Laramie Project

I went up to school to watch the “Laramie Project” performed by high school students. Normally plays produced and acted by high schoolers, especially a play based on a real life event are usually over acted. This play was the exception. The true-story events surrounding the murderof Matthew Shepard 10 years ago in Wyoming (outside of Laramie) was a seminal moment in gay-rights history.



The play itself is based on comments and testimony by the participants in the murder as well as the townsfolk. There are many scenes in the play which could have been caricatures of the real events, but the kids pulled it off without a hitch and with the needed emotion without going over the top. What came out of the 3 hour production was an understanding of the issues from several sides including the ‘Christian’ freaks from Topeka Kansas (Westboro Baptist Church).

Kudos to St. Ignatius College Prep performing arts for a dandy show, difficult to put on yet seamlessly believable.

Know When to Hold ‘Em

With Ohio passing a new gambling law on Tuesday 3 November and the legalizing marijuana in Breckinridge Colorado and in Maine and now the Governator wants to legalize pot in California to make up for revenue short falls, are we headed to a more ‘liberal’ approach to balancing budgets? Like taxing ‘sin.’ Is this just another statement of Nevada’s irrelevance? Maybe. Panaceas like gambling pay checks away with the promise of a fortune are becoming the norm. Not much difference between these new laws and the way we have been gambling away our money with the “Too Big To Fail” banks…What’s the answer here? comment please, because I am getting a headache.

On the down side, Maine voted down Gay marriage. Bummer. I can see how some would think that casinos would bring in the money and keep it intrastate, but I wonder. It is usually an out of state manager (like Bally’s) that run things. I guess it is taxes that really stay in the state. You and I both know that the “House” always has the edge.

In California, the Indian tribes have discovered how to stick it to those who broke treaties and created the “manifest destiny” type of genocide wrapped in the flag.
I guess they are doing OK. I have visited a few of them up and down the California coast and they seem to be filled with people, mostly older people.

Well it’s another day another election and another discussion point. Maybe it’s time to return to the barter system.

Beginning the 9th Year

What will be different in Afghanistan this year and going forward? What will we have learned from the example of “Charlie Wilson’s War”? Is it worth the effort now to pursue a hundred or so Al Qaeda at the expense of American lives and treasure? Or is there a better way forward, one that involves reconciliation and infrastructure repair and targeted aid?
After the “fools adventure” into Iraq which took our eye off the ball in the mountains of Afghanistan, we have tread very close to following in the footsteps of the Russians of recent history to Alexander the Great in ancient history. This “war” is un-win-able in conventional terms. It is best we pull almost all of our troops out of the land that refuses to be defeated. We endorsed a corrupt government who’s President stole an election he was bound to win in the first place. History proves over and over again, that this foray into Afghanistan will no turn out well the way it is going. And General McKrystal (“McKrystal was the main man in the cover up of the death of Pat Tillman. I don’t think too highly of McKrystal. Read “Where Men Win Glory” by Jon Krakauer. Excellent book about Tillman. Krakauer is an excellent author who does a lot of research for his books. I am learning a lot about the history of Afghanistan.” – Helen Wheels), thinks we can win. That’s what General’s are supposed to say aren’t they? But what do I know?
Nine years on and no Bin Laden. The Taliban are locals and fiercely nationalistic about their country. Al Qaeda is international with no country loyalty.
A history of this ancient nation needs to be studied before more troops are assigned that region.

First Day of School

It’s a little bit weird sitting here at 8.15 in the morning on the Friday of the first day of school. By now, I would have been showered, coffeed and in my classroom on the second floor of the 3 story school building.
I would be organizing my seating chart and have my Keynote ready with my Question of the Day.
This morning, tho, I am watching MSNBC yak on about this and that, from Danny in the Pacific a hurricane downgraded to a tropical storm and how disappointed the weather guy sounds because there is no drama.
It is such a beautiful day here in Pacifica, warm and sunny, the beach right over there and the few surfers waiting for the “perfect” wave that really never comes. This is truly the first day of my retirement and I don’t know what to do. I should be away. I am though, going to visit Sarah on Monday in Portland and that will be a good distraction. Hopefully by the time I return to the Bay Area, the feelings of loss about something that has been such a part of my life for nearly 40 years will have mellowed.
I have to move on and do actually look forward to it.
And so it goes…

Weiner Nation

What happened to the “New Yorker” magazine? Writer Kelefa Sanneh says, Savage is “a marvelous storyteller, a quirky talker, and an incorrigible free-associater.” He hosts “the most addictive program on radio and one of the least predictable.” In other words, he is just misunderstood. He is the poor misunderstood radio “host” who claims Obama was born in Kenya, was schooled at a radical Islamic madrassa, and is now busy “raping America.” (His favorite word is “rape” btw).
The softy interview reminded me of visiting a kindly scout master who just wants to help folks realize their full potential, that’s all. Sure he may be “immoderate” or “incendiary” but really, folks, “savage” is just an entertainer in the mode of Howard Stern. And I am the Easter Bunny.
But the real Savage says that Obama is “surrounded by terrorists” for friends and is “raping America.” He’s a “neo-Marxist fascist dictator in the making” with a plan to “force children into a paramilitary domestic army.” Savage has also attacked gays as people who are “raping our children’s minds.” He has condemned illegal immigrants for having “destroyed” California and accused them of having “raped and disheveled” the Statue of Liberty. Lot of raping.
Then there is Mike’s take on Muslims…that you can check out his own words on YouTube.
Even though the writer talks about seeing Savage’s well-worn Hebrew Bible and is a man trying to find the right way to articulate his Jewish heritage, I wonder why he changed his name (Weiner) to Savage…oh I get it…Weiner Nation sounds…well interesting.
I don’t what to think about the New Yorker, I am really disappointed, but then again the writer also praised ‘gangsta’ rap. I guess free speech even carries over to Savage.
And so it goes…


Lady Macbeth: Yet here’s a spot.

Doctor: Hark, she speaks. I will set down what comes from her, to satisfy my remembrance the more strongly.

Lady Macbeth: Out, damn’d spot! out, I say!—One; two: why, then ’tis time to do’t.—Hell is murky.—Fie, my lord, fie, a soldier, and afeard? What need we fear who knows it, when none can call our pow’r to accompt?—Yet who would have thought the old man to have had so much blood in him?

She is gone from Alaska, so that she can work for Alaska. that makes a hellava lot of sense. Just one thought though, if she runs and wins the Presidency, will she quit half way through her second term so she won’t be a lame duck? Just a thought.

and so it goes…

Sound of Music Funny

It wouldn’t be funny if it weren’t so true… Julie Andrews turned 69 and to commemorate her 69th birthday on October 1, actress/vocalist Julie Andrews made a special appearance at Manhattan ‘s Radio City Music Hall for the benefit of the AARP.  One of the musical numbers she performed was “My Favourite Things” from the legendary movie “The Sound Of Music.”

Here are the actual lyrics she used:

Maalox and nose drops and needles for knitting, Walkers and handrails and new dental fittings, Bundles of magazines tied up in string, These are a few of my favourite things. Cadillac’s and cataracts, and hearing aids and glasses, Polident and Fixodent and false teeth in glasses, Pacemakers, golf carts and porches with swings, These are a few of my favourite things.. When the pipes leak, When the bones creak, When the knees go bad, I simply remember my favourite things, And then I don’t feel so bad. Hot tea and crumpets and corn pads for bunions, No spicy hot food or food cooked with onions, Bathrobes and heating pads and hot meals they bring, These are a few of my favourite things. Back pains, confused brains, and no need for sinnin’, Thin bones and fractures and hair that is thinnin’, And we won’t mention our short, shrunken frames, When we remember our favourite things. When the joints ache, When the hips break, When the eyes grow dim, Then I remember the great life I’ve had, And then I don’t feel so bad.

Ms. Andrews received a standing ovation from the crowd that lasted over four minutes and repeated encores.

Dave Chappelle in Portland?

Seems that the reclusive Dave is making an appearance at Mid-Nite in Pioneer square in Portland. It’s a rumor but the buzz has Sarah and Sean going to stake out their places down town. We’ll see what happens.

Nothin’ much else goin’ on…just wish I was in Portland right now.


God I love Senate hearings! They are so fascinating. Sometimes senators g on and on and on. I remember Joe Biden’s 12+ minute question at the last confirmation hearing. I still don’t remember what the actual question was, but no matter. The guy was confirmed to the supreme court and Joe went on to become Vice-President of the USA. What a life story this woman has had. A truly American-dream story. Looks like the the Republicans are going to look at her statements rather than her record. Blowin’ in the wind methinks. The confirmation hearings are now prime time. Unlike the Clarence Thomas hearing which put Thomas’ speech in the evening and Anita Hill during the day which swayed the public to lean towards Thomas. Frankly speaking, I believed Anita Hill. But that objection is moot. Do you think Rush Limbaugh’s head will explode in the next few days?

And so it goes