An Inclusive Litany
Jack Kevorkian was convicted in Michigan of second-degree murder for directly administering lethal drugs to Thomas Youk, a clearly premeditated killing that was staged for CBS's "60 Minutes" program. What primarily prompted Youk, who suffered from the same disease, to consent to his own killing was the fear that he would choke to death as a result of one of the disease's debilitating effects, but doctors insist that drugs are available to prevent that from happening. Maintaining a strange consistency, Kevorkian himself vowed to commit suicide if convicted.
I'll tell you something else [my father] taught me. He taught me how to clean out hog waste with a shovel and a hose. He taught me how to clear land with a double-bladed ax. He taught me how to plow a steep hillside with a team of mules. He taught me how to take up hay all day long in the hot sun.Yes, he sure can shovel it. The Weekly Standard notes that even the poorest farmers have been using bulldozers and chainsaws to clear land since before Gore was born, and that only the most foolish among them would plow a steep hillside, thus allowing precious topsoil to wash away.
A profile of Gore in the New Yorker from a few years back revealed a much different facet to this complex man:
Gore was a son of politics, a child of Washington, where his father served for thirty-two years as a congressman and a senator. The family residence was an apartment in the elegant Fairfax Hotel, which was owned by a Gore cousin; young Al walked across the street every morning to the Cosmos Club, where a bus picked him up for the ride to Washington's most elite prep school, St. Albans, on the grounds of the Washington Cathedral.
Later, following an order by Mayor Brown to reclaim homeless persons' shopping carts, activists declared the carts to be works of art, and thus protected from confiscation under the First Amendment. Efforts to combat alcohol consumption in public parks also came under fire as a form of discrimination. "If you had just drunk a glass of Corbett Canyon [wine] and they came into your living room, wouldn't you think it's an invasion of your privacy?" asked Benny Joyner of the Coalition on Homelessness. "These [parks] are homes to the homeless."
A year later, Brown sued KFC for severe emotional distress. Ruling in her favor, a California appellate court accepted her hypothesis that a company has a duty to comply with a robber's demands and is liable to tort action from injured or frightened patrons if it fails to do so quickly enough.
Gore deplores the tendency to build "flat, not tall," instead endorsing "smart-growth" plans calling for denser city-like enclaves with strict building restrictions on outlying areas, preferring multi-family townhouses to single-family homes, and rail transit to automobiles—all the things suburbanites apparently want to get away from. But by reducing commuting costs, Gore insists suburbanites would have more money to send their children to college.
[Ed.: The average automobile commute time runs less than half an hour, less than by rail. Roads are cheaper to build than rail systems, and are far more flexible in their use, as exemplified by the recent trend towards inter-suburban commuting. Steven Hayward, of the San Francisco-based Pacific Research Institute, also notes that "sprawl" is a sign of economic health, and many of the metropolitan areas now leading campaigns against it—St. Louis, Chicago, and Pittsburgh—would have begged for growth of any kind twenty years earlier.]
[Ed.: To address racial-profiling allegations, the Clinton Justice Department called for a study on whether state troopers were pulling over a disproportionate percentage of African American drivers on the New Jersey Turnpike. Released two years later, the study determined that blacks were nearly twice as likely to speed (driving at least 80 mph in a 65 mph zone) than whites. The study relied on data supplied by an independent contractor, the Public Services Research Institute, which over a three-month period photographed tens of thousands of motorists while clocking them with radar guns.]
The Guidance says that unpaid leave may be a reasonable accommodation after paid leave has been exhausted. This means that employers may need to provide indefinite leave to an employee, as long as this isn't an "undue hardship." This is true even if the employer already has a generous unpaid leave policy.
The result is that it will be more difficult for employers to apply their leave policies, says Minneapolis defense attorney Christopher Bell, one of the principal drafters of the ADA.
"How does an employer apply a policy with a limit if the EEOC says that wherever you draw the line, the ADA means more?" he asks.
He suggests that lawyers advise their clients to reduce the amount of leave that's available in the first place, because "if you have a generous floor, the ceiling is going to be higher."
A similar plan to give new teachers a $5,000 signing bonus in Richmond, Virginia, was nixed because, as union president Robert Gray said, it "sends a signal that... inexperienced teachers are more valuable than [experienced] teachers."
And the United Educators of San Francisco filed a grievance with the school district because the Edison Charter Academy paid $2,800 to $3,600 more in annual salary than other public schools. Aside from the salary difference, the union was also disturbed that Edison's teachers worked 8 hours a day and 190 days a year, compared with 7 hours a day over 181 days a year as in other schools.
- Kelefa Sanneh:
- Why do you rap so much about outer space?
- Killah Priest:
- Because that's where we're from! Black people come from
space. When you look at the sky, it's black. Without
sunlight, forget it: it's black. In the beginning, there was
- Elijah Muhammad wrote that Earth was created when the
moon was deported from this planet 66 trillion years ago. Is
that "the beginning" you're talking about?
- I ain't talking about that. I'm talking about pure facts. In the beginning, "darkness was upon the face of the deep." Man was made on a certain day, he went and got corrupt, and he's been corrupt ever since. He's been destroying the world, he's been hiding identities, he's been lying, stealing—all of that. But space travel is real. When they speak of unidentified flying objects, a lot of people don't understand what that means. Ezekiel saw UFOs back then, only they were IFOs, because he identified them. He knew what they were. They were chariots of fire. They call them spaceships now. That's where the old Negro song comes from: "Swing low, sweet chariot, coming for to carry me home."
- Are these spaceships different from the Mothership that the
Nation of Islam
preaches about—the craft that abducted
Louis Farrakhan in Mexico in 1985?
- No, it's the same. People call it Mothership, chariot,
UFO, but it's all the same thing.
- Fard Muhammad taught that despite the Mothership, the
true home of the Original People was Earth. Do you believe
that this spaceship is going to take African-American people
- That's what's been predicated. Christians talk about the
rapture, Christ coming back and the sky cracking up. The
American government says that if anything comes out of space,
we should all help fight it. The whole world has gone mad:
one group of people is waiting for a spaceship, while another
group is waiting to shoot it down. Isaiah
"the Lord will come with fire, and with his chariots like a
whirlwind." He's going to come and wreak vengeance, because there are
a lot of lies out there.
- Are you talking about movies like Independence Day? The
Nation of Islam's newspaper The Final Call attacked that movie
as a racist perversion of the Day of Judgment.
- Word. Like the movie Independence Day. There are
people who know what's going to happen. They are part of the
elite 10 percent of society, the ones that know truth and
hide it. When you talk about religion, there's always a
righteous 5 percent and a devious 10 percent—the other 85
percent of people are ignorant.
- The government—that's the 10 percent, right?
- Yeah. And I have to watch myself, too. When Christ spoke out like this, they came against him.
Smith counters that she was on the pill at the time but that it was an accident, and that she could not have stolen his sperm because "he surrendered any right of possession to his semen when he transferred it during voluntary sexual intercourse."
Smith gave birth to a baby girl, by the way.
With all respect due to a man of phenomenal ability and achievement, isn't it apparent that much of the public mourning for Joe DiMaggio is really keening for the bygone era of the white athlete? I had my ear cocked to the radio on Tuesday and Wednesday, and I couldn't help hearing racial code words pouring out of the ether. Caller after caller decried today's greedy, money-grubbing athlete, who immodestly brags about his or her accomplishments and publicly taunts opponents, talks trash, etc. Inevitably, callers and commentators alike contrasted today's unsportsmanlike behavior with the quiet dignity of DiMaggio, who supposedly never squawked about contracts (he did) or poor-mouthed his adversaries.
Well, OK. But aren't we really talking about stereotypical "white" behavior, contrasted with stereotypical "black" behavior? ...
The president could not have committed perjury because truth is subjective. What one person believes to be the truth may not be what another person believes. Case in point: five people witness a crime, yet the statements they give to the police aren't always the same. Why not? Because their beliefs, personalities, etc. cause them to interpret the events differently. This does not make them liars.
We Americans and Congress should be ashamed at ourselves for pointing our collective finger at him and chanting "liar, liar, pants on fire" just because we disagree with his interpretation of what the truth is.
A Federal District Court in Philadelphia discarded the National Collegiate Athletic Association's minimum test score requirement for athletic scholarships yesterday, throwing into disarray the principal criterion for establishing eligibility for student-athletes.
In a 54-page decision, Judge Ronald I. Buckwalter held that the NCAA's SAT and ACT minimum score requirement, as outlined in Proposition 16, "has an unjustified disparate impact against African-Americans."
Two Johns Hopkins researchers have discovered that sexual intercourse can cause temporary amnesia in elderly men, Reuters Health reported recently.
"We report two patients who presented with transient global amnesia immediately after sexual intercourse," said Chi V. Dang, MD, and Lawrence B. Gardner, MD, in a letter to The Lancet.
The researchers believe the phenomenon may be due to the "Valsalva maneuver" that occurs during sexual intercourse. During the Valsalva movement, a withholding of the breath and a concurrent tightening of the muscles puts pressure on the chest and neck. This stops drainage of blood from the head. This cerebrovascular movement may affect memory and other intellectual functions.
"...a presidential Valsalva maneuver during each of his recent escapades may have legally allowed him to not recall specific events." A medical explanation for Clinton's faulty memory "may thereby help maintain international stability during the recent transient global economic fluctuation."
[Ed.: White House aide Sidney Blumenthal testified to a grand jury that President Clinton's power of recall was beginning to falter now that he was in his fifties. One one occasion, the president was working on a crossword puzzle and could not remember the name of Porky Pig's wife. "I reminded him it was Petunia," Blumenthal testified.]
Asked about Juanita Broaddrick's recent allegations that Clinton assaulted her 21 years ago in an Arkansas hotel room, [Health and Human Services Secretary Donna] Shalala said she has reached no conclusion about whether she believes Broaddrick or the terse denial issued by Clinton's lawyer—and said she doesn't need to in order to do her job.
"I take all of this very seriously," Shalala said of Broaddrick's allegations, adding that "I do not compartmentalize" by making separate judgments about personal conduct and public performance. At the same time, Shalala said, "I'm both a patriot and a professional; I serve the nation and the president."
This conviction, she said, allows her to pursue what she considers important issues on Clinton's behalf without knowing for sure what to believe about his past.
[Ed.: Broaddrick's rape allegation came just as Vice President Gore announced $223 million in "grants to help detect and stop violence against women," an effort that he said would "hold abusers accountable." Also, concerning potential corroborative evidence backing up Broaddrick's account, presidential flak-catcher Lanny Davis wondered aloud, "How do we know she didn't lie to all her friends?" Good question, Lanny!]
And after authoring a diet book, former Dukakis campaign manager and Harvard Law Review president Susan Estrich defended its content, declaring: "Dieting for me is an act of feminism."
[Ed.: The Wall Street Journal reports that about 1,900 girls participated in high-school wrestling in 1998. In one incident, a boy apologized to his female opponent when putting a hold on her, and another boy—weighing in at 119 pounds and able to bench-press 300—was compelled by his coach to forfeit a match because his coach feared he would "tear the girl apart."]
The following is part of the section on "inner preparedness," which also includes tips on how to "freeze-frame" turbulent situations through mental focusing and deep breathing, as well as a list of the five psychological stages people go through when confronted with the Y2K issue: Denial, Anger, Fear, Depression/Panic, and finally Acceptance/Cooperation. Those communicating about the Y2K issue are advised to Achieve Understanding First, Listen Nonjudgmentally, Listen for the Essence, and Be Authentic. They must do so in an environment of Contribution, Recognition, Clarity, Self-expression, Challenge, and Supportive Management.
This section was written by Corrine McLaughlin and Gordon Davidson, coauthors of Spiritual Politics: Changing the World from the Inside Out and Builders of the Dawn. The pair is also credited as cofounders of The Center for Visionary Leadership in Washington, D.C., and Sirius, an "ecological village and educational community" in Massachusetts.
Some are seeing the Y2K crisis as a social change opportunity. People who have been working their entire lives for political, social and cultural change immediately see its transformational potential. A common response among this group is, "This is what I came here for," or "I've been waiting my entire life for this." They immediately see the systemic implications of the issue, and use their carefully developed prototype projects as seed examples of how we can meet some of the real human needs in this new situation.
What many people are realizing is that if there are breakdowns in the infrastructure of the modern world, the seeds that have been planted by all these movements are likely to see exponential growth. Previously uninvolved members of the public will see them as practical solutions they can use in neighborhoods and communities to meet real-life needs. Using well-developed dialoguing and visioning processes involving the entire community, people could develop new ways to organize themselves with community-supported agriculture, barter and alternative currencies, solar and wind energy, wholistic and complementary medicine, and co-ops of all kinds. As people realize they can mobilize their personal resources and contribute to community-preparedness efforts, they feel more confident and empowered that they can get through this Y2K crisis.
[Ed.: Note that millenarians on the far right tend to stress the enduring value of gold over that of solar power. A fascinating digest of often marginal periodicals, The Utne Reader defies easy categorization, but soft-left communitarian concerns seem to form a common thread. While it is said one cannot judge a book by its cover, one can definitely learn a lot about a magazine's readers by scanning its advertisements. Enthusiasms displayed include yoga instruction, hot tubs, the Esalen Institute, ethical investment firms, Working Assets credit cards (a.k.a., "plastic with a purpose"), personal coaches, affirmation alarm clocks, Birkenstocks, non-vinyl shower curtains, recycling, "predator-friendly" wool products (wolves are scared from herds of sheep by llamas rather than shot), teepee kits, adult education, soy milk, vitamin supplements, "Tantric, Taoist and sacred sex" instruction (featuring Kabbazah and Karezza techniques and yogic ejaculatory control), "fairly traded gourmet coffee," natural toothpaste, the intellectual fraudulence of "Dilbert," Windham Hill Records, Tuvan throat singers, nudist travel magazines, improving your Spanish, and "enlightened" dog training methods from the Monks of New Skete.]
Rejecting the prosecutor's recommendation of six to eight years in prison, Suffolk County Judge Maria I. Lopez gave Stanley a three-year sentence that took into account his Gypsy background. Johns Hopkins-educated psychiatrist Keith Ablow testified that Stanley's Gypsy upbringing contributed to his criminal behavior. "This is a culture for which deception and lying is a survival strategy," said Ablow, adding that "it's probably not fair to hold him to the same standards you would an average individual." Ablow noted that Czech playwright Vaclav Havel once said that the way a society treats its Gypsies defines its level of civility, adding that punishing a man for culturally learned actions would create a "Dante-esque" and "Kafka-esque" situation.
[Ed.: Lyons's misdeeds included selling a fraudulent mailing list that supposedly contained members of the National Baptist Convention, but that turned out to be picked out from the telephone book based on whether the names sounded black. One of the names on the list was that of an imperial wizard of the Ku Klux Klan. A good deal of the money in question flooded into the organization following the media hoax alleging widespread arson of black churches.]