Freedom Lawyers of AmericaA site that will chronical the dark side of the news to show what happens when freedom is dying and to sell his books SHELLY WAXMAN'S BOOKS. We also foster and certify the proper use of independent contractors. http:independentcontractor.info CHECK OUR WEBSITE http://thelawyer.info WHERE YOU CAN ALSO ACCESS OUR FREEDOM LAWYERS YAHOO GROUP
Sunday, November 26, 2006
THOUGHTS OF A SUICIDE BOMBER--SICK, SICK, SICK
Jewish reporter meets want-to-be bomber
Recruited attacker for terror group talks to WND about 'serving Allah by blasting unbelievers to hell'
Aaron Klein, WND
JENIN – WND was granted access through the Islamic Jihad terror group to a 23-year old Palestinian man who has volunteered to become a suicide bomber and who the organization says has "great potential" to carry out one of the next attempted suicide attacks against Israeli civilians.
According to Islamic Jihad leaders, the potential bomber interviewed is one of over "hundreds" of young Palestinians in the northern West Bank who passed necessary recruitment stages and is available to attempt to infiltrate Jewish population centers wearing an explosive belt with the goal of blowing up as many Israelis as possible.
The interview took place in a remote building in the northern West Bank city of Jenin, a well-known Islamic Jihad stronghold from which the majority of recent Palestinian suicide bombers have originated.
The Islamic Jihad terror group has taken responsibility for every suicide attack inside Israel the past two years, including a bombing in Tel Aviv in April that killed American teenager Daniel Wultz and nine Israelis.
Islamic Jihad also has carried out scores of recent deadly shootings and rocket attacks against Israeli civilians.
Islamic Jihad leaders allowed WND to interview the potential suicide bomber in a room together with his recruiter, who is a senior member of the terror group.
Both the recruiter and potential bomber were aware WND's reporter is Jewish.
The recruiter several times ordered the want-to-be bomber to refrain from answering certain questions during the interview, which was conducted using an English-Arabic translator.
The potential bomber's face was not covered during the interview, but he was told by the Islamic Jihad recruiter not to provide his name or extensive biographical information.
Following are excerpts from WND's conversation with the potential bomber, which includes topics such as the supposed reward of 72 dark-eyed virgins for carrying out an attack; the belief among some Muslims that Jews descended from pigs and monkeys; and the potential suicide bomber's desire to kill WND's reporter in a suicide operation.
'I pray Allah makes me dead in a (suicide) operation'
WND: Tell me about your life and what you do with your free time.
BOMBER: I study at a West Bank university and I have great hopes of getting married within the next couple of months. My life is very normal. I watch television, particularly news, and historical and religious programs. From time to time I play soccer and lift weights.
WND: Is your family poor?
BOMBER: No. We are regular but far from being wealthy. I share my bedroom with my brothers but now there is less pressure because last summer one of my brothers was married and moved to live outside.
WND: Why do you want to become a suicide bomber?
BOMBER: I originally decided to become a martyr after I saw what the Israeli army did in the refugee camp of Jenin in the big military campaign of April, 2002.
But this idea became stronger when I understood what status I will have in heaven if I scarify myself for Allah. Every time somebody else dies as a martyr in a suicide bomb attack, I pray for him but I feel jealous. I want to be where he is now and I pray that Allah will one day offer me this occasion and this honor.
(Editor's note: The potential bomber was referring to an Israeli anti-terror raid in his hometown of Jenin in 2002 in which Palestinian leaders accused the Jewish state of a "massacre," claiming the Israeli Defense Forces killed over 500 Palestinian civilians, including many women and children. It was later determined 56 Palestinians, mostly gunmen, were killed in the raid, which followed a series of deadly suicide attacks inside Israel that were reportedly planned and directed from the terror infrastructure in Jenin. Twenty-three Israeli soldiers died in the Jenin battle, in which IDF troops conducted house-to-house searches to minimize civilian casualties by avoiding air attacks.)
WND: Is your main motivation for becoming a bomber is to serve Allah?
BOMBER: Yes, of course. Allah gave Muslims the possibility to gain their prize and payment in different ways. There are those (Muslims) who pray and fast only and respect Allah's commandments, and there are those who wish a higher prize. And the highest prize is given to those who scarify themselves, their lives, their bodies and everything in this world.
WND: What you are saying is interesting because a lot of academics in the United States and many of my colleagues in the media claim Palestinians become suicide bombers because they are poor and desperate and because of so-called Israeli occupation. Are you telling me these are not the reasons you want to blow yourself up amongst Israelis?
BOMBER: The will to scarify myself for Allah is the first and most major reason. It is true that the Zionists are occupying our lands and that it is our religious duty to fight them, including through suicide attacks. The goal is not the killing of the Jews, but that this is the way to reach Allah.
The goal is satisfying Allah and his instructions. No money interests, nothing. No brainwash, no pressure; it is my decision. All the other lies are pathetic Israeli propaganda.
I pray that Allah gives me the honor to be dead in an operation. This is the supreme and the noblest way to ascend to Allah.
These martyrs have special status in the next world and have bigger chances to watch Allah's face and enjoy the magnificent pleasures he offers us.
'It is our duty to fight Jews but our goal is to please Allah'
WND: Did I hear you say your goal is not to kill Jews? Isn't that exactly what you will do as a suicide bomber?
BOMBER: Maybe the fact that I was born here has sharpened my religious conscience, but I believe that even if I was in Chechnya, in Iraq, Afghanistan on anywhere else I would want to be a martyr.
It is Allah's satisfaction that is important to me no matter where I live. But as we live in this part of the world the way to reach Allah for me is through fighting the Zionist enemy. It is the jihad, the sacrificing that is important.
WND: These cliches are impressive but I know you are aware that you are speaking to a Jew. Perhaps you are telling me what I want to hear. Tell me the truth. You want to kill Jews, don't you?
BOMBER: We were never taught to hate Jews but to hate the occupation of the Zionists to our Islamic land that the Zionist entity with the conspiracy of the world has stolen and occupied. Jews can have their state but not on our lands and until this goal is achieved every Muslim must fight this entity.
The Jews stole this holy Islamic land and we must fight them, but I am looking to receive what waits for me in the next world.
'Enjoy your tea before I send you to hell'
WND: You talk about fighting them, the Jews. I'm an American Jew. Do you want to kill me?
BOMBER: You are here and nobody hurts you and nobody thinks to do so. But if, unfortunately for you, if you will be in a place where my (suicide) operation will take place, I will not feel sorrow.
You American Jews are fully partners with the Zionists and even more dangerous than the Israelis because of the international support you give to the Israelis in their massacres against our people and the maintenance of the occupation.
WND: So if after today's meeting you saw me in a cafe in Jerusalem that you were sent to attack, you'd still try to blow it up?
BOMBER: At the moment there will not be a place for feelings and hesitations. If I go in an operation it means that I decided to leave behind my loved ones – my mother, my father, brothers and sisters, all my family and my friends. And if I am capable of this I would not give you a break just because we met for one time.
Meanwhile and before I drive you to hell in an operation, enjoy your tea and our hospitality. (Laughing).
'And Allah shouted: Be pigs and monkeys'
WND: Many programs on Palestinian television have been teaching viewers Jews are descended from pigs and monkeys and that we use Palestinian and Christian blood to bake our Passover matzos. Is this what you believe?
BOMBER: I know where this question comes from. You think that we all are naive or bad from birth or that we were exposed to brainwashing. We just follow what we are demanded in the Quran to do because if we do not do so we will be attacked, occupied, controlled and killed by these enemies of Islam.
WND: You didn't answer my question. Do you believe I come from pigs and monkeys?
BOMBER: The Quran tells us that Allah was upset with the Jews because of their negative behavior towards Moses and Allah's commandments and Allah shouted to the Jews, 'Be pigs and monkeys.'
I don't know if physically Allah turned them to pigs and monkeys, or it was a way to tell them that they are as terrible as pigs and monkeys. The most important thing is that this is what Allah, may he be blessed, thinks that the Jews deserve to be.
I don't know about the Passover matzo but I know the Jews are the nation who was known for killing Allah's prophets and the nation that in our days wants to control the world or at least this part of the world, from the Nile to the Euphrates.
Meanwhile they (Jews) are controlling the US, its media, its financial system and its administration.
'You'll go to hell while virgins await me in paradise'
WND: When you mentioned before the pleasures that await you after a suicide bombing, I assume you were referring to the 72 dark-eyed virgins you believe will be waiting for you in heaven?
(Potential bomber nods to signal yes.)
WND: You talk about so-called martyrdom being divine. About being rewarded in the next world on supreme spiritual levels for what you say is a gift to Allah. And yet you tell me that what awaits you after a suicide operation is an eternity of sex with virgins. This is the most baseline physical pleasure imaginable. This is your religious version of heaven?
BOMBER: Let me explain something to you. The world, the lower one we are in now, it is temporary. Allah examines the loyalty of human beings, asking you in this materialistic world to avoid all that is tempting, all that pleasures you on earth, and to dedicate yourself to Allah.
This doesn't mean that Allah does not think it is good to take part in these needs of sex, in the pleasure of drinking alcohol, enjoying nature and other stuff. The point is that non-Muslims do those things in this world while ignoring Allah and all moral rules, while Muslims are asked to do a tremendous spiritual effort on earth in order to gain these other (physical) pleasures in the next world.
I don't know how you Jews see these physical pleasures, especially after the Torah that Allah gave you was falsified, but in our religion all spiritual efforts are asked from us on earth and it is much more difficult. So it is not that all the story is about sex. You do free sex now, I do not.
But you will go to hell after living 50, 60, 70, 80 years, and I will go, I pray that Allah accepts, to heaven and there I will do and will enjoy what you did during these 80 years. The difference is that after these years you will burn in hell forever and I will, after my years in this world of faith, restraint and patience, enjoy Allah's pleasures forever.
WND: Let's say your concept of heaven is accurate. You are indeed rewarded with 72 dark-eyed virgins for living the kind of life you describe. Do you really think you will go to heaven for killing innocent civilians during a suicide operation?
BOMBER: You are treating in a ridiculous way this issue, but this is in the Quran. Go and, Allah forbid, ask Allah about this point. We are promised in the Quran to have the dark-eyed virgins and that's it. The Quran is full of verses glorifying the shahid, the martyr.
WND: Show me exactly where in the Quran it states you will get 72 dark-eyed virgins for blowing yourself up amongst civilians.
BOMBER: You and I, we do not discuss Allah and the Quran. I will tell you more the moment that I will explode myself when there will be one dark-eyed virgin who will carry up my soul to the sky.
This is the important part of our mission – fulfilling Allah's commandments and hoping to receive the prizes we were promised in the Quran.
'America is a culture of immorality and free sex'
WND: What do you think about the Unites States?
BOMBER: I have no interest in the American culture which is an empty culture with no values. It is full of immorality and elements that are forbidden by Allah, like free sex and violence.
WND: So I take it you don't listen to American music or watch American movies?
BOMBER: I do not watch American movies and regret those days before the intifada (the Palestinian terror war that started in 2000) when I used to watch American movies like "Platoon" and that film that was made under the water.
These are stupid things and I ask Allah to forgive me for those hours I spent watching this nonsense.
In my opinion, America is the big enemy leading the war against Islam, Muslims, Palestinians and against anything that threatens the Zionist enemy.
WND: In the last suicide bombing, which took place in Tel Aviv earlier this year, an American teenager named Daniel Wultz was severely injured and later died of his wounds. In general, are Americans part of your target?
BOMBER: America is destroying and exploiting the Arabic and the Islamic world as part of a Zionist and Crusader plan. The American Jews, we say, are the godfathers of this Zionist entity in America.
Therefore this Daniel, I am sure, participated in the army activity. If not, he collected money for this Zionist entity. If not, he would decide one day to come to live here as a settler. Therefore there is no way that he can be defined as innocent.
WND: Do you think your family will miss you if you became a suicide bomber. Would blowing yourself up amongst Israeli men, women and children make them proud?
BOMBER: My family, I think especially my mother, they have the feeling that one day they will hear that I carried out an operation. I do not think that they will be sad that I killed myself in an operation. It is the will to satisfy Allah.
I do not think my family will be surprised if I do it but I never told them anything because there may be some pressure and all our ideology is based on avoiding pressures and temptations connecting us to this lower world. It is the other world that I am seeking to join with all the love I have to my mother and my family. Now they love me and I hope in the future they will still love me but also be proud of me.
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
THE MAKING OF A GARRISON STATE
US to require passports for nearly all
Lufkin Daily News"
Nearly all air travelers entering the U.S. will be required to showpassports beginning Jan. 23, including returning Americans and peoplef rom Canada and other nations in the Western Hemisphere. The date was disclosed Tuesday by Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff in an interview with The Associated Press. The Homeland Security Department plans to announce the change on Wednesday." (11/21/06)
DARK FORCES AND THE GOOD OF ANARCHY
Pope condemns Gemayel killing, warns of "Dark forces"
Pope Benedict on Wednesday called the assassination of Lebanese cabinet minister Pierre Gemayel a "brutal attack" and urged the country's people to beware "the dark forces who are trying to destroy the country".
The Pope made his comments to some 20,000 pilgrims and tourists gathered in a rainy St. Peter's Square for his weekly general audience. (Reuters)
I ALWAYS WONDERED ABOUT WHETHER THIS WOULD WORK. THE NOTION OF PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY IS KEY TO A LIBERTARIAN SOCIETY
Anarchy comes to European roads Der Spiegel"Are streets without traffic signs conceivable?
Seven cities and regions in Europe are giving it a try -- with good results. ...European traffic planners are dreaming of streets free of rules and directives. They want drivers and pedestrians to interact in a free and humane way, as brethren -- by means of friendly gestures, nods of the head and eye contact, without the harassment of prohibitions,restrictions and warning signs. ... 'The many rules strip us of the most important thing: the ability to be considerate. We're losing our capacity for socially responsible behavior,' says Dutch traffic guru Hans Monderman, one of the project's co-founders. 'The greater the number of prescriptions, the more people's sense of personal responsibility dwindles.'" (11/16/06)
Saturday, November 18, 2006
Go Jewboy--Texas Ain't What You Think It Is
Kinky Friedman. "Maybe people misunderstand me, but that doesn't bother me. Great people are always misunderstood. So if people don't understand me, I like it. It puts me up there with Socrates, Jesus, Van Gogh and Copernicus." (Michael O'Brien)
Why the hell not
By Dea Hadar
AUSTIN, Texas - Deb Orazi wanted to buy a doll. She arrived at the large storage room at the election headquarters of Kinky ("the Kinkster") Friedman, the singing Jewish cowboy who was running for governor of Texas. It was a day before the midterm elections, but she had already voted via early ballot. The editor of a music magazine, she had known Kinky casually for some time. The young volunteer at the headquarters told her that everything the doll said - all 25 one-liners - was in Kinky's real voice. But the doll was sold out. He went to scrounge around in the back and this time returned with one. There was a miniature Kinky, lying in a large plastic box, 13 inches long and wearing a black cowboy hat, jeans and a belt with a heavy buckle and a fake-leather vest. Stuffed into his mouth was the ubiquitous cigar. "There's only one left, but it doesn't work," the volunteer explained. He tried to push a button on Kinky's lower back. "Yes," he confirmed, "he doesn't talk." He offered the doll to Deb for half price - $10 - but in the end relented and let her have it for free. She went home with little Kinky, who presumably kept quiet the whole way.
As it happened, that's also what the real Kinky did for most of that day. He was on his ranch, not far from Austin, where he lives with his five dogs ("the Friedmans"), quietly chain-smoking Cuban cigars. A year and a half after the announcement that he was entering the race for governor on an independent ticket, which was followed by an exhausting campaign, the moment of truth had arrived: At this stage the most eccentric and outspoken candidate Texas has ever known had little more to say. Everything had already been said, endless times, and anyone who still wanted to hear his repertoire of one-liners could press the button on the back of the doll (12,000 of them were manufactured, at an investment of $45,000) and listen to Kinky the Kinkster rattle off his campaign slogans in rapid-fire succession. "As the first Jewish governor I will reduce the speed limit to 54.95 mph." "I don't now how many supporters I have, but they all carry guns." "Friedman's just another word for nothing left to lose" (a play on the Kris Kristofferson song "Me & Bobby McGee," whose refrain is "Freedom's just another word ..."). "I'm not helping the Cuban economy, I'm burning their fields." And finally, the ultimate slogan, the rationale behind his decision to run, and the words emblazoned on his campaign T-shirts: "Kinky 2006: Why the hell not?" According to the polls, at one point in the race, nearly a quarter of the Texas electorate shrugged their shoulders and asked themselves that very question. Friedman was then in second place, behind only the incumbent Republican governor, and the impossible idea of "Kinky Friedman - governor of Texas" seemed almost plausible. Friedman and the Jewboys Kinky was born in 1946 as Richard Friedman, the eldest of three children, to a well-heeled Chicago family. When he was a year old the Friedmans moved to a ranch in Texas, where they ran a children's summer camp. His father was a psychology professor and his mother was a speech therapist, who was once chosen outstanding citizen of Texas. Little Richard liked music and chess, and insists - even though he grew up in 1950s Texas - that he never encountered anti-Semitism. He attended the University of Texas, where he was given the nickname "Kinky" because of his frizzy hair. He has been Kinky Friedman ever since. After a brief stint in the Peace Corps in Borneo, he returned to the United States and began to cultivate his musical career. The first band he founded, while still a student, King Arthur and the Carrots, didn't take off. His second band, which he put together in the early 1970s, Kinky Friedman and the Texas Jewboys, had more serious ambitions. Kinky and the Jewboys were mercilessly mocking and infuriating, and had no compunctions about doing or singing the most outrageous things. They were booed by women, blacks, southerners, you name it, and that inspired them to continue. The group's repertoire - country-style parodies - eventually attained cult status, not least because of hits like "They Ain't Makin' Jews Like Jesus Anymore." On one occasion Friedman riled Jews and Christians alike when he declared that both he and Jesus never had work or a home, never married and they both toured and annoyed people. He hit his artistic peak in 1976, when he toured with Bob Dylan in his Rolling Thunder Revue. But in the 1980s, when the Jewboys began to tread water and drugs started to take a heavy toll on them, Kinky returned to the ranch where he grew up. He kicked the drug habit and reinvented himself as a mystery writer. It wasn't hard to spot autobiographical elements amid the whiskey-drenched, labyrinthine plots, dirty jokes and profound insights. Especially not when the hero of the novels was named Kinky Friedman. "My primary aim is to amuse Americans on the airplane," he once quipped modestly, but his books were actually quite successful. One of his faithful readers was Bill Clinton, who also got in touch with him. They became friends and Kinky even got to sleep in the White House. Friedman has published more than 20 books and a new one, "The Christmas Pig," is due out in a few weeks. Kinky, dressed as Santa Claus, appears on the cover. About six years ago he started to write a column for the Texas Monthly. He has never married, and since returning to the ranch has never left it. Not far away is his Utopia Animal Rescue Ranch, where he cares for dozens of stray and abused dogs that he has saved ("I do it because I like stray dogs a lot better than I like fat cats," he says). Kinky Friedman is a complex individual with an elusive, hard-to-define personality. On the one hand he's an authentic cowboy; on the other, an intellectual. He is vulgar but also sensitive and generous. And whenever people think they are starting to understand who he is, the man, who finishes between eight and 12 cigars a day, reinvents himself. In 2005 he decided that he wanted to reinvent himself as the governor of Texas. All a joke At first a lot of people thought it was just a joke. After all, it's not every day that the conservative, Christian Lone Star State gets a candidate for high office who is a Jewish cowboy, who has admitted to sniffing mountains of cocaine, declared that he wants the job because he needs more closet space, and created a talking doll of himself and special salsa sauce as part of his campaign. The race - which originally shaped up as a dreary contest between the incumbent, Rick Perry, and his Democratic challenger, Chris Bell - suddenly took on an intriguing, funny, even slightly perverse twist, like almost everything Kinky touches. With many Texans deeply disappointed with the two-party system, an independent who tells it like it is and doesn't try to butter up the voters proved attractive to no few voters. During 18 exhausting months on the campaign trail the uninhibited candidate, who promised not to be a politician if elected, unleashed a chain of jokes, some of them biting, others lame, which reflected subversive, courageous views. As expected, he received more media coverage than any other candidate. He says he wants Texas to lead in something besides executions and taxes. Asked for his opinion on same-sex marriage, he fired off: "I support gay marriage because I believe they have the right to be just as miserable as the rest of us!" On Friday evening, a week and a half before election day, Friedman was sitting in his bus on the last leg of his campaign. His day had started early, in Dallas; from there, he and his entourage had proceeded to Amarillo. He said he enjoyed being on the road, a place he got used to during his period as a musician. "I think it's a bit easier than making music. I think musicians could run this country a lot better than politicians. Maybe we wouldn't get much done in the morning, but we would work until late and we'd be honest," he said. Kinky is the first to admit that he never had a conventional job, but he saw himself stepping easily into the governor's boots. "I think I was born to be governor. Texas and I are a perfect match. And it's not hard work." Asked about his lack of political experience, he had a standard reply: "Politics is the only field where the more experience you have, the worse you get." "Politician" is another epithet that Kinky tried to shake off at every opportunity. "I am not going to be very political. I won't be like that. I want to be the 'good shepherd,' with an agenda to do the right thing. I want to be a governor who is not a politician." There is such an animal, he insisted, as long as he or she is not a Republican or a Democrat: "Only an independent candidate can fix what's wrong with Texas. I think that people across the continent are fed up with the two-party system, and for sure they're fed up with George [Bush] and with the war. If we win, that will convey a very important message, it will be a wake-up call." Slim chances Friedman knew that his chances of winning were slim. He got massive coverage in the local and national press, appeared on the popular Leno and Letterman nighttime talk-shows and was profiled in The New Yorker, which encouraged a more serious approach toward his candidacy. The turnout in the previous election had been 29 percent; Kinky thought that a higher turnout would give him the governorship. "It's definitely possible to win," he said. "It could happen. What will need to happen is that a lot of people who are waiting on line to see Willie [Nelson, a popular country singer and personal friend] will have to wait on line for Texas. That's the hardest thing. In my opinion the voter turnout this time will be tremendous. And if I'm right, we will win. If a lot of people vote, you're talking to the governor," he said in a phone interview during that nighttime journey on the campaign bus. For a moment he sounded like a politician. "I think we have to be practical. Many people outside America are following these elections, and they think I'm going to win. But we are running against an incumbent governor with plenty of money in a red [Republican] state. It would take a real revolution, almost a miracle." Friedman explained that he had the support of the Jewish community, but actually got his strongest support from the Christians. "Texans are among the biggest supporters of Israel. There's a kind of spiritual bond between Texans and Israelis, something of a John Wayne spirit that's different from the rest of America. They share the same sensibilities and dreams. They are tough people and feel very independent, and they have this 'us against the world' attitude." He himself has visited Israel twice. The first time was in 1968, and he doesn't actually remember when the second time was. "It's been far too long. I thought it was beautiful there," he said in diplomat-speak. Maybe he'll be back. The entourage Toward the end of the campaign Kinky got tired of being treated as some sort of curiosity. "I don't know why people would think that. I am a comedian, I am a joker, but one eye is laughing and the other is crying. Humor is often very close to reality." He promised to fight for the rights of teachers, the poor and animals, and not long ago held a press conference with his friend Willie Nelson about abuse of horses. Kinky said that if he won he would appoint the singer as the top environmental authority in the state. Nelson wasn't the only Friedman buddy who helped in the campaign. Singer-friends Jimmy Buffett and Lyle Lovett joined in the effort to make Kinky governor, and Jesse Ventura - the former wrestler who against all the odds became governor of Minnesota - also accompanied him on the campaign trail. But the closest person to Friedman is Jeff "Jewford" Shelby, who was with him the entire time. They have been friends for about 50 years, since they were children. Jewford was also a member of the Jewboys band. "He's a Jew and he drives a Ford," Kinky said, explaining the name of the somewhat testy type with the short curly hair who accompanies him loyally everywhere. Friedman proclaimed at every opportunity that if he won, Jewford would immediately become "the First Lady of the State of Texas." The "lady" is not a practitioner of diplomatese. "I need a gig," Jewford said, explaining his possible role. In contrast to the candidates of the two major parties, Kinky ran on a modest budget and insisted that he could never be bought for a fistful of dollars. Nor did he hesitate to cast doubt on the penal system of a state which he says is second only to China in the number of executions that take place within its territory. "I think there are people who deserve to die. But on the other hand, I ask, when was the last time someone rich was executed in Texas? The answer, of course, is never. And if the system is so flawed, it is not a good system, and it hasn't improved in the last 2,000 years. It's a very ugly business." But the more the campaign heated up, the more slips of the tongue and scandals from the Kinkster's past began to surface and haunt him. A problematic remark about the "crackheads and thugs" among the refugees in Houston from hurricane Katrina proved offensive to many, and a standup routine from 20 years ago contained what at first seemed to be a disparaging remark about blacks. Even though Friedman had been an anti-racism activist as a young man, he was accused of being racist. His drug-saturated past also put people off. In addition, he wasn't very impressive in a televised debate against the other candidates, and did not persuade people that he had anything much to say beyond the punch-lines he recycled day after day. His support in the polls dwindled. Of course, he expressed no regrets for his past escapades. "I do not apologize, unless I am wrong or I hurt someone. I also find no reason to regret what I see as the rich and beautiful life I have lived," he explained. "I think political correctness has taken a heavy toll in America. It's bad for art, for politics - it's bad for all of us. I think Americans are sick of it. The term 'political correctness' was invented by Stalin. It is the enemy of free thought." Still, as the campaign progressed the jokes about the size of the clothes closet he coveted were no longer heard. When I asked him whether he was becoming a politically correct and paler version of himself, he denied it vehemently. "I don't think I can be like that. I think there is something more important than being politically correct, which is to be morally correct. That is what I aspire to be." He added: "Maybe people misunderstand me, but that doesn't bother me. Great people are often misunderstood. I don't know if people know how smart I am, I don't know if they know a lot of things. So if people don't understand me, I like it. It puts me up there with Socrates, Jesus, Van Gogh and Copernicus," he said. Mount Rushmore On the day before the elections, Kinky Friedman's campaign headquarters in downtown Houston looked quite calm. The souvenir storeroom looked as if it were after a liquidation sale, with surplus T-shirts, glasses, stickers with the famous slogans and one silent talking doll. In another hall in the building, activists were making last-minute arrangements, but mostly worked the phones energetically, trying to persuade people to get out and vote. The place was littered with stickers containing slogans such as "My governor is a Jewish cowboy," posters of Kinky in a toga, Kinky as Cupid, B.B. King and Hank Williams. In small offices, many with dim lighting, the Kinkster's hit songs were playing. Occasionally his voice emanated from one of the dolls, mouthing yet another slogan that everyone could recite in his sleep. At this stage the most optimistic poll gave Kinky just 17 percent of the votes, but the atmosphere was still merry. A young man frolicked around the room and offered people a piece of the "dancing pizza" he was holding. Frank Mason, a 62-year-old campaign volunteer from Georgia, has known Kinky for years. He first met him when he worked as a bouncer at a New York nightclub where Kinky performed every week. Sometimes he went onstage and sang with him. When Mason heard that his friend of a quarter-of-a-century was running for governor, he called him immediately to offer his help. "I think he'll win," Mason said. "People are tired of everything going to the rich, and the poor getting only the crumbs. We are going to fight to the end. You really have to know him up close to understand him. I'm wild about the Kinkster. He loves people, he loves horses, he loves life." The allegations of racism are unfounded, Mason added. "It's not true. I know how to get a joke." The next evening, when the voting had ended, Kinky's "victory party" began at an Austin beer garden. Hundreds of his supporters - wearing cowboy hats and jeans, and including tattooed types, one guy with a giant parrot and a few official-looking individuals - gathered to wait for the results. On the stage a local folk group played. Between the endlessly flowing beer, the French fries, the ribs and the sausages that the crowd gorged on, and through the slightly sweet cigar smoke, the numbers started to come in. The exit polls on the TV monitors gave Kinky only 10 percent of the vote. Now the man himself has arrived. "Here he is: Kinnnnnnnnky Frrrrrrrrriedman, the next governor of Texas," one of the band members announced. The swarm of reporters and television crews that were lurking about in wait for the wannabe governor surrounded him. With cigar in mouth and beer in hand, the Kinkster made the rounds. "God bless you, Kinky," someone called out. "Kinky Friedman, our governor," others shouted. Kinky hugged and kissed the supporters, had his photo taken with them and autographed a few T-shirts and dolls. Jewford was constantly half a step behind him. "You're our First Lady," someone said to him, but Jewford looked plumb worn out. He reported that Kinky had smoked somewhere between 10 to 14 cigars that day. "I have a picture with Kinky. Tonight I'm going to get another one," boasted Peg Pother, who was nursing her umpteenth mug of beer that night. "The man is a rock star. He's in paradise now. A good shepherd and a rock star in the same person, I love it," she mumbled. "He's so good to dogs. How can you not vote for someone who's so good to dogs?" asked Lisa Milner, another somewhat inebriated fan. "But all these society ladies in Dallas don't rightly appreciate Kinky." At 9 P.M. he took the stage. "Okay, guys. It doesn't look good, but it's not over yet." He started to thank everyone. First Jewford, then all the others. "We fought like Gypsies on a pirate ship," he said. "We did what we could. I left Texas a message with my phone number, now we'll wait and see if she calls me back." And for dessert, he pulled a historical anecdote out of his cowboy hat: When Kissinger met with Mao, the secretary of state asked the leader of China how he thought the French Revolution had influenced mankind. "It's still too soon to say," Mao replied, according to Kinky. The crowd tried to grapple with the message. Even though there was a high voter turnout, Texas did not hear Kinky's message: He finished fourth and last with only 12 percent of the vote. Perry was reelected. The crowd at the party tried to put a brave face on the developments and a few started square dancing. But the people were down. Ulrika Rohde, who came from Germany and will soon go back, defeated, wept bitterly. Mason was still optimistic. "We'll be back," he promised. Kinky will probably not run again. But it's clear to everyone that he hasn't yet said the last word. The question is what he will be next time. Deb Orazi suddenly appeared, festively attired with generous cleavage and heavy makeup. She knew Kinky wouldn't make it. "Kinky's race made a very strong statement. He exposed the fact that many people in America are not happy and want something else. But Kinky won anyway. His career was on the skids before he started the campaign. This whole story jump-started his career. Now he'll probably go first thing to vacation in Las Vegas". He can give lectures and he'll probably sell a lot more books, and even salsa and dolls. Orazi related that after going home the day before, she tried again, for the last time, to press the back of the speechless Kinky talking doll she got for free. "You'll never believe it," she exclaimed. "he talks."
Thursday, November 16, 2006
RIP Milton Friedman
Nobel-winning economist Milton Friedman has died: reports
By Gabriel Madway
Last Update: 12:33 PM ET Nov 16, 2006
SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) -- Nobel Prize-winning economist Milton Friedman has died at the age of 94, according to media reports Thursday. Friedman, one of the most influential economists of the past century, died last night, the Wall Street Journal reported on its Web site, citing an official at the Cato Institute in Washington. Friedman was a professor at the University of Chicago from 1946 until 1976. He was awarded the Nobel in 1976.
05/01/2002 - 05/31/2002 06/01/2002 - 06/30/2002 07/01/2002 - 07/31/2002 08/01/2002 - 08/31/2002 09/01/2002 - 09/30/2002 10/01/2002 - 10/31/2002 11/01/2002 - 11/30/2002 12/01/2002 - 12/31/2002 01/01/2003 - 01/31/2003 02/01/2003 - 02/28/2003 03/01/2003 - 03/31/2003 04/01/2003 - 04/30/2003 05/01/2003 - 05/31/2003 06/01/2003 - 06/30/2003 07/01/2003 - 07/31/2003 08/01/2003 - 08/31/2003 09/01/2003 - 09/30/2003 10/01/2003 - 10/31/2003 11/01/2003 - 11/30/2003 12/01/2003 - 12/31/2003 01/01/2004 - 01/31/2004 02/01/2004 - 02/29/2004 03/01/2004 - 03/31/2004 04/01/2004 - 04/30/2004 05/01/2004 - 05/31/2004 06/01/2004 - 06/30/2004 07/01/2004 - 07/31/2004 08/01/2004 - 08/31/2004 09/01/2004 - 09/30/2004 10/01/2004 - 10/31/2004 11/01/2004 - 11/30/2004 12/01/2004 - 12/31/2004 02/01/2005 - 02/28/2005 03/01/2005 - 03/31/2005 04/01/2005 - 04/30/2005 05/01/2005 - 05/31/2005 06/01/2005 - 06/30/2005 07/01/2005 - 07/31/2005 08/01/2005 - 08/31/2005 09/01/2005 - 09/30/2005 10/01/2005 - 10/31/2005 11/01/2005 - 11/30/2005 12/01/2005 - 12/31/2005 01/01/2006 - 01/31/2006 02/01/2006 - 02/28/2006 03/01/2006 - 03/31/2006 04/01/2006 - 04/30/2006 05/01/2006 - 05/31/2006 06/01/2006 - 06/30/2006 07/01/2006 - 07/31/2006 08/01/2006 - 08/31/2006 09/01/2006 - 09/30/2006 10/01/2006 - 10/31/2006 11/01/2006 - 11/30/2006
GET YOUR FREE LIVING WILL
Buy the newest books!
Shelly's PicksNew Pulp Literary Productions
Shelly Waxman & Associates
- You can find bankruptcy attorneys and lawyers in all 50 state at lawinfo.com.