Bullet removed from heart after 39 years

Last Updated: 6:33am BST 17/04/2007

A former soldier has had a bullet removed from his heart 39 years after being shot by an American soldier during the Vietnam War.

Le Dinh Hung, 60, had been in pain since 1968, when he was wounded while fighting for the communists in Quang Tri province, scene of some of the war's fiercest fighting and near to the demilitarised zone that separated North and South Vietnam.

Dr Nguyen Sinh Hien removed the inch-long bullet, which went through Mr Hung's stomach, damaged his cardiac valve and came to rest at the back of his heart,

"It is the strangest case that I have ever seen," said the surgeon after the three-hour operation in Hanoi. "Normally a person with a bullet in his heart would die immediately."

Mr Hung's damaged heart valve was replaced with an artificial one.

From his hospital bed yesterday, Mr Hung said he felt much better, and that the pain in his chest had eased. "I was very lucky to survive," he said. "People believe in fate and I do too."

MAY 21, 1998

My grandaughter Kate asks, "Why don't they take the guns away?"

"Because," I try to explain, "one of the rules in the American rulebooks says that Americans have the right to own weapons."

" Hmm," she muses. "Then what about bullets? Is there anything in the American rulebook that says Americans have the right ot own bullets?"

"By golly, Kate, I don't believe there is!"

"Then they should take away the bullets. Bullets are what kill things-- not guns. Let's ban the bullets."

Her logic tolled in the sad air of the room like a silver bell-- so clear; so simple; so on target:

If you are caught in school holding a loaded gun they send you home and you get your gun back. But if they catch you at school loaded and holding they take you to jail. There is something bass ackward about this, something wrong way round, something-- dare I say it?-- crazy in the Land of the Free and the Home of the Bullet... all these arcade Blast the Badguys; all these copshows and Lethal Weapons Threes and Diehards Fours and Dirty Harry Make My Days. All these drive-bys and Ruby Ridges and Janet Renos frying the kids in Wako in order to protect the kids in Wako. We don't need foreigners to terrorize us. We seem to be doing a pretty fair job of it ourselves.

-- Ken Kesey

For Kesey's entire article about the Thurston shootings, go to:



--I have a recycled dream!
- - - - - -
I have always sat back and played it safe with a family to care for

*this war sucks!!

i might stand up?

i might try and use my name and words to rally the next generation?
challenge the news to spread this call
make this idea grow grow or let it die trying?

to get other kids...Lennon's, Jerry's, MLK Jr. Leary's...etc...
to join me as figureheads

even get them to join me on the Furthur bus for:
a media filled
multi stop
anti war/love blitz

with other busses and vehicles following
voices in unison

using the tools of our forefathers
flashing the long lost peace sign
handing out the good old peace buttons
placing flowers in gun barrels

all we are saying, is give peace a chance

I am speaking to those whose turn it is
our parents got together
made a difference

have we?
hasn't THIS time come?

- - - - - -
it is easy for you to just say "yes" to this
-reason with me instead??
how could i possibly rationalize doing this when I have no time or money?
still...if it is possible to REALLY do something, shouldn't i actually consider it?

"You are either on the bus, or off the bus"...K.K.

zane kesey

Zane Kesey is busy on the internet, doing his online business, plus putting good material out for everyone to read and look out and listen to. Here's a couple places you ought to check out:

Acid test grad video (uploaded on Zane's myspace)


Zane's myspace: (pix vidies stories etc)-- good one in the blurb by Ken Kesey, Zane's dad, about the NCAA basketball tournament.




graphic by John Earl

this is from salon ..... by Andrew Leonard

When I was 12 years old I played chess with Kurt Vonnegut on a Thanksgiving Day in New York City.

I remember the moment more clearly than I can recall the last 10 Thanksgivings. The miasma of haze from a battalion of New York chain smokers, smoking like no one will ever smoke again. The buzz of conversation from buzzed writers zipping around my head like crazed dragonflies, beautiful and incomprehensible. Bursts of laughter, the reflection of light off martini glasses.

Vonnegut, his face of hangdog kindness with eyes locked in a permanent sad twinkle.

My father and Vonnegut were good friends. One trickle-down side effect of this was that, in between devouring Asimov and Heinlein and a score of other lesser science fiction lights, I was also handed by my dad "The Sirens of Titan" and told, "Heinlein's a fascist, read this." Another perk was having Vonnegut crouch down on the floor that Thanksgiving, eschewing the give and take of New York conversational tango, and invite me to play a game of chess.

On a whim, he suggested that we rearrange the board. Why did the pawns have to go in front, those sacrificial lambs about to be chewed up by the slaughterhouse of the front lines, those powerless vassals of the high and mighty? Let's force the feudal lords out of their foxholes and into the hurly-burly!

Let's put the pawns in the back row, he proposed. Let's put the knights and bishops and kings and queens in the front rank!

Oh, the thrill of chess sacrilege!

Of course I was game -- how could I not be!? As we explored the craziness inherent in this new lineup, I had only a shred of comprehension as to how this casual act of ad-libbed creativity was of a piece with everything that Vonnegut represented, as an artist, as a writer who willed strange new worlds that spoke directly to all-too-familiar human dilemmas. Mostly, I figured him as a really nice guy who enjoyed messing with the head of an extremely dweeby 12-year-old.

Kurt Vonnegut was a good man, a kind man, a mensch. Our world is a shallower, drearier place without him. But anyone who has enjoyed any of his work, or been lucky enough to bask in his twinkle, can still rejoice, because we will always have him, in all his idiosyncratic twisted-chess perversity. The world is less without him, but it will always be more because of him.

He was a man of ideas, and there are too few of those today. I've never understood the people who worked up a real head of steam when dismissing his work. As he once wrote, "Any reviewer who expresses rage and loathing for a novel is preposterous. He or she is like a person who has put on full armor and attacked a hot fudge sundae."

-Drew McWeeny, Los Angeles - 4/11/2007


photo by Mike Kepka, S.F. Chronicle

Wednesday, April 11, 2007 (SF Chronicle)
OAKLAND/Mobile politics: it's all art/Topsy-Turvy bus makes statement about U.S. budget
Meredith May, Chronicle Staff Writer

Inside a West Oakland warehouse, some of the best minds in American ice
cream are collaborating with Burning Man's top art car builders to create
a piece of roving political theater for the upcoming presidential
The Topsy-Turvy Bus, a "shortie" yellow school bus with its twin welded
upside down to the roof, was commissioned by Ben & Jerry's ice cream
co-founder Ben Cohen to protest U.S. military spending.
A crew of 10 artists who build sculpture for the annual Burning Man art
festival in the Nevada desert is putting the finishing touches on the bus,
including stenciling the sides to say, "The U.S. Budget Is Topsy-Turvy."
They are putting large pie charts on the flip-out stop signs that show
half of federal discretionary spending is reserved for the Pentagon, and
diet-size slivers set aside for other concerns such as education, health
care and the environment.

The Topsy-Turvy Bus will be unveiled today on hallowed protest ground, at
Sproul Plaza on the UC Berkeley campus.
Within the next few weeks, Kennedy and fellow artist Haideen Anderson will
drive the bus to Cohen in Vermont, with political rally stops in Iowa and
New Hampshire.
The bus is the latest political art car in the growing fleet Cohen has
driven to promote his nonprofit group, Business Leaders for Sensible
Priorities, made up of 700 business leaders who want to reduce U.S.
military spending.

"Essentially this is a marketing technique that I started doing at Ben and
Jerry's," Cohen said. "We find that dollar for dollar, it's more effective
than run-of-the-mill TV advertising. Seeing this weird vehicle in three
dimensions makes more of a lasting impression."
Kennedy, a 46-year-old San Franciscan who has driven whales, sharks,
spaceships and Cheshire cats on the freeways, says the bus is road-ready.
It's under the 13.6-foot height limit and within the weight limit for
noncommercial vehicles, he said.
With rare exception, most police officers who pull him over just want a
picture to show their families.
"I usually crack some kind of joke, like telling the officer I can't
possibly be robbing banks in this kind of vehicle," Kennedy said.

Berkeley sign artist Steven Vigeant is decorating the inside of the roof
with federal spending bar charts.
"I just love the politics of this project, and the '60s 'magic bus' feel
of it, too," he said. "You just know this bus is going to be in a museum
one day."
Ben & Jerry's and Burning Man are a natural fit, Cohen said, a sort of
Merry Pranksters for the new millennium.


April is the cruelest month
tax forms appearing on the crowded desks.

Also the summer of love 40 year reunion is heating up. Here's a good one from Paul Krassner:

A highlight of the Summer of Love for me was an acid trip at the 1967 Expo in Montreal. I had been invited to speak at the Youth Pavilion and also to give my impressions, on Canadian TV, of the United States Pavilion, a huge geodesic dome engineered by Buckminster Fuller. Before entering the U.S. pavilion, which was guarded by marines who had attended a special Protocol School, I ingested a 300-microgram tab of LSD.
"This pavilion is really beautiful, with all these flowing colors," I said to the interviewer. "You don't see them, but I do. There's an interesting kind of symbolism, though. These military men, combat marines, I don't see that in any other pavilion, military men guiding you around, saying, 'Yes, there's the Little Girls room' or 'Would you like to touch my medals for killing Viet Cong?' I think it's very appropriate that we should be standing right here by the largest escalator in the western hemisphere, since my country is the greatest escalator of the war in southeast Asia....What I would like to do, as a gesture of my commitment--since I feel there's something lacking in the American Pavilion, which is a certain recognition of the fact that the country is really spit in two--since we're a nation of symbols, I would like to indulge in a symbolic act. I have my draft card here."
"You're kidding."
"Would I kid about a thing like that?"
"It's his draft card."
(It was really a photostat of my draft card, since I burned one each time I was invited to speak at a college campus.)
"And I'll hold a match here."
"Are you sure you know what you're doing?"
"If I may."
"He's burning his draft card. How about that for a scoop, hey?"
"Now, the reason I'm doing this is, again, because we get hung up on symbols. People will be more upset about this than about the fact that children are being burned alive in Vietnam...."
The marine lieutenant called his captain. When the interview was finished, the captain told me it was against the law to burn my draft card. So I took out my draft card and showed it to him.
"But he burned it," the lieutenant insisted. "I saw him, sir. He burned it."
"I burned a photostat of my draft card. So I lied on television. That's not a crime. People do it all the time."
"It's also against the law to make a copy of your draft card," the captain said.
"Well, I destroyed the evidence."

MONDAY, MARCH 26, 2007

WOW Hall KRVM show was great, one of the reasons being we went out over the air and over the internet, a worldwide event. Here I am leaning into the mike, my son, Simon, getting a kick out of it, my tooth getting a real kick, knocked a big chip off and now I have to be up early and head to the dentist to repair the damages, more to the ego than to the tooth.

-- kapnken

OW! The mic attacked you? Your dentist must really like you.
Did it sneak up from behind, or was it an omnidirectional assault?

-- Ali Bob

more like I attacked the mike with my mouth.
then in a strange twist, after going to the dentist and getting repaired, that night another chunk of tooth fell off on the other side of my mouth, one that has been threatening to go for months.

so another trip to the dentist and another repair.

MONDAY, MARCH 19, 2007

Sgt O'Reilly, Skypilot in Chicago, wrote and told me he was going to help out a guy who has two gangrenous feet,

Eek, I said, what can you do for that?

chop'em off, but the guy is schizophrenic and delusional...he told the VA that someone spray painted them black, then, that he was apprehended by a gang that burn people's feet...so, the doc's don't know what to do, so they called me, and I'm trying to get a guardian appointed so that someone can save his life...as I was walking in to the hospital they had two giant framed photos of Bush and Cheney, can you imagine something more painfully ironic? all the old guys sitting in the emergency room will soon be crowded out by new head wounds and missing limbs...I've been told there are hundreds, perhaps thousands of men, homeless, drifters, in the VA system who need guardians to advocate for healthcare and financial needs, so I'm spearheading the effort here in this region, somewhat on the seat of my pants..don't know if I'll get paid, but....if you're gonna go to war for five years, take care of these guys....Zbgniew Brzezinski was on NPR on the way home, called W's foreign policy, "historically catastrophic"...

Right on. Guardians for the vets in the VA system. A great concept, one that should be going on all over the country. I've often thought we should have things like the Peace Corps that work right here in America, and this could be one of them.

While addressing the upcoming patients' bill of rights legislation, President Bush gets a little practice signing his name while meeting patients at Inova Fair Oaks Hospital in Fairfax, VA, July 9, 2001. "I want a bill that honors patients, not trial lawyers," said the President during his remarks at the hospital.
White House photo by Paul Morse.

Gurney Norman(being too shy and self-effacing to do his own p.r. dirty work) has asked me to let you guys know that there's a new book by a writer named Scott MacFarlane titled "The Hippie Narrative: A Literary Perspective on the Counterculture," which devotes an entire long, good chapter to Divine Right's Trip--DRT is also mentioned in the current (march 14) issue of Newsweek, in a feature article about books that are important to Baby Boomers--so maybe this great book is finally getting the recognition it has long deserved. There's also a great photo of Kesey in the Newsweek article.

-- Ed McClanahan

Gurney's book, Divine Right's Trip. Ed and Gurney

Gurney Norman's DIVINE RIGHT'S TRIP is by far the best work of fiction to come out of the counterculture of the 1960s. It was originally published in the pages of Stewart Brand's THE LAST WHOLE EARTH CATALOG, and subsequently issued in hardback by The Dial Press. The Gnomon Press edition appeared in 1990.

"DIVINE RIGHT'S TRIP shows itself to be a subtly written and morally passionate epic of the counterculture, a fictional explication of the hopeful new consciousness come to birth. ... Divine Right is bigger than life, and in giving the story thus far of a segment of his generation, in prose nicely threaded between the vernacular and the symbolic, Gurney Norman has shown a noble reach and a healthy grasp." - John Updike, THE NEW YORKER

"DIVINE RIGHT'S TRIP stands a good chance of being the book for a generation in the way that ON THE ROAD and CATCHER IN THE RYE were. ... Gurney Norman has unleashed a force that will be felt for a long time to come." - John Deck, THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW

"Divine Right Davenport is our hero, our Odysseus, our Jason, our Beowulf, our Boone; and his quest for his identity, his Wholeness, is our quest, his struggle our struggle, his triumph ours, too." - --Ed McClanahan, ROLLING STONE

Gurney and Wendell Berry a few(?) years back


Happy Pi day!


cosine! secant! tangent! sine!"

did you read about the guy in England, he's autistic . . . a savant. He ran off pi out loud to the furtherest number ever by memory just for the guiness book of records. He sees numbers as lights and beings and when he was done doing the record he was sad because he had to say goodbye to all those numbers.

SUNDAY, MARCH 11, 2007

In the enduring battle against pain another fierce encounter took place yesterday when I backed my pickup close to the porch to load up the garbage cans to take to the dump and whammo-bammo hit the pole holding up the corner of the roof and splintered it in two, roof sagging at the end. What the hell . . .? Oh, I had left the tailgate down so the truck was longer than I thought.

First things first. The dump run. Then the pole repair. I had a nice straight apple tree trunk I'd cut down last year and it looked like it would do just fine, plenty long enough, a little gnarly but once I axed off the branch stubs and peeled off the bark, by gar I had a pole. I dug out an old four by four from the lumber pile and used it with my jack to raise the roof beam to the right level, then removed the old broken pole. The bottom part was easy, came right out. The top I had to wrench loose from the brackets holding it. A good hard yank with the crowbar did the trick, took me by surprise, and the pole fell straight down on top of my foot. There was a passle of yelling and hopping and some icing down and a few gobbles of some effective pills and gulps of cold liquid before I was ready to install the new pole.

From then on all went well and except for some minor bruising and a real sore spot, the foot is okay, the roof is almost level and the post is straight and truly gnarly.



-- Kapn Ken


I just finished reading Bob Dylan's CHRONICLES, a tremendous book. Revelatory. I was telling a friend of mine that Dylan and I both saw Georgeous George when we were young and it influenced us a lot, him more than me. My friend replied:

"Ya got the long hair, the showmanship, the satire and the playing off of conventional rules. And, the fun and entertainment. Didn't he do the cape? Like James Brown and Elvis...

He done did the cape thing and the cape was him and it was glorious. Dylan was playing with his band in the mid fifties in the lobby of the National Guard Armory . . . (here's what he says about it:) ". . . on a makeshift platform in the lobby . . . suddenly the doors burst open and in came Gorgeous George himself . . . roared in like the storm, didn't go through the backstage area, came right through the lobby and he seemed like forty men. Gorgeous George, in all his magnificent glory with all the lightning and vitality you'd expect. He had valets and was surrounded by women carrying roses, wore a majestic fur-lined cape and his long blond curls were flowing. He brushed by the makeshift stage and glanced towards the sound of the music. He didn't break stride, but he looked at me, eyes flashing with moonshine. He winked and seemed to mouth the phrase, 'You're making it come alive.'

" . . . I never forgot it. It was all the recognition and encouragement I would need for years to come. Sometimes that's all it takes, the kind of recognition that comes when you're doing the thing for the thing's sake and you're on to something -- it's just that nobody recognizes it yet. Gorgeous George. A mighty spirit . . ."

Muhammed Ali, nee Cassius Clay, was another person influenced by Gorgeous George. Here he is with Dylan in 1975.

My dad was a semi-pro boxer and wrestler in Columbus, Ohio and when I was a kid he took me to Haf's Acre Arena to see Gorgeous George. A true phenom. Georgeous George, real name, George Wagner was from Nebraska, wrestled in Eugene, and Kesey knew all about him, saw him wrestle. Gorgeous George was pre-psychedelic and psychedelic at the same time, a definite influence on future culture.

From Google: He grew his hair out so it was long, could be curled and pinned back with gold-plated bobby pins, and dyed it platinum blond. He wore elegant robes, dubbed himself "The Human Orchid" and was always escorted by one of his male ring valets (Geoffrey or Thomas Ross) who would spray his his corner of the ring, as well as George's opponents, with disinfectant and perfume. He was the originator of using entrance music, and was always accompanied by his theme "Pomp And Circumstance."

-- kapnken