on it. Bush had P. Diddy (or whatever he calls himself these days) to the White House. Hillary had rappers perform at a campaign fundraiser. Richard Pryor used that language, but he was genuinely funny and had talent and was coming from a place of extreme hurt, which is the source of the best and most genuine comedy. Yet coming out of Chris Rock’s mouth it’s simply more racist crap. Yet these people are glorified and make lots of money.

And Don Imus gets fired. His crime – aside from saying a lot of crass things over his career and finally reaching the tipping point with his sponsors – was that he was a white man making a joke (albeit bad) at the expense of a group of black women. It might have been a different story if he were talking about the Rutgers’ men’s basketball team. I’ve lost track of the number of sports broadcasters and commentators I’ve heard compare the current state of men’s professional (and NCAA) basketball to the actions of street gangs using some very colorful and not very complementary language.

But while it’s generally considered acceptable to trash-talk your own, a white man simply can’t talk about black women that way. Even if Fifty Cent or other rappers can compare their “sisters” to gutter slime, Imus (or Howard Stern or any other white guy) simply can’t. Even if any one of those Rutgers women could take Imus in a fight before you can say “sensitivity training,” that’s one joke we’re just not ready for.

But should he have been fired for it? Yes…and no. While I believe it was a monumentally stupid and insensitive thing to have said – and a bad joke besides – listening to it in context, I don’t believe it was motivated by racism. Only a desperate and misguided attempt to be funny. And perhaps racking up enough of these incidents could be grounds for dismissal.

Yet if Don Imus were black, what he said about the Rutgers women might have been perceived as a complement.

And, most likely, wouldn’t have made the news at all.

Thursday, April 12, 2007


Since it's raining, and I feel lousy, and American Idol has become a big fat joke, and I have to scramble to finish our taxes this week, I'm posting this quiz my mother recommended.

Give it a whirl, if you have the inclination. Below are my results, topped with a disclaimer by the producers of the quiz. It wasn't exactly a big surprise. Although I was a little disturbed that Christian Science came up higher than Roman Catholic.


“The top score on the list below represents the faith that Belief-O-Matic, in its less than infinite wisdom, thinks most closely matches your beliefs. However, even a score of 100% does not mean that your views are all shared by this faith, or vice versa.

Belief-O-Matic then lists another 26 faiths in order of how much they have in common with your professed beliefs. The higher a faith appears on this list, the more closely it aligns with your thinking.”

1. Secular Humanism (100%)
2. Unitarian Universalism (97%)
3. Liberal Quakers (86%)
4. Neo-Pagan (82%)
5. New Age (77%)
6. Theravada Buddhism (76%)
7. Mainline to Liberal Christian Protestants (76%)
8. Mahayana Buddhism (67%)
9. Nontheist (67%)
10.Taoism (64%)
11.Reform Judaism (59%)
12.Scientology (56%)
13.New Thought (53%)
14.Orthodox Quaker (50%)
15.Jainism (49%)
16.Bahá'í Faith (45%)
17.Sikhism (43%)
18. Christian Science (Church of Christ, Scientist) (42%)
19. Hinduism (35%)
20. Orthodox Judaism (31%)
21. Islam (25%)
22. Mainline to Conservative Christian/Protestant (25%)
23. Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) (23%)
24. Seventh Day Adventist (21%)
25. Eastern Orthodox (15%)
26. Roman Catholic (15%)
27. Jehovah's Witness (11%)

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

What A World It Could Be…

There’s a movement afoot, started by Howard Stern and web sites such as to keep Sanjaya on American Idol as long as possible, and make him the winner if they can. Just to prove what a joke Idol is and to screw over Simon Cowell, who is contracted to produce an album for the “winner” of each season. And according to, betting web sites list Sanjaya as the favorite and are paying off $155 for every $100 placed.

This is so sad. OK, it’s funny, in a way. But I think about the effort by all these people focused in one direction at one time and wish it could be used for good instead of just to prove some inane point.

Yeah, American Idol is fun. But, bottom line, it’s dumb escapist entertainment. Meanwhile, our government has us in a war that seems pointless and unwinnable. There are people in this country without health insurance (I’ll be one of them in a few days) and who can’t afford adequate health care. American children are going to bed hungry. I could go on and on about the things going wrong around here that could use the focus and energy that these legions of young people are abusing by striving to keep an untalented guy in a stupid singing competition.

My message to all those Sterniacs and VFTW fans: Instead of being a sheep and following the herd over the cliff, do something worthwhile. Donate to a charity. Write an angry letter to the editor. Find a deserving presidential candidate and work on his or her campaign.

Or at the very least get off your asses and get some exercise.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

A Taste Too Far

I keep two bottles of olive oil on the countertop in my kitchen. One, the lighter and less expensive version, is for everyday – frying eggs, sautéing garlic and onions, whatever. Whenever I will be using it in quantity and don’t it to interfere with the flavors of the other ingredients.

The other is the good stuff – extra virgin olive oil – the cost of which I have to defend every time I purchase it.

“There’s a difference,” I tell Husband. Like there’s a difference between homemade cookies fresh from the oven and the cardboard ones he buys in the supermarket. But a discussion of grades of olive oil and types of pressings and the taste of dipping anything edible into a pool of jade green heaven would be lost on him. Give him a baked potato with margarine on it and he’d be content.

“There’s just a difference, “ I say. “And a little goes a long way.” And I put it into the cart.

And I’m oh-so-abstemious with my treasure. A dab on my plain steamed vegetables. A dime-sized (oh, make that a quarter-sized) dot in which to dip my chaste, wheat-free crackers. A carefully measured teaspoon to mix into my brown rice or drizzle over my salad.

Sometimes after I’m done meting out my careful dose, I notice some of the foil from the label coming off on my fingers. The tiniest of residues is dripping from the cap after I seal it up. It doesn’t bother me greatly, and I don’t think about it. Now, if I saw a major quantity leaking out or pick up the bottle and see a little green ring on the counter, then I might take action, like transferring it into a decanter, but it isn’t enough to make a fuss.

Until yesterday.

I’d been wondering, these past few months - well, not merely wondering but enjoying the fact thereof – why we haven’t seen tail nor whisker of the usual ration of mice that move into our home and help themselves to whatever they can in our kitchen.

It’s never more than half a dozen or so, during a good cold winter, but still. None at all? No droppings left behind, no vitamin bottles gnawed, no bread wrappings chewed?

Yesterday our rodent-free streak came to a streaking halt.

“Husband!” I yelled up the stairs.

“What?” he yelled down, annoyed to have been disturbed from verifying his HTML. Or working on a project in Photoshop. Or cruising eBay for die-cast cars. Or whatever the heck he does up there in the afternoons.

“Mouse evidence!” I said.
Silence. I stare at the thing that gave the mouse away. My bottle of extra-virgin olive oil. The bottom of the label has been shredded, the way you might do to the label of your beer bottle with a fingernail when you’re standing around in a bar or at a party and the conversation runs thin. Bits of shiny label are scattered around the countertop.

At least this one, unlike the ones before who’d gone for my vitamin bottle caps or a candle or a bag of store-bought taco shells, has good taste.

Finally Husband answers. “I’ll set the traps.”

I saw the trap when I came downstairs this morning. All the other items on the counter –the “cheap” olive oil, the can of Pam (don’t ask), my tin of teabags, a ginormous cardboard vat of store-brand oatmeal - had been casually pushed away, as if to make the object of the mouse’s affection the center of attention. He’d even left the shreds of label in place. And the trap lurked just a hair downstage (what he had baited it with that would be more enticing than the smell of extra-virgin olive oil, I couldn’t imagine).

And after breakfast, after my exercises, after I’d just put on a self-hypnosis CD and sunk into a deep, back-relaxing trance, I heard the familiar rattling.

“Give any background noises your permission to be there and make them part of your trance…” the narrator says.

Rattle. Rattle, rattle, rattle. I thought I heard a tiny voice saying “Attica! Attica! Attica!”

No. I couldn’t make that part of my trance. My attention was drawn away from my deep relaxation breaths to that poor mouse, imprisoned for the simple act of wanting something more sumptuous in his diet. Or was it her diet? I couldn’t be sure. Were mice the sort of species that send the females ahead to find the food, or the males, or was it every rodent for him- or herself? Whatever I say is going to get me in trouble with somebody who reads this.

“It’s normal to drift in and out of your trance.”

Heck. I hadn’t drifted out, I’d been heaved out of the gentle waters and landed with a thud upon the shore.

I tried, I tried to let go and get back under, but no matter how many relaxation breaths I took or how much I tried to regain access to my happy place with its soothing colors, I was done. Password denied.

Besides, the CD was bout over anyway.

I checked on the mouse in the Have-A-Heart trap. It (whatever it was) was no longer rattling its cage and was sitting quietly, dark little body at one end and its tail curled around the corner.

I felt for it then, stuck in something it couldn’t get out of, not knowing its fate. I even admired him or her a little, not satisfied with the dregs that trickled down the sides of the bottle and trying oh, oh so hard to gnaw through that label to the lovely green stuff inside.

The little bastard.

Husband is still sleeping, but when he wakes up and prepares Mousie for his trip across town, maybe, just maybe I’ll throw in a little cracker dipped in olive oil.

You know, a little something for the ride.

Monday, April 02, 2007

House of Blasphemy

Actual conversation Husband and I had yesterday afternoon:

Me: “I’m going to the Y.”
Husband: “Are they open on Sundays?”
Me: “Yeah, from noon to five.”
Husband: “But isn’t that the Young Men’s Christian Organization? Aren’t they supposed to rest on Sundays?”
Me: “Apparently, God likes to play racquetball then have a little steam.”
Husband: “I thought he was looking a little buff lately.”

Apparently we do create God in our own images. But seriously…

I’ve always wondered why it is that the YMCA is the one with the aerobics room and the pool and the YWCA is the one with the childcare, the human services programs and maybe a yoga class or two. There is a YM/YWHA but I don’t think they have racquetball. They have Jewish camps, adult day care, arts and sciences camps for kids. And you may be able to take a karate class, depending on your chapter. But very few centers (there is one in North Jersey) have any spinning, Pilates or freeweights, or even a pool. Although you may be able to find one at the Jewish Community Center.

Why do Christian men get the monopoly on working out?

And the YMHA has Jewish programs, even a link on their web site to “Jews in the News.” Yet the YW/YMCA doesn’t have prayer services or Bible camp. They can state that they are closed on April 6 and April 9th but they are not allowed to say why. And can you imagine if they sprinkled a few Bibles around the locker room? Are you kidding?? They’d get shut down faster than a whorehouse in Utah.

Not that I’m especially pro any organized religion…I just want a little parity.

I mean, I don’t believe in God and was raised Unitarian and am female and technically Jewish but I am still allowed to be a YMCA member. But can a Bible-thumping fundamentalist wander in to his local YMHA and join up because they have a better pool than his local YMCA?

I don’t know. My e-mail to the closest YM/WHA hasn’t yet been returned.

But I have a feeling that it has something to do with public funding. For the same reason that Rudy Guiliani wanted to pull the public funding for that museum in Brooklyn that had the Madonna (no, not THAT Madonna) covered with elephant dung.

Sure. Burn a cross, desecrate a religious icon…hell, get some guys to dress up like the Wise Men and have them reenact a Three Stooges short and as long as you do it on private property and don’t ask for any government funding you’re golden, as long as you can take the heat you’re undoubtedly going to get.

That’s called free speech. Or, more technically, that’s the part of the Bill of Rights that states “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof….”

In other words, where religion is involved, the government has no right to get involved. They want to…oh, how they’ve tried…and how they still try…if they keep whittling down those personal freedoms who knows what will happen.

But whatever happens, (as I am currently receiving no public funding) I still reserve the right to make blasphemous statements anywhere that won’t get me shunned, egged, or burned at the stake.

Or maybe I shouldn’t be giving this administration any ideas…

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Holy Moses

Husband emailed me this joke, and I thought I'd share it with you. And I'm also feeling too lazy to write anything original. Happy April Fool's Day!


Moses was sitting in the Egyptian ghetto. Things were terrible. Pharaoh wouldn't even speak to him. The rest of the Israelites were mad at him and making the overseers even more irritable than usual, etc. He was about ready to give up.

Suddenly a booming, sonorous voice spoke from above:

"You, Moses, heed me! I have good news, and bad news."

Moses was staggered. The voice continued:

"You, Moses, will lead the People of Israel from bondage. If Pharaoh refuses to release your bonds, I will smite Egypt with a rain of frogs"

"You, Moses, will lead the People of Israel to the Promised Land. If Pharaoh blocks your way, I will smite Egypt with a plague of Locust."

"You, Moses, will lead the People of Israel to freedom and safety. If Pharaoh's army pursues you, I will part the waters of the Red Sea to open your path to the Promised Land."

Moses was stunned. He stammered, "That's.... that's fantastic. I can't believe it! --- But what's the bad news?"

"You, Moses, must write the Environmental Impact Statement."