I don’t do this very often, but, today, on paper, so it can be proved... I’m admitting that I was wrong.
I must rectify a mistake and make a correction after finding more stories about the North Korean Unicorns.
It turns out that they aren’t unicorns at all, but a creature with “a dragon’s head, a deer’s body, the tail of a cow, hooves and a mane.”
My sincerest apology to the North Korean government.
Usually, one story a week will suffice, but I’ve got a short list of hodgepodge to fit in today, so bear with me.
First, some genius named Dan McCoy found some money just sitting in an ATM at a gas station in Frederick, Mass., and he wants to give it back to whomever it belongs to.
Seriously, have you never played Monopoly? Bank error in your favor – collect $200 dollars.
Anyway, he has even given his phone number to the press, so, if you want to take a whack at this piñata and see if you can’t come away with a little Christmas cash, call 301-739-7763.
Need another get-rich-quick scheme for those not-quite-last-minute-yet gifts?
Marc Paskin, a 63-year-old real estate investor from Southern California, who is worth $200 million has bought a billboard in San Diego that states in big, white letters:
“All I Want for Christmas is a Latina Girlfriend.”
Paskin’s wife of 28 years, Marsha, died in 2002, he has two adult children, and – just so you don’t think he is some kind of freak – he likes to travel, sing karaoke, and impersonate Elvis.
On his billboard, Paskin also lists his email address for the... opportunity. Feel free to email him at: ChristmasLatina@aol.com.
Finally, the perfect late Christmas present has come to our attention here at the Citizen this week: Pizza Hut is releasing a perfume.
The book of Leviticus in the Old Testament of the Holy Bible ordered the Hebrews to observe the year of the Jubilee every 50 years. Essentially three things were to happen. Number one, the land was to be allowed to lay fallow (unplanted) so that it might have time to replenish itself. Number two, all slaves were to be freed. Many of these slaves had really sold themselves into bondage; because they could not support themselves in any other way. Number three, all land which had been sold had to be returned to the seller, again because it had been sold because of hardship. Esoterically, the Hebrews understood this to be an analogy of God’s forgiveness of the debt of sin to Him. Practically, you can see how the value of both land and slaves (real and personal property) would adjust according to how near it was to a Jubilee year. Verily, I say unto you, contemplate the great value this process had to fight inflation through the years.
In fact, Israel’s Mesopotamian neighbors, kings of Sumer and Babylonia in the Bronze Age, had issued royal edicts doing the same thing as early as 2400 BC, and many times thereafter. When you are the king, debt forgiveness makes for a happy populace.
Now comes Australian economist Steve Keen with the idea that it is the mountain of private debt we owe, not the government debt, which is killing the US economy. He may be right. I suggested as much in September 2009, because of Japan’s history. Let’s compare the decade of the1920s to the first decade of the 2000s. Government debt, bad as it is, was only about 80 percent of Gross Domestic Product (total national economic output) at the start of the first depression. It reached 120 percent by the end of World War II, which we had to finance. It then lowered to about 60 percent during the prosperous Reagan years, but has increased since until it finally surpassed 100 percent again this year.
I saw you PCI 3798. I saw you blithely flick a cigarette butt out your car window whilst I was trailing you in traffic. But you’re not alone. I often see smokers discarding their used cigarettes with the casual lack of concern befitting the monarchs of old. Why do others and I find such littering so disturbing? Is it merely because of the visual damage to our surroundings? No, I think the animus runs beyond mere cosmetic harm. Our outrage toward the litterer is a result of recognizing the arrogance the litterer holds to believe they are so important that it is the job of others to clean up their mess (no, cigarette butts are not biodegradable). But wait – isn’t that what we do when we go to a nice restaurant (expect others to clean up our mess after we’re done eating)? Aren’t we expecting others to provide a service for us whenever we purchase a good or service? But this expectation is not arrogance because we in fact provide something in return by paying for such services. The litterer expects (dare I say feels entitled to the notion) that someone else should clean up after them without giving anything in return. It is this sense of entitlement, this sense of “others should bear the cost of cleaning up my mess” that we object to.
Walking through shoe departments, or scanning the latest fashion magazines, makes you keenly aware that stilettos have stepped into no-woman’s-land.
Unnaturally high heels and the inability to walk steady, coupled with the pain women experience wearing them, can be compared to foot binding; like tiny lotus shaped feet, one cannot walk fast or purposefully, much less run, in stilettos.
The binding of young girls feet became desirable in “court circles,” where bound feet and lack of mobility kept women dependent on their husbands and servants, and spread to wealthy Chinese who adopted the practice. The custom moved from the city to the outlying country, where young girls realized that binding their feet could be a passport to social mobility and increased wealth.” Hmmmm, is it me, or does this all sound just a tad sinister? You have to wonder if today’s shoe designers are decedents of Li Yu who ruled the region in China from 961-975 A.D. where foot binding was said to have originated?
There are reasonable motives to don a pretty pair of heels. Stacy and Clinton, hosts of TLC’s What Not to Wear, sight heel height as giving the desirable illusion of long legs and sex appeal. Understanding that an unsteady wobbly gait diminishes the desirable effect of faux long legs, and sex appeal, Stacy and Clinton recommend a practical heel height that looks good but allows you to run from the enemy.
Having long legs, I need not pretend with faux ones; heels are somewhat optional for me. Even so, I want to wear a painful pair of pretty 4-inch heels and dance for hours at parties like Carrie Bradshaw, I really do. But I can’t, it cripples me for the next two days and even tennis shoes won’t ease the inflammation. Without knowing it, I may be protecting my health by two-steppin in my cowboy boots.
North Korea is rarely a laughing matter, but, in this case, I’m willing to make an exception.
The director of the History Institute of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (which sounds remarkably similar to the NSDAP to me…) Academy of Social Sciences has announced that North Korean archaeologists have recently rediscovered the Yongmyong Temple, where King Tongmyong used to ride his unicorns in his off time.
That’s right – North Korean history involves unicorns… and the kings that loved to saddle up on them.
The Sinjungdonggukyojisungnam (the Revised Handbook of Korean Georgraphy compiled in the 16th century) states that the Yongnyong Temple is located under Mt. Kumso, one of Pyongyang’s eight scenic locations.
Sinjungdonggukyojisungnam. Say that five times fast.
Or once – slowly.
Well, I guess that North Korea decided to take a break from making the entire rest of the world nervous to dig up an entire mountain, just to see if they can’t find some unicorn bones.
The Korean Central News Agency (guess who owns that) reported that the lair was found from the known sections of the Yongmyong Temple.
They found a rock there that contains carvings that date back as far as 918 AD.
Not only did unicorns exist in Korea, according to the DPRK, they were hanging around punching single holes in mountain walls with their heads less than 1,100 years ago.
But we shouldn’t be too quick to hang the dunce cap on the North Koreans. Lots of nations’ foundational beliefs depend on creatures and people that probably didn’t exist exactly as they imagine them if at all.
The Odyssey involves a Cyclops. In Beowulf, the title character defeats the Grendel. Siegfried in the Nibelungenlied is known as the “dragon-slayer.”
And Paradise Lost…
Printed in the December 6, 2012 edition
It has been recently reported (http://goo.gl/dZZ8b) that the Madison City Council is exploring a new ordinance that would criminalize uncouth couture, that is, droopy drawers. The objective of said ordinance is “…. to get … appearance to be decent” (Councilman Fred Perriman). This statement of course presumes (a) decency can be objectively defined and (b) it is the proper role of government to impose arbitrary cultural notions of “decency.” Traditionally “decency” has been directly correlated with the amount of skin covered as well as the degree of looseness of said coverings. So using this metric it would seem women wearing a hijab (traditional Muslim head and body covering) are perhaps the most “decent” people around. I’m not suggesting the Council plans on imposing mandatory hijabs, however I am curious as to what underlying objective principle affords one the ability to demarcate a point between “hijabs for all” and “down with droopy drawers” wherein “decent” lies on one side and “indecent” on the other? Other than simply the subjective “I don’t like the way that looks” of course.
Now don’t get me wrong, I personally think saggy pants look incredibly goofy and frankly can’t figure out how they can walk around like that without tripping over themselves. But just because someone finds something to be idiotic is no justification to take advantage of the monopoly of the exclusive use of legal violence (or threat of violence) that government currently possesses in order impose his or her personal preferences on society.