The land of the free...3 comments
picture21 Sep 2003 @ 02:24
Nine months in jail is bad trip for 'bong' seller Tommy Chong
Duncan Campbell in Los Angeles
Saturday September 20, 2003
The Guardian

One of America's best-known counter-cultural comedians, Tommy Chong, is facing the prospect of a nine-month jail sentence after being convicted of selling glass pipes on the internet which can be used for smoking cannabis.

Lawyers for Chong, 65, one half of the famous Cheech and Chong comedy duo and more recently a television actor, claim the US attorney general, John Ashcroft, chose to prosecute him for the publicity value. The glass pipes, or "bongs", that Chong has been offering for sale are the same as those that have been sold for years by thousands of "head shops" all over the US and Europe, and Chong has regularly been paying taxes on their sales.

"They are really prosecuting him for who he is," his Los Angeles-based attorney, Richard Hirsh, said yesterday. "It was a very selective prosecution. Ashcroft is 100% behind it."

Mr Hirsh said that for many years the sale of bongs and pipes had been accepted and no notice had been given of an intended change in policy.

Twenty-two people have been convicted of selling pipes since Mr Ashcroft launched Operation Pipe Dreams last year. Some 650,000 people in the US are arrested each year for minor cannabis possession.

Chong, who has no previous convictions and has run his business in Gardena, California, alongside an acting career, was arrested after a sting operation in which federal agents in Pittsburgh ordered bongs over the internet, thus ensuring that the items were sent across state lines.

Judge Arthur Schwab said jail was appropriate for "a felony of conspiring to distribute drug paraphernalia", and sentenced him to nine months last week. His lawyers are deciding whether to appeal.

Chong, who was born in Canada, linked up with "Cheech" Marin in the 1970s and made a number of comedy films with a cannabis-related theme. Among them were Up In Smoke, Cheech and Chong's Nice Dreams, Still Smokin' and, in the 1990s, National Lampoon's Senior Trip. His latest film is Pot Luck.  More >

 are we weird ?9 comments
picture19 Sep 2003 @ 12:23
Sue and I regularly surf the net, visit chat rooms, instant message and log in to and post to NCN = together !

But we can't find any other couples that do. We went to quite a few chat rooms but never met another couple once.

Same with instant messaging, we have friends who occasionally are in same room, but not really online together.

So what are other members experiences of this ?
Are we unusual in that we use the system as most couples and families watch televison together ?

Let us (both) know !  More >

 nation states are past their sell-by dates10 comments
picture18 Sep 2003 @ 02:09
terrorism can only grow where there is no hope of peaceful change
we have seen that in Northern Ireland, where centuries of colonial misrule led to decades of bombings and shooting

terror can come in many forms however, and nation states have the armies and equipment to wage war on poor people all over the globe

is very difficult for us in the wealthy west to empathise with those who seek to destroy the system, but we should always bear in mind that this system is responsible for much that is both positive and negative on our planet

and we must not identify with that system, it is not our system, they are not our nation states - the system is perpetuated for the benefits of the elites

the latest round of international trade negotiations are an example of the lack of love and respect that the powerful feel for the relatively powerless, and this by folk who claim to be christian - can you imagine jesus driving trade talks that force the majority of the world's population to live in poverty so that a few can gorge and grow obese?

we are shamed by the actions of our so called negotiators and representitives

personally, I feel that this crazy state of affairs will continue while we persist with this out-dated and divisive system of nation-states

we are citizens of the world not a particular country

(this piece was a comment on news log owned by cosman64, in response to a piece entitled :"Suprising attack and suprising response" by Haohua Jiang)

I woke up this morning with a burning need to say something about modern states. Had a look at a newslog I hadn't seen before and lo and behold 'twas rather relevant to my mindset today.[Edit]  More >

 Sleeping Positions17 comments
picture17 Sep 2003 @ 02:09
How You Sleep Reveals Who You Are

Chris Idzikowski, of the Sleep Assessment and Advisory Service, has linked each of the the six most common sleeping positions to a personality type. He says, "We are all aware of our body language when we are awake but this is the first time we have been able to see what our subconscious posture says about us."
The most common sleep position, used by 41% of the 1,000 people he surveyed, is the "fetus" position. If you sleep all curled up, you're tough on the outside but have a sensitive heart. You're shy when you first meet someone, but you relax later. Twice as many women sleep this way as men.

15% of people sleep in the "log" position, lying down on their backs with both arms by their sides. These people are easygoing, popular, social and trust strangers. They can be gullible, though.

13% are "yearners," who sleep on their side with both arms out in front of them. They have an open nature, but can be suspicious and cynical. They're slow to make up their minds, but once they've made a decision, they stick to it.

"Soldier" sleepers (8% of us) lie on their backs with both arms down at their sides. These people are quiet and reserved and have high standards for themselves and others.

"Freefall" sleepers (7%) lie on their stomachs with both hands around the pillow and their heads to the side. These are friendly, outgoing people but they don't take criticism well.

If you're one of the 5% who are "starfish" sleepers, you lie on your back with both arms up around the pillow. These people are always ready to listen to others and offer help when needed. They don't like to be the center of attention.

Idzikowski says some positions are healthier than others. The "freefall" is good for digestion, while the "starfish" and "soldier" lead to snoring. He says, "Lying down flat means that stomach contents can more readily be worked back up into the mouth, while those who lie on their back may end up snoring and breathing less well during the night. Both these postures may not necessarily awaken the sleeper but could cause a less refreshing night's sleep."

Most people stick to the same position every night—only 5% say they change positions nightly. One arm or leg sticking out from under the covers is very common, followed by both feet sticking out at the end. One in 10 people cover themselves completely with the blanket (including their heads).


My partner Sue utilises the "Freefall" position, while I tend to plump for the "Starfish", with one foot out and a corner of the quilt over my head to protect me from alien probes etc.

How about you?  More >

 Madonna's writing stories now...4 comments
picture16 Sep 2003 @ 06:37
'She shines like a star!'

Tuesday September 16, 2003
The Guardian

An extract from The English Roses, by Madonna:
You see, the English Roses wanted to be friendly, and they knew that Binah was lonely. But they could not bring themselves to be nice to her, because everywhere they went this is what they heard:

"What a beauty she is!"

"She shines like a star!"

"That Binah is something else!"

When Nicole and Amy and Charlotte and Grace heard people speak this way about Binah, they always felt like they were going to be sick. This is what they would have to say:

"How could anyone be so perfect?"

"No one ever says that about us!"

"It's not fair to have so much!"

"Let's pretend we don't see her when she walks by."

"Let's push her in the lake!"

And that is what they did.

Isn't Binah one of the Sephira of the Tree of Life? I read that Madge was into studying Kabbala, but am suprised she uses the terminology for a kid's book. And if the story is a thinly-veiled account of her life on these shores, it looks as if she is not being fully accepted into po(p)lite English society. We read over here that the CIA is working with various artists stateside to promote the American way of life. Madonna's recent works seem to fit this propaganda role only too well.  More >

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