Nothing much to add

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What could I possibly say about the tenth anniversary of America’s darkest day that hasn’t been said already by folks much more eloquent than me?

Absolutely nothing.

Except to add to the chorus of Americans who wish to recognize the bravery and the sacrifices of so many on that day and in the days, months and years that followed.

To the first responders and to the rescue and recovery personnel, many of whom lost their lives that day. Many who fight for their lives today against the poisons they were exposed to in the burning wreckage.

We remember and are grateful.

To the passengers and crew members of Flight 93 who chose to take the plane down in a Pennsylvania field, giving their own lives in order to save many more.

We remember and are grateful.

To the men and women of our armed services who volunteered to fight for our freedom against an enemy unlike any we had faced before the day America was attacked on 9/11.

We remember and are grateful.

To the families directly affected by the events of 9/11.

To the fallen heroes who were not publicly recognized in official ceremonies.

We remember and are grateful.

Thank you.

Trending: The mass unfollow on the twitter

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The latest trend on the twitter seems to be the mass unfollow. I think Chris Brogan started the trend, Michael Hyatt and others followed suit.

Carlos Whittaker wrote a pretty spot-on post about why he’s not unfollowing everyone, so I figured I’d be trendy and give you my take on the whole follow/refollow/unfollow…um…thingy.

Last time I checked, I had 2546 followers on the twitter. Bush league numbers compared to a guy like Michael Hyatt who has over 100,000 followers or LosWhit whose following is just shy of 23,000. I have never used an auto-follow back service, which automatically refollows anyone that follows you. For every new follow notification I receive, I choose to refollow or not based on whether I think the person (and they need to be a real person) would be someone who could add to the conversation–whatever that conversation might be.

Auto-refollow services offer people (especially high profile people) a convenient, hands-off approach to connecting with their followers, and while I don’t anticipate I’ll ever have enough followers to warrant using such a service, even if I did, I wouldn’t.

Why?

Because I think it’s disingenuous.

There’s plenty of spam twitter accounts; plenty of people on Twitter who view follower counts as nothing more than a numbers game.

But there are also real, flesh and blood people on the other side of that tweet.

  • There’s a stay-at-home mom whose baby just puked on the last clean shirt she owns.
  • A new, struggling writer whose blog is read by 3 people, 2 of which are his mom and dad.
  • A lonely, housebound widower who is desperately trying to make human contact with another soul in cyberspace.

All of whom are thrilled to death when someone they admire and respect is actually following THEM on Twitter.

How do you suppose it makes them feel when they are summarily dumped in a massive unfollow?

I assume it makes them realize what they suspected all along:

That they never really mattered in the first place.

And I’d rather let them know that up front instead of letting them believe otherwise until they’re of no use to me anymore.

Like the sign hanging in my daughter’s elementary school hallway says:

It’s nice to be important, but it’s more important to be nice.

(Sorry–but I had to get that off my chest.)

While I consider each new follow on an individual basis, I do have some guidelines which help me determine who NOT to refollow. I’ve shared them here before, and here they are again:

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The Top 10 Reasons I didn’t grant you the courtesy refollow:

Generally speaking, if someone follows me on the twitter and they appear to be a real person and not some spambot or online markerter, I will grant the courtesy refollow. By the way, if you are a real person and I’m not refollowing you, it’s most likely that I don’t know you’re following me. If you let me know, I’ll follow you. Unless of course you happen to break one or more of  the cardinal rules of the katdish courtesy refollow:

  1. You’re nekkid in your avatar. That’s all I have to say about that.
  2. Your Twitter bio contains the words “Social Media” followed by the words “celebrity” or “rock star”. Um, get over yourself already. I’ve never heard of you.
  3. Your last 10 tweets consist of links to your own website and tired old quotes everyone’s already heard.
  4. Your tweets are in a language other than English. Sorry. I’m a dumb American. That’s the only language I speak, understand or read.
  5. All of your tweets look something like this: *¨* 愛∗¸☀¸.•*¨* 愛∗¸¸.•*¨* 愛∗¸☀¸¸.•*¨* 愛∗¸.•*¨* 愛∗¸☀.•*¨* 愛∗¸¸.•*¨* 愛∗¸☀¸¸.•*¨¸.•*¨* 愛∗¸☀¸¸.•*¨* 愛∗¸.•*. Am I missing something? What’s up with that?
  6. You talk at the twitter, but you never have any conversations with people on the twitter. It’s social media. Be social already. I don’t care who you are, you’re not that big a deal (to me, anyway).
  7. You don’t have a bio. Seriously…would it kill you to say 10 words about yourself?
  8. You are suffering from hashtagatosis, where you cannot #tweet #anything #without #using #hashtags.
  9. You are rabidly opposed to either liberals or conservatives and that’s all you tweet about. I follow liberals, conservatives and everyone in between, but I’m really more interested in what we have in common than what separates us. (End of mini speech.)
  10. I’m just not that into you. (This may include, but may not limited to the fact that you use foul language constantly or are overtly sexually suggestive. I’m not the morality police, I just don’t care to see that in my twitter feed. To each his own.)

So, there’s my top ten. Do you have any deal breakers when it comes to the courtesy refollow?

Wasteland by @lynnrush

I read.

A lot.

I don’t say this to impress, it’s just a statement of fact. And with my favorite shows either off the air or in reruns, I’m reading more than usual lately.

In addition to a never-ending pile of virtual books on my kindle, I also read WIPs for a few writer friends. One in particular keeps me fairly busy. Writing is mostly a solitary, sometimes lonely pursuit, so when I see an opportunity to encourage a writer within my circle of writerly friends, I will typically jump at the chance if time allows.

Which is why when I saw Lynn Rush’s Facebook status update about the upcoming debut of her new book Wasteland, I immediately sent her a message offering to read and review it.

Did I know what the book was about?

No.

Did I even know what genre it was?

Well, no.

But I’ve read her blog. I like Lynn and I like the way she writes. That’s all I really need to know, right? Hmmm…

Lynn sent me a digital copy of the book which I sent to my kindle. I considered visiting Lynn’s blog and getting a description of the book, but I didn’t want to possibly color my impression of the book before I started reading it. I just dove in:

Chapter 1

Another two hundred and fifty years in solitary confinement might be worth the sacrifice if it meant spending five minutes alone with the beauty moving on the dance floor to this strange music.

Wait…

What?…

Crap.

What is this book about? Vampires? Space aliens? What have I gotten myself in to?

I set the book down, immediately regretting that I had offered to review it. Whatever this genre was, it wasn’t the kind of book I typically read, and regardless of my personal feelings towards a writer, I’m not about to write a positive review if I don’t like the book. But a promise is a promise, so the next day I began reading it again.

And do you want to know something?

I’m so glad I did. Within minutes I was hooked. I still was unclear what the book was about, but that was a big part of its appeal. The author could have told her readers who and what the characters were. Instead she choses to show us.

Wasteland is the story of demons and guardians; of good versus evil; of forced obligation and loyalty versus loyalty freely given and motivated by love. David Sadler is a half-demon bound to his demonic master by a blood contract. After 250 years of confinement, he must capture his next Mark: a fifteen-year old girl he knows nothing about. But as he learns more about the girl, he realizes she may be the key to freedom from his demonic enslavement.

Standing in the way of capturing his Mark is Rebeka Abbot–the girl’s beautiful Guardian. David and Rebeka are inexplicably drawn to one another, but not only is their intense chemistry horribly ill-fated–she being pure and good and he literally housing pure evil in his heart–giving in to his attraction to Rebeka will cost him what’s left of his human soul.

Wasteland is classified in the genre of Paranormal Romance. Would I pick up this book in a bookstore? Never in a million years. But as I told Lynn, even though the genre isn’t something I typically read, a good story is a good story.

This is a fast paced, often steamy storyline with great characters and all the elements of a great work of fiction: Sacrifice, Trust, Hope, Humility and Redemption.

Lynn is currently at work on Wasteland 2, and I can honestly say I’m looking forward to reading it with great anticipation.

For more information about Wasteland and its author, visit Lynn over at Catch the Rush.

You can also order Wasteland on Amazon in paperback or on kindle.

Pardon me while I rant incessantly: Foregoing innocence


With very few exceptions, reality television is a cesspool of everything that’s wrong with the moral compass of society.

Feeling guilty about how messy your house is? Just watch Clean House or Hoarders. Comparatively speaking, your home is a showplace.

Wondering if your consumption of Diet Coke borders on addiction? At least you don’t secretly eat the stuffing out of sofa cushions or find yourself unable to communicate with people without the use of a puppet like the folks on My Strange Addiction.

Think your daughter’s wedding day expectations are unreasonable? Just watch an episode or two of Say Yes to the Dress, Whose Wedding is it Anyway?, Bridezillas, or the mother of all bad bridal shows, Bridalplasty:

The show follows 12 engaged women who are competing for the wedding of their dreams and their dream plastic surgery procedure. Each woman must complete a plastic surgery wish list and complete wedding-themed challenges in order to win the surgery of her choice. The winner of the week’s challenge gets one plastic surgery procedure from her wish list.

The winner of the competition will get a wedding of her dreams and multiple plastic surgeries from her wish list. The husband will not see his fiancee until the wedding day, when the bride reveals her new look. (Source: Wikipedia)

Regardless of how base and degrading your behavior may be, thanks to reality television, you can always find someone whose actions are more base and degrading than your own. Hurray for you!

And while I can largely ignore or make light of most of this nonsense, there’s something especially disturbing when the subjects of these shows are children.

Enter the world of baby beauty pageants seen through the lenses of the creators of Toddlers and Tiaras. My personal opinions aside about pageants in general and children’s pageants in particular, I know there are some contests for kids where glamourous make-up and costumes are not only not discouraged, but not allowed. I suppose these contests are the lesser of two evils, but I still think it sends the wrong message to the children involved.

Recently, a four-year old contestant made the national news when she appeared in a Dolly Parton costume complete with big hair, fake boobs and a padded butt. I considered posting her picture here, but then I suppose I would just be adding to the circus. When she appeared on Fox News with her mother,  her mother said she was surprised at all the outrage over this costume. “It was a theatrical costume (she wore) for 90 seconds.” When asked about charges of sexualizing young children, the mother replied: “There are people who are going to take everything to an extreme, but at the same time, people have Facebook posts that are 10 to 15 (years old) and all of their friends in bathing suits running around taking sexualized pictures, but because this has been brought into the national news spotlight people feel like they have to jump on it and correct me, when there’s other things going on on a daily basis that are so much more concerning.”

Oh…okay.

Thank you for restating my original argument. People can justify their own actions because there’s always someone taking things further than you are. Those are the people that really need to be stopped.

People like the subject of the latest outrage stemming from Toddlers and Tiaras–a three-year old whose mother recreated Julia Robert’s prostitute character in Pretty Woman. Yeah, this one:

I’m not terribly concerned about how shows like this will effect my 10 year old daughter, because the only time we ever watched it together she was as disturbed by it as I was. My concern is for the little girls and boys involved in these shows.

Many of their parents will argue that most of the time their kids are just that–kids. What they may not be considering is the fact that their kids get the lion’s share of attention when they’re strutting around looking like adult beauty queens. I suppose I’ll buy the argument that many of these tiny beauty queens think the pageants are fun, even though the frequency and voracity of the tiny temper tantrums on that show leave me less than convinced. I’m less inclined to believe they enjoy being spray tanned, wearing painful hairpieces and false teeth over their own called flappers.

The message? You are a beautiful child, just not beautiful enough without all the extras. This is the wrong kind of attention. And it’s not okay.

As much as all the primping and yes, sexualization of children on this show bothers me, what bothers the most is that these little girls and boys most likely think people watch them with admiration, when in reality most view the show for what it is: a freak show.

A big, money-making freak show.

***

This post is part of the One Word at a Time Blog Carnival: Innocence, hosted by my friend Peter Pollock. To read more on this topic, please visit him at PeterPollock.com.

Labor Day

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Do you know why we celebrate Labor Day? How it got started? I didn’t. Not that it matters. Much like President’s Day, it’s become more about selling mattresses and a three day weekend, but…

According to the U. S. Department of Labor:

Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country…

The first Labor Day holiday was celebrated on Tuesday, September 5, 1882, in New York City, in accordance with the plans of the Central Labor Union. The Central Labor Union held its second Labor Day holiday just a year later, on September 5, 1883.

In 1884 the first Monday in September was selected as the holiday, as originally proposed, and the Central Labor Union urged similar organizations in other cities to follow the example of New York and celebrate a “workingmen’s holiday” on that date. The idea spread with the growth of labor organizations, and in 1885 Labor Day was celebrated in many industrial centers of the country.

Now that I’ve educated myself as to the origins of Labor Day, I’m wondering if this day should continue to be a national holiday. Seth Godin has a thought provoking article on his blog today. In Back to (the wrong) school he writes:

Our current system of teaching kids to sit in straight rows and obey instructions isn’t a coincidence–it was an investment in our economic future. The plan: trade short-term child labor wages for longer-term productivity by giving kids a head start in doing what they’re told.

Large-scale education was never about teaching kids or creating scholars. It was invented to churn out adults who worked well within the system.

Of course, it worked. Several generations of productive, fully employed workers followed. But now?

Nobel-prize winning economist Michael Spence makes this really clear: there are tradable jobs (making things that could be made somewhere else, like building cars, designing chairs and answering the phone) and non-tradable jobs (like mowing the lawn or cooking burgers). Is there any question that the first kind of job is worth keeping in our economy?

Alas, Spence reports that from 1990 to 2008, the US economy added only 600,000 tradable jobs.

If you do a job where someone tells you exactly what to do, they will find someone cheaper than you to do it. And yet our schools are churning out kids who are stuck looking for jobs where the boss tells them exactly what to do.

Do you see the disconnect here? Every year, we churn out millions of of workers who are trained to do 1925 labor.

I would encourage you to follow the link and read the rest of the article, especially if you have children in public (or even private) schools. Mr. Godin makes a short but compelling argument against the status quo.

With national unemployment over 9% and actual unemployment numbers much worse, the idea of celebrating the working man and woman by taking a day off of work just leaves a sour taste in my mouth.

Especially when millions of Americans would much rather be working today if they only had a job to go to.

Happy Labor Day! (insert sideways smiley face here)

Parched and weary

In case you haven’t heard, much of Texas is in the clutches of the worst drought in over 50 years.

I’ve spent almost 40 years of my 46 year old life in Houston, and I have never experienced anything like it. The heat and humidity here has always been brutal, but typically afternoon thunderstorms bring reprieve from the scorching temperatures. This year has been anything but typical. Week after week, month after month with not so much as a 20% chance of rain in the forecast. In years past, a 20% chance of rain was simply a given down here.

The longer the drought continues, the closer attention I pay to the weather forecast. There have been a few days where the local weather folks have called for the possibility of rain, but either the rain falls for 5 minutes and stops or simply doesn’t come at all.

The local forecast is again calling for rain over the weekend

And I hope and pray that they’re right this time, but I’m afraid to get my hopes up.

It seems easier to be pessimistic sometimes.

To assume the worst so you won’t be disappointed.

To grow accustomed to being weary and parched, because you’ve been that way for so long.

But relief is coming.

It may not be as soon as we hope for, but it will come.

And we will be refreshed and renewed.

(And then I’ll be complaining about mosquitos)

We need a Texas Flood. Play it, Stevie…

Pardon me while I rant incessantly: Thank you, entitlement generation

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There are children who suffer horrible abuse and neglect at the hands of the people who are supposed to love and protect them: their moms and dads.

There are also children who bear emotional scars from parents who were doing the best they could for their kids. Parents who were simply ill-equipped to raise their children into emotionally healthy adults.

There are days when I think I’m the worst mother in the world because I’ve allowed my own foul mood to spill onto my kids and overreact to some minor infraction. I wonder if there’s any parent who hasn’t felt this way.

As adults, how many of us have questioned to what extent how our parents treated us as children has impacted who we are today? Both positively and negatively? If everyone had a wonderful childhood, we would put the practice of psychiatry out of business. Mostly likely the alcohol and illegal drug trade as well.

But what if you could SUE the offending parent? Certainly would help with those therapy sessions and bar tabs, no?

That’s what this enterprising brother and sister duo attempted to do:

20 year old Kathryn Miner and her 23 year old brother, Steven Miner

According to a story from ABC News, the adult children of 55 year old Kimberly Garrity were attempting to sue her for being a lousy mom. “The children sought $50,000 for emotional distress stemming from the damage of her supposed bad mothering.” The news report goes on to say:

The case was originally tossed by a Cook County circuit court, but the kids appealed. Last week, an Illinois appellate court also dismissed it.

Raised in a $1.5 million home by their father, the children alleged the Garrity was a lousy mom because she failed to send money for birthdays, called her daughter home early from homecoming, and threatened to call the police on her son, then 7, if he didn’t buckle up in the car.

Steven also accused his mother of once smacking him on the head, saying that he still suffers from headaches. One of the exhibits in the case included a birthday card that Steven called “inappropriate” because it failed to include cash or a check.

The card did include the inscription, “Son I got you this Birthday card because it’s just like you ? different from all the rest!” On the inside Garrity wrote, “Have a great day! Love & Hugs, Mom xoxoxo,” according to court documents cited by the Chicago Tribune.

Oh, where do I begin?

Two bratty children raised by their father in a million dollar home, mad at their mother because she didn’t shower them with the lavish gifts their father did and actually had the audacity to tell them no. And frankly, Garrity didn’t smack that kid in the head hard enough if she was trying to smack some sense into him.

Incidentally, the kids’ lawyer? Yeah…their dad. Kimberly Garrity’s ex-husband.

Miner did not respond to messages left by ABC news, but said in court papers that he filed the lawsuit after much legal research and had tried to dissuade his children from bringing the case.

Why would their father agree to take on their case (presumably pro-bono, because I’m guessing neither one of these kids have worked an honest day in their lives in order to pay for a lawyer) knowing from the start that it was a case they would most likely lose?

Here’s what Garrity’s attorney had to say (source Bossip.com):

In court papers, Garrity’s attorney Shelley Smith said the “litany of childish complaints and ingratitude” in the lawsuit is nothing more than an attempt by Garrity’s ex-husband to “seek the ultimate revenge” of having her children accuse her of “being an inadequate mother.”

“It would be laughable that these children of privilege would sue their mother for emotional distress, if the consequences were not so deadly serious” for Garrity, Smith wrote. “There is no insurance for this claim, so (Garrity) must pay her legal fees, while (the children) have their father for free.”

I guess it’s true what they say. The spoiled, rotten sense of entitlement fruit doesn’t fall far from the tree.

This is a ridiculously extreme case of the entitlement generation run amok, but it permeates American society on so many levels.

But that’s an entirely different rant. Maybe next time…

Support for our support


We all need constants.

Something or someone we can go to when the world or our circumstances overwhelm us. Many of us turn to God and cry out to him, even though I suspect many of us don’t do this as often as we should.

Sometimes it’s not so much that we’re overwhelmed, but that we feel ourselves heading down that path. It’s been said that music soothes the savage beast, and for some, music soothes the savage beast within and gives comfort.

Maybe for you it’s not music. Perhaps it’s going for a run, taking a walk, meditating or hitting a punching bag. It need not be physical. I know if I don’t escape at least a few minutes a day in a good book I feel completely out of sorts. Same goes with writing.

Most of us have at least one thing we turn to which makes us feel more in balance and offers us some solace.

For my son, it’s the swing set in the back yard.

It may seem a little odd that a fourteen year old boy would still gravitate to a swing, but, as he tells me, “It’s my only therapy.” Between school, friends, homework, band, private horn lessons and now football, things have already begun to get hectic. He needs a few minutes each day on that swing–just him and his headphones–with the rest of the world far away.

His daily therapy sessions came to a halt last week when his dad happened to notice that the swing set had suffered more wear and tear than we realized.

It’s a wonder the whole thing hadn’t come crashing down already. The bolts had almost completely worked themselves out of the structure on one side and it was leaning precariously.

I suppose we could have sat him down and explained that the swing set had seen its better days. That it was time to move on and put aside childhood things.

But like I said before, we all need our constants.

Which is why my husband, who has a firm understanding of structural principles that are way beyond my understanding, took the time to design a support system which would allow our son to continue using the swing. It’s also why we spent a good portion of our weekend in the ungodly heat of this Houston summer (he way more than me–I was just a helper) making sure that at least one constant would remain…well, constant.

And a good reminder that our constants–those that support us and build us up–sometimes need us to return the favor. Be they animal, vegetable or mineral.

Glory days

I have two Facebook accounts. The one associated with this blog and the other one. While there is some crossover, the account not associated with this blog is primarily for family and friends I actually know in the non-virtual world. Right or wrong, I like to keep these two world separate to a certain degree.

When I first signed up for Facebook (the friends and family account), apparently I did it wrong. I didn’t think to hyphenate my name. I am simply Kathy Richards, not Kathy Dishman-Richards, which (in theory) has prevented old friends and acquaintances who knew me before I was married from finding me. Not necessarily a bad thing. But despite my Facebook faux pas, several people from “back in the day” have been able to track me down and “friend” me, and it’s been interesting to see what became of some of the people I haven’t talked to in so many years.

I don’t spend much time on Facebook, but recently someone tagged me in the following photo:

Can you find me?

How about in this one?:

Hint: I'm one of the few girls in the picture who didn't get the Charlie's Angels hair memo.

And yes, I did make the same Charlie’s Angels hair comment on the Facebook post. As other people began to comment on the picture, someone said something that struck me:

“The fact I don’t even remember that day frightens me. I remember the 8th grade group photo not this one.”

to which I replied:

“That’s funny you should say that. I remember the 8th grade pic as well, but don’t remember this one at all.”

Then someone else chimed in:

“I hear ya Kathy-I don’t remember this pic. either. I thought it was our 8th grade pic.until I saw northbrook class of 83! damn we’re all getting old!!!”

Why would we all remember our 8th grade class picture and not a much larger picture four years later? I have a theory based upon my memory, but keep in mind that picture was taken 28 years ago and memories are tricky things, aren’t they?

Before we entered high school, we were still the neighborhood kids. We may have begun to splinter off into our little cliches, but we all still remembered the days when we played together because our houses were within walking or biking distance. Rather than choosing community, community chose us. I have to think those circumstances helped us accept our differences if not embrace them.

I remember wondering why my friend’s family three streets over rode bicycles wearing slacks and ties and carrying books, but he didn’t seem to want to talk about it, so we never asked. I remember one friend who spent her evenings sitting at the end of her driveway to get away from her parents’ constant fighting, so we sat there with her. Or we made up some stupid game to pass the time. I remember after my dad left. My mom was working nights and I remember friends’ moms and dads taking time out to talk to me. Not about the divorce, but just enough small talk to let know someone cared about me.

Funny how those differences that didn’t seem to matter when we were kids became important when we started our journeys into adulthood.

I don’t have fond memories of high school. By the time I was sixteen years old, I was going to school half days (I was in something called Distributive Education which allowed me to do this) and working full time at a department store. I didn’t have time for pep rallies and football games, and if I’m being honest, I thought I was all grown up way before I really was. I merely tolerated high school rather than embrace it. I missed my senior prom because my 20-something year old boyfriend was out of town. I pretended it didn’t matter, but it did. I think my high school experience could have been so much better if I had allowed myself to be a kid instead of being in such a big hurry to grow up and get away from all these people. People who weren’t so bad after all–just the kids from the neighborhood trying to figure out where they fit in.

How was your high school experience?

If you could go back and do it differently, would you?

(Special thanks to Ted Reade for taking the time to  post our senior class picture on Facebook and allowing many of us to reconnect after all these years.)

Move over Sky Mall, there’s a new game in town

Are you a mentally disturbed dictator of a third-world country who has amassed a fortune off the blood and toil of the people you’ve ruled with an iron fist, and yet you feel your decor lacks a certain je ne sais quoi?

Well, my friend, today is your lucky day.

The fine folks at the newly formed Gaddafi Couture is now offering many beautiful, one of a kind products that would be perfect additions to your home and wardrobe. And why not get a head start on that arduous Christmas shopping season with items sure to impress even the most hard to please person on your shopping list?

As I’m sure you’re aware, clothes really do make the man. Being a dictator requires that you display an aura of power, and nothing says I’m in control of things like a giant, fancy military hat. Preferably a couple sizes too large.

Gadhafi power hat

(Sceptre, gold chain, insulated lunch bag and large clump of human hair sold separately)

But being a crazy dictator isn’t all work and no play. Sometimes you just want to dress up and feel pretty. Gaddafi Couture offers a wide array of colorful robes, hats and accessories. Whether you’re entertaining foreign dignitaries, having a night out on the town or publicly threatening a world super power, they have the perfect outfit for every occasion.

Clothes make the man

And speaking of foreign dignitaries, how about that beautiful Condoleezza Rice? She’s smart, she’s pretty. She’s all that and a bag of chips! Impress your friends and enemies with a collection of personal photographs of everyone’s favorite former Secretary of State.

Who loves Condi? You do!

Your friends will be beyond impressed!

It’s a never ending game of one-up-manship keeping up with the Chavez’s (or Jong-il’s or Castros) isn’t it? You lose sleep wondering who’s currently got the largest number of people under their rule or who’s got the biggest statue erected in their honor. Oh sure, Mao Zedong may have the United States in his back pocket, but tell me this: Does he have a solid gold mermaid couch?:

Gold mermaid couch

No. I didn’t think so.

In countries all over the world, collectively known as “not the United States of America”, soccer, or “football except in the United States” is the most popular sport since the Roman Empire fed Christians to the lions. Gaddafi Couture has a large collection of soccer balls to give to your many children and grandchildren. Or, you know, whoever…

For those among you with only the most discriminating taste, Gaddafi Couture offers for a very limited time the Commemorative Muammar-head soccer ball. Operators are standing by:

commemorative soccer ball supplies extremely limited

These are just a few of the thousands of items now available through Gaddafi Couture, and rather than attempt to show them all, we have created a very special all inclusive shopping spree. Included in this package is a first class round trip ticket on Air Libya, which will fly you into the heart of Tripoli.

Airplane

Once you’ve landed in Libya’s capitol, you will be whisked away by our friendly armed guards who will accompany you while you shop and browse to your heart’s content:

The green room

miscellaneous

See you at the compound!