Saturday, February 16, 2013

Four Dumb Questions

While attending flight school in early 2001, Zacarias Moussaoui sought instruction on how to steer an airplane but had no interest in taking off or landing the thing. This led to his detainment by authorities, causing him to miss a plane flight on September 11, 2001, where he was to be the 20th terrorist on that fateful day.

Moussaoui was subsequently indicted by a federal grand jury on six counts of conspiracy, including intent to murder and intent to use weapons of mass destruction. Four of the counts are punishable by death. At first, Moussaoui refused to make a plea. Later he pleaded guilty, stating he wanted avoid the death penalty because his religion specifically forbids suicide. The judge refused to accept the plea.

QUESTIONS -- If Moussaoui’s religion strictly forbids suicide, why hijack an airplane to kill lots of people, including himself? And if his objective is to kill as many infidels as possible before expiring in the effort, thereby being rewarded with eternity in heaven in the company of 70 virgins, why be concerned with his own mortality?

ANSWER -- Perhaps Moussaoui and his associates weren’t honorable soldiers in a grand crusade after all. Perhaps they were just a bunch of crazy jerks.

Recently, a New York City lawyer has filed suit against McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s and Kentucky Fried Chicken Corporation. Apparently, he has a client with a fondness for fast foods who has become obese with the resulting high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

QUESTION – What do you have when you bury a bunch of lawyers up to their necks in sand?

ANSWER – Not enough sand.

On July 26, 2002, CNN News reported that several witnesses in the Washington DC area saw bright orange and blue lights in the sky. The news announcer went on to say that two F-16s were scrambled out of nearby Andrews Air Force but the unidentified objects disappeared before the planes could intercept them and mysteriously vanished from radar. Then the announcer added, with a smirk on his face, that there were no sightings of little green men.

QUESTION – Is it possible for intelligent life to exist elsewhere in the universe?

ANSWER -- If you divide all the known stars (suns) in the known universe equally among all the human beings living on Earth, there would be three trillion stars per person. And if only one in a million of these potential solar systems had just one planet with intelligent life, similar to our solar system, there would be approximately 20,000,000,000,000,000 planets with intelligent life in our universe. If there is no intelligent life elsewhere, an awful lot of planetary bodies are going to waste. He who smirks at the unknown is a fool.

President George Bush once had a private screening of the movie GOLDMEMBER and claimed it was one of the best movies he had ever seen. During a TV interview with Barbara Walters during his presidency, Bill Clinton stated that NAKED GUN was his all-time favorite movie. Both of these films were made to target junior high school boys who are easily amused by buxom babes and bathroom humor.

QUESTION – Why do we keep electing these immature man-boys to be our leader?

ANSWER – Because immature people need leaders and tend to elect one of their own.

Quote for the Day – “Learn from the mistakes of others – you can never live long enough to make them all yourself.” Groucho Marx

Bret Burquest is the author of 9 books. He lives in the Ozark Mountains with a dog named Buddy Lee and usually has more questions than answers.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Valentine Vibes

February 14 is Valentine's Day.

According to legend, Valentine was a Roman priest during the third century. When Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families, he decreed that young men were forbidden to get married.

However, Valentine defied the ruling and continued to perform marriages of young couples in secret. His actions were eventually discovered compelling Claudius to order the priest's death.

While in prison awaiting death, Valentine fell in love with a young woman, believed to be the jailer's daughter, who visited him regularly. Before his execution, it is alleged that Valentine wrote the young woman a note which he signed "from your Valentine."

Thus, Valentine was put to death and Valentine's Day was born.

When I first started dating my ex-wife it never occurred to me to get her anything on Valentine's Day. She spent the next several weeks in a huff. On our second Valentine's Day together, I gave her a nice piece of jewelry and she gave me an oven mitt.

Needless to say, I never did figure her out. We were married the following year and divorced five years later. She got the house and I got to keep the oven mitt.

On Valentine's Day, or any other day, a woman may ask a seemingly innocent question. A correct answer will usually lead to temporary approval, at least until the next seemingly innocent question. But any dimwitted answer, of which there are many, will surely bring about long-term torment.

Question: "Do you love me?"
A) "I guess so."
B) "In what sense?"
C) "Most of the time."
D) "Who, me?"
X) Correct answer -- "Of course, dear."

Question: "What are you thinking about?"
A) "Football."
B) "My dog."
C) "I was wondering when the next Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition was going to be available."
D) "If I wanted you to know, I'd be talking instead of thinking."
X) Correct answer -- "I was just thinking about what a wonderful, kind, thoughtful, intelligent, beautiful woman you are and what a lucky guy I am to be with you."

Question: "Do you think she's prettier than me?"
A) "You have a much better personality."
B) "Only from a certain angle."
C) "It's hard to say."
D) "She's just younger and thinner."
X) Correct answer -- "Absolutely not, dear."

Question: "Do I look fat in this dress?"
A) "I wouldn't exactly call it fat – I'd call it more like pleasantly plump."
B) "Nobody will notice."
C) "Compared to what?"
D) "Don't worry about it – a little extra weight looks good on you."
X) Correct answer -- "No, of course not, darling."

The key to a blissful relationship is sincerity.  If you can fake sincerity, your relationship will endure.


Quote for the Day – "Love makes your soul crawl out of its hiding place." Zora Neale Hurston


Bret Burquest is a former award-winning columnist and the author of nine books. He lives alone in the Ozark Mountains with a dog named Buddy Lee and an oven mitt.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Fifty Years Ago -- 1963

The following events took place in 1963.

Jan 2 – Viet Cong downed 5 U.S. helicopters, killing 30 U.S. soldiers.

Jan 11 – The first discotheque, Whiskey-a-go-go, opened in Los Angeles.

Jan 14 – George Wallace was sworn in as Governor of Alabama, vowing “segregation forever.”

Feb 6 – USSR offensive military weapons are no longer in Cuba.

Mar 21 – Alcatraz Prison closed for good, on the orders of Attorney General Robert Kennedy.

Mar 31 – Streetcar service in Los Angeles ended after 90 years.

Apr 2 – Martin Luther King initiated the first non-violent civil rights in Birmingham, Alabama.

Apr 8 – At the Academy Awards, Lawrence of Arabia won Best Picture, Anne Bancroft won Best Actress and Gregory Peck won Best Actor.

Apr 10 – The USS Thresher, nuclear submarine, failed to surface 220 miles east of Boston, killing 129 sailors.

Apr 12 – Police used cattle prods and dogs on peaceful demonstrators in Birmingham, Alabama.

May 8—President John F. Kennedy offered assistance against aggression to Israel.

May 15—Autronaut Gordon Cooper orbited the Earth 22 times aboard Faith 7 and manually piloted the craft to a pinpoint splashdown landing.

May 20 – A cyclone in East Pakistan killed 22,000 people along the coast of the Bay of Bengal.

Jun 3 – Pope John XXIII died at age 81, succeeded by Pope Paul VI.

Jun 7 – The Rolling Stones made their first TV appearance.

Jun 11 – Martin Luther King was arrested in Florida while attempting to integrate restaurants.

Jun 11 – Federal troops were employed to force Alabama Governor to allow black students to attend the University of Alabama.

Jun 18 – Some 3,000 blacks boycotted public schools in Boston.

Jun 26 – President John F. Kennedy visited West Berlin and uttered the words “Ich bin ein Berliner” (I am a Berliner) in a speech.

Jun 28 – ISSR President Nikita Khrushchev visited East Berlin.

Jul 1 – The U.S. Post Office initiated the 5-digit Zip Code.

Jul 26 – An earthquake in Yugoslavia killed over 1,000 people.

Aug 3 – The Beatles made their final appearance at the Cavern Cave in Liverpool, England.

Aug 13 -- Jun 11 – A Buddhist monk burned himself to death on a street in Saigon to protest actions of the South Vietnamese Government.

Aug 18 – James Meredith became the first black to graduate from the University of Mississippi.

Aug 19 – Madame Ngo Dinh Nhu, official hostess of the South Vietnamese Government, offered to light the match of the next monk suicide.

Aug 21 – Martial law was declared in South Vietnam as police began a crackdown on Buddhist anti-government protesters.

Aug 24 – President John F. Kennedy authorized a military coup against South Vietnam’s President Diem, leading to the assassination of Diem a couple of months later.

Aug 26 – Orders from Washington DC were issued to destroy all cables sent to Saigon, South Vietnam, dating back to August 24.

Aug 28 – Some 250,000 demonstrators gathered in Washington DC, which included Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech.

Sep 2 -- Alabama Governor George Wallace ordered state troopers to prevent Tuskegee High School from being integrated.

Sep 9 – A landslide in Italy killed some 4,000 people.

Sep 10 – President John F. Kennedy federalized the Alabama National Guard to prevent Alabama Governor from blocking public school integration.

Sep 13 – Construction of the Glen Canyon Dam on the Colorado River forming Lake Powell was completed.

Sep 15 – The Ku Klux Klan bombed the 16th St. Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, killing four young black girls.

Sep 27 – The population of the USA reached 190 million and the minimum wage was set at $1.25 per hour.

Oct 4 – A hurricane killed some 8,000 people in the Dominican Republic, Haiti and Cuba.

Oct 6 – The Los Angeles Dodgers swept the New York Yankees, four games to zero, to win the baseball World Series.

Oct 10 – A dam burst in Italy killing an estimated 2,000 people.

Nov 14 – A volcano formed a new island five miles south of Iceland.

Nov 22 – President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas.

Nov 22 – Mob boss Carlos Marcello of New Orleans was acquitted of criminal charges.

Nov 24 – Jack Ruby killed Lee Harvey Oswald, the accused assassin of President Kennedy.

Nov 28 – The Crusher beat Verne Gagne to become the NWA professional heavyweight wrestling champion.

Nov 29 – President Lyndon Johnson appointed Chief Justice Earl Warren to form a commission to investigate the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

Dec 9 – Frank Sinatra, Jr. was kidnapped whereupon Frank Sinatra, Sr. paid a $240,000 ransom for his safe release.

Dec 12 – Kenya gained independence from Britain.

Dec 31 – The Top Ten Songs of 1963:

1 – Louie Louie by the Kingsmen
2 – She Loves You by the Beatles
3 – I Want To Hold Your Hand by the Beatles
4 – Be My Baby by the Ronettes
5 – I Saw Her Standing There by the Beatles
6 – Surfin’ USA by the Beach Boys
7 – Glad All Over by the Dave Clark Five
8 – It’s All Right by the Impressions
9 – Blowin’ In The Wind by Peter Paul and Mary
10 – Please Please Me by the Beatles

In 1963, I was a sophomore at the University of Minnesota, mostly trying to figure out what to do with the rest of my life.

In 2013, I’m still trying to figure it out.

Quote for the Day – “The stories of courage … they can teach, they can offer hope, they can provide inspiration. But they cannot supply courage itself. For this each man must look into his own soul.” John F. Kennedy

Bret Burquest is the author of 9 books, including THE REALITY OF THE ILLUSION OF REALITY and 11:11 EARTH TIME (available on Amazon). He lives in the Ozark Mountains with a dog named Buddy Lee and occasionally talks to trees.