Fun_People Archive
17 Sep
Fun_People Updates 9/17/00, Part 1

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From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Sun, 17 Sep 100 04:17:47 -0700
To: Fun_People
Precedence: bulk
Subject: Fun_People Updates 9/17/00, Part 1

X-Lib-of-Cong-ISSN: 1098-7649  -=[ Fun_People ]=-

		Fall greetings
    With the ebb and flow of our worldly affairs and of the seasons, few  
things seem to last forever, so while it's no surprise that the high points  
are often just the briefest moments of intoxicating sweetness, it is a  
surprise that the mean-spirited, angry low points can sometimes drag on for  
decades.  Of course, the fault lies not in our fates, but in ourselves.
    With the hope that they can help you stretch the high points and shrink  
the low points, here are some responses and comments relating to recent  
Fun_People postings...

- Peter 9/16/00

Re: Heart Attack Survival - This Could Save Your Life
From: Patrick Douglas Crispen <>

You might want to point everyone to Barbara Mikkelson's article on this
story at

According to Mikkelson's article, "The American Heart Association does not
recommend that the public use this method in a situation where there is no
medical supervision."

As Mikkelson points out, "[i]s a life-or-death situation really the time to
place your trust in much-forwarded medical advice you don't even know the
origin of?"

Re: Heart Attack Survival - This Could Save Your Life
From: "Chris Norloff" <>

Hi, Peter Langston.  Thank you for your list, I look forward to getting the  
interesting things you find.

Below is a response about the "coughing to survive a heart attack", from the  
attributed source (Mended Hearts).  Unfortunately, it seems that the  
coughing method does not have a medical basis, and is not endorsed by those  
who should know.

Chris Norloff

-----Original Message-----
From: Darla Bonham []
Sent: Wednesday, September 22, 1999 9:48 AM
Subject: RE: How to survive a heart attach when alone

Thank you for checking on the validity of "How to Survive a Heart Attack
When Alone". The article was first published in a chapter newsletter, picked
up by other chapters, and eventually someone started circulating it via
e-mail.  I tried to track a the originator of the article and a medical
source for the information and was unable to find one.

I consulted with the American Heart Association and found that they do not
endorse the coughing procedure in a non-medical setting, and do not teach
this as part of the core curriculum in any course.   To find more
information on American Heart Association Emergency Cardiac Care Programs
visit their web-site:

Please note that Mended Hearts has issued a bulletin to chapters regarding
using reprints that do not include a medical source.  Hopefully this type of
information will not be connected with our organization in the future.
Mended Hearts is a support group for heart disease patients and families,
and our goals are to provide hope and encouragement to others through
hospital, home, Internet, and telephone visiting.  If you would like
additional information about Mended Hearts, visit our web-site: <>

Thank you,
Darla Bonham
Executive Director

RE: The Darth Maul Automatic Lollipop.
From: Kevin Johnsrude <>

> From: That Stairs Guy (
> Re(72918):   Worst TPM toy...
> You think THAT'S bad?
> I nominate the Darth Maul Automatic Lollipop.
> ...

You think THAT'S bad?  How about this at

Star Wars Jar Jar Binks Tongue Lollipop

Experience the Force with this cherry-flavored Jar Jar Binks tongue candy.
Caution: Jar Jar Binks jaws may grab your tongue back if you're not careful!
Unit Cost = $4.75/tongue.

Go to the web site for the photo and then the full horror will overwhelm
you:  "Hello, we're Hollywood and we'd like your child to suck on Jar Jar
Binks' tongue!"

Re: Toon Town Exposed
From: "Laura P.Raymond" <>

I appreciate your summary, but oh my heavens, how could you have overlooked
James on the Pokemon series?  Talk about lisping, affected, wiggly-butt
transvestites who are just totally into looking good and have long purple
hair and a rose clenched in the teeth....

What I REALLY want to know is, who cares?  Even if these characters really
were homosexual (as opposed to "cheerful") (also assuming they were REAL
characters, something that seems to escape the more rabid critics), nothing
they do on the shows is in the slightest sexual or even flirtatious with
the same sex, nothing they say, nothing they suggest or indicate, except
in the mind of someone who sees threats in differences.  What do the critics
and fearmongers think will happen -- James will reach out of the cartoon
world, through the screen of our TV and drag my two young sons into a world
of hedonistic depravity?  Or perhaps that my sons, with whom I constantly
struggle to get them to understand that different is different, not BAD,
will be so enamored of the character they perceive to be laughable that
they will instantly imitate his every move?  Not a chance.  My children
want to be like everyone else -- perceived as normal, average, and straight.

If anything, this causes me great concern, because my children *are*
different in many ways from most, and I often feel that I am fighting a
losing battle for their self-esteem because they are so different.  I value
and appreciate the children's shows like Teletubbies and Pokemon where
individuality, creativity, honesty,kindness, loyalty, and yes, awareness
and acceptance of differences, is demonstrated and taught, both explicitly
and by example.  I wish there were more of them, not just goofy do-gooder
shows like Barney where the kids may be chocolate on the outside but totally
vanilla within and too squeaky clean perfect to be believed.

Anyway, sorry for the soapbox -- it's been on my mind a lot lately, since
a mother I met in the pediatrician's waiting room told me she wouldn't
allow her young children to watch Rugrats because it teaches "disrespect
for parents."  My take on THAT show is that it teaches that kindness,
honesty, determination, and consideration for others -- with a healthy dose
of creativity -- will be rewarded, and that parents and children both make
mistakes, and that admitting mistakes and correcting them or making amends
goes a long way toward solving problems in life.

Minds straitjacketed by fear of the unknown or different can cripple other
minds faster than the most effective ad campaign.  It's much harder to have
a genuinely open, receptive mind.

Thanks again -- I just love your posts.

Laura Raymond
   Life is like walking through snow: every step shows.
						-- Jess Lair

Re: What is ASCII?  Isn't that the same as ISO Latin?  Or is that "10646"--  
Unicode, right?
From: Richard Gillmann <>

At 05:23 PM 9/24/99 -0700, you wrote:
>From: Jon Callas <>
>The first standard character set was ASCII, a.k.a. FIPS 1, as well as being
>ANSI and ISO in numbers I can't remember. It's the 7-bit character set that
>everyone knows and loves.

How soon they forget!  There was BCD (and EBCDIC) before ASCII, and the
various TTY based Baudot codes before that, and of course Morse Code dating
back to Samual Morse in the middle of the 19th century.

Re: The Darth Maul Automatic Lollipop.
From: gduthie@UU.NET
Forwarded-by: Nev Dull <>

I got a better one for you. It's called the Jar-Jar Binks Monster Mouth
Candy tongue. Made by CAP candy; the toy/candy is Jar-Jar's head with a
plunger in the back. When the plunger is pushed in Jar-Jar's mouth opens
and his tongue (the candy; complete with texture) extends to suck on. When
pulled back, the plunger pulls the strawberry-flavored "sucker" back into
his mouth for easy storage. I don't know who designed this, but I sure
wouldn't want my kid sucking on Jar-Jar's tongue. And we wonder why our
kids are so messed up nowadays....

Re: "GLOME DAL" - Viking writing rains on Columbus' parade
From: Kevin Johnsrude <>

> From: Peter Langston []
> If some backwoods scholar-prankster pulled this off as a hoax
> more than a century ago, my hat's off to him.

Yep.  Check out the Kensington Runes in Minnesota for more of same.  Those
Scandihoovian immigrants in the 1800's got around, you betcha.


Re: "GLOME DAL" - Viking writing rains on Columbus' parade
From: "Stephen Nelson" <>

Near Alexandria, Minnesota, the town where I was born, is the site of the
Kensington Runestone, a similar artifact telling of a group of Vikings who
journeyed into the Midwest prior to Columbus.  Most archaeologists consider
it a hoax, but there are some true believers.

Subject: Moondog - people we remember from earlier in life...
Forwarded-by: "Cochell, Jim" <>

This from Mark Eustis:

I remember quite well being 8 or 9, visting New York with my parents on a
Christmas shopping trip, and standing on this guy's Corner for about a
half-hour watching him play the zither, sing, and stamp his foot on a drum
pedal...while wearing the "Viking" ensemble. That my parents were
frantically trying to find me and presumed me to be either lost or kidnapped
never crossed my mind, since I was so taken by someone who could be so
talented, and yet so, well, odd.

My folks finally found me (they had kept on walking, while I stopped to
listen) and commenced to give me a whupping. Moondog stopped his piece and
said "You really shouldn't do that, he's a good kid." How he knew I was
there I'll never know, since I was silent in my appreciation of his music,
and he was so obviously blind. Although I appreciated his fine judge of
character, the spectre of a scarred, gaunt, rather pungent Viking!  standing
up for me scared the daylights out of my folks, so we left rather abruptly.

Who knew he was so accomplished?

Monday, September 20, 1999

Composer Louis 'Moondog' Hardin Dies

By Jon Thurber
Los Angeles Times

    Louis "Moondog" Hardin, 83, a New York composer who in the 1960s stood
out with his homemade robe, sandals, spear, scraggly beard and Viking helmet
with horns, died Sept. 8 at a hospital in Munster, Germany, after a heart
    Mr. Hardin, a tall man who was blind and a bit gaunt, would take his
place at the corner of 54th Street and Avenue of the Americas and play his
homemade zither, sing in his distinctly atonal manner or beat a drum. At
other times, he might recite some poetry. His street theater generally drew
a crowd, and the crowd was his living in those days. The corner became
"Moondog Corner."
    But beneath his unquestionably eccentric exterior, Mr. Hardin was a
talented composer. In his hours off the street he wrote larger works-often
based on the form of a canon (or round)-and was welcomed as a guest to
rehearsals of the New York Philharmonic.
    "He was the greatest street person the New York has ever produced,"
said Robert Scotto, a professor of English at Baruch College of the City
University of New York, who is working on a book on Mr. Hardin's life.
    Mr. Hardin was born in Kansas, the son of an Episcopal minister and he
grew up in Wyoming. He lost his eyesight at age 16, when a dynamite cap he
found on the railroad tracks blew up in his face. He studied music at the
Iowa School for the Blind for a year before moving to New York in 1943 to
continue his musical education, which at the time was rudimentary.
    Mr. Hardin started as a percussionist on drums, many of which he built
himself. Through the 1950's he tried Latin music and jazz, recorded some
albums and worked in a number of bands, including a Latin ensemble
improbably called "Moondog and the Honking Geese."
    He became something of a celebrity after Walter Winchell mentioned him
in a newspaper column. Diane Arbus photographed him and occasionally would
buy him lunch at a cafeteria near Carnegie Hall.
    When Alan Freed, the pioneering rock-and-roll disc jockey, moved his
radio program to New York from Cleveland, he used one of Mr. Hardin's
recordings, "Moondog Symphony" as his theme music and called his program
"The Moondog Show." But Mr. Hardin successfully sued over the use of the
name. So the disc jockey changed the name of his program to "Alan Freed's
Rock 'n' Roll Show." Freed is generally thought of as the originator of
the term "rock 'n' roll."
     In the early 1960s, Mr. Hardin's Viking persona took over. He performed
with the legendary jazz bassist Charles Mingus at the Whitney Museum and
later did a concert with Tiny Tim and Lenny Bruce. In 1967, he showed up
in the avant-garde film "Chappaqua" with William S. Burroughs, Allen
Ginsburg and Ravi Shankar, who wrote the score.
    Two albums of Mr. Hardin's atonal jazz and madrigals were released in
1969 and 1971 by Columbia Records and received good reviews.
    He later played his drum with top avant-garde composers Philip Glass
and Steve Reich at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.
    In 1974, Mr. Hardin moved to Recklinghausen in what was then West
Germany after traveling there for a radio concert. He lived on the streets
for a year and was finally adopted by a German family who loved his work.
A daughter in the family, Ilona Goebel, became his working partner. She
became his copier and editor. He composed, recorded and occasionally
performed in concerts throughout Europe.
    At least 10 albums of his compositions have been released in Europe
since 1977, and his collected works now include 300 canons in the form of
madrigals, 100 keyboard works and a self-published four-volume "Art of the

Mark Eustis

Re: The Price of Gasoline -- Compared
From: "L. R. Swain" <>

Things did not look right.

The problem:  WhiteOut is 0.7 oz for $1.39 if it is in fact (which sounds right)
$178.13 per gallon.
[Yes, the decimal point was missing, so it said 7 oz for $1.39  -psl]

Really enjoy your stuff!

Larry Swain

Re: The Price of Gasoline -- Compared
From: Robin <>

At 11:24 02/10/1999 -0700, you wrote:
>[In Maine we currently are paying $1.32 for regular gasoline.  The cost
> is climbing. But should we complain when other nations pay three and
> four times the amount? And we can be happy we don't have to fill up
> with spring water!  -DST]

In Australia, we buy petrol (our name for it) by the litre. There are approx
4.5 litrres to the imperial gallon, I believe the US gallon may be slightly

Currently there has been political uproar because the price has been rising
from about 65 cents (Australian - the US dollar is equivalent to about 65
cent Australian) a litre. I have seen it locally in the city up to nearly
80 cents. In some country parts, the price can be up to 20c a litre higher.

There has been much noise made about a government inquiry into the pricing
policies and practices of the oil companies.

Robin Hayes

Re: The Mohave Phone Booth
From: "Tamzin Squire" <>

Well, what do you know....,1136,24500000000109102,


Re: The Price of Gasoline -- Compared
From: "Okokon U Bassey" <>

I read the letter from Donald Sot Tracy and the argument put forward sounds
very much like the one often used by the Nigerian government to increase
fuel prices.  Comparison will be made made with gasoline prices in other
countries, and we will be told that the prices in Nigeria are the lowest
anywhere. The current price in Nigeria is $0.8 per gallon. But nobody ever
talks about the cost of producing a gallon of gasoline in Nigeria.

Re: FW: Microsoft caught using a Mac?  Say it isn't true.
From: <>

Actually, I think this is old news.  Much if not most of M'soft's visual and
printed material is done on Macs, as are their in-house videos, web designs,
etc.. Or so I've heard. There was some snickering about this in the Mac
community a couple of years ago, in relation to a Msoft ad campaign...    I
mean, their designers aren't masochists...Design and graphics is one area
where I think they'd rather not eat their own dog food.;-)


Re: The Price of Gasoline -- Compared
From: "Eric Herrmann" <>

>What if you were to buy a gallon of:
>            STP Brake Fluid 12 oz for $3.15 = $33.60 per gallon
>            Scope 1.5 oz for $0.99 =          $84.84 per gallon
>            Pepto Bismol 4 oz for $3.85 =     $123.20 per gallon
>            Vicks Nyquil 6 oz for $8.35 =     $178.13 per gallon
>            Whiteout 7 oz for $1.39 =         $254.17 per gallon

Can't recall the last time I needed a gallon of such.

I also imagine that if gasoline came in a nice shrinkwrapped package "New!
Improved! Better flavor! Individually tamper-sealed for your protection!" it
would cost a lot more.

Conversely, do we really want Pepto Bismol to be available from a bulk

>            Lipton Ice Tea 16 oz for $1.19 =  $9.52 per gallon

Webvan carries Nestea Lemon Flavrd Sweet 64 oz (chilled) $2.08/EA =
$4.16/gallon. a comparative bargain. However there are some unconfirmed
reports that cars may experience knocking or reduced power output when using
this brand. Your mileage may vary.

Shop around!

--Eric Herrmann

Re: Excerpted: mini-AIR Oct 99 -- Ig Winners, Banana Surprise, Sweetie Poo
From: Daniel Steinberg <>

>Professor Jean-Marc Vanden-Broeck of the University of East
>Anglia, England, and Belgium, for calculating how to make a teapot
>spout that does not drip.
>MEDICINE: Dr. Arvid Vatle of Stord, Norway, for carefully
>collecting, classifying, and contemplating which kinds of
>containers his patients chose when submitting urine samples.

Maybe these guys could get together and develop a dripless penis.  Now
*there* would be a contribution to mankind.

Re: Anybody seen these guys at Comdex?
From: "J. Winthrop Armstrong" <>

>Which reminds me.....
>    There was a young man named McBean
>    Who invented a fucking machine
>      Concave or convex
>      It would fit either sex
>    And was perfectly simple to clean.

i've always heard the last line as

"...and jerked itself off in between"

Re: Jean Shepherd leaves us...
From: Andrew Lippman <>

I learned of Jean Shepherd's passing from you.  I engineered a few of his
shows when I was a summer intern at WOR.  I did the July 4th show.  It was
unbelievably hard.  When he did his shows, he was talking directly to the
engineer (me, in that case) and I had to respond or die.  I'll never forget
the time he talked about the IOOF and asked if anyone knew what IOOF stood
for.  If I had smugly nodded yes, he would have passed on the point, but
I didn't know, so he launched into an exegesis on the International Order
of Odd Fellows...

We weren't friends, but we were closer than workmates.  I am deeply saddened
to hear of the death of a near-friend, someone I admired, and a true radio


Re: Suit
From: Gerald Neufeld <neufeld@BrandonU.CA>


After receiving your note about the lawyers' line of questionning,
I wrote a letter to I just received a reply. Here it is.


  >Subject: Trademark Infringement Suit
  >From: Gerald Neufeld <neufeld@BrandonU.CA>
  >Date: Thu, 21 Oct 1999 22:04:04 -0500
  >I had an opportunity to read a summary of the questionning done by your
  >lawyer as part of the depositions regarding Amazon Bookstore's suit for
  >trademark infringement. The whole line of questions regarding the owners'
  >sexual orientation is totally irrelevant and as about as useful as their
  >lawyer inquiring about whether the president of is sleeping
  >with some of the employees. For shame. As a former customer of
  >I can assure you that my business will now be shifting to either Chapter
  >or BarnesandNoble and that I will be advising the several hundreds of
  >students I teach each year of this situation and recommending that they
  >shop elsewhere. Actions have consequences you know.
  >Gerry Neufeld
  >Gerald Neufeld,                              Phone: (204) 727-7321
  >Dept of Curriculum & Instruction (Math/Sci)  FAX:   (204) 728-3326
  >Faculty of Education, Brandon University     Email: Neufeld@Brandonu.CA
  >Brandon, Manitoba, Canada  R7A 6A9

Subject: Your Feedback to

Dear Gerry,

Thank you very much for taking the time to write to us about the Amazon
Bookstore Cooperative, Inc. ("ABC") lawsuit.  We are, as a company and as
individuals, sensitive to matters of personal privacy, and our commitment
to diversity extends to our employment practices which forbid discrimination
based on sexual orientation.

However, we have regrettably been drawn into the unpleasant task of
inquiring into the inconsistent statements made by the plaintiffs in the
ABC case.  As you probably know, ABC has a long and proud history of
marketing and describing themselves as being owned and operated by lesbian
women and serving the lesbian feminist community.  Because of a judicial
ruling adverse to ABC in this case, ABC and its individual owners are now,
for the first time, attempting to reposition themselves as a bookstore
owned and operated by a non-exclusively lesbian group of individuals and
no longer focused on lesbian feminist customers and books.  By legally
repositioning themselves as a retailer more like, the plaintiff
and its owners have now made their marketing heritage an issue in the case.

Our recent questions of the plaintiff owners in this case were solely
designed to have ABC confirm or deny their own previous statements regarding
their lesbian/feminist heritage--an issue brought into this case only by
ABC and their owners themselves.

Please know that we would not have pursued this line of questioning if ABC
and its owners had not introduced the matter.  We have no choice but to
respond to ABC's new legal strategy.

Although ABC claims they have rights to the Amazon mark since the early
1970s, they have no federal or state registration for such a mark, while does.  More importantly, Amazon Bookstore Cooperative, Inc. did
not come into existence until one year after began its business
in 1994.  As a result, we believe we have senior rights to this mark.

We truly value your patronage and loyalty to us and thank you for giving
us an opportunity to respond to your concerns.  As this is a currently
pending case, we apologize for not being able to respond to you with any
greater detail.

Best regards,

Titus  G.
Earth's Biggest Selection

Re: goes to the mats.
From: Bob Gremling <>

(tongue inserted firmly in cheek) Yeah, but is Pat Holt a man or woman?

Subject: Jean Shepherd tribute in the Inquirer
Forwarded-by: Bob Stein <>

Subject: JS tribute in the Inquirer

     From The Philadelphia Inquirer editorial page, October 19, 1999:

Jean Shepherd, master storyteller
Before there was Garrison Keillor, weaving tales of Lake Wobegon, before
there was Ira Glass, detailing the vagaries of This American Life, there
was Jean Shepherd.

Jean Shepherd, whose deep, droll voice coming over the radio could convey
more character, deliver more wit and form more mind's-eye pictures than
any half-dozen sitcom comedians can manage on TV, died over the weekend at
the age of 78.

Mining his hometown of Hammond, Ind., in the way that Mark Twain once used
Hannibal, Mo., he distilled the whimsies and absurdities of middle-class
life in the middle of the American Century.

He did so in books, on television, in movies, in live performance, but most
of all on radio in a career that included some time at KYW in Philadelphia.

If you've never heard him reminisce, with wry affection but scant
sentimentality, about the boyhood adventures of his alter-ego, Ralphie
Parker, do yourself a favor this holiday season.

Rent a copy of the 1983 movie, A Christmas Story, written and narrated by
Mr.  Shepherd. From the licking-the-flagpole scene to the special prize
won by Ralph's dad to the bizarre Christmas dinner, it's an offbeat

It may not top It's a Wonderful Life, but it's an honorable second in the
ranks of Christmas movies.

(c) 1998 Philadelphia Newspapers Inc.

Re: goes to the mats.
From: (Dennis M. Fisher)

Dear Peter,
Here is what 2 of my more skeptical friends had to say in reply to your
" goes to the mats" msg that I fwd'd to them (and everyone else
on my list):

Kim,  I don't immediately believe this.  It strikes me as more of the
societal craze of courtroom drama.  And the distinction between fact and
fiction on the Net is so significantly unsupervised.  Unless there is
something in the forwarding, etc. that I personally am unable to recognize
as authenticating this journalism.  IF this were true, the fault lies with
the legal system in Minneapolis/Washington for allowing the cross
examination...not Amazon.  And from what I know of the legal systems in
each of these States...I don't believe that plausibility either.

Sorry.  To much 'junk' on the Net.

As you know, I am not quick to assume the validity of e-rumors.  Is there
independent verification of Pat Holt's column?  Have issues of gender or
sexual orientation discrimination been alleged by the plaintiffs (the
feminist bookstore owners)?  If so, the defendant may have to explore
whether there is even a foundation for such an allegation.  In other words,
if it can be easily established that no one is gay or thought to be gay,
then that may be a component in the web vendor's defense.

On the other hand, if this was just some fishing expedition during the
depositions to intimidate lesbians or to stir up feelings against their
right to use the name of their own store, then the attorneys of
are behaving shamefully.

It is my understanding that objections made in a deposition are not ruled
upon at the time, but that the presiding judge will later determine whether
the objection should be sustained and the answer to the question received
as valid testimony.  A lot of answers that followed the objections probably
won't get in, and the questions themselves have no weight.

So, in summary, I don't know what to make of this.  It concerns me, but I
don't know if the commentary added by Ms. Holt between selected excerpts
from a single deposition in a case about which I know little or nothing is
enough to lead me to an opinion.  Let me know if you come across other
things that deal with this topic.  I do a lot of business with,
but can certainly find other sources if they are confirmed jerks.

Mike McNett
SE Regional Coordinator
Great Schools
262.789.6014 voice
262.789.6010 fax

So, Peter, can you prove that it's not another internet hoax?
Thanks for your help--
Kim Wilbur

Re: Blind composers
From: james armstrong <>

My recollection is that Bach actually went in for three bouts of eye
surgery.  I don't recall any mention of how effective any of them were.

Also, Bach died of a stroke, not septisemia.  His Kunst der Fuga (Art of
the Fugue) has a part where his writing stops suddenly--the point at which
he had the stroke.  Later on his deathbed he dictated a choral, his final

Re: Blind Composers
From: Jane Pierce <>

Dear Peter Langston and Fun People:
   This is one reply I have received from the greatest source I know on
subjects of classical music.  There will be more and I will forward them
as they arrive.  Thanks for the challenge.  I enjoy your humor and now I
see an even more probing part of your intellect.  Thanks.

Jane Pierce

George Buelow, an IU professor of musicology and baroque specialist,
mentioned in one of his lectures that Bach and Handel were both operated
on for cataracts by the same quack doctor (his term).  I don't know what
his source was.  I've also heard that some of Bach's visual problems came
from his hand-copying The FitzWilliam (cap?) Virginal Book by moonlight.

I've always wondered how blind composers (Joaquin Rodrigo is the first that
comes to mind) manage to set their work down.

Aaron J. Rabushka

Re: Blind composers
From: Todd Larason <>

On 29 October 99, David Helder wrote:
> A friend told me the other night that 3 composers were blinded in botched
> surgeries by the same eye doctor.  One of the composers was Bach.  The
> story is fascinating, but is it true or urban legend?  Anyone know?

I can't find anything related in the alt.folklore.urban archives or the
related websites.

According to
Bach was already mostly blind when the doctor (John Taylor) operated twice;
Taylor is credited with finishing off the last of Bach's sight and with
killing him.  Handel also underwent surgery from Tayler, with unspecified
poor results.

Another page,
says that that both Bach and Handel suffered from cateracts, and died "from
sepsimia induced as a consequence of un-sterile instruments employed to
push the cataract covered lense back into the eyeball" following surgery
performed by John Taylor.

The FDA chimes in, in
with a diagnosis of acute glaucoma rather than cateracts, and adds a claim
that for a few days following the first surgery, Bach had his eyesight

Not very conclusive, but might give some more pointers for research.

Re: Blind composers
From: Scott Wyant <>

> From: David Helder <>
> Date: Fri, 29 Oct 1999 01:01:00 +0000 (/etc/localtime)
> A friend told me the other night that 3 composers were blinded in botched
> surgeries by the same eye doctor.  One of the composers was Bach.  The
> story is fascinating, but is it true or urban legend?  Anyone know?

Try this.

Scott Wyant
Manager of Information Technology
School of Cinema-Television
University of Southern California

Re: Dogs in Elk
From: colin maroney <>

    today's Suck ( mentions the dog-in-elk story, claiming
to have thought it was an urban myth but to have tracked down the dog's
owner and verified the story.

Subject: Orson Welles' Voiceover...
From: Lauren Weinstein <>

Talking about being "fed up" with something--I just put online
one of the old gems from my collection, the original 4 minute
tape of the Orson Welles' commercial voiceover session which
has become a legend in the industry.  You might find it amusing...

It's at:


Re Our Correspondent in Amsterdam... 11/1/99
From: Cal Herrmann <>

Hi Peter,
Trying to muck through that long chatty post from Your Corresp in Amsterdam,
I read about the misadventures of the cat.
    A bath in vinegar will probably do it. When my brother-in-law had a
summer job with a swimming-pool contractor, where he schlepped 40-lb bags
of concret mix every day, he used to come home and soak in the tub
afterwards, and after about a week the drain refused to. So
my-husband-the-chemist thought about it and suggested we pour some vinegar
in, and voila!
    Poor fella. He'll probably really hate the bath, too.
-- Aloha, Lani

Re: Tuck's List
From: Daniel Steinberg <>

>	BAD GIGS   What can go wrong?

what a whiner!

Re: USA gloating (from a "foreigner")
From: "Tom Rawson" <>

Gordon Sinclair has been singing (literally) this song for at least 25
years now. I say "literally" because in the early 70s he made a record in
which he gives essentially the same sermon below with USA patriotic music
in the background. I believe it was called "The Americans" or something
like that.  The famous letter writer Laslo Toth referred to it over and
over again in his correspondence with Richard Nixon.

Re: USA gloating (from a "foreigner")
From: "Merrill Guice" <>

This is only a partial reading of Mr. Sinclair's famous editorial.  It first
ran back in either 1974 or 1975 and was prompted by the financial
difficulties suffered by the American Red Cross (that part was revealed in
the last paragraph -- deleted somehow either by your submitter or the
Congressional Record).  The editorial was turned into a spoken word record
titled "The Americans" and received wide airplay in America.

A republican political science major of my acquaintance swore up and down he
saw God in the radio one night.  According to his roommate, the polysci guy
was drunk and God was Gordon Sinclair.

Always enjoy your list, keep them coming!

Merrill Guice

Re: Initial Reports from Seattle Gloss Over WTO Issues
From: "Kent Hillman" <>

    Cynical observation of the day.  Whether you get your Rolex by
commission, the pension plan, or through the broken window that remains the
real point at present.  One day the species will need to leave the planet
for a variety of reasons.  I'd advise against using a canoe.

Re: SETOTD (Science Experiment Tip Of The Day) - Evans, 12/2/99
From: "Steve Nelson" <>

Peter:  The problem is that, all Hollywood movies notwithstanding, sound
does not travel through space!!  Thus, following this method, you would
start counting, but never stop, leading to the conclusion that the star is
an infinite distance away.  But,since the star no longer exists, this is not
an unreasonable answer.


Re: SETOTD (Science Experiment Tip Of The Day) - Evans, 12/2/99
From: "Tony Pak" <>

This is not a correct tip since sound does not travel through a vacuum.

Re: The Comedian's-eye View of 12/06/99
From: Steve Newman <>

At 02:02 PM 12/4/99 -0800, you wrote:
>	"There's a wonderful exercise where you throw out a quarter, a
>	nickel, a dime and a penny on the table.  Then you ask, 'What did
>	you see?'  When our therapist did this with us, I said 'Silver,
>	copper, round things, change.' When he did the same with Tommy
>	[Lee], he said 'Forty-two cents.' We both have different ways of
>	looking at things."

*Very* different ways of looking at things. I'd say.  A quarter, a nickel,
a dime, and a penny is Forty-ONE cents.
-Steve Newman
 Phelan, CA

Re: Another eyewitness report from Seattle
From: Dave Fitch <>

And a completely different view, from the UK's environment minister.

His quote about the Seattle police acting like stormtroopers is quite nice :-)
Dave Fitch,
Department of Geography,  University of Edinburgh.

Re: [FAIR-L] ACTION ALERT-- Judge Judy: "Give Them All Dirty Needles And Let ...

Despite the inflammatory rhetoric by "Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting"
(sic), I did send congratulations and a thank-you.  It's about time that
someone stood up to the (at best) mixed message gang. The same gang promotes
condoms in schools because "They're going to do it anyway," yet derides the
NRA's gun safety courses as promoting killing.

Jerrod Mason
and proud of it

Re: Another Side to the Battle of Seattle
From: Andrew Lippman <>

I'm a little vague on how the protestors forced Seattle to become a police
state...  That seems to have been someone else's choice.


Re: What next?  The PTO: Peoples Trade Organization
From: "Steve Nelson" <>

What a totally capitalistic idea!!!

Peter - I'm not being at all facetious.  The heart of capitalism is the
freedom of people to form whatever economic associations and interests they
choose to without interference from government.  The WTO is not capitalist;
it's mercantilist.  Mercantilism was overthrown once by capitalism; why not

The best and most effective response to the WTO by opponents is to form a
better, more workable economic framework.

Subject: Thanksgiving and the Indian "massacre"
From: <>

Several weeks ago I sent you a posting about a massacre of native Americans
which supposedly inspired the Thanksgiving holiday. My old Delaware Water Gap
pal Alan Podber who is also a top flight researcher, decided to do some
digging about the piece and this is what he came up with:

	 I sent the forwarded Email to the chairperson of the uconn anthro
dept. after I received your Thanksgiving message.  I just got her response
and forward that to you.


From: (Jocelyn Linnekin)

    I have never heard of the person you mention.  Although I have only
been at Connecticut for 2 1/2 years, I have been a professional
anthropologist for 20 years and I know the literature in the discipline
quite well.
    I passed your query on to the most senior member of our department,
who has the answers to your questions (I'll send them verbatim):

>1. We have no record of a William Newell ever having taught at the
>University of Connecticut in any department. Years ago I asked Professor
>James Barnett, who would have remembered such things. He did not know of
>any William Newell.
>2. The Department of Anthropology did not exist here until 1971, when it
>became independent of Sociology. I was here then. William Newell was not
>among my colleagues. I do not understand how he can legitimately claim to
>be a "former head of the Anthropology Department" here.
>3. Because this item was in wide circulation well before I became chair in
>1981, the assertion that Newell made this statement "recently" is a
>distortion. He may have repeated it recently, if he is still above the sod.
>As I recall he was at age 84 and holding when I first heard about his claim
>almost two decades ago.
>4. I know of no incident that exactly fits the description attributed to
>Newell. There was in fact the Pequot Massacre of 1637 in the Mystic area
>that was perpetrated by the English with Mohegan and Narragansett allies --
>no Dutch. It bears a general resemblance to the Newell story. Soon after
>the Pequot Massacre there was also allegedly a statement from the pulpit by
>one of the Mathers (Cotton?) who called on his congregation to "Give thanks
>to God that on this day we have sent three hundred heathen souls to hell"
>or words and numbers to that effect. I cannot give the exact quote or
>citation, but I've seen it.
>>The Mashantucket Pequot dropped a bundle in producing a documentary movie
>of the massacre that is open to the public visiting the museum. You can
>simply forward this to the original sender if you want to. I surely wish
>there was a way of simultaneously deleting the Newell item from all press
>files with a single keystroke. Still, despite the distortions and the
>questionable attributions, the item apparently has at least some
>resemblance to an actual historical incident that occurred seventeen years
>after the Pilgrims landed. As a cautionary footnote to the Thanksgiving
>over the river and through the woods, it may sharpen public awareness of
>the nature of colonial situations. Or not.

    I hope this clears up the matter for you.  Regards,
                Jocelyn Linnekin/Professor & Department Head

Subject:  Religious Leaders Issue WTO Statement (excerpts)
From: Kevin Johnsrude <>

From: David Conner []
From:	Kathryn H. Conner []

The religious leaders' statement, issued by the Rev. Thomas Quigley,
president-director of the Church Council of Greater Seattle, and the Rev.
John Boonstra, executive minister of the Washington Association of

A Joint Statement from Religious Leaders of the Jewish and Christian
Communities of Seattle

"We call for a halt to new trade negotiations until the member
countries of the WTO agree to give priority to accountability, human
rights, ecology, and sustainable development, over trade liberalization
and privatization.

"Tens of thousands of people demonstrated, and millions have become
enlightened, about the World Trade Organization and its devastating impact
on working families, the environment and human rights.  Throughout this
week the groups that were peacefully protesting have found common purpose
and now are inextricably linked.

"We affirm the solidarity of the religious community with all the
non-violent protesters who have kept the focus on these issues.  We deplore
the violence that has occurred this week and rededicate ourselves to
confronting it.  We have witnessed the birth of a movement across the world.
We dedicate ourselves to continue raising our voices.

"Let us honor protest as an act of love and compassion.  Let us
celebrate every one here who has moved us forward this week.  The struggle
to repair our world, to improve the condition of human beings, to care for
all of life, will continue and grow.

Re: It was WTO (Wasn't That Obtuse?) coverage
From: Kevin Johnsrude <>

A good article, Molly, but your numbers may be a little off.  Local papers
agree that there were about 50 vandals and about 50,000 protestors.

The nonviolent protestors who blockaded the WTO convention were the victims
of pepper gas, tear gas and being shot in the face with rubber bullets by
police. One Seattle council-member was tear-gassed and another was assaulted
by the police.

The 24-hour curfew area of about one square mile gave police carte blanche
to hassle and obstruct anyone that they didn't consider a taxpayer.  About
500 people were arrested, mostly for nonviolent protest and since
plea-bargaining has fallen through, they're going for full jury trials.
The ACLU is now collecting data on police-on-civilian violence which is
one of the unreported stories of the protest.

The nonviolent protestors, who did not commit vandalism and many of whom
were victims of documented assault and torture by the police have not yet
had their story told.

My sister, who lives and works in Seattle, made the point that the
authorities seemed to divide the protestors into two groups: the "good"
protestors, who were members of unions, had a parade permit and stuck to
their route and the "bad" protestors, who were overwhelmingly guilty of
using their right of free assembly to block traffic and delay the start of
the WTO conference.  The police didn't distinguish between vandals and
peaceful "bad" protestors.

There's still some good material for columns here, Molly.  Go for it!


Re: WTO in Seattle
Forwarded-by: Mark Boolootian <>

From: Phil Agre <>
Subject: [RRE]Seattle

[A bunch of RRE subscribers forwarded eyewitness reports to me about
the protests against the World Trade Organization meeting in Seattle.
Although these kinds of messages are exactly what the Internet is
about, I wasn't going to forward them.  A few days had passed, I was
tired, I didn't have a lot of bandwidth, and it was going to be a
hassle to track the authors down and get their permission.  But then
on the Web yesterday I read the following sentence in the LA Times:

  SEATTLE -- Police Chief Norm Stamper said Tuesday that he will
  step down, a week after his outnumbered officers watched helplessly
  as mobs of World Trade Organization protesters rampaged through
  downtown Seattle -- leaving behind $19 million in damage and lost
  retail sales.

My goodness, this is certainly "on message".  It quite economically packages
two startling lies.  The police officers did not watch helplessly.  Indeed,
the whole event would be much more accurately described as a police riot.
And mobs of protesters did not do any rampaging or leave behind damage.
A tiny number of anarchists not associated with the protest organizers --
not remotely enough to be called "mobs" -- did engage in vandalism, but
nobody saw the police show any interest in stopping them.  The only people
who tried to protect property were protesters.  The only violence against
persons was that of the police.  The great majority of the people who the
police attacked -- all of them, in fact, by every account that I have seen
-- were peaceful protesters and innocent bystanders.  Almost all of the
property damage occurred after the police began extensively gassing,
beating, and shooting rubber pellets at innocent people.  So what to make
of this?  The radical interpretation is that the police attacked the
peacefully marching citizens because it is they, and not the violent nutcase
anarchists, who posed the greater risk to the WTO.  After all, the United
States has a long history of extreme police violence against peaceful
protesters, particularly when those protesters, like a majority of the
protesters in Seattle, are engaged in legal union activity.  But that theory
does not comport with the many cases in which police have managed protests
with basically decent regard for the civil liberties of everyone involved.
Despite what our friends on the left often say, the police are not
intrinsically tools of international capital.  Like any institution, the
police respond to pressures from many sides, and the outcome of those
pressures is not simple or inevitable.  In the case of Seattle the simpler
theory explains the data perfectly well: the city government simply failed
to prepare for the protests, and so the unprepared cops, ordinary working
people like the rest of us dropped in the middle of a global political
battle, freaked out and started randomly attacking people.  This sort of
behavior is obviously completely immoral, yet we are not surprised that
the vocal public guardians of morality are silent about it.  For them,
morality is just a stick to hit people with.  They hate American society,
and their contempt for normal Americans is obvious every time they
stereotype American culture as immoral.  (Yes, of course, I'm just using
their rhetoric against them to show how arbitrary it all is.  I don't want
to talk that way myself.)  The real question is, how could this happen?
The WTO, I mean.  How could citizens of democratic countries wake up to
realize that such vast powers had been taken away from them and signed over
to a secretive and unaccountable body that is totally dominated by narrow
private interests?  And the answer is, we got hit by something in our blind
spot.  Here is what happened.  In the old days, there was a distinction
between two areas of public policy, domestic and foreign.  Domestic policy
was the main focus of democratic activity because it directly affected the
lives of voters.  Foreign policy, meanwhile, was dominated by the promoting
of overseas commercial interests of large domestic businesses.  This was
no secret.  Everyone did it, and it had been going on for hundreds of years.
It made sense: if "our" firms do well, if they sell their goods on
advantageous terms overseas, then everyone "here" benefits.  Management
and labor were on the same side.  After all, those other countries were
doing it too.  It was competition.  It didn't matter what "we" were selling,
whether steel or opium.  And it didn't matter either what means were used,
whether friendly persuasion or military intervention.  It didn't affect
"us" either way.  This system became profoundly institutionalized over
those hundreds of years.  It is a great revolving door of
lobbyists-turned-diplomats-turned-lobbyists with a career ladder, tame
journalists, and think tanks that they can hire any time to tell them what
they want to hear.  And being about "foreign" things, far from the
experience of most voters, and having no need for publicity, it took on a
life of its own.  But then something important happened.  The world started
becoming much more integrated.  The policy processes of different countries
started to interact.  Policies adopted in one country set dynamics in motion
that tended to pressure other countries to adopt the same policies.  "Our"
firms increasingly became identical with "their" firms.  And measures that
"we" took to influence "them" increasingly started amounting to measures
that "we" took to influence "us".  The border between foreign and domestic
policy eroded, and then it collapsed, and "domestic" policy was now being
made by the institutional apparatus that had formerly made "foreign" policy.
This happened slowly and quietly, in large numbers of extremely boring
meetings in distant places, so that nobody except marginalized academics
and wild-eyed consumer activists really noticed.  Then one day, boom, we
woke up to a world in which the deeply institutionalized promotion of
private commercial interests against "them" had turned into the deeply
institutionalized promotion of private commercial interests against "us".
It was no longer just a dynamic, just a tendency, just an abstract
globalization of the policy process.  It was an actual specific institution
with a name and address whose primary job was to tell the citizens of
democratic countries what they can and cannot do.  This was more of a
surprise in the United States than in most countries, given that the United
States has a long history of simply ignoring judgements against it by the
likes of the International Court of Justice in the Hague.  Yet now it's
happening.  We're waking up to interviews with global bureaucrats blandly
assuring us that the decisions of these vague WTO tribunals can be appealed
to other vague WTO tribunals.  Beyond simply avoiding any accountability,
the vagueness itself serves a purpose.  The op-ed elites have been out in
force this week, blandly telling us that the Seattle protesters are opposed
to "globalization", as one might try to oppose the wind.  Their very ability
to frame the issue in such terms tells us something about the media, which
are now full of things that you can only say with a straight face if you
control the media (e.g., that Al Gore claimed to have invented the
Internet).  Or that the protesters were opposed to "free trade".  No.  Come
on.  The WTO is government of, by, and for private commercial interests.
They are not interested in reducing regulation.  They happily support
regulation whenever it gives them an advantage, and they do so every day.
Look at all of the special-interest handouts that the supposedly
regulation-shy Internet industry has been gathering lately from the
supposedly regulation-shy Congress.  Microsoft howls against government
intervention when it is caught breaking the law, but it howls just as loudly
in support of government intervention whenever someone might be ripping
off its software.  It's the same deal at the WTO.  It's not about freedom,
but about institutionalizing the centuries-old combat among private
commercial interests that has always defined international relations.
We're not going to figure this out, much less do anything about it, until
we eliminate the conceptual distinction between domestic and foreign policy.
It never was a good distinction, and now it's an awful one.  In fact,
globalization causes even more of our intuitions to fail.  Take, for
example, the equation between government and centralization, and between
markets and decentralization.  Now that economies of scale operate on a
global basis, firms are increasingly centralized and globalized.
Governments, meanwhile, are hemmed in by borders.  If you want
decentralization, therefore, then you should be on the side of governments.
If you want centralization, the market is where you will find it.  The
ideology of the cyber libertarians is quite reliably the opposite of the
truth, and so it is here.  Measures that supposedly produce a decentralized
society will in fact reliably and predictably accomplish the reverse.  Am
I saying that we should shut down capitalism and return to the stone age?
No.  Markets work when they work.  We should just stop lying about what
markets are and what globalization is.  And about many other things, such
as the role of the Internet in all of this.  Global networks are not a
force for decentralization.  To the contrary, our lives are increasingly
mediated, structured, monitored, and regulated by electronic systems that
are controlled by highly centralized firms.  This centralization is not an
accident; it results naturally from economies of scale and network effects
that global networks greatly amplify.  (These effects are much more
straightforward and consequential than the reductions in transaction costs
of which market ideologists make so much.)  We must learn to live in a
world where these inescapable switchboards of institutionalized human life
are much bigger not only than our own selves as individuals, but also than
our democratic governments, small as they are, and herded as they are into
line by the globalization and privatization of the policy process.  The
first step in learning is to wake up and smell the coffee.  And what better
place to smell the coffee than in Seattle, which practically bathes in the

This message was forwarded through the Red Rock Eater News Service (RRE).
Send any replies to the original author, listed in the From: field below.

From: "Price, David" <DPRICE@STMARTIN.EDU>
Subject: WTO report, tues 11/2/99

I have been very busy am only now finding time to post the following 2 WTO

The facts are basically: at least 10,000 (with another 10,000 hanging in
the general downtown area) people peacefully shut down the entrance to the
WTO meeting place (Convention Center) and a bit more than an hour after
the meeting the should have started the police in full riot year start
telling everyone they are going to mess with them.  The rowdies in the
crowd taunt them.  Cops start firing tear gas into the crowd as well as
rubber bullets and beating people with batons who seem to be rowdies.
People (naturally get upset) but few leave.  Meanwhile, about 1/2 a mile
away are 15-20,000 Union folks at a rally who march through another area
of down town--but do not come to the area of police violence.  Anywhere
between 30-50,000 folks take over downtown.  Even after the police started
shooting gas and rubber bullets at folks the crowd is mostly very peaceful
(tipped over garbage cans & some burnt garbage dumpsters).  Big deal.  I
think a trash can or two get burned every day in a city the size of Seattle
without it usually turning up on the front page of the newspaper.

At dusk the mayor & governor announce that there will be a curfew from
7:00pm-7:30am and they called in the National Guard (The Governor says they
are unarmed even as the TV shows them walking through the streets with
sidearms, the obliging media explain to us that he meant they didn't have
rifles).  All the local news channels have their roving cams showing squads
of 30-50 cops sweeping the streets, firing teargas at most any crowd and
sweeping in to clear intersections.  The most evil and remarkable thing
was that the idiot news talking heads kept saying again and again how the
police were keeping the peace (with these tanks they insisted on calling
"peacekeepers") never bothering to point out the obvious: that everything
had been peaceful until the police started shooting at people.  They kept
showing folks walking through the streets and they'd say, "now that it is
night the real protesters have left and only hooligans and anarchists seem
to remain".  Huh?  I got some TV videotape late on Tues. night of this same
spin-BS as the camera went over a group of two dozen 70 year old Quakers
standing silently holding hands with candles in the street as the cops
sweep by in mass in the background.  They interview the chamber of commerce
and all these clowns who keep saying how well the police have behaved.
Meanwhile all the real human beings I know are calling for the mayor and
the chief of police to resign.

Someone should do a paper analyzing the order in which visual news bites
of police action/"riots" are shown to viewers.  I noticed two weeks ago
when the cops went ape on those protesters in Athens as Clinton was visiting
Greece that on Nightline the order was as follows (a) peaceful walking
masses (b) people breaking windows (c) police firing gas & rubber bullets
(bullets that if I fired at the police would get me on attempted murder
charges) at crowd.  This seemed wrong, so the next morning I watched the
AM-idiot-new-with-happy- cheerleaders and sure enough...the order that two
networks showed the events was: (a),(c),(b) which is the only order that
these events make sense.  Tues. night the local newsmob was doing its best
job to not show the order of these events in any rational order.

At around 7:30 or so the armored vehicles came driving up to police units
and delivered new cases of tear gas.  The TV talking-heads announced, "now
that the police are receiving new teargas canisters, we can announce that
they police ran out of tear gas several hours ago and they have been
anxiously awaiting these supplies."  I'm glad we have such objective
reporters who tell us the news we need to know, when we need to know it.

It is of course depressing to realize that the news spin will probably work
quite well locally.  Many of the teaming masses will forget what order
things went down the limited footage of some kids having fun trashing a
Starbucks will play again and again letting us learn to remember events as
they didn't really happen once again keeping us from the inevitable lesson
that I tried to teach my 7 year old from all this: the Cops are not on our
side, they work for those who'd have him work in a sweatshop for 37 cents
an hour.  Most places this is more obvious than here in the USA, but
sometimes there are little cracks in the image of our world that show us
whats really going on.


From: "Price, David" <DPRICE@STMARTIN.EDU>
Subject: WTO report, 12/2/99

On Weds. (WTO day 2 ) Seattle cops gassed, sprayed and arrested approx.
400 more protesters, none of whom were violent (the protesters not the
police) .  Most of these people were arrested for walking in the street,
or carrying signs in the 10 by 25 city block area that the Mayor declared
a no protest zone, and the people of Seattle refer to as a no free speech
zone.  This is a huge area taking in several miles.  The distance between
the cite of the WTO meeting and the hotels where the delegates stay is only
a few blocks, there is obviously much more at stake here than security.
The fact that President Clinton was in town didn't help matters, word on
the street and in the press is that the secret service told the cops and
mayor to crack down to keep the town safe for the President.  Those arrested
were cuffed, often ruffed up and bussed up to the Sand Point Naval Station,
then processed.  Three full busses left everyone on the buss for over 12
hours w/o "processing" people.  We're talking busses full of human waste
and very upset people.  Once again the National Guard and police declared
curfew for all of downtown Seattle from 7:00 pm - 7:30 AM.  The local news
insists on calling the National Guardsmen "unarmed" even though they gas
us, and have side arms, though they carry 3 foot wooden rods instead of
M16s--the M16s were in trunks of the vehicles that follow them everywhere
they go.

During Weds. night in another part of down some distance from the WTO
meetings, hotels etc. the police decided to break up a peaceful and
otherwise uneventful rally unrelated to WTO by shooting rubber bullets and
people, beating people and tear gassing people.  The local media bent over
backwards to make sure that no one was allowed to come on the air make
statements addressing what happens when the police get a taste using tear
gas.  Does this mean we can expect to routinely get gassed from now on?

The police and the police friendly local news put the word out that no one
could protest anywhere in downtown Seattle on Thursday, those who came
should expect to get arrested, so my cohort and I left Olympia for Seattle
around 8:00 AM to go and protest some more.

We walked around the convention area and scooped out the 400-500 cops we
could see in downtown.  We surveyed the damage done the few vandals (while
the cops stood and watched) to some downtown buildings.  The local news
keeps upping the estimates of the damage, now they are saying over 2 million
dollars.  This is clearly a false number, but the city is doing everything
they can to keep the number high, even bringing in graffiti cleaning crews
to clean up ancient gang graffiti which will get added to this tab (we
counted over 50 workers cleaning mostly old graffiti--one told us he makes
18.75 an hour and he expect to be cleaning here for the next 10 days or
so, do the math to see how to keep the damage payment inflated).  The local
media keeps suggesting that small local businesses were attacked.  I saw
none.  I asked a cop at this point if he could direct me to a local owned
business that had been damaged, he said he knew of none.  There was large
chain drug store, Nordstroms, Planet Hollywood, Starbucks (interestingly
not Seattle's Best Coffee), Radio Shack etc.  The real economic damage
seems to be that no one wants to buy Chirstmas presents downtown right now,
but I am sure that one or two media spin cycles will clear the air.  The
cops were out in strength and letting it be known that no protests were
going to be allowed anywhere downtown.

Around 10:00 we met up with a large protest group (min. est. 1500) at
Seattle Central Community College.  We marched up Pike right towards a
large, mean police line we'd just crossed on our way to the College.  It
was pretty clear that we were going to get gassed again, and the crowd was
large enough that we couldn't see what was going on in front of us.  No
gassing at this time, instead the cops decided to send a single motorcycle
in front of us to help control the intersections we were going to cross
whether they wanted us to or not.  Lots of support from laborers as we
passed construction sights, offices, restaurants and other places of
business.  Truckers very enthusiastically honked their horns, though the
extent to which this was in support of WTO protests and extent to which
their honks were in response to the half dozen 20-something women from
Olympia who'd taken their shirts off and decorated naked (except for 1 inch
of tape over their nipples) upper bodies with anti-WTO slogans.

We wound downtown to Victor Steinbreuck Park at Pikes Place Market where
there was a rally with Ralph Nader, Jim Hightower, and others.  Good strong
rally, at this point there were over 5,000 individuals attending.  I spoke
with a number of people who'd been arrested.  One guy from Madison had been
caught on the street 10 minutes before the curfew and when he wouldn't give
his name to the police he was arrested, brought to a precinct station and
locked in a broom closet (literally) for 12 hours and then released (he
said they wouldn't even let him go to the bathroom so he'd relieved himself
in a dustpan), most had been released on about 175$ bail, one person got
a judge who set bail at $2000 for a walking in the street charge.  There
are real concerns for the health of some elder protesters who are in the
80s and have not been heard from for over a day now.

Following the rally an announcement was made that protesters could follow
two different groups: one to protest at Weyerhaeuser the other somewhere
else in the opposite direction.  Some of the crowd were upset that 5000
people were being divided, but those who knew Seattle geography understood
that this really meant that those who wanted to violate the Mayor's no
protest zone and confront the hundreds of riots cops could follow those to
Weyerhaeuser.  This also split the police helicopters and foot/bike cops
who were tracking us.  Between 2,500 and 4,000 people marched to
Weyerhaeuser.  This was 3 blocks from the WTO meetings, directly across
the street from the Four Seasons Hotel (full of WTO reps).  We parked
ourselves in the street and blocked the intersection chanting and singing.
The police put on their gas masks and brought out the gas guns and real
guns and pulled out the pepper spray and snarled while to the North, East
and West armored vehicles blocked us in (at the time this seemed really
stupid to be because to the South was a meeting were the City Council was
voting on the state of marshal law that the mayor had unilaterally enacted
two days earlier, as well as the jail).  This was a very long and tense
time.  We covered up for the gas, made more noise and waited for more gas,
but the police held back.  We waited there about an hour.  Most of us walked
right up to the police and showed them our signs giving them the opportunity
to choose to enforce the "law" but they backed off and just stood there,
though some verbally threatened us.

After a very tense hour we decided to head to the jail to demand the release
of the 500 prisoners at the jail.  Again, the cops held back as they should
have the days before.  We circled the jail for a few hours and negotiations
between representatives and the police began.  Most of the group agreed to
disperse for the day if our representatives appeared at the door signifying
that negotiations were progressing well.

I saw an on-the-street Seattle Channel Five TV reporter using the crowd
for a background for an on the spot report and walked over to stand 10 feel
away in the background with my sign.  The camera man signaled her and
stopped filming.  She was very upset and asked me to "leave her alone".
I politely asked her to stop using the word "violence" in her reports unless
she was referring to the police, that the dozen or so people who had broken
windows had committed acts of vandalism (and should be dealt with
accordingly), not acts of violence and that her continued use of this term
only obscured what was going on.  She looked like she was going to cry and
started going on about how she's jut trying to do her job etc.  I (again
politely, but directly) asked her what part of her job required that she
not announce on the air that the police had run out of tear gas until the
cops had been resupplied.  I asked her why she felt the need to provide
voice-overs telling viewers that night time protesters were not on the
street for any real political cause, they were just troublemakers.  She
said that the on the street reports were very difficult to do because the
newscasters back in the studio gave them grief if they didn't support the
police view of the world, she then refused to talk to anyone and I had a
heated talk with the cameraman for 10 minutes along these lines (later,
making my way to our car, a friend and I had an extended confrontation with
a gang of Seattle cops: differentiating between vandalism and violence
(police violence), asking them why they hadn't arrested vandals, shot rubber
bullets and people sitting on the ground asking to be arrested etc.).

After dusk, the rep. appeared at the door and after some heated discussion,
most of the crowd left for the day.  The results of these discussions are
still unknown.


Subject: Seattle WTO Protest, evening

There were no talks of WTO with the protesters today.  Some conversed as
they were trying to get into their meeting, but just in passing.  I think
there were some planned sit down at the table talks yesterday with some
labor and environmental respresentatives.  I think the phenomenal thing
today is nearly 40,000 people (per NPR report) in lil' ol' Seattle, the
vast majority peaceful and concerned taking a stand about these issues.
If it were the weekend, I bet the crowd would have been doubled.  The
conciousness is out there.  And, btw, I am not at the "front lines", I was
warmly at home this morning, in front of the boob tube.  i must confess I
now see my own latent cyncism.  I really didn't think there would have been
anywhere near this many people.

>From what I have heard, and I just talked to someone in the labor rally,
is that that march was peaceful, a great feeling and a great feeling of
solidarity.  The violence preceded it and then picked up again after.  The
major march was over by 3:30, and the chaos continued by fringe people.
By 4-5 PM, some vandalism picked up again, and the police have been going
at it.

What sickens me is that the national guard is being called in and there is
a curfew from 7 PM for all of downtown tonight.  that is so enormously
stupid.  Maybe I'm having a flashback to 1970, but where I was in school,
Lawrence Kansas, and the national guard was called in (for 3 days), that
just escalated the violence, b/c the relatively few violent people are not
going to stay away from a curfew, now have a target, and seem energized by
the confrontation.  I remember hearing gun shots all night long then, it
was very frightening.

(by 10:15 PM, it seems my fears are happening as the confrontation with
police has moved to another area of town, and the vandalism, and police
gassing to clear streets, has continued, with maybe just a couple dozen
people causing all the ruckus).

On the way home tonight, I felt in a time warp.  Joan Baez was playing on
the radio and when I stopped for gas, a man with an NBC press pass was
telling of his experiences this morning.  He felt the police started the
violence.  He got clubbed when a policeman was pushed into him.  He saw
gas canisters thrown at an elderly woman and at some children, and said
that rubber bullets were used profusely.  He had just been at the local
news station and said there was much more footage of the above that wasn't
being played.  From what I've seen on the news, hours worth, the gas wasn't
being used on the vandals, but to disperse crowds.  This morning police
were restrained for a while, until the delegates could not get in.  Then
a couple streets away, for some reason, probably some order to get tough,
the police started to clear a street where protesters were sitting.  which
seems useless to me b/c the planned march was on the way soon anyway.  I
suspect the call for national guard is political.  Many delegates were
greatly upset that the opening was cancelled and couldn't understand why
the police, "were letting this happen".

Some of the vandals are from a group called "anarchists", some of them have
been interviewed on the news.  They dress in black, with heads and faces
covered in scarves.  The news here has been pretty good in consistantly
separating the groups and identifying the majority as peaceful.

Unfortunately, in watching the News Hour, it seems, as per usual, it's the
violence that is the story, not the over 30,000 people amassed
peacefully--they didn't even mention the size of that crowd.  No pictures
of the streets filled in every direction with people, in peace--it was
phenomenal to see.  they only showed the war zone pictures.  I heard from
another one down there, there were a kzillion personal camcorders going.
Hopefully the right pictures can get shown and shared out there.

This I think is a phenomenal event, an historical event, of significant
import, not necessarily by the impact will have on WTO but on education,
consciousness building, and inspiration for like minded and kindred spirits.
I feel inspired in the particular work that I have been trying to plug away
at, often in isolation (b/c of the unique nature of the craft I want to
use), and I wasn't even down there.  I have been very moved, even to tears
sometimes (good tears).

Would love to hear from some of you who were down there.  Please share your
experiences when you get a chance.

(Just heard the mayor say he's sickened to be calling the national guard.
well, yeah.............)


From: "Paul R. Lehto" <>
Subject: Seattle WTO Protest

A few Seattle WTO observations from direct observation:

The various demonstrations were so large that despite months of preparation
the police did not have enough personnel, and the inability to find enough
police for WTO security was what shut the WTO down today.  Technically,
the opening ceremonies were cancelled and only about one half of the
delegates were able to make it in for a plenary discussion late in the
afternoon, so a few things did happen at WTO today.

I don't know what happened in the morning, that was not part of the labor
rally, it was mostly younger students and direct action people.  I'm told
that it was the same as what I'm describing for the afternoon, (police
resort to tear gas and rubber bullets instead of arrests and small elements
of the enraged and angered crowd start trashing windows, but only windows
of multinational businesses, with the rest of the protesters telling them
not to do it).

The afternoon went very well as the labor rally joined up, adding at least
30,000 and I would never back off that figure.  My real estimate is between
50,000 and 100,000 at its peak.  There were people sidewalk to sidewalk,
at every intersection cramming 3 separate avenues as far as you could see.
However, as the labor rally marched up, we met what can only be described
as a darth vader police state of rows of gas masked riot police with
nightsticks dividing the city in half with protestors on each side rallying.
I saw at least seven different police lines, with armored personnel carriers
and marching reinforcements.  It was really an incredible sight complete
with everything except goosestepping and swastikas.

Around 4 pm I was nearby a police line wearing my suit and tie and reading
a fresh newspaper after having been interviewed by the International Herald
Tribune on WTO policy.  The captain at that police line about a half hour
earlier had stated that "you guys have been really great, you really have."

At around 4 pm, there were up to a thousand who were blocking accesses to
various WTO sites with the stated and well known goal of "shutting down
the WTO".  They fully expected and wished to be arrested rather than give
up their blockade, and got rid of ID and prepared for jail time in that
full expectation.

Rather than arrest the hard core activists get on with the well known way
things are supposed to go, the cops claim they ordered dispersal (nobody
heard anything but I'll not dispute this) and followed immediately with
concussion grenades, rubber bullets, tear gas cannisters.  There were then
slow police charges with cops taking alternating big steps and baby steps,
backed up by police cars with lights flashing and armored personnel
carriers.  One of the first two concussion grenades landed four feet from
me and went off with a powerful blast that definitely stopped me from
reading the paper.  That is a huge understatement.

At least one person got shot in the face and another in the head with these
round rubber balls that you cannot compress with your fingers.

In my opinion and observation it was the complete failure of the police to
make arrests that made the situation what it was.  They also failed to
pursue and stop any of the vandalism.  They continued this pattern of tear
gas and advances with hardly any arrests through the early evening as I
write this, failing to show any interest in arresting vandals or looters.
The police have been very slow and even the media (very biased against the
protesters at this point) was stating aloud "why aren't the police moving
in??"  This was around 8 pm when I was home and watching TV since the curfew
was on.

I can only wonder and speculate as to why the police refused to arrest like
the normal drama is supposed to end.  The local TV station KIRO attempted
an explanation by condemning the "violence of the protesters" (as if guns
with rubber bullets, tear gas and batons are not violent), and "explaining"
that the police had had a long and frustrating day.

But that doesn't cut it for me.  And the cops I saw were fine, though alert
and watchful.  Most were chatting off and on through the day, although some
attempted to take the Buckingham palace guard approach.

The bottom line is that the 25,000 left at the tear gassing have all been
shocked and radicalized, with their worst WTO gestapo fears confirmed.
And there were thousands more of passersby who were affected by the residual
gas, and even some WTO attendees were indirectly gassed.  But despite this
radicalization and disbelief at the police state and civil emergency and
curfew declared, I fear the average viewer, at least if they watched KIRO
at least, is told and believes that the police just needed to put an end
to a violent demonstration.  That is such a lie.

People get gassed and shot first, then a few go wild and trash things.
It's impossible not to get angry from concussion grenades and gas, and it
takes a commitment to nonviolence to not want to strike back.  The sequence
of events is critical with the gas first, but the media doesn't cover the

Luckily there were hundreds of video cameras and thousands of photo cameras
there and someday they will get to the bottom of what really happened.
And when they do, I believe they will be wondering why there were no real

And part of the evidence will be the students wandering seattle looking
for a place to stay they thought they would never need.


From: "Paul R. Lehto" <>
Subject: WTO: Torture in Seattle

Many people here in Seattle are too busy caring for the wounded and trying
to tell the truth to get to the big picture regarding WTO or get into a
"festive holiday mood" especially when listening to detailed stories and
evidence of police torture of jailed peaceful demonstrators.

Last night, (12/8/99) there were hundreds who could not get into a WTO
comment forum sponsored by the Seattle City Council.  It lasted EIGHT SOLID
HOURS, and still hundred were not able to give their testimony, limited to
three minutes per person.  One hundred fifty people spoke, 148 speaking
against the actions of the police, and 2 speaking in favor.  The 148 people
provided the most riveting and disturbing testimony I've ever heard (and
the council members have said they have ever heard).  Testimony included:

1.  Detailed testimony about torture techniques designed to leave no marks
(but did anyway) on the hands of up to a dozen jailed demonstrators.
Amnesty International has called.
2.  Testimony from MDs providing expert testimony that symptoms of
protesters like immediate out of cycle menstruation, diarrhea and others
were consistent with acetylcholine esterase inhibition, a kind of nerve
agent/action not possible with tear gas, pepper spray and OC gas.
3.  Testimony of 2 miscarriages caused by unprovoked police violence,
including one physical assault and another from gas and pepper spray.
4.  Incredibly disturbing video of huddled protestors in the fetal position
being attacked by numerous police officers with batons, one pulling a
protesters head back in order to spray pepper spray directly in his eye,
making him writhe in incredible pain, hands squeezing his head like he was
trying to pull his own head off.
5.  Video footage of police kidnaps, using unmarked vehicles rushing into
6.  Hundreds of cases of jailed demonstrators being denied food, water,
their legal right to counsel, being stripped and humiliated in front of
people of the opposite sex.
7.  People in dreadlocks being abused and pulled around by their hair.
8.  Refusal of the city attorney, Mark Sidran, to negotiate in good faith
with attorneys for the demonstrators or to allow the demonstrators even
basic constitutional rights.

There were over a hundred calls for the resignation of the mayor and many
for the firing of the city attorney and prosecution of police officers.

Even more disturbing is the media coverage.  KIRO TV took the single police
officer who showed up and led with the story that in an eight hour meeting
of "outrage over the handling of the WTO," a police officer "asked for
compassion from the crowd".  Then the media TOTALLY IGNORED the overwhelming
evidence that brought the crowd and even council members to tears, many,
many times.  And totally ignored the unrebutted testimony that it was a
police-created riot from the very beginning.

Another TV station simply said "most spoke against police, but some spoke
in favor" (Remember it was 148 to 2, and the 148 were overwhelming, riveting
and damning in their testimony) No details of torture, more intentional
unprovoked police assaults, and especially no coverage of the fact that
there was no significant property damage until after the police started a
riot by teargassing and rubber bulleting sitting demonstrators.

As one person testified, the US media doesn't need censorship because it
censors itself.

Meanwhile, off duty police officers will rally on Friday and, in effect,
demand the deference to which they are normally entitled based on their
hazardous service to the community.  If this is received well by the media
and the public, then there will be thousands upon thousands of friends and
families of police victims who will ....  well, what will they do?  There
are too many for this to be swept under the rug and denied.

In Seattle, no healing until the truth can be told publicly and in the
[Continued in Fun_People Updates 9/17/00, Part 2, to follow  -psl]

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