HELLO FROM EAU CLAIRE, WISCONSIN - merchants slogan: "We don't have it but we can get it for you."

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


One of the highlights of the upcoming Bye Bye You Bastard Bush Bashing Bash will be a required toast by all present. Here is mine:

A toast, ex-Governor Bush, (I will never ever call you President Bush as you were never duly elected by the people) to you on the impending conclusion of a disastrous eight years of your screwing the country in every possilbe way:

May you return to your oft-visited “ranch” in Texas to find all the fish in your pond dead from environmental poisoning.

May you suddenly find that fish you have eaten from that pond have caused all of your toe nails to turn black and fall off

May the finger you used to pick your nose while on camera at a Texas Ranger/Milwaukee Brewer game become infected

May the next finger over which you used to give the camera the finger in an oft shown video of when you were governor be lost in a brush cutting accident

May Laura come to her senses and throw your worthless ass out

May you be sued by Condoleeza Rice for marital infidelity

May you be caught getting your butt reamed by all the Republican homosexuals that paraded by the national eye in the past eight years

May it be discovered through DNA that neither of your daughters are really “yours”

May your dog Barney take a healthy dump on all the shoes in your closet

May all future shoe throwers in your life make direct hits - preferably to your crotch

And lastly, may you somehow be forced to experience all the agony and grief of all the poor people of New Orleans in a 24 hour period, causing you to have a massive stroke which will leave you unable to speak. God knows, you never could anyway!

I wish I had the guts to say how I really feel -- guess I am just too nice a guy!

"I went to a hotel and asked the bellhop to handle my bag -- he felt up my wife."
- Rodney Dangerfield


Today I received an e mail from Joe Davey, advocate for the Hmong people. It is something that I feel should be shared with all:

Subject: High-level Thai delegation to visit Hmong refugees at Nong Khai jail

High-level Thai delegation to visit Hmong refugees at Nong Khai jail

On January 15, 2009, a high-level Thai delegation from Bangkok is expected to visit the 158 Hmong refugees held at Nong Khai immigration jail. The visit is expected to be just another attempt at convincing these Hmong refugees to “voluntarily” return to Laos.

The Hmong refugees believe that the real purpose of these visits is to break their human spirit. The “concerned” officials always ask the group why they are afraid to return to Laos but at the same time tell them that no third-country is willing to accept them, which is an outright lie! The Hmong detainees are also told that they are not political refugees even though they have the UNHCR documentation to prove it! Then, they are told that they only have two options available to them. One, they can “voluntarily” return to Laos. Or two, they can spend the rest of their lives in this small overcrowded immigration jail (photo attached).

Much worse than suffering from the awful physical and psychological conditions at the overcrowded jail is the fact that the United States, Australia, Canada and the Netherlands have all remained seemingly silent on this issue. These are the countries which had quickly stepped forward after a failed deportation attempt some two years ago and agreed to resettle these refugees.

Now, these hopeless Hmong see that this third-country resettlement offer seems to have faded away. Because of this, the refugees are preparing to take their own lives, as they believe no one really cares about them.

Joe Davy
Hmong Advocate


And in yet another sobering glimpse at humanity:

A man sat at a Metro station in Washington , D.C. and started to play the violin; it was a cold January morning. He played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time, since it was rush hour, it was calculated that thousands of people went through the station, most of them on their way to work.

Three minutes went by and a middle aged man noticed there was musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds and then hurried on to meet his schedule.

A minute later, the violinist received his first dollar tip: a woman threw the money in the till and without stopping, continued to walk.

A few minutes later, someone leaned against the wall to listen to him, but the man looked at his watch and started to walk again. Clearly he was late for work.

The one who paid the most attention was a 3 year old boy. His mother tagged him along, hurried but the kid stopped to look at the violinist. Finally the mother pushed hard and the child continued to walk turning his head all the time. This action was repeated by several other children. All the parents, without exception, forced them to move on.

In the 45 minutes the musician played, only 6 people stopped and stayed for a while. About 20 gave him money but continued to walk their normal pace. He collected $32. When he finished playing and silence took over, no one noticed it. No one applauded, nor was there any recognition.

No one knew this but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the best musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written with a violin worth 3.5 million dollars.

Two days before his playing in the subway, Joshua Bell sold out at a theater in Boston and the seats averaged $100.

This is a real story. Joshua Bell playing incognito in the Metro station was organized by the Washington Post as part of a social experiment about perception, taste and priorities of people. The outlines were: in a commonplace environment at an inappropriate hour. Do we perceive beauty? Do we stop to appreciate it? Do we recognize the talent in an unexpected context?

One of the possible conclusions from this experience could be:

If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world playing the best music ever written, how many other things are we missing?

A new year ~ time for a new perspective. Happy New Year!


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