Spitting on Vietnam vets? Didn’t happen.

The story that Vietnam vets, upon returning to America, were spat on and called “baby killers” is an urban legend concocted in a Stallone movie. But you might be surprised that the guy who injected it into the mainstream was Glenn Beck:

Beck then goes for the emotional jugular for the first time. The move comes in the form of a story about an unnamed “friend” of Beck’s. This friend returned from Vietnam only to endure the abuse of protesting peaceniks. “He got off the plane from Vietnam and a woman spat in his face and called him ‘baby killer,'” explains Beck. “Then he left his medal of honor in a trash can.”

Whether Beck was aware that he was quoting almost verbatim from Sylvester Stallone’s closing monologue in “First Blood,” it is impossible to say. But whatever its source, the story is dubious. As documented by Jerry Lembcke in his book “The Spitting Image,” stories of Vietnam vets being spit upon didn’t gain currency until the 1980s. So many of those stories dissolved upon closer inspection that even after serious research efforts, not a single case of a Vietnam veteran being spat upon has ever been documented.


The only time I do any writing worth a damn is late, late at night. But I have to work in the morning, so writing waits. It waits until the words have had enough and they stomp out the door, throwing my keys back at me as they swear to never return. I promise to do better, but my begging is in vain. Damn you, words. Damn you to heck.

A new force of nature

The Fermi Lab has discovered what may be a new force of nature. If this pans out, it’s a major new discovery in physics.

Data from a major US atom smasher lab may have revealed a new elementary particle, or potentially a new force of nature, one of the physicists involved in the discovery told AFP on Wednesday.

The physics world was abuzz with excitement over the findings, which could offer clues to the persistent riddle of mass and how objects obtain it — one of the most sought-after answers in all of physics.

But experts cautioned that more analysis was needed over the next several months to uncover the true nature of the discovery, which comes as part of an ongoing experiment with proton and antiproton collisions to understand the workings of the universe.

All governments and all scientists want us all dead.

There’s a new conspiracy theory floating around.

With absolutely no evidence presented, this person “knows” that all governments and all scientists are colluding together in a plot to… kill everybody.

Yes, there is a vast conspiracy to kill everyone. The governments and scientists have secret underground bunkers built for themselves where they’re going to survive.

How they’re killing us is by lying about radiation and pollution, see?

Of course, millions must be involved in this vast conspiracy. But it seems air-tight, doesn’t it? And anyone who questions this conspiracy theory… is a part of the conspiracy! See how it works?

No reason is given for all governments and all scientists to want everyone else dead. It’s just accepted. She “knows” this is happening. Don’t argue with her or ask for evidence. That just means you’re working for THEM.

Behold, ladies and gentlemen – a self-reinforcing delusion. That’s how they work.

I wish Carl Sagan’s “The Demon-Haunted World” was required reading in high schools.

People who are impossible to talk to

The following is a true story.

Once upon a time, I worked with someone named, well, let’s call her Pat. She was difficult to get along with. She found fault with everything and everyone. There wasn’t one good thing that happened that she could not wring the bad out of it. If anyone shared good news, she worked feverishly to find the cloud in the silver lining.

But I had to work with her, so I tried as hard as I could to deal with it.

One morning, in an attempt to try to get some kind of human response, or at least to show I was not an enemy, I complimented her. She had come in with new clothes and a new hairstyle. “You look nice today,” I said.

She glared at me at said nothing.

Next thing I knew, I was being called in for a meeting with HR. She had lodged a complaint against me. The complaint? I had, according to her, publicly insulted, humiliated and verbally abused her.

“When the hell did I do that?” I asked.

“This morning when you called me ugly!” she said.

I shook my head in disbelief. “I said no such thing. What I said was, ‘You look nice today,’ that’s all I said, and I can bring in witnesses.”

That’s when she jumped out of the chair and screamed at me, spit flying into my face, “YOU WERE INSINUATING THAT I LOOK UGLY EVERY OTHER DAY!! HOW DARE YOU!! HOW DARE YOU!!”

The HR director dismissed the complaint.

No matter how hard you try, there are some people you just cannot communicate with. The expend vast amounts of energy to find offense, to be insulted, to have cause for personal warfare. You become the enemy, and whatever you say will be twisted and turned into some kind of horrible attack upon them. They will take offense that you breathe the very air that they’re in. How dare you.

I keep running into Pats. It’s awfully exhausting.