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

Location: Phila, Pennsylvania, United States

Wednesday, February 27, 2008


Proposed legislation in Mississippi would prohibit restaurants from serving obese customers. That’s right Fat Boy, you might as well pour ranch dressing on those dollar bills and eat ‘em right up because your money is no good here. It is not clear according to the proposed legislation where obese people are expected to eat. Maybe they will propose state-run health restaurants where only card carrying portly Mississippians are welcome? This outrageous bill has nutrition experts seeing red.
These experts say that the proposed bill, still in committee, is "ridiculous," "insane" and a wrong-headed approach to solving the national obesity epidemic.
State Rep. John Read, a Republican who is one of the bill's three authors, says he wasn't trying to offend anybody and never even expected the plan to become law.
"I was trying to shed a little light on the No. 1 problem in Mississippi," he says. About one-third of Americans are obese (30 or more pounds over a healthy weight), and 66% are overweight or obese. Even so, obesity experts are outraged by the bill.
Mississippi has the highest obesity rate in the USA. Would the bill only prohibit obese residents of Mississippi from dining in the state’s restaurants or would it give the boot to all hefty out of town diners as well?
According to Kelly Brownell, director of Yale University's Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity,
"This brings bias against obese individuals to a new and appalling level; and at a time when significant progress is being made in the effort to stop blaming obesity on the people who have it and to address the social and political conditions that drive it. Are these legislators fighting to get rid of soft drinks in schools? Are they working to stop the relentless marketing of unhealthy foods to children? Are they doing anything about the fact that poor people do not have access to healthy foods?"
What about civil rights? How would you even enforce these laws? Would hostesses be required to keep a scale at the front door to weigh any over-weight customers as they entered the store? They could set up two vertical pillars about two feet apart with a sign: “You must be this thin to dine here”.
Michael Jacobson, executive director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, says the bill sponsors "should be ashamed of themselves. Can you imagine how embarrassing it would be for an overweight high school student to go to a restaurant with a few slimmer friends and not be allowed to buy certain foods?"
What’s next, an additional charge of $2 to any customer who doesn’t finish all of their vegetables or a strictly enforced policy of “No dessert until you finish your entire dinner”?
I think instead of wasting our time with hate-legislation maybe the House should pass a bill stating that idiots can’t run for elected positions.

This past Valentine’s Day was the first one I’ve spent as a single guy in about ten years. I was never a real fan of the “holiday” anyway but my significant other (whoever that was at the time) always enjoyed celebrating so I played along. It was nice to see them happy. I was always of the opinion that romance is spontaneous. What’s so romantic about bringing someone flowers when they are expecting them? Spending this past holiday alone got me to thinking, why should there just be a holiday to celebrate love? Why not an equal holiday on the other-side of the calendar (August 14th) as Heartbreaker’s Day? It would be great. It would be the perfect day to end that relationship that has been dragging on a little too long, or to call up your ex to tell them how happy you are without them. Have plans with your girlfriend? Not any more! Cancel at the last minute and go take in a baseball game with the boys. There might even be time to swing by the strip club on the way home. Ladies, sick of biting your tongue about the extra weight your man has put on? Stop dropping hints and call him out. Every Ying has to have its Yang and I think this would be the perfect compliment to a holiday that drives every single person insane.

The New York Giants may have won the Super Bowl and put an end to the Patriot’s run at perfection, but don’t tell that to the children of Nicaragua.
The NFL donated 290 Patriots hats and 290 team jerseys trumpeting the slogans “Super Bowl Champions, 19-0” to impoverished children from two small communities in southern Nicaragua.
The gifts (donated on February 15th) could not change history; the Patriots lost the Feb. 3 game to the New York Giants 17-14. They did however, made a lot of youngsters in the communities of San Gregorio and Buena Vista very happy, said Miriam Diaz, spokeswoman for the humanitarian organization World Vision, which arranged the donation with the NFL.
“They (Patriots) lost, but the children won,” Diaz said.
The only “football” most of the children in Nicaragua know is soccer, but they were very enthusiastic about the U.S. version of the game once the rules were explained to them, she said.
“They were very happy to receive the hats and jerseys,” Diaz said. “They said they did not expect such a surprise.”
Neither did the Patriots.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has apologized to a Muslim woman who said she was mocked because of her face veil.
"Please don't stick me up," a cashier told the shopper on Feb. 2, according to The Council on American-Islamic Relations.
Wal-Mart apologized last Monday in a letter signed by Rolando Rodriquez, a vice president and regional general manager. It was released last Tuesday by the council's Nevada chapter.
"I can assure you that the associate in question was disciplined in accordance with our employment policies as a result of the situation," Rodriguez said without disclosing details.
Rodriguez said employees at the Riverdale store would undergo "sensitivity training," specifically in the Islamic faith and Muslim culture. Specifically in Islamic faith and Muslim culture? Sure, forget the rest of us. I guess Wal-Mart has already taken other steps to avoid conflicts between customers and employees. It probably goes something like this: “We’ve rolled back our prices so much that Jews don’t even attempt to get a better deal. In addition our clothing line is so unfashionable that no self-respecting homosexual would dare focus his queer-eye here. Blacks and Hispanics make up a large part of the Wal-Mart family…just go check out the stock room if you need any more proof”.
Personally I am shocked. With Wal-Mart’s strict hiring practices I’m amazed that a cashier even took the time to look up from bitching to her co-worker at the next register to even notice how a customer was dressed.

The Rocket seems to be functioning properly but there is a question of whether or not an additive was incorporated into the fuel supply. More importantly…who cares? How much more of our time and tax-payer money is going to be wasted investigating Roger Clemens? Maybe he cheated, maybe he didn’t; does it really matter? Will the starving children be fed when we get to the bottom of this mystery? Will it create new jobs or a better education system? Will it bring our troops home safely? I didn’t think so. It is now alleged that pictures have appeared of Clemens at a 1998 party at the home of Jose Canseco; a party that Clemens, under oath, denied attending. He may have been there and lied about it, and he might not have been there. It’s also possible that he was there and forgot about it. I can’t tell you every party I attended ten years ago. Why are people so concerned with this issue? I understand why Congress is; anything to take attention away from REAL issues, but why does the public care (especially when it’s our tax dollars going to fund this circus)? If Congress wants to go after someone or something, go after Bud Selig and MLB for allowing this to happen for so many years and then trying their best to cover it up. Personally, if I was given a choice about where our tax dollars go, investigations into alleged steroid use in sports wouldn’t make the top 500. Sports are supposed to entertain us. I don’t feel cheated by the player’s steroid or HGH use, I feel cheated out of my tax dollars and my public services.

I’d just like to take a quick minute to urge everyone to vote for Barack Obama. I truly believe he is the best choice for Americans and for our relations with the rest of the world. I would also like to wish a happy upcoming birthday to my dad Stephen who is a wonderful man and father. I love you dad. Check back soon, to get more truth, straight from the Spoon!

Tuesday, February 05, 2008




Whoever thought an 18-1 season could be a failure? The 18-1 season that ended yesterday for New England with a 17-14 loss to the NY Giants in Superbowl XLII was just that; a tremendous failure. How different this season could have been for the New England Patriots. They added three stellar wide-receivers in Randy Moss, Wes Welker, and Donte Stallworth. They had a golden boy quarterback, a genius coach, and a top notch defense. Week one started with a 38-14 win over the Jets in New York. The Patriots won the game but illegally taped the Jets during the game. The Jets coach, Eric Mangini (a former assistant of New England coach Bill Belichick) knew of the Patriots taping techniques and decided to blow the whistle. The league investigated and wound up fining Belichick $500,000 and stripping New England of their first round draft pick. “Spy-gate” (what the media has dubbed the scandal) also raised questions of how long the Pats had been breaking the rules (cheating) and the legitimacy of their previous regular season, and post-season, victories. The Patriots seemed unaffected as they built upon their week one success with victory after victory: 5-0, 10-0, 15-0, and finally after beating the NY Giants in the last week of the season by three points, 16-0; the undefeated regular season. The first 16-0 regular season in history (The 1972 Dolphins had gone 14-0 during the regular season and capped it off with the first undefeated season in history after winning the Superbowl). They rested through their first round playoff bye. Then the Jacksonville Jaguars came to Foxborough. They too fell to the mighty Patriots. Next up was the San Diego Chargers. The team that felt the Patriots had disrespected them on their home field in the playoffs the season before. Had the Chargers been at full strength with a healthy Rivers, Tomlinson, and Gates, things might have been different; but no excuses. The Patriots won the game, improved to 18-0, and punched their ticket to Superbowl XLII in Arizona. They stood on the cusp of history. Vegas listed them as 14 point favorites (which was eventually lowered to 12). Everyone was ready to crown them the greatest team in football history. 19-0, 4 titles in 7 years, and a quarterback who had matched his boyhood idol Joe Montana by going 4-0 in his first four Superbowls. The only problem? The Giants obviously didn’t get the memo. Plaxico Burress predicted a Giants win and was laughed at. Tom Brady actually laughed at Plaxico’s prediction that the Patriots would only score 17 points. In the end, they didn’t even score that many. The Giants showed up ready to play. The Patriots looked as if they had shown up to cash in on their birthright. They went for it on 4th and 13 early in the game instead of attempting a 48 yard field goal that could have given them the three points that they eventually lost by. With less than 3 minutes left in the game, his team down four points, Eli Manning (who I have vocally dismissed as a sub-par QB many times) drove his team down the field like a cool, calm, collected pro and scored the game winning touchdown (throwing the winning pass to none other than Plaxico Burress). The Giants defense sacked Tom Brady all night long making him ineffective. The Giants were the better team. With one second left on the clock and one play remaining, Patriot’s coach Bill Belichick left his team on the field, abandoning them, and headed to the locker room instead of staying to congratulate Eli or any of the Giants players. For a man who claims to have great respect for the game of football, I found this to be a totally classless act by Belichick.
The Giants (who went 10-6 during the regular season including that week 17 loss to the Patriots) won three straight road playoff games (over Tampa Bay, Dallas, and Green Bay) on their way to winning the Superbowl on a neutral site. They finished the season 14-6. They finished the season as champions. The Patriots finished 18-1. They finished as failures. Now there are new Spy-gate allegations including one that the Patriots filmed the Ram’s final walk through before beating them to win their first Superbowl in 2001. If this is true, The NFL has reserved the right to levy additional penalties against Bill Belichick and the Patriots. Could this include stripping them of Superbowl titles? Only time will tell. How different this season could have been. If the Patriots had started off the season with a loss to the Jets and had then won eighteen straight, they still would have finished the season 18-1, they would have won eighteen straight games to get there, they would have won their 4th Superbowl in seven years, and Spy-gate might never have come to light. If the Patriots had lost their week 17 game against the Giants, but still finished 18-1, they would have still won the Superbowl. The perfection of the first eighteen games is certainly a difficult feat, but it means nothing without the Lombardi Trophy to cap off the season. In the end, the Pats won eighteen straight, were shown to be cheaters, were shown to have a classless coach, and will be marked as the biggest chokers in NFL history. After listening to the Pats’ players talk about all the “Humble Pie” Belichick fed them all season long, I think it’s safe to assume that they choked on it. If I were them, I’d work on chewing techniques before next season.


One day removed from the Superbowl I want to be the first uncover a little “smoke and mirrors” move between coaching friends. Last Tuesday, during Superbowl media day, New England Coach Bill Belichick discussed his relationship with Bob Knight (coach of Texas Tech’s men’s basketball team) and other successful coaches. Knight and Belichick met through Bill Parcels, Belichick’s former boss when the two won Super Bowl championships with the Giants in 1986 and 1990.
According to Belichick, he and Knight often talk about coaching. The two men have each won three championships in their respective sports as head coaches.
“It’s not specific to football or basketball,” Belichick elaborated, “but more just how to be a coach.”
He also said that he and Knight have discussed how to handle players and prepare for big games, something the Patriots have gotten used to in the past seven seasons.
“There’s nobody I have more respect for in the coaching fraternity than Coach Knight,” Belichick said. “He’s been very helpful.”
Hmmm. How helpful? So helpful that a day after Belichick lost the biggest game of his career and is being called classless and a cheater by members of the media across the nation, that Knight would suddenly retire from coaching without notice after more than forty seasons and 900 victories? Even those closest to Knight are saying that his retirement comes as a total shock. Why now? Why not wait until the end of the season to let his son take the reigns as head coach? Very few sports stories could take attention away from the Patriots loss and Belichick’s actions after the game (let alone the new Spy-gate allegations). The retirement of Bobby Knight (which many expected to come at the end of this season anyway) is one of them. It smells a little fishy to me. Personally, I’m happy to see the Patriots lose, Belichick’s “genius” and sportsmanship questioned, and Bobby Knight no longer able to terrorize players, refs, and journalists.


I would like to start off by officially endorsing Barack Obama for President on this Super Tuesday. While I believe that Hilary Clinton would represent a change for this country, and it would be important to have a woman as President, I don't think she offers enough change. She is part of the Clinton machine. After 8 years of Clinton, and 8 horrible years of Bush, I think Obama would do more to unify the country and usher in an era of true change. I believe it would not only be a great leap to have an African-American as president, but to have such an inspiring man as president. If you have never taken the time to listen to one of Obama's speeches, take a minute, Google his speeches, and listen for a few minutes before you head out to vote. If you’re too lazy for that, just click on this link http://video.yahoo.com/video/play?vid=131284&fr= for one of my personal favorites. Don’t just read one of his speeches; listen to him speak. Of course in the end it is your right to vote for whichever candidate you like but I'd been asked my opinion by several readers so I wanted to share my endorsement. Above all I urge you to vote, regardless of who you vote for. Make your voice heard.


A good friend of mine sent me the following email (slightly edited) this week and I wanted to share it with all of you. The messages in the email, as well as on the site she suggests visiting, are worth repeating:
Hello Friends,
Since I’ve received so many forwards from people touting the qualities of Barack Obama (and sometimes Hillary Clinton) as a presidential candidate, I thought I’d send out a little critique of these two. Especially for those of you that rely on mainstream media to get your election news, this is a great reason why Indymedia and other non-mainstream sources (like the fabulous http://www.spoonfulloftruth.com/) offer an important perspective that I hope we won’t ignore merely because the Bush regime scares us.
Thanks for taking the time to think critically J


Primaries…How do they work? You would think it would just be simple. Whichever Democrat gets the most votes should get the endorsement, right? Not so fast. There is the ridiculous system of delegates to work through. Not only is the system in which delegates are divided, awarded, and disallowed confusing, but candidates can also award delegates they received to other delegates. This means that John Edwards for example, once counted out of the race, could award his delegates to either Clinton or Obama in return for the becoming Veep or having some of his policies instated, and all but decide the nomination for himself. Let’s try to clear up a little of the confusion.

*All states do not have the same amount of Delegates. There is a huge variation. The most populous states like California, Texas, and New York, have many times more delegates than the smallest states.

*The goal of all candidates is to win the support of as many delegates as possible, as early as possible in the primary season. Not all delegates have to vote at the convention in accordance with the result of the primaries and caucuses. Only a certain number of pledged delegates have to follow the vote, determined by the result of the primary or caucus in their state. The rest compromise the unpledged delegates.

*Pledged delegates form a majority (about 80% of the total).

*Unpledged delegates are free to choose which candidate to support.
The unpledged delegates are mostly high-ranking party officials such as members of Congress and state governors. (The Democrats call them Superdelegates.)

*In a close race, candidates have to make a large effort to woo the unpledged delegates, as well as campaigning for the support of ordinary voters.

*Only a simple majority of delegates is required for the nomination.

Let’s continue with a little Q&A on the subject courtesy of BBC:

Is the number of pledged delegates a candidate wins in a primary or caucus always proportionate to the number of votes he or she receives?

No, not always. The rules vary from state to state and from party to party.

In some states the Republicans operate a winner-takes-all system, where the candidate who wins the most support state-wide gets all the delegates.

In others, the winner-takes-all principle operates at the level of congressional districts: the candidate who does best in a district wins all the delegates available in that district.

The Republicans also use a proportional system in some states.

The Democrats always use some form of proportional system, but even then a candidate's share of the vote in a state and his or her share of the delegates can turn out to be quite different.

For example, when delegates are awarded on the basis of results in individual congressional districts, the rules do not guarantee strict proportionality.

It's possible for one candidate to beat the other soundly in a district with an even number of delegates, but for the delegates to be split between them equally.

Meanwhile, in a district with an odd number of delegates even a narrow win gives the winner an extra delegate.

Are delegates awarded immediately after the primary or caucus?

After a primary, which takes the form of a state-wide ballot, delegates are usually awarded quickly.

But caucuses are a different matter. The candidates and the media focus only on the first stage of the caucus, when precincts choose delegates to send to the county caucuses.

It's only much later, at the state convention, that delegates for the national party convention are finally chosen.

This does not stop experts projecting the final allocation of delegates from the results of the precinct caucuses.

Major US media employ their own experts, who produce their own, often conflicting, calculations, within hours of the result.

When do unpledged delegates declare their support for a candidate?

They can do this any time they like. They can also change their mind before the convention.

How tightly bound are pledged delegates to a given candidate?

It varies from state to state. In some cases they are not really bound at all, and the distinction between pledged and unpledged delegates is all but meaningless.

In others they may be bound to support a given candidate in the first ballot held at the convention, and then be free to make their own choice.

Or they may be bound to support the candidate through two, or three, rounds of voting, or even all the way to the final vote of the convention.

If no candidate accumulates a winning number of delegates before the convention, then what?

A convention that begins without a clear winner is referred to as a brokered, or contested convention.

If no winner emerges from the early ballots, the rivals may have to negotiate.

If candidate X offers candidate Y the Vice-Presidency, say, candidate Y's supporters may then help candidate X defeat candidate Z.

Could the numbers of delegates at the convention change?

It's possible.

As things stand, the Democratic convention will have 4,049 delegates in total and the Republican convention will have 2,380.

However, these figures would have been higher if the Democratic Party had not barred all delegates from Florida and Michigan, and the Republican Party had not disqualified half the delegates from these two states, and from New Hampshire, South Carolina and Wyoming.

If the race is still undecided in either party by the time of the conventions come around, the pressure for the disqualified delegates to be re-admitted could become intense.

Hillary Clinton is already lobbying to have the Democratic delegates from Florida and Michigan reinstated.


I hope you enjoyed this SUPER edition of the Spoon. It was fun to look back at the SUPERbowl, as well as ahead to the excitement of this SUPER Tuesday. Please take a moment today to share the link to this site with a few people and above all else, VOTE.