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Fire Away! by Dee Jay Gude
Yeah, I know it's been awhile...I'm still a newlywed, learning how to deal with four (count 'em FOUR) children and their ensuing laundry, and just being too happy to rant.  That's a good sign, right?  So since I'm in such a benevolent mood I want to do a "kiss on the cheek award" column to highlight all the terrific things that people have done in the last year.  And, of course, since I'm me, I also want to give a "thump on the head" award to some of those folks who haven't been quite so well-behaved.

Kiss:  Governor Jesse "The Body" Ventura - only in America can a former WWF wrestler and commentator become an elected official.  Oh sure, there have been a ton of conventional actors who have risen in the political arena, but in no time they stink as bad as the "pros".  Jesse says what's on his mind, whether it's PC or not, and to top it all off he blew off a chance to schmooze with the elites because the high school football team he coaches had a big game that night.

Thump:  Florida Senator Robert Wexler, who also gets the "Whinebag of the Year" award.  It's touching to see a man toe the party line, but how many more talk shows does he have to get laughed out of before he gets realistic about this Clinton thing?

Kiss:  James Cameron, director of "Titanic", and Sony Pictures.  When James went over budget by several million smackers, he gave up his pay and any percentages due him in order to stay true to his vision and keep within the budget.  When "Titanic" went on to gross over $3 billion worldwide (so far), Sony reinstated his pay and upped his percentages.   They could have let him swing, but they did the right and fair thing.

Thump:  Anyone associated with the movie "Godzilla 98", but especially writers Dean Devlin and Roland Emmerich.   I hope the actors made a lot of money because they'll probably never work again.   And they even have an embarrassingly obnoxious website.

Kiss:  Astronaut John Glenn, who at the age of 77 agreed to go into space once again to be a guinea pig for NASA.

Thump:    CBS and Mike Wallace, who treated us to a "60 Minutes" segment where Jack Kevorkian's guinea pig, Thomas Youk, was euthanised on videotape.  We just wanted to know what time it was, guys - don't build us a clock.

Kiss:  The California Supreme Court, who ruled that the California Boy Scouts didn't have to bend their membership policies to include gays, agnostics or atheists.  Why do these people insist on trying to infiltrate an organization that doesn't want them instead of starting their own club?

Thump:  Judge Susan Webber Wright, who set women's rights back to the Stone Age by throwing out the Paula Jones case. now it's okay for the Governor to send the cops on "booty patrol"?

Kiss:  The National Enquirer - they offered a $100,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the person who gunned down Ennis Cosby, son of Bill.

Thump: Camille Cosby, who stated that she believed "...America taught our son's killer to hate African Americans."   Please, Camille, lose the victim mentality.  America has made your husband one of the most successful and wealthy entertainers of the 20th, white or otherwise.  And quit calling yourself an African American when we know you were born in Philadelphia and probably never even set foot in Africa.

Kiss:  Dear Abby - at 80, she still dispenses good common sense advice.  She operates as a kinder, gentler Dr. Laura, giving you a good kick in the seat without judgement or contempt.

Thump:  Ann Landers, or whoever's pretending to be her this week.  The most recent of her outrages was when a Grandmother wrote, disturbed that her daughter-in-law was too affectionate with her young son.  Grandma said the mom hugs the boy all the time and kisses him and if he's not feeling well she sits on his bed and rubs his back until he falls asleep.  Ann suggested counseling for this "smothering" mom and told Grandma that she needed to step in and take control.  Good thing ol' Ann never saw me smoosh on my kids or she'd have had me locked up!

I could go on and on (and sometimes I do - ask my husband).  It's nice to know that there are still some people in these United States who still have values and morals.  It's just sad that for every kiss, there's a thump!

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