A giant art installation in Pakistan got some attention. An international committee displayed a large picture of a child, in an area that receives many drone strikes. The idea is to make drone controllers more aware of the human life on the ground.
A few days later, a commentary appeared, This Giant Art Piece in Pakistan Won’t Be Making Drone Pilots Feel Empathy. The author said the *target audience* of the piece was the empathetic public, not the drone controllers. There is a link to an article, where the psychological impact of drone warfare, on the controllers, is discussed. People in Yemen have a different perspective.
The drone war has been going on for some time now. It began under George W. Bush, and was intensified under Barack H. Obama. The “right to life” moving lips have been strangely silent. There are indications that fewer children are being killed now than before. Since the drone war is conducted by the secrecy oriented C.I.A., there is little way to *confirm or deny* these reports. Nor is it possible to determine the financial cost of this program. Pictures today are from The Library of Congress.
Dear Grand-daughter, The other day I went up to our local Christian book store and saw a ‘Honk if you love Jesus’ bumper sticker . I was feeling particularly sassy that day because I had just come from a thrilling choir performance, followed by a thunderous prayer meeting.
So, I bought the sticker and put it on my bumper. Boy, am I glad I did; what an uplifting experience that followed. I was stopped at a red light at a busy intersection, just lost in thought about the Lord and how good he is, and I didn’t notice that the light had changed. It is a good thing someone else loves Jesus because if he hadn’t honked, I’d never have noticed. I found that lots of people love Jesus!
While I was sitting there, the guy behind started honking like crazy, and then he leaned out of his window and screamed, ‘For the love of God!’ ‘Go! Go! Go! Jesus Christ, GO!’ What an exuberant cheerleader he was for Jesus! Everyone started honking! I just leaned out my window and started waving and smiling at all those loving people. I even honked my horn a few times to share in the love!
There must have been a man from Florida back there because I heard him yelling something about a sunny beach. I saw another guy waving in a funny way with only his middle finger stuck up in the air. I asked my young teenage grandson in the back seat what that meant. He said it was probably a Hawaiian good luck sign or something. Well, I have never met anyone from Hawaii , so I leaned out the window and gave him the good luck sign right back. My grandson burst out laughing. Why even he was enjoying this religious experience!! Praise the Lord!!!
A couple of the people were so caught up in the joy of the moment that they got out of their cars and started walking towards me. I bet they wanted to pray or ask what church I attended, but this is when I noticed the light had changed. So, grinning, I waved at all my brothers and sisters, and drove on through the intersection. I noticed that I was the only car that got through the intersection before the light changed again and felt kind of sad that I had to leave them after all the love we had shared.
So I slowed the car down, leaned out the window and gave them all the Hawaiian good luck sign one last time as I drove away. Praise the Lord for such wonderful folks!! Will write again soon, Love, Grandma. This repost is written like J. D. Salinger. Pictures are from “The Special Collections and Archives,Georgia State University Library”.
In certain circles, the phrase “white privilege” gets a lot of lip service. The eyeball snatchers at buzzfeed are paying attention. They recently published two quiz features, How Stereotypically White Are You? and How Privileged Are You? PG decided to see how he fits in.
Buzzfeed questionnaires are usually problematic. The “how white” form is a bit different. There is only one question, “Have you ever… (check all that apply).” There is a list of 100 things you might have done. You check all the ones that apply. Number 91-100 are: 91 Attended a film festival? 92 Wanted to live in Portland? 93 Embroidered? 94 Gone camping in a snuggie? 95 Been to Burning Man? 96 Been on a horse in the ocean? 97 Bought the clear Band-Aids because all the other ones were too dark for your skin? 98 Taken a group holiday photo shoot with your friends? 99 Used the hashtag #WhitePeopleProblems because you are white and had a problem? 100 Been personally offended by a post about white people?
PG is not a normal person. Yes, there are few things that are more common than a unique person. Still, this list gave PG problems. He still had not checked any possibilities when he reached numbers 20 and 21. 20 Gotten up to go dance because “The Macarena” came on? 21 Done the same for “The Electric Slide”? PG has run away from the dance floor when “The Macarena” came on. Of course, there was that night at the 57th when “The Electric Slide” came on, PG tried to join in, and made a total fool of himself by not knowing the steps.
There were five other possibilities that PG checked. 25 Recommended an NPR podcast? 32 Laughed out loud to Monty Python? 65 A toga party? 89 Watched Fox News? 100 Been personally offended by a post about white people? One night, PG made a beer run. He walked into a liquor store wearing a toga. This should get extra points.
“You checked off 6 out of 100 possible white people scenarios. Congratulations, you are NOT white! You’re the first of your friends to perfect a new dance move and never have to worry about what level of SPF you should use. Heck, you might not even know what SPF stands for and that’s OK because the sun is your friend and that’s cool as shit.” The result was illustrated by a picture of Colin Powell.
The privilege quiz has a similar format. “Check off all the statements that apply to you.” The statements are not numbered this time. To facilitate this post, PG copied the list of statements. This perhaps should be a privilege sensitive option, but is not.
This list is a familiar litany of statements about race, sexuality, body types, income, and religion. If you are on the good side of these things, you are presumed to have privilege. Being a white cis male is an indication of privilege.
“You live with 30 out of 100 points of privilege. You’re not privileged at all. You grew up with an intersectional, complicated identity, and life never let you forget it. You’ve had your fair share of struggles, and you’ve worked hard to overcome them. We do not live in an ideal world and you had to learn that the hard way. It is not your responsibility to educate those with more advantages than you, but if you decide you want to, go ahead and send them this quiz. Hopefully it will help.” It is not certain how this quiz will help people with too much privilege. Pictures are from The Library of Congress.
One Sunday afternoon, a man was playing golf. On the third hole, he hit the tee shot, and was walking down the fairway towards the ball. The fairway was next to a road. A funeral procession was driving down the road.
The man stopped his cart, got out, took his hat off and put it over his heart. He stood still, with his head bowed, until the mourners had driven by.
The playing partner of the man was astonished. “Don, why are you making such a big deal over that funeral procession”
“It was my wife”.
There was a small town once, with a Catholic Church, a Baptist Church, and a Jewish Synagogue.
One day the Catholics decided to give their priest a new car. They got an Audi, sprinkled a few drops of holy water on the hood, and gave it to the priest.
The Baptists thought this was a really good idea, and they decided to give their pastor a new vehicle. They got a Ford pickup truck, took it to a boat ramp, hooked a winch up to the front, and lowered the truck into the lake until it was completely covered in water.
Not to be outdone, the Jewish congregation decided their rabbi needed a new ride. They bought a Lexus, and cut half an inch off the tail pipe.
A woman was in town on a shopping trip. She began her day finding the most perfect shoes in the first shop and a beautiful dress on sale in the second. In the third, everything had just been reduced by 50 percent, when her mobile phone rang.
It was a doctor notifying her that her husband had just been in a terrible car accident and was in critical condition and in the ICU.
The woman told the doctor to inform her husband where she was and that she’d be there as soon as possible. As she hung up she realized she was leaving what was shaping up to be her best day ever in the boutiques. She decided to get in a couple of more shops before heading to the hospital.
She ended up shopping the rest of the morning, finishing her trip with a cup of coffee and a beautiful chocolate cake slice, compliments of the last shop. Then she remembered her husband.
Feeling guilty, she dashed to the hospital. She saw the doctor in the corridor and asked about her husband’s condition. The lady doctor glared at her and shouted, “You went ahead and finished your shopping trip didn’t you! I hope you’re proud of yourself! While you were out for the past four hours enjoying yourself in town, your husband has been languishing in the Intensive Care Unit! It’s just as well you went ahead and finished, because it will more than likely be the last shopping trip you ever take! For the rest of his life he will require round-the-clock care. And he will now be your career!”
The woman was feeling so guilty she broke down and sobbed.
The lady doctor then chuckled. “I’m just pulling your leg. He’s dead. Show me what you bought.”
Thank you Gartalker for the last story. This is a repost.
Pictures are from the “The Special Collections and Archives,Georgia State University Library”
This information was originally posted six years ago. PG received a chain letter email about gasoline prices, with these suggestions. With demand increasing, and supply decreasing, the price of petroleum is going to go up. Pictures today are from The Library of Congress.
Only buy or fill up your car or truck in the early morning when the ground temperature is still cold. Remember that all service stations have their storage tanks buried below ground. The colder the ground the more dense the gasoline. When it gets warmer gasoline expands. When you pump in the afternoon or in the evening… your gallon is not exactly a gallon. In the petroleum business, the specific gravity and the temperature of the gasoline plays an important role.
When you’re filling up do not squeeze the trigger of the nozzle to a fast mode. If you look you will see that the trigger has three (3) stages: low, middle, and high. You should be pumping on low speed, thereby minimizing the vapors that are created while you are pumping. All hoses at the pump have a vapor return. If you are pumping on the fast rate, some liquid that goes to your tank becomes vapor. Those vapors are being sucked up and back into the underground storage tank so you’re getting less fuel for your money.
Fill up when your gas tank is HALF FULL or HALF EMPTY. The more gas you have in your tank the less air is occupying the empty space. Gasoline evaporates faster than you might imagine. Gasoline storage tanks have an internal floating roof. This roof serves as zero clearance between the gas and the atmosphere, so it minimizes the evaporation.
If there is a gasoline truck pumping into the storage tanks when you stop , DO NOT fill up–most likely the gasoline is being stirred up as the gas is being delivered. You might pick up some of the dirt that normally settles on the bottom.
There is a nifty article about Cary Grant and LSD on the web now. It seems Mr. Grant, the onetime Archibald Leach, had a few issues. Duh. Married five times. Widely rumored to the the bf of Randolph Scott. A talented actor, but a mess in the real world.
In 1956, Mr. Grant was with third wife Betsy Drake, who had a tough summer. “It was an open secret between cast and crew alike that the married Cary Grant was sleeping with Sophia Loren during their filming of The Pride and The Passion. Drake had flown to Italy to be by her husband’s side during the shoot only to find Grant ignoring her. Distraught, she fled on what was to be a quiet voyage on the SS Andrea Doria. On July 25, 1956 her quiescent journey turned into a nightmare. The ship collided with a Swedish ocean liner off the coast of Nantucket, Massachusetts, sinking to the bottom of the Sea and claiming fifty-one lives.2 Betsy survived but was traumatized. The incident, coupled with the estrangement of her husband, haunted her in her sleep.”
Betsy Drake had a friend named Sally Brophy, an actress. Miss Brophy also received help from a psychiatrist, which included taking LSD. Eventually, Cary Grant started to go see this doctor.
Taking a legal trip, in a Hollywood doctor’s office, is not like going to a rave. It was seen as therapy, a way of learning how to deal with your problems. According to Cary Grant, it worked very well. He talked about it to a reporter, and then confirmed that he wanted this to go out to the public.
“The shock of each revelation brings with it an anguish of sadness for what was not known before in the wasted years of ignorance and, at the same time, an ecstasy of joy at being freed from the shackles of such ignorance … I learned many things in the quiet of that room … I learned that everything is or becomes its own opposite … it releases inhibition. You know, we are all unconsciously holding our anus. In one LSD dream I shit all over the rug and shit all over the floor. Another time I imagined myself as a giant penis launching off from earth like a spaceship … I seemed to be in a world of healthy, chubby little babies’ legs and diapers, smeared blood, a sort of general menstrual activity taking place … As a philosopher once said, you cannot judge the day until the night ..”
The only problem was, Mr. Grant had a movie coming out, “Operation Petticoat”. The studio “tripped out” when it heard the star of the show was praising LSD in the press. Mr. Grant had a share in the profits of the film, and was persuaded to call the reporter and recant on the interview.
Not everyone was impressed by the doctors that Mr. Grant used. “Aldous Huxley had encountered the clinic prior to his death, but had sought his LSD experiences from the parallel practice of Dr. Oscar Janiger, the other acid doctor to the stars. Huxley witnessed Chandler and Hartman’s work and was unnerved by their approach. “We met two Beverly Hills psychiatrists the other day,” he wrote, “who specialise in LSD therapy at $100 a shot – and, really, I have seldom met people of lower sensitivity, more vulgar mind! To think of people made vulnerable by LSD being exposed to such people is profoundly disturbing.”
In any event, LSD became criminalized, Doctors Chandler and Hartman got in trouble, and Cary Grant got married two more times. While Grant never renounced LSD, he refused to use any other illegal drug, even marijuana. He was a conservative old fogey.
Maureen Donaldson was the lover of Cary Grant in the seventies, and was a friend of Alice Cooper. She finally persuaded Mr. Grant to go to an Alice Cooper concert with her. He wore sunglasses, gold chains, and dressed like a “seedy agent”. He sat through the entire show, wearing earplugs, hating every minute of it.
As Miss Donaldson recalled the evening “Driving back to Los Angeles, I congratulated Cary for being such a good sport … He’d made an extraordinary effort to please me … [I asked him] ‘You really hated it, didn’t you?’ ‘It’s…’ he said, struggling for words, ‘you know what it’s like? Remember I told you about the time I took LSD in my doctor’s office and shat all over his rug and floor?’ ‘Yes,’ I said. ‘Well now I know how that poor doctor felt.”
Pictures are from The Library of Congress. This is a repost.
There is a quote attributed to Jesus that many have heard. The key words are rich man and camel. It is interpreted in many ways. One way to begin this discussion is to look at the King James Bible. Pictures today are from The Library of Congress. This is a repost.
16 And, behold, one came and said unto him,
Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?
17 And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good?
[there is] none good but one, [that is], G-d: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.
18 He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder,
Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness,
19 Honor thy father and [thy] mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.
20 The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?
21 Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go [and] sell that thou hast,
and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come [and] follow me.
22 But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.
23 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you,
That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven.
24 And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle,
than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.
As with all quotes from the bible, a bit of thought is helpful. Was this said only one time, or was this a standard part of his teaching? Was the meaning changed in the transition from Aramaic to Greek to English? Had Jesus been taste testing the water and wine?
With the current vogue for “prosperity gospel”, many Jesusmongers have some splainin’ to do. Once, PG heard the redo blue preacher talking about this quote. His version was that there were caves in the desert where travelers would take a break on their journey. They would go in the cave, use the restroom, eat lunch, and then go on with their journey. The entrance to these caves was sometimes rather small, and it was tough to fit a camel inside.
Another version is about the local geography of Jerusalem. There was a gate in Jerusalem called the eye of the needle. It was a tight fit, and camels had a tough time getting through. Had Jesus been to Jerusalem at this point in his ministry?
According to Biblos.com, the Koran tells the same story. “The impious, who in his arrogance shall accuse our doctrine of falsity, shall find the gates of heaven shut: nor shall he enter there till a camel shall pass through the eye of a needle. It is thus that we shall recompense the wicked.” Al Koran. Surat vii. ver. 37.” (The home page of Biblos has an ad… “What investment is up 18% a year for the last 11 years? Click to see now”)
Whether this quote is fact or fiction, literal or symbolic, it can make for some funny stories. Once PG walked through a living room, while a religious tv show was on. The telepastor was in his church’s private studio, which was not cheap to build and equip. The man was wearing a beautiful preaching costume, which no doubt cost a pretty penny. By the standards of the world, the dude was filthy rich. During the few seconds that PG paid attention, the man on the tv said something about a camel.
Those who go For The Win should take heed of the last verse of Matthew 19.
“But many [that are] first shall be last; and the last [shall be] first.”
Someone in twitterland posted a link, 20 Questions to Ask New Employees. Since I might be in the job market again soon, maybe it would be easier to prepare the answers in advance. Here goes. Pictures are from The Library of Congress.
01. Do you have any tattoos you regret? What/where is it? No. Having a tattoo installed has always seemed too painful to contemplate. There are tattoos that I regret seeing on other people, but that memory is safely repressed.
02. If you had to marry one serial killer from history, who would it be? (You won’t be a victim.) Another feature of twitter these days is FaithVoters4Hillary. It is obvious that any husband of hers can do whatever, and whomever, he/she pleases. As Secretary of State, Hillary has supervised the demise of countless children in Pakistan. She makes Charles Manson look like a sunday school teacher.
03. What would you do if I put a live octopus on your desk? Take it to a restaurant on Buford Hiway. There are only so many stray dogs.
04. Biggie or Tupac? I don’t use cologne. Why should I have to choose between those two brands?
05. Are you the kind of person who chit-chats in the public restroom during a tandem pee session? Only during a full moon.
06. Have you ever stolen a pen that writes exceptionally well from a restaurant? I thought it was half a set of chopsticks.
07. Do you (know) anyone who’s killed someone? If so, was it at your behest? If so, how concerned should I be about staying on your good side? This is a trick question.
08. Have you ever owned a water pick? Why? I was trying to clean the grout in the shower. That was the only thing that came close to working, and not very well.
09. What are your thoughts on cubicle farting? If I was in a cubicle that farted, I would move. This might be an issue for OSHA.
10. If you were ever in a situation where you knew you were definitely going to be cut in half, would you rather be cut length-wise or width-wise? (You’re going to die either way; this is a preference question, not a survival question.) More information is needed. Is it a laser, or a band saw? It would be a different answer for each one.
11. Do you eat fragrant foods at your desk, and if so, how important is it to you? This question makes fun of certain religions. It is not an acceptable question.
12. On a scale of 1, not at all, to 10, you’re a filthy scumbag, how much will you judge me for wearing the same dress pants two (or more) days in a row? Dress pants is an expression that does not make sense. You can wear a dress. You can wear pants. Technically you could wear pants under a dress, but why would you want to?
13. Do you have any spouses or children I should know about right now? If no, please don’t bring them up in subsequent conversation and expect me to know who you’re talking about. Only if Bill gives Hillary the divorce she needs.
14. Do you plan on getting any unconventional haircuts during your tenure here? How convincing do you expect me to be when I tell you it looks great? The opposite of con is pro. Do I get unproventional haircuts? These are installed under anesthesia. Will insurance pay for this?
15. Of all the people you’ve met so far, who would you feel the least conflicted about trampling in the event of an emergency evacuation? The cashier at WalMart who told me that pennies were not welcome as payment.
16. Do you know exactly how many moles you have on your body? If yes, is the reason dermatological or just creepy? Mole is a sauce. If I were to apply a condiment to my body, it would be mustard.
17. Are you actually qualified to do the job you were hired for? It would be silly to fill this part out before I know what job I am applying for? If the job is a full time liar, then of course I am qualified.
18. Do you participate in any uncommon hobbies? If yes, please allow me some time to prepare my reaction for that Friday when you suddenly mention you’re going to an Anime convention. I copy lists of joke questions off the internet and post answers on my blog.
19. Do you intend on stabbing me in the back/making me look bad sometime in the near future? If yes, please understand my efforts to get everyone in the office to hate you will begin immediately. If you are going to hire me, you already look bad enough.
20. For how long do you reasonably expect me to smile every time I see you around the office like you’re a tourist that doesn’t speak English? As long as necessary.
There is a bit of urban legend mongering on the innertubes these days. It shows a letter. It is from the manager of a Kmart in Reno, NV. It tells “Mrs. Fenton” not to go shopping there anymore. It seems as though her husband has been misbehaving.
Here is the text of the letter. Mr. Fenton: August 4: Went to the Service Desk and asked to put a bag of M&M’s on lay-buy. October 4: Looked straight in to the security camera; used it as a mirror, and picked his nose. December 23: Went in the fitting room, shut the door and waited a while; then yelled, very loudly, “There is no toilet paper in here!”
The wet blankets at snopes say the letter is a fake. This page is sponsored by an ad for a book, Journey to the Cross: Reflecting on 24 Hours That Changed the World. You can’t make this stuff up.
Mrs. Fenton lived at 35 Rasmussen Street, Moores Park, Reno, NV, 89503. Google maps has never heard of this address. Kmart Store 4855 was located at Summit Ridge, Reno, NV, 89503. This is a side street, with no current signs of Kmarttage.
The letter is good for a laugh. The problems might come when some person is inspired to try one of the pranks. After all, an earlier title of the piece was “Things to do at Wal-Mart while your family is taking forever to finish shopping.” The person who has to clean up after “Make a trail of orange juice on the floor to the restrooms” will not be amused. Maybe you should tell this person to lighten up, and get a sense of humor. Do not try this in a stand your ground state.
A similar lack of respect for humanity is seen in fake crime videos. In the one linked to, two men try breaking into a car. One is treated more rudely by the police. This video inspired much hand wringing about unfair treatment of minorities.
With all the real crimes being perpetrated, why are these pinheads staging a fake crime? They are making a video, to illustrate their social commentary. Police should be fighting real crime, not playing the bad guy in a youtube adventure. This makes about as much sense as “While handling guns in the hunting department ask the clerk if he knows where the anti-depressants are.”
Pictures today are from The Library of Congress.