Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

The Healthcare Public Option: Truth vs Lies

17 June 2009

TheYoungTurks is a liberal-leaning news channel on YouTube. They report on a lot of stories that are relevent to political discourse in the USA and around the world. They also report on Hollywood and celebrity news, along with a few stories that feature “who’s more attractive”-type stories. Altogether, it is a very enetertaining channel to subscribe to, although I think that conservative may not like them too much.

Their main website can be found here

http://www.theyoungturks.com/

Here are two of their most recent reports on a national healthvare system being proposed for the USA

The Truth

The Lies

Overall, I think the Young Turks channel is one of the most fun and informative channels that I subscribe to on YouTube.

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“9/11 Truth” Conspiracies Debunked

6 June 2009

I’ll always be amazed at how some people can take an event, seen by hundreds, even thousands, and tell us that what we saw wasn’t what really happened. There’s always some “hidden truth” behind it that only a select few know about.

The 9/11 Truth Movement is one of these. People are out there, speaking in front of audiences, writing books, appearing on braodcast media, etc. and expounding their conspiracy theories about the “truth” behind the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon on September 11, 2001. Even worse, these people are making money for themselves and furthering dark agendas of their own, using the 9/11 Truth Movement as a money-making venture in order to finance other projects or simply to make themselves wealthy.

There are always other people out there who do their best to debunk these conspiracy theories, but they don’t get nearly the same sized audience and the 9/11 Truthers.

If you are tired of hearing the shrill whines of the 9/11 Truthers and would like to hear the other side of the issue, I suggest that you pay a visit to the YouTube channel of  RKOwens4 and have a look at his debunking of individual conspiracy theories put out there by the 9/11 Truth Movement.

So far, he has only 1,807 subscribers, but he has fifty-six videos for you to watch, weigh the evidence and make your own conclusions.

Of all the parts of the 9/11 Conspiracies, the events surrounding the attack on the Pentago often come up, especially the theory that it was a missle, and not a commercial jet liner, that struck the Pentagon that day. Numerous videos on the channel debunk these claims, citing evidence that is readily availble to anyone who wishes to see it.

One claim that is debunked in a very powerful video is the one where it is said by 9/11 truthers that the WTC Towers both collapsed at free-fall speeds. In other words, they supposedly fell at the exact same speed as an obejct would have fallen after having been dropped from the top of the towers. The speed at which the towers were to have fallen has been claimed to be nine seconds. SO, if an obeject fell from the same height as either tower, it would have taken nine seconds to reach the ground. This is claimed to be the same speed that both towers collapsed. However, as the video clearly shows, using film footage of the collapses, the North Tower took 22.02 seconds and the South Tower 15.28 seconds. You can see the video below. I must warn you that it is a very difficult video to watch, especially the scene showing firefighters in the lobby of the South Tower.

Many of us feel traumatized by the 9/11 Attacks, which were the worst terrorist attacks to ever occur on US soil. That fact makes it so much more deplorable that people would use such a horrific day to line their own pockets or futher some sort of agenda.

On RKOwens4‘s channel, you will see individual 9/11 conspiracies challenged and exposed one at a time, citing evidence that is readily available to anyone, so you can look at the evidence for yourself, if you care to do so.

Only by exposing the lies of the 9/11 Truth Movement can we take away any kind of credibility that too many people have given them.

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A Few Thoughts on “Professional” Wrestling

25 May 2009

When I was a kid, I used to watch Pro Wrestling.  I will also admit that I enjoyed it. I’ll go further than that and admit that I even fantasized about being either a pro wrestler myself or being a manager.

In my juvenile brain, I actually thought that the whole thing was real. The Good Guys were really good guys and the Bad Guys were really bad.

When I became an adult, I realized that the whole thing was an act. There was even a magazine (whose name I have since forgotten) that openly spoke about pro wrestling like it really is: a staged performance. I read about the Real Life drama that went-on behind the scenes and how various companies treated their employees (i.e. the wrestlers, valets and managers) and it was very disturbing to me to find-out how the real business of wrestling really is and always had been.

I stopped watching pro wrestling completely after I understood how it was all an act, that the results of the “matches” were determined beforehand and that there were really no bad or good guys, only actors playing their parts. I never told other people, even my own family or friends, to stop watching it. If they knew it was fake and watched it anyway, that was up to them and I didn’t want to interrupt their enjoyment of the spectacle.

It can be fun to watch, I know. But, while I enjoy movies and TV shows where the drama is fake and never attempts to pass itself off as real, I cannot bring myself to suspend disbelief long enough to enjoy Pro Wrestling like I once did.

What took me by surprise was the actual cold-bloodedness of the business, in regards to the main actors themselves. Doing an online search for “dead wrestlers” brought-up several names of wrestlers and valets whom I had enjoyed watching when I was growing-up:

Of course, there are more wrestlers, managers and valets who died from such ordinary things like cancer and heart attacks. Some died due to homicide (e.g. Gentleman Chris Adams and Dino Bravo) and accidents are blamed for other deaths.

But, seeing how many of these people had suffered drug addiction, alcoholim and steroid abuse, it makes me wonder if the public’s enjoyment of Pro Wrestling comes at too high a price. I mean, with all the pressure in the industry for wreslers to be big and muscular, steroid abuse became common and even retired wreslters, such as Hulk Hogan, talk about it today.

Aside from these people simply being dead, which happens to everyone eventually, most of the people I mentioned above died very young. Some of the wreslters I researched died in their mid-twenties, others died in their mid-forties. I don’t care who you are, but dying before you even turn 50 years old is a frakking tragedy.

Pro Wrestling is a multi-billion dollar business, with fans in the USA, Europe and Japan. So, my decision to not be a fan of this form of entertainment won’t put a crimp in their bank balances. There will alaways be other people willing to attend their shows or “matches”. Kids will still buy the dolls and fans will by the memorabilia by the boatload.

Unfortunately, for the wrestlers, most of them are locked into the business for much of their lives with no way to move up into something better. Some have tried their hand at acting in motion pictures, as Hulk Hogan did, but these movies are almost always horrible to watch and the wrestlers are almost always some of the worst actors I have ever seen on TV or the movie screen. Granted, the movies make a lot of money, but most of the wrestlers will never have a career as actors, no matter how much they might want it.

I saw a movie called “Beyond the Mat” which gave me further insight into the lives of several wrestlers, including a favorite of mine from my youth, Jake “The Snake” Roberts who is stuck wrestling on the small circuit, due to a falling-out with WWE owner Vince McMahon. Similar falling-outs happened with Koko B. Ware and the Ultimate Warrior, though for different reasons and I think the Ultimate Warrior may have deserved to get kicked-out of Pro Wrestling. Unless wrestlers invest and save their money while they are in the business, they won’t have anything to fall back on when they can no longer perform, as happened with Roberts. However, it is difficult to save anything when you spend so much of your money going to the doctor for repeated injuries which result in longterm problems later in life. Brett “the Hitman” Hart often speaks about how he lost so much of the time he could have spent with his wife and children, when he was out on the road working for the WWE and WCW. Hart and his wife divorced and I was sad to see that happen, especially after seeing his wife in the documentary “Brett Hart: Wrestling with Shadows“, which talked about Hart’s departure from the WWE.

Overall, my impressions are that the various wrestling corporations – at least, the larger companies, such as the WWE – are run by people who care little for the well-being of the performers. As long as they can perform, they’ll be kept around. When they cannot perform or something happens that causes some embarrassment for the company, they’ll be cut-loose, such as happened when Chris Benoit died and the WWE distanced itself from him when the details became public.

Thankfully, for the most part, wrestling companies have gotten away from encouraging racism – bad Arabs (e.g.the Iron Sheik, who is actually Iranian) and bad Russians (names too numerous to mention, but were usually Americans faking Russian accents) and evil primitive Africans (e.g. Kamala, the Ugandan Giant, also an American) – but they quickly found new marketing strategies when they included anti-heroes, like “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, and putting more sexually-suggestive content in the programs. WCW tried to counter this with more “family-friendly” content, but money talks and bullshit walks and the WCW foundered and was eventually bought by the WWE. The WCW just didn’t have the money and viewership the WWE did and still does.

The only pro wrestler, that I know about, to make it as a movie actor is Duane “The Rock” Johnson who has made several movies, some of which were pretty good. He’s also a pretty good person in real life, from what I understand. The one person making it does not cancel-out the dozen of people whose lives were cut short, whose lives have been negatively impacted by work-related health problems or whose marriages and relationships have suffered as a peripheral result of their involvement in Pro Wrestling.

One eye-opener is the Iron Sheik, who is now retired and making the rounds of the talk show circuit. He is very open regarding his own history of abusing drugs and names other wrestlers whom he had done drugs with. I don’t think many of those wrestlers are very appreciative of being metioned as having smoked crack cocaine with the Sheik in the past. But, he doesn’t seem to care what anyone thinks about him or what he says. When I was a kid, I hated him for being a bad guy. But, today I have to admit that I really like him, if not for his views on certain issues, at least for being an honest man.

Despite my having been a fan of Hulk Hogan in the past, I was surprised when I discovered how many former associates of his now seem to despise him. Randy “Macho Man” Savage, “Mr Wonderful” Paul Orndorff and the Iron Sheik all seem to hate his guts, though I have never been able to find-out why. Maybe he was an asshole when he became so famous during his time as the WWE champion and he treated everyone around him like crap, I don’t know. It happens in the best of industries.

In retrospect, I won’t say that the time I spent watching Pro Wrestling was wasted. I enjoyed it before I discovered the Truth behind the industry. When I discoverd the real human cost to the very wrestlers I had cheered for and booed, the greed of the company owners and the backroom deals being made regarding match outcomes. The most disgusting discovery I made was that, as part of a storyline, Vince McMahon wanted to introduce an incest angle into a storyline by “revealing” himself as the true father of his own daughter’s baby, when Stephanie McMahon said no, Vince tried to establish the storyline with her brother Shane as the father and again she refused. Good for her. If Vince McmAhon had gone ahead with that idea, I think the WWE would have suffered a serious ratings drop, as people generally take a negative view of incest, even if it is in a make-believe environment.

I can understand how McMahon constantly needs to come up with new angles and storylines, as people always want something new and different and you don’t want to recycle old storylines too often. But, incest???

Still, McMahon is doing well for himself. He’s got the top-rated wrestling franchise in the USA and he’ll always have lots of money, unless he makes another bad investment like he did with the XFL and National Bodybuilding Federation. I heard that he eventually wants to start producing movies. Given his history of bad decisions outside of the WWE, I think he should stick with wrestling.

Pro Wrestling can be fun to watch. The pageantry and the spectacle can sometimes be breathtaking. As long as they stay away from stupid storylines, they don’t falter too much. If the industry would allow the performers to form unions, conditions might improve for them. Unionization would give the performers, at least, some sort of protection, as well as health benefits and unemployment insurance. The WWE works very hard to keep their performers from trying to form a union as Jesse “The Body” Ventura found-out when he tried to form a union within the WWE in 1984, only to be ratted-out by Hulk Hogan. This may explain why Hogan is disliked by some of his former coworkers.

But, until somebody finds a way to look after the health of the performers themselves, whether it’s physical or psychological health, there will always be a toll on the lives of the people who choose to make Pro Wrestling their career.

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I Respond to Tea Questions

26 January 2009

Okay, a friend, somehow, found my blog and read my last post on Tea Wars. He asked questions of me that I figure it might be better to answer here:

Question: What is “tea culture”?

Answer: It’s the way the general tea-drinking populace of your country or area consumes tea. How they drink it, when they drink it, etc. You can have different tea cultures within a common border and these habits are often passed-down from one generation to the next and usually don’t change easily.

For example, in Britain, they add cream to tea, the Irish add milk. Russians tend to drink their tea sweetened with fruit preserves, while Americans use lemon and sugar. Chinese, Japanese, etc never put milk or sweeteners in their tea. Middle Easterners add mint leaves.

While people in the USA tend to see tea being drunk from little cups made of porcelain, the British actually drink their tea from mugs, like the way a lot of Americans drink coffee. Some countries tend to use very small cups, like in Oriental countries.

While we usually see tea being made by steeping a bag in a cup or pot, Russians, Turks and Persians will use a two-pot system. In such cases, there is one small pot containing a super-strong “essence”, of which a small amount is poured into your cup, depending on how strong you like your tea and then you take hot water from the second pot to fill your cup. It’s a good way to serve tea when you have different people who like their tea served in various levels of strength. In the movieK-19 the Widowmaker, there was a scene where the Executive Officer pour a cup of tea from the small pot on top of the samovar and drinks it straight. Usually, Russians don’t do it that way, unless they have balls made of stainless steel.

I could go on all day, since tea cultures vary from one culture to the next.

Question: Which is better the better tea: green, black, oolong or herbal?

Answer: Herbal tea is not tea, it’s an “infusion”. Tea is only made from the tea plant and anyone who tells you differently is either completely ignorant of what tea really is or is just a frakking liar.

As far as the green vs black vs oolong, it really depends upon what food you’re serving. I’ll drink green tea when I’m eating vegetarian food or fish, oolong when I’m eating at an Oriental restaurant and black tea the rest of the time. Since I seldom go vegetarian, don’t eat that much fish and tend to dislike Oriental food, I usually drink black tea all the time. Green tea has more in the way of anti-oxidants, but I doubt if most tea-drinkers consider that point, unless they are cancer patients or something.

Question: Why don’t you like Lipton?

Answer: As I said, I’ll drink Lipton tea as iced tea, but not hot. Lipton made their blend so that it could be served iced or hot, unlike most teas that get cloudy and stale when cold. This is due to the types of tea that are added to the particular blend. Some teas do well when cold, others don’t. You can’t have a tea blend that tries to be “all things to all men” without trading-off flavor and I think Lipton did that.

Question: What is it with tea time?

Answer: Okay, tea time is a purely British invention that got started long ago to serve as a snack time between lunch (served at 12pm) and dinner (served at about 8pm). Still yet, most tea-drinking cultures around the world don’t have a particular time that they limit to having a cup of tea. Most of these people will drink it at any time of the day or night.

Question: Is there competition between coffee and tea?

Answer: Not really. When Starbucks expanded into Britain, some Brits tried coffee for the first time and there was a bit of a fad that occurred because of it. Tea consumption declined as coffee consumption rose. Naturally, some of the British tea merchants panicked over the loss of income and some sectors felt that Britain was losing an essentiial part of their culture. But, tea is still the second-most consumed beverage in the world, right behind water.

Question: Isn’t drinking tea unAmerican?

Answer: That’s a stupid question, Tony. Most immigrants to the USA came from coffee-drinking countries, so naturally they brought those habits with them and coffee became a staple in the United States. If my grandmother’s family hadn’t been from East Frisia, they would have been coffee-drinkers in the USA as they would have been in Germany.

Question: what is the American tea culture?

Answer: American tea culture has been influenced by various cultures.

In the American South, sweet tea is a regular fixture at mealtimes, being drunk at all times of the day, especially in summer time. Iced tea is a purely American invention and is ot found in any other country. In the South, iced tea is served with sugar, but not lemon. People outside the South will add lemon, though.

As far as hot tea, most Americans add honey or sugar and/or lemon to their tea. The adition of lemon to hot tea came from Russian Jews who emigrated to the United States during the 1800s, though the British do it also, as noted in the scene from the movie Titanic where you can see a lemon slice floating at the top of the captain’s cup of tea when he’s on the bridge shortly before they hit the iceberg. Most Americans don’t add cream or milk to their tea and I’ve gotten some strange looks from people when they see me do it.

Question: Cream first or tea first?

Answer: Oh, how witty you are! You found something that has caused arguments to start in English tearooms and now you’re asking me. For those who don’t know, I’ll give you the rundown of the Cream First vs Tea First issue:

You start with your teapot, filed with tea. You have the cream, sugar and your empty cup in front of you.

Do you add the cream and sugar to the cup and then add the tea or do you pour the tea first and then add cream and sugar?

Now, most Americans wouldn’t be able to see the reason behind this longstanding debate between two irreconcilable parties. Most Americans ad cream and sugar to their coffee after it has been poured, so they might figure it would be the same for tea. Well, the "Cream Firsters" would go apoplectic if you even mentioned doing it that way with their tea.

Without going into too much detail, both sides have what they feel are good arguments for going either cream- or tea-first. Some of the arguments from both sides seem a bit silly, even to me. But, however you want to drink you tea is okay by me.

My personal preference is to add the cream and sugar to the cup and then pour in the tea. The reason I do that is because I think it helps the cream and sugar blend into the tea better than if Ihad added the tea first, then cream & sugar. I give the tea a couple of stirs afterwards to mix-in the last bits of sugar and that’s it.

And I don’t want any arguments from you Tea Firsters on this. Just drink your cups of tea with the improperly mixed cream and sugar, and leave me to enjoy tea the G-d intended it to be drunk.

So, there!

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Messianic Judaism is a Fraud

24 January 2009

You may have heard about Messianic Jews by now. I think most people have heard about the Jews for Jesus, although there are other groups of “messianic Jews” or “Hebrew Christians” out there. You may have even wondered if there have always been congregations of Jewish Christians, who prayed in Hebrew, kept Kosher and observed the various Jewish High Holy Days. Have there even been Mesianic Jewish Rabbis out there, you wonder?

Actually, no. None of that is even remotely true.

The general lack of success in converting Jews to Christianity stems from several sources:

There is a long history of Christian persecution of the Jews, from the Roman Empire when Christianity became the state religion, to the Crusades and Middle Ages, pograms in Russia and culminating in the Holocaust of World War 2. Christians seemed to be hell-bent on either expelling the Jews from where they lived, converting them on pain of death or just plain killing them. Needless to say, most Jews, even the most secular ones, didn’t really look at Christianity as a source of goodwill for the Jewish people.

Next was the religious incompatibility between Judaism and Christianity. For every scriptural quote a minister or priest had to convince Jews that Jesus of Nazareth was the Messiah, rabbis have a ready response. From a stricly Jewish standpoint, using only the Bible (what Christians call the “Old Testament) it isn’t very hard to refute any claims of Jesus being the promised Messiah.

Third, even secular Jews have grown-up in a household where, at least, the cultural aspects of being a Jew were evident. We always have a devout grandparent or uncle or even a prent that observes at least some aspect of the Jewish faith. Embracing Christianity, for a Jew is like stepping out of this comfortable spot and into a foreign country. Historically, Jewish culture has found little welcome in Christian churches. In fact, Judaism was often looked at as passe and as a religion whose time had come and gone, being replaced by the “New Covenant” of Jesus.

So, how to get past al this and get Jews to convert to Christianity? Furthermore, why do most Messianic Jews believe many of the same things that evangelical Protestants believe and not as the Catholic or Orthodox do, considering that those branches of the Christian church are far older and have much larger followings?

A few decades ago, some of the evangelical Christians hatched a plan to launch a movement tht could evangelize to the Jews on a large scale and in a more organized fashion. They understood the problems I have outlined above and sought a way they could share the Gospel with the Jews in a way that Jews would feel more comfortable.

The actual founding father of the Messianic Jewish movement is Moishe Rosen (born Martin Meyer Rosen) who founded the group Jews for Jesus, the largest and most successful of the Messianic Jewish organizations, with his wife in 1969. Apparently coming from a Jewish family himself, though they were not devout.  According to Rosen, his father attended an Orthodox synagogue, but wasn’t very religious. Rosen and his wife converted to the Baptist Church and Rosen was ordained as a Baptist minister in 1957.

Wanting to find a way to bring more Jews into the Church, in 1973 Rosen left the employment of the American Board of Missions to the Jews (now called “Chosen People Ministries”) to incorporate a separate mission which later became known as Jews for Jesus Ministries.

However, Rosen never broke with the Baptists. In 1986 he received a Doctor of Divinity Degree from Western Conservative Baptist Seminary in Portland, Oregon and in 1997, the Conservative Baptist Association named him a “Hero of the Faith.”. Rosen has referred to himself both as a Messianic Jew and as a Christian.

Jews for Jesus is far from the first attempt by Christians to convert Jews. As I said, there have been numerous attempts over the centuries to convert Jews to the Church. Even Martin Luther gave it a try, though he was unsuccessful and, in his anger, published the notorious book On the Jews and Their Lies, which called for Jews to be expelled or killed, their synagogues and homes burned and their books destroyed.

Learning from past mistakes, Christians have taken a more subtle aproach. By offering an environment where they would see a rabbi, see Hebrew symbols and hear Hebrew or Yiddish spoken, they create Messianic synagogues where these things are readily apparent. At two conferences – one in Switzerland and the second in Thailand – it was realized that most Jews simply didn’t want to stop being Jews, even if they weren’t particularly observant to begin with. Once a Jew converts to another religion, he stops being a Jew and most of us simply don’t want to do that. It’s simply one step too far for many of us Jews.

So, the messianic movement was born.

Prior to the 1960s, there were no Messianic Jewish synagogues. There were no Messianic rabbis. It’s all a fraud.

Messianic Judaism is a modern, invented religion, born of a plot hatched out of the frustration of evangelical Protestants from their previous lack of missionizing success.

Messianics claim that Orthodox rabbis have converted from Orthodox Judaism to Messianic Judaism. Michael Esses once claimed to have been an Orthodox rabbi who converted to Christianity and became one of the leading missionaries to the Jewish people. He even presented a diploma from the non-existant rabbinical college The Sephardic Yeshiva of New York. This fraud was exposed by his wife, when the couple divorced and she published a book which contained a copy of instructions Michael had given to the printer who created his fraudulent diploma in the first place.

Tuvya Zaretsky was the director of the Los Angeles office of Jews for Jesus. It was publicly revealed during a television interview of Zaretsky in Philadelphia, when the host asked him if that was his real name. Zaretsky, reluctantly admitted that his real birth name was, in fact, Lloyd Carson. But, he was simply following the example of Martin (later Moishe) Rosen.

The chief supporters of this great fraud being committed against the Jewish people includes several powerful Protestant denominations:

  • Southern Baptists, chief underwriters of Jews for Jesus;
  • Seventh Day Adventists, they publish Shabbat Shalom magazine;
  • Missouri Synod of the Lutheran Church; and, of course,
  • Assemblies of God;

Jews for Jesus’ budget surpasses $11 million and they have missions around the world, including in the USA, Moscow, South Africa, Argentina and even Israel.

Jews for Jesus has an insideous method for converting elderly Jews to the Messianic movement. They will find elderly Jews who are living in nursing homes whose families seldom visit them. Once they have this information,they will send young missionaries to visit them in the homes and try to convert them. Jews for Jesus also published Modern Maturity magazine. this despicable tactic targets elderly people who are lonely and desperate to have the attention of anyone younger than themselves, especially people of the age that their children and grandchildren would be.

Jews for Jesus even offers its expertise to Protestant churches and instruct them of how to prostelytize to Jews.

I get a real laugh at some of these Protestant preachers who try to pretend to be Jewish or try to use Jewish symbols to somehow justify their message. I see ministers wearing tallis during their sermons, often incorrectly. One guy I saw yesterday was wearing it around his neck like a gym towel. I posted a comment and let him know about his mistake. His response was to delete my comment. Sadly, I think that they get enough credibility from their viewers to continue to do it, otherwise they would not do it in the first place or would stop doing it.

The chief strength that the messianic  movement has it its outreach. They actually reach out to the lonely people in the Jewish community, university students far from home for the first time, the elderly, the deaf and for many others. They enthusiastically welcome new faces into their “synagogues”, while most Jews tend to remain at arms length from an unfamiliar person who comes to their shul for the first time.

My grandparents weren’t particularly religious, neither were my parents. So, I grew-up not being devout. I’m still not religious. But, even though I haven’t gone to shul myself in years and the state of the Jewish religion plays little part in my own life, I find the history of the Messianic Judaism movement, its tactics and its goals to be despicable.

 

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Joe the Plumber Goes to War

8 January 2009

Some people get their fifteen minutes of fame and then it’s done. Some lucky few get a lot longer. Most people don’t even get those few minutes.

Then again, there are some people who get their fifteen minutes and then you just can’t convince them to shut the hell up and go the frakk away.

One such individual is Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher, also known as “Joe the Plumber”.

After being the official mascot of the McCain/Palin campaign of 2008, Joe has gone on to found a website, a charity and a political watchdog group. He even has a publicist, along with his recording contract and book offer!

Okay, I’m all in favor of the Average American getting a break and making the Big Time. But, seriously, what does Joe the Plumber (who isn’t even a plumber) have to offer us? Not a damned thing and it’s no surprise to most people that Joe fell off the media radar scope and back into the depths of obscurity from which he came. Kind of like Godzilla, right?

Anyway, after his short-lived career of selling digital upgrades for analog TV – did you see that commerical? wasn’t he just godawful??? – Joe the Plumber has decided to become Joe the War Correspondent.

I’m not kidding. He’s going to take a microphone and a camera to Israel and interview the Average Joe ( actually the “Average Yosef”) on the streets of Israel to get the views of the average guy on the street. No points for originality there, since it’s been done. But, Mr Average American wants to interview Mr Average Israel and so off he goes to the Promised Land.

Naturally, real war correspondants aren’t too impressed with Joe’s qualifications, or lack thereof. he’s never worked in the media before and his commericals were crap. It seems though, that Pajamas TV has hired Mr Plumber to be their offical correspondant in the Gaza Strip and it leaves me wondering how desperate they must have been to even go looking for some one like him. Didn’t they have any real reporters on-staff?

For those who don’t know, Pajamas TV is a conservative, pro-Israel news organization and that is the niche that Joe was worming his way into during the 2008 campaign. So, it’s a marriage made in Heaven.

My prediction is that Joe’s “reports from the front” will look like the poorer quality YouTube videos when being broadcast over a network.

Hey, don’t get me wrong. I’m all in favor of an average guy making it big.

But, when you consider that so much of his public persona didn’t match with the facts, you gotta have some doubts about whether this guy is really out for the average person in the USA or just for himself. A brief rundown:

  • his parents received welfare while he was growing-up, but he condemns welfare as “taking away from one guy to give to another”.
  • he’s never served in the military, which is standard fare for the Republican chickenhawks.
  • he’s been called “Joe the Plumber”, but he’s never had a plumbing license and he still hasn’t completed the certification course he signed-up for six years ago.

I wish him well. Though I have my doubts about his education in history. He claims that he is not afraid to go into a combat zone, since he’s a Christian and he thinks that G-d will protect him.

Apparently, he is unaware that most of the people who have been killed in the Middle East for the past two thousand years probably had the very same ideas going through their heads when they died, killed by some one who was also thinking that their gods would protect them too.

However, right-wingers, like Michelle Malkin, still have a special place in their hearts for the likes of Joe, spouting accolades of admiration and treating him as if he were some sort of American Hero. It shows a certain desperation on their part, since there seems to be a decided lack of real heroes on the Republican Right. The guys they believed in back in 2000 (i.e. the Bush Administration) have so completely let them down that even conservatives have been attacking the Bush policies for some time now.

Hey, if you don’t have a real hero, invent one I always say!

But, things aren’t going well for the sales of his 192 page book “Joe the Plumber: Fighting for the American Dream“. The book’s listing on Amazon.com shows that it has been marked-down from the list price of $24.95, down to a bargain price of $16.47, which is a reduction of 34%. The reviewers haven’t been very kind to it, either. So far, no conservatives have posted any positive reviews of the book at the time this blog has been written.

Lots of luck, Joe the Moron.

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First Post

25 December 2008

This will be my place to discuss the goings-on at YouTube and other places I find interesting or, at least, not boring.

I welcome all reasonable comments and discussion.

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