David Henry Sterry

Author, book doctor, raker of muck

David Henry Sterry

Category: Huffington Post Articles

Pelican Bay Inmates Hunger Strike to Protest Inhumane Solitary Confinement

When I first heard about the hunger strike, it was Facebook-ed, tweeted or Google+ed that there was going to be a massive noise-making demonstration in New York City to show the world the sick, twisted inhumane torture that’s going on right here in America. Yes, American citizens are being tortured by the United States government. And it’s all sanctioned by Gov. Jerry Brown, and ultimately by President Barack Obama.

Why, you might wonder, if you haven’t heard about this (and chances are you haven’t, because the powers that be don’t want you to know) would Gov. Jerry Brown, a man who has been a staunch advocate of human rights, and Pres. Barack Obama, who time and again has spoken out against torture, allow this to happen in the land of the free and the home of the brave? Isn’t this what the whole alleged war is supposedly about? So governments don’t torture their citizens? The reason you haven’t heard about this is because our government is torturing Americans from the bottom of the food chain, people without money, education or opportunity (“Justice? Yeah that’s right: Just. Us.” – Richard Pryor). They are prisoners in Pelican Bay State Prison’s Security Housing Unit. The SHU is a prison inside a prison, built for the “worst of the worst.” There are SHUs in three men’s prisons and in one woman’s prison in California. Prisoners in the SHU are locked in a tiny, windowless cell 22 1/2 hours per day. Their beds are concrete slabs. They are in permanent solitary confinement — and some for decades. No human contact. Food passed through a slot. Stop and think about that for a second. Imagine a day without any human contact. A week. A year. A decade.

This is from a letter postmarked July 8 from the Pelican Bay SHU:

To receive direct sunlight is being requested as currently the dog run yard has a sheet of blurred plastic so the sun is blocked out and the way the yard is designed the sun does not make contact with ones skin. It’s a known fact sunlight is essential to health and even bone density. SHU prisoners are withheld direct sunlight at this time.

The prisoners have decided the better to die than to live like this. Prison authorities who first said there were only a couple dozen strikers have now had to admit that the hunger strike has involved up to 6,600 prisoners at 13 of the 33 California State Prisons. California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation spokesperson, Terry Thornton said that as of July 12 there were 800 prisoners refusing food at 6 different prisons. They are striking for very basic things including an end to group punishment or the right to have one phone call a year, or even some warm clothes. As the massive strike enters its third week, the prisoners are going to start dying. Prisoners at Pelican Bay told lawyers that dozens have fainted and many people are experiencing heart problems and shortness of breath. At Calipatria, where at least 200 men are on strike, the temperature has reached 110 degrees and some prisoners have experienced heat stroke due to severe dehydration. At Corcoran some prisoners have been taken to the infirmary due to diabetic shock. When you feel the summer sun on your face tomorrow, tell everyone you know Gov. Jerry Brown and Pres. Barack Obama are allowing Americans to be tortured in Pelican Bay.
“I support the inmates of Corcoran State prison, pelican bay, and other prisons in their demands to end the inhumane policies of SECURITY HOUSING UNITS. I recognize their humanity and stand with them.” — Susan Sarandon

“I condemn the horrific conditions under which those prisoners live in the USA. We have a common global struggle against all types of class race gender and religious oppressions, including American-European imperialisms and neocolonialisms. We live in one world dominated by the same military police capitalist patriarchal system. We need to fight together. Unity is power globally and locally. Our Egyptian revolution is winning till today because of our unified power of millions (women men and children from all sectors of the society) who are staying in Tahrir Square day and night, and in all streets and squares all over Egypt from Aswan south to Alexandria north, and Suez Canal cities and villages. In solidarity.” – Nawal El Saadawi, Cairo, Egypt, renowned Egyptian novelist, doctor, and activist. She has been involved in the 2011 uprising in Egypt.

To get involved go to click here.

Here is a link to contact information of elected officials and the CDCR.

Here are the core demands of the hunger strike (summary of demands from Revolution newspaper):

1. End “group punishment” where an individual prisoner breaks a rule and prison officials punish a whole group of prisoners of the same race.
2. Abolish “debriefing” and modify active/inactive gang status criteria. False and/or highly questionable “evidence” is used to accuse prisoners of being active/inactive members of prison gangs who are then sent to the SHU where they are subjected to long-term isolation and torturous conditions. One of the only ways these prisoners can get out the SHU is if they “debrief”–that is, give prison officials information on gang activity.
3. Comply with recommendations from a 2006 U.S. commission “make segregation a last resort” and “end conditions of isolation.”
4. Provide Adequate Food. Prisoners report unsanitary conditions and small quantities of food. They want adequate food, wholesome nutritional meals including special diet meals and an end to the use of food as a way to punish prisoners in the SHU.
5. Expand and provide constructive programs and privileges for indefinite SHU inmates–including the opportunity to “engage in self-help treatment, education, religious and other productive activities…” which are routinely denied. Demands include one phone call per week, one photo per year, 2 packages a year, more visiting time, permission to have wall calendars, and sweat suits and watch caps (warm clothing is often denied even though cells and the exercise cage can be bitterly cold).

There have been a solidarity protests around the country but this is not enough.
A previous version of this post incorrectly identified Pelican Bay as Colligan Bay.

A Conversation With the Naked Anthropologist About Sex Trafficking

When I first came out as an ex-sex worker, I started getting invited to prostitute and sex worker conferences. There are two distinct groups who inhabit this world: decriminalizationists and abolitionists. Decriminalizationist conferences are populated by academics, policy wonks and activists, plus a few current and former hos, hookers, call girls and rent boys. Abolitionist conferences are populated by much the same, plus politicians and law-enforcement. Both groups are evangelical, rhetorical and theoretical. Statistics are bandied about, dogma is flung and resolutions are passed. The decriminalizationists keep screaming “Decriminalize sex work!” The abolitionists keep screaming “Sex work is slavery!” and want human traffickers to be hunted down like dogs.

I first met Laura Agustín at a conference in Brussels and was immediately struck by how different she was from all the people I met on either side of the decriminalization/abolitionist divide. First of all, she had a sense of humor. This alone was shocking in either world. But she also had a calm reasonableness about her. She wanted to hear what other people have to say, basically unheard of in either camp. On top of that, the things she had to say were so smart and counter-intuitive. And they all made sense. What she had to say explained so much about why so much money is so foolishly wasted when it comes to actually pursuing traffickers. And why human beings with very few resources continuously get the short end of the stick when it comes to choosing where they live and work, and determining their own destiny. At these conferences, there are certain people you connect with in deep meaningful ways. Laura and I made just such a connection, and it has remained fertile. I read her book, Sex at the Margins, which challenged all the conventional ideas continuously trotted out about migration, sex work and trafficking. She’s one of the few people talking about this subject who will acknowledge the mind-boggling complexity of these issues, which everyone else seems to want to simplify to suit their own needs and grind their own axes. This book led to Laura Agustín — now known as The Naked Anthropologist — becoming an international expert in this emotionally charged arena. Her blog is now one of the go-to resources for well-researched, well-reasoned, sane debate about selling sex for money, crossing borders to work and the reality of what is and is not trafficking.

When she told me she had been invited by the BBC to participate in a debate at the EndHumanTrafficking event in Egypt, I just knew that the fur was going to fly. Sure enough, with her patented calm, unflappable, intellectual yet accessible style, she managed to invoke the wrath of many present and become the target of the wrath of an Academy Award winner in high hooker heels.

DHS: So, Laura, how did you come to be invited to this event?

LAURA: BBC Television was holding one of their World Debates there and invited me. The event itself was limited to particular UN agencies, business leaders and guests of the Egyptian president’s wife – plus several movie actors. It was the kind of event to which you only invite those who agree with you. But the BBC wanted to do a debate, which means they had to get in at least one person who would disagree.

DHS: Yes, those British have some crazy ideas about presenting different sides of an issue don’t they? Haven’t they learned anything from Fox News?

LAURA: Apparently not.

DHS: I saw who the other panelists were: the head of Interpol, an ex-victim of trafficking and a guy who personally saves sex slaves. Didn’t they all see trafficking as it’s traditionally and hysterically presented by the media?

LAURA: It was an incredibly stacked deck, four against one, so it was never going to be a real debate. But I went for the chance to reach the television audience. The BBC World Service is a 24-hour international news channel watched all over the planet, so in my head I was reaching people interested in trafficking issues anywhere who might have doubts about the way trafficking is usually talked about.

DHS: Doubts about what? Don’t we know human trafficking is the greatest scourge of the 21st century? Aren’t millions of people being trafficked as we speak?

LAURA: I try to break down these huge generalisations. Some people are working in conditions that look like traditional slavery, but a lot are undocumented migrants with debts to pay, workers under the age of 18 and people who would rather sell sex than do any of the other jobs open to them. People who say there are 30 million slaves in the world are including all those and many more.

DHS: Wait a minute, I thought we were talking about trafficking. Where does slavery come in?

LAURA: Originally the term trafficking referred to certain kinds of illegal moving of people across borders, but that has changed. Anti-prostitutionists have defined prostitution as violence, rape and now trafficking, but the new word is slavery. I realise some think this is a way to raise consciousness about injustice, but it is confusing to call everyone slaves and erases whatever ability to maneuver lots of people have.

DHS: The setting sounds unbelievable — the Temple of Luxor — how did you feel getting up on that stage?

LAURA: It felt surreal. Not long ago I was an NGO worker in Latin America – I didn’t seek out this kind of gig! But something about Sex at the Margins has struck a chord, I have been invited to talk all over the place to different kinds of audiences and I just finished three months as Visiting Professor in Gender and Migration in Switzerland. I had certainly never been in a situation where every single other person in the room was hostile, however. And I have never been attacked by a film actress before.

DHS: Okay, let’s talk about Mira Sorvino, now Goodwill Ambassador for Trafficking for the UN Office on Drugs and Crime. Was she wearing those hooker heels she loves?

LAURA: She was, but I am not sure she understands that she’s allied with abolitionists. I had only spoken a few times when she began waving her hand to get the moderator’s attention. She demanded to know what I was doing there, why I was being allowed to speak. She seemed to think she could over-ride the BBC. I don’t mind people having different ideas from mine but implying I don’t have the right to speak?

DHS: You mean she tried to stop you from talking? What did the BBC moderator do?

LAURA: She asked me if I wanted to respond, so I said in the British tradition debate means dissent, and the BBC invited me because I have a different point of view. Sorvino came across as wanting to censor me, which is shocking in a ‘goodwill ambassador’, isn’t it? I don’t know quite what they are supposed to do, but acting outraged every time I spoke, keeping up a running commentary to people near her (including Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore), is certainly not ambassadorial.

DHS: Was there any consequence for her breach of etiquette?

LAURA: People applauded, as though attacking me were a heroic act. Someone heard her use the term ‘holocaust denier’, too.

DHS: Wow, comparing trafficking to the holocaust! What do you think was going on?

LAURA: I think the event participants did not understand what the BBC was doing there and thought the panel should be just stating conclusions. Maybe they thought the BBC was there to cover the event! But that would be weird, since such go on all the time — they are hardly newsworthy. Someone had not explained, and they took it out on me just because I questioned some of the statements made.

DHS: What was the take-away for you, from the event?

LAURA: Beware movie stars who see themselves as crusaders.

DHS: I think lots of people misunderstand this whole issue and want to know what they can do to help. Do you agree?

LAURA: Anti-trafficking campaigns are now a popular form of social action, but many don’t know what kinds of abuses take place in the name of saving people. That information doesn’t get discussed at events like the Egyptian one — if it were, maybe things could improve.

DHS: Thanks, Laura, I’m glad you survived your attack from Hollywood.

Visit the Naked Anthropologist at http://www.lauraagustin.com/ to learn more about Laura Agustín’s views on migration, trafficking and commercial sex.

World Cup 2010: What We Learned About Ourselves & Others

David Henry Sterry on Huffington Post.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-henry-sterry/world-cup-2010-what-we-le_b_642302.html

German-fan-at-the-World-C-002 world_cup_0625_02

World Cup Hotties & Notties: Sterry on Huffington Post

The Glorious World Cup makes the front page of the Huffington Post

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-henry-sterry/world-cup-hotties-notties_b_642244.html

diego-forlan5gal-hot-thierry-henry-jpg gal-hot-oguchi-onyewu-jpg gal-hot-samuel-etoo-jpg gal-ronaldo-jpg gal-hot-freddie-ljungberg-jpg

The Making of an American Hero: Donovan’s Transformation from Lanycakes to Landon the Man: The Glorious World Cup on Huffington Post

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-henry-sterry/the-making-of-an-american_b_625066.html

landon-donovan

The Glorious World Cup on Huffington Post: Live from South Africa: How the English Hate Themselves

Colin Powers, our man in South Africa, tells it like it is about the English.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-henry-sterry/live-from-south-africa-ho_b_620453.html

a

Huffington Post: An American in South Africa, Or: Why Soccer Really Matters

I interview Missoula’s own Gary Stein in South Africa.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-henry-sterry/an-american-in-south-afri_b_618870.html

David Henry Sterry on Huffington Post: USA Exhausts Fans, Who Call for Referees Head on a Spike after 2-2 Draw

Soccer, World Cup 2010

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-henry-sterry/usa-exhausts-fans-who-cry_b_617575.html

Huffington Post: Congress Announces BP Executives to Be Boiled in their Own Oil

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-henry-sterry/congress-announces-bp-to_b_616591.html

 

Huffington Post World Cup 2010: What We’ve Learned & What Must Be Done

World Cup 2010 week one, and much has been revealed. With so much more to come.


bit.ly/9Bit1P

world cup.jpegx3000w

The Glorious World Cup Presents: An America Soccer Fanatic’s Predictions for South Africa 2010 : Group H

GROUP H: YES: Spain & Chile NO: Honduras, Switzerland

Spain is in theory the #1 team in the world. They are the odds-on favorite to win the World Cup. They have an absolutely gorgeous goalscoring machine in Fernando Torres. His cheeks are so rosy and his eyelashes are so long, he looks like a cheesecake pinup model. And he can flat out play. They have a bad boy defender was perhaps the worst haircut at this edition of the World Cup, Carlos Puyol. “Tarzan” from Barcelona sports a ‘do that equal parts Conan the Barbarian, Prince Valiant, and trailer trash mullet. Many are predicting Spain are the will go all the way. I am not. While they have the capability of playing better than anyone, they have deep insecurities regarding their own national identity. They see themselves as the inferior cousins of Europe, and in the end they will fold like a house of cards, while falling apart like a cheap suit. Chile will make it through to the next round if for no other reason than their coach’s nickname is “The Madman”. Switzerland is much like a clock when it comes to soccer. They’re not fast, they’re not slow, they just keep on ticking. The good news is, they don’t allow very many goals. The bad news is, they almost score even less. Honduras? They have two chances of making it through to the next round. Slim and none.

The Glorious World Cup: A Fanatics Guide is, pound for pound, the funniest book about World Cup 2010 on the market today.

http://www.amazon.com/Glorious-World-Cup-Fanatics-Guide/dp/0451230205

The Glorious World Cup Presents: An America Soccer Fanatic’s Predictions for South Africa 2010 : Group E

GROUP E: YES: Netherlands & Cameroon NO: Japan & Denmark
I can’t help it, I am so on love with this Holland team I want to marry it. .Robin van Persie is like a cross between Dutch Master Johann Cruyff and the little boy who put his finger in the dyke. Arjen Robbin, in addition to being an absolutely fabulous artiste with the ball at his feet, is also a diva of divers, ready to crumble in agony when struck by a stiff breeze. But can they win the whole thing? Absolutely not. They are, after all, Dutch. They will eventually, inevitably disintegrate like a bunch of spoiled high strung schoolgirls. The Danes have some seasoned veterans, but their dark brooding nature is an insurmountable obstacle. Cameroon, the Indomitable Lions (greatest team name ever!), do in fact have an indomitable lion spearheading their enterprise, the resplendent Samuel Eto’o. And they are buttressed by a splendid hardman who is part of World Cup history. Rigobert Song is not only the youngest player ever to be ejected from a World Cup, when he was given the heave ho at the tender age of 17. He is also one of two players to be sent off at two different World Cups. You may have heard of the other: Zinadane Zidane. I’m rooting for Rigobert to break the record. The Japanese have perhaps my favorite uniform in the tournament. But they can’t score goals. Which makes it very difficult to win games. So I believe Japan will fall on their own sword in South Africa.

The Glorious World Cup: A Fanatics Guide is, pound for pound, the funniest book about World Cup 2010 on the market today.

http://www.amazon.com/Glorious-World-Cup-Fanatics-Guide/dp/0451230205

The Glorious World Cup Presents: An America Soccer Fanatic’s Predictions for South Africa 2010 : Group B

GROUP B: YES: Argentina & Nigeria NO: South Korea & Greece

Argentina has, pound-for-pound, the greatest player in the world, The Flea with the genius feet, Lionel Messi. Yes, he does weigh 104 lbs. soaking wet, but still, the man is a maestro, a modern artist/dancer/madman. Problem is, Argentina also has the craziest coach, not just in soccer, but in any sport (and that’s a bold statement given the well-documented craziness of coaches), scorer of probably the greatest individual goal in World Cup history, Diego Maradona. They will make it through by sheer dint of the miniscule magician. With midfield marvel John Obi Wan Kanobi Mikel waving his wand doling out punishment, they will be a scary scary foe. Even though Greece recently won the European championship, and have a most excellent team, their entire economy’s in the toilet, so naturally they’re going to tank. South Korea has the hardest working soccer player in show business, Manchester United’s Energizer Bunny, Park-Ji-Sung, but after that they are woefully thin and wickedly undermanned.

http://www.amazon.com/Glorious-World-Cup-Fanatics-Guide/dp/0451230205

Huffington Post: American Manhood, from Mantle to Manchild Donovan & Why America Can Win World Cup 2010

Thanks once again to the Huffington Post for giving me some love. Nice to see World Cup fever is spreading.

http://huff.to/c4OEri

Bert & Ernie come out in favor of gay marriage

2010-02-22-images-bertandernie.jpg
Bert and Ernie, legendary lovable Sesame Street icons, are in favor of same-sex marriage, sources close to them recently revealed. This hot button topic that has caused raging and flaming controversy all over the United States for years is still dominating headlines. On February 18, 2010, the Archdiocese of Washington announced that they are doing away with their foster care program, because they can’t work with the change in the District of Columbia’s laws that will allow same-sex marriages to be recognized legally. This is just the latest in a long line of decisions which affect millions of people’s lives, legally, socially and morally.

Opponents of same-sex marriage argue it is evidence of the further decay of the moral fiber of America, and that a child cannot learn good role models from homosexuals, who are living lives of perversion in the eyes of God. Proponents of same-sex marriage say that getting married is a basic human right, and trot out scientific research which shows absolutely no correlation between success and happiness in adults who have been raised in same-sex, as opposed to “traditional” households.

Even though there has been an informal “don’t ask-don’t tell” policy on Sesame Street for years, Bert and Ernie have not come out publicly advocating for same-sex marriage because they are afraid of the public backlash. An anonymous source overheard Bert and Ernie lamenting to Cookie Monster, Count von Count and Snuffluffigus that they were afraid if people knew, they might be evicted from Sesame Street, shunned by their monster friends and blackballed by the Muppet’s Union. Bert and Ernie are reported to have said, “It’s ridiculous, why should people pay taxes and not have the same rights as everyone else? It’s not about whether you’re gay or hetero, or whatever the heck else is out there, it’s about whether there’s love in the house. And everyone knows there’s always been a lot of love in the basement of 123 Sesame Street.”

Bert and Ernie have long been rumored to be gay. Many have speculated that Ernie’s international hit, “Rubber Ducky”, was actually a coded love song to Bert. They have, and continue to be, closed mouth about their personal life. An anonymous source had this to say: “Well, Bert and Ernie were carrying on, like they do, and Ernie said, ‘Look, what we do behind closed doors is our business.’ And Bert said, ‘Hey Ernie, is that a banana in your ear?’ And Ernie said, ‘What Bert?’ And Bert said, ‘I said Ernie, is that a banana in your ear?’ And Ernie said, ‘What’s that Bert, I can’t hear you, I’ve got a banana in my ear!’ Everybody just fell out. No matter how many times they do it, it’s always funny.”

Kermit the Frog was the only confidant of Bert and Ernie who would comment about this supercharged situation. And that was only on the condition of being off the record. “Hey, it’s not easy being green. And in this case, when I say green, of course I mean gay. Just to be clear, I’m not saying Bert and Ernie are gay. Not that there’s anything wrong with it. If two people want to live in the same bedroom together, that’s their business. Whatever gets you through the night, right? I mean come on, how many couples have been together for 40 years? I would take my hat off to them, except I am a frog, and I don’t wear a hat.”

Attempts to contact all Muppets, and their representative, proved fruitless.

Some quotes about same-sex marriage from the National Organization for Marriage, and religioustolerance.org:

“Gays and lesbians have the right to live as they choose. They just don’t have the right to redefine marriage for all of us.”

“A loving man and woman in a committed relationship can marry. Dogs, no matter what their relationship, are not allowed to marry. How should society treat gays and lesbians in committed relationships? As dogs or as humans?”

“Marriage between one man and one woman is critical to maintaining social stability. Society as a whole pays a high price when marriage is devalued. You see divorce; you see single-parenting; you see a rise in out-of-wedlock pregnancies,” said Shari Rendall, director of legislation and policy for Concerned Women for America.

“An unjust law is (one that a) majority group compels a minority group to obey but does not make binding on itself … “Lamentably, it is an historical fact that privileged groups seldom give up there privileges voluntarily,” said Martin Luther King, Jr. in a letter from a Birmingham jail.

Huffington Post: LeBorn Is Le Punk

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-henry-sterry/lebron-lepunk-james-gets_b_230321.html

America Doesn’t Suck After All: Confederation Cup 2009, South Africa

Hear that faint distant humming sound, like a billion buzzing bees? That’s the sound of millions of soccer fanatics ratcheting their vuvuzela noisemakers as they gear up for what is predicted to be biggest sporting event on the planet: World Cup 2010 in South Africa. For the uninitiated, it’s like the Stanley Cup, NBA championship, Super Bowl, US Opens (golf and tennis) and the World Series all rolled into one. World Series? What world is that? No, in soccer, World Cup means everyone in the whole wide world has a chance to win. And because it’s the first time the tournament has been held on the African continent, this World Cup promises to be a Nelson Mandela, Euro-samba oriental blowout of global proportion.

Which brings us to South Africa, June, 2009, where poor, pitiful, ragtag Team USA was scheduled to compete in the last major tournament before next summer’s World Cup. Going up against a galaxy of Goliaths: 2006 champions Italy; world numero uno Spain; and mighty mighty Brazil. Armed without even a slingshot, based on their recent mauling at the hands of Costa Rica where they played like a bunch of soccer moms.

It’s been hard to be American lately. When you go into a bar basically anywhere in the world and say you’re American, people often look at you like you just tried to kill their dog. Bombing civilians, raping the landscape, setting up puppet governments and trading blood for oil. These are just some of the answers to the question that I’ve heard so many bewildered, innocent looking Americans ask: Why do they hate us? But if you are a member of the American national soccer team, you have felt hated for decades. You’ve had foreign fans throw coins, batteries, even baggies full of warm urine/hot p*ss at you all over the world. Worse, you’ve been the object of pity. The butt of jokes. Because so often you have just plain sucked. Sure, every once in awhile Team America would make a little splash. And they have come to dominate what is a very weak region of the soccer world. But time and time again, when they come up against the big boys, they have turned from men into mice.

So, as America opened up against Italy, they seemed nervous, shaky, and insecure, like a homeowner six months behind on the mortgage who’s expecting a foreclosure notice any second. For one brief shining moment there was a ray of hope, as the penalty machine himself, former golden boy Landon Donovan, slotted home a penalty kick. Shockingly America had a lead. Before you could say badda bing badda boom, they were drowning in wave after wave of pressure from men with vowels at the ends of their names. Suddenly Italy was up 3-1. But it wasn’t just the fact that Team America was bitch-slapped so badly. It was the fact that they looked like a mediocre college team trying to play against the Yankees. The salt in the wound came courtesy of two brilliantly taken goals scored by a guy from New Jersey. Because his parents happen to be Italian, he got to choose which country to play for. He chose Italy over us. Bastard.

That’s when the nightmare really began. Because next up were the kings of soccer, the team that puts the beautiful in the beautiful game, Brazil. Sure enough, the samba masters toyed with the red white and blue like an alpha cat with three blind mice. The low point was when Brazil scored on an American corner kick. In football terms, that’s like being on your opponent’s goal line, handing them the ball, and watching them run 99 yards for a touchdown. The final score, 3-0, in no way reflected the utter degrading humiliation that Brazil laid on America in this righteous smack down. If not for T-Ho, the indomitable goalkeeper Tim Howard, the score could have been 10-0.

A great cry was heard on the World Wide Web: Fire Coach Bradley! He is home grown, not a fancy foreign import, but he is untested on the world stage. Plus, his son plays almost every minute of every game. And recently his son had been “skinned” as they say, turned inside out by an attacker, made to look like a rank pansy amateur. The heat was on. America had one game left, against Egypt. Who, miraculously, had beaten Italy. Which made America’s dismal loss to the Italians seem even worse. And Egypt had scored three goals against Brazil. Although they had allowed four. Still, Brazil had whipped America like a dominatrix at a submissiveness convention. So a stake was poised over the heart of Team America. Well, there was a tiny, slim, infinitesimal chance. But judging by how badly they had sucked, the fat lady was warming up to sing. By all accounts the Americans should have just pack their bags, and slunk away in shame, tails between their legs, licking their wounds.

Then something strange happened. America started being, well…America. Whatever America has had success on the world soccer stage, it’s because they worked harder, ran more, through their bodies around with mad abandon, left their hearts, guts, and nuts out on the field. Suddenly, against Egypt, the Americans were playing balls out. Flying around the field like this might be the last game I ever played. Not just in this tournament, but in their whole lives. Lo and behold, they got a lucky break. Funny how that works right? You bust your ass, you play with crazy passion, and all of a sudden you get a lucky break. How lucky? In this case, new boy Ricky Davies actually scored off the Egyptian goalkeepers face. Not how they draw it up on the instructional video. Abut a goal is a goal. The news came in from the Brazil-Italy game. Brazil was running roughshod over the suddenly hapless Italians. If Brazil could get three goals ahead, and America could win by three goals, the miracle would be manifest, and the USA would be through to the next round. Nose to grindstone, pedal to metal, fingers to bone, America scrapped and clawed, and there was Michael Bradley, son of the coach, stroking the ball home like an old pro. Scoring a goal for his old man on Fathers Day. Word came in that Brazil had spanked the haughty Italians sufficiently. America needed one more goal. They needed a hero. That’s when Clint Eastwood Dempsey made America’s day, streaking into the Egyptian goalmouth, muscling a header past the traumatized goalkeeper. Miraculously, America was through to the next round.

Now all they have to do was go up against Spain, the number one soccer team in the world, a bunch of it pretty, pampered, delicate genius multimillionaires who recently won the European Championship. To put it in perspective, the American striker Jozy the Pussycat Altidor can’t even crack the lineup of the second division Spanish team. But the USA came out guns blazing against the Spanish Armada: chins thrust forward, Devil may care glint in the eye, a jaunty red white and blue spring in the step. While the Spaniards looked like they sincerely believed all they have to do was throw their jockstraps out onto the field, and the uncultured, uncouth, uncool Americans would bow down before them. The Spaniards were in for a rude awakening. From the get-go the Spaniards were full of brilliance. And arrogance. While the Americans had a fire in their belly, and threw themselves relentlessly in front of everything the Spanish could muster. They chased and harried like hungry pack animals looking to feed. Their naked aggression seemed to offend delicate geniuses of Spain. Time and again, one day were tackled and stripped nude of the ball, they stood and counted like sulking children.

And then there was Jozy the Pussycat Altidor, being fed the ball at the top of the penalty box. In every contact sport there is that mano y mano moment where it becomes one man’s strength against another. It’s caveman primal. Can I beat you down? Or will you beat me down? Jozy Altidor proved to be the better man, kicking sand in the face of the feeble Spaniard like he was a 98 pound weakling. Having bested his foe, the Pussycat took its sweet time; set his sights, locked and loaded, and pulled the trigger like that’s what he was born to do. 1-0. The world bugged its eyes, palms outstretched as if to say, “OH MY GOD!”

Wave after wave of the Spanish Armada tried to land on American shores. But each time, led by Oguchi Double O Onyewu, they were thwarted by another proud American giving up his body for his country. Once again, T-Ho was a God, repelling attacks with a fierce animal agility combined with a mind of a brilliant tactician.

There’s an old rule of love and war. When you attack him from the front, you leave your back door open. And the increasingly frantic Spaniards did just that, committing forces willy-nilly upfront, while their unprotected ass was sticking right up in the air. And there was Landon Donovan, restoring some of the golden boy luster, driving with the ball at his feet, making things happen, putting in nasty little cross. Still, the Spaniards had the situation well in hand. Except for two things. Their arrogance. And good old American never-say-quit. Clint Eastwood Dempsey, this time like a sneak thief in the night, nipped behind a multimillionaire Spanish defender, who had casually, thinking he had all the time in the world because he was so rich, talented, and dashingly handsome, trapped the ball right in front of his own goal. With some serious foot-is-quicker-than-the-eye action, Clint had the ball in the Spanish net before the Spaniards could say OLE OLE. On the replay there was a fantastic shot of the Spanish defender, beautiful as a supermodel, and just as confused and vacant, with a look on his face that clearly showed his brain trying to understand, “How did that just happened?”

America, that’s how that happened. Say adios, Spain! Team America had, against all odds, and with a horrifying start it seemed to confirm their own patheticality, made it to their first final of any FIFA championship. Now all they have to do was put away mighty mighty Brazil.

But the strut was still in the stride of Team USA. They were bright, confident almost cocky. Stroking the ball around, defending with calm assurance, attacking intelligently and economically. America was playing like, well…Brazil. Even more shockingly, Brazil was playing like America at her worst. Giving the ball away sloppy, passing the ball to no one in particular, crying like little bitches when they get hit. Then in the blink of an eye, very was again, Clint Eastwood Dempsey. With a silky delicate world-class touch, he massaged the ball into the Brazilian net like tantric master. USA 1. Brazil 0. Not by some crazy fluke. This is the real shock. USA deserved to be beating Brazil.

Naturally Brazil brought it hard and heavy. But the USA stood strong. At one point Carlos Bocanegra was riding Brazilian superstar Kaka like a pony. And once again, when you attack from the front, you leave the back door open. From Brazil pressure, America made a defensive stop, in three quick passes later, Landon Donovan evolved from golden boy into golden man. He made a monkey out of the Brazilian defense, and like a lion ripping the jugular of the throat of an antelope he slammed the ball home, triggering a wild red white and blue celebration. If you had offered a betting man $100 that the US would be going into the final of the Confederation Cup leading Brazil 2-0, you would’ve gotten looks suggesting your insanity, and 1000-1 odds.

But as soon as the second half started, Brazil demonstrated why they’re Brazil. Out of nowhere, out of nothing, a quick Brazilian pirouette followed by a slashing shot from Fabiano, and America was digging the ball out of their own net. USA 2. Brazil 1.

This is where USA teams of yore would have folded like a house of crooked cards. But not this team. They didn’t panic. They didn’t freak out. They kept defending. They kept attacking. And all the while, T-Ho the Magnificent was a true tower of power, near post, far post, and everywhere in between. He even showed some excellent acting skills, convincing everyone he had saved a Brazilian header which clearly crossed the goal line. Although he didn’t win an Oscar, he was named Goalkeeper of the Tournament.

But Brazil is, after all, Brazil. And they kept knock knock knocking on the door. Finally America cracked, just a little. A defender missed a clearance, the ball bounced kindly off a post, and suddenly the score was tied. As an American, with each second that ticked by, you hoped for the best, but you just had a feeling that somehow Brazil was going to find a way. That’s what they do, these world champions. They find a way.

America made it all the way to the 85th minute. 17/18ths of the way through the game. Then it happened. A big booming back post header. Brazil 3. USA 2. Even so, in the 88th minute, the USA had a free header right in front of goal. All they had to do was put away. But they didn’t. Brazil wins the Confederation Cup. Again. Ho-hum.

America didn’t win their first international soccer tournament. But sometimes winning isn’t the only thing. Sometimes getting to the finals is the next step toward winning the finals. We saw it with the Lakers this year. We saw it when Michael Jordan kept getting beaten up by the Detroit Bad Boys before he became the King of the World. Team USA showed that they can play with the big boys. They turned from mice into men right before our eyes. They hope that they can continue to be the Cinderella who ends up with the glass slippers back here in South Africa at World Cup 2010.

And just for today anyway, it really doesn’t suck at all to be an American.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-henry-sterry/america-doesnt-suck-after_b_222031.html

 

Derek Zoolander: “I Hate British Singing Sensation Susan Boyle!”

Derek Zoolander: “I Hate British Singing Sensation Susan Boyle!”

 derek-zoolander-zoolander--large-msg-132259953017susan-boyle-pic-pa-106501596-388658

British singing sensation Susan Boyle, an unemployed cat owner, has become, as a result of a mere five minutes of singing, an inspiration to millions of people all over the globe, a symbol that anyone with true, genuine talent can have their lifelong dream come true if they just keep trying. It seems like everyone has fallen in love with Susan Boyle, that plucky, spunky, I-won’t-change-for-anybody girl-next-door with a big heart and an even bigger voice. Everyone except a man who was once America’s most famous supermodel. Derek Zoolander.

“I’m really really really pissed off,” a source close to Zoolander reports he said, “Why does someone who looks like her get to have all that talent? It’s just not fair. And I think I speak for really really really good-looking people everywhere when I say, How come I don’t have any talent, how come I can’t sing or dance or tell jokes that are humorously funny? But still, I can make many excellent and exciting and sexy faces. Can Susan Boyle make any sexy faces? I don’t think so. Is she really really really good looking? No. Am I? Yes. So why is she so much more famous than I am? I’m telling you, it’s totally horribly totally not fair.”

According to a confidant, the ex-famous supermodel has watched Susan Boyle’s triumphant rendition of “I Dreamed a Dream” from the musical Les Miserables over 10,000 times. “He just watches it over and over and over, and looks at himself in the mirror and makes sexy faces and saying stuff like, ‘Her features aren’t symmetrical. She has a bad haircut. And she hasn’t had any cosmetic surgery. My features are awesomely symmetrical. My haircut is super amazing. I had really really really really really great cosmetic surgery. Please, God, why are you forsooking me?’ It’s quite pitiful, if you want to know the truth. We’re thinking of having an intervention, but we’re having trouble finding a caterer in our price range.”

Susan Boyle’s 15 minutes of fame shows no signs of ending. And while everyone from Demi Moore to Ashton Kutcher to Oprah Winfrey are embracing her, a member of Derek Zoolander’s inner circle claims the former supermodel is bitter and angry. “Is that really the kind of world we want,” Zoolander is reported to have said, “where people who are not good-looking get to be famous? This is a way important issue that’s more way important than all these bad economy things, or whatever. We have to put our feet down. I don’t want the children of tomorrow thinking that it’s more important to have talent than it is to be really really really good looking. Anyone who wants to help can send money to the Really Good-looking People of America Fund.”

 

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-henry-sterry/derek-zoolander-i-hate-br_b_189048.html

Mexican Drug Lord Officially Thanks American Lawmakers for Keeping Drugs Illegal

345129

Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman Loera reported head of the Sinaloa cartel in Mexico, ranked 701st on Forbes’ yearly report of the wealthiest men alive, and worth an estimated $1 billion, today officially thanked United States politicians for making sure that drugs remain illegal. According to one of his closest confidants, he said, “I couldn’t have gotten so stinking rich without George Bush, George Bush Jr., Ronald Reagan, even El Presidente Obama, none of them have the cajones to stand up to all the big money that wants to keep this stuff illegal. From the bottom of my heart, I want to say, Gracias amigos, I owe my whole empire to you.”

According to sources in the Mexican government, President Calderone is begging American officials to, in the words of reggae great Peter Tosh, legalize it. “Oh yeah,” said an official close to the Mexican president, “Felipe is going crazy. He’s screaming at everybody who comes in, ‘Why don’t they make this sh*t legal already! You’re killing me here!’ Look, everyone knows, when you have Prohibition, you create gangsters. And the more you prohibit, the more gangsters you make. El Chapo is hero now to all those slumdogs who want to be millionaires. Kids in the street, when they play games, they all want to be El Chapo, the baddest man in the whole damn town.”

Meanwhile, many speculate that rich and prominent Mexican families are in cahoots with American businessmen in the alcohol industry, wealthy industrialists who launder the unprecedented profits from the drug business with their legitimate enterprises, and lawmakers who get gigantic kickbacks and payoffs to make sure that these drugs remain illegal, so they can remain rich, fat and happy. According to sources on both sides of the border, tens of millions of dollars in payoffs and kickbacks are stashed in Swiss banks every year, blood money from the brutal business made possible by a corrupt system supported by laws that don’t, and have never, worked.

Rather than putting El Chapo and his kind out of business by modernizing outdated laws and in the process making billions of dollars from taxing drugs (as is done with cigarettes and alcohol), United States government has spent hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars chasing its tail, and offered a $5 million reward for the capture of El Chapo. Many have said that the offer is unofficially: Dead or Alive.

Meanwhile, as an epidemic of murderous violence rages on the Mexican-US border, and the American government wastes boatloads of badly needed money on the illegal drug business which results from the Prohibition laws, El Chapo is laughing all the way to the bank. “Whoever came up with this whole War on Drugs,” one of his lieutenants reports he said, “I would like to kiss him on the lips and shake his hand and buy him dinner with caviar and champagne. The War on Drugs is the greatest thing that ever happened to me, and the day they decide to end that war, will be a sad one for me and all of my closest friends. And if you don’t believe me, ask those guys whose heads showed up in the ice chests.”

To the original Huffington Post article by David Henry Sterry

Poor People Happier Than Rich People for the First Time in History

iOmjrJKoNOEs

One unexpected benefit of the worst economic depression in a century is that for the first time in history, poor people are happier than rich people. Experts claim this is because

homeless1-thumb

the lifestyle of poor people has barely changed with the economic downturn. They were below the poverty before, and they’re below the poverty level now. But apparently, according to experts, many poor people are taking great comfort and the joy in the misery of the rich. In addition, they feel that President Obama actually wants to help them, a notable change from the last eight years in America.

Many rich people, on the other hand, have lost boats, airplanes, luxury automobiles, jet skis, two or three homes, and large portions of their wealth. Certainly many have been the victim of their own greed, but many have also been swindled, deceived and lied to. Just as poor people have been throughout the ages. And many rich people have never been poor, so they have no idea just how hard it is to be an American without money. Whereas most poor people, having been poor most of their lives, are very used to it.

Gerald (not his real name) is a doctor. He is in his mid-50s. He had a thriving practice. He lived in a beautiful home. He had enough money saved to live comfortably for the rest of his life. Or so he thought. Unfortunately for Gerald, he was friends with a very well thought of financial genius named Bernard Madoff. All his friends also knew Bernard Madoff. And they all trusted him to make them more money. In fact Gerald trusted him so much that he went out and mortgaged his house so he could give Madoff all his money. And now it’s all gone. His house, his retirement, all his money.

“It’s very depressing,” said Gerald, “I worked so hard for so long to build my practice. So I could provide for my family, so I could retire and travel. And now it’s all gone. Decades of hard work flushed down the toilet. I’m tired. I can’t sleep. And I’m angry. Why is this villain, this crook, this Madoff, still living high on the hog, in his palace? He should be in jail. Getting shtupped by big angry criminals. I guess though, I’ve always known, in the end I have no one to blame but myself. And that makes me depressed.”

Carla Crandall (her real name) is homeless. She’s in her early 30s. She is a very talented writer who will be published for the first time this summer. She suffers from mental illness, and she is a recovering drug addict. She lives on a fixed income from Social Security because she is disabled. She’s been depressed for years. Her income hasn’t changed at all. She has no retirement. She has no home. She has no money to invest. She didn’t lose one single penny during this catastrophic crash.

“Actually,” said Carla, “I’m really excited that my work is finally going to be published. It’s always been my dream to be a published author. I’m engaged to be married. But it’s so hard to live in the ghetto, drugs shoved down your throat, screaming lunatics and junkies, you just know at any minute someone can stick a knife right between your ribs. It just wears you down. If Obama would only give me, like, maybe ten grand, I could get out of the ghetto, get a computer, get on the Internet. Doesn’t seem like that much out of $800 billion, does it? But I have noticed you can get pants cheaper on the streets recently, so that’s good.”

Yes, it seems that everyone is suffering. But for once, the poor, the downtrodden, the huddled masses, the Carla Crandalls of the world, are suffering a little less than the rich people.

Link to the original post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-henry-sterry/poor-people-happier-than_b_164772.html

Dick Cheney Shopping His Memoir: The Joys of Torture, Trampling the Constitution, and Bankrupting America the Dick Way

Top aides of Dick Cheney revealed that he is shopping his new memoir, even as they lashed out at critics who claim that he abused his power as vice president

of the United States. Even though many in the publishing industry have expressed outrage that Cheney made torture standard practice at, and top officials in Europe are calling for him to be tried as a war criminal, his top aides believe he is close to landing a seven-figure publishing deal.

“Dick wants to use this memoir to set the record straight as only Dick can,” a top aide revealed, “When he took over this country, he made a to-do list. Number two on that list was: bring back torture! He said to me a million times, ‘That’s the problem with this country, all those bleeding heart Hollywood homosexual Jewish liberal girlie men have made us a target.’ Dick made me see, that’s why September 11 happened. Because the evil ones thought they could get away with it. But now they know. You mess with us, we’ll torture the hell out of you. Heck, they had to pull Dick back. He wanted bring back torture big-time. Put criminals in stocks in the town square, lash them with the cat o’ nine tails, hang them by their thumbs, old-school style. But Dick wanted to mixed in all the new high-tech stuff, atomic powered water sledding, audiovisual sexual humiliation, and the ‘Active Denial’ ray gun, which produces mind-boggling pain, without leaving a single mark. I mean, come on, how cool is that? And with vice president’s guidance, we have made amazing breakthroughs with the use of testicular electrification. Dick’s very excited about that.”

Many top publishing experts believe that because Cheney trampled on the Constitution, authorizing wiretapping and holding suspects indefinitely without ever charging them, his memoir will quickly end up on remainder tables. There is speculation that this, combined with the government sanctioned torture, ethnic profiling, and the blatant disregard for civilian life in the Middle East, has led to worldwide hatred of America, and are actually as recruiting devices by Al Qaeda. The end result seems to be a widespread lack of interest from the publishing business in Dick Cheney’s memoir.

“This book is going to sell a billion copies. Dick Cheney will make it clear once and for all in his memoir why it was in America’s best interests that he wiped his ass with the Constitution,” said another of his top aides. “Like he says, ‘The Constitution was written by a bunch of pig farmers in white wigs and pantaloons, wearing fake wooden teeth.’ Which is totally true if you think about it. Look, his number one goal was to stop terrorism. And get really rich. And if Dick had to wiretap, if he had to round up all the ragheads, and throw them a dark pit somewhere till they squeal on their heathen, Bin Laden worshiping, Obama loving, brothers in arms, so be it. And as far as civilian casualties go, it’s like Dick says, ‘You can’t make a trillion dollar omelette without breaking a few trillion eggs.’

In addition, publishing insiders have stated that the American public believes Cheney’s war, precipitated by the fabrication of nonexistent weapons of mass destruction, was merely an excuse to secure cheap oil, and make the vice president’s rich cronies at Halliburton even more rich through extravagantly wasteful no-bid contracts. A top editor at Harper Collins said, “Cheney made our lives miserable for eight years. Now it’s our turn to kick Dick’s butt. If I have my way, Dr. Strangelove won’t get a plug nickel for his stinking memoir.” But Cheney’s top aides believe his memoir will be a historic document.
“This memoir will show conclusively that when Dick took the reins,” said yet another top aide, again off the record, “the number one thing on his to-do list was: start a war! He just caught a bad break with the whole WMD deal. He tried so hard to plant some of those suckers over there too, as soon as he realized there weren’t any. But it’s harder than you’d think, trying to plant weapons of mass destruction in some godforsaken camel jockey country. And frankly, Dick didn’ didn’t think, after 9/11, that anyone would give a damn why we wanted to bring down Hussein. It really shocked the hell out him. But Dick knows how to roll with the punches. He was just telling me yesterday, ‘They can all go to hell, because this is America, and the one who ends up with the most money wins. Guess who that’s going to be? Me!’

Again and again, Vice President Cheney has been accused, along with Karl Rove, of manipulating President Bush. Many claim that the last eight years have been orchestrated from behind the scenes by Cheney, using a smokescreen of deeply flawed legal arguments to become the most powerful vice president in history. And leaving America in the most severe economic downward spiral in almost a century. Many in the publishing community believe that being the most hated vice president in the history of the United States will make his memoir worthless. His top aides disagree.

“In this memoir,” another top aide confided, “you really see what a genius Dick is. Dick Cheney had a master plan when he took charge of America. In the year 2000, the economy had a $211 billion surplus. The national debt was down to $140 billion. He knew he had to turn that around. And by God he did. His goal when he assumed control was to have America $10 trillion in debt by the time he left office. And Dick is absolutely tickled pink that we made it to 10.6. This way, when everyone else has tanked, Dick and his buddies will be able to come in and buy the whole god damn country up for peanuts. Dick is brilliant. The Puppet Master. That’s what we call him. Sometimes when W gets really tanked, he and Dick do this hysterical ventriloquist routine. W sits on Dick’s lap, and he talks while W’s lips move. It’s a panic, seriously. Just about the only thing he didn’t get done was, extend presidential term limits. That kind of sticks in his craw. But Dick figures Obama’s going to screw the pooch so bad, in four years he’ll have brother Jeb all primed and ready. In the meantime, in the words of Dick, ‘Mission accomplished!”
In Hollywood, there has been speculation that Tom Cruise, who is apparently interested in playing the former vice president, is set to make an offer as soon as a publishing deal has been struck. And insider at Cruises production company said, “Tom has always had a fondness for Dick, everyone knows that.”

When contacted, Vice President Cheney’s office had no comment.

Déjà Vu All Over Again: Economic Meltdown & Chippendales

1208LD1 Chippendales21500 points the market plummeted last week. This was preceded by months of money drunk Wall Streeters feeding like little piggies at the trough of dirty money. For me it’s déjà vu all over again. Black Monday, October 19, 1987, the market crashed 508 points, while I was the master of ceremonies at Chippendales, the world’s greatest male stripping empire. And just as one-bedroom fixer-uppers were recently being valued at half a million dollars, citizens were taking out loans with balloon payments so full of hot air they exploded, and the new Bush was turning Wall Street into a Vegas casino; so Chippendales, with its steroid-bloated, mountain-peak-pecced excess was business as usual in a culture where the Emperor was a male exotic dancer with no clothes on. In both cases, America was writing checks with its mouth that its ass couldn’t cash and it crashed like an addled addict after a lost weekend.

In fact, that’s what happened to me. Started when the Snowman, a Chippendales studmuffin, began feeding me coke so I’d give him better intros. Soon I was shoving massive amounts of blow up my nose to feed the demon beast inside that could never be satisfied, til one night I did so much coke I died. Luckily, I came back to life. I quit coke that night. Dedicated myself to working hard, finding love, and conquering my demon beasts old-school style, by unraveling my knots slowly and painfully. Took me decades of busting my hump and years of hypnotherapy, but today I’m drug-free, with a job I love, a wife who loves me in all my idiocy, an apple-of-my-eye baby girl, and a
glorious home with a spectacular garden that feeds me every day.

I’m hoping America will have just as happy an ending. Dump the gas-guzzling SUVs, play well with others, stop the billion dollar a day war, and prosper the old-school way: work hard and earn it. Well, that’s my two cents worth, and with inflation I owe you approximately one trillion dollars.

Page 2 of 2

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén