Archive for April, 2010

“It Can’t Happen Again” Right?

Friday, April 30th, 2010

Can’t believe it will happen again, can you America?  Can’t believe that with a new President (who won the Nobel Peace Prize), all the “intelligence” in Washington, all the new plans, strategies, and timetables, the confident generals, the added  troops, the coalition forces, the “approved” governments, and everything else in place – you can’t believe the whole thing can crash and just leave a puddle of blood, death, chaos, and hatred, can you?

The sad picture above was taken on April 29, 1975, the fall of Saigon – and the end of the war in Vietnam for the United States – exactly 35-years ago tonight. Not surprisingly, less than a month before, the US Departments of Defense and State told us the strategy of turning control of the fighting over to the South Vietnamese was going according to plan. I guess the North Vietnamese Army didn’t get the memo.

I am not against all wars – I am against stupid, non-winnable wars. And I never could imagine a war as stupid as the one in Vietnam.  Bush and Obama taught me I had a limited imagination and used Iraq and Afghanistan as visual aids.

“Gamblers’ Quicksand”

Thursday, April 29th, 2010

I remembered this term when I was arguing with someone about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. I suggested we leave ASAP just protecting our people as they exit.

“We can’t do that.” he babbled, “That would mean over 4,000 of our troops died in vain.”

I cringed. That was the same argument we heard in 1968 when Nixon ran for President. At that time, our losses were over 25,000 soldiers dead and countless maimed. “These brave troops will not have died in vain!” he rumbled and shook his fist. You know the rest. 1975 – America lost a war we never could have won because there was nothing for us to win. Death toll by that time? 57,000 brave American troops – dead – ALL in vain.

“Gamblers’ quicksand” occurs when a player has more hope than sense. Here’s an example: a poker player is dealt a medium-good hand and antes $10. Someone bets and he calls it for another $10. Another card is dealt – exactly the card he DOESN’T need – and his hand turns into mud. The bettor throws in $10 and now it’s up to our player to decide: “fold?” or “bet the $10”?

“If I just fold now,” he thinks, “I’ll lose $30!” So he throws in another $10 and a raise for $10 and now he’s up to his hips for $50 with a terminal case of “hopeatitus”.

Another card is dealt – and the dolt’s hand turns from doo-doo to mush and just about drips on the table. The bet is now $30 and, “what the hell?” he says and throws it in.

The bettor confidently lays down a full-house and our nitwit shows his lousy pair of nines which never got any better. “What the hell were you thinking, dummy?” says a friend as the winner rakes in our guy’s $80.

Johnnie High Hopes just lost money. America should be so lucky.

English Spoken Here

Wednesday, April 28th, 2010

I love my Hispanic friends and their beautiful families and culture.  I  would also love it if they learned English and spoke it to their children exclusively.  Language is the glue that binds together a country of many different nationalities.  We may not look the same, listen to the same music, nor eat the same things – but if we can’t easily communicate with each other using a common language, how can we stand together as a nation?

My grandparents knew this when they came to America at the turn of the last century.  They learned English to get into schools, apply for jobs, and become citizens.  They were very proud when they learned how to speak English well.

Today in America we have many sophisticated means of teaching children our language.  We have television, the internet, and electronic games that could make it fun to learn the language.  We have excellent teachers and two and a half months of empty schools that could be devoted to preschool English lessons.

I hope my Latino friends know this idea is not an insult to their language or culture.  Instead it is a welcoming hand that says, “We respect our differences but we ask you join us to form a stronger America.  How may we help you get onboard?”

Taste That Beats the Others Warm

Tuesday, April 27th, 2010

The world’s largest democracy – India – doesn’t have to eat what we eat – and we don’t have to drink (thankfully) what they drink: a soft drink made from cow urine. We know cows are sacred and honored in India but there are a few women whom I felt were sacred and I honored them – but most of their bodily fluids held no interest for me.

Anyway, this bovine brew is being developed by the Cow Protection Department of the RSS, India’s largest and oldest Hindu nationalist group. (See what happens when unions get out of control?) Hindus have been pushing the health benefits of drinking Bossie’s “other wet drink” for thousands of years.

Om Prakash, the head of CPD, said the drink – called “gau jal,” or “cow water” – in Sanskrit – “won’t smell like urine and will be tasty too. It will not be carbonated and it will be devoid of any toxins.” Right.

Now, I’m no expert on cow piss but I would guess the whole thing is pretty toxic and if you take out the toxins, really – what’s the point? Well, of course, there is another point – Hindus believe their whole country is going to hell because of a torrent of Western cultural influences best symbolized by Coke and Pepsi. And gau jal just might be what the yogi ordered to stem the flow (so to speak).

Of course nobody has asked my opinion – but I think the whole thing is udderly ridiculous – but what a pisser! And if you want to try it?  Urine good company!

There IS Someone for Everyone

Monday, April 26th, 2010

Remember Paul Karason, the 57-year old man from Oregon who turned Blue? He had a bad case of bad skin (although I now suspect that may have been the least of his worries). To treat his condition, he started drinking a substance called colloidal silver which is made by extracting silver from metal by electricity. Mr. Karason thought it would clear his skin. Where he got this idea is unclear but one suspects it was not recommended by the FDA.

Mr. Karason persistently drank his potion for over 10-years turning a deep shade of blue. If I were his friend during that time, I might have asked him to stop at a powder blue or a teale – but he probably wouldn’t have listened anyway. Also, there doesn’t seem to be a Mrs. Karason around which is understandable because who wants a spouse who’s always blue?

Anyway, I’ve thought of Mr. K. quite often since I saw the story. He continues to drink colloidal silver and I continue to worry about him finding an understanding soulmate – until yesterday.

Yesterday I read about a young woman who wanted to be Orange.  This lady, (let’s call her “O”) did some research and read that humans can turn orange if they eat excessive amounts of carotene, a substance most commonly found in carrots. So “O” immediately started eating and drinking carrots ONLY – for a period of 30-days. And, yes, she DID turn orange!

Now no one (except me) has suggested these two might consider the possibility of a romantic liaison – but why not!? They certainly have enough in common to color each other’s world and it’s not exactly like white, black, or yellow people are lining up to mix with their paints. So what’s the problem? Children?

Well I’ve played with a color chart and mixed the percentages based on my extensive knowledge of genetics and color. The color with which I came up is kind of a brownish-mauve – not a bad color for kids. Maybe after a few generations, there would be a new mixed breed of people called Mauvottos.

Or, because I thought of the idea, I would be honored if the new offspring were called Paolottos.

Sell ‘em? My Mom Would’ve Given Us Away!

Friday, April 23rd, 2010


Are there any parents out there who haven’t wished (for a few brief moments anyway) that they never had kids?

24-year-old Joshua Stagnitto of Brockport, NY went further than that. He put his 1- and 2-year old kids up for sale on Craigslist. His ad stated that his two young children could be used as “child slaves and footstools,” and  advertised they came with a 12 pack of diapers and one dirty t-shirt. Price? $40 dollars for one kid; $200 for both.

Of course, law enforcement agencies and Child Protective Services immediately sprang into action.  After a brief investigation at his home, State Troopers arrested the local man for “unlawfully reporting an incident”.  A spokesperson for the Troopers said the action “was like shouting ‘Fire!’ in a crowded building”. The Father’s court date is in early May.

Stagnitto complained to reporters that “I guess no one shares my sense of humor.”  I dunno – I kind of thought it was funny.

“Don’t Trust Me With Your Damn Money?”

Friday, April 23rd, 2010

“Then Don’t Trust Me With Your Soul!”

The 1980’s was the Golden Age of silver-tongued television evangelists – and what a motley crew they were. There were healers and stealers and bottom-deck dealers. They came in a variety of flavors with two things in common: they were all “messengers of God” – and each tried to separate you  from as much of your money as he could –  in the shortest amount of television time possible.

“If your friends WON’T go to heaven with you – DON’T go to hell with them!”

Jimmy Swaggart (cousin of Jerry Lee Lewis) could sing, play beautiful piano, speak in tongues, and cry on cue. Even two different scandals with $10/hour hookers could not shake his followers’ faith. You can still see Jimmy on Sunday morning TV preaching, crying,  and stealing in the name of the Lord.

“Jim, the Lord let me get addicted to over-the-counter medication for a reason.”

Jim and Tammy Baker looked like a successful, Midwestern Amway couple. Smarmy Jim could oil the dollars out of your wallet with fantasies of luxurious rooms never built. The old joke about Tammy was they scraped away layers of her make-up and found Jimmy Hoffa. Their PTL (Praise the Lord) Club had thousands of members each buying timeshares in a kind of Disneyland for Christian adults – much of which existed only in Jim’s mind.

“HEAL!”

To me, the saddest one of the lot is Ernest Angely, a faith healer still on television today. He could perform “miracles” weekly which let the lame walk, the deaf  hear and the blind see. But unfortunately, he could never grow hair on his own head and sports a toupee that is so bad, it couldn’t be hurt by a chinstrap.

He was arrested in England (the Brits don’t put up with this sort of nonsense), had himself photographed behind bars, and used the picture for the cover of his next faith book.

“I’m OUT of here!”

The scariest and strangest by far? Dr. Gene Scott, author of the quote above. Scott looked an acted like an Old Testament holy man on steroids. While other TV preachers begged for money, Scott DEMANDED his faithful send in their tithes – or they would face an eternity of everlasting fire and doom.

Often called “God’s Angriest Man”, Scott would rant and fill his blackboard with religious teachings in Latin, Hebrew, and Sanskrit. But he would often bellow, “Why aren’t those damn phones ringing with your measly bucks!? If you don’t pledge $600 in the next 10-minutes, I’m walkng out of here! Find your own damn way to Heaven!”

And then he’d throw down his chalk, storm off the set, and for hours, all that was left was a close-up shot of his empty chair and a telephone number to call in your money. GODDAMN Gene Scott could put on one hell of a show!

I often thought if God ever did come back to Earth, one of the first things he’d do was fire this crowd of loony losers – except, perhaps, for Dr. Scott. He’d have to think hard on that one – if only for His own personal safety – and amusement.

Am-Beyond

Wednesday, April 21st, 2010

(Out of focus on purpose.)

I have a new friend who’s hyperactive and has difficulty falling asleep.  I have trouble staying awake – so it works out.  Anyway, she’s been on this sleeping pill, Ambien, for a few months.  She just got around to reading the “Medication Guide” and was pretty rattled by it.

“Listen to this!” she read. “After taking zolpidem tartrate, you may get up out of bed while not being fully awake and do an activity that you do not know you are doing. The next morning, you may not remember that you did anything during the night.”

“No way!” I said, “Give me the sheet.”

She gave it to me.  It said exactly what she read.

I started laughing.  She looked at me suspiciously.  Of course I had to bust her chops about it.

“Look,” I said, “it was nothing you hadn’t done before and there was nothing memorable about it.”

She didn’t smile.

I guess there are some things you shouldn’t joke about.

Fall in Sex

Monday, April 19th, 2010

A recent report said kids are having sex at a much younger age today; many for the wrong reason: they’re looking for love.  Wow – looking for love through sex is like panning for gold in aquarium gravel.  And it’s no wonder people are confused – our culture has mixed up sex and love so much the poor kids don’t know if they’re coming or going.

I’ve said it before “we teach our kids sex is dirty and disgusting – make sure you save it for someone you love”.  OF COURSE sex is better with someone you love – so is eating cheeseburgers – but this double message confuses the hell out of kids (and most adults). To make matters worse, we call having sex, “making love”.  Spin that one around a few zillion times in peoples’ minds and you get what we’ve got.

How many love relationships have we seen broken up because people confuse precious love for raging whore moans?  They feel so guilty about sex, they “fall in love” – in their minds – with someone who only just pushed their hot buttons.  Humans don’t “fall in love” no matter what the movies tell you.  They “fall in sex” and then look for reasons to justify it – and the most society-approved excuse just happens to be “love”.

The most lasting love between people occurs after they discover they   still like each other after months or years and have grown to want to experience life together. Chances of meeting a “soulmate” over the onion dip at a party where you’ve had too many drinks is equivalent to winning the Irish Lottery – of 1919.  But most churches, schools, and parents STILL refuse to talk honestly about the difference (and the non-relationship) between sex and love – they’d rather give kids ‘organ recitals’.

You still believe sex should never exist without love?  Well, you must never have masturbated.  A recent study said “93% of people have masturbated and 7% lied.”

We must teach young adults about the pleasures of sex and the accompanying responsibilities – the main one being not to confuse it with love.

Need SPEED to Read?

Monday, April 19th, 2010

I offer clients a unique, overnight writing service:

WriteNow!

Ad agencies and PR firms take too much time and money for small talks like executive messages, new sales introductions, and client pitches.  After 30-years of experience, here’s how I can perform these same services, faster, cheaper and with guaranteed client satisfaction:

You give me a call with an objective, brief audience analysis, and the material you want covered before 5:00 pm on any business day.

By 8:00 am the NEXT DAY, I personally will come to your office and read the talk for your approval.  Charge: usually between $50.00 and $100.00 per speaking minute; minimum: $500. The price is agreed on before I begin writing.

If you like what you hear (of course we can make changes on the spot!) you hand me a purchase order or check for the agreed upon amount.  If you don’t like my words, we shake hands, I walk out of your office, and it hasn’t cost you a dime.  Fair?

e-mail me at: fpaolo1@rochester.rr.com

Of course I still offer the best speaking seminars and executive speech coaching in town.  See:

www.PresentationsUnplugged.com
(Save this page for future crisis.)