Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Catching Up: Best of 2005: March

Here's another installment in the continuing effort to distill the best postings from my personal mailing list. These are from March 2005. * * * * * Beer I feel sorry for people who don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day. -- Lyndon B. Johnson When I read about the evils of drinking, I gave up reading. -- Paul Hornung 24 hours in a day, 24 beers in a case. Coincidence? I think not. -- H.L. Mencken Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy. -- Benjamin Franklin Without question, the greatest invention in the history of mankind is beer. Oh, I grant you that the wheel was also a fine invention, but the wheel does not go nearly as well with pizza. -- Dave Barry * * * * * How Long You Will Live Calculator http://webcenters.compuserve.com/compuserve/atplay/lifeline.jsp * * * * * Late-Night Political News from About.com "Russia has agreed to help Iran build a nuclear reactor. Yeah, because when you think well-built nuclear reactor you think Russia" -- David Letterman "Martha Stewart is getting out of prison so today the terror alert was raised from Orange to Pesto." --David Letterman "A Senate committee announced it will hold a hearing to discuss what to do about identity theft. The committee will be run by a man claiming to be Senator Charles Schumer." --Conan O'Brien "Speaking of everybody's favorite ex-con, Martha Stewart participated in an online chat last night with her crazy fans. She says her ankle bracelet is uncomfortable, to which I say – try spraying on a little Pam or maybe some extra-virgin olive oil." --Jimmy Kimmel "Hillary Clinton is repositioning herself constantly. She is now campaigning against sex and violence in TV shows and video games. She said studies show that children who are exposed to sexual images are more likely to blow her husband" --Bill Maher "Bill Clinton is recovering -- they put a tiny camera right inside of him and Ken Starr said why didn't I think of that." --Bill Maher "A lot of people thought Michael Jackson was faking it yesterday but people who know Michael say he does have back problems that flare up from time to time. Like when he's on trial for child molestation." -- Jay Leno "It appears the parents of Terry Schiavo have run out of options. The Supreme Court declined to intervene, thus representing the 10th legal judgment in favor of Mrs. Schiavo's husband and guardian, Michael -- meaning the Schiavo feeding tube will soon be removed from the cable news networks." --Jon Stewart "On the second anniversary of the invasion of Iraq gas prices in L.A. reached three dollars a gallon in some places. Didn't we win that war? I mean, I know there were no weapons of mass destruction but apparently there's no gas there either." --Jay Leno "There is a 24-hour surveillance team monitoring Martha Stewart's whereabouts. Nothing yet on al Qaeda." --David Letterman "McGwire refused to say whether he ever took steroids but I think he did because, as he was leaving, one of his tits fell out of his suit." --Bill Maher * * * * * Martha Stewart Living Free By CHUCK COLSON EARLY Friday morning, one of America's most celebrated prison inmates, Martha Stewart, walked through the doors of the Federal Prison Camp in Alderson, W. Va., to the great delight of her fans. Her release has people asking a pertinent question: What, precisely, are prisons for? When I arrived at the Maxwell Federal Prison in Montgomery, Ala., in the summer of 1974 in the wake of Watergate, I was greeted by a burly caseworker who seemed undaunted that he was processing the former special counsel to the president. "Just remember one thing, Colson," he said. "The reason you are here is to be punished." Not a particularly warm welcome, but sound theologically. Any system of justice requires punishment, which prison certainly is. It's painfully dehumanizing to be stripped and searched, assigned a number, and handed six pairs of used underwear and brown dungarees, as I was. That prison is punishment is the first lesson. Eventually, every inmate hears the correctional officer's favorite sonnet: "You did the crime, now do your time." Prison is cold. The second lesson inmates learn is how to do the time. During my first two weeks I was administered a battery of tests, after which the guards assigned me to the prison laundry. For me, doing time wasn't so bad because I also enjoyed reading and soon discovered that I could counsel needy inmates. But most inmates "did time" by trying to sleep it away. In the dormitory at any hour of the day or night I'd find half the inmates stretched out, sleeping 18 hours a day. Life in prison corrodes the soul. The third lesson is that there is vocational training for the fortunate few, but for most, the only "training" is learning how to avoid getting caught the next time. At Maxwell, evening conversations in the TV room sounded like seminars on improving professional criminal qualifications. It's not surprising that 67 percent of inmates are arrested or incarcerated again within two years. * * * * * Borowitz Report Breaking News SEVERE EARTHQUAKE IN INDONESIA HAS NO EFFECT ON SCHIAVO CASE Networks Explain Decision to Stay in Florida A severe earthquake measuring 8.7 on the Richter scale which struck Indonesia on Tuesday had "little or no effect" on the Terri Schiavo case, the 24-hour news networks confirmed today. The networks made the announcement to explain why they had for the most part retained their massive media presence outside Ms. Schiavo's hospice in Florida while offering scant coverage of the Indonesian disaster, which has so far resulted in a death toll topping 1,000. "While the Indonesian earthquake appears to be a disaster of unspeakable magnitude, it is difficult to see it having any lasting impact on the Schiavo story," one network source said. "The public trusts us to deliver Schiavo news on a 24-hour-a-day basis and we do not intend to betray that trust."