An Inclusive Litany
- A teenage boy sued after being injured in the "mosh pit" at a rock concert, an area where the less inhibited slam-dance and pass each others' writhing bodies over their heads.
- A man bought a ticket to a Chavez fight, became drunk, got into a fight
himself, fell down a flight of stairs, and died. His family sued
Ticketmaster, along with the fight promoter, the venue, and vendors
who sold products at the venue.
- A man who received a gift certificate for tickets but failed to
redeem it before the expiration date filed a class action lawsuit
under the theory that expiration dates constitute an "unfair
- A man who was so anxious to buy tickets to a concert that he
decided to sleep on the street next to Pennsylvania Station in New
York for three days so that he could be the first in line when tickets
became available was mugged, and he sued Ticketmaster four years
- A Colorado woman held an outdoor concert at an Indian swap meet and decided to do the ticketing through Ticketmaster. She then advertised the event at a nonexistent venue and signed up obscure artists to take part. On the day of the event the temperature soared to 104 degrees, and attendance was sparse. She sued Ticketmaster for $300,000, even though all of Ticketmaster's contracts explicitly state that there is no guarantee of minimum ticket sales.
I want to make it clear that I am not claiming never to have ogled a woman. The difference, however, between me and the snickering rabble who claim their right to use their eyes as they damn well please, is simple: I recognize the act of "throwing amorous, languishing or insinuating glances" in public as among the more base and degrading instincts I have. It is not something of which I am proud. In fact, ogling is an instinct which we men need to unlearn as we teach its opposite—deep respect for women—to our male children. Furthermore—and this is the essential fact—I have found it to be the source of wisdom not to ogle women because it sets me up on the wrong path and hinders my relationship with every woman, including my mother.... And when one of us exploits a woman, even by undressing her with our eyes in public, we show that we have lost touch with the woman inside us—the mother who gave us life.
The children, excited by the prospect of seeing [Jesse] Jackson, were also addressed by San Francisco civil rights lawyer Eva Patterson: "Some very bad people don't want you to go to college. They want you to be homeless and go to jail and go on welfare, so they can cut welfare so you can't even live."
"As you read this," began an article in New York's City Sun, "in the Islamic Republic of Mauritania, Black Africans continue to be enslaved by their Arab Berber masters.... In the Islamic Republic of the Sudan ... Black women and children (mostly Christian) are being captured in raids on their villages and sold as chattel slaves." Another article in the Daily Challenge featured a Mauritanian exile who, as a picture caption read, was "tortured by Arab Muslims during Mauritania's murderous 1990 anti-Black pogrom, bared to his scars to a horrified audience in Brooklyn's House of the Lord Church." At an Abolitionist Conference held at Columbia University, many grass-roots black activists made common cause with the American Anti-Slavery Group (AASG) and African exiles.
As a result of the attention focused on the issue, the Nation of Islam is speaking out—in defense of Sudan and Muslim enslavers. So is the Amsterdam News, America's largest black weekly. Louis Farrakhan's international representative Akbar Muhammad noted that the AASG research director, Charles Jacobs, is "a Jew, maybe a Zionist" intent upon besmirching Islam and dividing blacks.
Augustine A. Lado, president of the human rights group Pax Sudani Network, complains that the "Congressional Black Caucus, Trans-Africa, the Rainbow Coalition, the Nation of Islam, and the NAACP [have] forsaken us." Charles Jacobs likewise relates, "for two years we tried to get Rev. Jackson on the record against slavery, [but he] returned our document packages unopened. A staff person told us that Jackson wouldn't touch the issue because it seemed anti-Arab." Jackson wouldn't even give Samuel Cotton of the City Sun a statement. He "is busy with affirmative action," an aide explained. "Right now, slavery is not on his agenda."
In 1993, Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA) sent Benjamin Chavis, then executive director of the NAACP, two letters about "kidnapping, slavery, and the export of women and children from ... Sudan." "Please let me know if the NAACP is willing to step forward," Wolf wrote. There was no response to these or to similar pleas Wolf made to apartheid foe Randall Robinson. Robinson promised exiled Sudanese that he would "do something about Sudan after Haiti."
[Ed.: After Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan challenged the press, "If slavery exists, why don't you go as a member of the press?" two staff reporters from the Baltimore Sun went to Sudan and purchased two slaves, ages 10 and 12, from an Arab trader for $500 each at a remote marketplace, then returned the boys to their parents.]
In Minneapolis, a policeman who suffered from diabetes collapsed into a coma while driving his police cruiser. The cruiser crashed, causing minor damage. The police department, concluding that the risk of further comas was too high, discharged the officer. The policeman sued, claiming that the department should have accommodated him and kept him in his job.
In Orlando, Florida, elementary school custodian Leroy McMillon attacked the school principal during a job evaluation. When the school system fired McMillon, he sued, claiming that he suffered from a disability. (McMillon swore that he had forgotten to take his thyroid medicine that day.)
A federal court heard the case of two women who sued the Caravan of Dreams nightclub in Dallas. The women, both of whom have respiratory ailments, claimed that the nightclub had violated their civil rights when it failed to prohibit every other person who wanted to go to two jazz concerts from smoking. (A federal judge rejected their charges.)
Margi Chong sued her employer, Columbia Sportswear of Portland, Oregon, claiming that they discriminated against her by requiring that smokers pay a higher fee than non smokers for group health insurance. As Business Journal Portland noted, "The suit asserts that Chong's addiction to tobacco gives her protection from employment discrimination under the ADA."
You turn a "th" sound on the beginning of a word into a "d" sound.
"The" becomes "duh."
That's one of the rules of Black English Vernacular that Eyvonne Crawford-Gray shared Friday with fourth- and fifth-grade students at Lincoln Elementary School.
Another rule: "r" on the end of a word becomes silent.
"What does 'door' become?" Crawford-Gray asked.
"Doe," responded the children from Jeffrey Maas' open classroom.
The students first met Crawford-Gray when she was running for a seat on the Madison School Board....
Crawford-Gray told the students that Black English Vernacular is a separate language because it has its own rules and patterns.
Some of the children responded as she explained the rules. "That's how we talk at home," said one.
"That is something to be proud of," Crawford-Gray said. "You speak two languages."
But there is a theme implicit in the [Susan] Smith story that ought to be familiar to every woman with a functioning heart, and the theme is love. Not the good kind of love, obviously, the kind that results in homemade cookies and all-night vigils with feverish children, but the ungovernable, romantic kind of love that the songs tell us about, as in "addicted to love" and "I would do anything to hold onto you." Whether Smith intended to kill herself or just wanted to win back her lover by getting rid of the kids, we will never know for sure. Either way, she was an extremist in the cause for love.
For instance, projected Medicare costs will rise over the next seven years by ten point five percent a year if left alone... the Republicans would reduce that increase to six point four percent a year. But that's still an increase, says Gingrich, not a cut.
Well, I got to thinking about that and I must tell you I think Gingrich is wrong. Take a family of four. Suppose that family earns enough to buy a loaf of bread each day and everyone gets a fourth of the loaf. That loaf costs a dollar. Now, I know it really costs more, but let's just keep this simple.
Suddenly, mama gives birth to another child. It is now a family of five and the head of the house comes to Mr. Gingrich and says, "I'll need another quarter please to buy another quarter loaf of bread."
And Mr. Gingrich says, "No, sorry. I'll give you another twelve and a half cents. But not a penny more." I suspect that family will think it's just suffered a cut. No longer can everyone have a quarter loaf of bread a day... now everyone has to have less. Even though Mr. Gingrich will say, "Why, that family got an increase in its budget."
Now, any way you slice it, the Republicans are cutting the budget. Perhaps a good thing. Who needs a quarter loaf of bread a day anyway?
Lugar smiles. Lugar's smile is constant. It's toothy, but tinged with a certain sadness, I think. Initially it reminds me of a podiatrist's smile—that resolutely sanguine yet ever-so-slightly mournful look of someone who's known the joys of shaving a corn off a young ballerina's toe so she can dance the part of Clara in that night's Nutcracker, but who's also had to tell a heartbroken little figure skater that, because of an inoperable bunion, she'll never do another salchow.
Leyner goes on to describe Lugar as someone who looks a bit young for his age:
Immunologist Walter Pierpaoli of the Biancala-Maser Foundation for the aged in Ancona, Italy, and Vladimir A. Lesnikov of the Institute of Experimental Medicine in St. Petersburg, Russia, have offered experimental evidence that the pineal gland plays some part in regulating the rate at which the body ages. Pierpaoli has further stated that "we can dramatically interfere with aging by interfering with the calcifying of the pineal." Although Newsweek columnist George Will has noted that Senator Lugar has "an unreasonably unlined face between his sparkling Chiclets teeth and his thick shock of silvery hair," not a single credible journalist has suggested that Lugar might be rejuvenating himself by somehow—through highly experimental means—inhibiting the calcification of his pineal gland. Although sources tell me that the instruments required for pineal decalcification could be easily procured at almost any office equipment and beauty-supply store, a cursory inspection of Lugar's Manchester headquarters—including the back room—reveals no paraphernalia that would be consistent with such a procedure.
Hello Jennifer: You stated some million Native Americans were killed by bounty hunters in California.... Please give me specifics about documentation of this atrocity. —Lael
Dear Lael and others: The source of my California information was a PBS documentary titled "Ishi," produced by WGBH in Boston.... I called the Burke Museum at the University of Washington for more detailed information, but they were too busy to help callers.
I suggest you become researchers and, using your local library, contact the leading Native American museum in California and find out what it has on the California bounty system of the late 1800s and early 1900s.
You may find good records that confirm the documentary statistics or reveal other atrocities. The important thing for me, however, is not whether the data add up to a million or a few hundred thousand or whether Native Americans died because of bounties or other violence.
The important information, in this case, is not in the details; it is in awareness of some of the patterns of our history.
Activists dressed in lobster suits have berated diners entering Gladstone's, a restaurant in Pacific Palisades, Calif., that serves as many as 10,000 lobsters a month. The shadowy Crustacean Liberation Front has tagged San Francisco cafes with pro-lobster graffiti. In England, underwater saboteurs in scuba gear have prowled the deep at fishing tournaments, herding away trophy carp and snipping off lures.... Last month, PETA [People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals] declared a National Fish Amnesty Day, and plans to call for more fishing-free days in the future.
Debra DiCenso ... was arrested Wednesday for working out in the men's weight room.... The problem, DiCenso explained, is that the heaviest dumbbells in the women's weight room are 30 pounds—compared with 65 on the men's side—and that the other equipment for the ladies is, well, lightweight stuff. "It's my constitutional right to work out with weights I can lift," said DiCenso, a political science major at Northeastern University and aspiring lawyer.
Reading a letter on [July 16], I was moved to empathize with the writer's feeling for "horrible suffering" inflicted on fish by bowfishmen. ("...Every day is hellish for the wildlife kingdom..."). Then my continuing unresolved philosophical problems about my encounters with ants arose anew.
Where I walk to pick up my Tribune every morning, many of the cracks in the sidewalk are the homes for ant colonies. Even when trying not to, I step on countless ants, snuffing out their lives.
Then I ask myself: What is the relationship between me and those ants and other wildlife? Do I make life "hellish" for those ants I step on every day? And for those insects and rodents I try to eradicate from my home? Do bowfishmen make life hellish for the fish?
Without trying to invest the questions with more philosophical weight than they deserve, the issues of humans misusing lower forms of natural life are very active ones today, with "animal rights" battles going on everywhere. And the ants in my path to the goal of getting the Tribune are a big part of the debate for me.
[Ed.: The gardening catalog of Smith and Hawken offers a $130 electronic mosquito catcher called Insectivoro that uses a different mechanism than standard bug zappers: "A powerful fan sucks [the bugs] into a filter drawer, where they desiccate over time—or they may be released back outside at the end of the day."]
Later, Power brought suit in the Massachusetts Supreme Court, claiming that her First Amendment rights were violated by the agreement, but the court disagreed with her, so she appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. One of her lawyers in the Supreme Court appeal, asked if there was a book or film deal in the works, responded, "I really can't answer that."
Why a Lot of Men Will Be Winners by Becoming Feminists
Until recently I was against the feminist movement and even hated women, although I am a straight man. The reason was very simple: for many years I did not have enough sex. (I still don't have enough.) I was wondering why, since I am not ugly, I dress well, and I am not disabled or mentally retarded. A lot of men I know who don't make a lot of money have the same problem. I have never been wealthy, so I thought that women were causing this sexual problem because they were being too materialistic.
Recently I realized that it is not women but we men who create this situation. Men with a lot of money not only can but usually do have several women. IRS statistics show that more than 15 percent of Americans have incomes greater than $50,000 per year. As we know, the majority of people with big incomes are men, so it makes sense to assume that at least 20 percent of the male population are making more than $50,000 a year. Meanwhile, another 20 percent of men make less than $20,000. These men can hardly afford to impress a woman with their standard of living. Not so for the big money maker: he can afford not only to have a more impressive standard of living (housing, car) but also to pay for several women (restaurants, vacations, cash, expensive presents). The rich 20 percent can easily satisfy 40 percent of the nation's women, thus creating a big shortage of sexually unsatisfied women.
What surprising conclusion did I draw from this? Become a feminist. Let as many women as possible become big moneymakers so that the number of male big moneymakers decreases, thereby increasing the supply of unsatisfied women! The message for men is simple: when you need a service, go to a woman; when you vote, vote for a woman; use the Women's Yellow Pages whenever possible. Don't help a man become stronger financially and thereby eliminating you sexually. The faster we spread this message, the sooner we will feel the results.