Sunday, May 23, 2010

Guinness Is A Health Drink, Elizabeth Smart's Kidnapper Sentenced

Bill Maher

"The Republican leadership in America must produce their birth certificates! Not because I doubt they're Americans, I just want to make sure they're not eight-years-old." - Bill Maher
"Conservatives are the ones who tend to believe in magical ideas, like: America is never wrong; you can defeat terrorism militarily; and lower taxes will somehow fix the deficit." - Bill Maher
"Rush Limbaugh is a child, a primal scream of a man, but he gets his way because he's the fat bully on the playground; and Glenn Beck is the weepy kid who's always crying because he's insane and you don't know what he's going to do and who he's going to take with him." - Bill Maher

It's time for my yearly visit to the opthamologist for my diabetic check-up. I wonder if Rand Paul is accepting new patients? Bill Maher described Rand this way: "It's as if Sarah Palin somehow made it through medical school." If you have never hung out with a group of Libertarians, you are missing a treat. Usually, they make Rand look school-teacherish and frumpy. I have had some wild discussions in the past, and none of them were very logical. The Libertarian Party was born here in Colorado Springs, and the characters show up in full costume during a convention. From my childhood, I always associated them with Amway salespeople...

The most important story this weekend is health related. Its official now, that drinking Guinness is good for you. "A pint of the black stuff a day may work as well as a low dose aspirin to prevent heart clots that raise the risk of heart attacks. Drinking lager does not yield the same benefits, experts from University of Wisconsin told a conference in the US." OK, they did a study on dogs, not people, to determine that drinking 24 ounces of the brown stuff per day was equivalent to taking an aspirin per day, by not allowing clots to form along arterial walls.

Cholesterol will stick to an artery wall and build itself up to form a clot, which can then cause a heart attack if it lodges in an artery feeding the heart. Aspirin works by causing ulcers on the arterial lining and breaking up any cholesterol that has attached. Researchers believe that: "antioxidant compounds" in the Guinness, similar to those found in certain fruits and vegetables, are responsible for the health benefits because they slow down the deposit of harmful cholesterol on the artery walls." Of course, they are guessing, just as the idea of anti-oxidant compounds is a theory. Still, it gives me great hope as I dodder into old age. Now I can include a pint of Guinness at meals as a health regimen, along with fresh-ground coffee in the morning and eight glasses of water per day. The cigar after dinner may be my only vice, and in a couple more years, I'm sure that the medical benefits will be studied and positively reported. Hey, if its good for Rover, its good enough for me...

The woman who, along with her crazy husband, kidnapped a fourteen year old Elizabeth Smart, was sentenced to 15 years in prison. She will be cooperating in the civil and federal cases against her husband, Brian David Mitchell.Wanda Barzee apologized to the Smart family at the sentencing: "I know the gravity of my crimes and how severe they have been, and I'm just so sorry, again, for all the pain and suffering I have caused upon the Smart family,"

Smart's mother, Lois, addressed Barzee at the hearing, calling her acts unconscionable and evil. "Wanda Barzee, what you did to our family and to our girl Elizabeth was wrong. It was wrong, and it was evil. You hurt our family in ways that you will never know. We had sleepless nights. We had endless days... Elizabeth is doing beautiful. She's brilliant. She's bright. She is thriving, but not because you helped her in any way at all." 

Smart's father, Ed, expressed mixed emotions over the sentence. "It is what it is. I'm grateful that she is going to be deemed a sex offender, she's going to have to register." When pressed by a reporter as to whether the sentence was appropriate, Ed Smart sighed heavily. "I think that Elizabeth felt that it wasn't strong enough, but to have it come to an end, it's been so many years." 

This is one story that I have always felt bad about, and guilty, because Elizabeth and her kidnappers walked right past me during lunch-time and I could have informed the police. This was during a time when I had stopped reading newspapers and watching television, and I didn't know who these people were. I had been volunteering at a friend's family run Internet Services Provider in Santa Cruz, California, and I went out to get lunch for myself and the co-owner. Santa Cruz is a refuge for young hippie wannabees, and as I was making my way along the pedestrian mall, I saw them standing around a lamp post, with benches for seating one one side.

 They were all dressed in white, Elizabeth was wearing a white cloth across her face like a veil. I had a few cynical thoughts along the lines of oh great, just what we need, some more cult figures in town! But there was a look in the silent girl's eyes, that in retrospect, must have said: please recognize me. But I walked on to get my smoothie and dan dan noodles; when I came back, they were gone.

It wasn't until months later when they were caught that I recognized their clothing and realized that the strange loitering people were Elizabeth and her kidnappers. To this day I wish that I had been more informed and had called the cops, her ordeal could have been cut by months. After that, I became obsessed with the news, and that incident may have played a role in my starting this blog.


  1. Great blog! I absolutely love Guinness. Thanks for making my day!

  2. Thanks Tammy -

    And I certainly hope that you are drinking your Guinness at proper room temperature and not from cans stashed in the fridge...

  3. Is the photo of people in white robes a photo of elizabeth smart?

  4. yes, it is. whenever they went in public together, elizabeth was made to wear a piece of white cloth that covered her face from just below her eyes.

  5. Yes, she is an inspiring girl. May Allah bless her.


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