Thursday, May 31, 2012


One of my proudest moments in recent election history was when Senator John McCain stood up and did the right thing.  He was at a political rally and a woman talked about Obama being a Muslim and was starting to go on. McCain took the mike away and corrected her.  He had the strength and integrity to do the right thing, even while running for the Presidency.  Sunday on This Week with George Stephanopoulos, George Will, journalist and Republican, called Donald Trump a bloviating ignoramus.  How incredible!  So why are those moments so rare?  It's really difficult for me to write about politics, because I feel like I am saying the same things over and over again.  I don't understand why people don't stand up and correct errors or lies.  Donald Trump is without doubt perpetuating a lie about President Obama.  It's all about the Donald.  There is no way that he really believes what he is saying.  No way. If he does, than he has early onset dementia.  

Did anyone see Damn Yankees?  Mitt Romney is the Joe Hardy of this election cycle.  He has sold his soul to the devils of the Republican party so he can win at any cost.  The fact that Romney doesn't have the strength of character that John McCain had, shows how spineless and malleable he is.  This week, Trump held a fundraiser for him in Vegas.  At the same time that Trump is still trumpeting and perpetuating that Obama wasn't born in America, Romney is scooping up all the money. What kind of leadership skills is he showing?  It is a disgrace to all Americans. I hate to overdramatize the situation, but it feels that the Republicans are akin to the pre-WW2 Germans.  See nothing, say nothing.  I don't believe that all Republicans are bad or evil.  On the contrary,  I just want people to stand up and do what's right.  

I always hear that if you say something enough, it becomes the truth.  I don't want to live like that.  Do you?  Don't you wish the the Muslims stood against the Islamic terrorists?  Didn't it feel that saying nothing made them part of the problem?  I know how scary it must be to speak out.  I can be brazen in the comfort of my own living room, but really people, isn't it better to speak out against wrongs and injustices no matter what???  Did you see that Meghan McCain is being called fat and getting death threats because she is a more moderate Republican blogger.  Really people???  Is that how it is?  Shouldn't we be fighting for Freedom of Speech more than anything?  The fear is palpable in this country.  Most don't want to speak out for reason and truth.  There is opinion. There is also fact and truth.  If Donald Trump and Rush Limbaugh are spewing venom and lies and keep repeating them over and over again, people "less smart" think it's all true.  How could these men (for example) be where they are today if they aren't telling the truth??  There is a lot of danger in speech, but no more danger than when there is silence from the majority.

Sidebars:  Do you think that TV execs know that it is finals time?  Television has come to a complete halt.  If you don't like baseball, basketball, or hockey, all there really is are Law and Orders and Criminal Minds.  Kind of dreary.  Though I do like sports.  Pains me to see the Heat beating the Celtics in OT.  Kills me.  Wish they were a more likable group of guys.  Did you hear the one about P Diddy's son getting a scholarship to UCLA?  Based on merit with a 3.75 GPA and playing football.  It's a little hard to swallow, but he isn't taking it away from someone who needs financial aid.  He earned it.  Maybe Diddy could set up a scholarship fund in return.  With California in such financial straights....On the Today Show they said the $54,000 scholarship won't cover his total tuition!  to UCLA???!!! Ridiculous.  He must be out of state but just ridiculous.  By now you have probably heard about the huge faux pas on yesterday's Today Show with Kathie Lee Gifford and Martin Short. Don't believe the papers. Watch it yourself.  It was one of the most surreal conversations to witness. When Kathie Lee started to go on about Martin and Nancy's amazing marriage and how long they've been married, he didn't miss a beat. I felt a bit funny because somewhere in the recesses of my memory, I thought his wife died, but you'd never get that from their repartee.  
Check it out if you have the time:

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Wednesday, May 30, 2012


I am irritated and don't know where to begin.  First of all, the New York Post and the general media stalking Mark Zuckerberg and his bride on their honeymoon.  Really?  Yesterday, big photo of them eating McDonald's and being ripped to shreds for being cheap.  Even on the Today Show, "Today's Professionals" took on this topic.  Really?  What if they just went through touring the Colosseum and they were hungry and just wanted to grab some quick food?  It's such a waste of newspaper space and airwaves space.  Today's Post had a photo of a receipt from a restaurant that showed no tip left.  Okay, really?  In all of my travels to Europe, gratuities are usually included.  America is the exception so they are trying to make a story out of nothing.  And in truth, Mark Zuckerberg may be cheap.  He wouldn't be the first billionaire/entrepreneur to be cheap.  Enough, please.

Speaking of the Today Show, Ann Curry has got to go.  I am sorry, really.  She seems like a nice person but she is so clearly out of her comfort zone, which makes us (viewers) uncomfortable.  Yesterday, she had Star Jones and a media image consultant, Steve Adubato, on to talk about Justin Bieber's altercation with a paparazzo.  Star Jones was speaking about the legal ramifications.  The media image consultant started to speak about the people that Justin Bieber is hanging out with like Mike Tyson, Floyd Meriweather, 50 Cent.  Ann Curry couldn't have shut him down faster.  It was the oddest thing.  Did the producers scream in her ear to get off that topic?  It is the topic.  Adubato may be correct:  "Take a look at Justin Bieber's image for a long time," said Adubato. "Right now what he is portraying is ... an impressive, sharp image. ... He's hanging around with some folks that I would argue from an image and branding point of view -- he's looking to shift. He's hanging around with Floyd Mayweather, he's getting boxing lessons from Mike Tyson, he's with 50 Cent, and that's all well and good, but he's clearly making a shift in terms of how he wants to present himself to the public." Ann Curry didn't want to go down that path.  Were they concerned that they'd piss someone off and they wouldn't come on the show?  It was weird and Ann Curry didn't handle it with aplomb.  Why have a media image consultant on if you don't want his input?  

Sidebars:  Anybody hating the "evolved" annoying bottom of the television screen ads?  I can't stand it.  This week on NBC (which means it must be a Universal film) every show has a bump on the screen promoting in theatres June 1 for Snow White and the Huntsman.  It is invasive and more annoying than the last annoying incarnation of ads on the screen.  House ended its series last week.  When I wrote last week, I hadn't watched the first hour, which was a retrospective of the 8 seasons.  It was much more than that.  Hugh Laurie paid homage to everyone involved in the show.  Craft services, AD, casting directors, set builders, everyone.  It was the most gracious finale that I have ever seen.  It was the only time that a star of any series did anything like that.  Left an incredibly good taste in my mouth, so to speak.  America's Got Talent is wearing on me already.  I have been on the bandwagon since the first season. I love this throwback to yesteryear, but NBC is doing its best to grind it into the ground.  It's on all the time. They are repeating hours that you have already seen.  Howard Stern is fine, but hasn't so far been controversial or disrespectful, which was the fear of all those right wing parent groups.  The NBA semi-finals have started: Oklahoma City Thunder vs. San Antonio Spurs and Miami Heat vs. Boston Celtics.  As long as the Heat don't win, I'm good.  

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Friday, May 25, 2012

Too Much

I actually don't know what to say about Etan Patz.  For my whole adult life I have heard of the stunning and tragic disappearance of Etan Patz and I couldn't let it go unspoken. The fact that they finally believed the man that confessed to killing Etan Patz 33 years ago today, doesn't bring him back.  Doesn't change anything.  I can't imagine how Etan's parents must feel.  Their life stopped 33 years ago today.  Nothing was ever the same.  They wouldn't move from their home on Prince Street, in case he made his way home.  Etan Patz was the first child's face on the milk carton.  This man Hernandez doesn't know why he killed Etan.  When he spoke to police 33 years ago, they thought he was a raving lunatic and let him go. The only solace that can be taken is that even if the police believed him then, Etan was already dead.  Hernandez strangled Etan to death in the basement of the bodega where he worked, threw him in a trash bag, and threw the bag to the curb for garbage pick up.  A cold case closed, finally. Empty justice.

Last night, we celebrated athletes at my kids' school.  I love sports.  I love watching, rooting, and supporting.  What I find curious is that we aren't even a big rah, rah school and yet, we still hold sports up higher than anything else.  There's no performing arts dinner.  There's no math/science or English/history dinner. We go to sporting events and scream for the teams.  The arts are clearly, slighted.  I hate that.  We had the art show at school and it was more empty than in years past.  The Spring play's audience was packed to the rafters for the first time.  What is that about?  Is that an effect of cultural change?  My first love has been and always will be the arts, though the active engagement of being a sports spectator is intoxicating.  The communal feel rooting your team on is contagious and thrilling. There is really nothing like it. Do I sound conflicted? I am.  I just am surprised that at a school that hasn't put winning first and foremost, we celebrate athletics over all other areas.  

SIDEBARS:  May sweeps are over.  Revenge, the show that I think should have been one season, created a fairly good hook for season two.  Not sure that I am in or not, but I tip my hat to the writers.  American Idol.  Didn't watch.  Didn't care.  If I am done with the show, I think they are in trouble.  There is a glut of music shows.  There has to be a saturation point, doesn't there?  How many new singers can there be?  Watched Duets first show.  Didn't grab me at all. Glee ended their season.  Very bittersweet.  They really did graduate some of their biggest stars.  If the writing is good next season, it won't skip a beat, but that is a huge "if." Law and Order: SVU ended its season with a cliffhanger.  I can't ever remember them doing that.  Curious for a show that doesn't really have carryover story lines.  Grey's Anatomy season finale made it so anyone whose contract isn't signed can go.  Actors, don't act up. I did let go of The Big C.  
It's Memorial Weekend.  The unofficial beginning of summer, but can we each take a moment and remember why we have a 3-day weekend?  It isn't just another day off.  Take a moment and remember those loved ones that gave their life for their country.  Take a moment to thank all the soldiers that sacrificed their lives for all of us.  It isn't just another day off.  

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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Raising Funds

This week, and it's only Wednesday, provided me with two contrasting perspectives on fundraising.  First off, I went to a phone-a-thon for my children's school to get families to donate to the Annual Appeal Fund.  I am always shocked that there is any family that wouldn't donate a $1 to the school that is educating their child, but there always is.  I volunteer to make calls and hope to get any donation for the school.  There was a sizable group of us calling families that haven't donated yet.  Some callers had success, some callers left messages, some callers were denied.  

It makes me shake my head that there are those who never respond at all, yay or nay.  It's the same thing as not hitting the reply button on email.  Some may say if they don't respond that's the answer, but to me it's both courteous to respond and also could be helpful to the school if reasons were given for not donating.  If your child is a student at a school, shouldn't you want to show support for the school? If you don't like the school, then why remain at the school?  

I find it fascinating the convoluted world between development offices and donors to be.  I have been on both ends of this spectrum, but I would clearly not stay at a school that I couldn't support in some way.  Even scholarship families could donate something.  I think that it should be part of the scholarship agreement. If a child's family  getting financial aid from a school can't manage to save $10 before the end of the school year, there must be something wrong with the system.  I remember when I was young in California and going to hear about E.S.T. ( a consciousness raising seminar), and the one thing you couldn't say was "I can't afford it."  That was the worst excuse because if you really want to do something, you can always figure out a way.  They used to say collect cans and get the deposit money.  That still could be true.  I have friends that have always managed to not have money, unless it was something that they wanted, then the funds were there.  So that brings me back to the phone-a-thon.  We did have some success, but really the fact that people need to be tracked down in order to support the school where their child is getting their education is stunning.  I know it's true at every school, everywhere.  It isn't singularly true for our school, but it is the one that I care about.

The next evening, I was invited to a friendraiser.  A woman I know supports a theatre company and had a cocktail party to introduce friends to the group.  It was a brilliant way to go.  First of all, presented in that way, I didn't hesitate to say we'd go.  What a great way to present a theatre company to new people.  They had brilliantly talented and known talent sing songs from shows that they have produced and that they are producing in the future.  Thrilling and in the most friendly and relaxed setting.  A brilliant way to fund raise.  We left the event pumped up and inspired to get involved in some way.  No dollars were discussed.  No money exchanged hands. I had never been to anything like that before and I hope that it is a trend for the future.  It is a warm and fuzzy way to increase your fund base.  Brilliant!!  Actually, feel rejuvenated today about the future of the theatre and that isn't easy!

SIDEBARS:  Dancing With the Stars' season finale.  Surprisingly thrilling and painful.  Thrilling because the three final couples were astonishingly talented and great to watch. Painful because we had to sit through one hour and twenty minutes to see their final dances.  Both moving and off putting, Gladys Knight's singing of The Way We Were.  House is now over.  In the annuls of television history and syndication.  Repeats for many years.  It was a fitting ending, though not sure how satisfying.  On a very personal note, we have been trying for years to get the medals due my deceased Uncle for his service in World War II.  He went MIA right at the end of the war and crushed a family.  A huge loss for all of us that didn't get to know him.  These medals won't change anything, but to see a Purple Heart up close is more moving than I'd ever imagined.  There other medals and more to come down the road.  Grateful to an old high school classmate who helped direct us to the right venue to finally have success!

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Monday, May 21, 2012

A Slight to Summer

Okay, now that I slept on it, I am still not over it.  None of the papers reported.  The TV critics skipped over it.  And I can't get passed it.  The Billboard Awards last night planned yet another tribute to Whitney Houston.  The untimely announcement of Robin Gibb's much too early death from cancer was met with murmurs and groans in the MGM Grand arena and a moment of silence.  Donna Summer.  Well, they brought Natasha Bedingfield out to pay homage.  Somewhat an odd choice, but said all the right things about her impact on music and female singers.  She then started to sing Last Dance.  Sounding good, one of the few live performances, messed up the lyrics, recovered, and then ABC started doing voice over promos within 90 seconds and then cut to commercial!  I was so shocked and outraged that I immediately posted to Facebook.  Thought that would do it, but it doesn't.  It was the rudest, tackiest, and disrespectful decision I have ever seen.  If the producers and ABC weren't going to give Donna Summer's passing her rightful homage, then don't do anything.  For those of us who mark her passing as a huge loss, they cheapened it and slighted us all.  I wish that we could have seen Natasha Bedingfield's face.  Maybe she didn't know.  

On the Today Show's 4th hour the pop culture talking head spoke about the Awards show and never mentioned the slight.  Mentioned that most people lipsynched, but not the complete appalling dismissal of Donna Summer.  You may want to slap me, but I am so over Whitney's self-induced tragic death.  Enough, enough, enough. I would have been much more impressed if the producers could have put together an homage to Robin Gibb and Donna Summer.  Two people that hugely transformed music and dance clubs.  I might even say without Donna Summer there may not have been a Whitney.  So, I am done with Whitney.  I have put her in her rightful place.  I am still processing the loss of Donna Summer and Robin Gibb.  The slap in the face that the Billboard Awards gave me last night, just riled me up more.  I want a national magazine, critic, talking head comment on it.  Someone that can reach many.  I wish it was I, but it isn't yet.  

I was in the car and brought my Donna Summer CD's to play.  It made me so happy.  The memories. The beat. The music.  The soaring voice.  In my next trip to the car, it will be the BeeGees.  I had no idea that Robin Gibb gets all the credit. I always thought it was Barry.  My heart goes out to Barry Gibb.  Burying three younger brothers.  It isn't right.  

Sidebars:  Arsenio Hall won Celebrity Apprentice.  Out shined Clay Aiken.  They became BFF's. The Jersey Housewives continue to keep me hooked.  Tonight the final dance for Dancing With the Stars finalists. Tomorrow, the mirror ball is given to the winner.  The Bachelorette begins dating tonight.  Oy vey and good luck.  Raining in NYC and chilly.  If anyone hears anything about Donna Summer and the Billboard Awards, please let me know.   Enjoy your day.

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Friday, May 18, 2012

Mourning Summer

I have been sitting here trying to figure out how to write about Donna Summer.  One of my closest friend's tracked me down to tell me the news about her death.  I was stunned. My jaw was on the ground.  Crushing.  Donna Summer played in intricate part in my life's soundtrack.  I am an unabashed lover of Disco.  It came on the scene when I was coming of age.  It was the music that we all danced to over and over again.  Never got tired of any of her songs.  

Donna Summer was gorgeous. Donna Summer had a glorious voice. Her music resonated on the dance floor and while driving in the car.  It is music that we cranked up.  It couldn't be played too loudly. It was perfect for every celebration.  She really spoke to us.  I don't know which part made it so, but the excitement, when she was putting out a new song, was palpable.  When they announced that she was doing a duet with Barbra Streisand, I thought how odd.  Can they really put those two voices together cohesively?  Oh, my goodness, did they ever.  We played it over and over and over again.  We sang both parts.  We'd sing it alone or sing it together. We'd switch parts and sing it again.  It was great to read Barbra's quote:  "I was shocked to hear about Donna. She was so vital the last time I saw her a few months ago. I loved doing the duet with her. She had an amazing voice and was so talented... It's so sad." - Barbra Streisand

I feel that I am unable to write adequately the impact she had on my life, but she was a force. A true talent.  She wasn't created by autotune and tabloids.  She was the real deal and will be sorely missed.  The papers said that she just finished recording an album.  Please put it out. Put out all music that didn't make it on an album.  

I am a little sad that for whatever reason, Donna Summer's death is a blip on the radar.  I don't know why her death isn't as earth shattering as Whitney Houston's.  We had to hear for days upon days about Whitney's self-induced tragic death.  Do you get more attention from dying from drugs and alcohol?  Donna Summer died of lung cancer. TMZ reported that it was from toxic particles from 9/11. Is that true?  Isn't that more tragic?  I don't know if that's true, but the fact that Donna Summer and her music only got a couple of minutes on American Idol and all the news shows....  It didn't reverberate to the masses like Whitney Houston did, but to me, it is everlasting. It will always reverberate. Here's what the great Elton John said upon hearing of her death:  "I'm so sad. This woman was the queen of disco and so much more," Sir Elton John told E! News. "Her records sound as good today as they ever did. That she has never been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is a total disgrace, especially when I see the second-rate talent that has been inducted. She is a great friend to me and to the Elton John AIDS Foundation and I will miss her greatly."‪

Donna Summer's music is the soundtrack to my college years and beyond.  It matters more to me.  I will always love you!

Sidebars:  The X Factor. Hiring Demi Lovato and Britney Spears for the X Factor is either going to be Simon Cowell's biggest coup or biggest bomb.  There is no in between.  I expect the latter.  I'd be so bummed if I was on either of their teams.  Hope I am wrong.  Grey's Anatomy season finale was gut wrenching.  American Idol is down to two: Phillip Phillips and Jessica Sanchez.  Both great talents and have no idea who will win.  Glee had a two hour pre-season finale show.  Don't know why they chose to do that.  Facebook's IPO went public today.  Fascinating to watch the ticker on the first trades.  Must be an exciting day to be in Palo Alto.  Hope everyone has a great weekend.

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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

It's No Joke

Are you kidding me??  Are you f**king kidding me?  We are going to have to sit by and watch the Republican-run Congress to threaten and/or default on raising the debt ceiling.  Really?  Again??  It is unconscionable and unbearable.  I don't understand it at all.  Can anyone out there tell me what exactly Congress has done in the past year?  Have they just consistently said, "no?"  Have they lost their moral compass?  They throw around ethics and values all the time, but where are theirs?  I don't understand it!  It makes no sense.  If Congress wants to make cuts in the budget, start with themselves. Cut pay, staff, and lifelong packages.  Cut bag on their incredible lifelong pensions.  Cut back on their first class insurance plans.  Only get perks while you are a sitting Senator or Congressman.  These politicians aren't suffering.  They just sit back and watch the rest of the country scramble.  This bunch of "do-nothing" politicians are so incredibly stubborn and uncompromising.  If their plan is to sabotage the President so he doesn't win re-election, then what happens to all the broken pieces if Romney wins?  

Clearly, there is a part of me that believes in "an eye for an eye," so if a Republican becomes President and the Senate and Congress become Democrat, do we spend the entire four year term trying to tear him down?  Obstruct every bill?? I would want to, but where would that get the country?  I would hope that the Democrats could see the larger picture and work with the White House to pass bills and amendments.  That would be the adult way to go, but honestly, I would love to give them back a piece of their own medicine.  

If only this was a movie....We could all have our fantasies met.  It's not.  It's real.  American lives are hanging in the balance.  The pols are not doing the job they were hired to do.  Really, maybe we should amortize their salaries over each term and subtract dollars for all the bulls**t.  Maybe that's the answer.  Clearly, all they seem to understand on some black and white scale is money, so let's change things.  Make them financially accountable.  If a member of the Congress has to leave in disgrace, no pension, no insurance.  Over. Done.  There's a little money back.  What else can we do that effects them?  They need to feel the burden and strife.  They need to!  

At this point, it's just painful and mind-boggling. It's not right. It's not how it is supposed to be.  It needs to change.  Again, I say, come on people!

Sidebars:  My secret television show is on a station called ION.  It's called Flashpoint.  It is shot in Toronto. It is produced, written, and acted by Canadians.  I am obsessed.  It's true.  If you are looking for something new to try, check it out.  Howard Stern premiered on America's Got Talent.  He was good, fine.  Not earth-shattering at all.  Professional. So all the pre-premiere Howard Stern haters, dial it back.  You were wrong.  I do think there is a talent show glut going on.  Getting a bit tiring.  Doesn't mean I will tune out, but doesn't mean I will be devoted either.  Fashion Stars finished its first season.  Really a great, new format.  Hope to see the new designers introduced find success.  Clearly, the winner will.  The Bachelorette began again.  I can't say much more at this point. How are they going to gently remove Ann Curry from The Today Show?  Now that the big networks announced their new Fall season line-ups, seems fairly dull.  It is official for me, The Big C jumped the shark. House is limping to its series finale.

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Monday, May 14, 2012

I'm Just Wild About Harry

I have been a faithful fan of David E. Kelley's shows for years.  I didn't love them all, but I always respected what he tried to do.  None more evident than in the sadly cancelled Harry's Law starring Kathy Bates and a host of interesting and unique actors.  I have watched every episode.  Some were good, great, and absurd.  That is always the tightrope Kelley walks.  There are many who will pin the left wing liberal on him, but I think he's much more complex than that.  

Last night's episode blew my mind. As a matter of fact as I watched the episode, I thought he was full of s**t.  He wasn't.  I am still shaking my head in disbelief.  In brief, a young man is in a terrible car accident with his last family member, his brother.  Concurrently, there is a massive train crash so blood needed for his brother may arrive too late if at all.  The brother wants to donate his blood. He will do anything to save his brother.  When the brother mentions to the doctor that he had been recently tested for STD's and HIV as a yearly check, the doctor asked if he slept with men.  When the young man said yes, the doctor said he couldn't donate!!! A court order ensued and I was stymied by the revelation.  I thought for sure that David E. Kelley was making it all up for dramatic purpose, but he wasn't!

Since 1983, the height of the AIDS frenzy, any male who had sex with another male can't give blood.  Really???  Really??? How the hell is that possible???  Though I may be able to understand it during the first year or two of the epidemic, it is still on the books. Thirty years later it is not only insulting but appalling.  Government did what government does best, fear and terror. Before there was understanding about HIV/AIDS, maybe you could make a case, but today?  2012?  

When I was having surgery in 1991, they were very cautious about people donating blood for me.  They didn't want blood earmarked for me from people other than myself and my husband, just in case.  They screen blood thoroughly, so what sense does the law make?  Do you know that the fastest growing group of people infected with HIV/AIDS are men and women in the black community.  Should we not take blood donations from black people?  Are you kidding me?  It is so incredibly archaic and has no current reasoning.  They screen all blood donations.  They can't trust what people say.  As Dr. House says, "everybody lies." How can this law still be on the books?  Can you tell that it has really gotten my goat.  

In the episode, David E. Kelley wrote an incredibly impassioned speech by the gay brother to the judge.  It was perfect and, lo and behold, a 100% correct.  If you have the chance to hear it, it's worth the time.  He speaks about how marginalized gay people are in this country in every way ( in schools, in the home, in the military until recently, in marriage, in sickness, etc.).  So now that Obama and Biden have come forward in support of marriage equality, can we get this gay blood ban off the books.  Why didn't I know about this until I watched a television show?  Where is the outrage?  

In case you don't believe me:

Sidebars:  The Real New Jersey Housewives never disappoint, though always a head shaker.  Tonight Dancing With the Stars into the new season of The Bachelorette on ABC.  Lest we forget America's Got Talent premieres tonight on NBC with Howard Stern taking over for Piers Morgan.  What a night this is going to be.  Anyone hear about the $2Billion loss at JP Morgan?  Three people were fired.  A senior executive, Ina Drew, one of the most powerful on Wall Street, is the first to fall.  Last year she made over $15m. They say she is big will her severance package be? Looks as if Congress really got a hold of the banking system.  Good job!  

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Thursday, May 10, 2012

Sedentary Revolutionary

Okay, people, it's time.  We need to figure out how to inspire the young and get them to rally around the President again.  It's imperative that we back Obama and elect any or all Democratic Congressman and Senators. Until the Republicans return to sanity, we can't let them take over the asylum.  With the loss of Republican Senator Luger to another obstructionist Tea Party candidate, it more important than ever.  I am so sick of the extremists.  S-I-C-K!  How the hell did we get here and how do we get out?  Well, as far as I can tell, it's the young generation of voters. They have to stand up and be counted. Each and every one of them.  They need to get voters to the polling booths. They have to give their time. Escort the elderly and disenfranchised. They have to fight against marginalizing the voters with photo ID's. They have to donate a few bucks to every candidate that will be running against the crazies.  

Why shouldn't the youth rise up?  The Senate wouldn't even vote to help keep down the rate of interest on student loans.  Couldn't even get it to a vote!  Really?  The legislative bodies all over this country are getting far too involved in women's wombs, marriage equality, tearing down civil liberties all across the board.  I will repeatedly say, I don't get it.  I don't understand the thought process to obstruct change and advancement.  I don't.  The inabaility to compromise and be reasonable evades me completely.  

So people, how do we do it?  How do we reach out to the young people and get them fired up and help them realize that it is truly their future on the line.  I am not just speaking economic future. The social issues that keep getting thrown into battle need to be defended.  How do we get people at all campuses across the country to rally and do something?  I know one person in college.  Maybe I can start a fire under his butt and he can, in turn, light up others.  It's not that I am feeling gloomy about this, but I am feeling the urgency.  The religious right is ruling the Republican party right now.  Their mantra was stop Obama. Our mantra must be stop them.  They can't continue to rule politics in the country.  If they do, they must give up tax exemption and stop calling themselves preachers and relabel themselves what they are, lobbyists.  After President Obama's declaration in support of marriage equality, the Right raised $3million dollars in 90 minutes!!!!!  Do you hear that? 90 minutes!!!!!!!!

So people that read this, how do we do it?  How do we reach the young? How do we impart how important they are to the future of this country?  Thoughts people?  Come on, join me. We must figure this out.  There is no room for religion in public policy. We don't all believe in the same thing.  Do not let the RNC and the extremists steal our country!  Funny, they say the same thing about us, but we aren't trying to take away civil liberties. We are trying to do right by the majority.  Ideas, people!  

SIDEBARS:  Howard Stern on the Today Show.  Funny, that there are already calls for boycotting America's Got Talent from some parent watchdog group. Really?  How about watching him first before you judge him?  I am not a fan of his radio personality, but I do believe that that is a persona. He is a smart man and he knows that he is on at 8pm on NBC. He is not going to be the same Howard Stern that is on Sirrius radio.  So pre-judgers, can you wait?  Can you watch the show and then determine if Mr. Stern is offensive?  American Idol is so annoying.  I hope that they cancel the show before no one watches. When oh when are the fall schedules announced? Okay, everyone, enjoy Thursday.  

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Wednesday, May 9, 2012

In the Same Breath

Can you believe it?  In the same breath, North Carolina banned same sex marriage and President Obama finally came out for marriage equality!!!!  When I thought about writing today, I was so incredibly disgusted at the voters in North Carolina.  Then I heard that the President stated that people who are willing to go into battle and die for their country, should definitely have equal rights.  That seems so simple and clear, so why is there trepidation that the RNC is going to come out swinging?  Why are the pundits worried about the preachers from the pulpit spewing fire and brimstone? 

 If the IRS had a set of balls on them, they would have and should have been penalizing tax exempt religious organizations for being political.  They aren't supposed to be and this is a perfect time to start making noise.  If the IRS started collecting from all the institutions that aren't supposed to share their political points of view or endorse a candidate, it would make up a lot of money that we are cheated out of.  It's disgraceful and shouldn't have been allowed ever, but now, it's time to re-insert the laws and regulations on tax exempt organizations.

My mind has been swirling today.  Angry, disgusted, proud, irritated. Did you know that the DNC's convention is in North Carolina this summer?  Time to pick up their tent and go elsewhere.  Why in the world should the DNC and all the people that flock to the convention be rewarding a bigoted State?  All that income to a State that voted to ban gay marriage????  Really??  How is that possible?  I don't want to hear that it's too late to change venues.  There has to be a way, if they really wanted to do so.  Was it North Carolina's plan to have this amendment on the ballot to embarrass the DNC?  

I am grateful to hear the President's response to the weeks events.  Do I wish that he would have gotten ahead of the issue instead of seemingly being nudged into it?  Yes, but he did evolve into supporting marriage equality and that is huge!  I don't think that I will ever forget hearing his words today. Now, young people everywhere that are of voting age, must vote this November.  I will stay on this until we squash out the bigots!!

SIDEBARS:  Tho Voice crowned their new winner.  It was a fantastic two night finale.  Of course, not without controversy.  That Christina Aguilera.  If you watch, no need to go on.  Congratulations to the winner, Jermaine Paul.  Well deserved and a truly beautiful crowning.  Fashion Stars are down to 3 designers. Dancing With the Stars down to 4 couples. I have know idea what's up on American Idol.  Maybe 4 left?  No idea. I guess that speaks volumes. Tonight, Law and Order: SVU seems timely from the commercials.  I was wondering a while back where Chris Meloni disappeared to and I think it's True Blood, so I still won't be seeing him. Had a couple of days with one of my dearest and longest friends in the Hamptons, what a ball.  Saw The Avengers and was quite surprised at how much fun it was and had a couple of hearty laughs.  

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Monday, May 7, 2012

Where Have All the Voices Gone?

WTF is going on with people these days?  It's as if when Barack Obama was inaugurated as President, the Pandora's Box was opened.  People have gone absolutely crackers and bats**t.  Really?  The continued assault on women's reproductive rights is so astonishing.  Again, I say, where are the young people?  Why aren't they screaming and marching?  The assault on gay men and women in this country is perplexing.  I don't get it.  Really, I don't.  I can understand struggling with one's own sexuality, but to be freaked out by others?  State after State is preparing or lobbying for legislation to promote discrimination.  State after State is lobbying against women's rights.  Really?  Where are the dissident voices?  I don't understand why people who have been lifelong Republican's are standing quietly by and letting crazy extremists hijack the party of Lincoln.  What's that about?  Everyday there is one more appalling story after another.

What about Mitt Romney's "deal with the devil?" He allowed Richard Grennell resign so that the religious right could be happy and have a win.  Richard Grennell is from all accounts a pitbull who happens to be openly gay.  He is a well respected Republican, political consultant. How is it possible that Mitt Romney let this happen?  Wasn't this a time for him to show his leadership skills?  If you want to be President of the United States, isn't it important to appear to lead independently?  Romney is in the religious rights pocket.  I heard a talking head this week say, Mitt Romney is a businessman who will do anything to close the deal.  That was an "a-ha" moment.  It makes sense that he has pivoted on every issue.  A great businessman doesn't make a great President.  And if this week is any indication of a Mitt Romney Presidency, we are all in trouble.  

I am sick to my stomach about all the social assaults. I am sick with the increasing religiosity of this election.  It is mind boggling that the extremists have just hijacked this country.  Where are the voices of disagreement?  Where are the Reagan Republicans?  If there are any readers that want to enlighten me, I would love to hear.  I can't understand it.  If the Democratic party was taken over by extremists that wanted to take away rights of others, I would stand up and be counted.  I am interested in answers and compromise not unyielding obstructionists.  Why is it okay for crazy people to be running the asylum?  It's not funny. It's terrifying.  We have been down this path of intolerance throughout history.  How did that work out?  Is it the fault of poor education throughout this country?  I don't think that's it because I know very educated people that are either in agreement or standing quietly by.  So what is it?  The terror of a black man in the White House has unleashed the ugliness in so many.  

When the Tea Party began a few years ago, it made such good sense, initially.  People were mad about taxes, Wall Street, and the economy.  Then, somehow it became a subset of the Republican Party. The Birthers took over. The extremists commandeered the movement. The impressive beginning of the Tea Party was turned into a despicable tearing down of the Obama Presidency.  It is painful to watch and hear.  The impotency that I feel for the political climate causes much anguish.  WTF?  Where are all the voices??  There should be voices on both sides of the aisle.  This shouldn't be a Democratic or Republican uprising. This is a human and civil rights issue.  Where are the voices????

Sidebars:  In Plain Sight ended forever on Friday night.  It was okay. I do think that it's hard to end any series to everyone's satisfaction.  Great and interesting cast so hope to see them all elsewhere soon. Amazing Race finished its season.  No real surprises. Without Mark and Bopper, a bit of a letdown.  The Real Housewives of NJ doesn't disappoint.  May need a shower after, but doesn't disappoint. Kudos to VP Joe Biden for his public statement about marriage equality.  That's big news! I am off to the Hamptons.  Be back in a few days.  If there are any dissenting voices, feel free to comment.  

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Thursday, May 3, 2012

Seau It Ain't So

Yesterday's tragic news about the death of Junior Seau was sobering, yet again.  It seems that Junior committed suicide and the autopsy should be conclusive. Allegedly, he tried to commit suicide a year or two ago by driving his car off a cliff, but he says he wasn't. He stated he fell asleep at the wheel. With all the "Monday morning quarterbacking" (pun intended), what culpability does the NFL and the NFL Player's Association have? This is the 3rd suicide in the last year of NFL players.  Is it a coincidence?  If you took the population of another career, would the stats be the same?  I think not.  Football players are glorified, coddled, celebrated, idolized, concussed (or to keep the rhythm concussified) and then it's over.  What are they supposed to do in their retirement which could begin as early as 30?  If it is assumed that Junior Seau was lying and he was really trying to kill himself by driving off the road, where was the Player's Association?  Where was Roger Goodell and the NFL?  Shouldn't someone have reached out to him?  Shouldn't they be pro-active and offer support groups, therapy, medical treatment?  

Football on every level has gotten more violent and dangerous.  It's not just the NFL. It's College. It's High School. It's Middle School. It's Peewee. The intensive practices in the oppressive heat has caused deaths. The repeated hits on the head are finally suspected to cause brain damage. There are class action suits against the NFL from former players, but why isn't the NFL ahead of this?  It's not something that happened overnight. Junior Seau played for 20 years and never had a concussion on the books.  Is that because he was incredibly lucky, didn't report that his bell had been rung, or the team doctors hedged the findings? The rules are changing but ever so slowly. The penalties are getting greater, but mostly in the heat of the game, not in the long run.  There should be zero tolerance on head hits. Automatic suspension and heavy fines. The NFL is going out of its way to make a very strong example with the New Orleans Saints, but really?  Do they think this isn't a prevalent practice?  Do they think that taking the other guy out isn't common at every level?  Maybe the Saints just weren't careful and got caught. 

Junior Seau didn't leave a suicide note. He shot himself in the chest which is almost unheard of except Dave Duerson, the first of the three suicides, shot himself in the chest, too. He left a suicide note. His note said he shot himself in the chest so that doctors could study the damage to his brain.  Wonder what happened to that research?  Is the NFL sitting on the results?  Did no one do the study?  I have no idea.  I am actually out of my fact base here.  I know that the NFL has problems. They have had problems for a long time and seemingly ignore the quality of life and life and death issues of the injured/retired players. The game is definitely becoming more and more Gladiator like. Blood lust and hard hits are driving the sport and the ratings.  Something has to be done, but not sure that without litigation the NFL will step to the forefront. I am deeply sorry for Junior Seau's family.  Anyone who had to see his mother's raw anguish over losing her son must be moved.  Let's hope the NFL doesn't let him die in vain. Come on, Roger, do the right thing!

Shockingly, no sidebars today.

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Wednesday, May 2, 2012

An Apple By Any Other Name

I begin this with a deep sigh.  I can tell that my admiration for Apple is going to go through the ins and outs of any relationship.  The only problem for me here is that it is entirely one sided.  For those of you who have read my blog or spoken to me, you are keenly aware that I have a very bad feeling towards Nike and I am beginning to feel that those feelings may take over with Apple.  The difference is: there really isn't any other choice regarding Apple.  They have dominated the market in computers, iPads, iPhones, iTunes, iPods, etc. so I will not cut off my nose to spite my face, but it's definitely getting harder.  

The recent allegations of unfair and harmful labor conditions is hard to swallow.  It is even harder to swallow when Apple tells about the tons of cash that they are sitting on. Probably $1B would help alleviate all that ails the work force in Asia. That would still leave $99B in their coffers.  And then, last week's articles that Apple doesn't pay its fair share in taxes.  Really?  They, too, have gotten around the 8.25% in California and registered in Nevada for tax purposes.  I am sure that there are other tax tricks, but that one really stands out to me.  Apple is without question a California company and more precisely a Northern California company.  It is legendary and helped revolutionize the entire sect and area.  If they chose to pay or not pay taxes in Nevada, but donated the savings to California, that would work.  But Steve Jobs wasn't big on charity.  Apple has a new CEO, but doesn't seem to have changed that view.  So, as Apple stock keeps soaring and making many millions and Apple keeps introducing new and updated products, just keep in mind and at what cost.  

As I said, there are many brands of sneakers, better made, better quality, not as fashionable.  There are many choices other than Nike.  There aren't many choices under the Apple competitors umbrella.  I cannot boycott and it would be stupid, too, but I would like to start seeing Tim Cook, Apple CEO, introduce a large charitable foundation and start paying back to the people that made them so stinking rich.

Sidebars:  The Voice is down to the final four.  That show is so well produced. Dancing With the Stars dumped Jaleel White last night.  The Biggest Loser finally ended its season. Let's hope that the producers learn that one hour a week is more than enough for the entire next season.  Ultimately, the contestants dropped a lot of weight, attitude, and looked great, but it was an insufferable season. Glee tackled domestic violence in last night's episode. It's amazing how well they can do serious subjects and, alternatively, be so inane at times. Newt Gingrich finally bailed on the Presidential race. We are done with that crazy. It's another gray day here in the Big Apple. Enjoy your day wherever you are.

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Tuesday, May 1, 2012


Where to begin? So many thoughts swirling in between my two ears.  Did you hear about the MLB player from the Detroit Tigers?  Early Friday morning, outside the Hilton Hotel, 2:40am, Delmon Young was drunk and began to verbally assault a group of men, one of them homeless wearing a yarmulke.  Surprise, surprise. Delmon Young was drunk and shouting anti-semitic slurs at this group and put his hands on one of the guys.  He was arrested by police and released hours later.  But really, people who get drunk and use anti-anything language are exactly what they say the aren't.  They are racist, anti-semitic, homophobic, misogynistic, etc. etc. etc. It isn't an accident that these feelings spew out under the influence.  It is truth.  Delmon Young was benched for the rest of the games in NY by the Tigers.  MLB weighed in today and have suspended him for 7 games including the ones that he has missed so far.  And, Delmon Young has to enter a treatment program.  Seriously?  A treatment program for ignorance and hate.  I wonder how that works.  It sounds weak and laughable to me.  He is who he is.  Remember South Pacific?  "You Have to Be Carefully Taught." It's disgusting all the way around.

Speaking of disgusting, did you hear about Amare Stoudemire?  Star player for the Knicks, pissed off at how crappy the Knicks played against the Miami Heat for the second game in a row, he punch his hand into a glass fire extinguisher cover.  Guess what?  Blood, cuts, and will be out for at least one game it seems.  Seriously, Amare?  The Knicks already lost Shumpert due to a torn ACL, not self-inflicted.  Who gets screwed again in all of this?  The fans.  Knick fans who have spent hard earned money to watch the 3rd and 4th games at the Garden are not getting their money's worth.  The Knicks should give rebates to the ticket holders.  They can take it out of Amare's overinflated salary.  Paid way too much to act so stupid.  The Knicks didn't have a prayer to beat the Heat, ultimately, but thought that it might be competitive.  Not anymore.  

Sidebars:  Did you hear that the House of Commons came down hard on Rupert Murdoch?  I mean, the House of Commons? That's big.  They pronounced that he isn't competent to manage a huge corporation.  Ouch.  I can't remember ever hearing any proclamation from the House of Commons since Oliver Cromwell. The Good Wife concluded Sunday for the season.  Really sad that it's over the first Sunday of May sweeps.  They didn't milk that at all. Amazing Race (spoiler alert) lost the heart of the show on Sunday.  Mark and Bopper were eliminated. (You can read about them on my 4/23/12 rant). Saw Barry Manilow at Radio City Music Hall last night. He is one of the great entertainers and Radio City is the best place for a concert. Still feel that Christina Aguilera has it in for Tony Lucca on The Voice. Grateful that Cee Lo reminded audiences all over that the original singer of Killing Me Softly is Roberta Flack, though Lauryn Hill had a huge remake of the song.  The Biggest Loser season finale tonight. 

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