Of The Day
But, sometimes not every day.

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January 16, 1999

Miscellaneous Stories...
(Or, anything but the Impeachment stuff.)

With thousands of people watching, officials of the Taliban intentionally toppled a brick wall over onto a 60-year-old man yesterday as punishment for molesting a child. Also, during the same adjudication session they severed the hands and feet of a number of convicted thieves in most cases parading them around first. Under Taliban law a violator is placed beneath the stone wall and it is pushed over. If the convicted person survives, it is deemed the will of Allah and his, or her, sentence is commuted. In the hundreds of wall buryings, there have been two survivors. In the case of limb severing, there is no such intervention by Allah, and the individual is placed under anesthesia and the judgment is carried out by doctors. This medical procedure is a modern innovation, obviously. In the good old days it was just hack, hack. In the streets of Kabul, where this courtroom drama was carried out, several of the hands and feet which were cut off, were seen hanging from a tree in the crowded Shahr-e-Now district, which is the location of many local stores. Store owners did not, and would not, specify who displayed the body parts.

The Reverend Jerry Falwell in a speech in Williamsburg yesterday stated that the "Antichrist" is alive today and is a Jewish male. He also stated that he believes the second coming of Christ will occur sometime in the next ten years. He was addressing the concern that many Christian sects and denominations have expressed over the year 2000. Before an audience of 1500 people he said, "Who will the Antichrist be? I don't know. Nobody else knows. Is he alive and here today? Probably. Because when he appears during the Tribulation period he will be full-grown counterfeit of Christ. Of course he will be Jewish. Of course he will pretend to be Christ. And in fact the Lord is coming soon, and he'll be an adult at the presentation of himself, so he also must be alive somewhere today." Mr. Falwell went on to state that he did not intend his statement to be anti-Jewish. He stated the the Antichrist must be Jewish because Jesus was Jewish. It's all so simple to him.

John W. Hinckley Jr.'s out for day trips, you know. This guy who wounded and nearly killed President Ronald Reagan and three other men is now allowed to take outside trips, supervised of course, by relatives and friends. His first stop was dinner with friends.

In a two-to-one ruling, the US Court of Appeals, voted to give Hinckley some time out of prison. "This is the system working," stated his attorney, Harry Levine. "He's not a prisoner. He's a patient." John W. Hinckley, Jr. is now 43 years-old, and has been "hospitalized" for 17 years. He was acquitted of attempted murder and assassination for the March 30, 1981 highly broadcast shootings on an insanity plea.

Five-time Olympic champion Jenny Thompson, who shattered two world records last month, broke the 100-meter individual medley world record at a World Cup short-course meet this week. Thompson followed up her record-breaking performance by winning the 50-meter butterfly, giving her five gold medals at the meet. Her record time of 1:00.41, seems to promise a sub one minute time in the near future, but that's a big drop. But it would akin to the 70th homerun hit by Mark McGuire. But in swimming, it's a lonely sport. Hours of practice every day, and then a one minute event. To me, of all the sports, swimming remains the purest.

"I've got a winning streak going, and I hope I can keep it going forever,'' she said, happy and excited.

And finally, for those of you who "wait for the video," The Truman show is out, as you may know. It's the story of Truman Burbank, played by Jim Carrey, who is born and raised as the unknowing star of television show. The studio is so big it can be seen from space, and the lie is so big it's hard to believe. But suspend your belief structure and enjoy the show. Truman is so innocent and trying so hard to live a normal life, most of us can identify with him. We've all had the feeling of paranoia that everyone is in a conspiracy against us, well here is proof. As he gains a greater and greater awareness, ultimately walking away, we see that the dreams he is living though actually did prepare him for the next step. The Truman show made great television, and the movie is, well, it is what it is. I'm going to watch it again this afternoon with my daughter. I love the ending. And, I'll do anything today to avoid anything to do with you-know-what.

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