Tom Joad's Place

Welcome to Tom Joad's Place! Join me for political discussion and banter on important national subjects and VA politics. I've also noticed that there are a lot of people looking for information on "Grapes of Wrath". Look for the sidebar and we'll discuss. Contact Kevin, at

Location: Fairfax, Virginia, United States

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Maybe Riley is right...

Righteous Riley might have a point on his post "A Creature of the Left?".

"So, all you liberal elitists and sanctimonious Europeans so ready to criticize Virginia and the U.S., take a long hard look at the drivel you’re spewing out into these young minds and see what it ultimately results in."

Well I don't know if I'm a "liberal elitist" but I'm sure that I've been taught by and listened to the positions of some of them. I'm sure I've viewed a speech or two by a "sanctimonious European". I encourage everyone who might have been privy to such education, speeches, or knowledge to immediately turn yourself in to the police. See we can't be trusted with our liberal philosophy in this society. We all just might be murderers inside because we "preach class envy and distrust of religion". Thank you for the public service you have done Mr. Riley. You are a true American!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Ok...Imus is fired...Does it mean anything?

No. Not really.

Imus said something stupid. He has said stupid things in the past. He didn't get fired then. The only reason he was fired now is because NBC and CBS were losing money on their advertising. That's the bottom line.

So where do we go from here? Is this going to make a difference in race relations in this country? No. This will be forgotten by next week. So lets have the discussion. Why is it ok for Chapelle to say the "N-word" over and over again? Why is it ok on South Park? What about these lyrics? Do we stop joking because we might offend someone? What happened to freedom of speech?

Because Kurt Vonnegut passed away today, I thought it would be appropriate to use one of his quotes on humor.

"Well, the telling of jokes is an art of its own, and it always rises from some emotional threat. The best jokes are dangerous, and dangerous because they are in some way truthful."
Kurt Vonnegut, Interview,
US novelist (1922 - )

Now Imus' joke wasn't good or funny. In fact, I didn't find Imus funny at all. But Vonnegut is right. The danger of good jokes now is that we're going to stifle ourselves out of political correctness. That is something that I do not want to see.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Thompson has cancer...

According to CNN, Fred Thompson has lymphoma. The former Tennessee Senator plays a district attorney on "Law and Order" and helped Chief Justice John Roberts with his candidacy. A source released this bit of information to show how serious Thompson was about running for President in 2008 on the Republican ballot. The source to CNN says that the cancer is treatable.

Well...that sucks. Thompson was starting to create a stir on the Republican side that was shaking up the other campaigns. I hope that this source is telling the truth behind the motives on this release of information. If this is from another campaign, which it doesn't look like, then shame on them. I wish Thompson the best...

Update: Thompson speaks.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Maryland is for fascism...

Apparently to some, because Hitler supported a smoking ban, it is automatically fascist to want a ban of cigarettes in restaurants. It also makes those of you who support that ban a fascist.

Well Maryland passed a ban on smoking indoors.

"Under the measure, which O'Malley has pledged to sign, Maryland would join 18 states and the District in restricting smoking to protect bar patrons and workers from secondhand smoke."

Damn those Marylanders!!! All they want to do is take away our rights! Next thing you know they will tell us what drugs we can or cannot take...

Well the fascism is spreading like a plague across this great country of ours. Here's a list of the other fascist states and localities.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Four truths and a lie...answers

1. True. Pauley Shore wasn't really my inspiration but I took the survey the yearbook committee put out as a joke. Everyone else didn't and put God, family, and friends. In retrospect, it looks pretty idiotic.

My high school sweetheart and I were voted "Most likely to get married". Although she is an exceptional person, it didn't work out.

2. True. I have done stand-up comedy. It was at an all-black comedy club in Laurel, MD called "Jokes on Us". I was the only white person to perform that night which was quite daunting. I was extremely nervous and didn't know what the reaction would be. It went over pretty well. Got a few laughs and a nice ovation at the end of my five minute set.

At my job at Blockbuster a few weeks later, I was recognized by a couple that went to the show. They said they enjoyed my set and asked if I had any new material. I told them that I probably would be fired if I told the type of jokes they saw at the show.

3. True. Call it my nature but I couldn't decide what to do with my Bachelors. I chose on the three courses listed below and let fate decide. I figured whatever way I went, I would get a job. I know it's cavalier but that's how I was at 20.

4. False. Although I am a huge fan of the Beatles, Nirvana, and Radiohead, I don't have the money to collect any of that cool memorabilia. I do, however, own a scary sketch of Kurt Cobain that I am trying to convince my girlfriend to let me hang up.

5. True. I was a new writer and I really wanted to impress the editors. I didn't know that would lead to me taping someone peeing. After the game, the other team needed to get going. Since I was taught to get both sides of the story with quotes, I felt it was necessary to get the quote no matter how far I needed to go. It made for an interesting discussion back at the office and it led to me becoming Sports editor for a semester in my Senior year.

Thanks to those who guessed or at least read the article...

"Outa my way...I'm Hitler!"

Yes, the title of my post is one of my favorite "Simpsons" lines. It's also a way to reveal my true feelings on this smoking ban in question because I want to move the Commonwealth of Virginia to a state of fascism. First they came for the smokers? (Hint: This is sarcasm.)

Having read arguments over the past few days against non-smoking venues, I've decided to go point by point.

1. "Businesses will go under." There of course is no evidence of this in the states and localities that have enacted the non-smoking ban. But that won't stop people from using it as "evidence".

There is evidence that supports that business will go on as usual. Also here, here, here, and here.

2. "Businesses have spent money on ventilation systems." Good for them...why not give them a tax credit for their troubles.

3. "Second hand smoke doesn't bother anyone." Here are a couple of examples on the effects of second hand smoke:

"Secondhand smoke causes approximately 3,400 lung cancer deaths and 22,700-69,600 heart disease deaths in adult nonsmokers in the United States each year.

A study found that nonsmokers exposed to environmental smoke were 25 percent more likely to have coronary heart diseases compared to nonsmokers not exposed to smoke.

The current Surgeon General's Report concluded that scientific evidence indicates that there is no risk-free level of exposure to second hand smoke. Short exposures to second hand smoke can cause blood platelets to become stickier, damage the lining of blood vessels, decrease coronary flow velocity reserves, and reduce heart rate variability, potentially increasing the risk of heart attack."

I could go on with the quotes from the federal government but it would be overkill.

We regulate behavior all the time in this society. We tell businesses to make sure that they have proper sanitation. We tell car manufacturers to have certain emission standards. Other local governments are working to get restaurants to stop using trans fats in their cooking oil. Why can't we have a place where people can do what is necessary such as breathe?

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Four truths and a lie...

So with all of this April foolery going around, I decided to do something a little different. I will list four truths and one lie about myself. If you want to play along, take a guess in the comment section on which one is the lie.

1. In the "my inspiration" portion of my senior yearbook, I stated that Pauley Shore was mine. I was also voted first person to become married.

2. I have done stand-up comedy before. My first stand-up appearance was in front of an all black audience and I had the crowd rolling with my Jennifer Lopez impersonation.

3. I came into politics on accident. I was undecided at Mary Washington which major I wanted. It came down to History, Political Science, and English. I "eenie, meenie, minnie, moed" my selection and picked Political Science. I have been in love with politics ever since.

4. I own an extensive collection of Beatles, Nirvana, and Radiohead collectibles. My two favorite items are an original copy of the White album and a pick used by Kurt Cobain.

5. When I was a sports writer for the Mary Washington College Bullet, I interviewed an opposing coach while he peed at a urinal. He told me that if I wanted a quote, that's where the interview was taking place. It did and I got all of it on tape.

Can you guess which one is not me?

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