Friday, February 28, 2003
  101 slogans from SF peace rally

empty war heads found in white house

how'd our oil get under their sand?

let's bomb texas, they have oil
On March 3, 2003, the Lysistrata Project will present worldwide readings of Aristophanes’ bawdy ancient Greek antiwar comedy Lysistrata. To date, 792 play readings are scheduled in 46 countries and in all 50 U.S. states to voice opposition to the war on Iraq; those numbers increase hourly. Readings will raise money for charities working for peace and humanitarian aid in the Middle East and elsewhere.

This is one of the better sounding ones in San Diego, but there are a few more:

Looking Glass Theatre
Presents a Rehearsed Reading of
Lysistrata by Aristophanes
Benefiting Peace and Democracy Taskforce
Monday ~ March 3, 2003
7 PM Bard Hall
First Unitarian Universalist Church
Front & Arbor across the street from University Hospital in Hillcrest
Suggested Donation $5 or ...
Please Note: Contains mature language
Something to do with the Padres?
  A billionaire stepping out of line?

"President Bush is pushing the wrong buttons when he says, 'Those who are not with us, are against us,' " Soros said. "This is an imperialist vision in which the U.S. leads and the rest of the world follows."

Soros characterized some members of the Bush administration, including Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Attorney General John Ashcroft, as having "an exaggerated view of their own righteousness."

Should you ever need to translate English words or expressions into English, I highly recommend this site.
Thursday, February 27, 2003
  101 slogans from SF peace rally

dissent - the essence of democracy

dissent is patriotic

republic not empire
  101 slogans from SF peace rally

Support our troops -- bring them home.
  Black Sabbath

Politicians hide themselves away.
They only started the war.
Why should they go out to fight?
They leave that role to the poor, yeah.

When the rich wage war it's the poor who die.

As long as I have. It's a no-win, really. I just don't want you to suffer from the dreaded sophomore jinx.
Wednesday, February 26, 2003
  It's not "Blood on the Tracks," but ...

Lyrics from The Joe Smiths tune "I'm Gone to Get Drunk" that were stolen and posted on the Internet:





According to the Sentencing Project, African-Americans account for 13 percent of the drug-using population, but a disproportionate 55 percent of those convicted of drug offenses.
  'Virtual' War Protest Jams Congressional Phones (Will Anyone Answer the Calls?)

By Alan Elsner, National Correspondent

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Hundreds of thousands of opponents of a U.S. war against Iraq called and faxed their senators and the White House on Wednesday in a "virtual march on Washington," jamming many congressional telephone lines for several hours.
  Deborah Harry

"...punk's first sex symbol and a big star who would become the prototype for a generation of female singers"

Only since I don't get an opportunity to use the word much, let me say I appreciate your fealty.
  Capt. Clarence Oveur

Joey, do you like movies about gladiators?
I swear to you I don't care if the United States of America wages unprovoked war on anyone. Nothing I can do about it, so I'm just going to ignore it.
Tuesday, February 25, 2003
  Saddam speaks

"Whoever decides to forsake his nation from whoever requests is not true to the principles," Saddam said. "We will die here. We will die in this country and we will maintain our honor, the honor that is required in front of our people."
Yeah, I think they tend to take the road more taken.
  Message from the Beastie Boys

below is a letter that we wrote to the washington post that they refused to run.


For the last year, we’ve been involved in a difficult legal battle with James Newton, a jazz musician and composer whose work was included as one of several samples in our song “Pass the Mic.” We can only guess that Mr. Newton has gotten some very bad legal advice. He has refused generous settlement offers, instead mounting a very aggressive case against us for copyright infringement, which has cost us nearly $500,000 in legal fees.

Having lost this case on every count, Newton has now launched a defamatory email and press campaign, which most recently resulted in an article in the Washington Post.

This has been frustrating for us because we have no interest in taking advantage of anyone – least of all other musicians – and we made sure we had cleared the sample in question some 10 years ago. The sample is a flute sound – six seconds from Newton’s song “Choir” – which runs through the background of “Pass the Mic” buried under our own live instrumentation as well as many other samples.

When we originally wanted to use the sample in 1992, we contacted ECM Records, the label that Newton gave permission to license the sound recording of “Choir,” and cleared the sound recording with them. But we decided not to clear the composition.

Two things come into question when one is clearing a sample: the composition, and the sound recording. It is very important to understand the distinction between these two things in order to understand this case. A composition is a combination of words and musical notes, generally presented as sheet music. The copyright of the recording on the other hand, has to do with the uniqueness of the performance on that particular recording. The system exists because often songwriting and performing are two different lines of work.

An analogy to better explain the difference is this: One person writes a book. Another person records a reading of it to be sold as an audiotape. Now, if you sample a small excerpt of the tape, a part where the voice says “as well as” you might need to clear the sound recording related to the persons voice. But you would not need to contact the author of the book to ask him if you can use the words “as well as.”

In this case it may seem confusing because Mr. Newton is both the composer and the performer of the piece of music that was sampled. And this confusion is exactly what his case is built on. He and his legal team are attempting to blur the line between composition and recording. This blurring is not helpful to composers or performers. The reason that recordings and compositions are two distinct things is to protect both songwriters and performers.

We cleared the recording but did not clear the composition because what we used is three notes and three notes do not constitute a composition. If one could copyright the basic building blocks of music or grammar then there would be no room for making new compositions or books. The ruling in the case will not have a “chilling effect” as was erroneously stated in the Washington Post. These laws exist to protect composers, not hurt them.

If the Court had ruled that Newton has exclusive ownership of the series of notes, C/D flat/C, no one could write new music. And needless to mention there are many compositions predating “Choir” that use this same sequence of three notes.

As an aside, we slowed the sample down which changed the notes in question. So the notes that are in our song are not even the notes that are in Newton’s recording or composition. This could be compared to paraphrasing.

Newton is now appealing his case to a higher court to try to get the decision overturned. If he succeeds in his efforts it will be a huge blow to forms of music that involve not only sampling, but all musical quotation. Jazz, hip hop and many other forms of contemporary music would be seriously affected by such a decision. Another likely consequence of the judge siding with Newton would be that it would empower and encourage more frivolous lawsuits. But it is doubtful that any court will side with him. To be frank, this case has already gotten a great deal more publicity than it warrants because the claims that are being made don’t really make any sense.

Mr. Newton’s lawyers have even gone so far as to argue that we have taken the central theme of Mr. Newton’s song “Choir” and made it the central theme of our song. If you listen to his song it seems clear that the part that we sampled is not the central theme. The notes in question, C/D flat/C, never happen again in his composition. In fact, if you look at the sheet music that Mr. Newton submitted when he copyrighted his song, the sound that we sampled is not even represented in his score.

And in terms of what that sound represents in our song, we used it as a drone in the background. It has nothing to do with the central theme of our song. We could replace the flute drone with some other droning sound, or even remove it altogether and it would make no difference to our overall composition. Apart from the first time that the flute sound plays, it is so low in the mix that it is difficult to even hear it.

Newton’s “Choir” is 4 min 30 sec long, and as far as we know is an original composition when viewed as a whole. What the judge found is that the three notes of Newton’s recording which we sampled do not on their own constitute an original composition. She said however that what is unique is the specific performance of the three notes that we sampled, and that is precisely the thing that we licensed.

Newton gave his label – ECM -- permission to license his work, and they in turn gave permission to us. If Mr. Newton feels this strongly about his sounds being used, he should not have made a contract with his label that enables them to license out his work.

Before spending a lot of money on the case we contacted Mr. Newton and offered him a generous out of court settlement in hopes of avoiding further legal fees. He responded by telling us that the offer was “insulting” and said that he wanted “millions” of dollars. In addition he told us that he wanted 50% ownership and control of our song, “Pass the Mic.” But because Mr. Newton’s flute sound is just one of hundreds of sounds in our song giving him 50% ownership of our song seemed unfair. That kind of split is sometimes done if one party writes all of the music and the other writes all of the lyrics. Newton by no stretch of the imagination wrote all of the music in “Pass the Mic.”

We would suggest that any curious person listen to “Pass the Mic” and “Choir,” and see if they think Newton deserves 50% of the songwriting.

The article in the Washington Post compared our sample to a song Biz Markie made. It is unfair to compare the Newton case with the Biz Markie case. Biz Markie’s song involved use of the a large portion of the “Alone Again” song including the chorus, not three notes.

As to Mr. Newton’s claims regarding our counter-suing him, our lawyers, at the request of the lawyers for the other defendants, as required by our contracts, made a motion to be reimbursed for our legal fees. This is standard procedure for the winner of the case as contained in the copyright laws. Mr. Newton’s lawyers have told us that if they ever win they intend to do the same. In any case, the court did not award any fees. So Mr. Newton is in absolutely no danger of losing his home and life savings.

Furthermore, it is our opinion that Mr. Newton’s lawyers should be responsible for covering our legal fees, not Mr. Newton himself. If the judge had granted our motion they, and not Mr. Newton would have paid. In the UK when people are unjustly sued the claimant’s lawyers are usually responsible for the defendant’s legal fees. We wish that were the case in the US as well, because people would think more carefully before throwing such frivolous lawsuits around.

Beastie Boys
grandee \gran-DEE\, noun:
1. A man of elevated rank or station.
  My job

sinecure \SY-nih-kyur; SIN-ih-\, noun:
An office or position that requires or involves little or no responsibility, work, or active service.

The Replacements landed a spot on "Saturday Night Live," but they were roaring drunk throughout their performances and Westerberg said "fuck" on the air. Their concerts had became notorious for such drunken, sloppy behavior. Frequently, the band was barely able to stand up, let alone play, and when they did play, they often didn't finish their songs. The Replacements also refused to make accessible videos — the video for "Bastards of Young" featured nothing but a stereo system, playing the song — thereby cutting themselves off from the mass exposure MTV could have granted them.

- All Music Guide
Monday, February 24, 2003
  I am a fan of this guy

Arizona Congressman Jeff Flake
Well, my favorite (Canadian) Prime Minister will always be John G. Diefenbaker.
Please pass on my note of support to Toni Smith for standing up for her beliefs. It's a sad comment on the United States when a person exercising THE fundamental right Americans possess is made into a pariah.
Ms. Smith's assertion of her rights -- whether misguided or not -- is inspiring; her public crucifixion should serve as a bellwether.
The president of the United States wants Iraq to bow to his demands, but he is seemingly unwilling to TALK to Iraq's leader.
  The quotable Cybill Shepherd

"I think the measure of your success to a certain extent will be the amount of things written about you that aren't true."

"I had the serendipity of modeling during a temporary interlude between Twiggy and Kate Moss, when it was actually okay for women to look as if we ate and enjoyed life."
  Still working out the kinks at the end of February

Good morning,
You'll notice something absent from your check stub - your personal balance. The payroll service didn't completely correct the problem so I have had the balances removed from the check stubs until corrected.
Everyone got 16 hours of personal on Jan 1st. If you have used any time it should be subtracted from 16. If you have questions about how much time you've take just give me a buzz.
I promise I'm doing everything I can to get the balances corrected and showing on the checks!
Thanks again for your patience!
  You might be a redneck if ...

... neighbors call to say they've found your husband in their yard.
  The canon grows ...

More songs to be included on the debut release from The Joe Smiths:


Sequencing is not complete.
Saturday, February 22, 2003
This time, I blame it all on the ants.
The officials said a war would inflame anti-American sentiment throughout the Arab world ...

Here's another big club fire about which a couple people reminded me.

And I don't mean this to be crude -- you'll have to take my word for that, because it's true -- but one of the first things thoughts that popped into my mind after this Rhode Island fire was that there are still 96 people who would go see Great White.
Friday, February 21, 2003

Tim quit working at the movie theater, so we can’t get in for free
No more hangin’ out with pretentious girls
Watching “Trainspotting” 'til three.
Thursday, February 20, 2003
  The Face of Courage Frowns

On January 18, 2001, Jason Kidd of the Phoenix Suns and his wife, Joumana, had been arguing all day long. Joumana claimed in police reports that Jason had been verbally abusing her for hours (a claim Jason did not corroborate). Joumana decided to go for a workout, and made dinner for the couple's two-and-a-half-year-old son, TJ, before leaving. When little TJ complained that the french fries she'd made were too hot, Jason, sitting at the table with the child, picked up a french fry off the plate and ate it. Joumana asked Jason not to eat the food (or yelled at him, if you choose to go with Jason's side of the story) because there wasn't much left for TJ. The 6-4, 212 pound Jason showed his displeasure with Joumana's request by spitting the french fry in her face and giving her a closed-fisted backhand to the mouth. Joumana ran upstairs to the bathroom, phone in hand, and Jason followed, pounding on the door and screaming at her to come out. He broke the door down and the call to the police that had been placed by Joumana was cut off. The police called back and Joumana told them what had happened. The police came, took pictures and statements, gave Joumana information on battered wife shelters, arrested Jason, and took off. This is all according to official police reports ...
It was nice doing business with you. Who would have thought when the season started that we would have ever conducted such a transaction.
Who: All ____ Employees
What: Mardi Gras BBQ
When: Fat Tuesday March 4th
Time: 11:30 am - 1 pm
Place: Courtyard
What's in store:
____ will provide the hot dogs and hamburgers, drinks and condiments
We'll do a potluck for side dishes and desserts - Look for sign up sheets to be posted on the employee bulletin board by Friday the 21st of Feb.
Dress up and wear a mask!
Make your mask unique! There will be a prize for the best mask. The winner will be chosen Mardi Gras style!

We'll see you there!

Being broke is childish, and I'm quite grown.
  Carl Bernstein

"We need less attitude in Washington and more diplomacy," Bernstein said. "And I say this with real respect for George W. Bush . . . but I do not believe his theological rhetoric about good and evil is the best way of resolving the Iraqi conflict."
  A follow-up e-mail:

Despite all this effort, a 9:00 a.m. meeting found a ton of ants by the island in the ____. They will not die. You have been warned.
  This must be a company at war

Good Morning,

Last night, the following was accomplished:

Ø All baseboards were sprayed, with the exception of bay #1
Ø All Thresholds were sprayed
Ø Middle isle was sprayed
Ø Entry to ____ was sprayed
Ø Area behind TV wall was sprayed

This should take care of the problem! I would surmise that when the employees sprayed the ants, they did not seek out the root problem, but, just sprayed the ants themselves. It seems that annually, the ants, just as the swallows migrate to a specific area. Unfortunately, here at ____, it happens to be the ____, and Sales Admin. I will alert the Exterminator of this prevalent problem so that he may pay more attention to this area.

Additionally, I would make the following recommendations:

Ø Keep bays in a reasonable state of cleanliness (that which our employees would be reasonably responsible for)
Ø Do not leave opened soda containers around (the cleaners will not take these items off of employee’s desks, as the employee may not want to discard it)
Ø Do not leave opened food packages in their work areas

I’m sorry to have to info everyone on this trivial matter!

Please let me know if there may happen to be any further reports of ants in the ____, and I’ll take it a step further.

  gaucherie \goh-shuh-REE\, noun:

1. A socially awkward or tactless act.
2. Lack of tact; boorishness; awkwardness.

Wednesday, February 19, 2003
Hello everyone,

A reminder to please cover the food that you heat in our microwave ovens. Our hard-working Corporate Office Assistant, ____, is finding it necessary to wash the inside of the ovens on a near daily basis, when it shouldn't be necessary.
Thank you for your cooperation and understanding.

P.S. The sink in the small kitchen is not equipped with a garbage disposal, so please don't leave items that need to be washed in that sink. Again, thank you.
“If we don't take a stand, one of these days records are going to be $20.” --Tom Petty, 1981, on album price increases.
  Is it working?

The human shields have the attention of the least-trusted American official ... the man they call the Secretary of Offense ... a man worth more than an estimated $120 million ...

Donald Rumsfeld.
Chris Robinson encourages his fans to audio record the New Earth Mud performances to share and trade with other like minded folks. If you want to take home a copy of the show you witnessed, you are welcomed to do so. These live recordings are for personal home use and are never to be sold or modified.

Mics/stands are okay to use from your seat, as long as you do not obstruct any person's vision. Please remember to respect the crew and those around you so that everyone has a good time. Enjoy the music!
I'm making inquiries. Thanks for letting me know.
Fine, thanks. I'm on a boring conference call but I'll call you later.
  Reader e-mail

Couldn't have said it any better than Senator Byrd - the Bush Administration is borderline tyrannical. Your page is a great source of info for me. Thanks.
  A good name

The sender of one of the six pieces of Spam e-mail I received from Yahoo! this morning was listed as MANFRED BEAVINGTON, which sounds like the name of a band or something.

"Hello, St. Louis, we're MANFRED BEAVINGTON. Enjoy the show."
Tuesday, February 18, 2003
Min Pins have no fear of other living creatures that are much larger because they don't know they are small.
  Reckless Administration May Reap Disastrous Consequences (this is easily dismissed as "partisan")

by US Senator Robert Byrd
Senate Floor Speech - Wednesday, February 12, 2003

To contemplate war is to think about the most horrible
of human experiences. On this February day, as this nation stands at the
brink of battle, every American on some level must be contemplating the
horrors of war.

Yet, this Chamber is, for the most part, silent -- ominously, dreadfully silent.
There is no debate, no discussion, no attempt to lay out for the nation the pros
and cons of this particular war. There is nothing.

We stand passively mute in the United States Senate,
paralyzed by our own uncertainty, seemingly stunned by the sheer turmoil of
events. Only on the editorial pages of our newspapers is there much
substantive discussion of the prudence or imprudence of engaging in this
particular war.

And this is no small conflagration we contemplate. This
is no simple attempt to derange a villain. No. This coming battle, if it
materializes, represents a turning point in U.S. foreign policy and
possibly a turning point in the recent history of the world.

This nation is about to embark upon the first test of a
revolutionary doctrine applied in an extraordinary way at an unfortunate
time. The doctrine of preemption -- the idea that the United States or any
other nation can legitimately attack a nation that is not imminently
threatening but may be threatening in the future -- is a radical new twist
on the traditional idea of self defense. It appears to be in contravention
of international law and the UN Charter. And it is being tested at a time of world-wide
terrorism, making many countries around the globe wonder if they will soon
be on our -- or some other nation's -- hit list. High level Administration
figures recently refused to take nuclear weapons off of the table when
discussing a possible attack against Iraq. What could be more destabilizing
and unwise than this type of uncertainty, particularly in a world where
globalize has tied the vital economic and security interests of many
nations so closely together? There are huge cracks emerging in our
time-honored alliances, and U.S. intentions are suddenly subject to
damaging worldwide speculation. Anti-Americanism based on mistrust,
misinformation, suspicion, and alarming rhetoric from U.S. leaders is
fracturing the once solid alliance against global terrorism which existed
after September 11.

Here at home, people are warned of imminent terrorist
attacks with little guidance as to when or where such attacks might occur.
Family members are being called to active military duty, with no idea of
the duration of their stay or what horrors they may face. Communities are
being left with less than adequate police and fire protection. Other
essential services are also short-staffed. The mood of the nation is grim.
The economy is stumbling. Fuel prices are rising and may soon spike higher.

This Administration, now in power for a little over two
years, must be judged on its record. I believe that that record is dismal.

In that scant two years, this Administration has
squandered a large projected surplus of some $5.6 trillion over the next
decade and taken us to projected deficits as far as the eye can see. This
Administration's domestic policy has put many of our states in dire financial condition,
under funding scores of essential programs for our people. This
Administration has fostered policies which have slowed economic growth.
This Administration has ignored urgent matters such as the crisis in health
care for our elderly. This Administration has been slow to provide adequate funding for homeland
security. This Administration has been reluctant to better protect our long
and porous borders.

In foreign policy, this Administration has failed to
find Osama bin Laden. In fact, just yesterday we heard from him again
marshaling his forces and urging them to kill. This Administration has
split traditional alliances, possibly crippling, for all time, International order-keeping
entities like the United Nations and NATO. This Administration has called
into question the traditional worldwide perception of the United States as
well- intentioned, peacekeeper. This Administration has turned the patient
art of diplomacy into threats, labeling, and name calling of the sort that
reflects quite poorly on the intelligence and sensitivity of our leaders,
and which will have consequences for years to come.

Calling heads of state pygmies, labeling whole countries
as evil, denigrating powerful European allies as irrelevant -- these types
of crude insensitivities can do our great nation no good. We may have
massive military might, but we cannot fight a global war on terrorism alone. We
need the cooperation and friendship of our time-honored allies as well as
the newer found friends whom we can attract with our wealth. Our awesome
military machine will do us little good if we suffer another devastating
attack on our homeland which severely damages our economy. Our military
manpower is already stretched thin and we will need the augmenting support
of those nations who can supply troop strength, not just sign letters
cheering us on.

The war in Afghanistan has cost us $37 billion so far,
yet there is evidence that terrorism may already be starting to regain its
hold in that region. We have not found bin Laden, and unless we secure the
peace in Afghanistan, the dark dens of terrorism may yet again flourish in that
remote and devastated land.

Pakistan as well is at risk of destabilizing forces.
This Administration has not finished the first war against terrorism and
yet it is eager to embark on another conflict with perils much greater than
those in Afghanistan. Is our attention span that short? Have we not learned that
after winning the war one must always secure the peace?

And yet we hear little about the aftermath of war in
Iraq. In the absence of plans, speculation abroad is rife. Will we seize
Iraq's oil fields, becoming an occupying power which controls the price and
supply of that nation's oil for the foreseeable future? To whom do we
propose to hand the reigns of power after Saddam Hussein?

Will our war inflame the Muslim world resulting in
devastating attacks on Israel? Will Israel retaliate with its own nuclear
arsenal? Will the Jordanian and Saudi Arabian governments be toppled by
radicals, bolstered by Iran which has much closer ties to terrorism than

Could a disruption of the world's oil supply lead to a
world-wide recession? Has our senselessly bellicose language and our
callous disregard of the interests and opinions of other nations increased
the global race to join the nuclear club and made proliferation an even
more lucrative practice for nations which need the income?

In only the space of two short years this reckless and
arrogant Administration has initiated policies which may reap disastrous
consequences for years.

One can understand the anger and shock of any President
after the savage attacks of September 11. One can appreciate the
frustration of having only a shadow to chase and an amorphous, fleeting
enemy on which it is nearly impossible to exact retribution.

But to turn one's frustration and anger into the kind of
extremely destabilizing and dangerous foreign policy debacle that the world
is currently witnessing is inexcusable from any Administration charged with
the awesome power and responsibility of guiding the destiny of the greatest
superpower on the planet. Frankly many of the pronouncements made by this
Administration are outrageous. There is no other word.

Yet this chamber is hauntingly silent. On what is
possibly the eve of horrific infliction of death and destruction on the
population of the nation of Iraq -- a population, I might add, of which
over 50% is under age 15 -- this chamber is silent. On what is possibly only days before we
send thousands of our own citizens to face unimagined horrors of chemical
and biological warfare -- this chamber is silent. On the eve of what could
possibly be a vicious terrorist attack in retaliation for our attack on
Iraq, it is business as usual in the United States Senate.

We are truly "sleepwalking through history." In my heart
of hearts I pray that this great nation and its good and trusting citizens
are not in for a rudest of awakenings.

To engage in war is always to pick a wild card. And war
must always be a last resort, not a first choice. I truly must question the
judgment of any President who can say that a massive unprovoked military
attack on a nation which is over 50% children is "in the highest moral
traditions of our country". This war is not necessary at this time.
Pressure appears to be having a good result in Iraq. Our mistake was to put
ourselves in a corner so quickly. Our challenge is to now find a graceful
way out of a box of our own making. Perhaps there is still a way if we
allow more time.
  Doctor Robert (Lennon/McCartney) from Revolver

Song background

Written about a New York doctor named Doctor Robert Freymann, a 60-year-old German physician who was famous for prescribing generous amounts of amphetamines to famous people. Freymann once boasted that he could name 100 famous names in 10 minutes of people who used his services. Some books credit Dr. Robert as being Dr. Charles Roberts, but that name was only used as an alias for one of Andy Wahol's actresses to protect another doctor who practiced the same type of medicene. The real Dr. Robert died in 1987 after losing his license in 1968 and removed from the NY State Medical Society in 1975.
  Note from Leonid Brezhnev

To employees who were due for performance review on February 11:

Salary increases have not yet been approved. Recommendations have been submitted to HR, but nothing is set in stone yet. You will each be informed of your increase amount, if any, as soon as we get official approval.

Also, I’d like to send a reminder to everyone that salary increases, and salary status in general, are not topics for public discussion; and anyone who chooses to do so could be subject to disciplinary action including termination.

Thank you for your cooperation.
  Headline indicating government of the people, for the people and by the people

  Message from the Gulf from a Marine who works at my company

All -
I just wanted to let you know that I will be heading ashore at the crack of dawn tomorrow to live with the Bedouins, or should I say “like a Bedouin.” I’ll drop you guys a line just as soon as I can, but I wanted to wish you the best of luck at this year’s ____. Knock ‘em dead ... so to speak!

Not to worry, I have my gas mask and 9mm at my side and I’ll be riding aboard 15 tons of American made steel ... an Iron “Grim reaper” if you will.
Give my best to everyone and let them know I’m thinking about them.

Best Regards
Monday, February 17, 2003

The front page of the Yahoo! sports section has finally been corrected to read STEVE BECHLER.

Apparently, the Yahoo! editors read God's Lonely Man.
  Another surprise

By DAVID BAUDER, AP Television Writer

NEW YORK - Television stations owned by big, out-of-town companies tend to produce lower-quality newscasts than those owned by smaller groups, a study by a journalism think tank has concluded.

This is former major league journeyman pitcher Tim Belcher, who will turn 42 in October.

This is Steve Bechler, a Baltimore Orioles pitcher who died this morning, a day after complaining of dizziness following a workout.

For the last several hours, the sports section of Internet giant Yahoo! has been reporting that Tim Belcher died.

I wonder how Tim Belcher felt when he got the news he was dead.
The metropolitan heart of San Diego doesn’t really get all that cold, but given our town’s close proximity to both water and desert, some of the outlying communities – Carlsbad, El Cajon, Ramona – can experience low temperatures that any self-respecting East Coaster would acknowledge as chilly. No, we’re not talking Buffalo or Chicago, but temperature, like everything else, is most accurately gauged in a relative context.
  sub rosa \suhb-ROH-zuh\, adverb:

Secretly; privately; confidentially.
Sunday, February 16, 2003
  United States still not ready
The truth is, we probably have no way of knowing whether the country is prepared for the next attack until after it occurs.

Says Donald L. Plusquellic, mayor of Akron, Ohio:

"If you had told me when we met with Bush that it would now be some 500-plus days since Sept. 11 and we would still not have this money, I wouldn't have believed you."
  A concerned reader sent:

Don't you hate it when entertainment-bashing types misspell someone's name, like JIMMY Hendrix?

  Come on, baby!

Isabella is due May 1.
Oh, I thought you meant the propaganda posters. That particular picture came from a news report about a tornado down south somewhere. I'm certain a news service owns the rights. Which one, I've no idea.
:*: Viagra without Physical Exam :*:
Saturday, February 15, 2003
  voluptuary \vuh-LUHP-choo-er-ee\, noun:

A person devoted to luxury and the gratification of sensual appetites; a sensualist.

Friday, February 14, 2003

Subject to your supervisor’s approval, you may leave two hours early today (for those who work 8 to 5, you may leave at 3; for those who work 7 to 4, you may leave at 2, etc.). Salaried and hourly employees alike will be paid for the 2 hours. If you are an hourly employee, please be sure to clock out today (this makes things so much easier for your supervisor!). Your supervisor will make the appropriate adjustment.

On behalf of the ____ Management Team, we wish you a very safe and happy holiday weekend!

See You on Tuesday!!
  osculation \os-kyuh-LAY-shuhn\, noun:

The act of kissing; also: a kiss.
  World Exclusive about new album from The Joe Smiths!

It can here be revealed that the working title of The Joe Smiths' debut recording is Songs for the Guys in the Warehouse.
As of this writing, the following songs are slated to be on the long player:


At least three other tunes will be included on the LP of originals, and the band is at present time deciding on whether to include a cover tune.
The album artwork has been selected, and negotiations are underway regarding certain rights involved with the record-sleeve photo.

Watch this space for further details.

Thursday, February 13, 2003
It's not very Christian of me, but it's 2003 and I wish a plague on Celine Dion's house.
  Clear Channel's List of Songs with Questionable Lyrics

Drowning Pool "Bodies"
Mudvayne "Death Blooms"
Megadeth "Dread and the Fugitive"
Megadeth "Sweating Bullets"
Saliva "Click Click Boom"
P.O.D. "Boom"
Metallica "Seek and Destroy"
Metallica "Harvester or Sorrow"
Metallica "Enter Sandman"
Metallica "Fade to Black"
All Rage Against The Machine songs
Nine Inch Nails "Head Like a Hole"
Godsmack "Bad Religion"
Tool "Intolerance"
Soundgarden "Blow Up the Outside World"
AC/DC "Shot Down in Flames"
AC/DC "Shoot to Thrill"
AC/DC "Dirty Deeds"
AC/DC "Highway to Hell"
AC/DC "Safe in New York City"
AC/DC "Hell's Bells"
Black Sabbath "War Pigs"
Black Sabbath "Sabbath Bloody Sabbath"
Black Sabbath "Suicide Solution"
Dio "Holy Diver"
Steve Miller "Jet Airliner"
Van Halen "Jump"
Queen "Another One Bites the Dust"
Queen "Killer Queen"
Pat Benatar "Hit Me with Your Best Shot"
Pat Benatar "Love is a Battlefield"
Oingo Boingo "Dead Man's Party"
REM "It's the End of the World as We Know It"
Talking Heads "Burning Down the House"
Judas Priest "Some Heads Are Gonna Roll"
Pink Floyd "Run Like Hell"
Pink Floyd "Mother"
Savage Garden "Crash and Burn"
Dave Matthews Band "Crash Into Me"
Bangles "Walk Like an Egyptian"
Pretenders "My City Was Gone"
Alanis Morissette "Ironic"
Barenaked Ladies "Falling for the First Time"
Fuel "Bad Day"
John Parr "St. Elmo's Fire"
Peter Gabriel "When You're Falling"
Kansas "Dust in the Wind"
Led Zeppelin "Stairway to Heaven"
The Beatles "A Day in the Life"
The Beatles "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds"
The Beatles "Ticket To Ride"
The Beatles "Obla Di, Obla Da"
Bob Dylan/Guns N Roses "Knockin' on Heaven's Door"
Arthur Brown "Fire"
Blue Oyster Cult "Burnin' For You"
Paul McCartney and Wings "Live and Let Die"
Jimmy Hendrix "Hey Joe"
Jackson Brown "Doctor My Eyes"
John Mellencamp "Crumbling Down"
John Mellencamp "I'm On Fire"
U2 "Sunday Bloody Sunday"
Boston "Smokin"
Billy Joel "Only the Good Die Young"
Barry McGuire "Eve of Destruction"
Steam "Na Na Na Na Hey Hey"
Drifters "On Broadway"
Shelly Fabares "Johnny Angel"
Los Bravos "Black is Black"
Peter and Gordon "I Go To Pieces"
Peter and Gordon "A World Without Love"
Elvis "(You're the) Devil in Disguise"
Zombies "She's Not There"
Elton John "Benny & The Jets"
Elton John "Daniel"
Elton John "Rocket Man"
Jerry Lee Lewis "Great Balls of Fire"
Santana "Evil Ways"
Louis Armstrong "What A Wonderful World"
Youngbloods "Get Together"
Ad Libs "The Boy from New York City"
Peter Paul and Mary "Blowin' in the Wind"
Peter Paul and Mary "Leavin' on a Jet Plane"
Rolling Stones "Ruby Tuesday"
Simon And Garfunkel "Bridge Over Troubled Water"
Happenings "See You in Septemeber"
Carole King "I Feel the Earth Move"
Yager and Evans "In the Year 2525"
Norman Greenbaum "Spirit in the Sky"
Brooklyn Bridge "Worst That Could Happen"
Three Degrees "When Will I See You Again"
Cat Stevens "Peace Train"
Cat Stevens "Morning Has Broken"
Jan and Dean "Dead Man's Curve"
Martha & the Vandellas "Nowhere to Run"
Martha and the Vandellas/Van Halen "Dancing in the Streets"
Hollies "He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother"
San Cooke Herman Hermits, "Wonder World"
Petula Clark "A Sign of the Times"
Don McLean "American Pie"
J. Frank Wilson "Last Kiss"
Buddy Holly and the Crickets "That'll Be the Day"
John Lennon "Imagine"
Bobby Darin "Mack the Knife"
The Clash "Rock the Casbah"
Surfaris "Wipeout"
Blood Sweat and Tears "And When I Die"
Dave Clark Five "Bits and Pieces"
Tramps "Disco Inferno"
Paper Lace "The Night Chicago Died"
Frank Sinatra "New York, New York"
Creedence Clearwater Revival "Travelin' Band"
The Gap Band "You Dropped a Bomb On Me"
Alien Ant Farm "Smooth Criminal"
3 Doors Down "Duck and Run"
The Doors "The End"
Third Eye Blind "Jumper"
Neil Diamond "America"
Lenny Kravitz "Fly Away"
Tom Petty "Free Fallin'"
Bruce Springsteen "I'm On Fire"
Bruce Springsteen "Goin' Down"
Phil Collins "In the Air Tonight"
Alice in Chains "Rooster"
Alice in Chains "Sea of Sorrow"
Alice in Chains "Down in a Hole"
Alice in Chains "Them Bone"
Beastie Boys "Sure Shot"
Beastie Boys "Sabotage"
The Cult "Fire Woman"
Everclear "Santa Monica"
Filter "Hey Man, Nice Shot"
Foo Fighters "Learn to Fly"
Korn "Falling Away From Me"
Red Hot Chili Peppers "Aeroplane"
Red Hot Chili Peppers "Under the Bridge"
Smashing Pumpkins "Bullet With Butterfly Wings"
System of a Down "Chop Suey!"
Skeeter Davis "End of the World"
Rickey Nelson "Travelin' Man"
Chi-Lites "Have You Seen Her"
Animals "We Gotta Get Out of This Place"
Fontella Bass "Rescue Me"
Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels "Devil with the Blue Dress"
James Taylor "Fire and Rain"
Edwin Starr/Bruce Springstein "War"
Lynyrd Skynyrd "Tuesday's Gone"
Limp Bizkit "Break Stuff"
Green Day "Brain Stew"
Temple of the Dog "Say Hello to Heaven"
Sugar Ray "Fly"
Local H "Bound for the Floor"
Slipknot "Left Behind, Wait and Bleed"
Bush "Speed Kills"
311 "Down"
Stone Temple Pilots "Big Bang Baby," Dead and Bloated"
Soundgarden "Fell on Black Days," Black Hole Sun"
Nina "99 Luft Balloons/99 Red Balloons"
  Angus Young on Bon Scott:

"If there was a town, he painted it, and if he missed one, he went back."
Why doesn't this happen in the United States?
I did know that was the joke you were going for ... just took a while for my sleepy brain to process it. Sorry.
How do practitioners of Islam feel when someone says, "Don't worry, the man arrested with a hand grenade at Gatwick was not a Muslim"?

How do atheists feel about living in a world dominated by religious wars?
  What does this mean?

HTTP 403.9 - Access Forbidden: Too many users are connected Internet Information Services
Good news …Sean has managed to recruit a buddy. And reportedly a 6’2” buddy with game.

So we should have 5.
  Money down

I’ll go ALL IN on the US of A. What other wagers do you speak of?

The US will take a hit or two along the way.

Yeah… I’m curious to see how their side, whomever that may be, retaliates. For some reason, I feel like 9/11 was retaliation for something we did… call me crazy.
Most people turn their heads to the right when kissing.

Kissing is fun.
Okay, I'll set the line at Iraq +26 1/2, which is a crazy number for a home team.

I'm not sure they'll cover, but I bet the United States of America loses a couple of other wagers along the way.
Wednesday, February 12, 2003
  It's on, and we didn't even think to set a line

U.S. Special Operations troops are already operating in various parts of Iraq ...
The Denver Nuggets are 1-34 when opponents score 83 points or more.
I'm also opposed to overuse of sparkling words such as "genius" and "brilliant," etc. It diminishes the praise when it's truly earned. But it slipped out. I think a genius is someone whose achievement inspires awe in the accomplished experts in his field.
Actually, I'd like to thank Paul for never wearing leather pants and for never making a political statement. You go boyfriend.
Washington Mutual bank allows six online transfers of funds per month. After that, they charge $5 a transfer.

Union Bank used to charge for information obtained from an automated system.

It's crazy what we allow these people to get away with. And don't tell me they are huge bureaucratic corporations, 'cuz they're all run by people. I don't think the people who work for the monoliths -- the ticket-counter person at the airline, etc. -- take enough flak for being the agents of corporate drift. I mean, you can only say so many times, "I know it's not your fault."

Well, whose fault is it?
Let's put it this way, on our second date, I told my now-fiance, that outside of GOOD sex....I'd rather be playing golf than anything else. Yeah, I hack it up.
IN 1967?


  I got this e-mail

Just in case anyone's interested, there's an anti-war rally happening this saturday. I probably won't make it, I don't even know what to think anymore. But it's at least good that somebody is questioning the party line.

Just to tease and tempt you.............
Flavors for Friday's sundae bar will include:
    New York Super Fudge Chunk
    Pure Creamy Vanilla
    Triple Caramel Chunk
The Sundae Station will be equipped with whipped cream, peanuts and chocolate sprinkles.   (What?  No cherries??!)


To celebrate Valentine's Day, everyone will be treated to sundaes this Friday, a la Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream. We will let you know where the sundae station will be set up.

Diet now or forever hold your peace!
Oh no. We may have to call in Willie.
Tuesday, February 11, 2003
  You don't want to read this

Dowd of The Times.


Carole Alexis
Tish Benson
Ainsley Burrows
Doreen Santos
Claudia Oya Whittingham


FOR INFO CALL 212 255-3626


Carole Alexis
Tish Benson
Ainsley Burrows
Doreen Santos
Claudia Oya Whittingham


FOR INFO CALL 212 255-3626
  I can't get enough of this stuff

WASHINGTON - Two federal law enforcement agencies had information before the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing suggesting that white supremacists living nearby were considering an attack on government buildings, but the intelligence was never passed on to federal officials in the state, documents and interviews show.
Monday, February 10, 2003
  The Pleasures of Canada ... Why Not Extend Them to Afghanistan?

We grew to love Canada. The authors of A Pattern Language say that the optimum size for a country is 2 to 10 million people. If a nation grows larger the government will become too remote from the citizens. To that we might add that if a country of immigrants becomes too densely populated the citizens will begin to get on on anothers' nerves. In the U.S. the symptoms of people irritating each other are most apparent on the West Coast ...
  Poet Michael Cardenas

i want to say
thank you
to the war mongers, and
to the oil barons
who control the airwaves and
erect fences to try to keep the future out
who toast their riches with goblets
filled with the blood of the workers

for every lie you tell
about aluminum tubes and nuclear weapons
we gain another ally
when we tell them the truth

for every one you hurt
when their babies die of cancer,
only to be buried in the radioactive sands of iraq
we gain another friend
when we give them our compassion

for every freedom you take
from the mexican and pakistani immigrants seeking a better life
we gain another impassioned fighter
when we demand their freedom
and our own

we are coming
your age is dying
your thin old hands, weakened by your own deception,
slip off faster, the harder you grip

thank you
for showing us the path not to take

thank you
for forcing us to find the light within ourselves
for forcing us to create the world we want
for allowing us to find the strength in our own hands,
to sculpt our dreams

the waves that we will swim in
will wash away the tracks your war machines have left in the sand
and as we raise our faces to the warm sun and the salty wind
we will forget all about your black oil
and find power in our mother
  About the Carlyle Group, my latest obsession

Success brought more investors, including the international financier George Soros and, in 1995, the wealthy Saudi Binladin family, who insist they long ago severed all links with their notorious relative. The first president Bush is understood to have visited the Binladins in Saudi Arabia twice on the firm's behalf.
  Mini-Drunky (according to the IMDB)

Troyer Falls Off the Wagon

Austin Powers star Verne Troyer has left friends worried for his health by reportedly spectacularly ending his no-alcohol rule. Troyer, who plays Mini Me in the spoof franchise, has struggled with alcoholism for the last year. He was admitted to hospital after a row with his girlfriend led to a drinking binge. And despite a spell of rehabilitation with Alcoholics Anonymous, the pint sized actor was back on the drink during a flight to a public appearance. A source tells Britain's The Sun newspaper, "A friend tried to stop him but Verne snapped, 'I can handle it, I know what I'm doing.' They got into a heated argument and made a big scene on the plane. Despite his size, Verne can put away a lot. It seems he's losing his battle with booze. He has missed AA meetings, which he attended regularly for a while. Pals think he's buckling under pressure of work. He often has to be away from home and finds it hard."
  Sacramento Kings coach Rick Adelman:

"I've said all along that if the Lakers are healthy in the playoffs, they're the team you've got to beat. I don't care if they're the eighth seed. I wouldn't want to be the (top) seed playing them in the first round."
  obdurate \OB-duh-rit; -dyuh-\, adjective:

1. a. Hardened in wrongdoing; stubbornly wicked. b. Hardened
in feelings; hard-hearted.
2. Resistant to persuasion; unyielding.
3. Hard; harsh; rugged; rough.

Momma took the computer away, thus no updates yesterday. I promise plenty for today, and I appreciate your checking in on the goings on.
Saturday, February 08, 2003
The Wild, the Innocent & the E Street Shuffle, Bruce Springsteen
We're a Happy Family: A Tribute to the Ramones
Combat Rock, The Clash
Mono, Grandpaboy
Easy Does It, Bobby Timmons Trio
WASHINGTON (CPI) -- The Bush Administration is preparing a bold, comprehensive sequel to the USA Patriot Act passed in the wake of September 11, 2001, which will give the government broad, sweeping new powers to increase domestic intelligence-gathering, surveillance and law enforcement prerogatives, and simultaneously decrease judicial review and public access to information.
Friday, February 07, 2003
  Source: Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge


Make a plan for contacting family members in an emergency

Learn about different types of attacks so you will know what to do in an emergency

Do not cancel events or travel plans

Be especially aware of your surroundings and the events happening around you

If you want to join the action, you must do one the following:

Option 1

1. Fill in the forms on our main website (click "Enter Site" above) and send them to us as soon as possible so we can include you on our group visa.

2. Pay £300 and have a place on a 3 month open-return flight from London to Amman in Jordan.


(Next flight leaves London on 17th February for Amman)

3. Continue from Amman, Jordan overland via bus to Baghdad.

Option 2

1. Contact the local or national Iraqi embassy in your country and give them your name, birth date, nationality, passport number and expiry date.

2. Tell them you require a visa for Iraq traveling as a human shield (for as long as possible)

3. Make your own way to reach Amman in Jordan by the 16th February, 2003 to meet the bus transports to Iraq.

We are arranging an office in Amman to co-ordinate the transports into Iraq.

We also plan to have a representative at the airport in Amman.

Option 3

1. Fill in the forms on our site (as option 1) above.

2. Get to Istanbul, Turkey for Friday, February 7th at the latest to join the bus convoy which left from London.

Please note: There are also very limited spaces on this convoy.


You don't need us to be a human shield, follow option 2 but make your own way into Iraq where possible.

We can obviously advise to an extent but we are already very busy with the demand for transport.
  Reader e-mail

Impressive web site. Perhaps you should include the JCarr quote of the day along with the money line of the day.
Their differences aside, Bill and Hillary Clinton must have experienced a shared horror when they saw this photo.
Thursday, February 06, 2003
Please reply to just me. Thank you for your help.

Who once protested a pro-censorship group by standing silent on a stage for 25 minutes?

a. I know the answer. It's _____

b. I think I heard about this ... I might know if I had multiple choice

c. No clue

Here's a surprise.
Good afternoon,
On tomorrow's paycheck you'll see your vacation and sick balances. There was an error with regards to the personal time. Please disregard the balance showing on your check - it is very likely a negative number. Everyone was given 16 hours of personal time on January 1st. Time taken after January forst should be deducted from that amount.
The personal balances should be correct on the next check!
Thanks for your patience!
I always take the team with Shaq.

OK, so you're wondering whether the new Nike Shox NZ running shoe advertisement, where the naked guy, wearing just a scarf, dodges English bobbies across a soccer pitch, really happened. It looks pretty real doesn't it?

Not so, folks. The ad, put together by Nike ad agency Wieden and Kennedy, was filmed over four freezing cold days at The Den, London-based Millwall's spanking new stadium. No wonder the guy runs "like a bull with gas," as the voice-over goes.

Actor Mark Bowden, 32, who had to bare all, told The Sunday Mirror in London that the worst part of the shoot "was being rugby-tackled by these 14-stone stuntmen, playing the policemen."

"On TV, part of his body is blurred, but he wasn't allowed any underwear on the shoot," an insider said. "But the cold definitely did not affect his performance."
The Portland, Ore., ad firm initially wanted to set the streaker in a National Football League game, but the idea was canned because "streaking" was more a part of British culture. Nike has a contract with numerous soccer clubs in England, including Manchester United, but the teams refused to allow their players to take part in the ad because they didn't want to look as if they were condoning streaking.

The ad has drawn complaints from the American Family Association. All the soccer players and people in the ad are actors. Some of the crowd was digitally reproduced.
  Who wins?

Team A

Shaquille O’Neal
Rasheed Wallace
Shawn Marion
Tracy McGrady
Jason Kidd


Team B

Tim Duncan
Kevin Garnett
Dirk Nowitzki
Kobe Bryant
Gary Payton
Wednesday, February 05, 2003
Do any of you have hand lotion? (And please don't think it sexist that I ask only women; it's only because I think you're more prepared than men.)
  The wisdom of Madonna

"Better to live one year as a tiger, then a hundred as a sheep."
  Letter from the Gulf (I guess)

Dear ____ Gang-

We just had one of our first "mail calls" since getting underway (it takes a while for mail to catch-up), and I wanted to let you all know how overwhelmed I was at the outpouring of support from everyone. Your cards and letters have helped provide a real boost to me and my fellow Marines, and they help serve as a visual reminder of the caliber of people I work with at ____. Thank you very much.

I figure by the end of this thing, I should have most of the Atlantic Naval Fleet sold on ____ as well as a good head-start on our international expansion into Iraq. The market might be a little pre-mature for our ____ products, but the people of Baghdad could certainly use a few good rounds of ____.

In the interest of operational security, I am not allowed to tell you where we are right now...but ironically, you can probably catch it on CNN. I've attached a photo from our transit through "a very long ditch in the sand." We have now changed over to our "varsity uniforms," and the tempo and focus is really beginning to heat up. For you former military folks, notice the new Marine Desert Digital camouflage...I realize it's hard to see me...especially against the gray backdrop of the ship's gunnel.

I hope this finds you all well and that we are off to a great 1st quarter.

Thanks again and best wishes.

I'm so tired of LeBron James. I mean, am literally fatigued by having his every breath forced upon me.
If you don't know who this kid is, more power to you.
Tuesday, February 04, 2003
  E-mail response to the last posting:

I hate when entertainment types misspell things or make titles more complicated than they need to be. Same for the Who's
The Kids Are Alright and countless others, I'm sure.
When referring in print to REM's fourth full-length album, the proper way to do it is Lifes Rich Pageant. Despite the inherent sic in the spelling, there is no apostrophe in the first word of the title.

I don't know why this is, but it is the way it is.
My friends have become my enemies
We never seem to agree

We can't stop pretending
We're who we can't be
  Review time

(HR) tells me I must have (your) review paperwork in to (HR boss) by the 5th. Therefore, Joe, prepare to be reviewed sometime tomorrow. It needn't take long.
Monday, February 03, 2003
"One conclusion is inescapable: The federal government must restrain the growth in any spending not directly associated with the physical security of the nation," Bush's budget book states.
  I said I had long suspected NASA was a racket, and this is the e-mail I got in respnse:

Any large institution can be considered a racket. Yet they are necessary and inevitable. Space will be explored, and only a large institution like NASA can pull it off. Personally, I think NASA's history has been relatively respectable and their success rate is incredible if you consider the mind-boggling stuff they do.
Sunday, February 02, 2003
  From TIME

Will NASA whitewash problems as it did after Challenger? The haunting fact of Challenger was that engineers who knew about the booster-joint problem begged NASA not to launch that day and were ignored. Later the Rogers Commission, ordered to get to the bottom of things, essentially recommended that nothing change. No NASA manager was fired; no safety systems were added to the solid rocket boosters whose explosion destroyed Challenger; no escape-capsule system was added to get astronauts out in a calamity, which might have helped Columbia. In return for failure, the shuttle program got a big budget increase. Post-Challenger "reforms" were left up to the very old-boy network that had created the problem in the first place and that benefited from continuing high costs.

Concerned foremost with budget politics, Congress too did its best to whitewash. Large manned-space-flight centers that depend on the shuttle are in Texas, Ohio, Florida and Alabama. Congressional delegations from these states fought frantically against a shuttle replacement. The result was years of generous funding for constituents—and now another tragedy.

The tough questions that have gone unasked about the space shuttle have also gone unasked about the space station, which generates billions in budget allocations for California, Texas, Ohio, Florida and other states. Started in 1984 and originally slated to cost $14 billion in today's dollars, the space station has already cost at least $35 billion—not counting billions more for launch costs—and won't be finished until 2008. The bottled water alone that crews use aboard the space station costs taxpayers almost half a million dollars a day. (No, that is not a misprint.) There are no scientific experiments aboard the space station that could not be done far more cheaply on unmanned probes. The only space-station research that does require crew is "life science," or studying the human body's response to space. Space life science is useful but means astronauts are on the station mainly to take one another's pulse, a pretty marginal goal for such an astronomical price.

Of the great guitarist Jimi Hendrix, Neil Young once said:

"No one else is even in the same building as this guy."
Saturday, February 01, 2003

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Immediate popular reaction in Baghdad on Saturday to the loss of the U.S. space shuttle Columbia and its seven-member crew -- including the first Israeli in space -- was that it was God's retribution.

"We are happy that it broke up," government employee Abdul Jabbar al-Quraishi said.

"God wants to show that his might is greater than the Americans. They have encroached on our country. God is avenging us," he said.

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