Fun_People Archive
5 May
Fun_People Updates 5/5/99

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From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Wed,  5 May 99 19:05:30 -0700
To: Fun_People
Precedence: bulk
Subject: Fun_People Updates 5/5/99

X-Lib-of-Cong-ISSN: 1098-7649
Forwarded-by: <>
Fun_People Updates 5/5/99

		Happy Cinco de Mayo!
    Normally I do these updates on a slow Sunday, but lately there haven't  
been any Sundays that just cried out for me spending a few hours formatting  
other people's email, so the updates have really piled up.  I think I would  
still wait for a Sunday, but recently I sent out an article that provided  
people with information on how to cast a vote FOR something, but I didn't have  
the necessary information to tell people how to vote AGAINST it.  Of course,  
by sending it out to Fun_People I was immediately informed, in no uncertain  
terms, of the various alternatives.  So I'm rushing this one out now to make  
that info available before it's worthless, or at least more worthless.
    So enjoy these comments, complaints, compliments, and critiques from the  
august horde of Fun_People...

- Peter
Re: Fun_People Updates 2/1/99
From: Stephen Wales <>

>> 5. What is the only sport in which the ball is always in the possession
>>    of the team on defense, and the offensive team can score without
>>    touching the ball?
>> 5. Baseball.
>5.  Isn't cricket another example (not certain myself)?  And team dodgeball?

Yes, I'd say so for cricket.  The batting side is much like the batting
side in baseball - all you do is hit the ball.  And you can score runs in
cricket without touching the ball by basically fielding errors - a wide
(ball is delivered so far from the batter that he never could touch it with
a 10 foot pole), a no ball (where the bowler's front foot is over the
bowling crease) and a bye (where the wicket keeper misses the ball and the
batters can make a few runs while the ball is recovered).


Re: Commentary from a Sibling Nation

Lies to international groups are considered to be "normal" diplomacy and are
expected and are NOT under oath.  They are intended to be for the national
interest.  Obviously lies of this nature should be considered much more
grievous than lies to save a president's ass.....

Re: Ten Professions Defined
From: Keith Dawson <>

>  A consultant is someone who takes the watch off your wrist and tells you
>the time.

Go on, drop the other shoe.

Then he keeps the watch.

Re: SOTD - Sig O' The Day, 2/3/99
From: "T'pak" <>

>    Failure is not an option. It comes bundled with your Microsoft product.
>				-- Ferenc Mantfeld

Yes, but if one does not wish to use it, can it be unbundled and returned
for a refund?  Someone oughta start a campaign....

 Tony Pak                                    Center For Electromechanics

Subject: Too Timely Anatomy Lesson
From: (Harley Ferguson)

Dear Peter,

The following is not funny (haha), but it certainly is funny (peculiar) to me.

This morning when I got to work about an hour ago, I was washing my hands
when I had to wipe a little "drainage" from the groove in my upper lip. For
the first time in years, if not actually the first time in 62.49 years of
life, I said, "What do you call that, and what is it actually for?"

Then, about 10 minutes ago, I heard my e-mail beep and opened this incoming
message from you.

">X-Lib-of-Cong-ISSN: 1098-7649
>What's the purpose of the groove in our upper lip?
>Before I answer this question, a proper introduction is in order: meet your
>philtrum. If you researched this question at your local playground, you
>might conclude that the function of the philtrum is to provide storage for
>snot until a grownup arrives with a tissue.
>As noble a calling as that may be, it is not the purpose of the philtrum.
>That's because the philtrum has no purpose.  It's one of a bunch of
>merger-lines known as "raphes". As our tiny embryonic selves are developing,
>the right and left sides are merged at various points on the body, leaving
>a raphe at the meeting point. Other raphes can be found on the middle of
>the tongue, in the dent under the point of your chin, and other, far more
>personal parts of your body.
>(C) Copyright 1998-1999. All rights reserved.
>Reproduction in whole or in part without the written
>permission of the copyright owner is prohibited.
>(Yea, but feel free to forward to your friends.)

My question is how the hell did you know?



Re:  Watch Your Words - niggardly

The niggardly debate -- the "niggardly" debate -- reminds me of an incident
that occurred in a neonatal intensive care nursery where I was employed.
The parents and an aunt and uncle of an infant were incensed at what one of
the nurses called their baby.   They wanted her fired, or at least barred
from taking care of their baby.

The nurse in question was mystified as to what she might have said that
offended them so.  I talked to the family, and it turns out that the nurse,
when talking to the baby, said something along the lines of, "Okay, chum,
it's time to get wrapped up in a blanket and come on out [of the isolette]
for a visit."  To the family, "chum" was trash; it had the same impact as
if the nurse had addressed the baby as "little nigger."  The nurse, on the
other hand, knew only one meaning of "chum", and that was pal, friend,
buddy.  I myself knew of the practice of "chumming," or throwing fish guts
overboard to attract more fish, and the "chum" salmon or dogfish, the lowest
on the salmon totem pole.  I figured there must be a connection, got
everyone talking, and I think it got ironed out.

Re:  Anatomy Lesson

In a message dated 2/3/1999 15:12:30, you wrote:

>If you researched this question at your local playground, you
>might conclude that the function of the philtrum is to provide storage for
>snot until a grownup arrives with a tissue.

I especially liked this part!  Sometimes I think it's one of the best reasons
to remain child-free.


Re: Watch Your Words - niggardly
Forwarded-by: "Tom Duff" <>
--- Forwarded mail from Rob & Heather Williams <>
From: Rob & Heather Williams <>
Subject: Correct to call 'em DIKES?


(This is embarrassing) After lunch today a local all-female rock band of a
particular sexual orientation (TIN LIZZIE) brought one of their analog
synths (Arp Odyssey) into my shop to have an XLR connector installed.  While
doing the mod, I got frustrated with a particular tool of mine that had
become dull with use and tossed them over to my partner across the bench
with the comment, "Would you get rid of these DIKES!" (diagonal cutters).
I got some unusual stares and it never dawned on me till these two were way
out in the parking lot what I had just done.  My partner Rod could hardly
keep from busting a gut over it.


Is it politically correct to call diagonal cutters "DIKES" anymore?  I've
been doing it for years, but if it's going to lose me some business I better
start changing my ways.


Re: JsOTD - 2/5/99
From: Robert.Reynolds@directory.Reed.EDU (Robert Reynolds)

Q:  If the answer is "in the Field Artillery", what is the question?

A:  Where is it "hi-hi-he"?

Re: JsOTD - 2/5/99
From: Robert.Reynolds@directory.Reed.EDU (Robert Reynolds)

On reflection, I think that's "hie-hie-hee".   Or is it "hie-hie-he"?  Pretty
sure about the "hie" though!

Re: Ex-cons vs. MBAs
From: Steve Newman <>

BOY, that was a confusing article!  I thought the title said _N_BA, and was
comparing the virtues of ex-cons to professional basketball players...

Interesting case of subconcious prejudice; I expected the b-ball players to
lose, badly.

Subject: King of Jordan
From: Cal Herrmann <>

Hi Peter,
My husband Cal sometimes comes up with amazing bitlets of information he's
been storing away for years!
    We were talking about King Hussein and how remarkable folks think he
is, and Cal said that Hussein had been a short-wave amateur hobbyist in his
youth, and was very popular on the airwaves. Hams like to talk to exotic
folks at long distances, and even 'collect' them.  Cal speculates that the
experience of 'talking' to a wide variety of folks might have contributed
to Hussein's encompassing worldview, and further speculates that, since
teenagers nowadays communicate on the internet with equal ease, that might
augur well for international relations.... Eh? -- Aloha, Lani

<||> 	     	Lani Herrmann *

Re: Baby Boom Concerns -- Can You Relate?
Forwarded-by: <>

What about:

Then-  Spending too much money on cocaine.
Now-  Spending too much money on Rogaine.


Re: Out of the Mouths of Babes
From: "Stephen Nelson" <>

Anolther one on the story of Lot's wife:

A little boy was listening attentively in his Sunday School class as his
teacher told them how Lot and his wife fleed from Sodom.  When the teacher
reached the point where Lot's wife looked back and turned into a pillar of
salt, the boy very politely raised his hand.  When the teacher called on
him, he said he was riding in the car with his mommy one day, and she looked
back and turned into a telephone pole.

Re: Further Senate Action
From: <>

>Forwarded-by: Kevin Maguire <>
>[Forwards under the desk]
>3 February, 1999  Lewinsky Subpoenaed to Re-Blow President on Senate Floor
>'We Must Know Exactly What Happened,' Say Legislators

Too bad about the lack of forwards.  Once again, someone sent you
an Onion piece without proper attribution...


Re: Further Senate Action
From: "Marc P. Kwiatkowski" <>

Well I'm not too embarrassed to admit I read _the ONION_.

The original can be found at:

Re: Further Senate Action
From: Richard Gillmann <>

At 03:44 PM 2/9/99 -0800, you wrote:
>X-Lib-of-Cong-ISSN: 1098-7649
>Forwarded-by: Kevin Maguire <>
>[Forwards under the desk]
> ...
>3 February, 1999  Lewinsky Subpoenaed to Re-Blow President on Senate Floor
>'We Must Know Exactly What Happened,' Say Legislators

This is from the current issue of The Onion (

Re: Further Senate Action
From: Dave Grossman <>

Once again from The Onion.  You gotta love those guys!

Re: Further Senate Action

The Onion should probably be given credit as source.

Re: Further Senate Action
From: Chris Norloff <>

Lewinsky Subpoenaed To Re-Blow Clinton On Senate Floor
 'We Must Know Exactly What Happened,' Say Legislators

 WASHINGTON, DC--On the heels of last week's decision to
 allow witness testimony in the presidential impeachment trial,
 key witness Monica Lewinsky was subpoenaed Monday to
 re-blow President Clinton on the Senate floor.

Chris Norloff

Re: Reduced Expectations?
From: George Stricker <>

	In all likelihood, the little voice belonged to Mort Sahl, who
attributed the subtitle "But sometimes we miss and hit London" to von
Braun's autobiography "I aim for the stars."

George Stricker, Ph.D.             Telephone (516) 877-4803
The Derner Institute               Fax (516) 877-4805

Re: Is Tinky Winky Out of the Closet?

So, then, is the policy: "Don't ask, don't Teletubby?"

Re: The Origins of Valentine's Day.
From: (Tom Parmenter)

Re: Valentine's tale,
[True source unknown.  -psl]

True source found on the Internet at

along with a bunch of free Valentine's clip art:

Panati's Extraordinary Origins of Everyday things," Charles Panati,
Harper & Row, NY 1987 pp 50-52.

From: "V. Bards" <>
Subject: - WARNING

Dear Peter,

I picked up the exit23b story on Fun_People (08-Jan-99) and gave it an
e-mail address.

For the last two days, that e-mail address has been inundated with spam,
some of which you wouldn't want your grandmother to read.

I strongly suspect the two are related. :*(

V. Bards

Re: Further Senate Action
This is from the Onion!  Do I win?

Onion alert!!

Re: Beckett's "Breath"

I enjoyed the piece, but i could have seen the thing three times in the amount
of time it took me to read the review.  Hmmmm.

Re: Easy Latin 101
From: Will Payne <>

On Fri, 12 Feb 99 02:51:10 -0800
Peter Langston <> wrote:

> Easy Latin 101

A few more for you.
(I *think* they're correct)

Carpe diem
Sieze the day

Carpe jugulum
Seize the throat

Illegitimi non carborundum
Don't let the bastards get you down.

Re: Easy Latin 101

     Peter, A bunch of these are from Henry Beard's  "Latin For All

Subject: the Senate1C bug
From: Lou Katz <>

While watching the tallying of the impeachment vote, I noticed
that the screen (Channel 9) showed the number of Senators
present: "00"!!!!

They couldn't handle the 3 digits necessary to display the full 100!!!


Re: Easy Latin 101
Forwarded-by: <>

Minutus cantorum, minutus balorum, minutus carbonatum descendum pantorum
(A little song, a little dance, a little seltzer down your pants)

Re: Physics News Bits - AIPBPN update.415
From: "Stephen Nelson" <>

my puzzlement about this is whether there is an associated time warp.  If
I understand correctly, since the speed of light is a universal constant,
time slows down as an observer approaches the speed of light so that the
speed of light remains unchanged (3x10e8 m/sec, I believe).  Does this mean
that time slowed down for the observers during the experiment?  But if so,
how did they measure 17 m/sec instead of 3x10e8?  If time did slow down for
them, have we just found the Fountain of Youth?  Is interstellar space
travel now possible if the spaceship carries a BEC condensate time
decelerator?  And just how do dilithium crystals figure into all of this?

Re: Sponges
From: "J. Winthrop Armstrong" <>


your instinct was right, but your disclaimer didn't go far enough. you
should have just said "ignore the following folklore".

hey bud, we *trust* you to filter stuff like this.  you know better than
anyone not to forward anonymous anecdotal stuff about major corporations
that encourages everyone to "warn all your friends".  what happened?

-an otherwise satisfied subscriber

[Dear Fun_Folks -- Don't let this happen to you!  Always engage your critical  
faculties when reading "news" even when it comes from highly-reliable and  
omniscient authorities like me... -psl]

Re: Sponges
From: Fred Davis <>

>Grim Note
>On the issue of consumer protection and hazardous warnings, here's a new
>one, I think. Those yellow sponges with the green plastic fibers on the back
>for scrubbing pots -- "Pot Scrubbers" -- should be kept far away from our
>birds, fish, reptiles, cats and dogs, hamsters and whatevers.

<UL snipped>

HOAX! least Urban Legend.

check it out at

Fred "long time list member & forwarding hub to all my freinds" Davis

Re: Sponges
From: "S.Brennan" <>

re: the Proctor and Gamble deadly, agent orange sponges,
the following is from the Urban Legends site:

Origins:   If AIDS is the bogeyman of the 1990s, then surely Agent Orange
was the bogeyman of the 1980s. The herbicide used by the U.S. military in
the late 1960s was blamed for a raft of ailments suffered by Vietnam
veterans in the 1980s. The point here isn't to debate whether or not Agent
Orange was really responsible for all the suffering attributed to it, but
to highlight that someone who wants to make us stand up and take notice of
a "serious health hazard" need merely invoke the name Agent Orange to get
our attention.
    So, should we stand up and take notice of health hazards posed to us by
pot-scrubbing sponges? Certainly not for sponges produced by Procter &
Gamble, as they manufacture no such product. (They make bleach, dishwashing
detergent, cleansers, and laundry soap, but not sponges.)
    Okay, maybe the facts are a little garbled here. Maybe it's some other
manufacturer's product we're being warned about. It doesn't matter. First
of all, 2,4-Disn't Agent Orange in itself; it's one of the compounds that
comprise Agent Orange.  Secondly, 2,4-D is a very common herbicide that has
been widely used all over the world for fifty years, so if it posed a
serious threat to us, we have a lot more than sponges to worry about. The
fact is that 2,4-D has been widely studied and has been shown to be of low
toxicity to humans and animals and to pose no scientifically documented
health risks to either.
    We're supposed to be alarmed that these ominous "Pot Scrubbers" state
that they're not for use in aquariums and should be kept away from pets,
and as proof that the warning should be taken seriously we're offered the
real-life example of an anonymous correspondent's friend who inadvertently
killed his tropical fish by using one of the offending sponges to clean
their tank. Well, duh. Household pets are often far more sensitive to
chemicals than humans; keeping any type of household cleaning product away
from them should be second nature to any pet owner. Tropical fish,
particularly, are difficult enough to keep alive under the best of
conditions; anyone who blindly introduces an unknown chemical into his
aquarium is just asking for a tankful of dead fish. (And in this case, the
product label specifically warned that it should not be used in aquariums.
Is anybody suing this guy on behalf of his dead fish? )
    Bottom line: If you want to warn us of a serious health hazard, try to
get the important facts right. Heck, just try to get the minor facts right.
It looks kind of silly when you not only misspell the name of the company
responsible for the alleged hazard, but you also threaten to boycott them
because you "can't trust what they put in" a product they didn't manufacture
in the first place.

Additional information:

            Industry Task Force II on 2,4-D Research Data

                    The URL for this page is

Re: Sponges
From: Patrick Douglas Crispen <>

At 02:31 PM 2/23/99 -0800, Peter Langston wrote:
>Those yellow sponges with the green plastic fibers on the back
>for scrubbing pots -- "Pot Scrubbers" -- should be kept far away from our
>birds, fish, reptiles, cats and dogs, hamsters and whatevers. Proctor &
>Gamble, in its continuing search to make America look clean and smell great,
>has a new "improved" version of the sponge on the market that kills
>odor-causing fungi that get in the sponge after a few uses.

Since I am the Internet Mythologist for WGN Radio in Chicago and my on-air
job is to debunk stories like this, I called P&G's corporate relations
number on Monday, February 22nd.  Not only is the story not true, but P&G
doesn't even make sponges ... ANY kind of sponges.

In other words, the story is yet another hoax.  (And, let me add, that the
folks at P&G have an affinity for responding to such hoaxes by suing the
living hell out of the people who forward such falsehoods.  So far, P&G has
filed and won over a dozen lawsuits filed against people who originated the
"boycott P&G -- it is satanic" message).

Just my .02 cents.  :)

           .~~~.  ))
 (\__/)  .'     )  ))       Patrick Douglas Crispen
 /o o  \/     .~
{o_,    \    {    
  / ,  , )    \ 
  `~  '-' \    } ))    AOL Instant Messenger: Squirrel2K
 _(    (   )_.'
'---..{____}                  Warning: squirrels.

Re: Sponges
From: "Elmore, Kevin, Quintiles" <>

The site at does a pretty good job of explaining the
evil chemical.

"Problem is, Procter & Gamble doesn't manufacture a "pot scrubber" at all,
let alone one with an "Agent Orange derivative" in it."

Of course, that could be part of Procter & Gamble's insidious plot.  Not
only are they selling toxic pot scrubbers, but they are even selling them
on the black market!  You cannot find this lethal cleaning pad in the stores
alongside the laundry soap and the dog food (it would be such a nefarious
plot to place such an item near pet supplies indeed).  You must search the
dark alleys for this poison.  Like a common hoodlum, you must buy these pot
scrubbers from people who also specialize in barbiturates, watches, and

But don't bring your 2-year-old child or she may end up as carry-on luggage
for cocaine smugglers.

Kevin Elmore

Re: Sponges
From: John Shannon <>


This sounds like an urban legend, and has been debunked as such by David
Emery at

Sorry if this is one of a multitude of comments on this.

All the best,

John S.

Re: Sponges
From: (dave blake)

Alright, Peter yes, I was suspicious of the sponges piece. But if you want
to clear up this mystery for your audience, you need to research and
explain why sponge packages say "Neither this product, nor any other
cellulose sponge, should be used in an aquarium."

Dave Blake
2437 Grant St.
Berkeley, CA 94703

Re: ALERT: Alabama Needs Sex Toys!
From: Jack Kolb <>

Could I offer, instead of a sex toy, my dear mother's response to this law:
"Are they going to ban bananas, too?"

I should note first that she was born in McComb, Mississippi, in 1921, and
has been happily married to my father, also a native Mississipian, since
1943.  It's lovely to have good genes.

Jack Kolb
Dept. of English, UCLA

Re: Negative Affirmations for Today

Hello Peter,
These are from this book.  Of course, they might be in the public domain.  I
hope cynicism is in the public domain, anyway.

Today I Will Nourish My Inner Martyr: Affirmations for Cynics
                by Sarah Wells, Ann Thornhill

 Ed Sengstacken

[Remember, today is the very last day of your
life, so far... -psl]

Subject: Know Your Customer Update
From: Congressman Jay Inslee <>

				March 5, 1999

Dear Friend:

Knowing of your concern about the "Know Your Customer" regulation, I wanted
to inform you of a recent development.

Yesterday, my colleagues and I on the House Banking Committee adopted an
amendment to a financial modernization bill which would prevent the FDIC
from implementing the "Know Your Customer" regulation.  I am very pleased
that our Committee took such a strong, unified, bipartisan stand against
this ill-conceived regulation.

I will continue to monitor this bill as it moves through the legislative
process to make sure that this important amendment reaches the House floor.

				Very truly yours,

				Member of Congress

Subject: Amazon/Family Circus/ Fun People item
From: "Andy Alexis" <>

Check out the "customer reviews" of some of the Family Circus comic
collections on Amazon..they are pretty funny.

Your list is great, incidentally.

Andy Alexis,

Re: "Bill Keane's work is an amazing pastische of modern angst"
From: JGeorge Osner <>
From: Jeremy Osner <>

Here's one from my son Jeremy.  Note that  this commentary is very
reminiscent of the comments of Steve Willis in his late, lamented comix 'zine.

Check out the customer reviews of "Daddy has his Hat on Backwards", at

Re: Another blooper
From: Andrew Latto

> 	[Amazon should let us take the next logical step --- that of
> 	 writing reviews of books that *should* exist. --- dm]
They've done that already, albeit inadvertently, in at least one case.

I forget the title, but the Amazon page was up for Doug Adams' third novel
in the Dirk Gently Series, which was slated to appear Real Soon Now for a
number of years. Amazon pages for books that are "to appear" are marked so
that you can't order the book yet, but this did not prevent people from
clicking on "I've read the book, and want to review it". So even though the
book hadn't been written yet, a dozen or so people had posted reviews
fabricated of whole cloth. Opinion was sharply divided on this unwritten and
unread novel, with reviewers about evenly divided between those who hated
the new book and those who loved it, with no-one in between.

Alas, I can't seem to find the page now. I suspect that the publisher
eventually figured out that Douglas Adams was never actually going to write
the book, and removed it from it's "to appear" list, causing Amazon to
remove the page.

For fans of reviews of nonexistent books, I highly recommend Stanislaw Lem's
"A perfect vacuum", a collection of reviews of nonexistent books. One of the
most interesting things about this is that the different books reviewed fail
to exist in different ways---there are quite a few different reasons that
the reviewed books don't or couldn't exist. The only review in the
collection that reviews an exisiting book is the first, a review of
Stanislaw Lem's "A perfect vacuum". Not surprisingly, he pans it.

Re: In Defense Of The Irish
From: "Stephen Nelson" <>

The problem Hollywood has, though, is the lack of suitable minorities to
use as bad guys.  Can't use non-white minorities except for Asian males
(but this exception is strictly limited to martial arts movies), the
ability to use gays has been greatly circumscribed, getting harder and
harder to use Italians, Scandinavians (such as myself) are just too dull,
so by default it's Italians, white mail businessmen (they add an intriguing
sinister element and allows a writer to juxtapose public accolade with
private venality), and the occasional hypocritical right-wing Christian
zealot or survivalist when a writer is under pressure and doesn't have the
time (or the ability) to write a real story.

From: (dave blake)
Subject: Elizabeth Quayle Dole

I'd never heard the wonderful quote from elizabeth dole that arianna
huffington cited in her column yesterday:
"Only one thing would be worse than the status quo. And that would be
 for the status quo to become the norm." --1999
dave blake

Dave Blake

Re: Desecrating the Oval Office
Forwarded-by: <>
From: Hal Glatzer <>

There is also a book called (I think) The Strange Death of President
Harding, published in 1930.  It's based on the diaries of a Justice Dept.
investigator named Gaston B. Means who was a witness in some of the Harding
administration's scandal trials.

It's probably out of print, though I see it often enough in used-book-stores
to think it was an underground best-seller in its day.  Means contends that
Harding was, if not literally poisoned, at least "allowed" to die when he
took ill in San Francisco.  The perp, unsurprisingly, was his wife, who was
unhappy with the whole Nan-Britton affair.

Means also says that Harding's bodyguards' main responsibility was getting
him to and from a safe-house in D.C.  Harding and Nan occasionally cavorted
there, but it was really set up for Harding to meet with his crooked cronies
and do deals, e.g. Teapot Dome, etc., out of the public eye.

Re: Top Ten Ways To Tell That Someone Is From Seattle
From: Alex Bischoff <>

At 04:26 PM 4-1-1999 , you wrote:


>Number 1:  Takes an umbrella wherever they go!

In due fairness, I think the plurality error here should be noted --
"someone" is singular, while "they" is plural. An acceptable solution would
be "... wherever he goes!", or "... wherever he/she goes!".

Or, in Fun People style ;), the list could be changed so that number 1 1/2
is "Does not realize plurality errors such as:".

  Alex Bischoff, KB3BZG

Re: Teeth, and the people who lose them
From: <>

In a message dated 4/1/99 10:52:07 AM Pacific Standard Time,

<< who reported having lost all their
 teeth in 46 states between 1995-97 to the Centers for Disease Control >>

They lost their teeth to the CDC?!?!? Ohmigod -- I thought they were the
*good* guys!!! Now I find out they're working in concert with the Tooth Fairy
to unfairly deprive the poor and ignorant of the means to chew their grits and
greens. Something must be done!

Regards --

Re: An American, A Broad
From: "Tom Duff" <>

I'm pretty sure I saw this in The Onion.

Tom Duff.  ... has a high opinion of his own merits.

Re: An American, A Broad
From: "Richard K. Worthington" <>

> European Men Are So Much More Romantic Than American Men

Oops...Onion alert, Onion alert!


Richard K. Worthington         | Great Real Estate Broker

Re: An American, A Broad
From: "Stephen Nelson" <>

fyi - someone lifted material from the Onion again (March 17 issue.)

Re: An American, A Broad
From: "Wichers, John" <>


I hate to tell you, but this is another piece from The Onion:


Re: Titan II Missle Museum
From: Rick Carter <>

On Mon, 5 Apr 1999, Peter Langston wrote:
> X-Lib-of-Cong-ISSN: 1098-7649
> X-
>From: Nev Dull <>
> From:
> There is an hour-long tour, taking you around the surface structures and
> then, for the bulk of the time, inside the base.  The missle is still there,
> although I assume the warhead has been removed.  Most of the equipment is
> still there and has power, although of course it is no longer possible to
> launch the missle.  The launch doors are half-open and sealed with concrete,
> so satellites can see that the base is inoperable.

I've been there, and yes, the warhead has been removed from inside the nose
cone.  The nose cone itself has a rectangular hole cut into it, also so
satellites can see that it's empty.

- Rick

Re: Bug report... - Y2K Classics
From: (Tom Parmenter)

This is the famous Stan Rabinowitz SPR reply.  It originated in

Re: QsOTD - Civilization & Savages, 4/6/99
Forwarded-by: <>
From: "Lisa Lombardi" <>

Very interesting, Joe -- and did you know that Amherst College was named
after Lord Jeffrey Amherst, the fellow who pioneered the idea of giving
smallpox-infested blankets to the Indians?  Yep, true.



Re: The Comedian's-eye View of 4/12/99
From: Robert.Reynolds@directory.Reed.EDU (Robert Reynolds)

--- You wrote:
Bob Dylan and Paul Simon said they'll be touring together this summer.
"Actually, Paul said they're touring. We're not exactly sure what Bob said."
--- end of quote ---
On "Whaddaya Know?" Saturday, Michael Feldman claimed that it will be called  
the "Passing Stones" Tour.

From: Kalia Kliban <>

>The word lacks an unclassified definition in English.  We are curious what
>the word means in other languages. In Persian, for example, the word means
>"dish". In Turkish the word means a protective cover or an envelope. Did
>some National Security Analyst/Linguist snarf this Turkish word and extend
>its meaning?
>We would appreciate hearing what the word means in other languages.

As any Scrabble player can tell you, a zarf is a container with a handle,
into which you put a cup that has no handle.  It's often used for little
glasses of tea or coffee that would be too hot to hold alone.  The plastic
things that you put those obnoxious cone-shaped disposable water or coffee
cups into are zarfs, for example.

(And it'll get you 16 points without bonus squares.)


From: "Volokh, Eugene" <>

	Duh -- zarf means a small cup-like stand.  Everyone knew that,
especially Scrabble players.

Re: Further Suspicious Facts - Annotated
From: Lauren Weinstein <>

The farting == atomic bomb is, uh something more than suspicious.


Re: Viva Mexico ! (La Mexique d'en haut.)

Wha de fuggh?

From: (Tom Parmenter)

Here's the Oxford English Dictionary on zarf, which seems to be a
legit word, long-standing and well-known:

|| zarf
[Arab. zarf -  vessel.]
A cup-shaped holder for a hot coffee-cup, used in the Levant, usually
of metal and of ornamental design.
1836 Lane Mod. Egypt. I. 168 Zurf.
1854 R. Curzon Armenia 80 One brought coffee on a tray..and then came
a man bringing to each of us a cup, well frothed up, and in a zarf, or
outer cup.
1978 Times 2 May 13/3 (caption) A diamond and emerald zarf, mounted in
gold and silver, 19th century, 6,5 cm high.

From: Jim Crockett <>

Zarf is a word that submariners use for a coffee cup holder riveted to
bulkheads and other immovable objects.
Jim Crockett

Re: The Bombing of Kosovo
From: Keith Bostic <>

> Friends, Milosevic must be stopped, BUT BOMBING DOES NOT WORK.

Actually, Linebacker II was what brought North Vietnam back to the
negotiating table.  You can argue pretty successfully that the effort was
wasted, but it worked.  Regardless, that one's debatable -- the next couple
are just wrong.

> Bombing didn't work for either side in World War II.

WWII was the first war where the air war was the single most important
theatre.  The destruction of Hitler's war machine by bombing factories and
petroleum sites was probably the single biggest factor in ending the war.
The evidence is the number of German troops and air and tank groups that
couldn't fight because they ran out of weapons and raw material -- because
the factories were destroyed by bombing raids.  Single instance:  why did
the Battle of the Bulge fail for Germany?  Answer: Lack of material.

Sure Hussein is still in power -- but that was a *choice* that the attacking
forces made.  They could have easily removed him, had they chosen to.  The
Gulf War was largely an exercise in rounding up prisoners, and the only
possible explanation is the bombing.

Moore's right that you have to put someone on the ground to hold it, but
the air war is all that really matters these days.  (Some estimates I've
seen are that in any serious conflict the naval war would be over in a few
days, with all surface ships sunk, and that tanks would be taken out almost
entirely within a few weeks.)  If you control the air, you can eventually
control the ground, if you choose to.  Without it, you can't.

Will bombing work in Yugoslavia?  Yes, eventually, if we choose to let it
continue long enough.  (It could work quickly, if we want to risk seriously
damaging the country and accept large civilian casualties.)

That all said, I'm not real happy with what's going on.  But to say that
bombing doesn't work, well, that argument went out of vogue about 50 years


Re: The Bombing of Kosovo
From: Ben Herman <>

You know, I like Michael Moore, and I enjoy his work, but often he takes a
simplistic, child like view of things that sound great on paper but fail in
reality.  Much the same as we describe complex physical processes (like
catalytic effects) to children - the concepts are valid but the actual
processes are much more complex.

He reminds me of those annoying people who always say, "why can't we all
just get along?"  when the simple answer is, "I hate their guts and I wont
be happy until they are all dead!"

How do you negotiate with this attitude, how do you compromise?
  O.K you can kill half of them and just exile the other half?

Michael's attitude is so similar to those echoed in WWII it's scary:  "It's
not our war", "make treaties/negotiate with Hitler",  "Get the Russians,
whom the Germans trust, in there to be the peace keepers and help resolve
the situation."

I say do yourself a service and Study History, not the tidbits you learned
in High School but the in depth history of greedy power mongers: Hannibal,
Alexander, Henry, Caesar, Genghis Khan, George, Hitler, Lenin, Sun Tzu,
Stalin, Pol Pot, Washington, Paris, Lincoln, etc.  Find out what really
motivated these people, and why they did what they did, then you'll be
better able to understand how to interpret their actions and take action
against them.


Re: The Bombing of Kosovo
From: "Bob Rosen" <>

As usual,  words of wisdom from Michael Moore.  This seems to me one of the
clearest and most down-to-earth protests against the NATO bombing that I
have read.  We need to clone this guy......

Re: Noah and The Big Gigmeister (fwd)
Forwarded-by: George osner <>
Forwarded-by: Gabriel Solis <>

The Sideman's By-Laws
  (A Guide to the Outside)

 1. Never recommend anyone who plays better than you.
 2. Always suck up.  (Leaders, bartenders, bride, groom, management, etc.)
 3. If you don't know it, play harmony.
 4. Double book, then choose.
 5. Always assume the leader knows nothing.
 6. Always degrade types of music you can't play or know nothing about.
 7. Always bring your own business cards and solicit during breaks.
 8. Never play requests (especially if you know it).
 9. Never smile.
10. Always complain.
11. Save all high notes for warming up and after engagement.
12. Never show up sooner than 30 seconds before an engagement.  (One minute
    if you have equipment to set up.)
13. Never leave a book in order.  Whenever possible, write on music in ink.
14. Always play Trane or Parker licks during fox trots, tangos, waltzes, or
    anything in D minor.
15. Always open spit valves over music.
16. If the leader is not sure of a tune, always use substitute changes over
    his vocals or solos.
17. Always worship dead jazz greats.
18. Be negative about anything connected with the job.
19. Always bring drinks back to the band stand.
20. When a break is over, always disappear.  If this is not possible, make
    a phone call.
21. If you're backing up an act, talk when not playing.  If it's a comic,
    don't laugh.
22. Always bum a ride.
23. Always wait until someone else is buying before you get thirsty.
24. Never bring your own cigarettes to an engagement.
25. Avoid tipping at all cost (waitresses, coat room, valet, etc.).
26. Always ask, "When does the band eat", or "Where's our table"?
27. Remember, it's not your gig.  Mingle with guests and enjoy yourself.

Re: QOTD - Bizet, 4/21/99
From: (Tom Parmenter)

>  "Music!  What a splendid art,
>   but what a wretched profession!"
>				- Georges Bizet

"Apollo is a wonderful god to worship, but a terrible god to serve."

I don't know who said it first, but my dad said it when I joined a
rock band,  Apollo being the god of music.

Re: Television
From: <>

The quote "Television - a medium. So called because it is neither rare nor
well-done." is not Ernie Kovacs, but Fred Allen.

Henry Sapoznik

From: Nev Dull <>
	Java, it's not just for dancing jelly beans.
	The Ear Popper.
	Certified Mom-ready.
	ZARF:  Air Force/MITRE tiger team project that cracked Multics
	security.  "Zarf" is Turkish for a coffee cup, applied by the Air
	Force to those white disposable cups that fit into a brown holder
	with a handle, which they called a finjan, also the appropriate
	Turkish term. They picked this project name to be as obscure as
	possible {Story: How the Air Force Cracked  Multics Security}

Re: Unix and the Hole Hawg
From: Lauren Weinstein <>

All I can think of to say after reading that is:

  rm * .o


Re: QPSAT (Quick Political Scholastic Aptitude Test
From: Tom Kimball <>

> In how many of these instances did a democratic government, respectful of
> human rights, occur as a direct result?  Choose one of the following:
> 	(a) 0
> 	(b) zero
> 	(c) none
> 	(d) not a one
> 	(e) zip
> 	(f) a whole number between -1 and +1
> 	(g) zilch


In the following cases, a democratic government was the direct result of US
military intervention:

Haiti 1995
Panama 1989
Grenada 1983
Nicaragua 1980's
Germany 1945
Italy 1945
Japan 1945

> 	Korea 1950-53
> 	China 1950-53

In these two cases a democratic government (South Korea) was the ultimate
result of US military intervention.  Without US help South Korea would be
in as bad shape as North Korea is now and contributing to North Korea's
nuclear missle efforts.

> 	El Salvador 1980s

In this case a preserving a democratic government was the result of US
military intervention.

> 	Iraq 1991-99

Kuwait is the most democratic of all the Arab countries.  Once again this
would not be the case without US military intervention.

> 	Libya 1986
> 	Sudan 1998
> 	Afghanistan 1998

In these cases the goal was never to impose a democratic government, it was
to deter terrorism.  It was successful in Libya and so far is successful in
the other two cases.

The rest of the cases I am not familar with and some I have my doubts about.
There were only three cases I know of where one of the goals was to help
democracy or freedom and was still a total failure.

> 	Laos 1964-73
> 	Vietnam 1961-73
> 	Cambodia 1969-70

Re: An Entry in the Weirdest Spam Ever Competition...

>You have received this mailing as part of being a connaiseur of fine
>hemp products

Proof positive: pot kills spelling cells (or erases French 101 from your

Best, Joe

Re: QOTD (Springtime Special) - O'Keefe, 4/28/99
From: Molly B. Tenenbaum <mt>

It's O'Keeffe. Two f's. But who would know?

RE: Marilyn Manson & NRA
From: "Terwilliger, James, Mr" <>

Isn't it funny that Marilyn Manson cancelled his concert, but the NRA went
ahead and held their convention.

there is a moral there, somewhere
.... twig ....

Re: NZ
From: "Bill Tarbi" <>

"New Zealand...where men are men and sheep are very nervous."

Heard in Australia...way out back.

Re: Travel Advisory -- vibrators
From: House of Unruly Fish <>

When my son worked in Special Services for United at the old Stapleton
Airport in Denver, another employee told him of the time an UNFORTUNATE
woman kept setting off the metal detector, even though she took off all
obvious metal items.  Finally, they got a female security guard to escort
her someplace private, and she admitted she was carrying some of those
Ben-Wa (sp?) balls (you know, Oriental deals, a metal ball inside a metal
ball that chimes when it shifts position?) um, someplace private....  They
were removed, inspected, and she went on her adventurous way, no doubt
BLAZINGLY embarrassed....

Susan the Neon Nurse

Re: Further Suspicious Facts - Annotated
From: <>

 One of the "facts" in this article was

If you fart consistently for 6 years and 9 months, enough gas is produced
to create the energy of an atomic bomb.
: According to my girlfriend, I'm about halfway there.

This intrigued me - since I'm an engineer. So here's some approximations of
the real quantities involved.

The portion of a fart that is flammable is methane. A stoichiometric
reaction with Oxygen would yield Carbon Dioxide and Water:

CH4 + 2O2   -->  CO2 + 2H2O + heat

I don't have tables with me to look up the heat generated by burning methane
and exploding TNT.  We'll assume the two are the same gram for gram. We'll
also assume that the average person produces about 7.5 liters of methane
each day. (I think this is high.)  One mole of methane plus two moles of
Oxygen, in the above formula, weigh 80 grams and occupy 67.2 liters at STP.
We can also assume that an average thermonuclear weapon has a yield of one
megaton of TNT.

(1,000,000 tons) (2,000 lb/ton) (454 grams/lb) (67.2 liters/80grams)
(1 day/7.5 liters) = approximately 100,000,000,000 days.

So it would take the average human 275 million years to generate enough
methane to be the equivalent of a thermonuclear device. I suspect, however,
that in 6 years and 9 months you could probably come up with enough energy
to fuel the airplane to raise the bomb up over your target and drop it.

The effect would be the same.

A potentially more useful factoid is that two cows apparently belch enough
methane to heat the average house. One proposal I read was for rural
families to have digesters at their houses for converting cow pies and other
agricultural waste into methane for that very purpose.

I guess as long as your wife is still willing to sleep in the same bed with
you all of this is pretty much moot. My wife and I have slept at opposite
ends of the house most of our married life. I've always thought it was
because I snore so much. But now I wonder.....

Re: The Bombing of Kosovo (fwd)
From: Cal Herrmann <>

Hi Peter,
This is what my daughter (who has a good chunk of what passes for brains in
my family) has to say in response. Note the person she quotes hasn't been
asked for permission to be quoted, though. But I thought the original post
was provocative (mainly of thoughts) which is why I passed it on. Alix did
say I could pass this on....
-- l

Forwarded message:
> From Sun May  2 09:01:59 1999
> Date: Sun, 2 May 1999 19:45:44 +0200 (CEST)
> From: Alix Herrmann <>
> To:, Cal Herrmann <>
> Subject: Re: The Bombing of Kosovo (fwd)

Aaagh, I don't think I can take any more of this disinformation.  I can't
believe how uninformed us Americans seem to be about the Kosovo situation.
I just have to respond.  This is just too obnoxious.

Michael, what I would like is for you to be right for the right reasons.
So far, I'm underwhelmed.

> The Bombing of Kosovo
> 4/15/99
> Friends, Milosevic must be stopped, BUT BOMBING DOES NOT WORK.

*That* is a defensible thesis, one which I would endorse, were it properly
supported.  However, the rest of this limp piece of drivel is simply not
worth the screen it's printed on...

> Bombing didn't work for either side in World War II.  Hitler bombed
> Britain mercilessly for years, but it didn't work. Our bombing did
> nothing to save the lives of 6 million Jews, 4 million Catholics,
> Gypsies and other "undesirables," and 20 million Russians.

1. In fact, the US really "did nothing" to save the lives of the
aforementioned -- literally, by not getting involved for as long as
possible.  When the US finally did get involved, it was too late for those

2. Bombing certainly *was* important for the Allies in WWII.  Do you
seriously think your uncle would have been successful without it?


> If genocide is really taking place,

What's with the IF???  What _facts_ can you cite to support the possibility
that it is not taking place?  If you have _facts_, you are a real journalist
and in line for the Pulitzer.  Otherwise, you are just spreading


> We know Clinton is lying to us. We know there is no "Holocaust"
> taking place.

How can anybody make this kind of statement and go to sleep at night ????
2000 people AN HOUR are crossing the border into Albania/Macedonia RIGHT
NOW. What _facts_ do you have to support this statement?  Or do you just
suppose they're on holiday?

> happening is that two groups of people are carrying on their
> centuries-old mission to annihilate each other. The Kosovo Liberation
> Army announced their intentions to rid Kosovo of all Serbs (the
> Albanians are the majority in Kosovo, the Serbs, a minority). That's
> all a nutcase like Milosevic needed to justify his campaign to rid
> Kosovo of all Albanians. This is true madness and a lot of innocent
> people are losing their lives in the process.

There is a little bit of truth in this, but the facts again are distorted.

- Milosevic is the guy who caused the previous round of wars in
Yugoslavia.  He's not just some random nutcase.

- The KLA are NOT the ones being murdered, raped (how would you like to be
a teenage female ethnic Albanian in Kosovo right about now?), robbed and
deported.  Nothing the KLA does can justify what Milosevic is doing.
Would you feel that someone would be justified in treating you similarly
just because some other American yelled Nazi slogans and shot high school

- The two populations have *not* always been on a "mission to annihilate
each other".  What a dangerous, irresponsible statement that tramples on
the basic humanity of _all_ the people involved!

To try to help with the historical and factual background, here
is a quick summary written by someone named Leilani Akwai, which I believe
better reflects reality than what you've written.  I am including this
*without* permission.


Some scholars and linguists have traced Albanian roots in the region all
the way back to the Illyrians and Dacians, tribes inhabiting the region at
the time of, and described in the literature and legends of, the ancient
Greeks in the first millenium B.C. So both Albanians and Serbs have been on
the Adriatic coast for a very long time, and even intermarried and got along
fine for a long stretches. Unlike the Croats, most of whom went along with
the Nazis in exchange for their own "independent" state (like the way
imperial Japan created the state of "Manchukuo" in China), Albanians and
Serbs fought together against the Nazis, for example.

Albanians and Serbs have both lived in the area now called Kosovo for at
least 800 years.  Although actual documented details are sketchy, the Serbs
by tradition have come to revere the story of the defeat of Prince (or
"Czar") Lazar by an army of Turks in 1389 in Amselfeld (Kosova/Kosovo) as
their national founding legend.

Even at that time, it is not clear that Serbs were the majority or that it
even mattered -- both Serbs and Albanians were Christian then, and fought
side by side against the Turks (although for obvious reasons, pro-Serb
historians may now tell you different).

There was a similar wave of pogroms against Albanian Kosovars by pan-Slavic
Serb ultranationalists in 1912-13, before the first world war. Albanians
were in the majority then too, and the Serb Chetnik strategy was the same
as it is today: to fabricate a _myth_ of Muslim Albanians persecuting and
driving out Serbs in the distant past, to justify their own criminal actions
in the present. A detailed plan for driving out the Albanian Kosovar
population was published and circulated by Serb ultranationalists in 1937.

Mr. Milosevic rose to power in the 1990s by dumping Tito's vision of a
multiethnic communist Yugoslavia and filling the ensuing vacuum with the
old Serb ultra- nationalism, including this plan. His post-communist
political career began with a speech he held at a gathering in Kosovo in
1989 commemorating the 600th anniversary of the battle of Amselfeld.
Basically he told the Serbs, "because of [our version of] history, this land
is ours and we can do no wrong." In view of past Nazi atrocities against
the Serbs, Mr. Milosevic was cagey enough to see similarities between Serb
nationalism and post-Holocaust Israeli Zionism and relied on being cut a
certain amount of "moral slack" by the West. "In a pinch," he figured,
"Russia will use its veto in the U.N. Security Council to cover all our
actions, just as the U.S. covers for Israel."

This calculation more or less worked in the Croatian and Bosnian phase of
the war up through 1995. The behind- the-scenes sympathy for the Serbs on
the part of France, Britain, Greece, Israel and a kind of "Slavophile lobby"
in the U.S. only collapsed after the U.N. "safe havens" <hollow gallows
laugh> of Srebrenica, Gorazde and Tuzla were overrun in 1995 by General
Ratko Mladic, whose troops massacred up to 30,000 Bosnian men and packed
off the remaining women and children in buses, while the U.N.
"peacekeepers" who were supposed to be guarding them stood by helplessly
watching. As in Rwanda, the U.N. troops said, "We're only supposed to use
our arms in self- defense -- we don't have a mandate to become a party in
the fighting." Translation: "We _do_ have a mandate to become accomplices
in genocide by inaction, though." So much for the role of the U.N. in any
future peace in Kosovo.


For references and stuff -- you're the journalist.  Just do your job.

> So here's my solution:
> 1) Stop the bombing immediately.

You know what?  I agree with this.  The big military targets have all been
hit anyway.

> 2) Get the Russians, whom the Serbs trust, in there to be the
> peacekeepers and help resolved [sic] the situation.  No American or NATO
> forces on Kosovo soil.  Russia can do this in spite of the wanker in
> charge, Mr. Yeltsin.

You forget one thing:  THE RUSSIANS ARE COMPLETELY BROKE.  Also, I hate to
break it to you, but ... you're *not* the first person to think of the
getting-the-Russians-on-board idea ... Just about every diplomat on the
planet is maneuvering behind the scenes.

> 3) Let the Orthodox Church play a major role in bringing about the peace.
> The Serbs are mostly Orthodox and a strong move by its Patriarch could
> do a lot to ending all the bloodshed.

Hmmm.  Like the rest of us all listen to the Pope, right?  OK Seriously,
let's think about this.  You have Serb civilians, who like you do not
believe that ethnic cleansing is happening in Kosovo.  And you have a
dangerous militia and police force in Kosovo, who are carrying out ethnic
cleansing -- ordering people out of their houses, burning, raping,
pillaging, having a great time.  *What* could the Patriarch possibly say?
"Look people, sorry to burst your bubble, but your government is doing some
really vile stuff, and I need you to tell them to stop."  "Hey guys, what
you're doing is really vile, so stop now please."   Might work.

Another really workable idea that will quickly resolve the situation in
Kosovo and not cost a cent:  Hold your breath until they stop fighting.

> Look, I'm not an expert on any of this.

No kidding!!!!

Please, please, please, if you have the attention of millions, be
responsible with your facts.  Be right for the right reasons.  Let the truth
be known.  Do the right thing!


	Alix Herrmann

Re: Paradoxes and Glib Contrasts
From: Karl Juhnke <>

On Mon, 3 May 1999, Peter Langston wrote:

> I recognized the wisdom of the first three sentences right away, but
> I'm not old enough to think the rest is more than just cleverly smarmy.
> How about you?  -psl

Since you asked what I think, I can't resist telling you.

> 		    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
> 		      Work like you don't need money.
> 	 	     Love like you've never been hurt.
> 		     And dance like no one's watching.
> 		    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I agree that this is a fine triplet.  The greatest teachers of history have
always tried to overthrow our common-sense ideas, in order to prepare us
for deeper truths.  Lao-Tze, Socrates, and Jesus, for example, were fond of
making the truth do headstands.  "Water is stronger than stone" and "Love
your enemy" are two of my favorite examples.

The three sayings form a nice unity, not just because they all give
counter-intuitive advice, but because all three urge us to be less
externally motivated.  The implication is that we should work, love, and
dance for personal fulfillment.  It is a powerful lesson, and beautifully

Like most wisdom, however, it isn't wise all the time.  To tell a poor man
not to work for money demonstrates the casual arrogance of the rich.  To
tell an abused woman to love as though she has never been hurt is like
telling a soldier to fight as though the enemy doesn't have guns.

No proverb, no matter how deep and compelling, exceeds the wisdom of the
listener by very much.

The rest of the sayings in the article are a mixed bag.  The author was more
intent on the clever style than clear expression of a consistent agenda.
If you want wisdom you have to sift for it line by line.  I'll do the first
three, and leave the rest as homework:

> The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings,
> but shorter tempers;

By what measure is this a paradox?  Did we expect, when we built the
skyscrapers, that they would lengthen our tempers?  What does either half
have to do with the other?
[I'd say this is one of the "Glib Contrasts" not one of the "Paradoxes"... -psl]

The only message I can find under the cute form is the vague idea that we
are making progress industrially while sliding backwards emotionally.  I
don't think that this sentiment is very wise, because I don't think it is
very true.  I expect that we are in some ways more emotionally whole than
our ancestors, and in some ways less.  The current state of our morals is
too complex to be accurately described as a decline.

> we spend more, but have less;

By what measure do we have less?  We Americans have more riches than any
people have ever had. If having less refers to material wealth, the
statement is literally false.  If, on the other hand, having less is
supposed to refer to something other than property, the author shouldn't
have used a verb which implies possession.  If there is a deeper meaning,
the author has managed to obscure it from me.

> we buy more, but enjoy it less.

This, in my experience, is very true.  The more we have of something, the
less we value it.  There is a deep lesson hidden in this paradox, something
about the futility of desire.  Somehow when we get what we want, it is never
as good as we thought it would be.

In summary, I wouldn't quite rate this melange with the great teachings.
There is some gold there, but more glitter.  If you want something out of
it, you will have to do some work on your own.

As always.


Re: A product for the new millenium
From: Rick Carter <>


I "invented" this one about a month back and sent it out to some friends
(since I've never been quoted before by someone I didn't know, I'd like
credit where credit is due....)


- Rick
Rick Carter, System Administrator, Physics Dept., University of Michigan

Subject: My correspondence with Senator Boxer on Kosovo

Hello Friends,

I've been writing senators and representatives about the "war" our
government is engaged in.  I don't know if you're interested, if not
disregard, but I don't know - I must be Californian.  I feel like sharing.
I'd like to hear your thoughts on this thing our taxes is funding.  So,
here's the correspondence, starting with my latest response to Barbara


Dear Senator Boxer,

Thank you for a thoughtful response.  I offer the following thoughts and
questions in return.

>            We acted to halt the Serbian army's attacks against innocent
>       Kosovar civilians.  The crisis in Kosovo is not war in the
>       traditional sense.  It is an attack by a fully armed force--the
>       Serbian army--on a largely defenseless populace--the ethnic
>       Albanians.  As members of the international community, we cannot
>       stand by while scores of people are killed not for what they have
>       done, but for who they are.

Are you aware that as soon as we initiated bombing Yugoslavia, the situation
for the Ethnic Albanians worsened by at least a couple magnitudes?  And
furthermore, the misery for "Ethnic Albanians" continues at escalated
levels?  Will you investigate the allegations that the CIA has been active
in aiding and abetting (and possibly instigating) the KLA prior to the onset
of our initiating the current bombing?  I've heard from several sources that
this may be true.  If so, are we, the US, complicit in creating the very
problems that led to the bombing?

If you justify our invasion of Yugoslavia on strictly humanitarian grounds,
then why do we stand by as the Turkish government continues the equally
inhumane ethnic cleansing of the Kurds?  For that matter, since Turkey
carries out such atrocities, why is Turkey a member of NATO?  Why are we
doing nothing about the ethnic cleansing of East Timor by Indonesia?  Why
are we not paying reparations to the indigenous people of Guatemala?  There
the US - meaning United Fruit, Chiquita, and Dole - used the CIA to
overthrow the democratically elected Arbenz government and installed a
government that has reigned terror - ethnically cleansed - the Mayans and
Aztec that lived there. And Chile?  Was it not the US, through the CIA, that
saw to it that the democratically elected Allende was brought down, and in
its place the vicious Pinochet regime was installed?  Pinochet went so far
as to send assasins into our country!

It seems that you, my government, speaks out of many sides of it's mouth.
On one side there's voice that tells us this bombing is aiding the Ethnic
Albanians.  On the another side, there's the increased misery caused by this
bombing.  On yet another side, we say we champion democracy, but, while
declaiming Milosovec, we support and arm insidious dictators so they can
carry out equally nefarious activities.

Our track record at home is not all that great either.  Most of us live on
land that by treaty belongs to various Native American Nations - lands that
were promised to those indigenous peoples as our white ancestors were
carrying out an ethnic cleansing of their own.  I think you, as my
representative, should work to clean up our act - before we decide that we,
the United States, can be so righteous as to be the judge, jury, and
executioner of the world.

I find the move to make NATO the unchecked police force of the world
frightening.  I urge you instead to work with the United Nations, not NATO.
This approach has a far greater chance of creating a somewhat democratic
process - one where nations working together can bring their combined
concerns to bear on world problems.  Furthermore, the UN as a group is more
likely to act without the obvious economic agenda of NATO.

>            We also acted because containing the crisis in Kosovo is in
>       America's national interest.  Kosovo lies at the crossroads between
>       three volatile regions--Eastern Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.
>       The clash we see in Kosovo today can easily spread to neighboring
>       countries, most of whom are struggling themselves with the challenges
>       of building a democratic style of government.

The words, "America's national interest," and, "democratic style of
government," are sort of "big words."  By this I meann they hold such myriad
meaning that they are totally ambiguous.  So, can you be more specific in
exactly what, "America's national interest," means to you?  In other words,
what do you see as our (my) national interest? In my life, I often find that
what's called, "national interest," or, "national security," has no interest
to the nation of friends I have, and at times a worse affect on the lives
of citizens around me. And will you please define what you mean by,
"democratic style government?"  Does this include economic democracy?

These thought lead to my final question: will you please tell me who stands
to make a lot of money on this "non-war?"  (Dare I say, "make a killing?")
It seems that someone or ones must be getting rich, from arms sales and
planned contractual postwar cleanup activities.  I mean, 6, no 12, or is it
14 billion dollars changing hands!  Where will it all go?  It would be a
great service to tell us, your constituents who is benefiting from this

Please, STOP THE BOMBING, do not fund further military action.

Thank you again for your time.

Erik Hoffman

"There is no way to peace, Peace is the way."  A. J. Muste

Re: Bud Light supports diversity
From: "Daniel R. Sweet" <>


    It is interesting the things one sees on the Internet.  Being a more or
less middle of the road kinda guy (ie. I'll side with the "Right Wing
Conspiracy" on some issues and the "Liberal Left-Wing Wackos" on others),
I receive emails like this from both sides.  Which is exactly what happened
on this one.  If you'll indulge me, I'd like to share my experiences with
this one.
    I first received notice of this Bud Light thing from a conservative
source.  The whole story, it seems, is that Bud Light ran the commercial
and had a number to call if you supported them continuing to run this type
of advertising.  Obviously, this was a marketing test to see if there was
a market (ie. how many Bud Lights could we sell with this), and not intended
to be an ideological thing.
    However, Jerry Fallwell saw this as an endorsement of the gay lifestyle
and called up Anheiser Busch to protest.  Further, he gave out his own phone
number for people to register protest with him which he would, of course,
forward to AB.
    Probably not trusting Rev. Fallwell entirely (understandable given their
position) AB then set up a phone number so that people could register their
disagreement with the campaign (in an "anything to shut him up" kind of
move, I suppose).
    Since then, both sides of the issue have been sending out missives to
call and have everyone else call because (both sides have the same flavor
here) 'those other guys will be organizing their nutty friends to call up
[read 'unfairly'] the wrong number!'
    Here's the real interesting part to me:  Out of a test marketing
campaign comes a flood of 'Support / Oppose this or die!' messages.  None
of these messages apparently think that any of their constituency have the
ability to think for themselves as both sides only give out the number that
is favorable to their own side.   [Incidentally, if you want to give the
opportunity for your readership to think for themselves, the for-the-ad
number is (877)223-7775 and the against-the-ad number is (888)227-8783]
    While I have my own opinions about the ad (which I won't share because
who really cares!), from a strictly marketing standpoint, this is either
the smartest or dumbest thing that AB has ever done.
    The gay population is (as best as I know from reliable [ie. not involved
in the debate] sources) is about 1-2% and the percentage of population that
actively opposes expansion of "the gay lifestyle" is at least the same.
Moreover, I think most thinking people aren't going to make a decision to
get drunk with Bud Light instead of the alternatives because "they support
    On the other hand, this will cause more publicity than they've had in
a *long* time.  And as one famous marketeer said "There ain't no such thing
as bad publicity!"
    Anyway, just my take on the whole situation.


From: "'Nita" <>
Re: Bud Light supports diversity

<< ----- Original Message -----
From: Peter Langston Subject: Bud Light supports diversity
 CALL BUD LIGHT AT:  1-877-233-7725 to automatically register your approval
of this campaign.  >>

I think it would have been nice to also include the phone number you dial if
you DON'T approve of commercials and ads for family viewing including

[Try (888) 227-8783 -psl]

Re: Bud Light supports diversity
From: "Benjamin A. Herman" <>

	Peter, I'm sure you've checked this oout to make sure it's legit
but.... I just received the exact same message 2 days ago only with American
Airlines substituted for Anheuser-Busch, and a slightly different phone
number.  I just can't help but wonder what "print advertisement" I'm
registering my support for... seeems awefully non-specific to me.


Re: As I sit here -Aldershot- contemplating -Aldershot- the tempta-Aldershot-  
tions of...
From: Jack Powers <>

A few weeks ago I stayed in a Ramada Inn in Salt Lake City and heard
intermittent electronic bird calls through the windows and door, at all
hours. On looking around the area I found that it was coming from a weather
station on the roof of a nearby building. It was obviously put there to keep
the sea gulls (a species much revered in that city) away from the
instruments on the roof.

I'm sure the thing was controlled by a cheap microprocessor, so maybe it's
a war between the computers and the seagulls.

At least the bird wasn't a raven and the word "nevermore"...

Re: Paradoxes and Glib Contrasts
From: (dave blake)

And times of long email moralizing, and short attention spans.

Dave Blake

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