THE NOVEMBER NEWSLETTER AT A GLANCE
STORY 01: THE SSQQ HALLOWEEN PARTY IS SATURDAY,
STORY 02: SSQQ CLASS HIGHLIGHTS FOR NOVEMBER
STORY 03: SSQQ CRUISE SCHEDULE FOR 2006
STORY 04: NOVEMBER BLACK AND WHITE SWING AND BALLROOM PARTY!
STORY 05: THE NOVEMBER TURKEY TROT WESTERN DANCE FEATURING THE LIVE MUSIC
OF TWO TONS OF STEEL!
STORY 06: HEY LEROY, THAT'S MY BOY!
STORY 07: UNITED SALSA PRESENTS "XIBICIONESX2"
STORY 08: THE SSQQ LOGIC PUZZLE WINNERS FOR OCTOBER 2005
STORY 09: THE 2005 NOVEMBER LOGIC PUZZLE - HALLOWEEN MAGAZINE MIXUP!
STORY 10: JOKE PICTURE OF THE MONTH
STORY 11: BEST NEW JOKES AND HALL OF FAME JOKES
STORY 12: SLOW DANCE AND ROMANCE: A NEW ENGAGEMENT AND A WEDDING!
STORY 13: THE SULTAN'S PALACE
STORY 14: BACK FROM ALASKA!
STORY 15: PART-TIME HELP WANTED
STORY 16: VIOLET STEPLIGHTLY ASKS GENTLEMEN TO BE MORE GENTLE!
STORY 17: DARK STORIES EMERGE ABOUT OUR VISITORS FROM NEW ORLEANS
STORY 18: A STORY ABOUT UNBELIEVABLE STUPIDITY IN THE WORLD OF SCIENCE
STORY 19: A STORY ABOUT UNBELIEVABLE STUPIDITY IN THE WORLD OF SCIENCE
STORY 20: LARRY THE MORON
STORY ONE: THE HALLOWEEN PARTY IS SATURDAY, OCTOBER 29!!
Doors open at 9 pm. Cover charge is $15.
Of all the many things we do at SSQQ, the studio is probably more famous
for its Halloween Party than anything else. As they say, our Halloween
Party is a "Tradition". This year's party is our 28th in the series. That,
folks, is a lot of Halloween Parties.
So why is our party so much fun?
For starters, the costumes are phenomenal. We take pictures of every guest
and add it to our web site. Who wants to be seen in a crummy outfit? As a
result, people actually put some thought and effort into their costumes
and it pays off. The costumes are always fabulous.
Second, we have an excellent Haunted House. It may be an "amateur
production", but our Haunted House is definitely creepy. What makes it so
scary is that we keep the room pitch dark. Then we pump up eerie music
from "The Exorcist" and "Halloween" very loud to make sure your nerves get
on edge. And you never know just who or whom you might meet in the Haunted
Third, we have the Monster Mash, Thriller and many other favorite line
dances to entertain both the dancers and the spectators with. Nothing
makes people laugh harder than the goofy Monster Mash. By the way, if you
would like to learn these dances in advance, we are teaching them for free
this week at the studio. Just come by any evening this week from 6-7 pm.
Everyone is welcome whether you are signed up for an October class or not.
Fourth, we have a marvelous light show provided by our friend George Grega
and his GJG Productions Company. The eerie strobes fill up Room 1
throughout the evening to enhance the pleasure of our dancing.
Fifth, we decorate the studio lavishly. There are monsters everywhere just
watching your every move. And not all of them are paper cutouts either.
Best of all there are so many people to dance with and have fun with!
Attendance is always over 200 people and two years ago we almost reached
300. This party is always a guaranteed hit.
This year Byron Holloway, the Assistant Bellaire Police Chief, will be
back to patrol our parking lot. Chief Holloway has been on the SSQQ
Halloween Beat for half a dozen years now. No matter how crazy our party
gets, it is wonderful to know we will always be safe with him around.
Thanks to his careful eye, we have never had an incident.
This year the music will include Western and Swing music in Room One, Whip
music in Room Four, and Salsa music in Room Five. With great dance music
and the infectious energy of the night, the dancing is fast and furious
all night long.
This is a great party. Don't miss it!
PS - If you would like to see pictures of last year's party and read about
the history of previous SSQQ Halloween Parties, visit
STORY TWO: SSQQ CLASS HIGHLIGHTS FOR NOVEMBER
The November 2005 Dance Semester will start on Sunday, October 30, the day
after the Halloween Party. If you want, go ahead and pass out on a couch
after the party and we will wake you up when it is time to register the
Here are the special classes for November:
SUNDAY AFTERNOON BALLROOM DANCING (4-6 pm)
Here is the November Lineup for Ballroom Classes:
1. Beginning Big Band Swing Dancing
2. Intermediate Big Band Swing Dancing
3. Beginning Tango
4. Advanced Tango
5. Slow Dance and Foxtrot for Holiday Parties
6. Beginning Waltz
7. Intermediate Cha Cha
SLOW DANCE AND FOXTROT FOR HOLIDAY PARTIES! - Marla Archer
(Starts Sunday, Oct 30, 4 pm)
Christmas and New Year is the only time of year many people dance at all.
As New Year's Eve and the office Christmas parties approach, this is the
time to master the lost art of formal dancing! This course prepares you
not only for Christmas parties but the fancy New Year's Eve parties as
When Sinatra's "New York New York" comes on at Midnight, you will be ready
to Foxtrot. And when Holiday Slow Dance standards like Nancy Wilson's
"What are You Doing New Year's Eve?" and Bing Crosby's "Baby, It's Cold
Outside" play at your Holiday Parties, you will be ready to hit the floor
and dance without a self-conscious bone in your body. You might even be
surprised to see you are enjoying yourself out there!
BEGINNING AND ADVANCED TANGO - Rick and
(Starts Sunday, Oct 30, 4 pm)
Tango has become a house favorite on Sunday afternoons. In November you
have two levels to choose from and plenty of partners to dance with at our
6 pm Tea Dance after classes end every Sunday evening.
MONDAY EVENING SPECIAL CLASSES:
1. Advanced Swing with Patty Oh
2. Advanced Lindy Hop with Gloria Sanchez
3. Beginning and Advanced Whip/West Coast Swing
4. Bryan Spivey's West Coast Swing Technique class
MONDAY WEST COAST SWING TECHNIQUE I - BRYAN SPIVEY
(Starts Monday, Oct 31, 7 pm)
State Whip Champion Bryan Spivey offers his special technique class on
Mondays for the first time. Not only does he go over all those difficult
patterns we originally covered in Levels in through 4, he covers new
footwork and styling of West Coast Swing down to every "and" count. This
course is offered as a bridge between people who have finished Lunar Whip
and maybe aren't quite ready for Bryan's difficult Thursday Martian Whip
TUESDAY ADVANCED SALSA 11 WITH STEVE AND DANIELLE
(Starts Tuesday, Nov 1)
Steve Gekas and Danielle Lam are the rock stars of Salsa. Their Advanced
Salsa class on Tuesday continues to be a phenomenal draw as they cover the
toughest Salsa patterns on the planet.
WEDNESDAY ADVANCED WESTERN CHA CHA - Sharon Crawford and John Jones
(Starts Wednesday, Nov 2)
Sharon Crawford returns with the final leg of her three month Western Cha
Cha course. Sharon teaches practically every Cha Cha pattern she knows, so
if you like to Cha Cha and want to learn the toughest patterns, this is
your chance to do so.
THURSDAY MARTIAN WHIP - Bryan Spivey and Lisa Palmer
(Starts Thursday, Nov 3)
The legendary SSQQ Martian Whip class returns to its longtime slot on
Thursday evening starting this November. Several people have asked why the
Martian Whip class was moved from its popular Friday slot. The answer is
that it makes more sense to have three Whip/WCS classes on Thursday than
it does to have two Whip classes on Thursday and one on Friday.
Bryan and Lisa are Texas State Whip Champions. Bryan's obvious natural
gifts as a dancer don't stop there. He is also an excellent teacher.
Recently at two consecutive competitions he picked up prestigious "Best
Teacher" awards and his students have done very well in competitions
dancing with him.
FRIDAY INTERMEDIATE TWOSTEP AND POLKA - Rick and Cher
(Starts Friday, Nov 4)
This valuable class has not been offered in several years. You immediately
ask if the class is so useful, then why don't we offer it on a regular
basis? The answer is that traditionally lots of men sign up for the
course, but only a few ladies. The lopsided boy-girl ratio makes it almost
impossible for the course to be a success and leads to a lot of grumbling.
That is too bad because this is a great class. We cover the difficult
clockwise and counter-clockwise Circle Turns to both Twostep and Polka
rhythm. The men become experts at these important patterns. We also cover
many other Twostep and Polka patterns that rarely get covered in our
Western Swing classes.
In other to make this class work, we have asked each guy to bring a
partner. Believe it or not, the ladies are welcome to take the class for
free as long as they are signed up for another November SSQQ course. All
they have to do to take the class is register at the door on Friday night
along with their gentleman partner.
With the big Western Party coming up in late November, this is an
excellent course to take.
AFTERNOON INTERMEDIATE HIP HOP CLASS 3:15-4:15 PM
(Starts Saturday, November 5)
Kevin Coleman's Beg Hip Hop/Freestyle class was the hit of the summer. Now
in November Kevin adds a 4-week, one-hour long Intermediate class ($20 a
person) that will precede his 4:30 pm Beginner Hip Hop class.
This class will cover steps that involve coordination of the feet to the
shoulders and the arms. The main thing required is that the person can
walk and move any part of their upper body at the same time. It will be
somewhat of a choreography-style class.
Please note this special class is not offered on On-Line Registration. To
register you can show up at 3 pm and sign up at the door. And don't forget
Kevin has a Beginner level Hip Hop class that follows from 4:30 to 6:30 on
(Note: For more details and lengthy descriptions of all the classes above
and more, please go to NOVEMBER EXTRA ON THE SSQQ WEB SITE:
If you miss the first week of classes, don't worry about it. YOU CAN SIGN
UP IN THE SECOND WEEK without any problem since we spend the first hour
reviewing what was covered in Week One.
STORY THREE: SSQQ CRUISE SCHEDULE FOR 2006
Marla Archer has scheduled two cruises for 2006 and will likely add a
third trip as well to the Caribbean.
TRIP ONE: LATE MAY 2006: PACIFIC NORTHWEST (MAY 21-27)
We sail the Radiance of the Seas as we take a jaunt up the magnificent
Pacific coast. Leaving out of San Diego, we first visit San Francisco,
then stop at Astoria (Oregon), Victoria (British Columbia), and finish at
Inside: $610 Oceanview: $765 Balcony: $855
Round trip air fare and ground transportation available through Royal
Caribbean for $569.
Come a day early and visit the marvelous San Diego Zoo with Rick and
Marla. There are many options at the Bay City: you can explore the awesome
John Muir redwood forest, visit Alcatraz, take a ferry across the bay to
Sausalito or simply leave your heart in San Francisco! Then we can either
take a trip to visit the incredible Pacific Northwest rainforest at
Astoria or board a bus and we visit the infamous blast zone at Mt. St.
Helens. We finish the trip in style by visiting the lush and exotic
Gardens of Victoria!
TRIP TWO: LATE SEPTEMBER 2006: NEW ENGLAND IN THE FALL (SEPTEMBER
Sail the Jewel of the Seas as we visit New England to see the stunning
beauty of the Autumn leaves! Leaving out of Boston, we first visit
Martha's Vineyard, then Portland (Maine), Bar Harbor (Maine), Halifax
(Nova Scotia), St Johns (New Brunswick), then return to Boston.
Inside: $1035 Oceanview: $1185 Balcony: $1335
Round trip air fare and ground transportation available thru Royal
Caribbean for $465.
Trees swayin' in the Autumn breeze and breathtaking vistas of red, yellow,
and orange leaves!
See the magnificent lighthouses of Maine, come early and visit the
marvelous history of Boston, explore the magnificent Acadia National Park
at Bar Harbor, view the stunning Canadian landscape and seascapes, and
enjoy the quaint charm and beauty of New England as the leaves change.
This is a wonderful trip to a part of the country many of us have always
dreamed of visiting, but never had the chance to do.
TRIP THREE: CARIBBEAN CRUISE ON THE RHAPSODY EITHER THE 4TH OF JULY,
THE LAST WEEK IN AUGUST OR DURING THANKSGIVING WEEK IN NOVEMBER
This trip is not yet a "done deal". We are still taking votes on which of
the three dates people prefer. If you are interested in a Caribbean trip,
email Marla at email@example.com and
state your preference!
STORY FOUR: THE NOVEMBER BLACK AND WHITE SWING AND BALLROOM PARTY!
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 12, 9:15 - Midnight, $7
CRASH COURSES 7-9 PM (to register, just show up and register at the door)
BALLROOM WALTZ - Dakota
AMERICAN TANGO - Rhonwyn
RUMBA - THE LATIN DANCE OF ROMANCE- Jill
PUTTIN' ON THE RITZ (FOXTROT/SWING) - Marla
SWIRLEY TWIRLEY JITTERBUG PTNS- Rick/Patty
LISE'S FAV ADV SWING PTNS - Lise
ABOUT THE PARTY: We have had good turnouts for our Sunday Ballroom
Practice Nights for the past several months. Now it is time to dedicate a
Saturday evening to Swing Dancing to Big Band music, Tango, Cha Cha,
Waltz, Sinatra Foxtrots, and some West Coast Swing. The dress code of
course is to wear Black and White or Stay Outta Sight!
STORY FIVE: THE NOVEMBER TURKEY TROT WESTERN DANCE
FEATURING THE LIVE MUSIC OF TWO TONS OF STEEL!
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 9 pm - 1 am, $20
CRASH COURSES 7-9 PM (to register, just show up and register at the door)
BEG TWOSTEP - Leo
BEG WESTERN SWING - MG
BEG WESTERN WALTZ - Jill
AMAZING DEATH VALLEY PTNS - Scott
STEVE'S FAV ADV SWING PTNS - Steve
WESTERN LINE DANCES - Rick
DIRTY DANCING - Bryan (cpls only)
ABOUT THE PARTY: Two Tons of Steel was been voted the Top Band in San
Antonio in 2004. They have several Western albums out. Two Tons of Steel
is a band that is right on the edge of moving up to the next level of
fame. Unlike a lot of bands, they don't spend a lot of time playing other
people's music. They play their own original tunes! We are very fortunate
to get a band of this caliber to come play for us. Not only do they play
great Twostep and Polka song, they are an excellent Rockabilly Swing band
as well. In other words, the Western dancers and the Swing dancers will
all have the time of their lives at this party!
STORY SIX: HEY LEROY, THAT'S MY BOY!
Leroy Ginzel is a marvel. At age 77, Leroy is in better shape than
most men half his age. Leroy has been a studio fixture for many years.
He owes his great health to constant hikes and climbs on his trips to
national parks around the country.
My earliest memory of Leroy is the time he challenged Judy Archer to a
cookie-making contest. I have no idea who lost, but I do remember
enjoying the contest thoroughly. The sampling of the cookies was a
definite win-win situation for all of us!
Leroy cracks me up. On the recent Rhapsody cruise Leroy
said his ex-wife still blames him for everything that ever went wrong. In
fact just the other day she blamed him for something new that went wrong.
I asked Leroy how long they have been divorced. "Oh, twenty years or so."
Obviously being blamed for everything does things to people's minds. In
Leroy's case, I think he became immune to having women mad at him. Leroy
is fearless when it comes to women!!
Unlike someone of us who toe the straight and narrow, Leroy likes to get
in trouble. In fact, I dare say Leroy invites trouble to his doorstep.
Recently Leroy decided to share his philosophies on women with the world.
He sent out emails to hundreds of people on his email distribution list
including women!! The guy has more guts than any man I know. Or maybe less
brains...I haven't decided.
From: Leroy Ginzel
Sent: Sunday, August 21, 2005 4:45 PM
To: Rick Archer
Subject: Leroy's philosophy #1
In the beginning, God created the earth and rested.
Then God created Man and rested.
Then God created Woman.
Since then, neither God nor Man has rested.
From: Leroy Ginzel
Sent: Sunday, August 21, 2005 7:13 PM
To: Rick Archer
Subject: Leroy's philosophy # 2
I received some very hilarious responses from several ladies regarding my
philosophy #1, so I decided to share another one of my philosophies
Why do women have smaller feet than men?
It's one of those "evolutionary things" that allows them to stand closer
to the kitchen sink.
From: Leroy Ginzel
Sent: Monday, August 22, 2005 6:49 PM
To: Rick Archer
Subject: Leroy's philosophy #3
This new one was inspired by responses from two of my "avid" readers to
the previous 2 "Leroy's Philosophies":
How to impress your wife or "significant other":
The old adage: "If it ain't broke, don't fix it".
Leroy's philosophy: Pick out something very complicated around the house
that ain't broke. Make sure it is something that is easy to get to, not
messy and conveniently located.
Go to work on it and be sure to spread your tools out everywhere so it is
obvious you are the master of the world. If you are really smart, try to
find something near a TV so you can watch the game when she isn't looking.
After a while when you get tired of "working" on it, then say to your
Significant Other (in a loud voice of course), " Hey, Honey, I fixed
She will think you are a genius. The real reason for doing this is to
acquire a "Get Out of Jail Free" card. That way the next time when you
announce that you are going to shoot a round of golf, go fishing, or head
down to the ice house "for a cool one" with the boys, she won't dare
After all, you are Mr. Home Improvement! Guys like you are hard to find!
Even better, you might even get a "special" reward!
PS: One important note - Be careful that you don't break it while you are
"fixin' it"!!! You ain't going to get nuthin' but the dog house if that
Editor's Note: At this point, I was starting to worry about Leroy so I
sent him a warning note.
From: Rick Archer
Sent: Tuesday, August 23, 2005 10:18 PM
To: Leroy Ginzel
Subject: RE: Leroy's philosophy #3
I know you love good old-fashioned trouble, but this time you may have
gone past the point of no return. You need to be more careful about
opening that big mouth of yours or watch of for the consequences. Your
face is going to end up on a "Wanted" Poster at this rate.
Editor's Note: Unfortunately my warning did no good. Leroy was having too
much fun stirring up the hornet's nest. Just an hour later I got another
email with a new observation from Leroy.
From: Leroy Ginzel
Sent: Tuesday, August 23, 2005 11:25 PM
To: Rick Archer
Subject: Leroy's Philosophy #4
How many seconds does it take a man to open a beer?
None. It should be opened when she brings it.
Editor's Note: At this point I was beginning to wonder if Leroy had a
death wish of some sort. I sent him another warning the very next day.
From: Rick Archer
Sent: Wednesday, August 24, 2005 10:12 AM
To: Leroy Ginzel
Subject: RE: Leroy's Philosophy #4
I am warning you again
you will become a lightning rod that attracts
vicious women. Think about what you are doing before it is too late.
Actually I am certain it is already too late so forgive me if I don't
stand near you at the studio or the cruise. I hope you will understand
that danger of collateral damage.
From: Leroy Ginzel
Sent: Wednesday, August 24, 2005 9:06 PM
To: Rick Archer
Subject: Leroy's Philosophy #5
How do you know when a woman is about to say something intelligent?
When she starts a sentence with "A man once told me..."
From: Leroy Ginzel
Sent: Wednesday, August 24, 2005 11:09 PM
To: Rick Archer
Subject: Leroy's Philosophy #6
Hey, Guys... I'm sure all of you remember how whenever you make your wife
or girlfriend mad, she will nag at you for days on end. It just goes on
and on and on.
But then, if you really make her really incredibly mad, she turns around
and gives you the horrible silent treatment.
Seems to me that it's worth a little extra effort to make her really mad!"
Editor's Note: Leroy was forced to go into seclusion after that. Showing
extremely good sense, he left town for a month to go hiking somewhere. He
not only missed Hurricane Rita, he missed Herricane Stephanie, Herricane
Mara, Herricane Phyllis, Herricane Gina
Leroy missed lots of Herricanes!
STORY SEVEN: UNITED SALSA PRESENTS "XIBICIONESX2"
November 4-5, 2005, at the Melody Club
Featuring Santo Rico Dance Company from New York City!!!
Complimentary Salsa Class at 8:30pm both nights...
Shows will Start at 10pm SHARP both nights!!!
Social Dancing will begin after shows until 3am both nights.
Music: Main room - Salsa and Cha cha
Mirrored Room - Merengue, bachata, reggaeton, and hip hop by DJ Robert
Will feature more than 15 salsa, swing, 2-step, and hustle performances
from groups all over Texas.
Workshops on Saturday, November 5th from 11am - 5pm. Will feature Santo
Rico Dance Company from NYC as well as Semeneya and Xibuke Dance Company
from San Antonio, TX.
All event activities will be held at The Melody Club.
For more info and pricing information, please contact Jerome Carter at
STORY EIGHT: THE SSQQ LOGIC PUZZLE WINNERS FOR OCTOBER 2005
It was another month of just the Usual Suspects solving a very clever
October Logic Puzzle. Not one newcomer joined our immortal flock, not even
OJ Bowman who I believe is smart enough to overcome her Baptist upbringing
and solve a simple logic puzzle.
And now a round of applause for our six wonderful puzzle solvers!
1. Ritesh Laud (18 months in a row!)
2. Susan Arevalo (Susan hits 2 years in a row!)
3. Karen Babb (Ninth victory, welcome back after a month off)
4. Anita Leung (8 months in a row!)
5. Jarvae Pollock (Second victory after a month break!)
6. Ann Faget (Our current champ is up to 25 months in a row!)
Maybe we will have better luck with the November logic puzzle.
STORY NINE: THE 2005 NOVEMBER LOGIC PUZZLE - HALLOWEEN MAGAZINE MIXUP!
Difficulty Level: Tricky, but not impossible. Very fun!
Jeffrey Ghost delivers mail for the Post Office. His delivery route
includes the posh 10-story Haunted Towers Apartment House.
There are 10 Monster families which reside at this building (one family
per floor). Each family gets 3 different publications a day. The delivery
schedule to the Apartment House includes 10 different magazines in all.
Unfortunately for Jeff, it rained today. When he began pulling the
magazines from his not-too-waterproof sack, he found all the labels stuck
together in a gummy mess. Jeff was pretty worried because he knew from
experience just how ugly things could get if some of these Monsters didn't
get their favorite magazines on time!
Undaunted, Jeff sat down in the lobby to figure out which magazines to
stuff into the mailboxes of each Haunted Towers family.
By close examination of the following clues can you determine which floor
each horrible family lives on?
Editor's Note: The Magazine Mix-up Puzzle is complicated, but it is also a
lot of fun.
STORY TEN: JOKE PICTURE OF THE MONTH
Gary Richardson contributed this month's Joke Picture. It captures
perfectly the absurdity of modern life - we want to get in shape, but when
no one is looking, deep down inside we are all a bunch of lazy bums. Check
out of the picture and see if you agree.
STORY ELEVEN: BEST NEW JOKES AND HALL OF FAME JOKES
October produced three good new jokes. Sam Longoria and Usual Suspect
Leroy Ginzel sent in two of them and my beloved Aunt Lynn from Virginia
sent in a clever pun.
I think Sam's joke about "Snappy Answers" gets my vote for "Best Joke of
The competition for Best Runner-up was a bit slim. It was tough to vote
against my own Aunt Lynn. However I hate puns unless I make them up
myself. Therefore Leroy wins.
For a look at the best new jokes to date, visit:
HALL OF FAME JOKES
Newcomers to SSQQ may not be aware of how wonderful our Joke page is. Over
the years Newsletter readers have been sending in their favorite jokes. I
dutifully collect them, edit them, and save them. We are now up to
somewhere around 700 jokes.
This month we added three new jokes to our Hall of Fame. I would like to
thank Douglas Peabody, Pat Roberts, and Ann Faget for their contributions
from November of last year. If you have a great joke, send it in! Email to
Meanwhile, you can read this month's Hall of Fame jokes at:
STORY TWELVE: SLOW DANCE AND ROMANCE: A NEW ENGAGEMENT AND A WEDDING!
ANGELA YOUNG HENNAN AND ALLEN MCCONNELL ARE ABOUT TO BE MARRIED!
The lovely Angela Young Hennan, daughter of Kasandra Hennan, is getting
married to Allen McConnell aboard the Elation Cruise Ship on Thursday
October 27,2005. Hopefully they will bring us pictures of the event!
CINDY BOZEMAN AND JIMMY GUNTER GET ENGAGED DURING THE SSQQ RHAPSODY
That SSQQ Slow Dance and Romance Magic always seems to double on our
Cruise trips. Practically every cruise trip we have ever taken has
produced at least one engagement, sometimes even more.
This year's 2005 Rhapsody trip was no exception as Cindy Bozeman and Jimmy
Gunter proudly announced their engagement on the final night of the trip.
Congratulations to both!
STORY THIRTEEN: THE SULTAN'S PALACE
Gary Richardson contributed pictures of a fabulous Arabian Palace located
in Dubai. If you enjoy lifestyles of the rich and famous, you will
definitely appreciate the pictures plus the fascinating article on Arab
property development in the Persian Gulf.
STORY FOURTEEN: BACK FROM ALASKA!
We all returned safely from our July Cruise Trip to magnificent Alaska.
For seven days we had the time of our lives visiting the Mendenhall
Glacier in Juneau, taking a 40-mile train ride deep into the wilderness at
Skagway, flying high over the incredible Misty Fjords near Ketchikan, and
watching huge ice slabs fall into the ocean at the Hubbard Glacier.
It took me a while, but the story is now complete. The tales of adventure
1. Ballroom Dancing aboard the Radiance
2. The Mysterious Radiance DJ Booth
3. Dance Workshops
4. Fish and Bear Stories
5. Exploring Alaska's Inside Passage
6. Mendenhall Glacier and Mt. Roberts at Juneau
7. Texans Not Welcome in Alaska
8. The mysterious disappearance of Alaska's Abundant Wildlife
9. Dead Horse Trail at Skagway
10. How Rick Almost Lands in Skagway Jail
11. The Secret they did not want revealed: Madness in Alaska
12. Pictures of Hubbard Glacier
13. Tales of Woe on the Radiance Basketball Court
14. What Ketchikan Alaska is most Famous For
15. The incredible self-discipline of the SSQQ Women
16. The Siren Call of the Misty Fjords
17. What loneliness does to some people
These stories plus the marvelous pictures of Alaskan Wilderness and the
members of our group taken by Gary Richardson.
STORY FIFTEEN: PART-TIME HELP WANTED
1. HALL MONITOR (One Night a Week). Like police work, the Hall Monitor job
is occasionally unbelievably busy and stressful, but most of the time
boring and pretty relaxed. The pay is fair and classes are free. Inquire
to Marla Archer at firstname.lastname@example.org
2. REGISTRAR (One Night a Week). We had a recent resignation that leaves
us one or two people short. Inquire to Marla Archer at
STORY SIXTEEN: VIOLET STEPLIGHTLY ASKS GENTLEMEN TO BE MORE GENTLE!
This month our ingenious Violet writes about her adventures with men who
are rough when they dance with the ladies.
Here's my latest article. For the record, the people and situations are
real, which might be kind of sad.
Hey guys and gals! It's Violet with a public service announcement:
Be gentle with your dance partners if you don't want to be stuck sitting
on the sidelines.
While being physically gentle is GREATLY appreciated, I mean much more
than that. I'm referring to basic kindness, politeness, and tact. Here are
a few dos and don'ts to help you to be gentle with your dance partners and
create an enjoyable social experience:
1) DO Say "thank you"
Most people are really good about this one, but I know from personal
experience that not being thanked for a dance can leave one feeling
self-conscious. If someone thinks you don't enjoy dancing with them, they
won't be extending invitations to you any time soon, and they're likely to
decline any dances you offer, or they'll at least tell all of their
friends that they will. Don't create misunderstandings and leave yourself
standing still just because you forget to utter two simple monosyllabic
2) DON'T Draw attention to every mistake
Dancing can be tough. Both leads and follows have to concentrate on
executing moves properly to make a dance go well. It's a lot of work to be
a good dancer, so it's okay to focus on perfection and call your partner
out when they don't lead/follow something according to your standards.
Blah, blah, blah . . . phooey. Social dancing is supposed to be fun! Yes,
please pay attention to your frame, rhythm, dance space, elbows, thumbs,
patterns, etc., because all of that is important to having a good dance.
But choose your battles carefully when it comes to distributing criticism,
and remember that what you say and how you say it are equally important.
For example, I'm a mediocre dancer, at best. I still have a lot to learn,
so there are going to be times when I have trouble following even the best
lead. Whenever I make a mistake during a dance, I have one partner, named
Jake, who shrugs his shoulders and says, "Well, THAT didn't go the way I
planned it" in a very annoyed tone of voice. The first time Jake said it
to me, I was mortified! I was certain that I was the worst dancer ever and
that he would never ask me to dance again. However, Jake continued to ask
me to dance every week during practice. After having heard "Well, THAT
didn't go the way I planned it" several times, I finally spoke up. I
apologized for my mistake and asked how I was supposed to follow that lead
to make it work.
"Oh, no, you did fine," Jake explained. "I just didn't lead that move
right. I was supposed to do this . . . " And he lead his intended move,
and I followed effortlessly. "Remember," he reminded me, "It's always the
lead's fault." After we became close friends, I finally explained to Jake
that I thought he'd been criticizing me this entire time. Please
understand that I never seek to change anyone (unless they have a habit of
kicking puppies or something), but it is still a little satisfying to hear
his comment change to "Oops! I guess I didn't lead that right." And since
we are such good friends, Jake and I tend to get in a mini-debate over
whose fault it is: "Oops, my fault." "No, it's my fault." "Uh-uh. I broke
frame, you did fine." How sweet is that?
3) DO Smile
We're all familiar with the "concentration face". It's very similar to the
"I smell something stinky! face" and the "There are lobsters crawling out
of your ears! face". When you're on the receiving end of such expressions,
it's very difficult to determine which one you're looking at. This was
another issue to which I needed to call Jake's attention.
Jake is a perfectionist. When Jake dances, he concentrates so hard on his
lead that he grimaces when he's stuck on a pattern. Much like the "Well,
THAT didn't go the way I planned it" comment, I mistook Jake's grimace and
thought I had done something wrong either on the dance floor or off. It
was especially bad when his grimace would turn into a glare that lasted
through the rest of the dance. I used to agonize over what I might have
done to deserve such a look from Jake, but then I noticed that he gave his
favorite dance partner the same glare from time to time.
So, the next time his lips pursed and his eyes narrowed, I asked him,
"Nothing," he replied.
"Oh, you had this look, so I wasn't sure."
"Was I glaring again?" Jake blushes.
"Yeah, you were. It's cute," I tease, "but I thought you were angry or
"Sorry. I was just concentrating on what to lead next."
After that, I considered every lead's glare to be the product of deep
concentration. I could be wrong, but the way I see it, a guy wouldn't ask
me to dance if he didn't like dancing with me, right? And if that's the
case, then he couldn't possibly be glaring over anything I've done to
upset him, right? So, if I catch a lead glaring while he's dancing with
me, I look him straight in the eye and double my already bright smile.
More often than not, it produces a genuine grin that lasts for at least a
few minutes, and it always results in an enthusiastic "thank you" when the
4) DON'T Divide your attention between more than one dance partner at one
If you have more than one dance partner during a song, then modify this
When you're dancing with someone, that's the person that gets the focus of
your attention for those few minutes. I don't care how popular you are.
Unless someone is about to run into you, presenting you with a million
dollar check, having a massive coronary, or something just as pressing,
then no one besides your current dance partner should even exist in your
I was dancing with Chris, a young student, during Practice Night last week
when one of his friends entered Room 1. Chris yells a greeting at her from
the back of the room. He also has a habit of watching other couples while
he's dancing and commenting about them to his partner. As usual, he was
doing that last week too. He has done all of this before, and I don't
particularly consider it a major offense, but it can get out of hand. In
fact, it did that day.
Chris and I were taking a break and having a jovial conversation. Then, a
great song comes on, and I ask him to dance. He takes my hand, leads me to
the dance floor, and begins his favorite pattern, but then he sees his
friend picking up her belongings and heading towards the door. Chris
immediately drops my hand, sprints over to her, and demands a dance before
she leaves. I still can not believe he left me standing there, in the
middle of the dance floor, with my jaw dropped. I never found out if he
enjoyed his dance because I collected my belongings and went home for hot
chocolate and cookies.
I confronted Chris the next day, and I told him how impolite his actions
were. He apologized, and we're still on good terms, but he did promise to
be more mindful of his dance partners and their feelings. All's well that
Well dancers, that's it for now. I'll be back again next month. Until
then, keep on dancing!
Work like you don't need money,
Love like you've never been hurt,
And dance like no one's looking...
STORY SEVENTEEN: SIX STORIES ABOUT HOUSTON'S
VISITORS FROM NEW ORLEANS
I received several fascinating articles about our visitors from New
Orleans that carry a less than pleasant slant. I make
no comment other than to share them with you.
Article One: What
the news does not show...
SOME OF THE LANGUAGE IN THIS IS PRETTY
RAW BUT YOU CAN UNDERSTAND WHERE IT IS COMING FROM IF YOU READ THE WHOLE
MESSAGE. LORD COME QUICKLY.
Thought I might inform the few friends I have on my recent traumatic
experience. I am going to tell it straight, blunt, raw, and I don't give a
damn. Long read, I know but please do read!!!
I went to volunteer on Saturday at the George R. Brown convention for two
A: I wanted to help people to get a warm fuzzy.
I've been watching the news lately and have seen scenes that have made me
want to vomit. And no it wasn't dead bodies, the city under water, or the
sludge everywhere. It was PEOPLE'S BEHAVIOR. The people on TV, (99% being
Black) were DEMANDING help. They were not asking nicely but demanding as
if society owed these people something. Well the honest truth is WE DON'T.
Help should be asked for in a kind manner and then appreciated. This is
not what the press (FOX in particular) was showing, what I was seeing was
a group of people who are yelling, demanding, looting, killing, raping,
and SHOOTING back at the demanded help!!!!! So I'm thinking this can't
possibly be true can it???? So I decide to submit to the DEMAND for help
out of SHOCK. I couldn't believe this to be true of the majority of the
people who are the weakest of society. So I went to volunteer and help
folks out and see the truth. So I will tell the following story and you
I arrived at the astrodome only to find out that there were too many
volunteers and that volunteers were needed at the George R. Brown
Convention Center. As I was walking up to the Convention Center I noticed
a line of cars that wrapped around blocks filled with donations. These
ordinary Houstonians coming with truckloads and trunks full of water,
diapers, clothes, blankets, food, all types of good stuff. And lots of it
was NEW. I felt that warm fuzzy while helping unload these vehicles of
these wonderful human beings. I then went inside the building and noticed
approximately 100,000 sq. ft. of clothes, shoes, jackets, toys and all
types of goodies all organized and ready for the people in need. I signed
up, received a name badge and was on my merry way excited to be useful.
I toured the place to get familiar with my surroundings; the entire place
is probably around 2 million sq. ft. I noticed rows as far as the eye can
see of mattresses, not cots, BLOW UP MATTRESSES!!! All of which had nice
pillows and plenty of blankets. 2 to 3 bottles of water lay on every bed.
These full size to queen size beds by the way were comfortable, I laid in
one to see for myself. I went to look at the medical area. I couldn't
believe what my eyes were seeing!!! A makeshift hospital created in 24
hours!!! It was unbelievable, they even had a pharmacy!
I also noticed that they created showers, which would also have hot water.
I went upstairs to the third floor to find a HUGE cafeteria created in
under 24 hours! Rows of tables, chairs and food everywhere - enough to
feed an army! I'm not talking about crap food either. They had Jason's
deli food, apples, oranges, coke, diet coke, lemonade, orange juice,
cookies, all types of chips and sandwiches. All the beverages by the way
were put on ice and chilled!!!! In a matter of about 24 hours or less an
entire mini-city was erected by volunteers for the poor evacuees. This was
not your rundown crap shelter, it was BUM HEAVEN.
So that was the layout: great food, comfy beds, clean showers, free
medical help, by the way there was a library, and a theatre room that I
forgot to mention. Great stuff right????
Well here is what happened on my journey -
I started by handing out COLD water bottles to evacuees as they got off
the bus. Many would take them and only 20% or less said thank you. Lots of
them would shake their heads and ask for sodas! So this went on for about
20-30 minutes until I was sick of being an unappreciated servant. I
figured certainly these folks would appreciate some food!!! So I went
upstairs to serve these beloved evacuees some GOOD food that I wish I
could have at the moment!
(Note: The following statements are graphic, truthful, and discuss
Evacuees come slowly to receive this mountain of food that is worth
serving to a king! I tell them that we have 2 types of great deli
sandwiches to choose from - ham and turkey. Many look at the food in
disgust and DEMAND burgers, pizza, and even McDonalds!!!! Jason's deli is
McDonalds!!!! Only 1out of ten people who took something would say "thank
you". The rest took items as if it was their God give right to be served
without a shred of appreciation!!! They would ask for Beer and liquor.
They complained that we didn't have good enough food. They refused food
and laughed at us.
They treated us volunteers as if we were SLAVES. No not all of them of
course, but 70% did!!!!!! 20% were appreciative, 10% took the food without
any comment and the other 70% had some disgusting comment to say. Some had
the nerve to laugh at us. And when I snapped back at them for being mean,
they would curse at me!!!
Needless to say I was in utter shock. They would eat their food and leave
their mess on the table. Some would pick up their stuff, many would leave
it for the volunteers to pick up. I left that real quick to go down and
help set up some more beds. I saw many young ladies carrying mattresses
and I helped for a while. Then I realized something. There were hundreds
of able-bodied young men who could help!!
I asked a group of young evacuees in their teens and early twenties to
help. I got cursed at for asking them to help!!! One said "We just lost
our f***ing homes and you want us to work!!"
The next said, "Ya Cracker, you got a home, we don't."
I looked at them in disbelief. Here are women walking by carrying THEIR
BEDS and they can't lift a finger and help themselves!!
WHY SHOULD I HELP PEOPLE WHO DON'T WANT TO HELP THEMESELVES!!!!
I waved them off and turned away and was laughed at and more "white boy
jokes" were made at me. I felt no need to waste my breath on a bunch of
pitiful losers. I went to a nearby restroom where I noticed a man shaving.
I used the restroom, washed my hands and saw this man throw his razor
towards the trash can...he missed. He walked out leaving his disgusting
razor on the floor for some other "cracker" to pick up.
Even the little kids were demanding. I saw only ONE white family and only
TWO Hispanic families. The rest were blacks. 20% to 30% decent blacks, and
I would call them N*****S, but the actual definition of a n*****r is one
who is ignorant. These people were not ignorant. They were ARROGANT
ASSHOLES. The majority of which are thugs and lifetime lazy ass welfare
We are inviting the lowest of the low to Houston. And like idiots we are
serving the people who will soon steal our cars, rape, murder, and destroy
our city while stealing from our pockets on a daily basis through the
welfare checks they take. We will fund our own destruction.
By "US" I don't mean a specific race, I mean the people who work hard,
work smart, have values and morals. Only people who want to help
themselves should be helped, the others should be allowed to destroy
themselves. I do not want to work hard, give the government close to half
the money I earn so they can in turn give it to a bunch of losers.
I don't believe in being poor for life. My family immigrated here, we came
here poor, and now thank God, and due to HARD WORK we are doing fine. If
immigrants, who come here, don't know the language can work and become
successful... WHY CAN'T THE MAJORITY OF THE HOMEGROWN DO IT!!!
If we continue to reward these losers then we will soon destroy our great
country. I just witnessed selfish, arrogant, unappreciative behavior by
the very people who need help the most. Now these same people who cursed
me, refused my cities generosity, who refuse to help themselves are
DEMANDING handouts on their own terms!!!!!!! They prance around as if they
are owed something, and when they do receive a handout, they say it's not
Well, you know what? These types of people can go to hell for all I care!
Richard L. Johnston, M.D.
University of Mississippi Medical Center
3805 Crane Blvd.
Jackson, MS 39216
Article Two: An SSQQ
Student Offers His View on the Evacuees in Houston
Ok, here's my point of view and
opinion of the matter.
The general feeling I have is that it is more about economic status than
it is about race, but there is plenty of both to go around. It is a very
hard distinction to make, if it can realistically be made at all. I
basically agree with the article though.
Among the "economically disadvantaged" that I deal with there is a
distinct difference in those that are poor and complaining about it and
those that are poor and doing something about it. I always hated it when
INS would go out at 6am and round up the guys at Shepherd and Washington
and deport them, but the guys I was putting in jail for burglary did a
couple months here and got back out again. Here we have guys who are
working their ass off, for cheap, to make a legit living and getting
deported but the guys out robbing and stealing get to stay.
I take people to jail all the time who complain about the gov't not doing
enough for them, then I find 2 or 3 Lone Star cards in their pockets. I
read a great article earlier today about FEMA giving people money for
housing and they're still staying in hotels at FEMA's expense and
pocketing the money, one guy said he was saving that money to buy stuff
when they eventually get him a house and to go out to eat.
When the first Hurricane struck I worked my ass off. My first "shift" was
40 hrs, then I got 12 off, then I was back on for 29. I got to meet a lot
of people arriving at the dome and a few at the GRB.
The thousands arriving at the dome were all last minute evacuees. The very
first bus that came in was being driven by a 15 yr old who stole it from a
bus barn, loaded it up, and got out of dodge. Of the over 1000+ busses
that came to the dome, only 22 were officially sent there. The rest just
showed up because they knew it was a place to take people.
I was unloading busses for hours and hours. I saw dozens of people still
with their lifejackets on from being pulled out of the water. The
astrodome employees were searching people for weapons, and we were
announcing this to each bus load as it arrived. The first night I was
there we got 50+ pistols turned in to us (I got about 10 myself).
At the GRB, the evacuees coming in were all coming from other shelters.
They had all left the N.O, prior to the hurricane hitting and had been
safely tucked away when it hit. They came to the GRB once it became
apparent that nobody was going back to N.O. any time soon. The shelters
they had been in just weren't up to the task of multi-week housing (not
many places are). Many of them actually came with their own vehicles. The
night I was there not a single pistol was recovered (they were all
searched as well).
There was a marked difference in the people coming in to the different
shelters, economic status and race being the main two.
In the dome we had fights, large brawls, a number of mentally disturbed
people threatening to jump off the upper levels, shake downs in the
bathroom, shake downs happening on the floors, etc. It was common for the
thugs to stake out a bathroom and charge people $5 to go in, and after the
FEMA money started rolling in they were charging $50 to "let you sleep
peacefully through the night."
At the GRB there was none of this. Things went pretty smoothly and
everyone got along much better.
At the dome I met a female who asked me where to go to get a ride. She had
a shopping cart filled to overflowing with large boxes of diapers (I
hadn't realized they come in boxes of 96). I told her Metro had the old
downtown trolleys circling the astrodome complex that would take here
wherever she needed to go (3 different housing centers, medical facility,
She laughed and told me that she needed a ride home, not around the dome.
She explained to me that she had gotten a wristband that allowed her in to
the dome and she loaded up with supplies every day. Then she conned one of
the volunteers in to giving her a ride to her "cousin's" house (at Kelley
Courts, a large section 8 housing complex), who she had finally been able
to contact and had agreed to take her in. After she got home each time and
unloaded her loot she would get someone else to drive her back to the dome
and she would go in and eat, sleep, and go on a shopping spree all over
again. Then get another volunteer to give her a ride.
We were swamped with volunteers, so many that we turned thousands away in
the first few days. I got to talk to some of them and there was a marked
difference between the ones on the way in and those on the way out. Those
coming in were very upbeat and had a great outlook, they were there to do
some real good for people who really needed it. On the way out many of
them were a different story. I talked to a couple in their 60's who were a
bit disheartened by serving breakfast to guys in their 20's with a mouth
full of gold teeth who treated them like crap. Those evacuees complained
about everything and some even got pretty abusive. They berated the
volunteers for bringing them food that they didn't like, thought was too
cold, or wasn't enough.
I, and a bunch of other people I work with, were of the opinion that we
only really needed a few volunteers as team leaders since we had quite the
able bodied workforce living right there in the dome. It wasn't to be
At the GRB the job center was clogged with people looking at the ads and
wearing out the phones making calls. At the dome it was the lines where
they were handing out FEMA cards that were jammed, and the people in line
were complaining about the lack of water and food being delivered to the
people in line. They had 2 atms that they had to move over next to the
police command post due to the number of people getting beat up and robbed
as they left it.
The FEMA atm cards were the biggest joke going. We had undercover officers
embedded with the evacuees who got instructed (by other evacuees) on how
to get the most cards with the most money on each one. I took a guy to
jail (who had been driving a stolen car) and he had a FEMA card on him. I
asked the jail personnel if they were allowing the cards in with the
prisoner's property or if they had to go to the property room (they look
like credit cards but have no names on them). He said that he'd booked
people in with as many as 4 so far that night and nobody had a problem
with it so my guy with just 1 wasn't an issue.
Speaking of the jail, we had 105 evacuees booked in to our jail within the
first week, then they quit letting people know what the count was. They
have 4 in there for murder (1 shot a guy on Boone Rd in the forehead for
saying the New Orleans gangsters were weak). The robbery of the Oshman's
in Humble (where they stole 20something pistols) was guys from New
Orleans. We had a chase the other night with a car stolen at gunpoint and
it was 3 guys from New Orleans. We got a call at my station from a dope
dealer at a housing project who said that the New Orleans dope dealers had
announced that they were taking the project over and that there was sure
to be some shooting over it if we didn't do something about it (they have
since worked out an arrangement where the New Orleans dealers have about
1/3 of the complex and the Houston dope dealers the other 2/3).
Drifting back towards the actual topic, I'd say that the residents of the
lower portions of the economic scale don't bother trying to make a
difference in their lives. They don't actively try to find work, they
don't bother to show up on a regular basis if they do have a job, and they
don't seem to bother getting out of town when there is a hurricane coming.
Their whole life they've been bailed out at the last minute by some sort
of government action and have come to rely on what most of us would
consider a last ditch (and not at all reliable) option.
I'm sure a lot of it has/had to do with race, but not all of it. You don't
hear of lower income hispancs accusing their children of trying to act
white when they do well in school, but you might hear them talking about
"finishing school" as making it through high school. The lack of effort
does sometimes seem to be race related, but it's hard to draw an exact
correlation. The more grandparents I talk to in poor areas the more I
realize the current defeatist attitude isn't all that old but is in fact a
relatively recent development.
Drifting back off the subject, here's another thing for you to ponder. Say
I am going to court on a 20 yr old black male defendant for something like
dope dealing, auto theft, or robbery. What do I want my jury to look like?
With who do I have the maximum chance at believing me, not believing him,
and giving him the most time? I'll send you the answer, and the
explanation, tomorrow so you can let your mind work it over a bit (and
because it just turned 5 am on my clock and I can't get off on another
tangent and still get anything done at a reasonable hour tomorrow).
Article Three: Politics and New Orleans
By Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson
Say a hurricane is about to destroy the city you live in.
What would you do?
What would you do if you were black?
Sadly, the two questions don't have the same answer.
To the first: Most of us would take our families out of that city quickly
to protect them from danger. Then, able-bodied men would return to help
others in need, as wives and others cared for children, elderly, infirm
and the like.
For better or worse, Hurricane Katrina has told us the answer to the
second question. If you're black and a hurricane is about to destroy your
city, then you'll probably wait for the government to save you.
This was not always the case. Prior to 40 years ago, such a pathetic
performance by the black community in a time of crisis would have been
inconceivable. The first response would have come from black men. They
would take care of their families, bring them to safety, and then help the
rest of the community. Then local government would come in.
No longer. When 75 percent of New Orleans residents had left the city, it
was primarily immoral, welfare-pampered blacks that stayed behind and
waited for the government to bail them out. This, as we know, did not turn
out good results.
Enter Jesse Jackson and Louis Farrakhan. Jackson and Farrakhan laid blame
on "racist" President Bush. Farrakhan actually proposed the idea that the
government blew up a levee so as to kill blacks and save whites. The two
demanded massive governmental spending to rebuild New Orleans, above and
beyond the federal government's proposed $60 billion. Not only that, these
two were positioning themselves as the gatekeepers to supervise the
dispersion of funds. Perfect: Two of the most dishonest elite blacks in
America, "overseeing" billions of dollars. I wonder where that money will
Of course, if these two were really serious about laying blame on
government, they should blame the local one. Responsibility to perform
legally and practically fell first on the mayor of New Orleans. We are now
all familiar with Mayor Ray Nagin the black Democrat who likes to yell at
President Bush for failing to do Nagin's job. The facts, unfortunately, do
not support Nagin's wailing. As the Washington Times puts it, "recent
reports show [Nagin] failed to follow through on his own city's
emergency-response plan, which acknowledged that thousands of the city's
poorest residents would have no way to evacuate the city."
One wonders how there was "no way" for these people to evacuate the city.
We have photographic evidence telling us otherwise. You've probably seen
it by now the photo showing 2,000 parked school buses, unused and
underwater. How much planning does it require to put people on a bus and
leave town, Mayor Nagin?
Instead of doing the obvious, Mayor Nagin (with no positive contribution
from Democratic Gov. Kathleen Blanco, the other major leader vested with
responsibility to address the hurricane disaster) loaded remaining New
Orleans residents into the Superdome and the city's convention center. We
know how that plan turned out.
About five years ago, in a debate before the National Association of Black
Journalists, I stated that if whites were to just leave the United States
and let blacks run the country, they would turn America into a ghetto
within 10 years. The audience, shall we say, disagreed with me strongly.
Now I have to disagree with me. I gave blacks too much credit. It took a
mere three days for blacks to turn the Superdome and the convention center
into ghettos, rampant with theft, rape and murder.
President Bush is not to blame for the rampant immorality of blacks. Had
New Orleans' black community taken action, most would have been out of
harm's way. But most were too lazy, immoral and trifling to do anything
productive for themselves.
All Americans must tell blacks this truth. It was blacks' moral poverty,
not their material poverty, that cost them dearly in New Orleans.
Farrakhan, Jackson, and other race hustlers are to be repudiated they will
only perpetuate this problem by stirring up hatred and applauding moral
corruption. New Orleans, to the extent it is to be rebuilt, should be
remade into a dependency-free, morally strong city where corruption is
opposed and success is applauded. Blacks are obligated to help themselves
and not depend on the government to care for them. We are all obligated to
tell them so.
The Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson is founder and president of BOND, the
Brotherhood Organization of A New Destiny, and author of "Scam: How the
Black Leadership Exploits Black America."
Politics over Duty
(This is a post from Bill Weiler, freelance journalist, over in
Merritt Island, FL, who has been researching what went on before the storm
I think all of Mayor Nagin's pomp
and posturing is going to bite him hard in the near future as the lies and
distortions of his interviews are coming to
On Friday night before the storm hit Max Mayfield of the National
Hurricane Center took the unprecedented action of calling Mayor Nagin and
Governor Blanco personally to plead with them to begin MANDATORY
evacuation of New Orleans and they said they'd take it under
consideration. This was after the NOAA buoy 240
miles south had recorded 68' waves before it was
President Bush spent Friday afternoon and evening in meetings with his
advisors and administrators drafting all of the paperwork required for a
state to request federal assistance (and not be in violation of the
Posse Comitatus Act or having to enact the
Insurgency Act). Just before midnight Friday evening the President called
Governor Blanco and pleaded with her to sign the
request papers so the federal government and the
military could legally begin mobilization and call up. He was told that
they didn't think it necessary for the federal government to be involved
yet. After the President's final call to the governor she held
meetings with her staff to discuss the political
ramifications of bringing federal forces. It was
decided that if they allowed federal assistance it would make it look as
if they had failed so it was agreed upon that the feds would not
be invited in.
Saturday before the storm hit the President again called Gov. Blanco and
Mayor Nagin requesting they please sign the papers requesting federal
assistance, that they declare the state an emergency area, and
begin mandatory evacuation. After a personal
plea from the President, Nagin agreed to order an evacuation, but it would
not be a full mandatory evacuation, and the
governor still refused to sign the papers requesting
and authorizing federal action. In frustration the President
declared the area a national disaster area before the state of Louisiana
did so he could legally begin some advanced
preparations. Rumor has it that the President's
legal advisers were looking into the ramifications of using
the insurgency act to bypass the Constitutional requirement that a
state request federal aid before the federal government can move into
state with troops - but that had not been done
since 1906 and the Constitutionality of it was
called into question to use before the disaster.
Throw in that over half the federal aid of the past decade to New Orleans
for levee construction, maintenance, and repair was diverted to
fund a marina and support the gambling ships.
Toss in the investigation that will look into
why the emergency preparedness plan submitted to the federal government
for funding and published on the city's website was
never implemented and in fact may have been bogus for the purpose
of gaining additional federal funding as we now
learn that the organizations identified in the plan were never contacted
or coordinating into any planning - though the document implies that they
The suffering people of New Orleans need to be asking some hard questions
as do we all, but they better start with why Blanco refused to even sign
the multi-state mutual aid pack activation documents until
Wednesday which further delayed the legal
deployment of National Guard from adjoining states. Or maybe ask why Nagin
keeps harping that the President should have
commandeered 500 Greyhound busses to help him when according to his
own emergency plan and documents he claimed to have over 500 busses
at his disposal to use between the local school
busses and the city transportation busses - but he never raised a finger
to prepare them or activate them.
This is a sad time for all of us to see that a major city has all but been
destroyed and thousands of people have died with hundreds of thousands
more suffering, but it's certainly not a time for people to be
pointing fingers and trying to find a bigger dog
to blame for local corruption and incompetence. Pray to God for the
survivors that they can start their lives anew
as fast as possible and we learn from all the mistakes to avoid
them in the future.
Article Five: What Really
Happened in New Orleans When the Storm Hit
Thursday, September 15, 2005;
By Wil Haygood and Ann Scott Tyson
Washington Post Staff Writers
For five eternal-seeming days, as many
as 20,000 people, most of them black, waited to be rescued, not just from
the floodwaters of Hurricane Katrina but from the nightmarish place where
they had sought refuge.
During that time, the moon that hovered over the Ernest N. Morial
Convention Center seemed closer than anyone who could provide those inside
the center with any help.
On the fourth day, after TV had been filled with live reports from the
center describing sexual assaults, robberies and gunfire, single mothers
desperately seeking help for their children and fathers doing their best
to protect them, the federal official charged with leading the hurricane
response, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, responded to an
interviewer's question by saying it was the first he had heard that people
"don't have food and water in there."
"It was as if all of us were already pronounced dead," said Tony Cash, 25,
who endured three nights of hunger, violence and darkness at the
convention center. "As if somebody already had the body bags. Wasn't
nobody coming to get us.
"No one has been able to say how many people died inside the convention
center; police, military and center officials estimate the number is about
10. Nor has there been any attempt to document the number of assaults,
robberies and rapes that eyewitnesses said occurred from the time the
first people broke into the convention center seeking shelter on the
afternoon of Monday, Aug. 29, and when units of the Arkansas National
Guard moved into the center on Friday, Sept. 2.
But even without those numbers, what happened in the convention center
stands as a harsh indictment of government's failure to help its citizens
when they needed it most. That futility was symbolized by the presence in
the convention center for three of the most chaotic days of at least 250
armed troops from the Louisiana National Guard. They were camped out in a
huge exhibition hall separated from the crowd by a wall, and used their
trucks as a barricade when they were afraid the crowd would break in.
The troops were never deployed to restore order and eventually withdrew,
despite the pleas of the convention center's management. Louisiana Guard
commanders said their units' mission was not to secure the facility, and
soldiers on the scene feared inciting further bloodshed if they had
intervened. "We didn't want another Kent State," said Army Lt. Gen. Russel
L. Honore, commander of the active-duty military forces responding to
Katrina. "They weren't trained for crowd control.
"In more than 70 interviews, with both military and law enforcement
officials -- who were themselves sometimes inside the center -- and with
many of the survivors who suffered over the course of several nights, a
chilling portrait emerges of anarchy and violence, exacerbated by young
men from rival housing projects -- Magnolia, St. Bernard, Iberville,
"Everywhere I went, I saw people with guns in their hands," said Troy
Harris, 18. "They were putting guns to people's heads.
"Recounting their pleas for milk for their babies, for food, for
protection, many survivors described the same sense of bewilderment and
anger -- broadcast, surreally, on live television. "This is America," one
woman shouted into the TV cameras. What she meant was, this is not
supposed to happen here.
Too Late to Leave
It was Saturday, Aug. 27, when New Orleans Mayor C. Ray Nagin pleaded with
city residents to leave. Katrina would be on land in less than two days. A
day earlier, Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco had declared a state of
emergency, prompting heightened preparation by the Louisiana National
But by this point, the appeals from Blanco and Nagin were aimed at one
group in particular -- the poor. Those with resources had already bolted.
Many who had survived hurricanes figured this wouldn't get them, either.
"They tend to look at evacuation orders as scare tactics," said Troy
Jarreau, a New Orleans schoolteacher who has taught many children from
impoverished households. Many simply had no way
of leaving on their own. Many who had survived hurricanes figured this
wouldn't get them, either. "They tend to look at evacuation orders as
scare tactics," said Troy Jarreau, a New Orleans schoolteacher who has
taught many children from impoverished households.
But by Monday, after Katrina hit New Orleans and the levees had broken, a
different reality was clear. "Get out! Get out now!" was the message on
WYLD ("Wild for Jesus"), a popular black radio station. It was repeated on
Q93-FM, heavy with rhythm and blues and rap music.
This time, those who stayed behind found themselves wading, or swimming,
using every ounce of energy to get themselves to the Louisiana Superdome,
which had served as a refuge in previous hurricanes. But the indoor
stadium had begun filling as early as Sunday, and by the next day,
officials had started turning people away. It was becoming overcrowded,
and the floodwaters had begun to encircle it.
The convention center, a sprawling complex of meeting halls nearly a mile
long near the Mississippi River, was never intended as a shelter, said
Capt. M.A. Pfeiffer, an operations officer with the New Orleans Police
Department. "It was supposed to be a bus stop where they dropped people
off for transportation. The problem was, the transportation never came."
As rising water engulfed the Superdome on Monday, trucks and vans that
were rescuing people from the I-10 overpass and other locations began
dropping them off on the dry road in front of the center. It was the only
option, police said. Quickly, the crowd grew to 1,000 people
Katrina had ripped a hole in the center's roof, dumping pools of rainwater
into Hall C in the middle of the huge complex. The center lost electricity
and water pressure, but otherwise damage was not severe.
Monitoring the damage were about 40 essential convention workers --
carpenters, electricians and unarmed security guards -- supervised by the
center's president, Jimmie Fore, who had arrived there Sunday determined
to ride out the storm. Joining them were about 300 other employees and
their families seeking shelter.
As a crowd gathered outside and it became dark, Fore said he sensed
trouble, so he went down to the sidewalk and made an appeal. He warned
those arriving that the center had no food, water, electricity, medical
care or other provisions to serve as a shelter. They ignored him. "They
just kept coming," he said.
Security guards had locked the building, but later that night, people
began yanking on the doors and eventually opened one. "Once one got in,
they let all the others in," said Fore, explaining that the doors had
"panic hardware" and could not be locked on the inside.
At the Superdome, officials had devised a security plan to check for
weapons. No such plan was put into place for the convention center, even
as the numbers of people seeking shelter swelled and swelled.
Descent Into Danger
Leon Doby, 26, had gotten daughters Leah, 1, and Khaylin, 3, out of their
home, put them in a crate, tied the crate with rope to his waist, then
began swimming. He hustled his way, finally, onto a motorboat. It sped off
to the Superdome, all aboard exhausted.
At the Superdome, they were rebuffed, and pointed in the direction of the
convention center, 10 blocks away.
By the time Doby -- with the crate and the two daughters -- arrived
Tuesday, he found himself gazing into thousands of bewildered faces.
Gripping his daughters, he walked fast -- exactly where he was going, he
did not know -- but he passed an elderly lady who seemed to be listing in
"I went down the hall," he said. "By the time I was back, she was already
Doby would spend four days at the center. All he had for himself and two
girls during that time was a sandwich and two bottles of water that a
stranger had given him.
Linda Cash, 26, arrived with her two children, Clarence, 6, and Cyrin, 2.
"Soon as I got there," Cash recalled, "I saw fighting. I saw people
throwing chairs. People pulling guns out, right in front of little
Near where Cash had hunkered down Monday night, she noticed a little boy
having difficulty breathing. She figured he was having an asthma attack or
an anxiety attack. She and others nearby spotted a too-seldom-seen police
officer. The officer came over, his gun drawn. Cash said she pointed to
the young boy. "The officer checked the boy," Cash remembered, "then
turned to us and said there was nothing he could do."
The officer vanished. The boy was dead -- a death confirmed by three
others interviewed for this article.
Another officer soon appeared, and Cash and the others figured he would
remove the dead child. "But that officer told us he had come over to our
area to check on some gunshots he heard near us," she said. The body
By Tuesday, the center's population had exploded to nearly 20,000. "The
lights never came on, for some reason, all the way," Cash said.
And among those thousands were gangsters, though maybe not members of
gangs. Community activists for years had been warning the city's
leadership about the folly of mixing youths from one housing project with
youths from another.
"You declare martial law," said Jazz Washington, a community activist,
"and to these gangsters that just means, 'We can kill you and keep on
A gang broke into the locked alcohol storage areas and suddenly had 50
cases of hard liquor and 200 cases of beer. And before long, there were
scenes of gangsters, drunk, groping after young girls -- and those scenes
not far from the ones of women in corners, balled up, praying all frozen
with a Hobson's choice: the gangsters, or the floodwaters.
"They took so much, they couldn't drink it all," said George Lancie,
manager of the center's food-service company, who had been at Fore's side.
In the chaos, the youths hotwired anything that would move, including
electric utility carts and forklifts. Tony Cash saw the forklifts being
driven about in zigzags. "They were nearly running over people," he said.
"I'm telling you, it was crazy."
Fore was at a loss as to how to quell the danger. He said he tried
desperately to call local and state emergency authorities. But he never
got through. And he looked and looked for the arrival of local police.
"You might see them drive by," he said. "Is that providing security?"
New Orleans police officials said they could not safeguard the center
after Katrina left them short of officers, vehicles and a dependable
communication system. And when their armory flooded, they were short of
ammunition. Dozens of officers tried patrolling outside around the
convention center, but, according to Lt. Melvin Howard, the crowds and
darkness made it difficult and dangerous to work inside.
Police could not use flashlights without giving away their position and
becoming possible targets, Howard said. Nor could they open fire, if
confronted, without the risk of killing innocent people.
Troy Harris, 18, who had survived a gunshot to the stomach on the hard
streets of New Orleans, thought he could handle himself anywhere in the
city. The darkened convention center gravely tested his moxie. "They were
robbing people in there. At gunpoint," he said. "Somebody robbed me of a
Even police officers were afraid, Harris said. "I saw police officers in
the bathroom taking off their uniforms!" he said. "I'm telling you, they
were taking off their uniforms and throwing their badges down!"
Doby saw prostrate bodies near the bathroom -- dead or unconscious, he
didn't know. He told his little girls it was okay to soil themselves. His
hungry girls in his arms, Doby was furious.
At daybreak, many would flee outside, where TV cameras gave them desperate
moments to make appeals. But for the most part they had nowhere else to
go. It was as if they were marooned in some faraway locale, on some
faraway island -- instead of New Orleans.
Rumors were treated as fact -- both inside the convention center and out.
A later report that there were 200 bodies in the convention center and the
Superdome brought a coroner's unit rushing from St. Gabriel and Baton
One night, said Steve Rochon, a deranged man started yelling, "Here comes
the water!" -- intimating the Mississippi was about to flood the center. A
panic ensued, and mothers grabbed children.
The deaf didn't know what was happening. The old in the wheelchairs
couldn't move. But the stampede was on anyway. A mother screamed that
someone was stepping on her baby.
"People just started panicking," recalled Rochon, himself forced to move
animatedly on a prosthetic leg. "People were getting run over each other."
At one point, a police car drove up. Perhaps good news. Perhaps ships were
steaming up the Mississippi over there right now.
A police officer tossed out a few bottles and drove off. It ignited a free
for all. Doby himself looked on in horror as a man -- arguing over the
water -- struck another man with a two-by-four. "That man, he was split"
in the head, said Doby. "He was leaking. He just dropped, face first."
Back inside, Doby was stilled by yet another confrontation. Three women
were arguing, over what everyone seemed to be arguing about: lack of food,
water, space. One of the women -- a snap-of-the-finger quick -- plunged a
pair of scissors into the shoulder of the woman she had been arguing with.
Everywhere, a new woe. A group of people desperate for food broke into the
kitchen. When they tried to cook something, a fire erupted.
Desperate to Flee
By Wednesday night, Fore and eight colleagues had locked themselves in an
office. A gang had threatened to break through, rattling the door. A
security guard informed Fore the situation appeared to be getting worse in
Fore and his aides had parked their cars over in Hall J, and Fore decided
they had to make a break. Thursday afternoon, they moved stealthily to
their cars. When they reached them, they slipped inside and fled.
Wednesday, some buses arrived, but of the thousands in the convention
center only a tiny number could board. They had been standing outside,
where the buses rolled to a stop.
Then there was a miracle: Seven more buses rolled up. The race was on to
get to them. Linda Cash, slow off the draw, grabbed her children anyway.
And started racing. "Then the buses pulled off," she said. "And no one was
on them. That's when I knew I really had to find a way out of there."
On Thursday, Cash left, taking her children and stealing a car that
eventually got her to Baton Rouge. That same day, the New Orleans police
made a dramatic entrance. Sgt. Hans Ganthier and 12 other New Orleans SWAT
team members entered the center, M-4 commando rifles at the ready. Prayers
had been answered -- only it was a rescue mission of a different purpose.
A Jefferson Parish police deputy had appealed to SWAT team Capt. Jeff Winn
for help in bringing out his wife and a female relative from the center.
"He knew they were there and was hearing nightmarish stories," said
Ganthier, who declined to identify the officer for security reasons.
Winn approved the mission.
When the SWAT team entered at 11 a.m., the Jefferson Parish officer called
out his wife's name. She heard him, and along with the relative rushed to
his side. The SWAT team put the women in the middle of the team, then
backed out the door.
Once it became clear that the SWAT team had come with the single goal of
rescuing two white women, anger exploded.
"Racists!" one man cried out.
"Some people were upset we weren't rescuing them," said Ganthier. "It's
hard to leave people behind like that, but we were aiding an officer."
'A Mob, Crazy Mentality'
By Tuesday night, a contingent of at least 250 Louisiana National Guard
troops was hunkered down in Hall A, off Julia Street at the northern end
of the building.
The armed troops, from at least two engineering battalions -- the 769th
and 527th -- had been assigned to set up a base at the center to prepare
for debris removal and road clearing, as well as rescue and security. But
they had enough food and water only for themselves and had no immediate
orders to provide assistance or security for the thousands of evacuees in
their midst, according to interviews with a dozen enlisted soldiers and
Instead, as the danger level grew, they felt they must first protect
"There was way too many of them and way too few of us," said Master Sgt.
Chad Anderson, 37. "Since we couldn't help them, it was best to avoid
them. They had a mob, crazy mentality."
Whenever the soldiers left the center on missions, they drove west on
Julia Street and away from the throngs of people begging for food and
water along Convention Center Boulevard. "When they saw the soldiers,
they'd think, 'That's food,' " said Sgt. Karla Spillers, 26. "We didn't
have any for them. We had to feed our own people."
Spillers said she felt pain at the knowledge that teenage girls were
wandering around the center, alone, knowing they were possible prey.
"There were prisoners, mobsters, gangs" in there, she said.
Almost as soon as they arrived, Guard commanders became concerned enough
about the safety of their troops that they ordered more weapons and
ammunition. On Wednesday night, there was kicking and banging on the doors
to Hall A, where the guardsmen were. "They were trying to break the doors
and get us," said Anderson. "They knew we were there."
"About 9 that night, we started barricading the doors," said Staff Sgt.
Bryan Lowery, a supply sergeant with the 527th battalion.
Guardsmen parked at least three dump trucks next to the doors to block
them, and Lowery began dispensing weapons and ammunition.
"It scared me," Spillers recalled. "Everyone went to get their weapons
from the backs of the trucks."
That night, Guard commanders figured the convention center was untenable
as a staging base. And they, too, left the center despite what Fore said
were his pleas to stay.
"We were told they couldn't help us unless the order came down from the
top, from a lot of people," Fore said. "The only time they partnered with
us was when there were gunshots in the area where they were actually
staying. They protected themselves."
Maj. Keith Waddell, commander of the 769th Engineer Battalion, said his
unit was never asked to quell the violence at the convention center. "The
idea of helping with the convention center never came up," he said. "We
were just preparing ourselves for the next mission."
Waddell said he believes that, if so ordered, the Louisiana Guard forces
present would have been adequate to get the center under control.
"I feel confident we could have controlled it, with the numbers we had,"
But senior commanders indicated they had ruled out that possibility. Col.
Stephen C. Dabadie, chief of staff of the Louisiana National Guard, said
the engineer units were "not designed to secure the convention center."
The Troops Arrive
Early Thursday, the Guard troops packed up and rolled out amid angry calls
from the crowd inside. Twenty-four hours elapsed before more troops
arrived -- including a contingent of the Arkansas National Guard, imposing
enough so that no one tried to bother them.
Many of the guardsmen had recently returned from Iraq, and they arrived
wearing helmets and full body armor, and shouldering rifles. To their
surprise, they encountered virtually no violence -- only a crowd of hot,
frustrated, angry people desperate for food and water. "A lot of them said
we should have been there earlier," said Spec. Keithean Heath of the
Arkansas Guard's 39th Infantry Brigade.
Military commanders had worried the crowd would rush medevac helicopters.
Instead, soldiers faced little interference as they moved to help frail
and elderly people in wheelchairs in urgent need of care, women cradling
tiny infants and others about to give birth. The soldiers set up food
lines to hand out bottled water and packaged military meals, and people
lined up to receive them.
On Saturday, soldiers again lined up people and searched them before
loading them onto buses. They counted as many as 16,000 people who got on
the buses, an eerily quiet process.
Leon Doby, the daddy who swam his two young daughters to safety -- before
they all arrived at the convention center -- had already left. He headed
out as he had arrived, his two little girls -- his everything -- in the
crook of his arms.
A genuine miracle: A man on the road picked them up and drove them all the
way to Dallas.
"That was hell," Doby said of the New Orleans convention center. "They
sent us to the grave."
Tending to the Dead
Three days after the evacuation, Staff Sgt. Juan Almonte, a medic with the
82nd Airborne Division, slipped past a caution sign and through a ripped
metal door, bracing himself for the task ahead -- to "bag" the bodies
still inside the convention center.
Inside the food-service area near Hall A, sitting slumped in a black
wheelchair, was a woman of about 60 in a hospital gown. A man in a shirt
and jogging pants lay curled up on the concrete floor next to her, his
hand over his face.
To Almonte's right down a wide hallway, a large man -- the medic guessed
he was at least 6-foot-4 and 300 pounds -- lay with his arms over his head
and knees bent. Another woman in hospital scrubs lay a few feet from him,
next to aluminum cans and trays with stained but elegant white dinner
Around the bodies were pools of dried blood. Looking closer, he noted
swelling and abrasions on the corpses. He stared at what he found next. On
the gray, soiled floor several feet from the dead lay a pair of shiny
"My perception was that they were beaten to death," he said last week.
"Absolutely, they were killed."
Almonte and his fellow medics had to struggle to straighten the corpses to
fit them in double bags -- the large man took up one by himself. The next
day, about 20 boxes of body bags appeared in front of Almonte's tent, and
he told his men to prepare for more recoveries. But no order ever came.
Civilian authorities, he was told, would handle "packaging and retrieval."
Cutting corners often works great until it doesn't.
"It's not the people who are in prison that worry me. It's the people who
"He that is good, will infallibly become better, and he that is bad, will
as certainly become worse; for vice, virtue and
time are three things that never stand still."
- Charles Caleb Colton
Article Six: The History of New Orleans
Beyond the historic architecture, the spice-laden
cuisine and the beguiling voodoo underground, live close to 500,000
people, mostly poor (more than a quarter live in poverty), mostly black
(more than 66 percent), clustered into 73 distinct neighborhoods.
Crime, even before the hurricane, was high. The murder rate has come down
in recent years, but remains 10 times the national average. Last year,
researchers had police fire 700 blank rounds in a city neighborhood one
afternoon. No one called to report the gunfire.
Maybe New Orleans should be nicknamed The Big Un-Easy, due to a high
violent crime rate and a high unemployment rate. There's also a
significant number of suicides and divorces.
The city's school system is a shambles. The district almost went broke
this past year teachers nearly missed a paycheck and 55 of the state's
78 worst schools are in New Orleans.
Dozens of school employees are under indictment for corruption. But then,
corruption in New Orleans is nothing new politicians, judges, the police
have all been caught.
These government failures are not merely a matter of incompetence.
Louisiana and New Orleans have a long, well-known reputation for
corruption: as former congressman Billy Tauzin once put it, "half of
Louisiana is under water and the other half is under indictment That's
putting it mildly. Adjusted for population size, the state ranks third in
the number of elected officials convicted of crimes (Mississippi is No.
1). Recent scandals include the conviction of 14 state judges and an FBI
raid on the business and personal files of a Louisiana congressman.
In 1991, a notoriously corrupt Democrat named Edwin Edwards ran for
governor against Republican David Duke, a former head of the Ku Klux Klan.
Edwards, whose winning campaign included bumper stickers saying "Elect the
Crook," is currently serving a 10-year prison sentence for taking bribes
from casino owners. Duke recently completed his own prison term for tax
The rot included the New Orleans Police Department, which in the 1990s had
the dubious distinction of being the nation's most corrupt police force
and the least effective: the city had the highest murder rate in America.
More than 50 officers were eventually convicted of crimes including
murder, rape and robbery; two are currently on Death Row.
Tens of billions of dollars are about to pass into the sticky hands of
politicians in the No. 1 and No. 3 most corrupt states in America. Worried
about looting? You ain't seen nothing yet.
STORY EIGHTEEN: A STORY ABOUT
UNBELIEVABLE STUPIDITY IN THE WORLD OF SCIENCE
The Lion Makers
In a certain town in India there were four
Brahmans who lived in friendship. Three of them had reached the far shore
of all scholarship, but lacked sense. The other found scholarship
distasteful. He had nothing to offer but sense.
One day they met for consultation. "What is the use of attainments," said
they, "if one does not travel, win the favor of kings, and acquire money?
Whatever we do, let us all travel."
But when they had gone but a little way, the eldest of them stopped and
said, "One of us, the fourth, is a dullard, having nothing to offer but
sense. Now nobody gains the favorable attention of kings by simple sense
without scholarship. Therefore we will not share our earnings with him.
Let him turn back and go home."
Then the second said, "My intelligent friend, you lack scholarship. Please
go home." But the third said, "No, no. This is no way to behave. For we
have played together since we were little boys. Come along, my noble
friend. You shall have a share of the money we earn."
With this agreement they continued their journey. In a forest they found
the bones of a dead lion. Thereupon one of them said, "A good opportunity
to test the ripeness of our scholarship has presented itself. Here lies
some kind of creature who is dead. Let us bring it to life by means of the
scholarship we have honestly won."
Then the first said, "I know how to assemble the skeleton." The second
said, "I can supply skin, flesh, and blood." The third said, "I can give
the breath of Life."
So the first assembled the skeleton, the second provided skin, flesh, and
blood. But while the third was intent on giving the breath of life, the
man of sense advised against it. He remarked, "This is a lion. If you
bring him to life, he will kill every one of us."
"You simpleton!" said the third man. "It is not I who will reduce
scholarship to a nullity. It was a mistake to allow you to come along."
"In that case," came the reply, "please wait a moment while I climb this
When this had been done, the lion was brought back to life. It rose up,
roared a mighty growl, and then instantly killed all three men of
scholarship. After the lion had devoured his friends and departed, the man
of sense came down, looked around carefully, then walked home.
This story was taken from the "Friendly Story Caravan". This story was
retold from the Panchatantra. It was translated by Arthur W. Ryder in
Recently a group of scientists managed to bring back to life the virus
that killed millions of people in the last global pandemic of 1918. And
they published the DNA sequence on the Internet for every terrorist in the
world to copy. You don't believe it?
Oct. 13, 2005, 9:32PM
Resurrection of deadly flu virus opens gates of hell
By CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER
While official Washington has been poring over Harriet Miers' long-ago
doings on the Dallas City Council and parsing the Byzantine comings and
goings of the Fitzgerald grand jury, relatively unnoticed was perhaps the
most momentous event of our lifetime - what is left of it, as I shall
explain. It was announced last week that American scientists have just
created a living, killing copy of the 1918 "Spanish" flu.
This is big. Very big.
First, it is a scientific achievement of staggering proportions. The
Spanish flu has not been seen on this blue planet for 85 years. Its
re-creation is a story of enterprise, ingenuity, serendipity, hard work
and sheer brilliance.
It involves finding deep in the bowels of a military hospital in
Washington a couple of tissue samples from the lungs of soldiers who died
in 1918 (in an autopsy collection first ordered into existence by Abraham
Lincoln), and the disinterment of an Alaskan Eskimo who died of the flu
and whose remains had been preserved by the permafrost. Then, using
slicing and dicing techniques only Michael Crichton could imagine, they
pulled off a microbiological Jurassic Park: the first ever resurrection of
an ancient pathogen. And not just any ancient pathogen, explained
virologist Eddie Holmes, but "the agent of the most important disease
pandemic in human history."
Which brings us to the second element of this story: Beyond the brilliance
lies the sheer terror. We have quite literally brought back to life an
agent of near-biblical destruction. It killed more people in six months
than were killed in the four years of the First World War. It killed more
humans than any other disease of similar duration in the history of the
world, says Alfred W. Crosby, who wrote a history of the 1918 pandemic.
And, notes The New Scientist, when the re-created virus was given to mice
in heavily quarantined laboratories in Atlanta, it killed the mice more
quickly than any other flu virus ever tested.
Now that I have your attention, consider, with appropriate trepidation,
the third element of this story: What to do with this knowledge?
Not only has the virus been physically re-created. But its entire genome
has now been published for the whole world, good people and very bad, to
The decision to publish was a very close and terrifying call.
On the one hand, we need the knowledge disseminated. We've learned from
this research that the 1918 flu was bird flu, "the most bird-like of all
mammalian flu viruses," says Jeffery Taubenberger, lead researcher in
unraveling the genome. There is a bird flu epidemic right now in Asia that
has infected 117 people and killed 60. It has already developed a few of
the genomic changes that permit transmission to humans. Therefore, you
want to put out the knowledge of the structure of the 1918 flu, which made
the full jump from birds to humans, so that every researcher in the world
can immediately start looking for ways to anticipate, monitor, prevent and
counteract similar changes in today's bird flu.
We are essentially in a life-and-death race with the bird flu. Can we
figure out how to pre-empt it before it figures out how to evolve into a
transmittable form with 1918 lethality that will decimate humanity? To run
that race we need the genetic sequence universally known - not just to
inform and guide but to galvanize new research.
On the other hand, resurrection of the virus and publication of its
structure opens the gates of hell. Anybody, bad guys included, can now
create it. Biological knowledge is far easier to acquire for Osama bin
Laden and friends than nuclear knowledge. And if you can't make this stuff
yourself, you can simply order up DNA sequences from commercial
laboratories around the world that will make it and ship it to you on
demand. Taubenberger himself admits that "the technology is available."
And if the bad guys can't make the flu themselves, they could try to steal
it. That's not easy. But the incentive to do so from a secure facility
could not be greater. Nature, which published the full genome sequence,
cites Rutgers bacteriologist Richard Ebright as warning that there is a
significant risk "verging on inevitability" of accidental release into the
human population or of theft by a "disgruntled, disturbed or extremist
One batch of 1918 flu has the capacity for mass destruction that no Bond
villain could ever dream of. Why try to steal loose nukes in Russia? A
nuke can only destroy a city. The flu virus, properly evolved, is
potentially a destroyer of civilizations.
We might have just given it to our enemies.
Have a nice day.
Charles Krauthammer is a Pulitzer
Prize-winning syndicated columnist based in Washington, D.C.
STORY NINETEEN: ANOTHER STORY ABOUT UNBELIEVABLE STUPIDITY IN THE WORLD
Oct. 17, 2005, 12:52AM
New planetoid finding spurs fight between scientists
October 17, 2005
LOS ANGELES - The discovery of a new planetoid has set off a bitter feud
between American and Spanish scientists.
Michael Brown, a professor at the California Institute of Technology in
Pasadena, discovered a new planetoid.
Days before he announced his discovery, however, a group of Spanish
astronomers claimed the new planetoid.
U.S. researchers learned that the Spanish scientists had discovered where
Brown was aiming a Chilean telescope by using an Internet search engine.
Scientist Jose Luis Ortiz said the data found using the Google search
engine should be considered public and thus free to use.
Editor's Note: I am kicking myself that I didn't find the web site first
and claim that planet discovery for myself! I would suggest to everyone
they should name the new planet after me in honor of my long afternoon of
hard work searching the Internet for scientists who are about to announce
breakthroughs so I could claim them for myself.
STORY TWENTY: LARRY THE MORON
Recently I received the following letter:
From: Wm. G. (Bill) Scarberry, Jr (mailto: BlunerBill@carolina.rr.com)
Sent: Friday, October 14, 2005 9:10 AM
Subject: larry the moron
In my never-ending search for balloon history I got waylaid by your
page on "Larry The Moron".
Two faults I have with it (easily changeable) are the two statements
copied from that page below:
"Larry stopped climbing at 16,000 feet into the atmosphere!! Now
perched 5 miles above the earth" ...............16,000 feet is barely
over 3 miles, I know because I have piloted my own balloon to 12,500'
which is 500 feet beyond the legal limit in American airspace without
the pilot being on aviation breathing oxygen. 5,280 feet being a mile,
I wanted to go to the limit which is greater than two miles.
The other: "Fortunately he had popped enough balloons before dropping
the gun and slowly the lawn chair began its ascent."............. That
would be a "descent" if by shooting out some of his balloons caused
him to go down.
All in all, that's a pretty wonderful
page you have on him. I was not aware of the time frame on his flight. I
remember hearing about it in the 90's. I thought it was current news when
I heard it. Thank you for your informative page on Larry. I learned
something and hopefully helped you.
You are very welcome to visit my "Ballooning History" page and pick it
Have a Good Day!
Wm. G. (Bill) Scarberry, Jr.
Concord, NC USA 28025
Editor's Note: Larry the Moron is the true story about a guy who thought
he would attach a few balloons to a lawn chair and float about 20 feet in
the air in his back yard. Instead he skyrocketed 16,000 feet into the
atmosphere! It is the story about a stunt fueled by colossal stupidity.
For a good laugh, here's the story:
And that's a wrap for November!
Thanks for reading this month's issue of the SSQQ Newsletter!