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

Location: Phila, Pennsylvania, United States

Friday, February 16, 2007



In an action branded a backdoor draft by some critics, the military over the past several years has held tens of thousands of soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines on the job and in war zones beyond their retirement dates or enlistment length. Is this even legal? This is no different than sending a person to prison for ten years. Then, at the end of their full sentence, telling them that the prison system has decided to keep them for another five years. At this point serving in Iraq certainly seems akin to a prison term: terrible food, danger and violence, separation from friends and family, and power hungry, “know-it-all” superiors. Today on the floor of the House, Representatives will vote on a non-binding measure that does little more (if anything) than criticize Dubya’s decision to send an additional 21,500 troops to Iraq. “Okay everyone, it’s time to vote on whether we agree with the President or not. Let’s try not to take more than another few weeks to do this”. Do we really need a vote to do this? Can’t we just take five minutes and get a show of hands? If Bush can get away with logic like: if you are against the war then you are for abortion, then here’s a thought that’s even easier to comprehend (listen up Congress): If you agree with President Bush you are a moron. Quit living in denial. I thought we went to Iraq because lives were in jeopardy after 9/11, right Dubya? We have long since passed the death total of Americans from 9/11 since going to Iraq. When is this going to end? When will Congress grow a pair, bring our troops home, and admit that going to Iraq was a total mistake. It’s like Congress knocked back a dozen beers, had beer goggles on, and thought Iraq looked pretty sweet (and their buddies George and Dick agreed, “Go for it Congress, Iraq wants you, she’s practically begging for you to invade her!”). Now, waking up next to her a few years later, sober, she’s not looking too good. Dubya’s probably just sitting in the oval office, snickering like a stupid frat boy who convinced his buddy (the night before) that the ugly girl he was taking home was actually attractive. Across the room Dick Cheney is salivating and jerking off to a map of Iran, “Oh yeah baby, prepare for Dick’s invasion”! If Congress doesn’t pass some sort of BINDING resolution, the White House goons will continue to send more troops, keep current troops past their enlistment dates, and probably start a new war with Iran. They might not be in office to see the new war through (they probably won’t even be in office by the time the Iraq war ends) but as long as they start one, their mission will be accomplished and they (along with their elite friends) will continue to make a quick buck as they trade American soldiers for dollars. Bush continues his rhetoric that Congress must continue their promise to support the troops. For once he’s right, Congress should support the troops. Let me make this very clear, supporting the troops means bringing them home.

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention has sent a letter to General Motors criticizing an ad (that first ran during the Superbowl) that shows a perfectionist assembly line robot dreaming about jumping off a bridge after dropping a bolt. The group said the spot may encourage people to consider suicide as a solution to their problems. I hate to be the one to break this to the A.F.S.P., but…it’s a machine. I might not want to TiVo the commercial for fear that if it forgets to record one of my favorite shows that it might somehow fling itself out the window, but it’s not exactly driving me to kill myself. I hope the same can be said for other people. Hey A.F.S.P., It’s a TV ad. It’s a machine. Pick your battles. I do not condone people committing suicide as an answer to their problems (I have seen the effect this can have on loved ones first hand), but if you are so close to the edge that watching a GM car commercial pushes you over, then you were probably going to find another excuse to do it anyway (like running out of toilet paper, or leaving drool stains on your pillowcase). I’m all for the A.F.S.P. and the work that they do but I think their time and efforts can be put to better use.

John Amaechi is gay. This might not be news if he were not the first NBA player (former or current) to admit to being a homosexual. While it might not hold exactly the same impact as Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier in baseball, it is important. Professional sports are viewed as the pinnacle of masculinity. An openly gay athlete challenges this perception. While most male athletes seem to have no problem with communal showers and frequent pats on the ass from teammates (whatever happened to a pat on the back?), some do have a problem with having a gay teammate. While the response from players around the NBA has ranged from naïve to ignorant (Chadwick Randolph suggested that “gay” could be contracted, and LeBron James said keeping sexual preference to yourself made you an untrustworthy teammate) former all-star Tim Hardaway’s comments were the most outrageous of all.
"First of all, I wouldn't want him on my team," the former Miami Heat star said in a radio interview earlier this week. "And second of all, if he was on my team, I would, you know, really distance myself from him because, uh, I don't think that is right. I don't think he should be in the locker room while we are in the locker room." When the show’s host Dan Le Batard told Hardaway that his comments were "flatly homophobic" and "bigotry," the player continued.
"You know, I hate gay people, so I let it be known. I don't like gay people and I don't like to be around gay people," he said. "I'm homophobic. I don't like it. It shouldn't be in the world or in the United States."
Hardaway also went on to say that if he did find out that a teammate was gay, he would ask for the player to be removed from the team. Wow. I’ve never seen a grown man who could stuff both feet into his mouth at once before. How do you think Tim Hardaway would have felt if he were the first black player in the NBA and other stars made similar comments? Tim Hardaway later apologized for making the remarks (you can find this apology in the dictionary under: too little, too late). In turn, the NBA has banned Hardaway from this weekend’s all-star festivities in Las Vegas (at which he was scheduled to appear, on behalf of the league, at many events).
"We removed him from representing us because we didn't think his comments were consistent with having anything to do with us," NBA commissioner David Stern said yesterday. Personally, I would like to applaud John Amaechi. Openly admitting your homosexuality in the sports world, even after your career has ended, is no easy task. It opens the door so that hopefully another gay athlete can come out of the closet (while still playing in the league) and further raise awareness. Homosexuality is not a disease. It cannot be contracted. It is nothing to fear. Why should it matter to a player what a teammate does with his free-time? It does not make him any less of a teammate. The actions of many players off the court are far more offensive and damaging to a team than the actions of John Amaechi. He has done nothing wrong. If there is anyone who other players shouldn’t want as a teammate, it is a bigot like Tim Hardaway.

Not everything your grandmother told you is true. Kissing a girl doesn’t really get her pregnant. Masturbating won’t really make you go blind. Hugging, however, really might kill you. A British woman who claims she contracted cancer from hugging her father, who worked with asbestos, is suing the Ministry of Defense for $146,000. Debra Brewer, 47, was diagnosed last November with Mesothelioma, a rare form of lung cancer that is almost always linked to asbestos exposure. Her condition is terminal. Her father worked at a dockyard in Plymouth for five years during the 1960s, and died from asbestos-related lung cancer last year. Brewer's only known exposure to asbestos was in childhood, from playing with her father, who frequently came home coated in asbestos dust. It generally takes about thirty years from the incident of asbestos exposure for signs of cancer to show. I guess we should all be a little more careful about the people we hug. Remember, when you hug someone, you are also hugging all the asbestos that they have come in contact with (prior to their last shower). It might seem trivial today, but thirty years from now, that hug could come back to haunt you. If you’re one of those people who say that “daddy never hugged me,” you might want to call your father and thank him for saving your life. Personally, I like to live dangerously. I might just hug the next construction worker I see.

Thank you to all of you who have sent emails and gift baskets (okay, so no one has sent a gift basket, but it isn’t too late) wishing me a speedy recovery from my accident. It’s been a busy few weeks of tests, tests, and more tests but they have only served to tell me what is NOT wrong with my neck and back. Physical therapy still continues to go slowly and some days I find nothing hits the spot quite like a little heat therapy and a few pain killers. It’s been a little hard to write as the medication sometimes clouds my creative side but I hope that this post gets me back into the groove. I also hope it gets you back into the groove of sharing the Spoon with everyone you know.

That’s all I have for today folks. Everyone have a wonderful weekend and please check back next week for another action packed edition of the Spoon, Full of Truth. If you’re looking for a good movie or music CD, you might like one of the selections from the “Reviews” section (click the tab on the right-hand side by the archives).