Subscribe to the ZZZPTM Hotcraze Update list!

Email Address:
Jan 09
Nov 08
Oct 08
Sep 08
Aug 08
Jul 08
Jun 08
May 08
Mar 08
Feb 08
Jan 08
Dec 07
Nov 07
Oct 07
Sep 07
Aug 07
Jul 07
Jun 07
Apr 07
Mar 07
Feb 07
Jan 07
Dec 06
Nov 06
Oct 06
Sep 06
Aug 06
Jul 06
Jun 06
May 06
Apr 06
Mar 06
Jan 06
Dec 05
Oct 05
Sep 05
Aug 05
Jul 05
May 05
Apr 05
Mar 05
Feb 05
Dec 04
Nov 04
Sep 04
Aug 04
Jul 04
Jun 04
Jan 04
Dec 03
Nov 03
Oct 03
25 Nov 2004
Thanksgiving Mubarak!

So I should be thankful today... no problem. I got lots to be thankful for.

There's my faith, which compels me to do good in the world and to not judge others who need the help, but to help them and to love them. I am the type of person that, no matter what I believe, I will use it to justify a life of sacrifice and hope. Were I Muslim, Jain, Buddhist, Jew, Hindu, or Christian, it would make no difference. Were I a Greek philosopher or an ancient Cherokee, I would still believe it was my duty to be helpful and generous, because that's at the heart of all beliefs. I give thanks to God that no matter how people choose to believe in Him (even if they choose to believe in a Her or an It), that such a belief comes at the cost of doing good unto others in plenitude.

I am thankful for my chance to serve my neighbors, my family, and my community. It involves work, sure. But I do it gladly, not grudgingly. These are people I love, so I will serve them. I am thankful for my chances to lend a hand.

I am thankful for the dead. They teach me patience, all of them. Sometimes, they brace me for crises in my life. Too often, we forget the legacy and the benefits the dead provide all of us. Let us all be thankful for our loved ones whose spirits departed their bodies. They gave so much, and we can repay them only by building on their legacy.

I am thankful for children. My own children are most precious, then those I teach, then all the others in the world. They are precious, all of them. I pray they will be hurt less and loved more: that means perhaps more strictness instead of lenience, but also means more patience instead of anger.

I am thankful for my pains and burdens: they, too, teach me about life and give me wisdom. I would be less of a person were it not for my sufferings and the lessons they taught me. If I complain, I get nothing from them. If I bear them patiently, I learn so many valuable lessons.

I am thankful for people who live good, kind lives. I am thankful for compassionate people who realize we are all brothers and sisters of a vast family, and who treats everyone as a brother or sister. I pray more people follow that example, that the world might have greater joy.

Finally, I am thankful for forgiveness. When I forgive others, I am freed of a burden of poisonous anger. When I am forgiven, I feel clean and humbled. Would everyone bring themselves to forgive everyone else, we would find the world bereft of guilt and hatred. When you see something you do not like, do not let your blood boil. Forgive, that you might think clearly about how to make the situation a better one.

There are other things, personal things, I give thanks for, but I hope I have shared a good thought with you this day... and if I have, then thanks for reading! ;-)

by Dean Webb

22 Nov 2004
Teachers and Sports Stars, Part II

So the Pacers and Pistons had a bench-clearing brawl on Friday and there's talk of the biggest penalties ever... suspension from games.

I'm sorry, but if I were to punch out a colleague of mine, I'd be fired. I've been fired for less, in fact.

So, not only do the sports stars get paid astronomical amounts of money to act like thugs, they get special sanctions for said thuggery. If teachers got that kind of money and could mix it up with the staff and students with only a few days' suspension, that would be one sweet deal. No teacher would complain about getting outrageous salaries and being able to pummel others at will while in school.

Give me a break, NBA. Fire those thugs and have the cops arrest them and send 'em off to jail.

Like that's going to happen... I should remember, there's a law for the rich and the powerful and there's a law for the rest of us. I have to obey the "rest of us" laws, while the NBA superthugs are in the "rich and powerful" kind of law. They may not be at the level where they can conspire to assassinate a president and blame it all on an allegedly lone gunman, but they have enough to beat people up and get away with it. With more money, they can beat a rape charge and with more money still they can kill an ex-wife and the man who happens to be with her at the time.

True, that's small potatoes compared to the crimes corporations are able to get away with, but it does show the hypocrisy of the class system in America. We've got an aristocracy in every sense but the heraldic titles.

And now you know why I refuse to buy tickets to sporting events...

by Dean Webb

03 Nov 2004
The results are in...

... and Dan Rather was a hoot and a holler to watch. Never mind who's president: Check out the clever country comments Rather offered us this time around...

"Hoo-Boy! Looka there!"

"This presidential race is gonna be hotter than the Devil's anvil!"

"Politics is so expensive, it takes a lot of money just to get beaten."

"George Bush has got the hot dice now!"

"Bush's lead is as thin as November ice."

"It won't mean a thing if you don't get those swing... states."

"We don't declare winners, we PROJECT!"

"Only the votes talk. Everything else walks."

"When John Kerry wrote Santa Claus, this is one state he asked for."

"George Bush is sweeping through the midwest like a big combine."

"There's a big, black vote in Motown." (Bob Schieffer... too good to pass up in this listing...)

"We're on these returns like white on rice."

"It's humming along like Ray Charles."

"It is a beehive for George Bush."

"The Democrats must tee-totally have that race."

"They're getting within smelling distance (sniffs deeply)."

"That'll be whoopee news down in Texas."

"We had a slight hitch in our giddyup earlier."

"This is one of those cases where your mother was right, looks can be deceiving."

"John Kerry's moon has just moved behind a cloud in Florida."

"John Kerry needs a 60-yard field goal to win this."

"I know you'd sooner walk through a furnace with a gasoline-soaked suit than lose Ohio..." (To Kerry's communications director)

"Is that making your fingernails sweat?"

"No doubt about it, take it to the bank!"

"It's crackling like a hickory fireburr."

"If you had to bet the double-wide, you'd have to bet he'll win."

"His lead is as thin as turnip soup."

"It's three in the morning, and if you're hoping to find out who the president will be, well, so are we."

Wow. All those just make me proud to be a Texan. I voted Libertarian, so I don't care if Bush or Kerry wins. One is the devil we know, the other is the devil we don't. Neither one offered a clear enough choice to voters to have a victory untainted by lawyers. True, in some states, the margins were wide enough to not need to consider provisional ballots: proof that not every vote counts because not every vote is counted. This was less an election based on issues than it was a calculated marketing campaign more on the level of Pepsi vs. Coke or the idiotic "Beer Bowls" that increase the tension and excitement of the Super Bowls for a few desperate souls needy enough to be entertained by a brewer's intra-house brand rivalries. It's the morning of November 3, and the result is still up in the air. Bush likely has the victory, but it's simply not big enough for the Kerry legal team to concede just yet. Were it the other way around, you better believe the Bush legal vultures would be circling around the same states Kerry's carrion crawlers are swarming.

I will say this: Were tiny New Hampshire to have gone Libertarian, it would have thrown the whole election into the House of Representatives, and have removed the election from the voice of the people and put it into the hands of the nation's power brokers. That is not democracy, neither direct nor representative, because that is not one man, one vote. American people are proud, strong and freedom-loving. They deserve better than this sort of government. I believe the political debate this time should not have throttled voices from the Libertarians, Greens, or Ralph Nader. Although I can't stand the Greens' or Nader's platforms, they are American, too, and deserve to be heard just as much as the team I'm rooting for, the Libertarians. Exiled from the debates, America didn't get a chance to hear voices that could have steered the candidates into making uncomfortable statements about where they really stand on issues, promises that would come back to haunt them if reneged upon. Instead, we got a campaign with kid-glove comments like "I'll be tough on terror" or "I'm good for the economy, he isn't." Phooey. That's like saying you're against evil. Well, duh. Everyone's against evil when pressed to offer a vague position on the issue.

Kerry voted in favor of the war against Iraq at a time when the criticisms of the US government's lies, and they were most certainly known to be lies among many journalists and scholars as they were being said, were being decried as such in the press. Now Kerry claims he is shocked that he was lied to and tricked by the Bush administration's fancy talk. Baloney. Kerry voted with the President because he didn't have the conviction of character to stand up and question him on it. That's why I didn't vote for Kerry.

Bush? You want to know why I didn't vote for Bush? I didn't vote for Bush because he embarked on an operation that wound up responsible for killing more Americans annually than were killed in the World Trade Center terrorist attacks. He ordered the invasion of Afghanistan, which destroyed that nation, such as it was. In the wake of that destruction, as predicted, opium growing took off like a rocket and heroin refining, well, shot up. If you didn't hear the predictions, then shame on you for not reading up on what your government actually does, because the reports were out there, online, for everyone to read. Worse, the US-backed government in Afghanistan depends upon the goodwill of the heroin traffickers in order to stay in power. It's the heroin warlords who control Afghanistan, and their export kills more Americans every year than Osama bin Laden ever took responsibility for in his entire life. And before you damn those deaths as worthless drug addicts, remember that those addicts were once someone's son or daughter, that they were once your co-workers or friends. The drugs got into their lives and destroyed them. Bush's foreign policy success now depends on the heroin continuing to flow from Kandahar Valley to a corner near you. The top producers and distributors will not be prosecuted: they are national security assets. I am opposed wholeheartedly to the creation of narcostates and the turning of a blind eye to the plague of opiates, and that is why I cannot support a president who is essentially the friend of the pusherman.

Where does that leave me? It leaves me thirsting for constitutional reform. When the Articles of Confederation no longer suited the needs of the nation, men met to form a new Constitution. Thomas Jefferson himself suggested such a convention should be held every 25 years or so, to give each generation a chance to shape the government to suit their needs. I'm with Jefferson, but the overhaul we need is almost 200 years overdue. Now, I'll have to overcome vast entrenched interests that depend on the system existing as it does now in order to enrich themselves at your expense and mine. I'll be happy, though, to get the ball rolling and to start a movement that, perhaps within 50 to 150 years or more, will be able to build an America that truly does embody the virtues we believe in our hearts it truly should have.

If you want to help, I'll be happy to hear what you have to say on the matter. If Americans begin to demand a higher standard in their governmental and corporate leaders, to borrow a phrase from Dan Rather, the people "will have the hot dice now".

And that's the way it is...

by Dean Webb

Posted at:10 Jan 2009 06:21:24 PM

No Words portraits and romantic illustrations.

What's there to say?

I got words and pictures.

I got a message board.

Like I said, what's there to say?