Wednesday, June 13, 2001

Just back from the first interview of the week. Very promising. I never had someone ask me for so many samples of my work! I gave the HR person stuff from my newspaper days, my days as an editor writing about the tech industry, and my most recent PR/Marketing gig. I didn't realize how big my portfolio was until this layoff hit me. I'm kinda proud of myself. I've been out of college for three years now, and I have gotten a fair amount of work experience. I hope to get a job before I have to start collecting unemployment. I haven't even gotten my severance pay yet! Going into the whole jobhunt again, I was worried by talk of the sagging economy. Now I see that the economy IS a concern to companies, but they are still looking for people. The woman that interviewed me today said that they take great pains to not lay people off, so they are very careful about the positions they decide to fill. She said they don't hire someone for a position if they think that position will be gone in a year or so. That way they don't lay people off. Sounds a bit too good to be true, but I trusted her. Oh well, two more interviews to go! Lemme tell ya, it is damn hot out there today. Wow! Thank God for air conditioning! Me in my new suit on a day like this is trouble! Tonight, I get to relax. Unless the Sixers lose again. Ugh, don't let me think about it.

Concerning the Forum, I am going to let things cool down a bit for a while, at least til I get a job. I was thinking about keeping the post password, and just giving it to people that mail me and ask for it, or just give it to the people that I am meeting in the discussion groups I have been checking out. I am sure the little ants that have been swarming over my site, the dreaded ex-coworkers with a mysterious grudge and way too much free time, will try to find a way in. I am sure that they are trying this very moment. Oh well. Things will work themselves out.

I apologize about the lack of philosophical rants lately. All the mental resources are going into the jobhunt and into my writing for the magazine I started with some buddies in college, called the Iconoclast. We have all been interrupted by life, but after a long hiatus I think we are going to finally get another issue out soon. The Web site is in need of some housekeeping too. But we will be back in print soon enough. I am also working on my fiction writing. So you can see that the my site has a lot of competition for my time as of late! Sorry about that. I'll try to get back into the saddle soon enough! Later on!


Monday, June 11, 2001

Greetings from the realm of the unemployed. What news, you ask? Well, other than the rage I feel at the 76ers for loosing game three of the NBA finals and the job interview I have on Wednesday with a fairly reputable firm, there is the EXECUTION OF TIMOTHY MCVEIGH! DUM DUM DUM DUUUUUUH! I think that there are going to be many more McVeighs in our future, unfortunately. The self-righteous are always out there, ready to strike on behalf of powerful forces, from God to the government to whatever else they can think of...for more on McVeigh's end, keep reading:

Oklahoma City Bomber McVeigh Dies Unrepentant
By Arthur Spiegelman

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (Reuters) - Silent, unrepentant and staring into a television camera that beamed his execution back to the city he devastated, Timothy McVeigh was put to death on Monday for the bombing that killed 168 people in Oklahoma City on April 19, 1995. The man who committed the worst act of terrorism on American soil said nothing to mitigate or explain his actions but he did leave behind a defiant written testament using someone else's words and ideas.

In neat script, under the title ``Final Written Statement of Timothy McVeigh'', he wrote in longhand a copy of the famous 19th Century poem, ``Invictus,'' in which crippled poet William Ernest Henley declares, ``I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul.'' The poem's title means ``undefeated'' in Latin. Henley was 26 years old when he wrote that poem and McVeigh was 26 years old when he bombed the Alfred P. Murrah federal building.

Richard Burr, one of his lawyers, said McVeigh died by lethal injection with no regrets about what he had set out to do -- attack a building crammed with workers for a federal government he deemed oppressive. Another McVeigh attorney, Robert Nigh Jr., said, ``To the victims, I say I am sorry I could not get Tim to say words of reconciliation.''

But McVeigh, who was raised a Catholic, might have asked for forgiveness in private. A Justice Department spokeswoman said he received last rites of the Catholic Church shortly before his execution. A Catholic churchwoman in Terra Haute said she understood he received a sacrament reserved for those seeking a blessing as they near death in which he could have asked for forgiveness.

McVeigh had described his execution -- the first federal execution in 38 years -- as a state-assisted suicide and he was a willing partner. He was cordial when warden Harley Lappin spent a half hour with him describing how he would die. He was cooperative when guards strapped him to a gurney and wrapped him so tight in a white sheet that he looked like a mummy.

The Gulf War veteran, who believed he was on a military mission to strike at the heart of the U.S. government, tried to look every witness to his execution in the eye. There were four rooms of witnesses and only one that McVeigh could not see through because of tinted glass -- that room was reserved for the victims and their families, although they could see him.

McVeigh then lay on the gurney staring straight up -- at a camera which was beaming his execution back to an auditorium in Oklahoma City where 232 victims or family members were watching. He seemed to stare straight at them.


In Oklahoma City, Karen Jones, the wife of a bombing victim, said, ``He got what he wanted. He was laying there glaring right at us.''

Larry Whicher, the brother of a bombing victim, said: ``It was a totally defiant stare, that if he had the chance he would do it all over again. There was no remorse -- none whatsoever.''

``We feel at peace now,'' said Claudia Denny, whose two children were severely injured but survived the April 19, 1995, blast that killed 168 people, including 19 children.

``McVeigh is a coward and a lowdown bastard. Somebody tried to take my life, they deserve to burn in hell,'' said Raymond Washburn, who was at his concession stand in the Alfred P. Murrah building when McVeigh detonated the bomb.

McVeigh died at 7:14 a.m. local time (8:14 a.m. EDT/1214 GMT), about 10 minutes after the execution began. Witnesses said he died with his eyes open and that after he drew his last breath, his skin turned flush yellow.

Said CBS newsman Byron Pitts, a witness: ``There was no sign of suffering, no sign of discomfort, no sign of fear.

President Bush, who leaves later on Monday on a European tour where he is expected to encounter strong opposition to the death penalty, said: ``The victims of the Oklahoma City bombing have been given not vengeance but justice.

``Today every living person who was hurt by the evil done in Oklahoma City can rest in the knowledge that there has been a reckoning.''


The execution was condemned in Europe, where opposition to the death penalty outweighed abhorrence at McVeigh's crime. European critics of capital punishment called it a barbaric, blood-thirsty way of making McVeigh pay for his crime.

In London, Amnesty International said the execution was a triumph of vengeance over justice.

The human rights group said it deeply regretted what it called a failure of human rights leadership in the highest levels of government in the United States. ``By executing the first federal death row prisoner in nearly four decades, the USA has allowed vengeance to triumph over justice and distanced itself yet further from the aspirations of the international community,'' an Amnesty statement said.

But for many Americans, McVeigh's execution was final justice to avenge a vicious attack on innocent men, women and children. Some of the victims and their families hoped it would bring closure to a painful chapter of U.S. history.

For some Americans, questions still remain about the attack on the steel and glass Murrah building. Prime among those questions is whether McVeigh acted alone or whether there are still conspirators at large. McVeigh, 33, insisted he acted virtually alone.

McVeigh's lawyers, who also witnessed the execution, had said in advance his body would be cremated but the location where his ashes will be stored has not been disclosed.

Only a few dozen protesters stood in the fields outside the prison to register their feelings. The death penalty opponents stood in silent vigil while death penalty supporters chanted ''Die McVeigh. Die!'' and ``This is for Oklahoma City!'' at the time of his scheduled execution.

McVeigh did not admit to the bombing during the 1997 trial in Denver, where he was convicted of killing eight federal officers who died in the blast. But he confessed in interviews with two reporters for the Buffalo News after the trial, saying he acted alone out of rage prompted by the 1993 raid on the Branch Davidian cult compound in Waco, Texas, in which nearly 90 people are believed to have died.

In a book ``American Terrorist'' by the Buffalo News reporters, Dan Herbeck and Lou Michel, McVeigh said he regretted the ``collateral damage'' that came with the deaths of 19 children at a day care center inside the federal building when he drove a truck bomb up its entrance.

The closest McVeigh came to an expression of remorse was in letters to the Buffalo News in which he said: ``I am sorry these people had to lose their lives, but that's the nature of the beast. It's understood going in what the human toll will be.''

His execution was originally scheduled for May 16 but was delayed by the revelation that 4,000 pages of FBI documents had not been turned over to McVeigh's lawyers before his 1997 trial, as they should have been. McVeigh dropped his appeals after losing in two levels of federal courts.