Wednesday, July 30, 2003

The People of the State of Colorado vs (blank) a Child

"Fuck is certainly a controversial word that may be appropriate in certain venues and locales (Florida Election Commissions, speed eating contests, public defender offices) and may be inappropriate in others (weddings, Chuck-E-Cheese pizza parlors, district attorney offices)."

Actually quite good legal brief on the 1st amendment.

Tuesday, July 15, 2003

Have not heard from the MLK center.
Ya learn something new every day!

I accessed this blog from work today and got one of those highly annoying "do you want to download comet cursor (or whatever)" boxes. So I deleted the nifty little alien cursor from my template. Wish I could figure out how to remove the changing colors but keep the option to change font size.

Monday, July 14, 2003

Special Post to Mom

Just in case she ever actually drops by my blog:

Mom: "Wanker" is a bad word. Don't use it.


Blogspot won't let me edit again.

Grumble and Snarl post, below, paragraph 2, sentence 2, 'adapt' should be 'adept.'

Grumble and Snarl

Beyonce Knowles, NBC, and the National Park Service have shown bad taste and poor judgement. The wench has been lewdly dancing on Grant's Tomb, the National Park Service has let her, and NBC had the kindness to insert the disrepectful crap into our living rooms.

Per the comments section of Yahoo News, people are very upset about it. Of course, Yahoo news commenters are pretty adapt at getting upset, but there is something special about the bile this time - something a little extra venomous.

Or maybe it just seems that way to me, because I am extremely disgusted, disappointed and dismayed by Beyond Knowledges' action. Also I have been getting 'stuff' from the National Park Service that makes me want to puke - will have to post it one of these days (but I digress!)

Anyway, since one of the 1st things that came to my mind was "o yeah? Howse about I belly-dance on MLK's grave? Wudja like THAT?!" & then when I got into Yahoo comments I saw about 13 other posters had the exact same initial thought, I thought I might drop a link and a line to the MLK grave people. Here it is:

"It would be helpful to race relations if your organization could denounce such behavior as that exhibited by Ms. Knowles. The story is starting to make the Internet rounds and is distressing to many people, considering that it essentially represents dancing on the grave of a man who risked his life to help stop slavery.

I do not have a well-read site, but if you care to issue something that says you dont approve, I could at least send a copy to a few of the sites that have posted or linked to the story. I cant say it would change the world, but I would feel a little better, anyway. : ) "

I hope they respond and say they don't approve of it either.

Sing and Be Happy!

The state of Florida is not yet totally devoid of common sense! Ms. Sultaana Freeman did not win her frivolous lawsuit filed, I believe, in an attempt to ease the burden of thugs trying to escape American justice. Bitch.

The article says her attorney, Mark Howard, was acting on a pro bono basis. Were there no worthier cases he could have selected? Bastard.

Actually, I could think of some ways around this that would probably be satisfactory - if not today, perhaps in a few years when technology gets a little better and a little cheaper. Fingerprints, DNA and voiceprints, for instance, in lieu of a photograph. I am against such things for myself - I do not want the state to have my DNA on file. However, if someone else prefers it over a photograph, and is willing to personally reimburse the state for the added costs, more power to them.

Interesting, Florida did offer a reasonable compromise to the woman - to have her photo taken privately, by a female photographer. Then nobody would see it except her and the photographer, which would not violate her religion unless she got a ticket. So there is an incentive to drive carefully, I guess. But no, lil' bitch and her pro bono ACLU wanker wouldn't go for that. Nothing but special privileges for the child-beater will suffice.

I wonder, though, really I do wonder, what the response would have been if FL offered DNA as a substitute.

Thursday, July 10, 2003

Chap 10, part 3

This was our situation when our rafts drifted into the doldrums. It is not strange that all of us now had touches of delirium. It was while going through one of those balmy periods that I had my fantastic meeting with Davy Jones and his genial assistance, Jim Blood. Though this meeting was a product of delirium it is one of my most vivid memories, oddly enough. But more of that later.

In the doldrums there was no breath of wind to refresh us. The ocean was glassy and glaring as far as we could see. Our eyes ached in the merciless, blinding light.

WTWHTAS, Chap 10, part 2

And now our clothing was disintegrating. The violent sun rays were beginning to inflict serious burns. My socks had gone to pieces and my shirt was splitting down the back, the sleeves, and the front. I had left my shoes in the plane.

We had water, but the tiny daily dole in the bottom of the flare shell only made us thirstier. Hunger had so weakened us that the slightest effort was exhausting. We hadn't eaten in days, because the salt air had rotted the fish lines, enabling the sharks to snap them and carry off the hooks. Anyway, we had no bait. None of us could have stood a flight physical; or a Boy Scout physical for that matter.

Chap 10, part 4

One or two stanza from Samuel Taylor Coleridge's "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" came back to me then and I thought it fitted our situation pretty well. I have reread it since, and except that we had no mast or deck boards, there are four verses that might have been written about our party. They tell it so graphically it puts me back in that raft to read them. These are the stanzas:

Down dropt the breeze, the sails dropt down -

"Twas sad as sad could be;

And we did speak only to break

The silence of the sea.

All in a hot and copper sky,

The bloody sun, at noon,

Right up above the mast did stand,

No bigger than the moon.

Day after day, day after day,

We stuck, nor breath nor motion;

As idle as a painted ship

Upon a painted ocean.

Water, water everywhere

And all the boards did shrink;

Water, water everywhere,

Nor any drop to drink.

Chap 10, part 5

It was during this period that Eddie Rickenbacker worked hardest at keeping up morale. How he would light into those who sagged! He kept the boys so furious at him they vowed they'd live just to spite him. This was especially true of two of the party.

Rickenbacker's keen ears seemed to catch every remark. If it was a discouraging one, he would jump right down the throat of the man who had uttered it.

"What's that? What's that?" he would yell. "So YOU'RE off again, are you? Why you blankety blank blank quitter! When we get out of this you'd better crawl home to the women where you belong. How did you ever get into the army anyway?"

Chap 10, part 5

One man who had provoked a particularly scathing call-down from Rick asked later to shake hands. Rick told him:

"I'm glad to shake hands with any MAN. When you've proved to me that you're one, I'll be tickled to death to put it there."

In those four days, he slung some mighty powerful plain and fancy cussing. I'm not much of a cusser, myself. I got out of the habit while my son was growing up. But I think Rick was using his vocabulary in a good cause. It certainly got results. And, I must say, it helped pass the time which was going so slowly I thought once or twice my watch finally had stopped. All the rest had quit long ago.

Chap 10, part 6.a

Our prayer service ended the 14th day, which was of course the end of a fortnight adrift along the equator. This night we had a new prayer to present to the Lord; a plea for wind to blow us out of the doldrums. We were being held helpless in one spot while our strength ebbed.

When the 15th morning dawned without wind, Bill Cherry announced he was cutting loose in the hope the three rafts would spread out and one of them would get into the wind and be blown toward help. He dropped our line, but nothing happened. The rafts stayed together. Eventually we tied up again.

Chap 10, part 6.b

It was that afternoon that Cherry had his bout with a 10 foot shark - and lost the decision. The big fellow was nosing around, at intervals scooting under our raft to scrape off his barnacles. Each time the shark went under he smacked the bottom of the boat with his tail, jolting Jimmy Reynolds, who lay there. Jimmy had been feeling very low.

Cherry started telling off that shark. He told him what he thought of him individually, his relatives, his ancestors, and sharks generally. When he had tired himself out, he dropped into a doze on the gunwale of the raft. Suddenly there was a terrific jolt and a roar of pain.

"My nose is broken!" Cherry yelled.

Chap 10, part 7

I looked around and was inclined to agree with him. The insulted shark had let go a might wallop with his tail, catching Cherry squarely in the face and knocking him into the bottom of the boat on top of Reynolds. Blood was gushing from Bill's nose. I thought we would never get it stopped. A month later it was still sore and he was afraid a cartilage had been broken.

I will say to the reader now just what I told Bill Cherry then. If you have anything insulting to say to a shark, wait until you are safely back in San Francisco, then write him a letter.

There is no entry in my diary for the 16th day adrift and only one for the 17th. This reads:

"Still in doldrums. Water low. Hopes low."

Chap 10, part 8

It was during this period that I thought I met Davy Jones, the mythical keeper of lost sailors' souls. I am told it is unusual for a man to remember the creatures of his delirium. I know only this: That the things I relate now are more vivid in my mind than many that actually happened, even though these were delusions of a mind set off kilter by thirst, hunger, and suffering.

On one of those nights - it could have been either the 16th or the 17th - it seemed I heard a voice:

"This is Davy Jones, Jim. Come on down; down to my locker. I want to see you."

I remember thinking I had nothing to lose. So, it seemed in my delirium, I slid over the side of the raft, being careful Rick didn't see me go, and slipped down and down through the warm water. On the bottom I came face to face with Davy, a powerfully built man with a white mustache that curled down over the corners of his mouth. With him was his assistant, Jim Blood.

Chap 10, part 9

"Are you ready to come down here for good?" Davy asked.

I told him no. Jim Blood then began talking to me. I liked Jim better than Davy. He wasn't so austere. he was powerfully built also, but clean shaven. He was suave and genial and treated me about like the sales manager of an aircraft corporation would treat his best customer.

"Jim, we're all ready for down here," Blood told me. "You'd better stay. You don't belong on land. You belong with us. You're a sailor and all sailors should stay here. (I had been in the Navy from 1919 to 1922.) How about it?"

I thanked Jim, but I told him I wasn't ready yet; that I had things to do back in San Francisco and elsewhere. Jim laughed and said I'd be welcome any time.

In my delirious fancy I went back to the raft. Voices would call "Hello" to me across the stern. I answered and asked their names. These they always gave me.

Chap 10, part 10

I called several times for Jim Blood to come up to the raft and talk. He never failed me. Each time, though, he wanted to know if I was ready to back with him to Davy Jones' locker. I like that fellow.

On the 17th night, I think it was, it seemed to me that the raft was an open automobile and that we were traveling down a lane with night clubs and roadhouses on either side.

There was one handsome club at which I had thought we would stop. When we didn't I turned petulantly to Cherry, who I believed was driving the car. I said sharply:

"Bill, why didn't you stop at that big roadhouse with the neon signs?"

Chap 10, part 11

"There's a better one a little farther on, Jim," he said soothingly. Here Jimmy Reynolds joined the conversation.

"He wouldn't have dared stop on that island anyway, Jim," he said. "I don't know whether I should tell you fellows or not, but they are drilling secretly for oil there. I saw the big condensers they use to get water from the sea."

"What's that? What's that?" This was Rick yelling over from the other raft.

"The oil is a secret," Jimmy went on, "but I think Bill Cherry knows all about it."

Chap 10, part 12

"He's nuts," Cherry commented. "he . . ."

"Just a minute, now," Rick interrupted. "Let's get to the bottom of this. What island are you talking about? I want to know all about this!"

Later, in Samoa, Rick and I had a good laugh over it.

"I must have been balmy, too," he told me. "But I wasn't overlooking any bets that concerned islands with water condensers on them."

Chap 11, part 2

The sun peeped over the rim and paused a second or two to leer at us. Then it bounded into the sky. The other fellows aroused in their rafts and stretched themselves weakly.

The morning water ration was handed around. An inch in the bottom of the flare shell. I notice the dole was growing smaller. I didn't care much at that writing. The water tasted like hell and only made me thirstier.

At the prayer service I reminded God of the miracle of the rain on the 13th day. I prayed as never before for rescue; not just for water or food, but to be picked up. Memory of the rain miracle seemed to bear me up. As the service closed with the Lord's prayer, which I often led now, something of my old fortitude had returned. I felt that rescue was coming. I prayed again that I might live to see it.

Chap 11, part 3.a

How that day passed I don't know. The sun climbed and the heat became almost unbearable. At noon the daily round of delirious shouts began. There were snatches of crazy song. By this time nearly all of us were holding long and serious conversations with people who weren't there. Jim Blood came up from Davy Jones' locker to talk to me a while.

I could hear his voice, but could not see him. He explained that in daylight and on the surface he had to be invisible. It was not very satisfactory. Then I heard a voice that made me jump. It was my son, Thomas, talking to me. When I left home he had been attached to a naval unit stationed in San Francisco.

Chap 11, part 3.b

"What are you doing out here, Tom?" I asked. When did you leave San Francisco?"

"I was sent to sea over two weeks ago, Dad," he said. "You see - we were sunk. And seeing I was out here I thought I'd just drop in and see how you are getting along."

I heard the voice no more and although I called out again and again I could get no answer. That incident of delirium bedeviled me from then on until I could communicate with my wife and family and be assured that everyone was well. I had heard of persons recently dead appearing to relatives or near friends. And in my abject state on that 18th day adrift I would have believed anything.

Chap 11, part 4

After an eternity of blinding agony the sun slid toward the western rim and the heat let up. And then it happened; the thing that almost wrecked us all.

We had had our evening dole of water and were sitting silent. I happened to be looking at Bill Cherry. Suddenly there was a sort of wild look in his eyes.

Chap 11, part 5

"I hear an engine!" he yelled. "I hear an engine! Hear it?"

We looked sadly at one another and said nothing. Then, in an instant, like jacks-in-the-box, we all were staring rigidly into the sky.

We ALL heard it; a deep toned roar, muted by distance. Rickenbacker and Cherry saw it at the same time; a plane silohouetted against a low cloud bank in the west and coming in our general direction.

Chap 11, part 6

It was a pontoon scout plane, resembling the United States Navy Kingfisher. It occurred to us that it might be a Jap plane. The Japs have one that at that distance resembles the Kingfisher.

But we nearly went crazy - maybe I should say crazier - just the same. It meant we were getting into the vicinity of an air base. Somewhere, not far over the rim, was an outpost of civilization.

The plane was coming fast and we soon could see that its course would take it past us at least three miles distant. You could feel the spontaneous thought: "The flares! Get the flares!"

The flares. It would have taken quite some getting to pick the four flares and the three Very pistols off the ocean floor where they had gone on the eighth day when our raft upset during the squall. Realization of this followed the thought with sickening sadness.

But we hadn't given up yet. We shouted and waved. Cherry wigwagged with his undershirt sail. We prayed. The plane droned on about five miles off. We knew we hadn't been seen.

Chap 11, part 7

If some of us didn't weep it was only because there was not enough moisture available in our bodies for tears. Tomblike silence and gloom shrouded our group. But it didn't last long. Rickenbacker was at least two jumps ahead.

I think the cussing Rick unleashed now was the masterpiece of his career. In about a minute he had most of the gang roaring mad. Then he got under their skins individually.

He finished up with a broadside at the whole bunch. The psychological effect he produced was just what he had been hoping for. It didn't improve his personal popularity then, but that wasn't his aim. The morale of his companions was all that interested Rick.

With the blankety blanks deleted, here is what he said in effect: That if a plane had come once it would come again. That if there was one plane there were many. If we had moved this close to their base we would move closer. Good things were coming. A MAN would have the courage, the patience, the faith to wait for them.

As if to back up his words there was a puff of wind and then another. A strong, steady breeze followed. Bill Cherry hoisted his undershirt on the two oars. We moved. We were out of the doldrums.

Chapt 11, part 8

In the morning - our 19th day adrift - it rained. It was not much of a rain and we couldn't store any water. We all got a good sluicing down, however, and we slaked our thirst.

And the rain served yet another purpose. DeAngelis and Bartek, it developed, had been driven to drinking salt water during their delirious sufferings in the doldrums, just as Alex Kaczmarczyk had done shortly before he died. Both now got enough fresh water to flush out the salt.

I am getting just a little ahead of my story here. The sight of the plane, coupled with the rising wind on the 18th night, made sleep an impossibility. I felt that the plane and the wind were signs from God that rescue was not far away.

So it was that I now reviewed mentally the things that God had done for me since that day so long ago when our gallant Flying Fortress disappeared beneath the waves. I thought of the answers I had received to prayer. But most of all I thought of the more important thing - that I had learned to pray. And that I had found my God and had not turned away from Him a stranger.

Chap 11, part 9

As I sat pondering, while the rafts slid over the luminous waves, I was drenched by chilling spray and for once neither noticed it nor minded when I found myself soaked through and through.

Our sufferings were not ended and I didn't try to kid myself that they were. I was weaker from hunger than I ever had been in my life. I was so thirsty my throat ached. Yet within me there was a lift that made these other things seem trivial. I prayed - a prayer of thanksgiving.

Jimmy Reynolds moaned in his sleep and rolled about at his end of the raft. That brought me back to "hard reality." The boy had been failing rapidly in the last few days. I hoped and I prayed he would not share Alex's fate; that the rescue would be in time.

Chap 11, part 10

Shortly after dawn of the 19th day the scout plane came over again. It was flying at about 1,200 feet and it missed us by three miles. The ship came back in the afternoon at the same height, but we were closer to its course this time. It was obvious now that it was flying regular patrol duty.

Each time it appeared we almost went out of our heads with excitement. Its pilot still failed to see us. And each time, before we could settle into black despond, Rickenbacker was right on the job, working the lads into such fury that the ship became a minor matter.

This was one of the occasions when I was sure the fellows were going to live if only to spite Rick.

Chap 12, part 2

This sounded like sense to me, but to our surprise Col. Adamson forbade Cherry to go. He didn't think it wise at this juncture, he said, to separate the company. Why he took this view the Colonel did not explain.

Cherry, however, had made up his mind. He made no reply to the Colonel. Instead he brought our raft abeam of the little one and told DeAngelis to get in with Jimmy Reynolds and me. Then he entered the small boat and dropped its line.

"I'm telling you not to go!" snapped Adamson. "That is an order. I am the senior officer here."

"That's true," Cherry replied, "but you're not the commanding officer, by a good deal. I was captain and commander of the plane. I am the commanding officer of this party. I'm leaving."

Chap 12, part 3

Cherry was correct. Col. Adamson's status in the plane had been the same as Rickenbacker's. Both were passengers. Rickenbacker took no part in the exchange between Cherry and the Colonel. He had no place in it, being a civilian.

Bill had drifted about 100 feet away from us when the patrol plane came over. It was so low and so near we identified it easily as a United States Navy Kingfisher. Still the pilot did not see us. As the plane disappeared I untied our line and let it drop. I looked at Rickenbacker.

"So long, Rick," I said. "I'll be seeing you."

"Good luck to you, Jim," he replied.

"Same to you, Rick, and to the rest of you."

Chap 12, part 4.a

Col. Adamson also forbade me to leave. He repeated that he was the senior officer of the party and added that he was commanding me to remain. He was still wrong. As co-pilot and second in command of the plane I had succeeded to command of the raft party with Cherry's departure. I din't argue the point, however. Having already cast off I made no comment and the rafts began drifting apart.

Our boat took a slightly different course than Cherry's and after a few hours no raft was nearer than two or three miles to another. By late afternoon we could sight the others only by straining our eyes. The evening patrol plane roared across our stretch of sea and must have passed almost directly over at least one of our fleet. Again nothing happened.

Chap 12, part 4.b

There was little sleep in our raft that night. We were lonesome for the fellows in the other boats, for one thing. But there was something else. My feeling of the night before that something big was just ahead kept me wakeful. The feeling must have transmitted itself to Johnny and Jimmy because, despite their misery, they seemed expectant and hopeful. And for once we were not to be let down.

In the last hour before light I fell into a deep sleep - and slept through the most important dawn of the three weeks. I had strained my eyes in 20 dawns only to have the rising light disclose an empty ocean, an empty sky, an empty world.

Chap 12, part 5

I opened my eyes to our 21st day adrift to find DeAngelis shaking me as roughly as his failing strength would permit. He was gripping my shoulder and calling my name.

"Cut that out!" I yelled. "What's the matter with you?"

"Jim," he said, "I think you'd better take a look. It may be a mirage, but I think I see something."

I rolled over in the raft and sat up. There was no need for him to point. And it was no mirage. Across the horizon stretched a line of palm trees about 10 miles long. At that distance, about 12 miles, I couldn't see any actual land. But I felt safe in assuming there would be something substantial under those palms. There was no sign of the other rafts.

At 6:30 A.M. of Nov. 11, I broke out our two aluminum oars and began what was to be a 7 1/2 hour pull to put dry land under our feet. My two raft mates were in pitiable condition. DeAngelis could still move about, and that was all. He wanted to spell me on the row to the island, but a few minutes at a time were all he could manage.

Chap 12, part 6

Jimmy Reynolds lay prone in the raft. He was preciously near the finish. His eyes had sunk an inch and a half into his skull. His resemblance to a death's head was startling. Jimmy's normal weight is 130 pounds. He weighed 90 a few days later when Navy doctors got to him.

The poor kid exhibited the finest spirit I have ever seen. Though he could hardly lift himself, he kept saying: "I feel all right; just tired. I'll get up in a minute and help you, Jim."

During that long row to the island Jimmy lay down against the gunwale behind me and with the flare shell dipped water which he poured on the back of my head and neck after the heat began to bear down after 10 o'clock. Without it I might have collapsed.

We had calculated to get in about noon and I was encouraged by the good time I made. Just before 12 o'clock we had reached a point less than 250 yards from the shore. I had opened my mouth to tell Johnny and Jimmy to start ordering their dinners. Then something happened.

Chap 12, part 7

The boat careened and went out of control. Another second or two and we were racing back out to sea. Nothing I could do with the oars was any help. The wild current held us until we were far out; a mile or so, at least.

The long narrow island was moving slowly across our bows like a giant ocean liner, crawling out to sea through the Golden Gate. I realized, of course, that the island was stationary. We were drifting, though it seemed the island was leaving us, instead. We had started for the head of the island and now were more than half way down it.

If ever I have cried out in anguish it was then. I was done, finished, washed up. I called Heaven to witness that I was whipped. I could hardly hold on to the light oars. Yet there within reach was the land - and life. And while I watched, that line of majestic palms continued to move away, with terrible deliberation. If we were to reach land at all it would have to be now.

I looked at Jimmy, laying flat again. I looked at Johnny DeAngelis. He was sick and exhausted; bewildered by the thing that had happened to me. Before very long he would be as badly off as Jimmy. I tried to move my numbed fingers and aching arms.

Chapt 12, part 8

It was no use. Only a miracle could set our feet on that island, I thought; only a miracle. A miracle! I remembered the miracle of the rain on the 13th day. I remembered other answers to prayer. I remembered my God!

I cried out to Him to give me strength. I shouted above the rising wind in the fear He might not hear. I caught a glimpse of DeAngelis's startled face. Still shouting I lifted the oars. I rowed.

Half an hour later I was still rowing - and making progress. When the treacherous current had shot us out to sea I had been powerless to hold the boat against it. Now I was overcoming that current.

Chapt 12, part 10

I have described the miracle of the rain. I have told of the flare that went faulty and became the means of providing fish for us to eat after our desparate prayer for food.

The prayer I uttered that afternoon was more than desparate. It was an anguished supplication, shouted above the wind and the rain. It came from the depths of my soul. And there were no mental reservations this time. I was calling to my God, who alone could save us. The answer was immediate and miraculous; it was the second of the two divine miracles.

Strength surged back into my shoulders and arms. I slashed at the man-eating sharks with the oars. They wheeled as though about to attack. But I didn't care. I was rowing again. I was rowing and bending those aluminum oars against the white caps. I say it was I who was bending them. That isn't true. Of himself, Jim Whittaker couldn't have bent a pin.

As the raft rolled steadily through the foam I was no conscious of exerting any strength, Indeed, it was . . . {missing pages!}

Chapt 12, part 9

I was overcoming it in the face of obstacles and hazards that hadn't beset me before. I have spoken of the rising wind. It brought a deluge of rain that all but blotted out the island. I turned about in the raft and adopted the fisherman's stroke that i might see ahead and better direct our course.

An oar jerked and turned in my hand. I glance that way in time to see a dirty gray form, 12 feet long, disappearing beneath the waves. As I watched, another shark surfaced, slashed at the oar, and slid under. These sharks were not the droll dullards that nad plagued us earlier. These were man eaters. If they should attack the raft, we were gone.

The rain slackened and I could see the island, still moving away in the mist. I cried out my final prayer:

"God! Don't quit me now!"

Chap 13, part 1.b

I believed this was rain water, uncontaminated by salt. Too much tipping and rolling would spill it out. When I thought I had our situation in hand I knelt down and tasted thw ater in one of the pockets. It was fresh. i called to the others. For the next few minutes we drank, caught our breathes, and drank again. Until you have been through an ordeal like ours you will never know how good that clear, cold water tasted.We buried our faces in it.

When we could hold no more I staggered up and looked around. We were 30 or 40 feet from the sand and I thought we had better move the boat up to the beach. Johnny and I dragged it along while Jimmy crawled on all fours.

We were without shoes and had to pick our way darefully over the coral, which lay just beneath the surface. It was as sharp in places as broken glass. When we had hauled the raft our of reach of the tide we all gave thanks to God for ourlandfall and for our safe passage among the sharks, through the storm, and across the reef. Even as we prayed I could see anoccasional gray hulk slicking around out beyond the reef. But those sharks would eat no men today.

Chap 13, part 2.a

The next thing was to find food and shelter. It was now that I began to realize that my own condition was not so good; it was not the island that was pitching and rolling. It was me. I could not walk without at least one oar. And my mind functioned only with the greatest difficulty, even after I had tried every device I knew to get a grip on my thoughts. This is illustrated best by the incident of Jimmy's pants.

The buttons had come off and the zippers had been put out of commission by salt water and salt air. The poor kid kept losing them as he crawled along. I though deeply and laboriously on what I might do for him. Earlier I had tied on my own trousers with cord, but it didn't occur to me to fix Jimmy up the same way.

Chap 13, part 2.b

Johnny sat and thought also, his chin resting on his hands, but he couldn't think of a remedy. Meanwhile, the sun was burning me through the rents in my shirt. I stumbled over to a tree and cut off apiece of vine which I used to lace up the torn places. I regarded this as a pretty ingenious piece of work. All the time I was fixing myself up, something like an idea seemed trying to break into my consciousness. It didn't succeed.

So, instead of tying Jimmy's pants on with lengths of vine, we gave it up. They continued to fall off him as he crawled along and Johnny and I kept putting them back on him. I think the Whittaker metality was at its lowest ebb that afternoon.

Chap 13, part 3

The part of the Island where we now stood was only a few hundred fet wide. We were very near the foot. If the Lord hadn't taken a hand when He did we would have missed it entirely and have been out there in the distance somewhere, bound for almost certain death.

The island ran north and south and we were in need of reaching it from the lee side for shelter from sun and rain. On the way, Johnny found some coconuts, which he rolled along with his feet. He had six by the time we found a suitable place. I set about opening them with the sheath knife.

They had been there a long timeand the hulls were iron hard. In my condition it took 40 minutes to cut around the hull and into the eyes of the nut. When I miscalculated and missed the eyes, more long minutes of cutting were necessary.

Chap 13, part 4

The cocoanuts had little milk in them, but the pulp was fairly soft and it was nourishing. As we ate I noticed that some small rodent-like animals (the size of large rats) had come up to feed on the discarded shells. I crept up and killed a couple with the knife. The survivors scampered away. Apparently, however, they laughed it off among themselves because they soon returned and I killed again.

It was our first fresh meat since the night of Oct. 20 at Hickam Field. This and the cocoanut pulp made me feel just well enough to realize that I was violently hungry. Thirst returned.

I recrossed the island and collected a couple of quarts of water from the coral depressions, storing it in a Mae West. I made one last trip and hauled the raft across.

As it grew dark we bedded down, turning th raft over us for shelter. then the rain came down again, flooding our bedroom. We got no sleep. I think we rested pretty well, however, despite the rolling and pitching of the island. It seemed to me, as I dug my fingers into the sand to hold on, that even in the roughest weather our tiny raft never had behaved so badly as that 10 mile island.

Chap 13, part 5

On the morning of Nov. 12 Johnny found more cocoanuts and we ate again. As a matter of fact we ate at intervals all day. Whittaker, the mighty hunter, killed more animals. the flesh wasn't the most appetizing in the world, but it was strengthening. Johnny and I felt much better. Poor Jimmy seemed to grow steadily worse. I had recovered sufficiently to be genuinely worried about him.

We decided against trying to move on that day. We told Jimmy it wouldn't hurt any of us to recuperate for a day. He nodded vaguely and lay down again.

He at least was in less pain now. The drenching from the skies had washed the salt out of his ulcers. They looked less angry and seemed about to start healing. Johnny was much happier, too, though his sufferings in this respect never had been as bad as Reynolds's. I had escaped the scourge; probably because my hide was too tough to be affected by such things as salt water.

I was beginning to lose some of it, though. Some of the men shed and grew new skin six and eight times in the rafts and now I was starting. My most peculiar after effect has been the growth of an entire new set of fingernails, halfmoons and all.

Chap 13, part 6

During the morning our friend the Kingfisher scout plane roared over. We waved, as sual, consoling ourselves afterward that the exercise probably had done us good. At 3 P.M. we saw five planes out at sea, flying in formation. We assumed they were looking for submarines.

On the contrary, they were looking for Rickenbacker, Adamson, Bartek, and us. Cherry's raft had been sighted the previous afternoon just about the time we were crossing the reef. He had been picked up shortly afterward and the search for us was on in earnest. All planes that oculd be spared from other duties were flying low over the ocean, looking for two rafts.

The five-plane formation moved closer in, but did not pass over the island. We were not seen.

Chap 13, part 7

As the sun sank, we rustled up more cocoanuts. It wasn't so difficult opening them now. I wished, however, we could get some fresher ones. There were plenty growing about 20 feet above our heads, but tree climbing still was considerably beyond either Johnny or me. The trees were too sturdy to be shaken and our aim was not strong enough to make possible knocking any of them down.

We thankfully ate those available and turned in. This night we abandoned our rubber bedroom and, sleeping on the sand about 30 feet away. Again it rained intermittently and we had a cold, miserable night. The island pitched less and that was a help.

At sunrise we thankded God again for our landfall and drank the last of the water. When I went for more I found that the depressions had been polluted by salt. High waves, whipped by the wind, must have caused this. At least we now had a definite task; that of finding fresh water to drink. Fortunately there were no weighty decisions to be made. We were so near the north of the island that there was only one direction in which to go.

Chap 13, part 8

A scount plane crossed about two miles to the south. We took to the raft and started in that direction. When we had rowed about half a mile I saw a native hut on the beach. Feeling sure we had struck a village or the outpost of one, we put in.

It was a single thatched hut and deserted at that, but it looked like lower Manhattan to me. There was nothing inside it except an unfinished boat.

We drank heartily of water that had collected in cavities hollowed out of the bases of cocoanut palms. It was full of wrigglers, but they tasted fine. At that writing I would have drunk anything smaller than me.

At 12:30 P.M. on this 23rd day of our wanderings, a plane passed directly over our heads, only 200 feet up. It roared at such an angle that it would have been impossible for the pilot to have seen us. We didn't care too much. We had found shelter. We were sure of restful sleep, which weneeded now almost as muchas we had needed water before. The cief reason I still was praying for quick rescue was that of medical assistance for Reynolds.

Chap 13, part 9

We sprawled out on the floor of the native hut and fell asleep at once. What awakened mw I don't know. At 1:10, however, I sat up fully aroused. Looking out across the shimmering water I saw what I thought might be a task force. I thought I saw destroyers close in and other craft farther out. It was very bright and hard to distinguish the outlines of the boats.

I shook Johnny. He raised up and had a look, but apparently the sight didn't register. He lay back down.

"They're just barges." he said.

"Just barges!" I yelled as loudly as my voice would permit. "Just barges! What do you want? The Queen Mary?"

Chap13, part 10

I stumbled out to the raft and launched it. I was beginning to see better. I concluded these were new model destroyers. I never had seen anything like them before. About a quarter of a mile out I saw what they were - outrigger canoes. The natives had seen me head out and now were coming in my direction. My sense were so slowed that it seemed to me they were making about 50 knots an hour.

When the boat drew near I observed that the features of the head man in the lead boat were strikingly Japanese in cast. This was not time for ceremony, so I called out:

"You Japanese?" All the men in the canoe shook their heads in unison. I relaxed. They cruised up, had a swift, appraising look at me, then flung over a line. I made it fast to the bow of the raft. I made them understand that there were two more men on the island. We headed shoreward.

The outrigger had four lithe paddlemen who certainly could make speed. For the first time I now saw a foamy bow wave under a rubber life raft. I was somewhat apprehesive at first. It seemed to me we were going too fast for safety.

Chap 13, part 11.a

I spoke to a man in their stern about our long fast and our present hunger and thirst. He spoke rapidly to the others. As the boat touched shor a young fellow sprang out, carrying a length of rope and a chopper made of a wooden stick and a metal blade. Assisting himself with the rope, he ran up a palm tree and knocked down some ripe cocoanuts.

By the time we had reached the hut he was there, lopping the tops off the nuts with the chopper. He fashioned them into rude drinking cups. We downed the milk - about a pint from each cocoanut - and ate the rich, white meat. These were about a thousand per cent better than the ones we had had during the previous 48 hours.

Chap 13, part 11.b
I now took a good look at the native's chopper and my hopes soared. The metal blade had been the tongue of a white man's wood plane. We were getting closer to civilization.

Our new friends appeared to be in a great hurry to get somewhere. They were assisting DeAngelis and carrying JImmy out to the canoe. They made me understand that we were to go with them to their village. Johnny and Jimmy were stretched out on mats across the connecting supports between teh canoe and the outrigger float. I got back into the raft and we were on our way - again at what seemed reckless speed.

Chap 13, part 12

We left the open sea, passing into a long, curving lagoon. Then the village came into view. It was a sizable one. Smoke curled upamong the thatched, peaked huts. And what was that strange smell? I pondered. Ah, yes. Cooking!

We were greeted by what appeared to be the entire population. The women were clad only in lava lavas and smiles, but even with all that pulchritude before me I could think only of the savory aromas that filled the air.

The smiles quickly changed to tears - and I mean tears - when the women saw our condition. We were emaciated. Our hair and beards were long and straggly. Jimmy Reynolds looked like a dying man.

We unloaded. On the way to guest hut I was informed that the island is owned by a friendly power which maintains a radio station there. Shortly before, a United States Navy plan had dropped a note, asking that the small garrison be on the lookout for us. That was why the natives happened to be out in force during the heat of the day. A runner even then was on his way to their headquarters, I was informed.


Chap 13, part 13

Two officers arrived shortly afterward. We were given our fill of fruit juices, then DeAngelis and Reynolds were put to bed on fragrant mats. I was asked what I would like to eat.

And this was no game, such as we had played in the raft that terrible day. These people were ready to deliver. I spotted some chickens taking their ease under a palm tree. It was their last siesta. I suggested boiling them down to make a rich borth. This was done, under supervision of a man from the garrison.

I had my first bath with soap in mor than three weeks, then I sat down to wait for dinner. And it was torture. The aroma of chicken permeated the entire area. It filled the air. It was all I could do to keep from grabbing one fo the birds from the pot and rending it.

My thoughts soon returned to Jimmy Reynolds. In the shadows of the hut he looked even more lifeless than he had in the raft. He needed the best medical attention and quickly. But even as I worried, radio signals were crackling through the air. Our friends of the farrison were on the job.

Chap 14, 1.b

As we finished the last of the soup and were gnawing at chicken bones, a Navy scout plane boomed across our clearing, circled and landed on the water. In response to the garrison's message, the Navy had sent a physician, a Lieut. Hall. He lost no time in beginning the injections that were to save Jimmy's life.

He ministered to me also and treated DeAngelis and Reynolds for their salt water ulcers. Meanwhile, we chatted with Lieut. (j.g.) Fred E Woodward, who had flown Lieut. Hall to our island. He had first hand news of our friends.

It had been Lieut. Woodward's observer, Lester Boute, aviation radioman second class, whose keen eyes had spotted Bill Cherry's tiny raft on the afternoon of Nov. 11. We owe a real debt of gratitude to Boute because the rescue of Cherry led to the finding of us all - just as Bill had forecast when he cut loose on Nov. 10.


Chap 14, 2.a
Rickenbacker, Col. Adamson, and Bartek were picked up by Lieut. William F. Eadie whose Kingfisher squadron located them. Lieut. Eadie is a real flyer and a real man. Here is how he rescued those three.

The scout planes' efforts to guide surface craft to the Rickenbacker raft were hampered by rain squalls. It was growing dark. There was danger the raft might be lost again during the night and that someone aboard it might die unless given immediate attention.


Chap 14, 2.b

Lieut. Eadie saw only one thing to do and he did it. He set his Kingfisher down in the rolling sea beside the raft, 40 miles from shore. And remember, this was at dusk.

No medical skill was required to understand that Col. Adamson's condition was grave. Assisted by his observer, Lieut. Eadie lifted the Colonel from the raft and established him in the rear cockpit of the Kingfisher. There was no room inside for Rickenbacker and Bartek. They were lashed to the plane's wings.

Lieut. Eadie began takiing the overloaded plane toward the distant shore. This was fairly rough on Rickenbacker who already had taken more than many men 52 would be able to endure and live. After 10 minutes of taxiing, Lieut. Eadie encountered a motor torpedo boat to which he transferred Rick and Bartek.


Chap 14, part 3.a

Because of his condition, it ws deemed best to leave Col. Adamson in the plane, which Eadie now taxied the remaining distance to a Marine-manned island.

By the time I had learned these details, Lieut. Hall had finished with Reynolds and DeAngelis for the time being and was ordering me to bed. We all were transferred to the garrison, a short distance away. Three of the military gave up their bunks and remained awake to lend Lieut. Hall any assistance he might require during the night.


Chap 14, part 3.b & just don't even ask

The island behaved very well that night, but the cot wo which I was assigned seemed to have contracted St. Vitus' dance, or something. It dumped me onto the floor three times before daylight.

The next day, Nov. 14, was my 41st birthday. It was auspicious in many ways. To begin with, I felt 100 per cent better. Before long, delegations of native women began arriving, bearing gifts of mats, fans, shells, and grass hula skirts. We held court like native chieftains, DeAngelis and I. Jimmy still was bedfast.

There was much bowing and giggling. The translating was done by the father of Toma, the tall native youth whose outrigger had picked me up and had brought the three of us to the village. The father, a sub chief of the tribe, once had been a cook on a trading vessel, making several visits to San Francisco. Through him we told the ladies we never could repay the kindness and hospitality of their tribe. We assured them the great county of America soon would hear about them. They seemed duly impressed and thrilled for a moment. Then they started giggling again.


Chap 14, part 4

And now, I must tell about Toma. He is 19 years old, stands well over six fet, and is handsomely proportioned. He is about the color of honey and has live, intelligent eyes. His English is pretty good; so good that I was surprised. He never has been far from his native island.

He seemed to take an instant liking to me. When we got better acquainted he wanted to know my name. He like "Jim" all right, but the sharp syllables of "Whittaker" apparently were not so pleasing to him. So Toma rechristened me "Jim America."

After we had finished our cocoanuts on the afternoon his men had picked me up, Toma wanted to know what else I wanted. I replied jokingly that a good, American cigarette would just about fix me up. I had hardly finished speaking before he bounded out of the hut and was heading for the palm woods in an easy lope. In a short while he was back, holding out his hand to me. In it lay a package of American cigarettes. I was thunderstruck.

"Much obliged, Aladdin," I said.

Then he told me, "My name Toma."

Chap 14, part 5

Eventually he made me understand that white warriors had given them to him; that he had buried them, and had intended digging them at Christmas time. This was the first I knew of the nearby garrison.

Just before we left, Toma presented me with a gift that really touched me. It was the scale model of the outrigger in which he resued me. Let me try to make you understand the significance of this.

When a native builds a boat he also builds a scale model, as much like the larger craft as he can make it. He believes that so long as the model is safe the boat is safe. The model, therefore, is guarded closely. Usually it is hidden in some secure place. It is seldom indeed that a native will let such a model out of his own hands; to say nothing of allowing it to go out of his possession and protection.

It was the supreme compliment. Toma told me with great earnestness that I should keep it safe. If anything should happen to it, he assured me, the same disaster would befall the big outrigger. On the bow of the model he put my name: "Jim America" and "from Toma." He added the name of the island.


Chap14, part 6

Toma's model occupies a place of honor in my home at Burlingame, Calif. And not far from it, mounted and polished, is that empty flare shell from which we drank our doles of water and with which Jimmy Reynolds sluiced my head and neck during our first effort to land on the island.

In the early evening of Nov. 14 we experienced the real thing in the way of rescue. A naval vessel, commanded by Lieut.-Comm Frank A. Monroe Jr., reached the island and took us aboard. The medical officer, Lieut. Richard W. Garrity, assumed charge of us and we said our good-byes to the natives.

Just before going, I asked Toma what he would like me to send him. He grew very shy and assured me he wanted nothing. I pressed him. I said I had accepted his gifts and that I should be grieved if he declined mine. Finally, in a low voice he said something about enjoying a cake of soap; or half a cake, if a whole one would be too much to manage.

By now, Toma is the owner of three suits of cottons, a carton of soap, and many times the number of cigarettes he gave to me. There are some other things, too. The store of worldly goods I sent him undoubtedly made Toma the largest property owner on the island. I hope he is a chief when and if I ever see him again.

The chief of the village accompanied us to the water, inviting us to return when the war is over and make our homes on the island. He said that to be sure we would like it there we might come for a short, temporary visit of say a year or so. Meanwhile, he would build an addition to his house so that we all might live together.Mp<
"Make chummy," he explained.

My thoughts were interrupted by a voice at my shoulder. It was Lieut. Garrity, who had completed his ministrations to Reynolds and DeAngelis. He had been looking for me, it seemed.

"trying to be an iron man, eh? It's to bed with you, my friend. Come along with you."

It was no use protesting. That Irishman was a good doctor and he meant what he said.

That must have been the start of the nickname that has fastened itself to me. "The iron man of the army" they called me on two of the islands we visited later. It is true that I spent little time in bed on the first island and didn't want to go to bed on the ship. But I simply hadn't felt like bed. Anyway, the beds rolled and pitched so that I couldn't sleep when I did turn in.

There were many times during those 21 days adrift in the Pacific that I was anything but an iron man. It was only that I happened to be in better physical condition than the rest that I happened to recuperate faster.

I obeyed Lieut. Garrity and when he had finished with me he told me that he thought Reynolds would recover, but that it had been touch and go with him. The glucose, which Jimmy was still getting, had fixed him up.

We reached our destination, an island known as X-2, during the night and stood off it until morning. DeAngelis was carried ashore to an emergency field hospital, but I insisted on walking. Still the iron man, I suppose. Or maybe I wanted to show off my whiskers. Marines, who manned the place, walked all the way beside me, ready to catch me if I should topple.

An official photographer, about 10 feet ahead of me, walked backward most of the way to the hospital, snapping photos every few steps. And speaking of steps, they all were sure I would have to be helped up the two or three at the hospital. Helping hands were extended, but I got up all right and was on my feet when I saw my former fellow travelers.

Just a few words about that hospital. It hand't existed four days perviously. When news was received that Bill Cherry's raft had been sighted, Col. Lloyd Leech, veteran marine commandant ofX-2, summoned the naval Sea Bees (CBs - construction battalion) and put them to work.

In 24 hours they had erected this fine little building with concrete decks, screens all around, and a corrugated iron roof overhead. These things usually are built after airfields and gun emplacements are in. but when they are needed, bang! they're there. That's the way our people do things in the Pacific.

In the outer room of the hospital I found Jimmy Bartek, still looking pretty wan. I guess the sea water he drank was a little too much - coming on top of his other troubles.

In the next room lay Eddie Rickenbacker. He looked much weaker and much sicker than when I had seen him last. He no longer was called on to serve as our morale officer and had allowed himself to relax. The same indomitable spirit showed in his eyes, however. I walked over and looked down at him.

"What's the matter, Rick?" I asked. "Been sick?"

He grinned and held out his arms. I marveled again at this man. The world knows him as a daredevil automobile racer who turned aviator and became the nation's greatest ace of the first World War. He is known as a genius at business organization and he is the head of a great air line. He is one of the greatest authorities on aviation.

Out on the trackless Pacific our little band met the Rickenbacker the world doesn't know; the human man, the undoubting leader. I, for one, hope that if ever I have to go through hell like that again, Eddie Rickenbacker or someone like him will be along.

During that afternoon I lounged around while the others rested in bed. Reynolds had been kept on the ship, Lieut. Garrity sent word that he was doing better than had been expected, but that he would have to stay aboard for several days.


Chap15, part 5

Bill Cherry and Col. Adamson were transferred from their temporary quaters to the hospital a litle later. The Colonel still was in misery because of salt water ulcers.

Bartek insisted he felt chipper and insisted on being photographed with Rickenbacker. The doctors tole him he was not nearly as well as he imagined. The lad continued to ask, however. At length Rick, whom Bartek couldn't see, winked at us and turned loose one of those bellows we all knew so well:

"You stay right where you are pipe down! Do you want to get me on on of my mads again? Well, do you?"

Deep silence from the next room. On the night Rick and Bartek were being carried ashore from the rescue boat, Rick had said to him:

"Better thank God for that Testament of yours, son. You see now what faith can do for a man."

Tuesday, July 08, 2003

Also, if you have a blog too, please let me know who and how much. I'm on blogspot for free, which is nice, except that in this world you get what you pay for.


If you are looking for chapter ten, it's typed but I cannot publish it. Send me an email at mugwort AT attglobal DOT net, or put your email address in the comments section, and I will email it to you.

I am getting more irritated at blogspot each passing day.

Monday, July 07, 2003


Emperor Misha I has a post on the oath required to become a naturalized citizen, and offers up the thought that native Americans should also be required to take it. Various commenters comment, including suggesting it should be required before you can vote, or before you can be eligible for welfare benefits etc., or that it shouldn't be required at all.

I confess that I am uncomfortable with forcing native citizens to take. I think they SHOULD, and they are scumbags if they wouldn't take it and MEAN it, but still don't feel right about forcing it on people. Mom came up with an idea I like:
Why not have an organization of people who do it voluntarily? Native Americans who take the test and the oath voluntarily, who go to the Naturalized Citizen awards and applaud? A sort of welcoming committe of people who've actually read the Constitution?

Why can't I think of things like that?

Sunday, July 06, 2003

Government Information Awareness

THIS is something we all need to look into!

Saturday, July 05, 2003

!@#$@# blogspot is at it again. . . In the answers to Acidman's questions, #22, William Harding should be Warren Harding. Duh. I knew that.

Today Blogspot will let me edit! Fixed the July 4th post!
Acidman at Gutrumbles has some questions:

1. Do you have a personal hero? If so, who is it?

My mom, because she can be a bitch and a sweet, dignified lady at the same time. She puts idiotarians and mean people in their place so sweetly they think she's doing them a favor. I envy her tact and persuasiveness. Ron Paul (R-Texas) because he actually does stick to his principles.

2. What is your favorite book of all time and what made it so fucking good?
ARRRGH! Too many to list, don't MAKE me pick one! The bible is good, it has advice for all occassions. "Canticle for Leibowitz" is my favorite Sci-fi. It has many man vs. god and science vs religion scenes that really cut to the chase. Some favorites:
A lecture by a scientist to a religious order, where the scientist is explaining the spontaneous creation theory, the religious are suggesting that perhaps Genesis means that God planted various 'seeds' in creatures and these 'seeds' later evolved into the various mammal/amphibian etc. The author reversed which group believes in creationism vs evolution, and did it plausibly.
A scene where a monk is alone in the desert at night, praying for guidance. He hears a rustle in the bush, figures it's a snake or something and throws at stone at it. Then thinks & prays "You did that on purpose, didn't you God? I ask you for a sign, and You sent it, knowing I'd throw stones at it."

"Migrations and Culture" by Thomas Sowell is my favorite current-events type book. The problem with Sowell and Ann Rand is that their books make me feel like I've been lazy and not accomplished half of what I could of - which is probably true, but STILL.

3. What does “diversity” mean to you?
It means having not only a revolver, but also a semi-automatic, a shotgun, a rifle, AND an atl-atl.

4. What is the wildest thing you’ve ever done?
Like I'm putting that on the Internet. Yeah, right. The wildest thing I'm willing to put on the internet was stoplight racing. I had a '72 Chevy Malibu and raced it against an 80-something Camaro, stoplight to stoplight. Won 10 bucks!

5. Do you regret doing it?
Not really.

6. Can you drive a stick shift?
Only downhill.

7. What’s the highest speed you ever traveled in a car?
Dunno. 90 to 100, I guess. Was watching the road, not the speedometer.

8. Were you driving, or riding at the time?

9. Which is better: snakes or spiders?
Snakes are better, because snakes are afraid of me, too. Snakes will run. Spiders don't scare, they just give you the evil eye(s).

10. What is the most disgusting thing you ever ate?
Italian lasagna, purchased at a Cuban Restaurant run by Orientals.

11. Have you ever shit your pants? Be HONEST!
No - at least, I expect I did as a baby.

12. Was losing your virginity an enjoyable experience?
No. Wasn't bad.

13. Should oral sex be outlawed or encouraged?
Neither. There are far too many nosy parkers in this world as it is.

14. Name one man with a fine ass.
There aren't any fine asses on the male of the species anymore. All the male fannies are round. I don't like round rears on men, I like flat little cracker-butts. Too many gay photographers in the media, I guess, and they are photographing for themselves, not their female audience.

15. Do you watch golf on television? If not, will you iron my shirts?
No and no. Hang your shirts upside on a clothesline and you won't need to iron them.

16. Who is Martha Burk?
Some flake who protested at Augusta for women's right to trample on men's right to freely assemble, or something like that. There have been occasions where protest against exclusion was right and necessary, but a private organization doesn't fall into that category.

17. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I'd be independently wealthy.

18. Do you eat raw oysters?

19. Are you claustrophobic?

20. If you rode a motorcycle, would you wear a helmet even if the law said you didn‘t have to?
In some circumstances. Probably yes for in-city driving, less likely to on the open road.

21. Name five great Presidents.
Thomas Jefferson. John Adams. James Madison. Eisenhower. Reagan.

22. Name three shitty Presidents.
Bill Clinton. Bill Clinton. Bill Clinton. . . . oh . . . William Harding. FDR.

23. Now call me fanny and slap my ass. Just kidding.
ummmmm. . . .

24. This is the 4th of July. Did you set off any fireworks?
No. Watched my neighbors' on both sides.

25. If you could have dinner and conversation with anyone in the history of the planet, who would you choose?

I HATE questions like these, where I can only pick one. OK, I'll say Thomas the Apostle. His faults most closely match my own. Second choice would be James. I'd be too shy and nervous to pick Jesus, although that would be really quite cool. Pilate would also be interesting, always feel a little bit sorry for Pilate, he seemed stuck in the middle of something he didn't understand. Richard Feynman would be a riot to converse with.

Thursday, July 03, 2003

@# blogspot . . .won't let me edit and correct my own posts !! Ex 3 (3) should be
"Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act"
Parse the Sentence

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Subject: Congress
Verb Phrase: shall make no
Direct Object: law
Adjective Clauses:
* respecting an establishment of religion
* prohibiting the free exercises thereof
* abridging the freedom of speech
* of the press;
* the right of the people to peaceably assemble
* to petition the Government for a redress of grievances

Conjunctions: or; and

Exercise 1
By use of conjunctions and adjective clauses, there are actually six sentences contained within the above single sentence. Can you find them?

(a) Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.

(b) Congress shall make no law prohibiting the free exercise of religion.

(c) Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech.

(d) Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of the press.

(e) Congress shall make no law abridging the right of the people to peaceably assemble.

(f) Congress shall make no law abridging the right of the people to petition the Government for redress of grievances.

Exercise 2

Answer the following essay questions:

(1) The Government takes money from taxpayers, some of whom are Christians, and gives the money to Andrew Serrano, for making a painting called "Piss Christ," which blasphemes the Christian God. Does Government-funded blasphemy violate any of (a) through (f) above, and if so, which one? Support your answer.

(2) The United States of America is currently under attack by a variety of loosely connected but extremely dangerous, cvilian-killing adherents to one or two versions of the Muslim religion that consider non-Muslims as sub-humans deserving of death. Is the USA justified in funding and distributing a series of movies, paintings, sculptures, etc. that downplay or deride the civilian-killers' interpretation of the Muslim religion? Base your response on the 1st Amendment to the Bill of Rights and on your reasoning in Essay Question 1.

Exercise 3

Which of (a) through (f) above are violated by the following Congressional Acts? Answer (g) if you think no violation occurs.
(1) The Patriot Act
(2) The Campaign Finance Reform Act
(3) The Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act (modified by the Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Act)

Exercise 4

What do you think are the odds of invoking (f) above?

Happy Independence Day