A heavy dose of truth, humor, and political activism.

Location: Phila, Pennsylvania, United States

Wednesday, January 17, 2007



On Sunday morning my father picked me up at my apartment to drive down to Washington DC to visit my brother who moved there last week. We quickly threw my bags into the trunk of our rental Chevy Malibu and hit the road. My brother was staying with a friend of my father and we planned to meet them around lunch time and then head out to watch the NFL playoff games. The drive down to DC was pretty uneventful. When we arrived in DC, we stopped briefly to refill the gas tank and use the bathroom. We were only about fifteen minutes from our destination. What happened next is somewhat of a blur. All I know is, I am lucky to be sitting here telling you all about it. We were at a busy intersection, in a less than desirable neighborhood, when somehow our car collided with another vehicle. After the initial impact (which I can’t recall) our car struck a second vehicle. This is where I thought the accident would come to an end. It did not. Somehow our car continued to pick up speed and we continued through the busy intersection. I had enough time to ask my father why we were still moving and all he could tell me (over and over) is that the brakes wouldn’t work. I knew that if he couldn’t stop, we were going to have another, harder collision. In that brief moment, I thought I had seen my last day on Earth. As I looked on in horror we jumped the curb and crashed through the wall of a liquor store. The force was incredible. The airbags deployed and I suddenly realized that I was still alive. I could see smoke coming from the front of the car and began to panic that the car would catch fire. My father couldn’t get his door to open but thankfully mine was able to open about half way. I got out of the car and my dad was able to move across the seat and make his way out of the car. I was totally in a daze. A crowd of people began to form around the car. Two guys in a tow-truck had seen the accident and stopped. They asked me if I was okay. I told them that I thought I was. My neck and back hurt a little, as did my face where it had struck the airbag, and I couldn’t stop shaking. My father kept telling me he couldn’t find his glasses. I figured that if the missing glasses were his biggest concern, that he must also be okay. Some of the people who were gathered around the car began trying to open the doors and go through the car. I yelled at them to get away. The car was filled with our luggage as well as several items we had brought for my brother and I didn’t want anything getting stolen amidst all the confusion. I removed my bag that contained my insulin and diabetic supplies from the trunk and held it with me. I began to get dizzy and had to sit down on the sidewalk. I’m not sure how much time passed but I soon heard the sound of sirens and before long an ambulance, fire-truck, and police cars were on the scene. We both refused to be taken in an ambulance to the hospital. I was too dazed and figured that I wasn’t hurt. Shortly thereafter a news reporter showed up and tried to get our story. We refused. My brother (who had come to the accident scene with our friend Dan) pointed into the liquor store (where the wall had been) and jokingly asked if I needed a drink. When the police were done getting our stories, my brother (Josh) and Dan helped us to get our things into cabs. When we returned to Dan’s apartment my father began to complain of chest and back pains and we took him to the hospital. He was admitted and they put him in a neck brace and gave him CT scans, an EKG test, and administered fluids. They asked if I wanted to be admitted. I did not. The Eagles game was starting in less than an hour. Once I knew my father was okay (his chest pains were due to the seat belt and not heart problems) Dan, Josh, and I left him at the hospital and went to an Eagles bar (called Rhino) in DC where I watched my Eagles win a victory over the lowly Giants. The next day my neck was very sore, my head hurt, and my rib area was sore. It got worse the next day and worse the day after. I had been to a Doctor to get checked out and had a concussion, whip lash, and bruising around my ribs (from the seatbelt). I spend all of last week laid up on the couch in a daze (which is why there were no truth-filled Spoon posts…I know you were all going nuts). Considering how bad the actual accident was, we were lucky we weren't killed or seriously hurt. I am feeling a little better this week on my road to recovery and am once again able to bring you all the truth you rely on and enjoy. Thanks to those of you who called or wrote to check on me.

Award shows make me sick. I choose to avoid watching them whenever possible. Last night, while watching TV, I caught a clip of the Golden Globes. Some actress I had never seen before had just won an award for her TV show “Ugly Betty”. She came up to the podium and began to cry and thank countless people for the award. It was ridiculous. She acted as if Earth was about to be destroyed and she had just been selected as one of a hundred humans who would be sent into outer-space to insure the existence of earthlings. When are we going to stop awarding actors and musicians endlessly? Great, you sold more CD’s than anyone else in your music genre. Wonderful, your TV show was watched by millions and hailed by critics, but why does that deserve an award? Why is our culture so obsessed with celebrities? Why don’t we give awards for the most money donated to charity or the most public service? I still think we need to add in awards for the worst song and worst show of the year. Instead of rewarding the “great” performers, why don’t we call out the awful ones? You might get me to tune in for that.

A radio station in Sacramento California held a contest last week and a 28 year old mother of three entered to try to win a Nintendo Wii for her kids. The contest was a water drinking competition to see much water a person could drink without going to the bathroom. In the final round the woman drank almost a gallon before dropping out. She called out of work the next day complaining of feeling ill and was reported to have been crying from severe pain. The next day she was found dead. She had consumed too much water, her brain swelled, and she died. The radio station fired ten people including their promotional manager and the morning radio hosts. Already the talks of her family suing the radio station have begun. I’m not sure the radio station should be held accountable. While the contest might be stupid, no one forced her to do it. I feel bad for her but I think this might have to be one of those cases where no one is to blame. She could have dropped out of the contest at any point but was obviously more concerned with winning than with her health. If she didn’t research the risk of consuming too much water in advance, isn’t that her own fault? I’m not saying that she deserved what she got; she did not. It was a tragedy. However, I think that we have long since forgotten about personal responsibility in this country.

Aibohphobia is the fear of Palindromes.

A tiny nation, complete with its own flag, stamps and passport, is up for sale. That’s right folks, for the mere price of $975 Million you can now own the nation of Sealand. Sealand, which has its own passport and currency, is basically an old artillery platform which sits in the North Sea. It is recognized by some nations, but not by its closest neighbor, Britain. It has been suggested that the tiny country, which has eight rooms in each of its two towers, could be a base for online gambling or offshore banking. If I had a billion dollars lying around, I think I’d like to buy Sealand. Of course I’d want to rename it. Spoonland has a nice ring to it. Here are a few quick ideas for my new nation:
National Plant: Marijuana.
National Bird: My middle finger.
Guy on the dollar bill: Me.
The number one export of Spoonland: Truth.

Last week, The House voted to raise the federal minimum wage for the first time in a decade, to $7.25 an hour, as majority Democrats marched through their 100-hour agenda at the dawn of a new Congress. It’s about time. The legislation, which now goes to the Senate, would raise the current $5.15 minimum to $5.85 effective 60 days after the measure became law. The minimum would go to $6.55 a year later and $7.25 a year after that. It came as little surprise that Republicans were opposed to the wage hike. They only wanted a hike when coupled with tax-cuts for business owners. It is likely that in order to get approval from President Bush (who is also opposed to the stand-alone hike) Democrats will have to agree to some tax-cuts for businesses. Whether tax-cuts become part of the bill or not, it is a welcomed sign of change that the Dems are already trying to make a few changes in their first weeks in power.

Why is everyone acting like this Scooter Libby trial is so important? What do they think is going to come out of it? Dubya is going to pardon Scooter Libby if he’s found guilty of anything so Scooter should just bite the bullet and take one for “the team”. Why even give Cheney a chance to take the stand? Bush can even pardon Libby in advance so that if he’s found guilty, it won’t matter. It’s not like Dubya will be the first one to use his presidential pardon to get some of his buddies out of trouble. Clinton certainly did it, every president does. This is the perfect time for all of Bush’s buddies to own up to their crimes so that they can get pardoned before Dubya leaves office. Plead guilty fellas! Why the hell not? Georgie will give all of you good old boys the presidential treatment. You won’t see the inside of a jail cell any more than George saw live-combat in the military.

Bush’s proposal to send an extra 17,500 troops into Baghdad to help get control of the city is just another example of his piss-poor decision making and his attempt to hold someone else accountable for his blunders. At the beginning of the war, General Eric Shinseki told Bush in simple terms that we would need 300,000 or more troops in order to properly conduct our military actions in Iraq. What did Bush do? He basically fired him and replaced him with a “yes man” who told Bush everything he wanted to hear; lower troop amounts would be sufficient. Sending more troops now would be like firefighters arriving at a burning building and deciding that there was no way they could put out the fire so they might as well throw some gasoline on it to make it burn down more quickly. The only problem is that fire spreads. The more you fuel it, the bigger it gets. That’s exactly what is going to happen if we send more troops in, it’s just more fuel for the fire. So why is Dubya set on sending more troops? There are a few reasons. His buddies hold all the defense contracts. A longer war means more money in their pockets. Bush also wants to keep the war going long enough that he leaves office before it ends. That way, either the Democratic Senate or the new Democratic president (if one is elected) will be responsible for pulling the troops out and the even bigger mess that will occur when that happens. Then, Georgie-boy and his goon squad can point the finger of blame at the Democrats and say that they didn’t give him all the tools he needed to finish the job and pulled out before it was over. The fact is the war will never be over until one side stops fighting. We are the occupiers; they will never stop fighting us. The American people have spoken. The Democrats have taken back Capital Hill and they now need to stand up to the President and reflect the will of the people to stop escalating the war in Iraq and bring our troops home. The war is NEVER going to be won. We can send more troops, lose more lives, spend more money, and have the same end result, or we can start to pull out now. It’s time to stop pouring more fuel on the fire. We might not be able to extinguish it, but we shouldn’t let it burn any longer than it has to.

The two most famous words in Philly sports history. Next Year. Looks like it’s another year of “next year” for my hometown Eagles although I’m proud of the run they went on to even make the playoffs, win in the first round, and almost beat the Saints on the road. I’d also like to send a quick congrats out to my brother who is now living in DC, working on PBS’s “News Hour with Jim Lehrer”. I saw Bush interviewed on the show last night and although Lehrer asked him many decent questions, Dubya talked around them as always. If I were interviewing him, I would have responded to his avoidance by saying, “Thank you for that interesting tidbit of information Mr. President but could you please answer the question I asked you now?”
As for the Spoon, you’re going to have to wait until “next post” for any more truth. That’s all I have for today people. Please use the comment tab at the bottom of this post to weigh in on any of them numerous things I touched on today.
Don't forget to check out: www.mycmsite.com/juliajmiller (you'll be happy you did).


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was wondering why you hadn't posted last week. I was lost without my weekly Spoon dose.
Glad to hear you and your dad made it out okay. Get better!

January 17, 2007 3:28 PM  
Anonymous the wife said...

Just FYI they have awards called "The Razzies" that are held honouring all the sucky songs, shows, musicians etc. I don't know many details other than Weird Al has won a ton. Glad you are on the mend hun.

January 17, 2007 3:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Spoon full - once again you have hit the nail squarely on the head.George Bush is continuing his maniacal approach to the situation in Iraq despite the fact that voters overwhelmingly are opposed to his position on increasing the troop levels. It is imperative that the Congress and we the people tell him, thru our elected officials, we do not want him "pouring gasoline on the fire." He has failed and we cannot allow him to continue to put our men and women in the armed services in harms way. If the war is so crucial to our well being,He should send the twins, Jenna and Barbara to fight on the frontline in Baghdad. Until that happens, no one should have to be a sacrificial lamb for Dubya's war.

January 17, 2007 5:37 PM  
Anonymous L said...

That accident sounds horrifying. It is almost as scary as the realization that Bush will pardon all of his buddies. What a terrible law (presidential pardons).
I hope yuo feel better and I really enjoyed your fun fact of the day.

January 18, 2007 12:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great blog. I would pay (are you listening HBO ? ) to see Jim Lehrer or for that matter any correspondent bitch slap Bush when he evades the questions. Maybe I can start a write-in campaign to HBO to televise such an interview.

January 18, 2007 3:04 PM  
Blogger Paul said...

Dude, I'll let that comment about the "lowly" Giants go since you were in that accident. Glad you're OK.

January 19, 2007 5:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Check out today's NY Times which lists the RAZZIES nominees.

January 22, 2007 9:53 AM  
Anonymous rob said...

I think you will see more of the same type of thinking when it comes to offshore banking, offshore corporations, offshore foundations, offshore stock brokerage accounts etc.

May 14, 2007 4:36 AM  

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